I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated when reading posted reviews. All of the reviews I read were for the show, not this release. In fact, loads of them had been posted before the DVDs were even released. I wanted to read a review someone had written having actually watched these DVDs. So, when I got the DVD as a gift, I watched all the episodes, and decided to write my own. Here goes.
I, like the other reviewers, really enjoyed this series. It was my favorite show when it was on, and I still watch VHS copies I made of it when it was on. In fact, I probably enjoyed it more than many of the other reviewers here. Let me 'splain. I watched this show. I enjoyed it. I went to college and studied Marine Biology and Oceanography. I started keeping reef aquaria. I learned how to use computer-aided design software and designed my own undersea habitats and minisubs. I became a certified SCUBA diver. I'm a big fan of Bob Ballard. See what I mean?
Anyway, for those of you who don't know the series, it's set in the near future when mankind has colonized the oceans. There are farms, power plants, resorts, even prisons in, on and under the oceans. And with all this expansion comes some strife. The SeaQuest was built as a deterrent for those who might seek to wreak havok in the seas. Over time, the ship has taken on scientific research responsibilities as well. Nice plot. One thing I always liked is that the characters were 'fleshed out' well. They seemed like real people. You got to know them, and that's something I really like. Something else I found about this show is that the characters always do 'the right thing'. Even when it's not popular, or could get them killed. Like not counter-attacking an aggressor sub, but instead evacuating injured people from a damaged power station.
As far as this DVD set goes, there are four of disks that contain a total of 23 episodes. I'd have to say that these first season episodes are excellent, although after getting the box set, I started trying to find a couple of my favorite episodes, only to find that they were from the second season. I guess I'll have to wait to watch them again.
The reason that I didn't give this set 5 stars is that the bonus features are very sparse. There are really only a few deleted scenes from about a third of the episodes, which don't really add anything to them. I had hoped for something cool, like crew bios, schematic layouts of the ship, something. Anything! I was told by a studio insider that originally, this set was slated for release sometime in 2006, but that they were pushed to try and make the 2005 holiday season. I guess they decided to leave out any additional bonus features in order to try their best to make it. They ended up missing it by one day, releasing on Dec. 26.
Another reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it seemed a bit, well, cheap. The disks are double-sided, and have two or three episodes per side. I'm a big fan of pictures and stuff being printed on the top of my DVDs. You know, pictures of the ship, the crew, the dolphin named Darwin, anything. I just think it's the details that make it seem 'classy'. Call me weird. I accept that.
The DVD transfer is as good as can be expected from a show that aired in 1993. The video quality is far better than those bootlegs that have been available on auction sites for several years. It's much better than the VHS recordings I've been holding onto for the last twelve years. The audio is also quite good. It's even in Dolby Digital 2.0, which was a pleasant surprise. I would have loved if they'd reworked it and done it in 5.1, but hey, you can't have everything.
One other thing that I wished they would have done was a dedication to the memory of Jonathan Brandis who played the character of Lucas, the ship's teenage genius. I could have overlooked everything else and given 5 stars had they done that. That, to me, would have shown a great deal of compassion and class.
This is a great show, and a very good addition to anyone's DVD library.