In light of Sci-Fi channel’s hit 1999 series Farscape getting re-released on DVD, Brian Henson admitted to the crowd at Creation Entertainment’s annual Farscape convention that there are no plans to release Farscape in any high-definiton format.
The series was filmed on 35mm, which is far superior to HD, said Henson, but the visual effects were created for a standard-definition format, and when looking at the costs of re-creating the visual effects in HD, it would have been in the millions of dollars. Per season. Understandable for a series that holds the Guinness world record for the most digital effects in a TV series.
Unfortunately, there was yet another cost that would kill the possibility of Farscape appearing in high-definition. At the end of each season, the original camera negatives were archived, which according to Henson left “a gymnasium of footage” that was particularly costly to store due to the volatility of the film itself. And so, I assume, the original 35mm prints of Farscape have been scrapped.
Henson stated that the Farscape series was produced in both NTSC and PAL formats, and that PAL’s 576 horizontal lines of resolution (compared to NTSC’s 480) was the highest-definion version of Farscape available. This is a far sight less than HD’s top resolution of 1,080 lines, and a sad fate for such a visually stunning and complex series.