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PHOTOGRAPHY

SURFACE The Complete Series

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 634 minutes (15 episodes), featurette, deleted and extended scenes, previews

STUDIO: Universal/ NBC

RELEASE DATE: 8-15-2006

SURFACE is one of those shows I gave up after watching the pilot when it first aired. I lost interest as I tried to watch the next one. I do think I was wrong to give up on it so easily. Over the past three weeks, I have watched the series from episode 2. I got sucked in by the story and characters. Like every other fan, I feel a great disappointment that NBC cancelled it. Given how the DVD set was originally announced as a season 1 set, I think the decision to axe the series came late. NBC must have thought they had some new shows that would catch on better than SURFACE. I do think sci-fi is hard to sell on the big networks because they expect big ratings out of the gate. It is sad how networks like NBC have become driven more by ad revenue instead of letting more shows grow. I think FOX would have cancelled THE X-FILES today if it started airing now instead of back in 1993.

 

Doctor Laura Daughtery (Lake Bell) has stumbled upon the discovery of a giant underwater creature (that looks like a dinosaur long extinct) part of a big group that is wrecking havoc on the ecosystem in the ocean. Her discovery had lead her to be fired from her job and be framed for lifting three paragraphs from another doctoral thesis. She isn't alone as Rich (Jay R. Ferguson) has lost his brother to one of the creatures. Laura and Rich pull together as they investigate the creatures and try to expose the truth to the world despite Agent Davis Lee (Ian Anthony Dale) trying to shut them up even if it means killing them. A potential ally for Laura, Dr. Aleksander Cirko (Rade Serbedzija- I first knew of him as the bad guy from 1996's THE SAINT) who will find out the truth about where the creatures come from.

Then there is 14 year old Miles (Carter Jenkins) who raises one of the creatures from an egg and it becomes his friend/pet. It causes problems for him, but he experiences a change in himself and gets a girlfriend (the very hot Linsey Godfrey- who has just been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma).

SURFACE is the type of show that had me watching it one disc at a time. It is a fascinating sci-fi series that deserves a second life to at least resolve what happens after the series finale. What isn't not to love about SURFACE from the characters, the story, and some very attractive females (including Linsey Goddfrey, Lake Bell, and the girl who plays Miles' sister). I'm glad I gave it a second chance.  A few characters I grew to love whhile one I wished didn't meet an untimely death (in episode 6).  A later episode shows how people sometimes don't believe the truth when they see it on video.   Also major props to a bad guy who has a plan straight out of the more outlandish James Bond films.  Give SURFACE  a chance now.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Image detail is great, but the picture sometimes has a grainy look to it.

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH

Dialogue is clear and is never drowned out by the sound or music. Like any TV show, the 5.1 is never as impressive as anything done for a 5.1 movie track.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The big extra are the deleted and extended scenes for six of the episodes. The 8 1/2 featurette on the show's featurette has some cast interviews, but I wanted to know what the creators (Josh and Jonas Pate) had planned for season 2 if NBC didn't cancel SURFACE. Even one audio commentary wouldn't have hurt.

FINAL ANALYSIS: SURFACE is a show that I came to love on DVD. Buy it if you're a fan or if you're looking for a food series to watch (a $5 off coupon for SURFACE is included in the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Season 2.5 DVD set). Maybe a slim chance exists for a TV movie or a direct to DVD movie if the set sells really well. I want to see what comes after the last episode.

this review is (c)9-18-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com