Recently, the folks at Universal Studios Home Entertainment unveiled three very different-but-wholly-similar SyFy shows to DVD: a venerable assortment of television series that should appeal to almost everything a science fiction lover could want. From the newly-established Alphas, to the well-known humor and heart of Warehouse 13, and to the final hoorah of the show-stopping Eureka, this trio of TV goodies are worth their respective weights in gold.
Alphas: Season One stars the great David Strathairn — which, in itself, should tell you this is a great show, as Mr. Strathairn has the ability to liven up even the most dreadful of items with his wonderful tenor and authoritative presence. Of course, Alphas isn’t a dreadful item. In fact, it’s quite nice. The premise here finds David as the leader of a clandestine group of folks with exceptional brain abnormalities — anomalies which have endowed them with superhuman mental and/or physical strengths that good ol’ Uncle Sam is just-a-hankerin’ to exploit.
And the US Government does so admirably: sending David and his crew (Warren Christie, Malik Yoba, Azita Ghanizada, Laura Mennell, and Ryan Cartwright) out on various missions that are usually the results of bad Alphas at play. The three-disc set of Alphas: Season One presents all 11 episodes of this fun show that has true potential — and the DVD release comes complete with several special features, including behind-the-scenes stuff, an extended version of the series’ premiere episode, and deleted scenes.
Warehouse 13: Season Three brings us the less serious, more light-hearted side of science fiction, with the adventures of several Secret Service Agents assigned to retrieve and protect supernatural artifacts. Here, David Boreanaz/Henry Rollins hybrid Eddie McClintock stars as the quirky Pete Lattimer, who — at the beginning of this season — is faced with the ever-dreaded obstacle of working with a new partner (Aaron Ashmore), while still trying to carry on his working relationship with Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) and the various hindrances that arise on a weekly basis for the undercover team.
The great Saul Rubinek returns as Artie Nielsen, the nearly-nutty man-in-charge of the whole operation, and sexy young Allison Scagliotti once again inhabits the role of techno-wiz Claudia Donovan. Universal gives us all 13 episodes of Season Three on three discs, with bonus materials consisting of cast/crew commentaries, deleted scenes, gag reel, the 10-part animated web series Of Monsters and Men, and a holiday episode from Season Two (“Secret Santa”).
Eureka: Season 5 finds the good men and women of Eureka, Oregon giving it their all one last time, beginning with the crew of the doomed starship Astraeus — which had a less-than-successful launch at the finale of Season 4.5 — returning to Earth four years after the last episode. Needless to say, things have changed for them — as well as the show’s faithful viewers — but the laughs and witty writing fans of the show have enjoyed since the show first aired in 2006 are still here, and they’re all just as wonderful as ever. And, fortunately, since this is the show’s sawn song, we get an ending that delivers some closure — something we rarely get with canceled series.
Yes, it’s another three-disc set for all to enjoy (hey, it’s a lucky number, right?), and Eureka: Season 5 contains just as many — if not more — bonus features than the other titles in this line-up, beginning with a farewell featurette with the cast members. There’s also an audio commentary for the series finale, the holiday episode “Do You See What I See?” from Season 4.5, deleted/extended scenes, and several behind-the-scenes tidbits. Highly recommended.