E.R.: The Complete Tenth Season (2003)

Genre(s): Drama
Warner Brothers || NR - 987 minutes - $49.98 || March 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-03-19


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Michael Crichton (created by)
Cast: Noah Wyle, Maura Tierney, Goran Visnjic, Mekhi Phifer, Parminder Nagra


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Chinese, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

There’s no doubt that even in its weaker years, “ER” is a high quality drama series able to nab some great talent and consistent dramatic storylines with characters you can care about. Personally, I was never an avid watcher. I have seen the occasional episode throughout the years via syndication but jumping back in was too hard to do.

In its 10th season (2003-04), “ER” begins with the staff the return of Dr. Carter (Noah Wyle) – the series’ longest appearing cast member – from his humanitarian trip in Africa where he left Dr. Kovac (Goran Visnjic) who decided to stay. Upon his return to Chicago, he must face terms with Abby (Maura Tierney) who begged him not to go and now their relationship is on the outs. The premiere also features a new doctor-in-training Neela Rasgotra (Parminder Nagra) who, as we’ve seen in previous seasons, learns some lessons...

I’m not going to do a blow by blow account of the season only to also mention the second episode, ‘The Lost’, in which Carter returns in Africa after he discovers that Kovac has apparently been killed during the violent civil war in Africa. The entire episode takes place in Africa as Carter tries everything he can to find his friend’s body and return him home. Now, if you’re an avid watcher, you already knew the outcome and even as a bystander, I felt that while this was a typical dramatic stunt in drama-creation, the episode itself was well acted including the introduction of Debbie played by Mary McCormack.

This tenth season of “ER” features some good storylines and fine acting from probably one of the better cast ensembles on television. Even in its lesser seasons, “ER” still has some great plotlines and acting over the years from George Clooney to Anthony Edwards and Eriq La Salle (I still love the opening which features La Salle doing a little victory punch). Now, season 10, while not fantastic, is still intriguing, probably more so than the dramas, especially medical ones, on TV today.

Although I rarely watched “ER”, I am saddened a little that the series is coming to a close this year (2008-09), mainly because it was almost like a security blanket. For the past 15 years, the show has been on every Thursday night but with the declining numbers, the series gets put out to pasture as NBC turns to more (cheaper) reality television.

EPISODE LIST:
01. Now What?
02. The Lost
03. Dear Abby
04. Shifts Happen
05. Out of Africa
06. The Greater Good
07. Death and Taxes
08. Freefall
09. Missing
10. Makemba
11. Touch and Go
12. NICU
13. Get Carter
14. Impulse Control
15. Blood Relations
16. Forgive and Forget
17. The Student
18. Where There’s Smoke
19. Just a Touch
20. Abby Normal
21. Midnight
22. Drive



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The DVD comes packaged in a double wide keep case that contains all six discs. Not sure if other seasons were this way, but this is a much better solution than those digipaks but it seems it also matches previous season sets.

Not much going on in the special features. Four episodes have some unaired scenes and there is also a gag reel.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“ER” is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78) and all in all, it looks good. This season is only 5 years old so I wouldn’t expect anything less. Colors are at the right levels (not too dark, not too bright) and black levels not overly crushed.

The show comes with a regular Dolby Digital 2.0 track which, I guess is OK, but I think a 5.1 channel track would’ve been preferable. That said, the audio is decent enough given there’s plenty of dialogue amidst the dramatic score.



.::OVERALL::.

As I’ve said, I am not an avid viewer of “ER” so I cannot compare it too much with previous seasons, that being said, I was entertained by most episodes and found the quality in the production, writing and acting to all be top notch and probably at a higher level than most shows. Obviously fans of the show will pick this up in a heartbeat, though I would wait until it comes on sale (which it will at some point), but for others like myself, you might want to wait for the inevitable complete series box set...