In this adaptation of the Top Cow comic book, Witchblade is the story of a New York detective, Sara “Pez” Pezzini, whose search for justice brings her into contact with the Witchblade, an ancient, intelligent, living weapon so powerful it can battle Earth’s darkest evil forces. Week in and week out, “Pez” employs her skills as a police detective to fight crime. She finds she must employ the Witchblade to combat a much greater and frighteningly organized conspiracy of evil that threatens the very soul of humanity. As Sara tries to keep the secret of the Witchblade, do her job and have a personal life, she finds that her most formidable adversary may be the Witchblade itself.
Read my review of the complete series DVD after the jump.
Witchblade The Complete Series
Available To Own On (click to purchase): DVD
Official Site Link:www.witchbladedvd.com
Release Date: July 29, 2008
Witchblade comes to DVD on seven discs featuring all 24 episodes (the TV movie, and the remaining 23 episodes). The show got its beginning as a TV movie in the summer of 2000, then premiered its first season (11 episodes) the following summer in 2001 and the second season (12 episodes) in the summer of 2002.
Although you’re bound to get differing opinions on the direction of the series after the first season concluded–it’s quite obvious there was a decline, how much is up to personal opinion–overall Witchblade was an enjoyable show, drawing on the comic-book series, while going in a slightly different direction than perhaps a comic-book adaptation should have taken. Sure the supernatural elements took a backseat at times, in favor of the show being more a police drama, but it was never taken completely out of the element.
Speaking to the quality of the show, there’s plenty here to enjoy. The police drama focus may not have been what comic book fans wanted to see, but to be honest, it really elevated the show here, drawing inspiration from the comic book series while at the same time having strong acting, solid writing and a good cast of characters.
Perhaps the casual audience wasn’t quite as aware of the situation behind-the-scenes, but as far as I can tell, the cancellation of the show had a lot more to due with the alcohol/drug abuse of its star, Butler, than ratings, which were apparently not an issue at all. I found the first season to be the best of the two, and as fans are well aware, that has a lot to do with the direction in the second season. I don’t want to give too much away, and I don’t like doing this in reviews but there is really no other way to approach this topic. It really seemed like the writers and producers structured this show to be a one-and-done series because the first season finale really felt like a series finale. Add in that the decision was made to reset back to the beginning for the second season (there’s that spoiler), which felt sort of like an alternate timeline, and you have a situation where perhaps more thought should have gone into a second year.
Bottom line is that despite the second season suffering a bit in terms of acting, stories and writing, in the end you’re still treated to a solid overall enjoyable show.
Considering the short running length of the series, the amount of extras presented by Warner Bros. for this series is much appreciated.
Gabriel’s Philosophical Insights
First up, contained on selected episodes (10) throughout the seven discs are these short pieces and deleted clips that feature Gabriel talking to the camera about different topics and situations related to either the specific episode, or the series as a whole. While interesting, your enjoyment may depend on how much you liked the character, although they’re certainly not drab in any way.
Wielding the Blade
A short, but solid, featurette with takes from Butler and some of the creative minds behind the series including Michael Turner and Marc Silvestri. As the title suggests, this feature focuses exclusively on the Witchblade, and you get a pretty strong look into their mindset of crafting the design of the blade (which is different from what was/is presented in the comic book).
Bringing the Blade to Life
Rounding out the special features is “Bringing the Blade to Life”, at about five minutes longer than the first feature (it runs just about 12 minutes), the commentary presented here gives a good look into the creation of the show, and should help newcomers understand the concept and goal of the folks behind the series as the main focus is on how they adapted the film from comic to screen.
Original Casting Sessions for Series Leads
Exactly what the title says. A series of clips featuring the original casting sessions for Yancy Butler, Anthony Cistaro, David Chokachi, Eric Etebari and Will Yun Lee.
All-New Soundtrack Selected by the Executive Producer
Not really a special feature, per say, but because–I assume–they couldn’t or didn’t want to pursue the music rights (I notice this more often with older TV shows) there’s a new soundtrack presented here. To be honest, I didn’t really notice, which is good, I suppose.
Though it wasn’t a straight comic-book to TV translation, leaving some fans feeling slighted no doubt, the heavier focus on police drama serves the show well and the supernatural elements help propel it to enjoyable heights. I still have mixed feelings about the second season, but I find that you’re really either on one side or another on that aspect. Overall, this is a solid presentation despite some of its unevenness and the complete ride is worth the price of admission.
I rate this series and DVD a 4/5.
Witchblade The Complete Series was released on Tuesday, July 29th. Purchase it today on DVD.