When a good series lasts a little too long and goes down hill, it is said to have 'jumped the shark,' but is there a term that describes the opposite? What about a series that has outlived its welcome that suddenly, against all expectations, improves? If there isn't a term for that, I nominate "pulling a
The show is set in the small town of
I've never been a huge fan of
While the second season was an improvement on the first, by the time season three rolled around (especially the second half) the episodes started to feel a bit too familiar and took on a disaster-of-the-week aspect that made them all meld together. Before I popped in season four the only things I could remember about the previous year's episodes was that Carter's daughter, Zoe, had gone away to college. Consequently, I wasn't expecting much when this set arrived in the mail. Much to my surprise however, the show started a episode-spanning plot that was both entertaining and interesting.
As the season opens,
One of these relics goes wonky however, and transports Carter, his deputy Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra), Global Dynamics head Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), all around genius Dr. Henry Deacon (Joe Morton), and accident prone comic relief Fargo (Neil Grayston) back in time to 1947. At that time the city was nothing more than an Army camp (and all of these scenes are nicely sepia-tinted, and strangers (especially Fargo who shows up nude) are not welcome at all. With the help of one of Einstein's colleague Dr. Trevor Grant (James Callis) Decon is able to patch together a device that will get them all back to 2010, which works with only one slight hitch: Dr. Grant steals Carter's device and manages to travel back with the rest of the group. This changes things in 2010 subtly but significantly.
Allison's son is no longer autistic; he's a regular, bright kid. Lupo in now the head of security at GD, but she never started dating her boyfriend from the original time line and he's pretty much a jerk in this one.
Henry and Trevor start to figure out a way to set everything back to the way it was, but not everyone wants that. Allison is ecstatic that her son is normal and
This story line gives the series a much needed kick start. It's interesting seeing the characters in their familiar setting but with everything just slightly askew. There's internal tension between the time traveler about what the right course of action is, and some very awkward moments with the 'new'
This two disc set inlcudes the first 10 episodes of season four.
This series comes with a DD 5.1 soundtrack that sounds good. Being mainly a dialog-based show the rears aren't used as much as they could be but during the action sequences the sound is fairly enveloping. Being a recent program, the dialog is clear and clean with no distortion or background noise. Overall this is a nice sounding show.
The 1.78:1 anamorphically enhanced image looks pretty good too. The level of detail is fine, the colors are strong, and the blacks are solid. In the few dark scenes the details are still clear. There is some digital noise here and there, but nothing major. This is a show that looks fine.
This set comes with several deleted scenes, most of which are pretty minor, a gag reel, and a commentary to the season premier episode with the director, writer, and executive producers. There's also a nice 5 minute behind-the-scenes featurette, In the Beginning:
This season there was a little bit of cross over with another SyFy channel program Warehouse 13... a single character from each show made an appearance in the sister program. Happily, the episode of Warehouse 13 where
If you were thinking of giving up on