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DVD Review

DVD cover

Season Eight


Starring: Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer, Peter Jacobson, Odette Annable and Charlyne Yi
Universal Playback
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 October 2012

Swapping the surgery for the slammer, House: Season Eight sees our brilliant yet socially challenged maverick doctor temporarily incarcerated for his various misdemeanours of last season’s cliff-hanger finale. The residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital face some of their most complex challenges yet. While our meticulous medic is serving time he finds it harder than anticipated to turn his back entirely on the medical profession. His passion is resuscitated in an encounter with infirmary doctor Jessica Adams, played by Odette Annable. A recurrent role is also played by Charlyne Yi, who portrays bright but timid resident, Chi Park...

The eighth and final season of House opens with House in prison, after he recklessly drove a car into Cuddy's house at the end of season seven. He's only there momentarily though as in the second episode Cuddy's replacement Dean of Medicine, House's old employee Dr. Eric Foreman, has him released and placed in his employ. However, this arrangement is only good if House behaves himself.

While this is very much a 'patient of the week' style show, thankfully these only play backdrop to the team and their ongoing relationships. As the season progresses there are a couple of ongoing arcs, including House constantly in danger of being recommitted; Dr. Chris Taub uncertain whether the two baby girls he's recently managed to father by two different women are actually his; and Wilson's illness.

Highlights include (and I'm taking the episode titles from the Internet as there aren't any on the DVD menus):

Charity Case: A man (Prison Break's Wentworth Miller) is admitted to House's care after he collapses after making a million dollar donation. When it becomes obvious that the man is living in poverty while giving away the millions he has, House sees this as a perfect opportunity to get the man to fund his new team. Dr. Park believes that a neurological disorder is causing the man to act irrationally. Meanwhile Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) turns up to tell House that she's leaving for good and won't be able to join his team.

Dead & Buried: A teenage girl is admitted, and while tests are being run on her it is discovered that she's pregnant even though she claims to be a virgin. Meanwhile House is looking into an old case that saw the death of a four-year-old boy. Determined to get answers, House contacts the family and even breaks into a crypt to get to the truth.

Nobody's Fault is a flashback episode which opens with the aftermath of what appears to be a bloodbath in the hospital. The episode then flashes back to how it all happened and what is going on. This episode also has House and Chase constantly playing practical jokes on each other.

Love Is Blind: A blind man suddenly has problems with his hearing and is admitted to the hospital. Searching his house Park eats some of his food, which is laced with drugs. She starts to trip. Mr Bell (Billy Connolly) also makes an appearance in this episode.

We Need the Eggs: After he begins crying blood, a man is admitted to the hospital. He is cagey about his girlfriend until the team find a sex doll in his house. He is incapable of forming normal relationships (despite the fact it's obvious his female friend fancies him) and has fallen in love with his doll.

Body & Soul is an interesting episode mainly due to the fact that the conclusion has the team scratching their heads. When all ideas fail on how to cure a small boy from his nightmares, his grandfather believes he knows the only way - to call upon the spirits to cure him.

Everybody Dies is the show's last episode and wonderfully wraps things up. It even includes numerous guest star appearances from old characters from seasons gone by. I can't think of a more fitting conclusion to this show.

I did have a few issues with this box set. Firstly there are no episode titles, which may annoy some fans, the DVD menus are a little confusing to navigate as they use icons to represent different submenus, and this wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that if you make one false move (like hitting the menu button on your remote control) the DVD reboots and you have to sit through the copyright warnings and promotional video for Universal Pictures anniversary.

Extras include House, M.D. Swan Song (41 min, 53 sec feature which looks at the last episode, past seasons and the Sherlock Holmes/Watson style partnership of House/Wilson. The highlight is Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard running around the set before it's torn down, with paintball guns); The Doctor Directs: Behind the Scenes with Hugh Laurie (45 min, 24 sec in depth behind the scenes look at the episode which Laurie directed); and Everybody Dies: A Postmortem (17 min, 54 sec making of featurette on the show's final episode).


Darren Rea

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