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From executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, WITHOUT A TRACE is definitely one of the absolute best police procedurals on television. With its riveting, character driven story telling style, WITHOUT A TRACE brings viewers top-notch mysteries on a weekly basis. The basic premise of the show follows a New York based FBI investigative unit that specializes on finding missing persons. Each episode immediately draws the audience in with its tale of some ordinary person mysteriously gone missing. The primary character’s personal lives occasionally spill over into the missing person cases, which oftentimes serves to enhance the drama. The fine cast of WITHOUT A TRACE Anthony LaPaglia as head of the Missing Persons Unit Special Agent Jack Malone, Poppy Montgomery as Special Agent Samantha Spade, Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Special Agent Vivian Johnson, Enrique Murciano as Special Agent Danny Taylor and Eric Close as Special Agent Martin Fitzgerald.

WITHOUT A TRACE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($60) comes to DVD in a six-disc set that features the following twenty-four episodes that were aired in the show’s sophomore year: The Bus, Revelations, Confidence, Prodigy, Copycat, Our Sons And Daughters, A Tree Falls, Trip Box, Moving On, Coming Home, Exposure, Hawks And Handsaws, Life Rules, The Line, Wannabe, Risen, Gung Ho, Legacy, Doppelgänger, Shadows, Two Families, The Season, Lost And Found and Bait.

Warner Home Video has made all twenty-four episodes from WITHOUT A TRACE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. These episodes really look good; have a nicely sharp television caliber picture with a solid level of detail. Colors are attractive, with natural looking flesh tones. Blacks are deep, and the whites are clean. Contrast is close to one should expect at television level, but otherwise fine. The episodes generally appear very clean; blemishes are very minimal and grain is fairly mild. Digital compression artifacts are always well contained.

All the episodes that comprise WITHOUT A TRACE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON are presented on DVD with Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtracks, which decode to standard surround. I am still of the opinion that 5.1 channel encoding would be better, but the talky nature of the series certainly gets by in 2.0. As expected, the tracks front-loaded, with mild channel separations and the surrounds adding ambience, mild effects and musical fill. The musical component is rendered with good fidelity and the sound effects are pretty believable. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. No other language tracks or subtites are provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as the Missing Evidence, which comes on the form of deleted scenes spread out across the episodes.

WITHOUT A TRACE is definitely one of the best shows of its type on television. The timing between the releases of seasons one and two on DVD seemed like an eternity. If you are a big fan of the show, I recommend you pick up this set ASAP- that way season three may appear a lot sooner, rather than a lot later. Highly recommended.



Without a Trace - The Complete Second Season



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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