Eureka – Season 4.5: DVD (2012)

Note: this review is spoiler free. 

Photo Caption: A quality scan of the cover art, utilizing my printer. WHY ARE THERE NO 480-PIXEL WIDTH-ED COPIES OF THIS COVER, AND IN LARGER QUALITY!? Urghhh…

Eureka season 4.5 is, hands down, the best season of the show yet. Not only is the season arc the strongest, but the individial episodes are the best, with the only real low point being “Of Mites and Men” (and even that episode is saved because of the inclusion of the extended version on the DVD – which makes it much more interesting to watch). With a very exciting structure that feels like the perfect answer to season 4.0’s time-plot, season 4.5 catapults its characters, and its audience, into the final frontier: space. Over the span of ten fantastic episodes (plus one non-canon Christmas special) Eurekamanages to captivate us once again, while also proving to itself, and the world, that a show can increase in quality after three hit or miss seasons.

ACTING (AVG): 8 EPISODE (AVG): 8
WRITING (AVG): 8 SEASON PLOT (x2): 8
DIRECT. (AVG): 8 X FACTOR (x2): 9

AVERAGE: 8/10 (Very Good)

Technical Aspects:

The season 4.5 DVD set is, in comparison to the last few releases, fully loaded. With a good helping of commentaries, deleted scenes, a featurette and a gag reel for good measure, the DVD makers on the Eureka team have got their check list down. While everything included in this release was a smart inclusion, the transfer from files to physical was not perfect. The only issues I noticed off the bat were on the podcast commentaries… on THREE of them (“Liftoff”, “Omega Girls” and “Reprise”)! Alright, I get it. If it happened once, it could be just a small error, but three times across two discs?! Unreal. (More specifically: the commentaries cut out for a while throughout their run time. Perhaps Universal/SyFy will rectify this error?) The commentaries have some interesting information, but the only actor to appear is Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and that’s because she directed the episode “Omega Girls.” It’d be great for lead Colin Ferguson, or even fan favorites Niall Matter, Niel Greyston or Felicia Day to be included. The DVD set also boasts TWO “Liftoff” commentaries. Quite frankly, they’re pretty much say the same thing, and the Podcast Commentary sounds like a first take / rough draft for the actually Commentary. [And, for those of you who didn’t know, the difference between a podcast commentary and an ordinary commentary is that the ordinary commentary retains the episode audio underneath, and some obvious effort is put into the production of it, not to mention the quality is better. The podcast commentary is JUST a separate audio track, of medium quality.] Anyways, it’s great that they included deleted scenes, however, virtually none of the scenes amount to much. The gag reel is very funny, albeit lacking in much visible effort from the editors room (apart from the fact that it WAS compiled…), and the featurette, “Mythology of Eureka” was interesting, but equally lacking in punch. Something else I did notice though was that the deleted scenes had captions, which is great – especially for those who are Hearing Impared / Deaf. I also love that Eureka has been doing extended episodes recently, and the extended episode of “Of Mites and Men” is greatly improved upon its original form (and not to mention 12 minutes longer!).

As for quality and stuff, video picture is solid – fairly standard for a modern DVD release (though no blu-ray, crystal clarity by a long shot), and the audio quality (except for the podcast commentaries), equally as standard. The interior packaging is much improved, especially in comparison to the 3.0-4.0 DVD sets (and arguably the first 2 season sets as well), but the border-glows (around pictures) is hilariously cheesy and unsubtle, and the episode list “flap” leaves something to be desired (although it is a far improvement from seasons 3.0-4.0 which had NO EPISODE LISTINGS INCLUDED WHAT SO EVER!).

All in all, a solid, much improved DVD release compared to ones of the past, but the mess-ups on the podcast commentaries, and the overall standard-ness of the set keep it from being a more triumphant effort.

