PictureThe second season of Deadwood is presented with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer that leaves it looking practically cinema quality. There picture is clear, with good detail throughout and no signs of edge enhancement - although I did notice a couple of strange haloing moments which momentarily caused irritation. The colour scheme is totally in line with the Wild West setting, all browns and sun-bleached faded colours, with only blood running more deeply and vividly. Blacks are solid, allowing for good shadowing and there was no sign of any significant grain. Overall, with no scratch or dirt defects, it is one of the best TV show presentations that I have ever come across.
SoundDeadwood season 2 gets a reasonably good Dolby Digital 5.1 track to accompany it as well, with dialogue resoundingly clear (however hard it can sometimes be to fully comprehend), mainly from the frontal array. There are plenty of effects, not least from the expected shootouts but also little cleverly-observed touches like creaky floorboards and clinking shot-glasses. The score is entirely orchestral, keeping silent for much of the drama but coming into play with a vengeance whenever required. There's no real bass to speak of but it is nevertheless quite a suitable track for this solid Wild West TV series.
ExtrasAnnoyingly, whilst it states otherwise on the box, Deadwood actually comes with no extras whatsoever. With the Region 1 version boasting Documentaries and Audio Commentaries, it only adds insult to injury that this Region 2 edition has packaging that lists the episodes as having optional commentaries with various members of the cast and crew. With the reality that there is nothing at all, it is thoroughly disappointing.
VerdictDeadwood season 2 is a worthy second run for a truly amazing new HBO series, most noteworthy for its tremendous script. With superb video and decent audio, it is only the significant matter of the extras that lets down this collection. If you've never come across this show before then I would seriously advise you pick up the first season first and then add this one to your collection.
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