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StarCreator writes...

I just finished watching the first season DVD. Since Ask Greg seems to be open for questions again (probably proving how infrequently I stop in), I figured it would be as good a place as any to leave my comments.

The first thing I checked out was the commentary. It's always interesting to hear the staff talk about their work, and you get some gems of information you would never hear otherwise. However, I'm a bit disappointed that Keith didn't talk a little bit more frequently in the three episodes of commentary that he participated in. Not that disappointed though, since he did have a few good bits here and there.

That bit about the gun change surprised me; even though my old VHS tape from TV had all the next ep previews/credits/openings cut to run the whole thing in sequence, I had never noticed. Nearly fell out of my couch for that one.

One bit about "The Thrill of the Hunt": one scene that I definitely didn't remember from previous viewings was a gargoyle statue's head being smashed as the Pack scaled the building to chase Goliath and Lexington. Nice to see some cut bits of episodes put back in their rightful places - this little bit makes that scene make that much more sense.

By the time I got to "Deadly Force" (and wow, I just typo'd that as "Deafly Force" there for a minute), I was impressed at how far the envelope was pushed in this series, considering the target audience and timeslot it had. In this episode alone, we not only have the dead body chalk outline on the street, but Elisa actually flatlining for a bit. Wow.

We also have Goliath referring to the first meal of the night as "dinner" here, while two episodes later in "The Edge", Broadway refers to it as "breakfast". I wonder if that means their food choices for said first meal are similarly different...

I think that's all I really wanted to say about the content of the show - since if I went into complete praise and gushing, I'd probably have a novel on my hands. I'd probably also end up derailing myself even further with all my random comments I keep inserting. But rewatching these episodes reminded me of how impressive and epic the series is, and even with a decade of age, that feeling hasn't changed.

Whoa, hey, the blurb about the DVD to my left that I've been staring as while writing this mispells Keith David's first name.

Woo, derailed again.

On the technical side of things now...

DVD menus were fairly OK. Transition times are a bit too long for my taste, but for the most part didn't bother me that much. The imagery is interesting - I was a little bit put off with the main menu animation at first, but I warmed up to it after letting it loop a couple of times. I like the use of the theme song in its original incarnation to depict a duality between the calm of the gargoyles' stone sleep and their nighttime awakening.

I also like how both the Sun and the Moon rise and set in the same direction.

One big thing that surprised me was the lack of chapter stops within each episode. A long history of collecting anime DVDs has taught me that episodes should always be chaptered for quick and easy seeking - in this case, I expected chaptering for Opening, Previously+Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, End Credits. With every episode stored onto its own chapter, I ended up having to memorize the times of points I wanted to return to should I want to jump around, which I think is a tremendous inconvenience for something so easily implemented.

Video quality was impressive, as far as I could tell from the old TV I was watching on. The show pretty much looked just the way it did when I first watched it on TV, without nasty artifacts from our poor terrestrial reception. I was particularly impressed that all the scenes I spot-checked didn't show any combed frames as I stepped through. I bet this would look marvelous on the HDTV.

Keith's growl bit at the Gathering amuses me. I wonder how many times he can do that consecutively. I'd probably have no voice left after one attempt.

I'm left wondering why, after there was a decently-sized Gathering featurette, that there was no link to the Gathering website or any information on the Gathering at Las Vegas in 2005. I thought it would have been the perfect place to put it, unless there are some legal reasons that prevent such a thing. (I was also kind of expecting a disclaimer stating that the Gathering was not affiliated in any way with Walt Disney Co., etc., etc...)

And I think I'll end my disjointed mad ramblings here before inflicting mental harm on any who would happen to read it. Again, I'm glad I finally have the DVD in my hands, and aside from a couple of minor technical gripes, it's fantastic and I have all hopes for getting some more in my hands too.

Greg responds...

I would have liked a website for the Gathering too... and I asked for it, but was turned down. I wasn't told why.

Response recorded on October 11, 2006