COVER: 6 PRINT Q: 7
PACKAGING: 6 DISC PRINT Q: 8
INTERIOR ART: 6 VIDEO Q: 8
DISC DESIGN: 4 SOUND Q: 7
FUNCTION: 7 BONUS CONT: 6 (+1)
CONTINUITY: 7 X FACTOR (x2): 8

AVERAGE: 7/10 (Above Average)

DISC ONE:
0. O Little Town (Holiday Episode) 7/10
1. Liftoff 9/10
2. Reprise 8/10
3. Glimpse 8/10

Special Features:

  • Commentary on “Liftoff” with Co-Creator/Executive Producer Jamie Paglia and Executive Producer/Episode Writer Bruce Miller 7/10
    CONTENT: 7 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 7 X FACTOR (x2): 7
  • Podcast Commentary on “Liftoff” with Co-Creator/Executive Producer Jamie Paglia, Executive Producer/Episode Writer Bruce Miller and VFX Producer Matt Gore 6/10
    CONTENT: 6 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 6 X FACTOR (x2): 6
  • Deleted Scenes from “Liftoff” 3/10
    CONTENT: 2 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 1
  • Podcast Commentary on “Reprise” with Co-Creator/Executive Producer Jamie Paglia and Episode Writer/Co-Executive Producer Amy Berg 7/10
    CONTENT: 8 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 6 X FACTOR (x2): 6
  • Deleted Scenes from “Reprise” 5/10
    CONTENT: 5 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 4
  • Deleted Scenes from “Glimpse” 4/10
    CONTENT: 3 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 3
  • The Mythology of Eureka 9/10
    CONTENT: 10 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 8 X FACTOR (x2): 10

DISC TWO:
4. Up in the Air 9/10
5. Omega Girls 8/10
6. Of Mites and Men 7/10
7. Clash of the Titans 8/10

Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes from “Up in the Air” 4/10
    CONTENT: 3 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 3
  • Podcast Commentary on “Omega Girls” with Co-Creator/Executive Producer/Co-Episode Writer Jamie Paglia, and Actress/Episode Director Salli Richardson-Whitfield 7/10
    CONTENT: 7 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 7
  • Deleted Scenes from “Omega Girls” 5/10
    CONTENT: 4 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 4
  • “Of Mites and Men” (Extended Version) 8/10
    CONTENT: 8 PURPOSE: 9
    QUALITY: 8 X FACTOR (x2): 8
  • Podcast Commentary on “Of Mites and Men” (Extended Version) with Co-Creator/Executive Producer Jamie Paglia, Co-Executive Producer/Co-Episode Writer Ron Milbauer and Co-Executive Producer/Co-Episode Writer Terri Hughs Burton 7/10
    CONTENT: 7 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 6 X FACTOR (x2): 7
  • Deleted Scenes from “Clash of the Titans” 5/10
    CONTENT: 5 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 4

DISC THREE:
8.  This One Time at Space Camp… 7/10
9. One Small Step… 8/10
10. One Giant Leap… 9/10

Special Features:

  • Warehouse 13 Episode, “Don’t Hate the Player” 4/10
    CONTENT: 3 PURPOSE: 6
    QUALITY: 8 X FACTOR (x2): 1
  • Deleted Scenes from “This One Time at Space Camp…” 5/10
    CONTENT: 5 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 4
  • Deleted Scenes from “One Small Step…” 7/10
    CONTENT: 6 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 7
  • Podcast Commentary on “One Giant Leap…” with Co-Creator/Executive Producer/Episode Writer Jamie Paglia, Episode Director/Co-Executive Producer Matthew Hastings and Actor Neil Grayston 7/10
    CONTENT: 7 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 6 X FACTOR (x2): 7
  • Deleted Scenes from “One Giant Leap…” 6/10
    CONTENT: 6 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 5 X FACTOR (x2): 5
  • Gag Reel 8/10
    CONTENT: 8 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 7 X FACTOR (x2): 8
  • Eureka: Season Five Sneak Peak  8/10
    CONTENT: 8 PURPOSE: 8
    QUALITY: 8 X FACTOR (x2): 9

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About kaiofhearts

Howdy do! I'm an 18 yo BFA Writing for Screen and Television major at the University of Southern California. I'm currently on a leave of absence to rejuvenate myself after 12 years of being in the same cycle. I write, sing, act, direct, read, compute, and talk. You know, kid stuff.

Posted on April 6, 2012, in TV and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now ;)

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