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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > The Dresden Files – The Complete First Season

The Dresden Files – The Complete First Season


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Film: C



Feeling that the market for such programming is far from dead, filmmakers and TV show producers still want to have another investigative supernatural horror hit on their hands.  While The X-Files may oddly and suddenly be getting a second feature film launch and the original Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974, see the review elsewhere on this site) remains the gold standard for such shows, the imitators continue to fall and fall hard (like that awful attempt at a Night Stalker revival) yet the temptation is like a lethal one-night stand Hollywood cannot resist.  The Dresden Files is the latest attempt to get some kind of audience and Lionsgate has issued its Complete First Season on DVD.


This one is able to claim a literary source, from the writer Jim Butcher, with a detective named Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne) who happens to be a real life wizard.  At least his last name is not Potter!  He uses his talents to battle the often murderous menace in these 12 hour-long shows, though it becomes too much like the silly “magic” live-action shows that we see too much in syndication and are long played out.  What the show wants to do is combine Kolchak with the cult favorite The Magician with Bill Bixby, but as soon as it gets into its digital magic nonsense and becomes too comic, it all implodes and this is every single episode.  Too bad, because with more effort and originality, this could have worked but just does not have the suspense or wit to succeed.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is clean, but boring and typical of HD productions today.  Shot in Canada, it looks like X-Files lite with no effort to come up with a new, distinct look.  Detail and depth are limited.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is stretching it a bit, showing that this show was not conceived as a multi-channel show, but dialogue recording is good.  The music is not anything to write home about, though.  Extras include deleted scenes, audio commentaries on select shows and a making of featurette.  Whether the show can take off in later seasons is unlikely, but we have seen much worse (like that awful attempt at a Night Stalker revival) and fans obsessed with anything in the genre will find it watchable.  Others will not be as enthusiastic.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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