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Without a Trace - The Complete First Season
     

Without a Trace - The Complete First Season

4.5 4

Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Poppy Montgomery, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Enrique Murciano Jr.

 
The first season of Without A Trace eluded this reviewer when it first aired -- it somehow got lost in the shuffle between other Jerry Bruckheimer productions (not to mention Dick Wolf productions . . .) -- and so this seven-side/four-disc set was greatly appreciated on its own terms. The entire 22-show run is here, on six of the seven sides, accessible through

Overview

The first season of Without A Trace eluded this reviewer when it first aired -- it somehow got lost in the shuffle between other Jerry Bruckheimer productions (not to mention Dick Wolf productions . . .) -- and so this seven-side/four-disc set was greatly appreciated on its own terms. The entire 22-show run is here, on six of the seven sides, accessible through simple, straightforward dual-layer menus with the bonus features simple to activate (one only wishes they were as simple to de-activate), and the presentation is somewhat better than adequate -- the letterboxed (1.78-to-1) images are clean, sharp, and bright, and the sound is well-mastered, sufficiently so that one too easily hears Anthony LaPaglia's Australian accent at various times; and the music is also well represented. But one wishes that there were more chapter-markers for each show, The special features are a mixed bag. The audio commentary by creator Hank Steinberg and executive producer Ed Redlich over the first episode has some occasionally interesting information, such as the fact that the show was conceived in the wake of the Chandra Levy case. But too much of it is devoted to telling us what we're seeing on screen, and about mundane, day-to-day decision-making that would only be of interest to the most hardcore fans of the series; additionally, their commentary is mastered at much too low a volume level, requiring a serious boost to make it properly audible. Further, that episode seems to run short in terms of total running time, with no explanation. Much more interesting is the presentation of the season's final episode, Fallout, which was originally a two-part show but which has been re-edited here to a single feature-length cut without fades for commercials or any other interruptions, and with five minutes of footage that was shot but never shown on the network telecast or the syndicated version of the show -- it's also accompanied by solo commentary by Hank Steinberg (who also wrote the episode), which is far stronger that his work in tandem with Redlich on the pilot episode. He ranges across the thinking behind the episode's creation (it was never supposed to be a two-part show), and lavishes well-deserved praise on director Kevin Hooks, who handled the first half of the two-part show. One wishes that he'd credited Leonard Cohen as writer of the song "Hallelujah" (he names it as a Jeff Buckley song, Buckley having sung this particular recording); and one wishes someone could have addressed the fact that the bookstore where most of the episode takes place has more open floor space than any functioning bookstore, operating under twenty-first century New York rents, could ever possibly offer and stay in business. The two featurettes dealing with the origins of the series and its production techniques, and its look, are also quite fascinating, and explain Bruckheimer's profound influence on the shape of the series as its executive producer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Christina Urban
Without a Trace, the riveting police procedural and investigative drama about an FBI team that searches for missing people, debuted in 2002, continuing CSI executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer's impressive streak of hot TV dramas. Series star Anthony LaPaglia stars as senior agent Jack Malone, head of the FBI's Missing Persons Squad, a special task force that combines profiling and psychology with traditional investigative techniques. Malone's team includes agents Samantha Spade (Poppy Montgomery), Vivian Johnson (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), Danny Taylor (Enrique Murciano), and rookie Martin Fitzgerald (Eric Close). Each brings unique strengths to the unit -- such as Johnson's knack for dealing with the families of the missing -- and their goal is achieve a result within 48 hours; any longer than that, Malone explains, and the person is unlikely to be found. The absorbing part of the show lies in following the team members in their investigations, from talking to family members to delving into the most personal aspects of the missing person's life. The series' pilot offers up tantalizing clues surrounding a missing marketing executive as the team re-creates the woman's previous 24 hours, which included contact with two lovers, job tension, and a cocaine purchase. Other fascinating investigations in this first season include the searches for: an 11-year-old who disappears on an outing to Yankee Stadium in "Birthday Boy"; a businessman whose double life is revealed after he goes missing before an airline flight home in "Silent Partner"; and a pregnant woman who disappears in "Underground Railroad." Amber Tamblyn makes a noteworthy pre-Joan of Arcadia appearance in "Clare de Lune," about a teen who vanishes from a mental hospital while suffering from psychosis. When the team finally discovers what happened to each person after an episode-long investigation, it's as satisfying for the viewers as it is for the agents.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2004
UPC:
0085393370329
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
16:32:00
Sales rank:
77,399

Special Features

Closed Caption; Exclusive expanded version of season finale episode with added footage never telecast; Commentary by series creator Hank Steinberg on both the pilot and season finale and also by executive producer Ed Redlich on the pilot; Learn "The Motive" behind the show's creation; "Fingerprints": The visual imprint of the show's designers; "Missing Evidence": Unaired scenes; Subtitles: English, Français, & Español

