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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
ER-Complete Second Season (1995)

ER-Complete Second Season (1995)

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Released 14-Jul-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Welcome Back Carter!, The Healers
Featurette-ER Specialists-Anatomy Of An Episode: Hell And High Water
Featurette-On Call - The Life Of An ER Director
Easter Egg
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 953:22 (Case: 950)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Sided
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Mimi Leder
Eric Laneuville
Christopher Chulack
Thomas Schlamme

Warner Home Video
Starring Anthony Edwards
George Clooney
Sherry Stringfield
Noah Wyle
Julianna Margulies
Gloria Reuben
Eriq La Salle
Laura Innes
Christine Elise
Ron Eldard
William H. Macy
CCH Pounder
Case ?
RPI $74.95 Music Marty Davich
James Newton Howard

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Season Two of the multi award-winning drama series ER has been released to DVD and comprises 22 episodes, plus a small handful of extras. The story continues pretty much from where Season One left off for the staff and patients of Chicago's County General Hospital. All the old hands return with student John Carter (Noah Wyle) returning to the ER after a summer holiday and once again placed under the wing of the arrogant surgical attending Dr Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle). Benton's life is a bit of a mess after the death of his mother and his failed romantic interlude with physical therapist Jeanie Broulet (Gloria Reuben). When Jeanie gets assigned to the ER as a physician's assistant you just know sparks are going to fly if she has to work with Benton. The unofficial centre of the show, Dr Mark Green (Anthony Edwards) has been promoted to the position of attending physician and is immediately having to come to grips with the responsibility the role brings. One of his first tasks is to appoint a new chief resident. This allows us to become acquainted with a new character in the form of the caustic Dr Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes). Also new to the supporting cast in this season is medical student Harper Tracy (Christine Elise), a pretty and very bright young lady who will instantly attract the eye of the smitten John Carter, and Shep (Ron Eldard), a paramedic who falls for the charms of nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies). Dr Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield) is still working away in the ER and must again contend with the perils of her no-hoper sister Chloe, while George Clooney's paediatrician Dr Doug Ross is still charming the ladies (and he manages to charm a few of them during the season), in between performing miracles on the children placed in his care.

    Unlike the most recent season (with ridiculous chopper crashes and African diversions), Season Two continues the strong character-based drama that ER is best known and for which it won many awards. There's no hint of a hammy soap opera style of drama and no need for cheap and tacky thrills so common in the later seasons. The principal actors have all hit their stride with the well-known characters, taking them to another level of believability. Even the supporting actors (both staff and outpatients) invoke much empathy during the whole series which in turn provides much needed realism.

    The packaging of Season Two is identical to that of Season One, so the cases are going to form a nice set on your display shelf when the series is complete. It comes as a nice, solid quadruple Amaray case that contains four discs. Discs one to three are all dual layered and double sided and contain either three or four episodes on each side. Disc four is single sided and contains the bonus material only (which it must be said is a little lacking compared to Season One).

    Here's a brief synopsis of the 22 episodes that comprise Season Two:

Episode 1 - Welcome Back Carter (42:23)

    The season premiere sees medical student John Carter arriving back at the County General ER to begin his surgical sub-internship under the tuition of Dr Benton. Unfortunately due to a delay at the airport, he is running late for his first day and this does not get things off to a very good start with the demanding Benton. Carter's day does improve when he is introduced to the attractive new medical student Harper (Christine Elise). Meanwhile a drive-by shooting has left several people including a pregnant women in serious condition and in dire need of the ER. Dr Greene has been made the attending physician and one of his first tasks is to appoint a new chief resident. His selection of the demanding Dr Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes) does not sit too well with the other staff.

Episode 2 - Summer Run (43:39)

    Nurse Carol Hathaway must tag along with a paramedic crew for a couple of weeks to remain a certified nurse. It's here she is introduced to Shep (Ron Eldard) and there is an instant attraction between the two that Hathaway cannot ignore. Meanwhile Weaver has had an immediate effect on the ER with some of her draconian work practices, while Lewis is having one of the worst days of her life. In between bearing the brunt of Weaver's manic work ethic, she has found out that her no-hoper sister Chloe has been skipping her night school classes.

Episode 3 - Do One, Teach One, Kill One (42:28)

    Carter is showing off his surgical skills in front of the lovely student Harper when he accidentally punctures the patient's liver with disastrous results. Ross must deal with a young boy who is suffering the advanced stages of HIV-AIDS, while comforting his young mother (a guest appearance by a young Lucy Liu). Weaver is still throwing her weight around the ER, much to the chagrin of Lewis, who has her hands full with Chloe's baby. It seems Chloe has decided that being a mother is just too difficult and has skipped the state.

