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Beauty and the Beast
The Final Season

review by Zach B.

 

 

Not Rated

Running Time: 543 minutes

Starring: Ron Perlman, Linda Hamilton

 

 

Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Stereo, English Closed Captions, Episode Selection, Chapter Stops (6 per episode), Three-Disc Set

Released: February 5th, 2008

 

 

Once again, Paramount shows their hit-and-miss track record with old television series. Unfortunately, this last season of "Beauty and the Beast" goes in the miss pile. I've seen a lot of Paramount shows on DVD lately, even though "Beauty and the Beast" is around 20 years old, it's certainly one of the worst transfer jobs for a series I've seen on this format. Some of Paramount's titles from the 1960s look better than this. Not that restorations go into these old shows or anything, but were some prints kept in better shape than others?

In any case, "Beauty and the Beast" looks like it's from a third-generation VHS dub. The episodes look extremely soft, are quite grainy and are really faded out. Murkiness plagues the episodes, as does weak color saturation and wishy-washy fleshtones. Also on hand are the usual suspects throughout the episodes: specks, scratches, dirt pieces... you name it, it's there. Noise rears its head, too. In all, it's really such a shame that such a scrumptious series in its wondrous costume, cinematography and production design is hard to look at. 

 

The final season of the series also sports English Stereo tracks. These are better, but nothing truly outstanding. The show's bevy of sound effects are audiable, but even with the limited range, don't make an impression - they seem a bit worn out. The dialogue spoken is clear and can be heard, as are the lovely musical compositions by Don Davis. Too bad a 5.1 remix wasn't in the cards, maybe those melodies would have the grandeur they deserve if they got stretched out through the channels.  

English closed captions are included through your television.

 

Like the past two seasons... nothing. 

 

If you're a fan of this cult 80s series, then you'll probably want this gripping final season to go along with the rest of your collection. Sad to say there are no extras, but even sadder is the quality of the episode transfers. If you must have the conclusion to the torrid bond between Catherine and Vincent then go ahead. Otherwise, you might want to watch these episodes on YouTube. Somehow I get the feeling the quality there might be better there than on this set.