PictureThe episodes are all presented with 1.78:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced transfers and easily look like some of the best CSI episodes that it have ever been released on DVD - but that's only as you would only expect from the latest season. The detail is superb, with no noticeable edge enhancement, decent clarity and negligible softness. The grain is only present as required by the 'action' sequences and the colour scheme is broad, with all of the colours vividly represented, from the crimson blood red to the green neon of the glow-sticks. Autopsy scenes and lab sequences are suitably clinical and blacks are deep and solid. It is a very good DVD presentation for a superior TV show.
SoundThis first half of CSI is presented with a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The vocals are presented clearly from the frontal array and we get plenty of effects. All of the smaller ambient noises are well observed and offer up some nice directionality from the surrounds and there are a few noisier 'bang' to bring some bass into the equation. The score is typical CSI, with the occasional song track thrown in amidst the standard instrumental elements and overall it is a decent enough presentation for a modern TV show.
ExtrasAs with previous CSI DVD Box Sets, we get several Extras to accompany the episodes. First there are several Audio Commentaries: one by Creator Danny Cannon on the fourth episode, Shooting Stars and then two Commentaries available on the first episode of the excellent two-parter, A Bullet Runs Through It, one by Creator Danny Cannon, and the other by Writer Carol Mendelsohn and Director Richard Catalani. Then there's a Commentary by Writer Carol Mendelsohn and Director Ken Fink talking about the storytelling challenges on the second part. Finally there's an Audio Commentary on the key episode Gum Drops, provided by Writer Sarah Goldfinger and Director Richard J. Lewis. Although Danny Cannon's contributions - as expected - are probably the best to listen to, the Gum Drops Commentary is very interesting, mainly due to the pivotal child kidnapping content of the episode. They discuss how the script was originally written for William Petersen (it would have been so much better that way) but because of a death in the family, he had to pass the reigns to one of the other characters, and overall it is a worthy listen.
There's also a Featurette that looks at the New Title Sequence for CSI, which features different shots of the various characters. The Creator Danny Cannon, the Executive Producer and the Visual Effects Supervisor, as well as other crew members, discuss how the different title sequences were created. Apparently the main sequence was not changed a great deal over the years (although I would disagree), with bits added and changed. This is the first time that they actually redid the whole thing from scratch, and it is quite interesting to see the different versions they came up with whilst testing, before settling for this final cut. When they do the split-screen comparison, it's particularly amusing to see just how flashy and fast-edited the new version is. Finally we get a Featurette entitled CSI: The Science of Sound which takes a look at the sound effects used in the series, with comments from the Sound Effects Supervisor, the Producers and some of the other crew, mainly focussing on the Bullet Runs Through It episode, discussing how they record dialogue and live effects, and then add other effects.
VerdictThe original Las Vegas CSI was always the best of the CSI dramas, and this new sixth season, following off the back of Tarantino's superb Two-Parter Season 5 Finale, is - from the first twelve episodes - looking to be one of the best seasons. Video and Audio presentations and excellent for a TV drama on DVD and we get a few nice Extras to round off the disc, making this a must-have for fans of the show. Newcomers should start back off at the beginning, but be aware that there are some pretty excellent episodes all the way through to this, the sixth season.
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