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Published by The Washington Times | Joseph Szadkowski
The Shield: The Complete Series (Mill Creek Entertainment, rated TV-MA, $99.99) — One of the most celebrated as well as controversial crime dramas in the history of television returns in an 18 Blu-ray disc, boxed set boasting new 4K scans from the original 16mm camera negatives on all 88 episodes.
Creator Shawn Ryan’s “The Shield,” was originally seen on the FX Network between 2002 and 2008, drawing in viewers for seven seasons. Michael Chiklis won an Emmy and Golden Globe for his role as antihero Detective Vic Mackey.
Mackey leads members of the Strike Team, who follow his set of morally ambiguous rules, and together they clean out the complex criminal elements on the streets of Los Angeles.
The gritty and violent show pulled no punches on Mackey’s quest to beat back evil. The show co-starred Walton Goggins (Strike Team member and Mackey’s best friend Shane Vendrell); Catherine Dent (patrol officer Danny Sofer); and Benito Martinez (interfering Capt. David Aceveda), with appearances from Glenn Close (Capt. Monica Rawling) and Forest Whitaker (Internal Affairs Lt. Jon Kavanaugh), to name a few.
Purists will frown on the 1.78:1 aspect ratio applied to all the shows (the first five season were shown in the U.S. with a 1.33:1, 4x3 aspect ratio) but the high definition remaster, supervised by Mr. Ryan, demands the screen-filling presentation and is well worth the price of admission.
Notable extras: The packaging of the set is in itself an extra. A thick cardboard fold-over slipcase with a magnetic lid opens to reveal a sturdy book embossed with a metal shield and a typed introduction page from Mr. Ryan. Each Blu-ray gets housed in a cardboard page and is illustrated with characters from the show.
The bonus content will consume fans. Start with more than 60 optional cast and crew commentary tracks; dozens of deleted scenes; an 80-minute documentary focused on the Season 3 finale; an hour long dissection of Season 4; and another 90-minute, behind-the-scenes overview of Season 5
Another pair of Blu-ray discs continue the extras assault with goodies that include a nearly hour long 2018 cast reunion, a 2016 hour long writers panel, cast audition tapes and a 48-minute director’s round table.