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DVD Review

DVD cover

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Season 8 - Part 1


Starring: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, George Eads and Jorja Fox
Momentum Pictures
RRP £34.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 September 2008

C.S.I. is an acclaimed, edgy, fast-paced drama series about a passionate team of forensic investigators who work the graveyard shift at the Las Vegas Criminalistics Bureau. Their job - to find the missing pieces at the scene that will help to solve the crime and vindicate those who often cannot speak for themselves - the victims. Between the hidden clues and the buried motives lies the trail to the truth because people lie... but the evidence never does...


The eighth season of CSI was effected by the writers strike in America, the result being that this season only contains 17 episodes. When, in the past most half-season box sets have contained 12 episodes, splitting the 17 episodes between two box sets is a little cheeky of Momentum Pictures.

Season 8 - Part 1 contains only eight episodes instead of the normal 12. Or seven if you don't think that the Without a Trace episode Where and Why counts as a CSI episode.

What's even worse is that Momentum even have the cheek to run an ad for Kia Motors at the start of every disc. This is something I'd expect to see on a rental disc, not one I'd paid good money to own.

The episodes on this disc see Sara Sidel's fate unravelled. I won't spoil it for you as to whether she makes it out of the miniature killer's trap, which was the cliffhanger for the end of the show's seventh season, but fans of the series will have found it difficult to have avoided the news that Jorja Fox was leaving the show.

Highlights in this collection include:

A La Cart: A man’s decapitated head is found inside a football helmet on a highway outside of Vegas, with his body some distance away. The CSI team must move quickly to establish what happened. Meanwhile, across town, a famous publisher of men's magazines is found dead in a restaurant.

Go to Hell: When the bodies of a couple are discovered in a motel room the CSI team soon discover that the dead couple's house also contains the body of their daughter. As the clues are unraveled, everything leads back to a local clergyman with a hidden past.

The Chick Chop Flick Shop: Weatherley Adams, a horror/slasher film actress who has died on screen in just about every way possible, is found on the set of her latest movie with an axe in her back. The autopsy reveals that the axe wasn't the murder weapon.

You Kill Me: On a particularly quite day Hodges and Wendy Simms start to play a game in which Simms must work out whodunit from Hodges hypothetical murders in the lab. As the other lab rats start to hear about Hodges and Simms' pretending to kill each of them off and solving the murders, they all chip in with their own ideas.

Extras include audio commentary on You Kill Me; So Long Sara Sidle (15 min, 18 sec look back as the character of Sidle with interviews from the cast); William Friedkin: A Different Take (9 min, 26 sec featurette that looks at the William Friedkin directed episode - which appears on the next box set); While the Cast's Away, the Lab Rats Will Play (14 min look at the episode You Kill Me with interviews with all the actors)

While the episodes are uniformly great, as always, sadly my overall mark reflects the high retail price and drastic cut in episodes. Value for money this isn't. What Momentum should have done was release this as a full season box set on fewer discs.


Nick Smithson

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