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ADV Films presents
Farscape #8 (2000)

"We've been waiting for this for years. We sent out Voyager and left green cards on the moon, and now when visitors show up, this is what you do to them?"
- John Crichton (Ben Browder)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: November 06, 2001

Stars: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Gigi Edgley
Other Stars: Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey
Director: Tony Tilse, Rowan Woods

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence, some language, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:39m:12s
Release Date: November 06, 2001
UPC: 702727010323
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+AA C+

DVD Review

Volume 8 of Farscape contains one of the more noteworthy episodes of the series, Durka Returns, which is primarily important for the introduction of the character Chiana (as played by Gigi Edgley), the first major outsider to the series who is still, to this day, a major character. So, as a first appearance for her, this marks a highlight, but it also presents the first major diversion from the flow of the show with the episode, A Human Reaction, which offers a glimpse at the possibility of returning home for Crichton. The establishment of the Chiana character is fairly important for numerous reasons, mainly for introducing chaos into the later episodes.

Durka Returns sees Moya accidentally hitting another vessel. To make reparations, Moya brings the craft on board where Crichton and crew meet their guests: two men transporting a supposedly "deadly" criminal, Chiana. One of the men turns out to be, horrifyingly enough, Durka, the vicious Sebacian commander responsible for the torture of Rygel. Thought to be dead (and proved so in a previous episode), he apparently still lives, thanks to alien technology that extended his life and cleaned his mind of evil desires. Obviously, everyone is suspicious of the whole affair. Chiana doesn't seem particularly dangerous and Durka seems much too nice to not be hiding some sinister plan up his sleeve. Rygel plans to murder Durka, while Chiana plans an escape, so they work together to achieve mutual goals. Nothing can be this simple and complications arise. As it turns out, Chiana is nowhere near the criminal she's been made out to be, but she is indeed crafty and brutal.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Moyas

In A Human Reaction, Moya encounters a wormhole and alerts John Crichton to its existence. As it turns out, the wormhole is Crichton's dream come true; it leads to Earth. Is he finally home? Indeed he is... but his welcoming is less than hospitable. Sadly, in typical human fashion, the fear of the unknown is far greater than logic, and Crichton is treated as an alien invader, suspected of being an impostor or alien spy... as if he was never human to begin with. Things darken when the crew of Moya accidentally enters the wormhole and arrives on Earth. As the government treats Crichton and his friends as deadly threats, they long for some kind of escape. There is something very wrong and very strange going on, but to find out what it is, Crichton must progress.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Moyas.

Both episodes are among the finest produced in the series, and certainly offer everything that makes Farscape what it is. By now, Farscape has become enough of a phenomenon that it will probably grow into something far bigger; possibly a movie or even a spin-off series... you never know. However, with this massive success, I hope that creators Rockne O'Bannon and Brian Henson do not forget the show's original ideal and not go off without a lot of planning and thought. If anything has been proven in the world of sci-fi television, it's that everything has its limitations, regardless of how popular it is.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Typical of the series, video quality is superb and without any complaints. While Durka Returns is basically the same, dark photography, which the transfer handles fine) The disc really shines on A Human Reaction where there are constantly varying indoor and outdoor scenes. Other than some very minor grain already in the source, all these environments are virtually perfect without any artifacts of any sort and absolutely no movement or pixelation.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Both Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 mixes are outstandingly vibrant and filled with activity. There are no real complaints, and the clarity and energy is up to the same level as other Farscape DVDs.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English (captions)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Robotech, Getter Robo, Neon Genesis Evangelon, Gasaraki
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Video Profile: Gigi Edgley
  2. Conceptual and photo still gallery.
  3. DVD-ROM Weblinks
  4. ADV 2001 Catalog
Extras Review: A 20-minute interview with actress Gigi Edgley sheds some light on her now long-running character of Chiana. Unlike other interviews with Farscape cast members thus far, she is actually not wearing her elaborate make-up and can be seen as her "normal" self. There are galleries of still photos and conceptual drawings, all based around material that shows up in these two episodes, though the stills are mainly of Gigi Edgley. There's the basic group of trailers (Robotech, Getter Robo, Neon Genesis Evangelon, Gasaraki) and some weblinks to the Farscape and ADV websites. The case also includes an impressive, extremely well designed, 50-page catalog of all of ADV's available discs. Unfortunately, the commentary tracks once seen in the discs seem to be no more... at least for now.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Farscape chugs along at its usual pace. Those who've seen the first episodes, but would rather not have to watch a lot to catch up to this point could rent this and see some of the best work from the show without it being related to the required storyline. Regardless, the series continues to impress in terms of quality and devotion.


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