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DVD Reviews:  C.S.I (Crime Scene Investigation) Season 1 (boxed sets 1.1-1.12 & 1.13-1.23)

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Distributed by:
Imagine Entertainment
Running Time Boxed Set 1: 513 Minutes
Running Time Boxed Set 2: 468 Minutes

Wow! Who are you, who who, who who? OK for those of you reading this, that is the opening to this brilliant show that it currently on TV. As a fan of the series this was a great way for me to go back and visit the magic of the first season. I had high hopes for the show and I wasn't disappointed.

For those who have been unlucky enough to follow the series, it deals with a group of Crime Scene Investigators (C.S.I's) in their day to day jobs cracking the unsolvable cases using cutting edge forensic science. Not police per se these group of scientists use evidence left on the crime scene to find the culprits.

Despite my love of cop shows, I must admit that I have never seen a show quite like this. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, more often associated with the silver screen than television it was interesting to see camera work of the kind that would normally be seen at the movies on this television series. Add to that, some of the most amazing effects and a great cast and you are mixing up a winning formula.

The C.S.I. team is headed up by Gil Grissom, a man dedicated to puzzles and mysteries to the point of distraction and the perfect person to lead the team. Alone and married to the job, he guides the scientists on their journey of discovery and law, solving mundane crimes to brutal multiple homicides.

One of the main reasons that I do love this show as much as I do would have to be the fact that real life methods are used in the series to solve crimes. There is no fantasy machinery or technique used that saves the day, it's more a simple case of hard work, professionalism and some pretty amazing toys.

Another strength to the series is that so far every single episode has had me glued to the set, nothing is boring and all well scripted. Even more important is the fact that the shows are of the quality that ensures that they will be watched more than once which is an issue with many television shows that are transferred to DVD. Here is a episode title listing and run time for the first boxed set:

Pilot - 43:21
Cool Change - 42:36
Crate 'n' Burial - 42:37 (Produced as Episode 3/Aired as Episode 2)
Pledging Mr. Johnson - 42:39
Friends and Lovers - 43:12
Who Are You? - 43:13
Anonymous - 42:34
Blood Drops - 43:43
Unfriendly Skies - 42:46
Sex Lies and Larvae - 43:01
The I-15 Murders - 41:36 (Produced as Episode 2/Aired as Episode 10)
Fahrenheit 932 - 42:53

Title listing and run times for the second boxed set:

Boom (43:16)
To Halve And To Hold (41:50)
Table Stakes (43:17)
Too Tough To Die (41:21)
Face Lift (43:06)
35K O.B.O. (42:00)
Gentle Gentle (43:16)
Sounds of Silence (43:15)
Justice is Served (41:31)
Evaluation Day (42:21)
Strip Strangler (43:18)

Do I have a favourite episode? I'm sure that I do however in saying that I might just taint it for you. Every single show does this wonderful title justice and fully belongs there. We grow with and learn to like the characters who are solving these sometimes heinous crimes and can't wait for the next episode - a week can be so long! Fortunately with these boxed sets you don't have to wait and they are yours forever.

Now onto the actual discs themselves as there is a little bit more to cover. The picture quality is not the best, in fact both sets are plagued by grain in the image and it is enough to notice it for most of the time. It's a blessing that the series is such a strong one as otherwise the grain would be the worst distraction. Image quality itself is pretty sharp and looks good on most diplays. The show is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which was the way it was initially filmed. Later in the series this was to change and we'll bring you our review of any changes made to Season 2 which we should be reviewing shortly.

Audio is a 2.0 stereo affair with minimal encoding making it's way to the rear channels. Audio is more than sufficient for the show with the occasional creepy effect making it's way to the back for great effect. There was no use of the subwoofer from what I could make out from my viewings of the episodes.

Each disc set is a fairly subdued affair when it came to extras on the discs, which in this context didn't really bother me. I would have liked to see a lot more focus on the tools they use in the show and whilst it's more or less touched upon, it's enough to make you really want more. A nice addition to each box set is the inclusion of a small booklet that gives you plot info and some colour pictures. I also really enjoyed the featurette and the cast interviews contained in box set 2. One thing of note also is the grain that is present for every episode is not there during the trailer so the fault in transferral was done when episodes were converted over.

In summary, I'd consider C.S.I an absolute must have for any fan of the show or just cop series in general. This is a prime example of what happens with you team brilliant storytellers and thespians together and magic happens. Recommended!


C.S.I Season 1 Features

  • Box 1:

  • Menu Animation & Audio

  • Biographies-Character

  • Trailer

  • Booklet

  • Featurette-Behind The Scenes

  • Interviews-Cast & Crew

  • Box 2:

  • Menu

  • Featurette

  • Production Notes (12 pages)

  • Extended Cast and Crew Interviews



 Copyright 2003