Dead Zone: Complete Third Season [Import]
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Based on the characters and story from the best-selling book by Stephen King, the Dead Zone is a unique psychological thriller that combines a rich mix of action, the paranormal and a continuing quest for justice. Contains the complete third season (episodes 1 - 12).
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When Johnny finally regains consciousness, he discovers that the life he once knew is gone. Sarah has gone on to marry the local sheriff and the child they are now raising is Johnny's son. But Johnny himself is also not the same person he once was: he now finds himself in possession of amazing psychic powers which allow him to see into the lives of anyone he touches.
As he attempts to reacquaint himself with a life he has been away from for six long years, he must also begin a quest to come to terms with his new abilities, which may turn out to be both a blessing and a curse.
Helping Johnny make a fresh start are his physical trainer Bruce, who also becomes a close friend, and Sarah, who must find a way to make Johnny a part of her life again without risking her relationship with her husband and son.
This show is amazing in many different levels. It is highly addictive, and you will find yourself wanting to know more about each characters and situations.
This is a great quality show. First class writing and production. Best buy recommended!
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Here's a summary of the episodes for this season:
Finding Rachel, Part 1: Johnny becomes a suspect in a case he's trying to resolve regarding Rachel Caldwell, a missing woman who also happens to be on Greg Stillson's election team.
Finding Rachel, Part 2: Johnny is arrested for Rachel Caldwell's murder. He must then convince the victim's sister that she must help him solve her murder, despite the fact that she is convinced Johnny is guilty of the crime.
Collision: A young girl's mysterious disappearance prompts Johnny to have visions about the night of his car accident. Somehow the two visions are connected and it is up to Johnny to resolve one vision before he can resolve the other.
Cold Hard Truth: A confrontational radio station jock draws Johnny to him. Unexpectedly, Johnny foresees the jock's death and, despite the animosity, decides to help him.
Total Awareness: Johnny teams up with a strange young woman with the ability to predict numbers. Together they seek to expose a 'total information awareness system' which threatens to put everyone's right to privacy in jeopardy.
No Questions Asked: Johnny offers to help Walt Bannerman with a crime from his past that has unexpectedly resurfaced. The catch? Don't ask any questions.
Looking Glass: Identical twin law students create a video depicting a murder in order to trick Johnny into having a vision about it. Things get more complicated when the ruse turns out to be a cover for something far more sinister.
Speak Now: While attending a wedding, Johnny has visions about the couple's pending future and must decide whether or not he should tell them about what he's seen.
Cycle of Violence: Johnny experiences visions of a Columbine-like school shooting while attending a school play. He cannot confirm the killer's identity. The principal of the school takes the opportunity to restrict the freedom of the students and starts making his own guesses about who the culprit is.
Instinct: Johnny and Walt investigate the unexplained, unnatural violent behavior of the wild animals that live around the city.
Shadows: Johnny has a vision of the death of a close friend and is nearly pushed to kill in order to protect them.
Tipping Point: Johnny's visions start causing physical problems and eventually threatening his life. He must decide if brain surgery is the right answer. Doing so would remove his Dead Zone causing him to lose the ability to possibly prevent Armageddon.
Although the 3rd season of "The Dead Zone" ran only 12 episodes(unlike the first which ran 13 episodes and the 19 of the second season), it had as much action packed into it as previous seasons and made outstanding use of visual effects to continue to heighten the story. The 3rd season opens with the stunning two-part episode "Finding Rachel". John (Hall) is the suspect in the murder of Senate candidate Greg Stillson (Sean Patrick Flanery). Meanwhile Stillson and his advisors are helping to rig the election so that he will have a better chance of winning. Reverend Purdy finds out that all is not well with John's trust fund that he has been administering. In the first part of this season opener we also get resolution to the cliffhanger from season two. We discover more about the mysterious visitor who shares a link with John from the future.
The extras as usual are top notch with a commentary for every single episode (some better than others but hey, I'd rather have too many extras that are extraenous than none at all). We also get deleted scenes, "Five Minutes 'Til Milch" written and directed by actor John L. Adams, the gag reel and three featurettes one of which discusses the challenges of changing from film to High Definition Video for the production (which fattened up their thinning budget). Another one takes us behind-the-scenes looking at food. Yes, food. The clever "Cooking Verite" shows us what the crew really gets to eat on location. Yum. The final featurette focuses on actor Chris Bruno (who plays Walt Bannerman) and how he stays in shape. Personally, I'd love to see a featurette devoted to the lovely Nicole DeBoer's career pre-"Deep Space Nine" (which when I became aware ofher) and Sarah Wynter ("24").
Buyers may want to be aware of a flaw in the first run of the series;there's a white line that appears at the top of the letterbox frame that can be distracting. It's not a big issue but Lion's Gate is in the process of fixing the problem and reissuing these discs. I'd suggest going to TVONDVD.com to see which players are affected. Lion's Gate has only found 15 or so that have been but neither one of mine is on the list and I saw the white line.
If you need a replacement Lion's Gate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm not sure what the time frame is for the remastered/re-released episodes. It's more than one or two episodes that are affected by the problem. If you don't have a DVD player on the list, then it's possible it might be noticeable on your player.
