Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Threshold: The Complete Series

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
6 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Carla Gugino as Dr. Molly Anne Caffrey
Brian Van Holt as Sean Cavennaugh
Brent Spiner as Dr. Nigel Fenway
Robert Patrick Benedict as Lucas Pegg
Peter Dinklage as Arthur Ramsey
Charles S. Dutton as J.T. Baylock

Special Features:
12 episodes on 4 discs

"The Threshold Brain Trust" 4-part documentary

"Threshold Visual Effects" featurette

"Behind the Fractal" featurette with writer-producer Andre Bormanis

Deleted Scenes

Commentary on the pilot episode "Trees Made of Glass" by Executive Producers David Goyer and Brannon Braga

Other Info:
Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 9 Hours 15 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"The U.S. Navy makes a chilling discovery: An extraterrestrial craft has landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

As a result, Deputy National Security Advisor J.T. Baylock (Charles S. Dutton) must quickly assemble a team of experts to prepare for the possibility of an unprecedented crisis situation - an alien invasion. The response plan activated by the government is dubbed Threshold - and the gathered members of the team are experts in their individual pursuits. Dr. Molly Anne Caffrey (Carla Gugino) is the contingency analyst responsible for monitoring, and acting on, the potential global crisis. Her handpicked specialists include Dr. Nigel Fenway (Brent Spiner, a NASA microbiologist; Lucas Pegg (Rob Benedict), a brilliant physicist; Arthur Ramsey (Peter Dinklage), an expert in languages and mathematics; and Cavennaugh (Brian Van Holt), a skillfully trained covert operative. Together, they must unlock the mysteries - and determine the intentions of - the strange, other-worldly visitors now here in our midst!"

"Threshold: The Complete Series" is not rated.

Mini-Review:
Back in 2005, there were three alien TV series set to debut. One was "Threshold" on CBS , another was "Surface" on NBC, and the other was "Invasion" on ABC. I chose to follow "Threshold." After all, it was written by David Goyer ("Blade," "Batman Begins"), it starred Brent Spiner (Data from "Star Trek"), the beautiful Carla Gugino led the team, and the show had a strong supporting cast. I was fully on board. However, as I watched the pilot episode, I found myself getting more and more bored. The show never engaged me and I never felt all that compelled to follow the series. About 2 months later, the series was cancelled.

So when this DVD arrived, I returned to the series to see if I had missed out on anything, particularly in the four episodes included that never aired on TV. As I watched it, I found that it had some particularly strong elements that I had overlooked as well as some particularly weak ones. However, the end result was still the same I didn't feel any "Lost"-like compulsion to follow what would happen to the characters next.

As already mentioned, the cast of this series was first rate. With the likes of Carla Gugino, Brent Spiner, Peter Dinklage, and Charles S. Dutton, you can't go wrong. They made the characters interesting and entertaining. The real problem was with the story itself. It's an alien invasion series, yet there are no real aliens in it. The aliens are just regular people that are brainwashed and infected. There's not much exciting about a guy that is a normal human one minute and an alien the next minute with no discernable change other than the fact that they can throw things real far, they act ticked off, and they eat a lot of protein. At least on an alien invasion series like "V," they had lizard aliens. This is largely attributable to the budget of the series, but you'd think they could throw in more monsters.

Since this series was cancelled, the story is left open ended. If you are a person that happens to get hooked after watching the DVD, you're going to be out of luck when you get to the final episode. I doubt you'll see a resurrection here like with the prematurely cancelled "Firefly." Because of this, I'm not sure who to recommend this DVD to. If you happen to like it, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. I suppose the people who will most enjoy this are fans of the series that want to check out the unaired episodes. Maybe that will give them some closure.

There are a few decent DVD bonus features included. "The Threshold Brain Trust" discusses the premise of the series, the casting, and other bits of info. "Threshold Visual Effects" is self explanatory. They cover the 4-D alien object, the cockroaches, and the glass forest. "Behind the Fractal" discusses the logo of the series and the meaning behind it. You'll also find Deleted Scenes and commentary on the pilot episode "Trees Made of Glass" by Executive Producers David Goyer and Brannon Braga.

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