Law and Order was never really driven by the actors and their roles. The “ripped from the headlines” stories, along with a decision to avoid the relationship clutter of most cop shows, was the defining edge. Note that not one actor or character from the original series’ first season remains. Criminal Intent is vastly different. Dick Wolf readily admits that the third Law and Order series was intended as a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Vincent D’Onofrio was enticed away from a successful film career by the opportunity to create a unique character. The detail and quirks of his Detective Goren make this a compelling show to watch. Never before in TV has there been such a complicated character, at least not in a primetime drama. If D’Onofrio decides to call it quits, Criminal Intent will not survive as its sister shows have.
Each episode is presented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Like any cop drama, this is a completely dialogue driven show. You will be more than satisfied with the quality of the dialogue. It’s always clear. Not much music to speak here.
Each episode is presented in its original broadcast 1.33:1 full frame format. I found the colors to be rather soft and grainy. These characteristics should likely be treated as intentional styling and not a defect of the transfer. Still, colors are realistic, if at times grungy. Flesh tones are pretty much reference. Darks are adequate. Overall better than the original broadcast quality.
The episodes are contained in a 6 disc set with both bonus features on disc 6.“Law and Order Criminal Intent: The Beginning” is a 20 minute look at the genesis of this third Law and Order program. It’s a good effort. I was particularly pleased to hear D’Onofrio discuss his decision to join the cast and how he sees the character.
The original draw for this show was seeing the crime from the criminal’s perspective. Wolf tried to sell that as an innovation, but many shows have given us that window into the soul of the criminal. Columbo probably did it better than anyone. The real draw turned out to be D’Onofrio. This is one of the most unique characters on TV today. The rest of the cast is typical good Dick Wolf casting. “These are their stories.”