I think all true DVD fans have a list in their mind of movies or television programs that they find to be utterly captivating, and simply cannot fathom why the rest of the world doesn’t feel the same. I have some products on that list in my mind, and MI-5 may very well be on the top.
I first discovered MI-5 when I was sent Volume 2 to review. Upon watching the first episode of that season , I was so completely blown away that I promptly sent away for Volume 1 before proceeding any farther. I was…not disappointed. For my money, this is a program that rests comfortably between the best seasons of Alias and The West Wing.
It is sometimes hard to write a review of a show such as this one without spoiling the plot for those that have not yet seen it. At the most basic of levels, the show is in an evolutionary period. While the first season leaned a bit to the whimsical side, season two became much more dramatic, as the storylines began to be less about catching random criminals, and became much more about catching terrorists. The result is a program that smartly makes comments on the current state of world events, while not coming off as preachy, and still being fascinatingly entertaining.
MI-5, Volume 3; the plot thickens…
It sounds like some work has been done on the quality of the audio between the first two volumes and this one. Bass tones have been evened out somewhat, making for a much more even audio presentation. While the quality is still not up to feature film standards, it easily rivals any High Definition program on television today. Especially notable is the score on this show, which is original, cutting edge and invariably becomes an integral part of the narrative each week. Every aspect of this show has been given special attention, and that most definitely includes the audio.
This is an absolutely fantastic video transfer by summer blockbuster film film standards, much less by those of a television show. There is absolutely no grain on these discs, and edge enhancement is a non-issue. Black levels are mind-blowingly deep and dark, and the bright sheen of steel is sharp and without so much as a whisper of bleed-over. It is obvious that these episodes have been through a painstaking color correction process, and the results are simply stunning. I will occasionally give out a 4.5 video rating, but it is quite rare that I dole out the full 5.0. This set has earned that rating with ease, and I am proud to recommend it to lovers of quality DVD transfers everywhere.
There may only be ten episodes in this season, but the BBC has most definitely made the most of what they had to work with. Literally every episode has a series of special features attached to it, including both commentaries and featurettes for every episode. There are also several extras that pertain to the overriding themes of the show as a whole, including segments on the directors, the previous volumes, the overarching themes of volume three and more. All of this, plus a new and equally fantastic menu scheme means that this set has more than made up for the minimal number of episodes this time around.
Even if you are a fan of this show, and you have seen every broadcast on television, you should still pick up this set. These episodes include over 15 minutes of additional footage not shown in the US broadcasts. This is a trick that was included on both the Friends and Seinfeld sets, and it is welcome here as well.
Special Features List
- Interviews with Cast and Crew
- Cast and Crew Commentaries
- Image Gallery
- Exclusive Featurettes