Review View All
Dolby Digital (5.1)
8 Hours 24 Minutes
Television Series, Crime
8th October 2005
Lieutenant Horatio 'H' Caine
Chief Medical Examiner Alexx Woods, M.D.
CSI Miami is based on the hugely popular original Crime Scene Investigation series set in Las Vegas and when it premiered on the American CBS television network it earned the highest rating of any network premiere in the past eight years. But this success was no fluke, it is based on a highly successful formula which, if done correctly, could be easily transplanted to any American city with a bit of a reputation and enough locations to keep the stories flowing. And in the case of CSI, they've packed their bags and headed for the sun in Miami and the sights in New York with two successful spin off series.
CSI Miami chronicles the work of the Miami crime investigators and is set against the sun, fun and tropics of the Florida tourist haven. Naturally, there's always a hidden and more seeder side to most exotic and vibrant locations, and there's always a near continual supply of suspicious deaths to investigate. Leading the team is Horatio Caine, and as an ex-bomb squad detective he is no stranger to confrontations with criminals and the underworld. If Horatio is on the case then you'd better get your story straight as this man will soon have you behind bars. His second in command is DNA specialist Megan Donner who has returned to the team after six months bereavement leave after the death of her husband.
The rest of the team is made up with the best criminologists that Miami can offer starting off with Calleigh Duquesne a bilingual ballistics expert who has the looks of a beauty queen but who can hold her own with any perpetrator, Eric Delko, a Russian Cuban Miami native and underwater recovery expert with strong ties to the large Miami Cuban community, Tim Speedle, a talented young criminologist and trace expert and, rounding of the talented team, Alex Woods, a no-nonsense coroner who always sees a body as a person with a story to tell and not simply a corpse.
- Episode 201 - Blood Brothers Miami's fashion week claims a victim when a young model is killed in a hit and run. The CSIs find unexpected obstacles when they connect the evidence to two South American brothers under the protection of the U.S. State Department.
- Episode 202 - Dead Zone When an undersea treasure hunter is found spear gunned to the hull of his boat, the CSIs find themselves dropped into the murky depths of treasure and modern day piracy.
- Episode 203 - Hard Time The team is called to a crime scene only to find that their 'body' is still breathing - and that the trail of evidence stops dead on a man already behind bars.
- Episode 204 - Death Grip In a touching and painfully truthful episode, The CSIs must race against the clock - as the disappearance of a teenage girl poses a question that can only be answered by a 12-foot, and rather hungry, endangered reptile.
- Episode 205 - The Best Defense When the heir to a Miami sugar fortune is the lone survivor of a brutal nightclub shooting, the CSIs must cross the lines of class and privilege to solve the crime.
- Episode 206 - Hurricane Anthony The CSIs lend a hand in disaster relief as Hurricane Anthony touches down in Miami leaving three dead bodies and some wincing images in its wake.
- Episode 207 - Grand Prix With the apparent murder of a member of a racing teams pit crew at the Miami Grand Prix, the CSIs are called in to solve the crime.
- Episode 208 - Big Brother While the CSIs rush to solve the murder of a web-surfing businessman, Horatio comes face to face with a little girl who bears a distinct resemblance to his long dead brother.
- Episode 209 - Bait Delko is forced to keep a secret from Horatio when the search for a woman's killer leads straight to one of their own.
- Episode 210 - Extreme When a beautiful socialite turns up dead, the CSIs uncover a bizarre and potentially violent kidnapping game for the idle rich.
- Episode 211 - Complications The truth is anything but pretty as the CSIs investigate the apparent suicide of a cosmetic surgeon founding hanging in his apartment.
- Episode 212 - Witness To Murder Is Horatio Caine going soft? In another touching episode, the CSIs are called in to investigate an apparent road rage murder. However, the CSI team must take their cues from an eyewitness who is developmentally disabled.
Picture and Sound
The picture is bright and colourful with a high level of detail throughout with the opening credits of each episode looking particularly impressive. Although an episode has an above average bitrate, with some good black levels, at times the picture could be a little too soft and grainy which was then exacerbated by high contrast levels in some of the exterior scenes. Fortunately, image problems are a fairly rare occurrence and, far from being disappointing, some of the episodes belittled its television origins. Never the less, I have this feeling that if we still had to rely on our humble video recorders that this series would have been a picture disaster.
Given that this is a television series CSI Miami is surprisingly equipped with a 448Kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Still, being a heavily dialogue based programme the majority of the action occurs in the centre channel. This dialogue is crisp and clear whilst the front stereo channels offer some reasonable stereo steerage. Although there is some reasonable use of the surround channels, it usually ended up just being musical score with the very occasional ambient effect. I also failed to detect any signs of LFE effects. Never the less, this really is a television series which continues to think that its a Hollywood film and it really does add to its viewing pleasure.
With the original CSI being a hugely successful series it was always going to be hard to improve. So the producers and script writers got together and came up with a brilliant idea - why not keep the same gripping formula with all the crime scene gadgets and special effects and just move it to another location? This has resulted in two new series that keep the punters happy week after week. With a team of agents based in sun drenched Miami, and another now plying their trade in New York, the formula that made the original CSI such a success continues unabated. And what's more, as the series matures it simply gets better and better.
Whilst my previous Miami review had me stating that I found Lieutenant Horatio Caine's tone a bit bossy, this season has continued to see me warm to his presence with a less frosty and more caring persona which is brought to a peak in the excellent Witness To Murder episode. Mind you, those canny "gotcha" quips, his Fox Mulder stances and the stony eyes that always stare into the distance at the end of an episode continue to make me laugh as I always end up thinking of the comical endings to Police Squad. Still, who cares, CSI : Miami is an extremely entertaining series and long may it continue. It's just a pity that we continue to suffer with the half season boxset whilst our American friends get a complete season at the same price.
- Blood Brothers Commentary
- Hard Time Commentary
- Hurricane Anthony Commentary
- Complications Commentary
- Witness To Murder Commentary
- The AV Lab Tour
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