Episode 4 - What Life (43:17)

    A violent altercation between Benton and another doctor in the car park leaves Benton with a damaged hand. Unable to perform surgery, Benton is forced by Dr Hicks (CCH Pounder) to allow Carter to replace him in surgery, much to Carter's delight. Carter's day just keeps getting better when he shares a brief kiss with Harper. Meanwhile, Lewis is still having to care for her sister's baby, and is seriously considering putting her up for adoption. Hathaway is beginning to realise her true feelings for paramedic Shep, when she learns he has been shot at while attending an accident scene.

Episode 5 - And Baby Makes Two (43:18)

    It's a Weaver free day in the ER, with the draconian chief resident having the day off. The staff summarily decide to celebrate with cake and music all round. Lewis is taking some time off to meet with a couple who have expressed an interest in adopting her sister's baby, but she is beginning to feel unsure about the whole deal. Ross and Green clash over the treatment schedule for the young boy dying from AIDS, while Benton deals with a woman who appears to have been beaten by her policeman husband.

Episode 6 - Days Like This (42:59)

    Doug Ross' career is on the line when he admits a patient to the hospital without the consent of the consulting doctor. It seems his cowboy-style antics have worn thin with everybody, including close friend Dr Green. Benton must deal with the prospect of having to work with Jeanie Broulet after she starts work in the ER as a physician's assistant.

Episode 7 - Hell and High Water (43:04)

    In this award-wining episode, Doug Ross, faced with the prospect of having his fellowship cancelled, accepts a well-paying paediatric position with a private clinic. On his way to an opera to celebrate with his girlfriend, he happens across a boy trapped in a stormwater drain. With the boy's friend in a panic and the water level rising, Ross must calm the trapped boy and attempt to get him out of the drain. Finally successful in his attempts to free the frozen boy, Ross realises his vital signs are critical and he will die unless he can get to the ER in minutes. When a news crew arrive to film the rescue by helicopter, Ross sees the opportunity to get the boy to safety quickly. Unwanted fame seems certain when the news crew broadcasts the rescue live around the city.

Episode 8 - The Secret Sharer (44:15)

    After having saved the young boy from the drain and seeing him to safety, Doug Ross in the city's newest hero. As a result of his heroic activities, he not only wins an award for his efforts, but finds that his fellowship has been reinstated - if he wants to stay that is. Meanwhile Carter is very busy ordering every test he can think of on a new patient. His nervousness stems from his earlier misdiagnosis of a young boy when he missed checking one key symptom. Benton also learns that ex-flame Jeanie has actually filed for divorce from her husband.

Episode 9 - Home (43:16)

    Hathaway has bought a new house, and while caring for a young man with schizophrenia learns from him that it may contain a few secrets. Green makes an emergency dash to Milwaukee when he learns that his wife Jen and daughter Rachel have been involved in a serious car accident. He later hears something from his wife that will change his life forever. Benton's career looks like taking a significant step forward when he is accepted to participate in a lucrative research programme run by Dr Carl Vucelich.

Episode 10 - A Miracle Happens Here (44:05)

    It's Christmas, and in the tradition of peace and goodwill, the ER staff are supposed to go upstairs and sing carols for some of the other departments. Unfortunately, Hathaway seems to be the only one in the festive mood. Her mood is further brightened when she treats an old man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Santa. Green's spirit is rather dampened since he is now having to deal with divorce lawyers and child custody arrangements and battle with the malpractice suit that is hanging over his head from the previous year when a mother died during childbirth.

Episode 11 - Dead Of Winter (43:33)

    On a chilly winter's night, paramedics Shep and Raul discover an apartment filled with 22 starving children who appear to have been abandoned by their guardians. They all must be shipped into the ER as a precaution. Shep makes a disparaging remark about the children and their carers and is branded a racist by Benton and Malik. Green's new year is not about to get any better when he is served divorce papers while at work, while Carter takes on the personal care of a terminally ill patient.

Episode 12 - True Lies (43:41)

    Unable to successfully treat an elderly terminally ill patient, Carter feels the wrath of the patient's husband, because he failed to fully explain her condition and tell him the truth. Benton embarrasses himself during surgery and must seek Vucelich's assistance to save the patient. Luckily for Benton, Vucelich still proceeds to invite him and a guest to a swank dinner party he is holding. Benton asks Jeanie if she would like to go with him. Meanwhile Ross is having trouble with his father, who he hasn't seen in more than 12 years and who has suddenly reappeared on the scene.

Episode 13 - It's Not Easy Being Green (42:29)

    A lonely Dr Green is out running on his day off when he suddenly decides to head into work for the day. It's probably a decision he will regret as his day turns out quite awful. First up a patient accuses him of killing her husband, then he learns his ex-wife has decided to sue for full custody of their daughter. Finally he learns that Dr Morgenstern is keen to settle the malpractice case hanging over his head. But Green thinks this is admitting guilt and is adamant he did nothing wrong. Meanwhile Benton is beginning to take a closer look at some of the results of Dr Vucelich's study and doesn't like some of the numbers he is seeing.

