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From Atnzone.com

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

@N-Zone BTVS Season 5 DVD Review

Thursday 11 December 2003

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Fifth Season

Video Rating 4 1/2 Stars

The Show

Buffy the Vampire Slayer went from a barely noticed television series to a full on cultural phenomenon. Season Five follows Buffy and her crew against their toughest challenge ever - a god. Besides this overall arc there were many other smaller moments that mark among the best in the series including Spike’s evolution, the introduction of Dawn, and Joyce’s character arc.

The six disc set contains all 22 episodes from the season. Disc One has “Buffy Vs. Dracula,” “Real Me,” “The Replacement,” and “Out Of My Mind.” Disc Two has “No Place Like Home,” “Family,” “Fool For Love,” and “Shadow.” Disc Three has “Listening To Fear,” “Into The Woods,” and “Triangle.” Disc Four has “Checkpoint,” “Blood Ties,” “Crush,” and “I Was Made To Love You.” Disc Five has “The Body,” “Forever,” “Intervention,” and “Tough Love.” Lastly Disc Six has “Spiral,” “The Weight Of The World,” and “The Gift.”


Without a doubt this is the best Buffy DVD set to date. The animated introduction to the main menu is very intense and features an increasingly fast bombardment of clips. The main menu is a still shot of a cast member.

The video transfer is very good for a television show. There isn’t too much grain, even in darker scenes. The flesh tones are even, and the level of detail is impressive. The sound is also quite good. Offered in English, French, and Spanish Dolby Surround, it may not sound like The Matrix, but it gets the job done.

The Extras

Season Five definitely has the best set of extras out of all of the Buffy sets. Being such a well written show, it is great that they include so many scripts. You can read the scripts for “The Replacement,” “Fool For Love,” “Into the Woods,” “Checkpoint.” Likewise, there are a good amount of commentary tracks offered by very insightful individuals. There is commentary on “Real Me” with David Fury and director David Grossman, “Fool For Love” with Doug Petrie, “I Was Made To Love You” with Jane Espenson, and “The Body” with Joss Whedon.

There are six featurettes, of varying length, spread over discs three and six. “The Story of Season 5” is the largest of the bunch. Running at almost a half hour, it has interviews with: Co-Executive Producer Marti Noxon, Supervising Producer/Writer David FuryJane Espenson, Nicholas Brendon, Marc Blucas, Writer Rebecca Rand-Kirshner, James Marsters, Creator/Executive Producer Joss Whedon, Producer/Director David Solomon, Kristine Sutherland, Co-Producer/Writer Douglas Petrie, Clare Kramer, Charlie Weber, Writer Steven DeKnight, and Adam Busch. The featurette opens with another intense montage. The discussion includes individual storylines such as Dracula, and Xander’s double, and larger arcs such as the Buffy/Riley relationship, Spike and his character turn, Joyce’s larger arc, Glory and Ben, and Willow’s Power. It is a great feturette that has excellent discussion from the people who understand the show the best.

“Natural Causes” is a shorter featurette solely on the episode “The Body.” It has interviews with David Fury, Joss Whedon, Kristine Sutherland, Jane Espenson, David Solomon, Marti Noxon, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Douglas Petrie. They talk about crafting the episode, capturing the emotions on the page, and the techniques used in bringing the episode to life. It is a very jarring bit that makes the episode all the more powerful.

“Spotlight On Dawn” is a piece all on the character of Dawn. It has interviews with David Fury, Joss Whedon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Kristine Sutherland, James Marsters, Douglas Petrie, and Marti Noxon. They talk about the character in general and the changes she brought to the show. Basically it is just a full character analysis using examples from the season to further understand Dawn.

Three other featurettes were not included on my screener copy. These are “Buffy Abroad and Demonology - A Slayer’s Guide,” “Casting Buffy,” and “Action Heroes! - The Stunts of Buffy.”

Other special features include a still gallery of high resolution pictures from the season, a trailer for the Buffy Video Game, a DVD-Rom Buffy Demon Guide, and outtakes from the series.

Final Thoughts

Buffy really hit a high mark in Season Five that hadn’t been seen since Season Two. The DVD set is Fox’s best effort yet and is a must have for your DVD collection. - Jeff Ritchie atnzone.com DVD Editors: Jeffrey Ritchie & Lisa Origlieri

Video Release Date: 09/12/2003

Theatrical Release Date: 09/12/2003

DVD Special Features: - DVD-Video
- Six-Disc Set
- Region 1

Aspect Ratio(s):
- Fullscreen

Dolby Digital Formats:
- English 5.1 Surround
- Spanish Dolby Surround
- French Dolby Surround

- English Subtitles
- Spanish Subtitles

Standard Features:
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Access

- Commentary on "Real Me," "Fool For Love," "I Was Made to Love You," and "The Body"
- Scripts for "The Replacement," "Fool For Love," "Into the Woods," and "Checkpoint"
- Still Gallery
- "The Story of Season 5" Featurette
- "Natural Causes" Featurette
- "Spotlight on Dawn" Featurette
- "Buffy Abroad and Demonology - A Slayer’s Guide" Featurette
- "Casting Buffy" Featurette
- "Action Heroes! The Stunts of Buffy" Featurette
- Buffy Video Game Trailer
- DVD-Rom Buffy Demon Guide
- Outtakes