Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Farscape - The Peacekeeper Wars

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Ben Browder as John Crichton
Claudia Black as Aeryn Sun
Anthony Simcoe as Ka D'Argo
Gigi Edgley as Chiana
Wayne Pygram as Scorpius/Harvey
Raelee Hill as Sikozu Shanu
Tammy McIntosh as Joolushko Tunai Fenta Hovalis
Paul Goddard as Stark
Melissa Jaffer as Utu-Noranti Pralatong
Duncan Young as Emperor Staleek
Francesca Buller as War Minister Akhna
Rebecca Riggs as Commandant Mele-on-Grayza (as Rebecca Riggs)
David Franklin as Captain Meeklo Braca
Nathaniel Dean as Jothee
John Bach as Einstein

Special Features:
"The Making of the Peacekeeper Wars"

Interactive Conceptual Art Gallery

Authentic Production Storyboards

Spacecraft Gallery

Prop Gallery

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 182 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the conclusion to the TV series Farscape which ran from 1999 to 2003. Despite being cancelled, this finale was aired as a mini series to wrap things up. The following is from the DVD cover:

"Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars continues the adventures of astronaut John Crichton and his intergalactic comrades. Newly engaged and expectant parents John Crichton (Ben Browder) and Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) have been chased around the galaxy, have fallen in love and now all they want is for their baby to be born and live in peace. However, when a full-scale war is engaged by the evil Scarran Empire, the Peacekeeper Alliance has but one hope -- reassemble human astronaut John Crichton, once sucked into the Peacekeeper galaxy through a wormhole. Crichton's task: Get the entire Peacekeeper race to safety before the last war of era brings an end to the universe."

Farscape The Peacekeeper Wars is not rated.

The Movie:
I have to start out by saying that I never really watched Farscape when it was on the air despite being a big sci-fi buff and a fan of the Jim Henson Company. I saw a couple of the earliest episodes, but I was never able to get into it. But when this DVD arrived I hoped I would be able to follow it just enough to understand what was going on. Unfortunately, I was only partially successful. I was generally able to follow what was happening, but so many aspects of The Peacekeeper Wars relied on you having seen the rest of the series that you had little hope of enjoying it unless you followed the show. That led me to conclude that you really had to be a Farscape fan to thoroughly enjoy this DVD. Otherwise you're probably wasting your time and money viewing it.

Despite the fact that I was only marginally able to follow the plot, I do recognize that this was a first rate production. The alien makeups and props rival those from Star Wars and Star Trek. The sets are absolutely stunning. The computer effects used in the space battles are jaw dropping and quickly pull in Farscape novices like myself. All this makes me realize what a technical and artistic achievement this series was. Too bad the plot wasn't more accessible for people to jump on in the middle of it.

While I loved the vast array of aliens in the show, I found the humans to be a bit of a mixed bag. I didn't care for Ben Browder as John Crichton. He hardly seemed like a NASA astronaut in the film. He came across more as a cocky jock than anything. All his lines seemed to either be yelled or they were sarcastic quips using Earth terminology that no alien could hope to understand. It made him quite overbearing and you had to wonder what Claudia Black as Aeryn Sun saw in him beyond his good looks. Black is good in her role as a retired genetically engineered warrior. She's not drop dead gorgeous like most sci-fi babes, but she is certainly believable. Most of the other humans have tons of makeup piled on them, but they brought the aliens to life.

If you're interested in this DVD, then I highly recommend that you bypass this and just start at the beginning of the series. I think you'll find it a much more enjoyable ride and you'll see why fans all over the world were able to make a push after the series was cancelled and get The Peacekeeper Wars made.

The Extras:
Besides a batch of galleries featuring concept art, props, and storyboards, the only bonus feature included on this DVD is "The Making of the Peacekeeper Wars". This is your standard "making of" video discussing how the production was made. What makes this unique, though, is that they get into how the series was cancelled, then they came back and made this mini-series as an attempt to complete the story. You quickly realize this was a labor of love for everyone in the cast and crew. They highlight the speedy construction of the sets, the makeup, the visual effects, and more. They show a lot of clowning around on the set, too. In the end I have to say I found this 30 minute documentary to almost be more entertaining that the film itself. Be warned, though, that the language in this documentary is R-rated.

The Bottom Line:
Farscape The Peacekeeper Wars is for fans of the series only. Anyone else interested in viewing this should just start from the very beginning and work their way towards this conclusion. With cool makeup and effects, it's well worth checking out.

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