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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE SENTINEL the Complete First Season

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 450 minutes (10 episodes on 3 discs), no extras

STUDIO: Paramount/ CBS DVD

RELEASE DATE: 4-18-2006

DISC 1- PILOT/ SEIGE/ KILLERS/ THE DEBT

DISC 2- CYPHER/ NIGHT TRAIN/ ROGUE/ LOVE AND GUNS

DISC 3- ATTRACTION/ VOW OF SILENCE

THE SENTINEL first aired on UPN ten years ago. It lasted for over 60 episodes and four seasons. It almost didn't get a fourth season, but fan pressure brought the show back for one more time. Now in 2006, the first season is finally on DVD. I discovered the show when it was airing in the mornings on the Sci-Fi Channel. It was a cop show where the detective, James Ellison (Richard Burgi), has hyperactive senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste) that he uses in help solving crimes in Cascade, Washington. Helping him understand the senses Jim first developed five years ago (when he was a special ops captain on a mission that went wrong in the jungles of Peru) is grad student Blair Sandberg (Garrett Maggart). Also in on Jim's secret is Captain Simon Banks (Bruce A. Young). The characters were people you cared about as they developed during the course of the series. Blair hopes to write a paper about Jim's hyperactive senses, but he ends up helping Jim catch criminals. The first season started as a mid-season show that had ten episodes. My favorites of this season has to be PILOT and LOVE AND GUNS. Also watch out for a guest appearance by Kevin Sorbo's wife (Sam Jenkins aka Sam Sorbo) in NIGHT TRAIN. THE SENTINEL is a series that worked better than VIPER which was created by the same guy.

VIDEO: 1.33:1 (Full Frame)

Image detail is good, but a little image grain does show up in dark scenes. Overall, a nice transfer.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: None (only close captioning)

Dialogue is good, but surround action isn't very active. I hope Paramount includes an English subtitle track for episodes in future season sets.

EXTRAS: The creators of the show did an audio commentary for the pilot after the fact that you can download. To me, I rather Paramount have them do audio commentary tracks to be included with the DVD sets instead of some podcast commentary you have to get off the internet. The first season is without extras and I hope season 2 includes a few (audio commentaries, featurette on the show, and deleted scenes if any exist).

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE SENTINEL is a unique cop series that you should give a try if you're not a fan of the series already. Plus the short first season will be a cheaper buy than if it was a full season of 22 to 26 episodes.

this review is (c)4-26-2006 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