If you’re watching the third season, you presumably know where you’re at with our heroine,and you don’t need this synopsis. If you’re not a fan, then this is even more pointless. For whatit’s worth, this season’s major narrative arc concerns Gabrielle’s impending motherhood, and theterrible secrets that come to the surface along with her child, ironically named Hope.
The score is wonderfully thunderous, suitably stirring in 5.1. there are some s…rround soundeffects (notably when something big goes boom or rocks come crashing down, as they do withsome regularity), but the score is so omnipresent that it is difficult to distinguish crashing rocksfrom crashing instruments. For all the sound and fury, the dialogue is never drowned out, thoughit does buzz a bit.
The colours are excellent, with very warm contrasts, and the blacks are good. As TVtransfers go, this is a good one, but it isn’t perfect. The image isn’t perfectly sharp, but the mainissue is visible horizontal lines that break up the picture, often in cases where there is suddenmovement on the screen.
I have seen very few complete season boxed sets with this many extras. There are video andaudio commentaries on various episodes from Elizabeth Friedman, Lucy Lawless, Hudson Leick,Renee O’Connor, Ted Raimi, Steven L. Sears, R.J. Stewart, and Robert Tapert. The videocommentary is the same as the audio, but you watch the commentators sit in what looks like acave and watch the show on a plasma TV. This is a bit odd, and of varying success, and the samegoes for the quality of the commentaires. Leick’s, for instance, is rather embarrassing. Eachepisode comes with at least an interview (if not a commentary), and most of the cast and crew aregiven their moment in the spotlight. Also present are a photo gallery, deleted scenes from“Sacrifice”, bloopers, and a 30-minute retrospective on “Sacrifice.”
Most impressive is the accompanying CD-ROM (a nice touch for fans who don’t necessarilyhave DVD-ROM drives). Here you will find cast and crew bios, trivia, production designs andsketches, director’s notes and storyboards, and something called “Chronicles.” This last is apretty exhaustive guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Xena universe. There’s enough hereto keep you lost for a good long time, as well as get newer viewers up to speed. The menu’s mainpage and intro are animated and scored.
A very solid package. Not perfect on the video front, but not bad, and loaded with enoughextras to keep the hardcore happy for a good long while, I would think.
Special Features List
- Audio and Video Commentaries
- Cast and Crew Interviews
- Deleted and Alternate Scenes
- Blooper Reel
- “Sacrifice” Retrospective Featurette
- Photo Gallery
- Cast and Crew Bios
- Production Design & Sketches
- Director’s Notes and Storyboards