Farscape will not be released in high-def

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.


In a gadda de Blade Runner

Jen is still arguing with me over this scene in Blade Runner, and it’s got me thinking.

The love scene between Deckard and Rachael is a major turning point for the characters because it is what causes them to fall from grace (he said, making an easy allusion to Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden of Eden).

If memory serves, Adam and Eve’s punishment is that they will toil in the fields, endure painful labor, and so on. But given a gnostic interpretation of this scene, the punishment isn’t just that — their punishment is their awareness of these things. Adam and Eve become not the first humans, but rather the first people by becoming aware of their world, their daily struggles, and most importantly their mortality. Deckard and Rachael’s fall from grace is similar in their discovery that they were built, but not to last. By the end of the film, they have become self-aware replicants, whose burden is the awareness of their four-year lifespan, and their journey into an unknown fate is the same as mankind’s after the story of Adam and Eve.

That they incur God’s wrath by refusing to live in blissful ignorance is echoed in Rachael’s line when she comes to get answers from Deckard, who tells her to go back to Tyrell.

“He wouldn’t see me.”

Shunned by her creator, and banished from the only home she’s ever known.

More on this topic: When a robot says 0 she really means 1