Review: Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
3.5 / 5 Stars
After four seasons, the Jim Henson television production "Farscape" came back to life with a TV mini-series aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. Also returning was composer Guy Gross, who took over the scoring duties of "Farscape" for a group of composers working under the name Subvision after the first season. Gross - an Australian composer whose credits include The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - altered the sound of his "Farscape" world and requested a full orchestra and choir for the mini-series. The result is a strong science fiction score on an epic scale for Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
"Peacekeeper Ambush" opens the album with a series of bold brass chords in the tradition of Star Trek. The score varies little in tone, rushing through with powerfully orchestrated action music. One of the strengths of this score is in Gross' prolific use of bold brass chords as in the opening track and "Scarrans Arrive". This orchestration is used consistently throughout the album and makes for a powerful score. Gross also makes good use of the chorus interspersed with the orchestra, but there are a few key moments where the voices stand alone, as in "Chiana & D'Argo", that are very well done. "We Have A Son" adds a solo trumpet line over both orchestra and chorus for the uplifting cue. At times, as in this track, Gross clearly went for an anthemic feel, as one would expect for a film like Saving Private Ryan. "We All Die" continues with this tone.
Except for the few tracks I am highlighting, the score sounds very much the same: bold science fiction action scoring. While quite fitting for the mini-series, and an improvement from the TV show's music, the nearly 70 minute-long album does seem a bit long with little variation. The album does close nicely, however, with "Aftermath", a very solemn cue with two choral elements, a low male section beneath a soaring female soloist in a wordless lament. This is followed by "This Is Your Playground", which slowly builds from a trumpet solo into an uplifting cue with the full orchestra and chorus. Overall, this score is a solid addition to the science fiction genre and comes off as a bit of a surprise, as it is better than one would normally expect for its type of project; its fully orchestral approach is one of its strongest features.
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