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Farscape: Season 3, Collection 2 (Starburst Edition vol.8)
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Well, frell me dead! Its the Starburst Edition of Farscape -- Season 3, Collection 2! Its a big, crazy universe out there. And American astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) is about as lost in it as he can be! The poor guys been through a lot. Hes been probed, prodded, framed, frozen, and frelled by alien life forms more bizarre than anything he could have imagined. Now, our long-suffering hero has been cloned against his will. And its double-trouble as two Crichtons go on separate adventures! Throw in an dysfunctional crew of quarreling alien ex-cons, a bio-mechanoid ship with a neurotic Pilot, a sadistic military leader with a secret agenda, a beautiful ex-commando whos learning how to love, and its no wonder that John Crichton is losing his mind! Praised by TV Guide as one of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever," Farscape is an adventure as broad and weird as the universe -- full of strange creatures, bizarre twists, irreverent humor, raucous action, passion, and romance! Produced in Australia with the incredible talents of Jim Hensons Creature Shop, Farscape is the fantasy-scifi-drama-romance-comedy-adventure you will always remember!
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I personally regard FARSCAPE as the finest Sci-fi television series ever (with the caveat that FIREFLY had the potential, at least, to at least match it). And I regard the third season of the series as the main evidence of its brilliance. The heart of Season Three is contained in this and the next set in the DVD releases, episodes that cover what happened after John Crichton was cloned. There is an old Chicago band called The Three Johns (one member is John Langford, front man of the punk band the Mekons). In my mind I think of Season Three being subtitled "The Two Johns." These episodes plot the separation of the two Johns and the complete flowering of the romance between Aeryn and the John with whom she is paired with on Talyn. One half of the episodes follow the group that ends up on Talyn and the other half those who remain on Moya. Most of the interest, of course, is with what happens with Aeryn and her John. On the one hand any fan will be delighted that John and Aeryn have finally managed to break down the barriers to their relationship, but on the other hand will feel the poignancy of how this is going to effect the John who is still on Moya. When I saw this the first time I couldn't conceive how they would resolve this almost impossible situation, though the death of the John with Aeryn in retrospect seems obvious.
The writers and producers took tremendous chances in the plot here. I can think of no parallel in storytelling in either film or TV for the developments in the romance between John and Aeryn in these episodes. Guy gets girl yet at the same time loses her to someone else, and it doesn't help that he has lost her to himself. It is an absolutely tragic romance, yet in ways that one has never seen before. Although it is not contained in the episodes in this set, the cold and detached manner in which Aeryn responds to the surviving John's greeting in the later episode "Fractures," when Talyn and Moya finally rendezvous again, is one of the saddest, most poignant moments in the run of the show. They gambled mightily in letting the narrative take the turns it did, but it was a gamble that paid off mightily, in creating one of the most unique plot lines in the history of television. This is simply brilliant television storytelling.
Almost all of the episodes in Season Three are at least very good (with the exception of the excreble "Revenging Angel" that will start off Volume 3.3 in the DVD sets, a poorly conceived and even more poorly executed animated episode, which ends up looking like a very poor imitation of Warner Brothers cartoons), many of the episodes here are exceptional. "Green Eyed Monster," written by Ben Browder, is one of my favorite shows in the entire series, in which Talyn nearly kills John because of his relationship with John, and in which John seriously misunderstands Aeryn's relationship with Crais. And the two part episode "Infinite Possibilities," which sees the demise of one of the John's (with Magda Szubanski, best known to American's for her starring role in the two BABE films, reprising her role from Season One as the conniving mechanic Furlow). But to tell the truth, individual episodes aside, the real greatness in this season comes from the story as it develops through multiple episodes. The whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts.
The truly great thing about these sets are that they reproduce the more expensive original DVD releases in far more affordable form. At these prices, these are truly bargains. You get a huge number of special features. In fact, the FARSCAPE releases have as many or more special features as any TV show I know. And beginning with Season Three they corrected the great sin of the Starburst releases for Seasons One and Two: no more double sided DVDs! To accommodate more discs, they have made the cases slightly thicker, but I prefer that and having to deal with four single sided discs than having two double sided discs.
This is a must own series for anyone interested either in quality long story arc television or extremely innovative Sci-fi. This is just a superb series on every level. Except as animation.
We can only hope that ADV will offer a trade in offer on those releases already out to upgrade to the problem free collection. Sure it will cost them money, but it cost those of us with bad disc time and money to find one(s) that worked. (A 80 mile roundtrip drive for me in rural Kentucky) The very least they could do is to offer a replacement collection at cost for the first 6 collections. As of this writing I do not know if they plan to release the first 6 collections (2 seasons) on single sided disc or not, however a wise company would. My guess is you will find a lot of 2 disc collections on eBay if they do. Again a great series finally on enough disc to justify buying it. Plenty of extras over the boxset releases, albeit again many are repeated from disc to disc and collection to collection, overall good video and audio quality for hours of viewing. Well worth adding to your collection for those Farscape fans, just hope the first 6 releases are corrected and re-issued.
Anyways the tv series was one of my favorites and I still bust out the DVDs and watch them. I really miss the tv series. There are also a couple books and there is a comic book series running but nothing can replace the tv series in my opinion.
Lots of extras but frankly the story really hit's the mark with this set - drama, humor, action, and great interaction between the characters. Putting Rygel and Stark together on the same ship was brilliant!
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