DVDs in Review - #30 - Homicide: Life on the Street - The Complete Third Series

Category: , , , , By Rev/Views

For the previous reviews in the Homicide series check here:
The Complete First Series (Seasons One and Two)
The Complete Second Series (Season Three)

Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch
Yaphet Kotto as Lieutenant Al Giardello
Kyle Secor as Detective Tim Bayliss
Clark Johnson as Detective Meldrick Lewis
Andre Braugher as Detective Frank Pembleton
Reed Diamond as Detective Mike Kellerman
Melissa Leo as Sergeant Kay Howard
Isabella Hofmann as Captain Megan Russertt

The Show:

Homicide: "Latin homicidium, homo human being and caedere to cut, kill." The act of killing another human being.

The Complete Third Series of Homicide contains all 22 episodes of the fourth season of the show as originally aired in 1995. Homicide is very much the spiritual predecessor to The Wire and is also an amazing show in it's own right. The fourth season brings with it some cast changes; Beau Felton (Daniel Baldwin) and Stan Boulander (Ned Beatty) both leave the show before the season starts and it introduces Detective Mike Kellerman played by Reed Diamond (Terry Crowely - The Shield). The season also introduces one of the major kingpins/foils/recurring villains for the show in the form of Luthor Mahoney (Erik Dellums), who's presence both on and off screen is almost palpable.

Over the course of this season a huge range of events would rock the department; from a gas pipe explosion, the second crossover episode with Law & Order ("For God and Country), sniper attacks and even marriage. It's a stunning season filled with the gritty, understated brilliance that you come to expect from the show. There's a good reason why Homicide is critically considered to be such a brilliant, pivotal and influential show; watching it you can't help but appreciate why.

The Other Stuff:

The UK version is produced by Fremantle and is the last of the UK editions to be packaged stylishly in my opinion. There is a rather questionable photograph used on the back cover as it's clearly taken from the first two series - Crosetti (Jon Polito) is in it along with Lewis (Clark Johnson) - which is just poor quality control. Crosetti is not in the fourth season at all; but he still appears three times on the artwork for this boxed set. Seriously Fremantle, who's in charge of double checking this stuff? It's such an obvious and irritating mistake and it's a shame because the rest of the product is ace.

(Look! There he is, bottom left!)

Outside of this gaffe it's a superb piece of work; it's a fold out cardboard book contained within a cardboard dust sleeve. The entire thing oozes with style and matches up exceptionally well with series one and two. It's a pity I can't say the same about Series 4 and 5 but more on that later...

What extras? Fremantle decided to again deny the Region 2 viewers any of the amazing extras that the Region 1 viewers get. Yes, I am bitter about this. If you want the extras I'd recommend getting a region free DVD player and purchasing the Region 1 versions instead. Enough said about that matter.

The Details:
Run time: 1100 mins
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Audio: 2.0 Stereo
Colour: Colour/PAL
Subtitles: English - Hard of Hearing

The winner by absolute miles is sendit who have it at £17.89 (with free delivery as always) and that's a pretty insane 1.6ppm. I can't recommend picking it up enough at that price; especially if you enjoy police procedurals. In fact at that price I'd go as far as forgiving the lack of extras and the box art gaffe.

Additionally HMV occasionally put the Homicide boxed sets up for £15 a piece, but it's for limited periods. Just check your local high street store occasionally and you might even be able to get all of the series currently released for £15 a pop.

The Final Word:

Season Three was were Homicide really began to hit it's stride, but season four is every bit as capable; it's a testament to how strong the writing and acting is when two major characters are lost but it doesn't even miss a beat. The problem with this boxed set are the exclusion of extras, the lack of attention on packaging art (tbh that's a minor gripe) and a sudden major change in packaging style which occurs with the next two series boxed sets. But I'll cover those later.

The Final Score:

4.5 for the season, 3.5 for the final product so in the end I'll give it a:



0 comments so far.

Something to say?