Sanctuary-Season 3 (2010)

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Released 14-Sep-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Seven episodes
Featurette-Making Of-Multiple
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Multiple
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 869:13
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Martin Wood
Brenton Spencer
S.A. Adelson
Peter DeLuise
Tricon Film & Televi
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Amanda Tapping
Robin Dunne
Emilie Ullerup
Ryan Robbins
Christopher Heyerdahl
Case 4-Way Cross-Dual
RPI $59.95 Music Ian Browne
Joel Goldsmith

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

†††† Sanctuary is another quality science fiction series from Canada which I have had the pleasure of reviewing. We are now up to the third series of this show which is getting better and better. I have previously reviewed Series 1 and Series 2. The previous seasons were also released on Blu-ray, however this third season is only available on DVD at this stage. A three season box set is due for release in December.

†††† The basic premise of the show is that the world is full of 'abnormals' who need to be protected from humanity and a place has been set up to house and protect them, called The Sanctuary, hence the name of the show Sanctuary. The owner and leader of this 'private research facility' (as they describe themselves to anyone nosy) is Dr Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping who was Sam Carter from the Stargate universe). She is 160 years old but looks as young as Amanda Tapping (40ish) and is dedicated to her work of protecting and studying these abnormals. The abnormals are not aliens but rather are humans with special powers (sort of like X-Men without the flashy costumes) or bigger, uglier animals or insects (more like the stuff coming through the anomalies in Primeval). They tend to quite often be things from mythology. Magnus is very enigmatic and not necessarily completely moral. This makes her an interesting and hard to read character rather than the usual obvious goodie. Explaining how Magnus comes to be 160 years old and in this line of work would give away too much of what happens over the course of these three seasons. It is great to see Amanda Tapping playing a quite different character to Sam Carter. There is no particular city the show is set in although it is obviously the US. Some episodes occur in other parts of the world such as the Pacific Ocean and India (as staged in Vancouver). The Sanctuary also has braches all over the world for example in London & New Delhi. They have an ongoing enemy in a group known as 'The Cabal' who want to exploit abnormals for their own benefit.

†††† The show has been likened strongly to Torchwood. It certainly shares some traits with Torchwood, however there is enough difference to allow it to stand on its own. Torchwood is definitely the better show, however this one is worth watching. I would actually describe it as a mixture of Torchwood, X-Men, Primeval, X-Files and CSI.

†††† Details of the charactersí pasts are revealed slowly during the seasons. The other recurring characters are:

†††† From a production quality perspective, this show relies a lot on CGI with most of the scenes being acted on green screen with the background filled in later by computer. This has improved over the course of the show and is now very well done. The overall feel of the production design is very gothic suiting the newly dark haired Amanda Tapping and her tougher, darker character (compared to Sam Carter). The writing has improved in this season with better dialogue and storylines. There are a number of new elements introduced in this season both in terms of Magnus' history and things the team discover. John Druitt and Nikola Tesla appear more often which is certainly a good thing.

†††† This six disc set contains 20 episodes, the longest season so far. The show was created by Damian Kindler, who was a writer/producer on the Stargate shows. Martin Wood, another Stargate alumni, directs most of the episodes. Amanda Tapping also directs an episode.

†††† This is the best season of this show so far and it continues to improve.

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Transfer Quality


†††† The video quality is very good, bordering on excellent. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which I would guess is the original aspect ratio or close to it. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

†††† The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout. Shadow Detail was quite good. The colour was well rendered but not vibrant which is a reflection of the dark colour scheme.

†††† There were no noticeable artefacts except some mild motion blur.

†††† There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are yellow and quite well done.

†††† The layer changes are not noticeable.

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


††††The audio quality is very good. This DVDs contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s plus commentaries in English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. It is great to see this show get a soundtrack which uses the best DVD can muster as previous seasons have either had low bitrate 5.1 or just stereo soundtracks.

†††† Dialogue was quite clear and easy to understand throughout, although some lines of dialogue were hard to understand. Subtitles were useful at times.

†††† The music by Andrew Lockington is a highlight and adds significantly to the show.

†††† The surround speakers were used regularly for surround effects and atmosphere. The subwoofer was used for music and action scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


†††† Quite a large selection of extras are included. Subtitles are available on all extras except the commentaries.


†††† The menu features an introduction, motion and music. Scene and episode selection is available.


†††† Commentaries are available for seven episodes featuring a number of different people involved in the production (see detail below). They tend to be jokey and somewhat self-congratulatory but also contain worthwhile information about the show, locations, green screen work and much more. The details of who is on each track is as follows

†††† Episode 1 - Martin Wood (Director), Amanda Tapping (Actor) & Robin Dunne (Actor)

†††† Episode 6 - Martin Wood (Director), Robin Dunne (Actor)

†††† Episode 7 - Martin Wood (Director), Amanda Tapping (Actor) & Damian Kindler (Creator/Writer)

†††† Episode 10 - Martin Wood (Director), Amanda Tapping (Actor) & Robin Dunne (Actor)

†††† Episode 14 - Andy McKinnon (Director) & Robin Dunne (Actor)

††††Episode 17 - Martin Wood (Director), Amanda Tapping (Actor) & Damian Kindler (Creator/Writer)

†††† Episode 19 - Martin Wood (Director), Amanda Tapping (Actor) & Damian Kindler (Creator/Writer)

Disc 6

Amanda Tapping - Directing 'One Night' (13:47)

†††† Featurette about Amanda Tapping directing one of the episodes. Cast & Crew talk about how great she is and her directing style.

Visual Effects (13:11)

†††† Featurette on the CGI approach and work done for specific episodes.

Hollow Earth (8:35)

†††† Featurette about a new concept introduced in this season about a subterranean world beneath the Earth's surface, modelled on ancient Rome.

Damien Kindler - In the Director's Chair (19:23)

†††† Featurette about the creator/writer directing one episode for the first time. He discusses his experiences and the cast and crew give their impressions.

The Music of Sanctuary (16:12)

†††† Slightly overlong featurette about the composer and music of the series.

Behind the Scenes - 'Normandy' (18:45)

†††† Behind the Scenes look at one particular episode which focuses on Magnus' involvement in World War II. How the idea came about and the development of the show.

Character Profile - Jonathon Young/Nikola Tesla

†††† The actor and the cast and crew talk about the Tesla character and the actor's approach to portraying him.

Sanctuary for Kids (5:27)

†††† An update on the show's children's charity.

Blooper Reel (6:35)

†††† Mildly amusing stuff ups and clowning about.

Deleted Scenes (31:19)

†††† Large collection of deleted scenes from various episodes. Most don't add too much but some are worth seeing.

R4 vs R1

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

††††The Region 1 release of this show seems to be the same configuration. It is also available on Blu-ray in the US.


†††† A quality Science Fiction show which is getting better over time.

††††The video quality is very good bordering on excellent. The audio quality is very good, better than previous seasons.

†††† A large selection of extras is included.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp 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 DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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