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Sanctuary: The Complete Fourth Season Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1  (48kHz/16-bit), Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 585 Mins.
  • Discs: 4 (4 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • List Price: $49.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Sanctuary has become one of SyFy’s most successful weekly fictional series offering a mix of freak of the week monster gore, sci-fi gadgetry and gothic horror. Helmed by Stargate: SG-1’s Amanda Tapping as Dr. Helen Magnus, the series focuses on the eponymous organization that exists to aid, study, and house “abnormal” beings who exist among us. Magnus herself, being one of these abnormals, possesses the gift of an extremely slow aging process. The series’ effective intermingling of historic and literary figures, now portrayed as abnormals, like Nikloa Tesla (Jonathon Young), and Dr. James Watson (Peter Wingfield) is handled seamlessly.

In season four, Helen returns from the past after being sent there by her former friend and now nemesis Adam Worth, after keeping herself in isolation for 113 years. The usual plot holes concerning time travel apply and questions regarding what actually happens to the second Magnus from the past once she “rejoins the timeline” are never really answered. Back in the present, her young assistant Will (Robin Dunne) and Henry (Ryan Robbins) are dealing with a crisis of abnormals from Hollow Earth coming to our world and revolting. It’s a crisis that will lead to the Sanctuary eventually being forced to break free from all government oversight and go rogue.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Sanctuary is an original high definition production captured on the Red One cinematographic HD camera and it arrives in a progressive AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement on Blu-ray from Entertainment One. The image holds a strong amount of detail in skin and fabric that extends from close-up shots well into the backgrounds. The color palette of the series isn’t one that is going to leap from the screen, favoring blacks, greys, dark blues, and earth tones, but color reproduction is natural with spot on flesh tones. Shadow detail is greatly nuanced with not much evidence of noise in darker areas of the image, however, blacks aren’t very inky and contrast seems somewhat hindered, as if the overall gamma is set on the higher side.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

A DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is the sole audio option available. It is your average sci-fi television mix with a subtle blend of discrete effects and atmospherics in the surround channels supported by clear dialogue in the center channel and a good bit of low frequencies in the subwoofer.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

A wealth of cast and crew commentaries plus high definition “making of” featurettes make the bonus features included on Sanctuary Season 4 a strong option.

The supplements:

  • Cast and Crew Audio Commentary :
    • Episode 2: Uprising
    • Episode 9: Chimera
    • Episode 11 – The Depths
    • Episode 12 – Sanctuary for None Part 1
    • Episode 13 – Sanctuary for None Part 2
  • Amanda Cam (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:13:19) – A day on the set with Amanda Tapping, includes candid footage and interviews with the cast.
  • Tempus – Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:14:22) – The cast and crew discuss the production of the opening episode.
  • Robin Dunne Directs Homecoming (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:23) – A look behind the scenes at actor Robin Dunne (Will) directing his first episode for the series, “Homecoming”.
  • Fugue – Making a Musical (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:19:53) – A look behind the scenes at the musical episode includes interviews with the cast and composer.
  • Gag Reel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:34)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 00:21:09)
  • Sanctuary for Kids – PSA announcement for the Sanctuary for Kids non-profit charity to help children in crisis around the world.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

The fourth season of Sanctuary makes some small changes, but they are just enough to keep the show interesting. The season also includes what, I guess, is by now the inevitable musical episode, although “Fugue” doesn’t quite live up to Buffy’s musical chops. In all, this is a pleasing season for sci-fi geeks and a solid Blu-ray effort.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B007XF0XLQ[/amazon-product]

Purchase Sanctuary: The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Sanctuary, Season 4 - Sanctuary on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B007XF0XLQ[/amazon-product]

Purchase Sanctuary: The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Sanctuary, Season 4 - Sanctuary on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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