Eureka: Season One – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Creators

Michael Lange & Jefery Levy

Cast

Colin Ferguson Sheriff Jack Carter
Jordan Hinson Zoe Carter
Salli Richardon Allison Blake
Joe Morton Henry Deacon

DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 558 Minutes on 3 discs

The Show

U.S. Marshal Jack Carter does not necessarily have the best relationship with his daughter Zoe. She is at that age of being quite rebellious and their relationship is just on the rocks. After they have an accident though that has them stumble across one of the best kept secrets in America, their lives begin to take quite the interesting turn.

The town of Eureka is like no other town in the entire country and possibly the world. At first glance to the Carters, Eureka seems like any other small town would be. It is clean, quaint, and the people are extremely kind to one another. Well, that kind of kindness may be quite rare, but it is still no reason for Jack to think he has wandered into some strange type of place. But he has. Eureka houses the greatest minds in the entire world as their residents create the innovations and inventions that keep the world and progress rolling along.

Jack feels as if Eureka would be a great place for him and Zoe to start over so he decides to stay and become the law in town. Every resident is kept virtually a hush-hush secret except for Allison Blake. She acts as a bit of the intermediary between Eureka and the government so their progress can be updated and any requests can be made. Jack and Allison don’t always see eye to eye as he tries to keep order, but their obvious romantic chemistry keeps them from each other’s throats. And oddly enough, one wouldn’t think that Eureka needs law and order since no-one knows about them, but the trouble that comes up might surprise you.

Eureka is a show that I had never watched on Sci-Fi even though always catching the tail end of an episode or two while flipping channels. It seems that it will now become a staple in my weekly line-up for it is one of the best shows going right now on television. The characters are easy to get involved with and quickly you’ll find yourself growing a bond with them and realizing who your favorites are. Every single character adds their own unique perspective and personality to the show whether it’s Jack, Zoe, Fargo, Henry, Allison, or anyone.

It’s kind of hard to find a show past or present that Eureka can be compared to because it is so unique. Combining the mystery of crime dramas with the science fiction of shows such as The X-Files while throwing some good natured comedy right on top of it all. It just delivers in every aspect of the show so that every member of the family can understand it and enjoy it. And best of all, it introduces a brand new idea. Seeing so many shows in courtrooms or with cops running around or people hanging out in a bar/restaurant has just gotten so monotonous and boring. What is more unique and fresh then the geniuses of the world gathered together in the quaintest town this side of Rome, Wisconsin (Picket Fences)? Nothing, and that is what helps make Eureka so much fun to watch.

Episodes

Disc One:

Pilot: The ninety minute first episode introduces U.S. Marshal Jack Carter and his fugitive daughter are out driving and find themselves lost on a lonely back road where an accident leaves them stranded. Their being stranded lands them in the town of Eureka where Jack takes over the investigation of a mysterious death. While doing so though, he is still trying to make his relationship with daughter Zoe better and also forming a new bond with Allison Blake.

Many Happy Returns: Jack has decided to settle down in Eureka even though he’s learned of the brilliant people that inhabit the town. He also attends the funeral of one of the town’s residents Susan Perkins and ends up showing up a few days later alive and well.

Before I Forget: A visiting scientist is under investigation after Jack begins suffering short-term memory loss and ends up shooting Henry. After digging a bit deeper, Jack realizes the scientist may be doing it to many more residents for his own personal gain.

Disc Two:

Alienated: A visiting legislator is in town and supposedly he is the man who funds the town’s research. But the residents begin to think he may not be who he seems after Spencer is abducted by aliens and left in a crop circle.

Invincible: Carl Carlson is extradited from Eureka after an accidental lab explosion destroys all his research and results. But the accident to prove successful for him as he now has been biochemically altered more then he ever could have imagined.

Dr. Nobel: In one of the best episodes from the first season, Fargo accidentally activates an end of the world device involving some Cold War missiles. The city is under serious duress and of course Jack is the one to the rescue trying to find the device’s crater and stop total destruction of Eureka.

Blink: Jack has some fast problems on his hands when a top secret drug is accessed by some employees from Section 5. The only problem is that it makes them have super speed and Jack can’t quite keep up with them.

Right As Raynes: One of Eureka’s top minds returns to town and causes havoc with a computer glitch that affects the entire town. Jack must stop him but also figure out what has made Zoe go off on her own and join the troublemaker.

