Review View All
Dolby Digital (5.1)
10 Hours 11 Minutes
Television Series, Crime, Drama, Comedy
9th May 2009
Michael C. Hall
Lt. Maria Laguerta
Sergeant James Doakes
Dexter Morgan is a Miami Metro Police Department blood spatter analyst. Not what you'd call the most exciting of jobs, but Dexter leads a double life. When he's not helping the Miami Homicide division solve gruesome and grizzly murders, Dexter spends his time hunting and killing bad guys who slip through, or wiggle their way out of, the justice system. Whilst he'll happily charm his fellow officers with a tasty doughnut with chocolate sprinkles and freshly ground coffee, Dexter's mind is always off thinking about chopping up a victim and packaging their body parts in plastic bags ready for disposal in his "special place". I guess he's just your average psychotic killer who channels his behaviour into the scum of society.
The end of the first season saw Dexter kill his brother (for the uninitiated, serial murderers run in the family as his brother was known as the Ice Truck Killer) and Dexter now finds himself unable to kill again. He certainly wants to, and in fact needs to, but he is unnerved by feelings he can't understand that prevent him from despatching his latest victim. Trying to recover his killer instincts, Dexter decides he needs more of a challenge and sets his sights on a mountain-sized gangster called Little Chino. But with his nerves still on edge, Little Chino manages to escape from Dexter's lair. Unfortunately for Dexter, Chino is now ready and waiting for him and Dexter is going to have his work cut out trying to trap him.
But if Dexter didn't think his problems could get any worse, treasure hunting divers in the bay have just come across his special burial ground and Agent Lundy, a high-profile FBI agent, comes to Miami Metro PD to break the case of the city's newly discovered serial killer - the aptly named Bay Harbour Butcher. And with Sergeant James Doakes highly suspicious of Dexter, and trailing him where ever he goes, plus the Miami Metro Police Department is now spending all of its time and resources tracking down the newly christened Bay Harbour Butcher, could Dexter's murdering days be about to catch up with him?
Picture and Sound
The picture is wonderfully bright and colourful with a high level of detail throughout. The creepy (well, for someone who is not too keen on the sight of blood - or the thought of it) the opening credits of each episode look particularly impressive. With the many night time locations, the bright lights of downtown Miami and not forgetting the inviting beaches (and the not so inviting gang infested suburbs), the transfer is wonderfully rich with some solid black levels and massive range of colours.
It's certainly a cracking transfer and, given the location, I couldn't stop comparing it with the equally impressive CSI : Miami. Given that the first series of Dexter is also available on Blu-Ray in the US, the image quality of the standard DVD ensures that it's one of the best looking TV series currently out there on DVD - with the High-Definition version undoubtedly looking even more sumptuous that the version reviewed here. The image transfer certainly covers Dexter's humble television origins, so let's just hope his murdering ways aren't missed out for too long and a UK Blu-Ray release is planned.
Unusually for a television series, Dexter is presented with a 448Kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Whilst this all sounds like a good thing, and something that's going to become more and more common in this digital and High-definition age, the actual soundtrack offers very little in the surround department. Never the less, the dialogue is clear and precise whilst the dramatic musical score is blended perfectly with the rest of the audio. Whilst there is some activity in the surround channels, its mainly used for ambient effects and reinforcing the engaging musical score. Not bad for a television series.
Just why is Dexter such addictive viewing? After all, this guy is a serial murderer - and a pretty effective one too. Sure, he only ensures that the bad guys and society's dross end up at the bottom of the bay, but it's surprisingly compulsive viewing. Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (I hope the FBI have checked him out!) and adapted for television by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter James Manos, the dialogue is as sharp as some of Dexter's surgical tools and, at times, it's so humorous you can't help laughing at some outlandish quip that you'd normally expect from someone like James Bond after he's dispatched a villain. So, does that help answer the question?
Given the subject matter Dexter really shouldn't have made it to the small screen (although I'm sure a big screen adaptation could have worked extremely well). Never the less, we do have a television series and it works remarkably well - even more so when you consider the amazing popularity of the series. Quite what has happened in TV land in the US is beyond me - especially when you consider the amount of "out there" series they have. With the likes of the, albeit now cancelled, Pushing Daises and the extremely popular Desperate Housewives you have to wonder just who these young executives and producers are out there taking chances. Unfortunately, I dare say that the credit crunch will now have a big effect on what new programming emerges from Dexter's shadow with only those series that "play it safe" making the airwaves. Still, I guess Dexter could always have a crack at a few bankers, or even a spin off show following a similar banker butchering theme!
It goes without saying that this DVD should be kept well away from children, but for mature teenagers or adults, Dexter is a fantastic series that will surely find itself amongst the holy grail of being called a "classic". Given the quality of the image transfer, plus the fact it has been recorded in high-definition, I just hope the programme's distributors find the time and effort to release Dexter in the UK on Blu-Ray. It's just a shame about the quality of those extras.
- The Code of Harry
- Interview with Dexter Composer Rolfe Kent
- Interview with Jeff Lindsay, Author of Darkly Dreaming Dexter
- Dexter's Tool Kit
- Victim Slides
- Dexter Trivia Game
- Stills Gallery
- Waiting to Exhale
- See Through
- Dex, Lies and Videotape
- Morning Comes
- Cast Biographies and Filmographies
Latest Reviews View All
Dream House : A perfect family. A terrifying secret. When a family unknowingly moves into a home where grisly murders were committed they end up uncovering even darker mysteries within its walls.
0 comments 0 reactions
- A Dangerous Method : Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley star in director David Cronenberg's adaptation of Christopher Hampton's play detailing the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund ...0 comments 0 reactions
- Made in Chelsea : Series 4 : They're back. Expect more drama than ever, some immaculate dressing, plenty of recession free spending and some fabulous destinations in Series 4 of Made in Chelsea.0 comments 0 reactions
- The Revenant : When Bart, a soldier serving in Iraq, wakes up the morning after his own funeral, he does what every normal person does when climbing out of a coffin - head off to see his best friend and carry on lif...0 comments 0 reactions
Most Popular View All
Shameless : Series 10 : The unthinkable has happened - the Department of Work and Pensions have finally caught up with job dodger Frank. Faced with losing his benefits, he finds himself in a nightmare fantasy on death row, he's a 'dead man walking' to... a j...
17 hits 0 comments 0 reactions
- Racing Stripes : A baby Zebra is adopted by farmer's daughter and grows up thinking that it's a racehorse with a burning desire to race in the Kentucky Open.17 hits 0 comments 0 reactions
- Max Payne : The Harder Cut : Max Payne moves from the video game arena to the big screen as a rogue cop out for revenge for the brutal murder of his wife and family. Get ready for beautiful women, dark allies and plenty of gunfir...11 hits 0 comments 0 reactions
- The Chronicles of Riddick : Necromongers. If they cannot convert you, they will kill you. In normal times this evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, it should be fought by another kind of evil. And that evil is ...7 hits 0 comments 0 reactions