PictureComparing to season 2, I'd say this is a slightly better image, however it's not significantly better and as such, this is an average picture. There doesn't seem to be any differences here to broadcast quality, albeit without the artefacts one can get from digital TV or interference from terrestrial. In fact it's hard to say anything positive or negative about it, due to the fact there is nothing exceptional, or indeed unexceptional about it. Skin tones are fine, colours are ok with some minor bleeding apparent and there is a degree of grain to it, but nothing terrible. As stated, I didn't notice any artefacts or edge enhancement - it truly doesn't appear to have anything done to it to “lift” it from being typical. But as stated, I'd have to say this is slightly better than the second season and as such, the score reflects this.
SoundAgain, as per season 2, this has a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack which isn't particularly impressive, but it does the trick. Stereo separation isn't overly apparent for the most part, but at least it is clear and hiss free, with dialogue never being drowned out at any point. Bass is minimal on the soundtrack, but when it does occur, it's reasonably well handled. The disk is flagged to only decode as stereo, so I have reviewed it as such, choosing not to engage a Pro-Logic sound field as I prefer to leave it in the mode assigned. However, due to stereo soundtracks being ultimately un-involving in comparison to a full DD5.1 soundtrack, there's not much to say other that it serves its purpose and nothing more.
ExtrasOther than several trailers on disk 1, this has none.
VerdictHmmmm, not as good as season 2 is my critical analysis, but it's still very watchable. It does drag a little and the writers really should get out of the habit of “monster-of-the-week” episodes and start structuring proper full season story arcs. I guess they can't be doing too much wrong, as it's lasted 8 seasons or more, but I still can't shake the feeling it could, no, it should be better written. Still, there's always the Doherty-free season 4 to look forward to.
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