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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season One
Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season One
A&E Video // Unrated // November 20, 2007
List Price: $34.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Preston Jones | posted December 9, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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The Show

I'll never complain about a rough day at the office ever again. Not after riding shotgun with some of the ballsiest and (arguably, most insane) professionals I've seen in my life. They're the "Ice Road Truckers," six men who must transport 10,000 loads of critical -- and heavy -- equipment in 60 days to Canadian diamond mines across a road that's rapidly disappearing.

It sounds like the premise of an overblown Jerry Bruckheimer flick, but this 10-episode reality TV series puts you right alongside these men as they navigate the brutal Canadian wilderness in an effort to keep the diamond mines up and running. The series had its genesis in a 2000 History Channel special called "Ice Road Truckers," that begat episodes of the show "Modern Marvels." What's most fascinating about this series, relentlessly narrated by Thom Beers, is the minutiae of this world -- learning about what drives men to tackle such a potentially deadly profession -- and not only that, but the guts of the filmmakers to follow these seemingly fearless drivers.

Over the course of 10 episodes, viewers are along for the ride with Hugh, Jay, Alex, Rick, TJ and Drew as these truckers, all at various levels of experience, as they contend with time pressures, the reality that the ice road itself may not hold and that nature is against them at every turn. It's very primal stuff (as a matter of fact, I can't believe this hasn't already been made into a movie) and makes for gripping, occasionally downright harrowing television. Ice Road Truckers may return for a second season, but the problem there is that, unless you've got a new cast of characters (odds are low), this experience will quickly become an exercise in diminishing returns. Much of what makes this show so captivating is its freshness -- it'll be interesting to see if its creators can sustain that vitality.

Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season One is housed in three slimline cases tucked into a slipcase; the first two discs house four episodes each with the third disc housing the final two episodes and bonus materials. Episode synopses are listed on the back of each case.

The DVD

The Video:

Presented as originally broadcast on the History Channel, Ice Road Truckers is offered on DVD in a perfectly clean, clear 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer that offers the program in non-anamorphic widescreen. As the show only debuted six months ago, the image looks as great as can be expected with no glaring visual defects.

The Audio:

Again, presented as originally broadcast on the History Channel, Ice Road Truckers is offered up in a serviceable Dolby 2.0 stereo track that conveys dialogue, score and natural sound with no distortion or drop-out. Arguably, an optional Dolby Digital 5.1 track would've opened up this vivid world, particularly when the ice begins to make those ominous cracking sounds. It's also worth noting that Aerosmith's "Livin' on the Edge" is advertised as the show's theme song, but a generic instrumental track .

The Extras:

That aforementioned episode of "Dangerous Missions" is included here, on the third disc, as a bonus feature. It runs 46 minutes and is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. Newly created for the Ice Road Truckers series are a batch of five featurettes (playable separately or all together, for an aggregate of 44 minutes, 19 seconds) that explore everything from the men to the specific challenges of ice trucking to the dangers to a look behind the scenes.

Final Thoughts:

I'll never complain about a rough day at the office ever again. Not after riding shotgun with some of the ballsiest and (arguably, most insane) professionals I've seen in my life. They're the "Ice Road Truckers," six men who must transport 10,000 loads of critical -- and heavy -- equipment in 60 days to Canadian diamond mines across a road that's rapidly disappearing. It's very primal stuff (as a matter of fact, I can't believe this hasn't already been made into a movie) and makes for gripping, occasionally downright harrowing television. Highly recommended.

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