Disc Three:

Primal: Fargo has created a device that makes computer nanoids so like that of human minds that they have begun replicating themselves. Multiple copies of Stark start tormenting Eureka and the town’s fate lies in Jack’s hands as he must swallow his shyness and kiss Allison to make Stark green with envy. Another one of the better episodes from this season.

Purple Haze: Everything in town gets a bit mixed after all the residents wake up and find out they aren’t quite as they always have been. And the only ones who weren’t affected by the change were the newest people in town, Jack and Zoe.

H.O.U.S.E. Rules: Jack’s smart house nicknamed S.A.R.A.H. wants to keep her new owner in town and she ends up taking him, Allison, Stark, Beverly, Fargo, and Henry hostage. Things get a lot worse though when the house’s alter-ego named B.R.A.D. takes the hostage crisis to a whole new level and things could turn deadly. Yet another great episode from the first season as the show as a whole just keeps getting better.

Once In A Lifetime: Stark has the opportunity to try out a brand new invention, but after he does, he realizes maybe he shouldn’t have. It takes the residents of Eureka to the year 2010 and they see everything is different. The futuristic residents though start to worry as they realize they have been living in an alternate universe and the “real” future is almost upon them and could destroy their entire existence.

The Video

The episodes are shown in 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and each one looks great. Eureka is a show that presents some very bright colors a lot of the time and they show up looking great. The picture is very clear and everything comes through looking beautiful.

The Audio

The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and they sound as good as they look. Mostly dialogue oriented, there are times when some quieter and mysterious happenings go on and it is then that the rear speakers prove their worth. A nice transition to DVD without a single problem to be heard.

Special Features

Audio Commentaries – Creators Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia are joined by actor Colin Ferguson (Jack Carter) serves for some really interesting commentary even though it is only on the pilot episode. Since it is merely the beginning of the series, they talk about all the mistakes they made and how many changes needed to be made as time went on. About twenty minutes in, they discuss the first scene they shot which lasted maybe a minute but took them four hours to shoot. There is also an audio track of Colin Ferguson by himself which isn’t nearly as interesting.

Deleted Scenes – A few deleted scenes mostly from the pilot with optional commentary from Cosby, Paglia, and Ferguson. One in particular should have been left in for it created a lot more back story to Jack and his ex-wife Beverly. The banter back and forth between the trio on commentary actually makes the scenes more interesting then just watching them without.

Outtakes – These are spread out over the three discs and also comes with optional commentary. One of them is extremely funny as Jaime Paglia hides in a closet (unbeknownst to the actors) that should be holding a small child and proceeds to scare the crap out of them in the middle of the scene.

Webisodes – Short little two minute features that there are quite a few of and the neat thing is that they all tell a continuing story. It’s almost as if it is fifteen to twenty minute episode broken up into many smaller parts. I’m guessing these were released one at a time in order on the internet so people could keep up with the mystery week by week.

Podcasts – A few episodes are repeated with commentary from those we have already heard from and sometimes more people such as another actor or a staff writer join in on the fun. Virtually it is simply more commentary and it isn’t bad because they reveal an awful lot of information in regards to filming and even make fun of a few scenes at times when they feel they could have done them better. These are also spread out on multiple discs.

Made In Eureka Mock Infomercials – Very quick mock infomercials in the same style as the old show Amazing Discoveries that used to come on at any hour of the late night/early morning. The Cryo-Kennel and the Micro Mitt are surely two products no-one should be without especially if they were real.

TrailersEureka, The Rockford Files, and Breach

The Inside Pulse

Eureka is a show that I had never quite gotten into but fully intend on making it a mainstay in my weekly viewing. The show just generates so much humor, mystery, and brilliance that you can’t help but get sucked right into it. For as many TV DVD sets that have come my way to review, my main complaint is always the lack of special features. Perhaps they think that you get so many episodes, extra content isn’t really necessary. The first season of Eureka happens to disagree and in a big way. Never have I enjoyed so many and such good special features with a season set then I did with this one. One and probably the only real negative I could find with the set is the packaging. The DVDs are held in place with a blue foam material instead of plastic which makes for small annoying pieces of it getting all over and on the discs. Other then that, it is as if the creators really wanted to have their audience grow for upcoming seasons and it is easy to see why they’ve already recruited one more viewer in me.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Eureka: Season One
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9
THE VIDEO

7
THE AUDIO

7
THE EXTRAS

8
REPLAY VALUE

8
OVERALL
9
(NOT AN AVERAGE)