Before there was "frak," there was "frell."
On November 15th, A+E's releasing the complete Farscape series on Blu-ray, a little under 10 years after this pretty weird, never boring, and frequently brilliant space opera went off the air back in '02.
If you didn't catch the Syfy Network (then, humbly the Sci-Fi Channel) series during it's '98-2002 (or 2003, to go by the press release) run, it features Ben Browder as astronaut John Crichton, whose shuttle gets caught in a wormhole, sending him across the universe. There, he ends up throwing in his lot with a group of escaped convicts as they attempt to flee the Peacekeepers (think Nazis in space), while trying not to betray or kill each other. It was a Jim Henson Company production, meaning there was lots of practical effects work for the aliens that Crichton and crew encountered across the "Uncharted Territories" featured in the series, and a lot of the aesthetic was frequently semi-organic outer-space weirdness with a lot of leather.
My description might not be selling how deliriously weird and clever the show was, and how much effort it put into telling a long-ish form anti-war story, where violence frequently just made things worse for everyone involved. It was also had some very well-realized interpersonal relationships between a crew that had to grow into something resembling a family after spending so much time looking out for themselves.
They're actually doing something clever here, dropping single season sets for about $70 each, as well as the complete, four-season brick for $200. The press release promises a full HD upgrade to the show after remastering it from the source material along with all of the special features from the previous DVD sets released by ADV a few years ago. I reached out to an A+E rep to find out if the set would include the Peacekeeper Wars four hour miniseries that wrapped up all of the loose threads of the show, given that in the past, it hasn't been included with the box sets. Unfortunately, the current rights holders for the mini are Lionsgate, so prepare for a pretty startling cliffhanger at the end of season 4.
Here's what's going to be in the box:
20 Blu-ray discs featuring 88 complete and unedited episodes from the four-season run (1999-2003), remastered from the highest quality source material available
Collectible packaging featuring all-new series artwork
29 Episode Commentaries, including “Premiere” with Rockne S. O’Bannon, Brian Henson and Ben Browder; “Jeremiah Crichton” with Claudia Black, Producer/Writer David Kemper, Browder and O’Bannon; “Bone to Be Wild” with Anthony Simcoe;“Relativity” with Lani Tupu (Crais/Voice of Pilot) and Director Peter Andrikidis; and, “Bad Timing” which features Browder, Black and Kemper discussing the series’ final episode.
A BRAND-NEW documentary – Memories of Moya: An Epic Journey Explored featuring revealing new interviews with the cast and creators.
Multiple featurettes and documentaries including “In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson”; “Making of a Space Opera” and “Inside Farscape: Save Farscape,” on which fans, cast and crew discuss the fate of their beloved series.
Multiple video profiles featuring archival clips and cast/crew discussing their characters and roles on Farscape.
Over 90 minutes of deleted scenes.
Slideshows and archival photo galleries, including character concepts and promo photos.
Production design galleries featuring screenshots, rough drafts and concept slide shows.
Behind-the-Scenes interviews with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard (Stark), Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) and more.
Original TV promos and trailers
Farscape will hit Blu-ray on November 15th.