Episode 14 - The Right Thing (43:05)

    Benton is torn about what to do when he learns that Vucelich has been manipulating the results of his study. When he confronts him about it, he is summarily dumped from the team and sternly warned not to cause a fuss. Somehow a rumour has started that Green and Lewis are a romantic item, much to the amusement of the two concerned. It's also Ross' birthday, but he gets an unwelcome surprise when his long-lost father shows up at the ER.

Episode 15 - Baby Shower (43:53)

    It's chaos in the ER when the sprinkler system in the maternity ward malfunctions flooding the place. All the expectant mothers are taken to the ER for delivery and Green feels the pressure in having to deal with so many births at once, while the memories of the fatal accident the previous year still linger. Carter must attend an interview in order to secure one of the sub-internship surgery places for the coming year. Jerry is adamant that Scottie Pippen from the Chicago Bulls was in the ER checking on a friend - but no-one believes him.

Episode 16 - The Healers (42:38)

    There's pandemonium when paramedics Shep and Raul must enter a burning apartment building in an effort to save some children and their mother. Hathaway is distressed when she learns of the actions of the paramedics but is relieved when Shep arrives in the ER in one piece. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for his partner Raul, who is trapped and burnt almost beyond recognition. With third degree burns to more than 90 per cent of his body it doesn't look good for Raul and Shep of course blames himself for his partner's predicament. Carter must help attend Raul's burns and finds he is unable to perform a simple procedure. Dr Lewis is upset when she learns that her wayward sister Chloe has returned and wants to see her baby again.

Episode 17 - The Match Game (42:55)

    Dr Lewis looks like heading to the courts in a battle with her sister over the custody of little Suzy, while Dr Ross is torn between telling a patient that he missed diagnosing a tumour several months earlier or keeping it quiet and saving his skin. He doesn't have to worry when Benton betrays the unwritten code and dobs in Ross to the patient and his grandfather. Carter celebrates his acceptance to the surgical internship by taking Harper out to lunch and getting slightly drunk - antics that could just see him sacked. Mark is warming to the life of a single man by growing a beard, shedding his specs in place of contact lenses and dating a patient he treated in the past.

Episode 18 - A Shift In The Night (42:42)

    Green is called in to do another graveyard shift - his fourth night in a row. His night gets a whole lot worse when he discovers Ross, Lewis, and Weaver are all unavailable to help and Dr Morgenstern refuses to allow him to temporarily close the ER to new incoming patients. Working on pure adrenalin alone, Green and his skeleton crew must employ a few unorthodox methods to clear the ER of close to 100 patients.

Episode 19 - Fire In The Belly (43:50)

    Mark's new flame Iris is also a director of educational videos and Weaver employs her to film an instructional series on ER surgery - with hilarious results. Benton misdiagnoses a cancer patient and coupled with his offhand manner in dealing with many patients this lands him in trouble with senior management. Carter is disappointed when another medical student in the ER seems to be far more advanced in his list of procedures. Carter uses deception to get an advantage in a couple of key procedures - but when Harper finds out the results are not what Carter would have hoped for. Despite the feeling of despair it brings, Dr Lewis must accept the decision that a court has granted Chloe custody of little Suzy.

Episode 20 - Fevers Of Unknown Origin (43:54)

    Still scarred by the loss of his partner Raul, Shep is becoming increasingly violent towards patients and fellow staff and Hathaway is seriously worrying about him. Lewis takes the loss of little Suzy badly and throws herself into her work with renewed vigour. Not even Kerry Weaver can slow her down. Dr Green meets up with his ex-wife to finalise divorce proceedings and ends up sleeping with her.

Episode 21 - Take These Broken Wings (43:44)

    Dr Lewis is battling with the loss of little Suzy and seeks professional help to help her come to terms with the emptiness of her life. Hathaway is forced to lie for Shep when he is investigated for assaulting a man at a house where they were attending a shooting call. Green tells Weaver that he will support her for the position of attending physician if she in turn supports Lewis for the role of Chief Resident.

Episode 22 - John Carter,  M.D. (43:54)

    Carter is due to graduate and finally become a doctor, but he misses his ceremony in order to be with a seriously ill girl in urgent need of a liver transplant. Jeanie has dire news for Benton when she learns her ex-husband is HIV positive. Both Jeanie and Benton nervously wait for their own test results. Frustrated by the overburdening of insurance company red tape, Hathaway quits the ER.

