NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
For my money, NUMB3RS remains one of the more interesting police procedurals on television. Completely character driven, NUMB3RS is one of the best-written dramas on the airwaves, and a series that benefits from its excellent ensemble cast that brings to life its fully fleshed out protagonists. Another thing that separates NUMB3RS from other police procedurals on television is how the show applies mathematical and statistical analysis to assist in criminal investigations, something that helps the FBI identify unknown culprits that commit various crimes, not to mention, occasional acts of terrorism.
The basic premise of NUMB3RS finds FBI agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) continuing to rely on the services of his brilliant younger brother Charlie (David Krumholtz), an applied mathematics professor, whom consults for the FBI and other government agencies that require the type of mathematical analysis that he can provide. The brothers Eppes professional interactions also spill over into the personal lives, where their father Alan (Judd Hirsch) plays a key role in bringing an outside perspective to certain investigations, as well as being crucial to the series human element. The cast of NUMB3RS also features Diane Farr as psychological profiler FBI Agent Megan Reeves, Alimi Ballard as FBI Agent David Sinclair, Dylan Bruno as Agent Colby Granger, Peter MacNicol as Charlieís best friend and colleague theoretical physicist Dr. Larry Fleinhardt, Navi Rawat as Charlieís girlfriend and fellow mathematician Amita Ramanujan and Kathy Najimy as Dr. Mildred Finch, the Chair of the CalSci Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy Division, not to mention, romantic interest for Alan.
NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired during year three: Spree, Two Daughters, Provenance, The Mole, Traffic, Longshot, Blackout, Hardball, Waste Not, Brutus, Killer Chat, Nine Wives, Finders Keepers, Take Out, End Of Watch, Contenders, One Hour, Democracy, Pandora's Box, Burn Rate, The Art Of Reckoning, Under Pressure, Money For Nothing and The Janus List. Major plot points from season three include Don coming to terms with personal issues; Larry being selected for a mission by NASA and a devastating secret that is revealed about one of the FBI agentís on Donís team.
CBS/Paramount Home Entertainment has made all of the episodes that comprise NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON available on DVD in 1.78:1 wide screen presentations that feature the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. Coming from last season, the episodes look great on DVD. Image sharpness and detail are right on the money for a television production. Colors are rendered with a good level of saturation. Blacks are accurate, as are the wholly stable whites. Contrast is somewhat better than typical broadcast fare. The film elements from which the episodes are transferred appear clean, but there is some grain, which complements the police procedural atmosphere. Digital compression artifacts are usually kept under wraps.
All of the episodes that constitute NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. The 5.1 channel sound design allows for active effects placement during key moments. Still, NUMB3RS is primarily a talky police procedural, so the sound is front-loaded much of the time. As for the rear channels, much of the activity is limited to ambient sounds and musical. Fidelity is excellent for a television production. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks or subtitles have been provided.
Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extra features that have been spread throughout the set. Running Audio Commentaries with cast members, as well as members of the production team are offered for the following five episodes: Two Daughters, Hardball, Killer Chat, Nine Wives, and One Hour. Next are the featurettes. Crunching Numb3rs: Season 3 featuring the cast and crew talking about the third season. Epps Central looks at the family dynamic and its impact on the series. Set House Tour is pretty self-explanatory. A Blooper Reel closes out the supplements.
NUMB3RS is one of the most entertaining police procedurals currently airing on television. Quality-wise, the CBS/Paramountís collection is first rate, thus making NUMB3RS: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON another must have for any fanís personal library. Recommended.
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