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FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS

Although I didn’t start watching the series until late in the game, I discovered that FARSCAPE was actually one of the most intriguing science fiction series to ever air on television. Produced in Australia by the Jim Henson Company, FARSCAPE mixed traditional aliens (i.e. people under heavy makeup) with beautifully realized Animatronic puppet aliens that that help bring to life a science fiction saga unlike any other. The basic premise of FARSCAPE follows the adventures of astronaut John Crichton, who is sucked through a wormhole to the other side of the universe, where he is rescued by a band of escaping prisoners and taken on board a living spaceship known as Moya. Over the course of the show’s four-season run, Crichton made his share of allies and enemies, which culminated in a series-ending cliffhanger that saw Crichton and Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black), who is carrying his unborn child, crystallized and shattered into thousands of pieces.

Coming back as a two part miniseries, FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS ($20) is an entertaining and action packed concluding chapter to the saga, one that picks up the story shortly after the events depicted in the final episode, and begins tying things up into a neater little package. After being reconstituted into his living state, Crichton finds his old enemies still after him and that the situation has escalated greatly with a full blown war breaking out between the Peacekeeper and the Scaren Empire. Of course, Crichton remains the lynchpin in everything, as everyone tries to get inside his head, to discover the secret of creating a weapon based upon wormhole technology. The cast of FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS also features Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Wayne Pygram, Raelee Hill, Tammy McIntosh, Paul Goddard, Melissa Jaffer Melissa Jaffer, Duncan Young, Francesca Buller, Rebecca Riggs, David Franklin, Nathaniel Dean, John Bach, Jonathan Hardy and Lani John Tupu.

Lions Gate Entertainment FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Overall, this is a good-looking presentation of a three-hour television miniseries. Sharpness and detail are quite respectable, never at the theatrical level, but just fine for a television caliber production. Some softness creeps in here and there, but it is never bothersome. Colors are pretty vibrant and are rendered without incident. Blacks are accurate and the whites clean, contrast is usually at the television level and is generally fine. The film elements from which the miniseries has been transferred appear clean, although there is noticeable grain in places. Digital compression artifacts rarely make their presence known.

FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS comes with a perfectly fine Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. With its television origins clearly evident, the sound design favors the forward soundstage, with the surrounds adding ambience, occasional effects and some musical fill. The miniseries features a strong musical component, which is rendered with good fidelity and a genuine sense of presence. Sound effects prove to be fairly engaging, and rather convincing, even if the sound design isn’t as aggressive as it might have been. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. An English stereo surround track has also been included on the DVD, in addition to English and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few nice supplements, which are presented on a second DVD. The Making Of The Peacekeeper Wars: The Battle Behind The Wars is a half hour program that looks at bringing FARSCAPE back to the airways to tie up the loose ends of the series, as well as offering fans a behind the scenes look at this production. Also featured on disc two are four still galleries entitled Conceptual Art Gallery, Storyboards, Spacecraft Gallery, and Prop Gallery, which are comprise the of the artwork, photos and production materials for the miniseries.

FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS is an entertaining final installment in the FARSCAPE saga and provides fans with the sense of closure they were lacking due to the series premature cancellation. As for the DVD, it looks and sounds just fine, so if you are a longtime fan, you’ll want to add FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS to your collection.

 

FARSCAPE: THE PEACEKEEPER WARS 


Farscape - The Peacekeeper Wars (2004)

ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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