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1, Side A
1. Meet the Team [12:17]
2. "She's a Role Player" [9:31]
3. Ransom Note [6:56]
4. Nepal Connection [11:56]
5. End Credits [:31]
1. Subway Separation [4:04]
2. Patterns of Abduction [11:54]
3. Profiled as an Adult [7:25]
4. Running Away.... or To? [7:25]
5. The Scam [10:29]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Happy Couple [2:51]
2. She Knows the Assailant? [9:05]
3. Secrets of a Marriage [12:11]
4. The Good Samaritan? [7:18]
5. Train Depot Intercept [9:54]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Many Faces of Eve [3:55]
2. Places in Her Life [11:10]
3. Photo Match [7:54]
4. Exploited Innocence [12:37]
5. Hang on to Me [7:28]
6. End Credits [:32]
Side #2 -- Disc 1, Side B
1. Overly Helpful [4:40]
2. Danny's Search [11:54]
3. No Warrant [6:58]
4. Telltale Tattoo [7:50]
5. Riders in the Rain [12:29]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Empty Suitcases [2:06]
2. Double Life [10:22]
3. Mystery Man... and a Tail [9:43]
4. Whistle Blower [8:54]
5. Currents of Doubt [9:48]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Here and Gone [2:51]
2. Digging for Motives [12:29]
3. Like Serpico [7:24]
4. Unknown Woman [8:21]
5. Mother to Mother [10:08]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Into the Night [4:33]
2. William's Siblings [9:40]
3. $25,000 Mystery [11:10]
4. Misidentification [7:54]
5. On the Take [8:06]
6. End Credits [:31]
Side #3 -- Disc 2, Side A
1. Respected to Suspected [3:26]
2. No CDC, No Wedding [9:12]
3. Sleeper Track [10:43]
4. Jurisdictional Hardball [7:18]
5. Greenlight [10:44]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. "I Know My Husband" [5:00]
2. Nothing Checks Out [6:22]
3. Witness Protection Program [11:58]
4. Kyla [10:12]
5. Dead Again [8:47]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Ravenwood [2:58]
2. The Annie & Siobhan Show [14:57]
3. News No One Wants [10:35]
4. Secret Lovers [6:21]
5. Drawing Out the Suspect [7:56]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Diagnosis: Preeclampsia [3:02]
2. Hospital Security Cam [9:34]
3. Short Fuse [9:02]
4. The Front [12:50]
5. The Address [8:54]
6. End Credits [:31]
Side #4 -- Disc 2, Side B
1. The Searcher [4:23]
2. On the Edge [9:35]
3. A Lead: Man With a Dog [7:34]
4. Adoption Chain [8:30]
5. Reunion [14:16]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. No Body [3:14]
2. Internet Dating [10:47]
3. Georgia Peach [10:39]
4. Copycat Crime [5:19]
5. Divide and Conquer [13:28]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Wedding Banquet [4:03]
2. Imperfect Past [13:54]
3. VHS Tape [9:42]
4. Tracing Raymond [5:40]
5. Something to Hide [10:29]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Timeout Room [2:07]
2. Post-Traumatic Stress [8:29]
3. The Loft [11:38]
4. Danny: What Clare Saw [7:51]
5. Monster in the Drawings [10:54]
6. End Credits [:31]
Side #5 -- Disc 3, Side A
1. Tribute [3:57]
2. Fighting Words [11:14]
3. Congressman Whitehurst [7:42]
4. Grunt's Perspective [7:06]
5. Name, Rank, Serial Number [12:57]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Crimestopper [3:28]
2. Protected Sources [9:31]
3. Reason to Be Afraid [6:35]
4. Jack's Family: Threatened [7:44]
5. Electronic Delia [14:29]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Man and Horace Mann [4:24]
2. Not the Same Recently [7:04]
3. "Who Hit You?" [11:38]
4. Incriminating Photos [6:45]
5. Teen Fatale [13:11]
6. End Credits [:31]
1. Fight Night [3:10]
2. Brothers [9:49]
3. Root of All Evil [8:17]
4. A Fix [8:29]
5. Kiss of Death [13:58]
6. End Credits [:31]
Side #6 -- Disc 3, Side B
1. "They're After Your Head" [5:16]
2. Lead Investigator [6:50]
3. Truths, Lies and Fears [10:21]
4. Fall Guys [9:48]
5. Endings and New Beginnings [11:25]
6. End Credits [:32]
1. Going Down [2:43]
2. Drop Gone Bad [10:29]
3. 9/11 Connection [10:27]
4. On the Line [8:47]
5. Gunshots [11:13]
6. "Who's the Cop?" [6:02]
7. The Trade [12:50]
8. And Then There Were Two [10:00]
9. Ground Zero [8:27]
10. Second Chances [8:44]
11. End Credits [:31]

Customer Reviews

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Without a Trace - The Complete First Season 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This years release of the first season on DVD was a total surprise. It seems to stand alone in the area of TV police and detective shows. I am rating it right up there with CSI for collectabilty. A must have for anyone who likes action, yet has a 'human' quality unsurpassed in the other shows. La Paglia shines!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without a Trace combines the suspense of a crime show with the raw emotion of a drama. It engages both part of the brain to think the analytical left side as well as the creative right side. It is truly a beautiful & perfect show.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago