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ADV Films presents
Farscape #10 (2001)

"I'm a warrior. If I can't die in battle, at least let me die alone."
- Aeryn (Claudia Black)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: January 21, 2002

Stars: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Gigi Edgley, Lani Tupu
Other Stars: Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey, Wayne Pygram
Director: Ian Watson/Rowan Woods

Manufacturer: DVXX
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence, depictions of torture)
Run Time: 01h:39m:12s
Release Date: January 22, 2002
UPC: 702727010521
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A A-A-A- C+

DVD Review

Disc #10 in the Farscape series from ADV marks the beginning of the FamilyTies, first season finale which not only left Farscape fans with a cliffhangerending, but also radically changed the entire direction of the show. Disappointingly, ADVopted to split the 4 parts onto two discs, despite the fact that they're essentially onelong, interconnected episode. That aside though, the shift in tone the series takes here ismajor, and has never been abandoned. No longer is Moya's crew simply wanderingthrough space, getting into misadventures while avoiding the evil Peacekeepers. Instead,connections are made to past and future episodes wherein a new, more sinisterdirection is plotted by the introduction of one new character: Scorpius. As Family Tiesis essentially one story, I'll treat these two presentations as one part of the story.

We begin with Nerve, which is set right after the events of the previous episode,A Bug's Life, during which Aeryn Sun was viciously stabbed. It is assumed shehas recovered, but she makes the startling revelation that the wound actually severed animportant nerve in her system and that in a matter of days, she will die. The only way tosave her would be to implant a graft from a genetically compatible person of her own race(Sebacian). Crichton and the rest of Moya's crew risk a daring mission to anearby Peacekeeper base in order to get the tissue sample somehow. Crichton decides toimpersonate a Peacekeeper commander again, and Chiana pretends to be his servant. Although the idea is to infiltrate the base, get the tissue, and be gone in a matter of hours, their plans are dashed when they meet a mysterious commander who is controlling a secret weapons project. The individual is Scorpius, a strange hybrid of Sebacian and Skaaren (a lizard-like creature) genetics .

Scorpius' project is related to wormholes; precisely what John Crichton has been searching for. A darker discovery is made, however, when Scorpius probes John's mind and discovers something connecting all the way back to the episode, A Human Reaction (from disc #8). With Critchton imprisoned, the crew of Moya faces even more problems. Not only is Moya about to give birth, but Scorpius has invited the renegade commander Crais to the base; the same Crais who has been pursuing Moya all this time since the series has first begun. This is where The Hidden Memory comes in, as an elaborate rescue attempt is made to free Critchton, but also get away from Crais and the rest of the Peacekeepers. The challenge has many layers and among them are, of course, many villains.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Moyas.

This story arc, among other things, introduces two very important new characters to theFarscape universe. Of course, foremost is Scorpius, portrayed by actor WaynePygram. Although it's only recently that the series has revealed his origins andmotivations, he serves as an appropriately vile and mysterious element that brings muchmore dimension to the forces that seek to kill Moya's crew. He is cunning,super-intelligent, and becomes such a dark cloud over the entire show, that his first appearance here is truly momentous. We are also introduced to Stark, played by Paul Goddard (who viewers might recognize from his work in TheMatrix). Stark is an unusual, relatively unstable character who has added a veryinteresting element to the show, and in these early appearances (and as Crichton's cell-mate),he kept the audience guessing pretty well. Commander Crais is also moved up a notch in the show. Though actor Lani Tupu provides the voice for Pilot, his role as Crais was never really explored until now. Add to the mix Moya's baby, and you have one of the most bold and daring season finales ever made—and this is just season 1.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The transfer is solid for the most part, but loses a notch in quality because of somerather obvious haziness and grain. While there are no compression problems and thesource print is extremely clear, this slight degradation in quality is obvious sinceFarscape discs are typically so amazing. Other than that minor problem, the restof the episodes, especially the shadow and light detail, are excellent.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The mixes on these episodes are slightly more subtle than normal, but this is undoubtedlybecause of the heavier role that dialogue plays here. The 5.1 mix is filled with directionaleffects, good bass, and an extremely diverse sound, well beyond what you normally getfrom the TV series. The split surround effects are used well and never soundover-the-top, as does the rest of the mix. The Dolby 2.0 Surround mixes are equallyimpressive, although lack the dimension and clarity of the 5.1, but there is still the obviousenergy.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English (captions)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Gunsmith Cats, ShadowRaiders, Sin, Samurai X
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Video Profile: Wayne Pygram
  2. DVD-ROM Screensaver
  3. Conceptual art
  4. DVD-ROM Weblinks
Extras Review: A profile for actor Wayne Pygram is presented, and perhaps what makes it mostinteresting is that we get to see him without his excellent Scorpius make-up. Like manyFarscape cast members, he is a known Austrailian actor. He discusses what he wanted to bring to the show and how he really wanted to make Scorpius a regular character rather than a guest. Unfortunately, like many of the video profiles, there is entirely too much footage from the show. I've just seen it, I don't need to see it again. There are ADV previews,a small gallery of conceptual artwork (mainly themed around Scorpius), weblinks, and aMacintosh and PC screensaver download for those with DVD-ROM drives.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

Those who don't have the means to backtrack through the series might want to start here. At this point, so much changes for the characters, that everything becomes new again. It's too bad all 4 season enders aren't here, but it's a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.


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