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Transfer Quality


    Just like Season One, Season Two again features a video transfer presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced. The first few seasons of ER were originally broadcast on television (in Australia anyway) in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, so this aspect is again a departure from how it was originally shown. But I really don't think there is a whole lot to get upset about - because it looks great. It does look like the makers always intended for this show to be eventually shown in a widescreen aspect ratio when they were making this and just like it did in Season One, there is not a single shot that looks oddly framed.

    The Season One transfer looked pretty good, but had its faults, mostly appearing slightly grubby and grimy. Thankfully this one is better. Overall the quality of the image scrubs up well with sharpness and the level of detail about as expected for a ten year old program. Shadow detail is never compromised, grain levels are significantly less than they were in Season One and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are again quite bright with no instances of washout or bleeding. The bright greens and blues of the doctor's uniforms are well rendered, while the blood (and there is plenty of that) is a lovely deep solid red.

    No compression artefacts were evident. Film to video artefacts are also absent, and thankfully the overall cleanliness of the source print has improved dramatically for season two. Unlike Season One in which virtually every episode attracted some sort of artefact, this season's episodes are quite clean and almost pristine when compared.

    Subtitles! Again it's a real bonus to have subtitles included on television series such as ER which are filled with rapid-fire dialogue. How many times have you listened to the instructions of the chief resident as they shout out a long list of procedures to be performed on an emergency patient, with much of it seemingly lost in the cacophony of the trauma room. At long last you can get a complete grasp of exactly what is going on when the doctor ask for a CBC, Blood Gases, and Chem-7.

    Discs one, two, and three are all dual layered and dual sided (DVD-18), with episodes spread between layers to remove any need for a layer change. Disc four is a single layered and single sided disc only (DVD-5), and contains just the extras.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are a minimum of three audio soundtracks available for all 22 episodes. In addition to those, two episodes feature one additional English commentary track. The main track of choice for all English speaking viewers is the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack, while there is also a French and Italian version. While there is no surround flag embedded in the bitstream here, this is a soundtrack that offers significant rear channel activity throughout many of the episodes. This is a fair soundtrack for a television series approaching ten years old. It's quite solid with a wide range and a bit of punch when needed.

    The often rapid dialogue makes understanding everything a little tricky at times, but none of this is attributed to the mastering of the disc, rather the source recording. There are no audio sync issues.

    The score for each episode was composed by Marty Davich, while renowned film composer James Newton Howard composed the memorable opening title theme.

    Surround channel use is extremely limited, but a little of the score and a few background sounds leak through to the rears on occasion.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Audio Commentary - Welcome Back Carter and The Healers (Mimi Leder, Laura Innes, and Randy Morgan)

    Two episodes feature a commentary by director Mimi Leder, editor Randy Morgan, and actor (and sometimes director) Laura Innes (she plays Kerry Weaver). Episode One, Welcome Back Carter and Episode 16, The Healers are the two that receive the treatment this time around. The three discuss the various technical aspects of the episodes and also share some personal anecdotes about the filming.

Featurette - Anatomy Of An Episode (Hell and High Water)

    This is an 8:53 behind the scenes look at the award winning episode in which Doug Ross saves the boy from the storm drain. Interviews with some of the cast and crew are featured (though George Clooney is the obvious and glaring omission).

Featurette - On Call: The Life Of An ER Director

    An 11:10 look at what it takes to be an ER director. There's plenty of interviews with several of the directors from season two plus plenty of footage from the season's 22 episodes. Unfortunately there isn't much input from any of the cast besides Laura Innes (Kerry Weaver) and Gloria Reuben (Jeanie Broulet).


    These are more deleted scenes than outtakes. Spread across various episodes in the series, there are 15 scenes in total that run for around a minute each. Total running time is 14:09.


    These are more like a true set of outtakes, with various cast members goofing around, either deliberately or accidentally muffing their lines. Runs for 2:03.

Easter Egg

    Look for this one on the main menu of disc four. It's an amusing 2:31 look at the relationship forged during seasons one and two between Eriq La Salle's arrogant Benton and Noah Wyle's wide-eyed student John Carter.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Apart from the exclusion of the French and Italian soundtracks it looks like the Region 1 set is identical to the Region 4 version.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 disc misses out on;

    A small victory to the Region 4 set based on a slightly better specification.


    The second season of ER continues the high standard set with the debut season. This is television drama at its most intense, hectic, authentic, and enjoyable best.

    The video transfer is again quite remarkable looking. It is a widescreen presentation despite the fact it was originally shot in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, but there is not a single frame that looks odd being shown at 1.78:1. Overall this is a much cleaner and crisper video transfer than we saw for season one.

    The audio is functional, being quite solid and dynamic for a two channel effort. There is significant surround use once you activate Pro-Logic decoding.

    The extras are a little brief and somewhat disappointing given the quality offered with season one. Hopefully this is only a slight downturn in quality and things will pick up again in season three. The actual packaging is again first rate.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Friday, August 20, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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