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PHOTOGRAPHY

SANCTUARY The Complete First Season

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  585 minutes (13 episodes on 4 discs), audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers, photo gallery, Season two sneak peak,

VIDEO:  1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1, 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English SDH

 

STUDIO:  E1 Entertainment/ SyFy/ Movie Central/ Tricon Films & Television/ The Movie Network

RELEASE DATE:  9-15 -2009

 

DISC 1- SANCTUARY FOR ALL (episodes 1 and 2)/ FATA MORGANA/ FOLDING MAN

DISC 2- KUSH/ NUBBINS/ THE FIVE/ EDWARD

DISC 3- REQUIEM/ WARRIORS/ INSTINCT/ REVELATIONS Part 1

DISC 4- REVELATIONS Part 2/ three making-of featurettes/ original Sanctuary webisodes/ bloopers/ photo gallery/ season 2 sneak peak

SANCTUARY has an interesting concept.  For a fantasy/ sci-fi series, it first turned me off with scripts that could have been much stronger.  Later on, I discovered the show could really deliver after catching a few episodes later into the season on a daytime marathon on SyFy.   SANCTUARY does rely on lots of green screen to create their sets.  Sometimes it really works and sometimes the CGI sets could use improvement.

 

Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) has created a sanctuary system for all manners of creatures known as Abnormals.  She recruits forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman to be her protege.  Will and Magnus seek out the Abnormals with Ashley (Helen’s daughter) and come up against an organization called the Cabal who seek to destroy all Abnormals.  Throw in the mix the somewhat psychotic Drury who used to be Helen’s lover and Nikola Telsa as a vampire; you get a very interesting series.  Tapping is convincing as a British scientist of about 150 somewhat years even though she doesn’t look it due to her and four others taking vampire blood that changed them in various ways.   SANCTUARY is at its strongest when it focuses on the show’s mythology and building on it.  Even if the first six episodes are hit-or-miss, stick around for the other seven.  

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentaries were recorded for all 13 episodes with members of the cast and crew.  I haven’t had the time to listen to any of the commentary tracks.

 

Disc 4 features a few extras of interest.  First, there are three Making-Of featurettes:

WELCOME TO THE SANCTUARY covers the origins of the series and casting.

SANCTUARY RESIDENTS focuses on the characters of the series.

SANCTUARY VISUAL EFFECTS looks at the amount of CGI in the series including the virtual sets.

 

The original two hours of webisodes are also on the disc and they do features some differences between the first two stories of the show (and yet the aired episodes do use lots of material from the webisodes) that show they did improve on the CGI sets for the series.  Rounding out the extras are a funny blooper reel (where the cast do make fun of each other), a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, and a season two trailer.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  SANCTUARY does take a while to kick in, but it is a very good series once the writers actually write something with depth.  The humor doesn’t work as great.  The show is better as serious.  The extras are fantastic.  Be sure to check out the featurettes and the original webisodes.

 

This DVD review is (c)10-31-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  All Rights Reserved.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com