SRP $99.95 1.33:1 STEREO A&E

One of, if not the best crime dramas ever to air on network TV, “HOMICIDE:  SEASON 5” is being released through A&E.  “SEASON 5” continues its tales surrounding the Baltimore Police Department Homicide Division.

Most of Producer Barry Levinson’s productions are set in his hometown of Baltimore, and the city actually serves as its own type of character within the show in many ways.  “HOMICIDE” is a unique crime-drama, and stands out far and above almost every other crime-drama before or since.  Even with CSI: MIAMI and “CSI: NEW YORK”, they can’t match the high level of greatness found in each individual episode belonging to “HOMICIDE.”

There are so many great things about this series to mention, but perhaps equally as important as the terrific writing, is the ensemble cast! Everyone is terrific! Their individual characters grow or falter from each episode as their lives and situations continue to evolve.  It’s addictive to watch!  While there are different types of criminals explored in this series, Season 5 begins to focus on one of the most exciting bad guys to
come around in ages, “Luther Mahoney”. Viewers are easily able to identify with the detectives as their attempts to bring this “really bad” guy down are continually thwarted. 

While each episode is well crafted and stands on its own, the revolving sub-plots really requires viewers to go back a season or two, in order to better understand various subtleties taking place.

All 22 episodes from the 5th season are featured.

A&E has preserved the show’s correct 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  As with previous seasons, the show was shot using 16mm, so there’s inevitable grain. However, it helps the show’s gritty, documentary feel and obviously
influenced so many other great shows, eg. “THE SHIELD.”  Fleshtones appear natural.

A&E has presented a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix.  Surrounds are virtually non-existent, however there are some fine separation effects in the front soundstage and the musical selections are terrific.  Dialogue is
always intelligible and free from distortion.

A terrific commentary is offered for the episode, “THE DOCUMENTARY”.  Other than that we only get some biographies and a featurette.