Falling Skies-Season 4 (Blu-ray) (2014)
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby TrueHD 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Falling Skies is a US cable TV sci-fi series from the TNT network which is now just starting its fifth and final season on Foxtel. Its star is ER's Noah Wyle who also is involved in producing the show. I have been aware of the show for some time and have had it on my list of things I wouldn't mind seeing. Accordingly, when I received the review discs of this fourth season from Roadshow it prompted me to watch the show from the beginning. So we fired up Netflix and quickly worked our way through the first three seasons, finding them enjoyable and entertaining science fiction. It is certainly interesting from my perspective to compare Netflix to the Blu-ray review discs. Despite Netflix's ability to deliver shows in HD, even when they are in HD the quality is nowhere near Blu-ray, especially from a colour reproduction perspective. I assume they just cannot replicate the bitrate of the stream when compared to a Blu-ray bitrate. Also the sound is not even in the same ballpark as it is Dolby Digital 2.0 rather than the lossless format on this Blu-ray. I am surprised by what level of quality Netflix is able to deliver but so far at least it is nothing like Blu-ray. If you care about quality, Blu-ray is still the best available in my opinion.The basic concept for those who have just come in is that aliens, know as the Espheni have invaded earth, killing many of the inhabitants and making the children their slaves by attaching special living creatures to them which control their thoughts. Groups of resistance fighters were formed by surviving Army commanders. The series has focused on a group known as the 2nd Massachusetts or 2nd Mass. Initially the group contained a mixture of fighters and civilians commanded by Captain Dan Weaver (Will Patton). Despite Weaver's misgivings, Professor Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) was appointed as his second in command despite having no military background, except from a theoretical perspective. The group have been moving around in the eastern part of the US, fighting aliens, losing people and dealing with all sorts of issues. Comparisons can be made to The Walking Dead but it is less nihilistic, focused more on the power of family and humanity.
Anyway, I will give some views below about Season 4 and how in compares to previous seasons, so if you haven't seen the first three seasons you should probably not read on. I will try not to spoil Season 4. One of the big changes in this fourth season is the change in the person running the show to David Eick, probably best know for Battlestar Galactica and I think some of the choices in this season show his influence. The season starts with the 2nd Mass returning from their victory in Boston over the Espheni in conjunction with their new alien allies, the Volm. As usual they are led by Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), ex-history professor now alien fighter and leader of the New United States. Also in the group are show regulars, now-Colonel Weaver (Will Patton), Tom's three sons Hal (Drew Roy), Ben (Connor Jessup) and Matt (Maxim Knight) all of whom are now experienced alien fighters, Maggie (Sarah Carter), a young woman they picked up along the way and girlfriend of Hal, Dr Glass (Moon Bloodgood), now shacked up with Tom and father to his daughter, Alexis (Scarlett Byrne in adult form). Also still part of the group are rebellious loudmouth John Pope (Colin Cunnigham), Tector (Ryan Robbins), Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) and Volm Ally, Cochise (Doug Jones).
As they arrive near Charleston, they are attacked by The Espheni using new weaponry which force the group to split up into five main groupings. The first is Tom, Hal, Pope and Weaver who end up held in a ghetto style concentration camp within Charleston, trying to work out how to escape. The second including Ben, Alexis or Lexie, Lourdes and Maggie who end up in a seemingly safe zone protected by Lexie using her newly found powers. The third is Anne and Anthony plus a group of others who end up in the wild trying to find and rescue people especially Lexie. Anne gets a lot more kick-ass in this series. The fourth is a very small group with only Matt from the pre-existing team who is captured by Espheni sympathisers and taken to a Nazi youth style camp where they attempt to brainwash him into giving up his parents. The last group is Cochise and a small party of Volm who go roaming trying to find the source of the Espheni power grid. The main fleet of Volm have left Earth due to another emergency, leaving the humans basically on their own. The 12 episodes of this slightly longer than normal season follow the story through various ups and downs. The tone of this season is different to the last with less of the attempts at government and bureaucracy and a return to a smaller more mobile fighting unit. This is certainly a step in the right direction, although some plots points this season are little out of step with previous seasons especially when the action leaves Earth later in the season. Regardless there are lots of great episodes here and much of the story adds detail to the characters and their interactions as well as providing lots of action and intrigue. The only scenes which grate a little are those in the vein of 'God Bless America'.
The Blu-ray set is contained on two discs of 6 episodes each.
Another quality season of this show that has really grown on me. Recommended!
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is still and silent but functional.
Six separate featurettes or play all which provide promo style behind the scenes footage and interviews with cast about each episode on the disc. OK but lacking depth.
Strangely titled this extra is actual mock interviews with the characters as if someone is recording a documentary about them. Considering the nature of the show this is not very believable as they are fighting for their lives.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A version seems to be exactly the same. Buy Local.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is very good.The extras are decent.
|DVD||Panasonic DMR-PWT500, using Component output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to Amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|