Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Farscape: The Complete Series

Most of the sci-fi shows you enjoy today owe some kind of debt to Farscape. On the flip side, most of the sci-fi shows you grew up on, Farscape liberally stole bits and pieces from. It’s quite possibly the most unoriginally original series ever made. Here’s a show that came along at a time when space opera wasn’t doing a whole lot of experimentation, and yet that’s almost exclusively what Farscape did. It took heaping platefuls of well-worn sci-fi clich├ęs and ideas and turned them on their ear, seemingly just to find out what would happen. Most of it worked, some of it did not, but that’s the price you pay for innovation. The show was primarily a drama, but that didn’t stop it from working in jokes and sight gags whenever possible. This was considerably different when compared to the various, dry Star Trek series that were around at the time. It also featured loads of monsters and aliens, most of which stand the test of time, which is unsurprising since The Jim Henson Company was behind the show, and they are, after all, the folks who built an empire on a frog and a pig.

But The Muppet Show, Farscape is not, and don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. It’s a serious show for people who take their sci-fi seriously but can still appreciate a good fart gag every now and then. Over the course of 88 hour-long episodes, it tells the story of Earth astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) who, within the first 10 minutes of the pilot episode, is flung halfway across the universe via a wormhole, only to end up smack in the middle of an epic space battle. He soon finds himself living onboard a living ship called Moya amongst a group of alien prisoners who are on the run from their captors, the Peacekeepers, a militant group of human-looking aliens. As the series progresses, Crichton goes from inchworm to King Cobra, and eventually ends up being the most important man in the Uncharted Territories because of one thing: the wormhole knowledge planted deep in his psyche by an alien race known as the Ancients. Whoever possesses this knowledge will be able to build a weapon of awesome might, although what Crichton really wants is to just get home; too bad every alien the other side of the Milky Way wants a piece of him along the way.

Read the rest of this Blu-ray review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doctor Who: Colony in Space & The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Special Edition)

"Colony in Space" is really only noteworthy for one thing: It marked the first time the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) took a trip to another planet in the TARDIS since his exile to Earth at the start of his third life. He’s allowed to do this only at the behest of the Time Lords, who realize the Master (Roger Delgado) has stolen information on something called a Doomsday Weapon, and they quite rightly fear what he plans to do with it. So the Doctor and Jo (Katy Manning) are whisked away to the year 2472 on the dirty, muddy world of Uxarieus, the planet of the weapon’s origin.

There they encounter two opposing factions of humans: a group of colonists trying to begin a new life (Earth has apparently all but gone to hell at this point) and a group of miners working for a corporation called IMC. IMC has discovered that the planet is rich in minerals and they’re using some very unscrupulous methods to get the colonists to leave. There are also the planet’s indigenous life forms, which appear to be little more than mute and tribal, yet deep in their underground city lies the secrets of the Doomsday Weapon.

Read the rest of this DVD review, as well as one for the Special Edition of "The Talons of Weng-Chiang," by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.