Star William Petersen plays a variation of his role from Manhunter, the cool puzzle-solving genius who can rattle off mystifying speeches with aplomb, while his contrasting partner is Marg Helgenberger, cast as a single mother/ex-stripper who is as concerned with the emotional as well as the physical mess left by crime.
While most US cop shows (witness NYPD Blue) tend towards soap, neglecting the cases in favour of personal crises, CSI gives its regulars enough life to make them human but is essentially puzzle-based, with individual episodes following two or three cases à la Homicide: Life on the Street. The occasional special focuses on a major job with the team investigating the slaughter of a whole family ("Blood Drops") or a death in first class on a plane over Vegas ("Unfriendly Skies"). A few continuing threads are laid down, with a recurrent villain who gets away, but will inevitably return, but on the whole these shows play pretty well as one-offs. Very high-tech in style, with lots of zooms into microscopic examinations of hair follicles or stomach contents and distinctive visualisations of the different stories told by witnesses and evidence, this is one of the best shows currently airing.
On the DVD: CSI's first DVD box set contains the show's first 12 episodes: the pilot followed by "Cool Change", "Crate & Burial", "Pledging Mr Johnson"; "Friends and Lovers", "Who Are You?", "Blood Drops"; "Anonymous", "Unfriendly Skies", "Sex Lies and Larvae"; "The I-15 Murders" and "Fahrenheit 932". In addition to inventive menus, the three-disc set offers character profiles, a trailer, some B-roll on-set footage, a subtitle option, and snippet-like interviews with the cast and creatives. --Kim Newman
One of the most brilliant episodes - though perhaps disturbing for those faint of heart - is "Blood Drops". Its a fascinating insight into just how complex forencic science can be - and how the crime scence investigator pieces together the chain events from the evidence they find.
It's not to be missed.
Here is your chance to own the first twelve episodes on DVD. The DVD's themselves are housed in a Digi-Pak type of packaging ala Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. There are three discs with four episodes per disc. C.S.I. is filmed in widescreen yet the transfer on the discs is formatted for a regular television (4:3)...The transfer itself is very good. Grain appears a little throughout the episodes but it is not distracting. I am pleased to say that aliasing is not a problem and there does not appear to be any major artefacts. Very pleasing to the eye indeed.
Now to sound. It presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 (stereo)... The voices spoken are clear and easy to understand. The subtitles appear to be mostly true to what is actually being said....
Special Features include cast and crew interviews, a trailer, character profiles and some behind the scenes footage.
In summary the DVD set is a must own for any C.S.I. fan. The video is very good but not perfect. The audio is clear and does the job. The extras are minimal and it presented in a beautifully designed package.
Remembering the fact that this is still a drama in that the CSI team wander around crime scenes without the proper clothing and move vital pieces of evidence without gloves on etc. then there should be no reason for anyone to dislike this.
This box set provides the perfect introduction into the world of Crime Scene Investigators, which is set in Las Vegas so many of the crimes and investigations take place with the casino's and desert as the backdrop. The acting is first-class (and the actor who plays Grissom can also be seen as the lead role in the film Manhunter) and with the mixture of superb camera shots and close-ups inter-twined with the gritty scientific equipment and processes, it's difficult not to feel deeply engrossed.
Considering that each episode is around 42 minutes in length, the amount of sheer action and excitement that is packed into each episode is unbelievable! This box set DVD contains the first 12 episodes of Series 1 and has a few neat (although brief) featurettes thrown in for good measure e.g. cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes documentary. So even if you haven't seen CSI before (I'd only seen one episode on telly before I bought this box set) it's well worth your time and money!
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