Northern Exposure: Series 3 DVD Review
PictureVisually, this represents a big step forward for the series on DVD. Upon its initial appearance on the format R2 fans of the show were left with a decidedly lack lustre image with fuzzy detail and garish colour. Thankfully Universal have used the time between releases to drastically improve picture quality, and the resulting remastered image presented here for season three is considerable more palatable. Although the limitations of working with a TV show now over a decade old ensure that this isn't exactly reference quality, this is still an impressive result. Colours are rich and natural, and there is a commendable level of detail throughout. Digital artefacts aren't too bad at all, and edge enhancement is a rarity. Likewise the print appears in excellent shape on the whole, with very little in the way of dirt or damage. On the downside, on occasion there are noticeable drops in quality for brief shots where picture fidelity and colour levels take a tumble for a few seconds. Overall, this is a very satisfying transfer.
SoundPresented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, the sound here is hardly a life-changing experience, but to its credit it does the job with an admirably clarity and definition. This is certainly a show that wouldn't benefit immensely from an all-encompassing 5.1 mix, and the standard 2.0 effort here provides a more that able conduit for the dialogue which is all the show was ever about really. It's clear, crisp and well balanced in the mix, so all is well here then. Its feasible real devotees of the show may pick up on some alterations to the musical score for licensing issues (season two was compromised in this way), however such issues are beyond the scope of this mere mortal reviewer and may not even be an issue here.
ExtrasSpread across all six discs, what we have here is essentially one extra which is a collection of Deleted/Extended scenes taken from the show. These comprise predominantly of exorcised storylines removed from episodes for length and pacing issues. There aren't really any monumental scenes here, and they were wisely removed from the final cut. Also included in this extra is a selection of 'Unexposed Scenes' consisting of outtakes and bloopers. Again, diverting enough, but there's no real gold material here.
VerdictFunny, engaging, but never overbearing, this great little series deserves to attract a wider fan base on DVD. That it is an essential purchase for those fans yet to acquire this season goes without saying, but fans of good TV could certainly do worse than give it a try and succumbing to its peculiar little charms.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £34.99
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