R4 . COLOR . 930 mins .
M15+ . PAL
The modern day Sherlock Holmes & Dr Watson
Launched in 2001, Law & Order: Criminal Intent is the third show in the Law & Order franchise and concentrates primarily on the detective duo, Robert Goran (Vincent DíOnofrio) and Alexandra Eames (Kathryn Erbe), who work for the major case squad, focusing on the worst criminal offenders in New York City.
Criminal Intent not only disposes with the trademark courtroom drama of the original series and focuses on the two central characters; the show also gives ample attention the stories of the criminals and the victims. From the very first episode it is clear that this Law & Order series is very different from its namesake, while still maintaining the high standard of quality that is the hallmark of the franchise.
The two central characters are one of the main reasons to watch this show. Detectives Goran and Eames are clearly modelled on the classic Holmes and Watson detective duo and perfectly complement each other. Goran is the unflappable investigator whose keen intellect is key to breaking the cases, while Eames offers subtle support as the strong cop sidekick. But really, the success of this show is due to Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of Goran. The character is a collage of great television detectives including Columbo, Jessica Fletcher and of course Sherlock Holmes, making both the character and the show brilliant and endlessly entertaining to watch.
The Extra Man
The Pardonerís Tale
The Good Doctor
The Third Horseman
Homo Homini Lupis
Law & Order: CI is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 Fullscreen. Because this is the newest show of the Law & Order franchise to reach DVD, it has the best transfer. There is slickness to the look of this series that sets it apart with colours vibrant and shadow detail respectable. There is the occasionally slight instance of grain and minor aliasing, but most of the episodes are free of any imperfections.
Another Law & Order series and another Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio mix that serves every aspect of the series admirably. Dialogue is always clear and audible and is directed, without any problems, through the front and centre channels. None of the audio transfers for the Law & Order DVD releases are dynamic or reference standard, but there is really no need for a 5.1 mix when the stereo mix is perfectly adequate for a dialogue driven series.
Criminal Intent: The Beginning is a 25 minute featurette which addresses the origins of the show and in particular the Sherlock Holmes connection. All the major cast members as well as creator Dick Wolf are interviewed.
Unlike its two predecessors, which have had a revolving door of cast members, Criminal Intent would not work without the original cast members, in particular the two lead actors. The characters of this series are the most important element, rather than simply being one part of the case narratives of each episode. This series is by far the least grounded in reality as some of the episodes seem quite complex and unbelievable and although Goran is an interesting character to watch, his know it all persona can seem quite ridiculous at times. However, there is no complaining about the Law & Order franchise of television shows. With so many unwatchable programs dominating the tube, it's comforting to have the quality programming of Dick Wolf's criminal justice system to depend on.