Digitally there were no compression problems, no doubt helped by the magnificent average bitrate, but I did notice a little edge enhancement occasionally. Film grain was non existent, even in the bright blue sky of the daytime, with the only print damage being confined to the opening credits and never within the body of the program. Since each episode is like a film unto itself it is great to see such attention to detail throughout the entire season.
The three 2.0 surround tracks are essentially the same, save the dubbing. Sounding thinner and flatter than the 5.1, they too are almost all confined to the front, perhaps the rears came into play once or twice per episode, to be honest I expected this. All are a decent enough range, clear and precise, if a little on the quiet side.
The main extras are the commentaries on seven of the episodes which are Falling Into Place writer Craig Wright, Parallel Play director Jeremy Podeswa, That's My Dog director Alan Poul, Terror Starts at Home writer Kate Robin, The Dare director Peter Webber, Bomb Shelter writer Scott Buck and Untitled director/creator Alan Ball. Each is a reasonable listen in their own way, however, all are rather dry. The writers tend to speak of their role and keeping continuity as well as introducing their story, while the directors speak of a more technical stand point. The best one is the season finale with the creator of the series, he does speak at length about the show which is obviously dear to his heart. I think I would have preferred him as a mediator on all of the commentaries, would have made for far more engaging talks rather than the patchy monologues we have ended up with.
Next up there is an (exclusive) interview by Bob Costas with the main cast, specifically Peter Krause, Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall and Lauren Ambrose. It runs for about fifteen minutes and is quite astonishing to see these characters laugh, or be out of character. They discuss the impact of the show before moving into more the spiritual realms of the afterlife and near death experiences!
Next up is Cut By Cut: Editing Six Feet Under featurette which concentrates on the episode Parallel Play. There are interviews with the creator, director and writer as well as the editor as they discuss the editing console. This is a fine little extra with many interesting facts. Amazingly, most people don't realise the power of the editor, the ability to change a complete story at this stage is unparalleled (Brazil anyone?). This featurette does not go into such detail but is still very insightful and interesting. Shame there are not more features like this in the set.
There are three deleted scenes all from the episode Can I come up now, although there is no official explanation for their excise it is easy to see why, for fans only really.
Finally the ad for the new soundtrack CD has a playable remix of the theme tune.
Six Feet Under is full on emotional turmoil, with believable characters being able to convince, even the more outlandish plot developments. Powerful, engaging and irresistible, like looking at a crash, it's devastating, but you just can't turn away. As a DVD, Warner has produced an excellent quality set. Plush packaging with decent photographs to accompany the disc inside, the quality of the picture too is quite excellent. A few more extras, would have made this set outstanding, as it is, it is just excellent.
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