While the pricing for 12 episodes might be a bit high compared to some shows, it's actually quite reasonable overall. The first season of "Deadwood" and "Carnivale" listed for more than twice as much with less in the way of extras (although the packaging was superior for both those series). I'm also happy to see that Lion's Gate isn't releasing this series as dual sided discs with no extras and is continuing the slip jacket for the accordian style DVD holder. Great season! I'm not here for the donuts, I'm here for the storytelling.
All this would be hard enough on a normal person, but Johnny is no normal person. He discovers he has the ability to see things. Simply by touching other people, or objects touched by others, he can sense things that have happened, things that will happen, or things that are happening elsewhere.
The set for season 3 will include all 12 episodes. Extras include audio commentary on all 12 by the cast, the crew. There are deleted scenes and three exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes.
1 & 2 Finding Rachel (Parts 1 & 2) - Johnny pieces together his visions to figure out what happened to a Stillson's campaign volunteers who mysteriously disappeared while she was with him.
3 - Collision - Johnny's vision of Katie Mercer (an 11 years old missing girl) clashes with visions of his accident.
4 - Cold Hard Truth - Johnny helps a disc jockey that is beaten by a group of bikers.
5 - Total Awareness - Johnny is stalked by a woman who has already killed 3 other psychics.
6 - No Questions Asked - Johnny helps Walt with a problem from his past but Johnny can't ask any questions.
7 - Looking Glass - A couple of lawyer twins use Johnny but Johnny his visions of murder are real.
8) Speak Now - Johnny has visions of him interrupting a wedding and needs to determine if the wedding should or shouldn't take place.
9) Cycle of Violence - Johnny gets a vision of a student going on a shooting spree and must find out how the student is.
10) Instinct - Johnny why there are animal attacks in this one town.
11) Shadows - Johnny must figure out his visions of himself killing a man.
12) Tipping Point - Johnny's headaches and blackouts are getting worse and he is considering brain surgery to remove his dead zone.
But there is a logic to the third season, which is apparent in retrospect, because it begins with the two-part "Finding Rachel," in which Wey shows Johnny a vision of future and a "Missing" poster for Rachel Caldwell (Sonja Bennett), who was working for the Stillson campaign. It turns out she filmed something she should not have filmed, but when Johnny talks to her he has another one of his blackouts, wakes up with a head wound, and Rachel gone. Johnny meets Rachel's sister, Rebecca (Sarah Wynter), but the more he tries to fill in the gaps the more evidence he uncovers that make him look like Rachel's killer. No wonder it takes Johnny two episodes to get out of this one.
But several key elements of the third season are being set up at this point, the most important of which is Rebecca as a love interest for Johnny. Of course this requires Johnny to make a concerted effort to move on with Sarah (Nicole de Boer), and we have an episode that specifically does that ("Collision"), although they will always be plagued by "what ifs" ("Speak Now"). There are also these recurring blackouts that Johnny is having, which will come to a head, so to speak, by the end of the season ("Tipping Point"). Then we have the involvement of Reverend Purdy (David Ogden Stiers) with Stillson's campaign and what that means for his Faith Heritage Ministry ("Instinct"), as well as for Johnny's estate. However, at the end of the season we come back to Rebecca as the key to the future and the grim truth that what is required by Johnny may well be an act of omission rather than commission.
One of the key things is that "The Dead Zone" is evolving over the years, which is something series like "Medium" and "Ghost Whisperer" will have to contend with as they go along (and it will be interesting to see what they do in this regard). By this point Johnny has been doing this so long with such success, that we have gotten to a place where the problem is that people take him seriously, so if he yells wild horses are coming he is believed ("Instinct"), but this also cause problems because some go overboard trying to prevent the future Johnny sees ("Cycle of Violence"). Even the truth of J.J.'s parentage finally ends out in the open ("Cold Hard Truth"). However, this means that there are people who believe in Johnny's gift who decide they can play with him to get away with murder ("Looking Glass"). So the dynamic of the show is certainly changing over the years, plus they are still coming up with new special effects for allowing Johnny to check out a frozen moment in time.
As executive producer of his series, Hall is well aware that he has a loyal fan following that makes a point of seeking this show out on the USA network. Fans have to be overjoyed that every single one of the dozen third season episodes contains a commentary track. On the one hand you do not have a lot of actors showing up for these commentaries, but when they do they are certainly more involved than what we hear from other actors on other commentary tracks. The writers and directors show up ready to make intelligent comments as well, because everybody in this series takes what they are doing seriously. You have to wish all of our favorite television series treated us this well.
About the DVD's themselves, though...
First of all, as others have noted, there are these little white bars that blink and move across the top of the screen on my DVD player.
But that's hardly the worst thing. The worst thing is that somebody apparently decided that nobody needs the subtitles, so they just didn't include them. Speaking as somebody who routinely has trouble understanding dialogue, and who regularly scans back and replays scenes with subtitles turned on to catch just one line of dialogue that I can't interpret, I can't tell you how frustrating it was that I couldn't do that when watching this season. It significantly decreased my ability to enjoy the show, because there are so many areas where I simply have no idea what the characters were saying.
On the plus side, I really enjoyed the special features (as well as the episodes themselves, of course) - especially the featurette on disk 2 about the caterers, which was surprisingly entertaining.
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