I must first admit that I never saw The Sentinel when it originally aired in the 90’s. I guess this one never made my radar. It’s basically a cop show with a somewhat sci-fi or maybe paranormal twist. It seems that Jim Ellison’s (Burgi)plane went down in the jungles of South America. While the crash killed his crew, he not only survived, but somehow obtained strange super powers. The idea is that this ancient jungle tribe develops a “sentinel” to be their guardian. For years Ellison protected the village before his…eventual rescue. Now he’s a cop with a certain advantage. Ellison has heightened hearing and vision. The rub is he can’t really control when or where it kicks in. As I watch the series, predictably the powers always kick in at just the right time. His other senses are also super-active, but sight and sound make for the most used power. Of course there has to be a team. Blair Sandburg (Maggart) is an anthropologist who studies Ellison. Captain Banks (Young) also contributes to the team This was an early UPN show. It should be noted that this series has nothing at all to do with the upcoming film with the same title.
All of these episodes are presented in their original full frame broadcast format. They look pretty good considering they are about 10 years old and aired on a fledgling network. There are occasional instances of mismatched footage that is nowhere near the quality of most of the show. I suspect the series made a great deal of use of Paramount’s stock footage archives. Colors are solid. Flesh tones are pretty much reference. Most of the time grain is kept to a minimum. Black levels are average. This won’t stand out, but it certainly deserves credit for being above average for a television show.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks are exactly what you might expect. It sounds pretty much like a good stereo broadcast. Dialogue is fine and clearly understandable. The music cues at times come across a little harsh with a bit of high-end distortion but nothing too hard to listen to. There are explosions aplenty in some episodes, but your sub won’t really be driven the way I expected. It does the job
Ellison’s powers might be special, but no one at the studio considered the series special enough for any extras.
This is a mildly entertaining cop show. I didn’t find it anything extraordinary. Most of the story lines could have been told without the special powers. They didn’t spend enough time explaining things as well as they should have. I’m a little afraid it was released because of the film arriving with the same name. Shame on Paramount if that’s true, because they are unrelated. The pilot left me totally scratching my head. If you liked the show, you can decide if you liked it enough to put down your money. If you are unfamiliar with it, I don’t think you’ll miss anything by skipping out on this set. I watched it. It was a few hours killed. Now it’s time to “Take a shower. Get some aspirin. And get back to work.”