J.D. Lafrance
CSI: Season 5.1 DVD Review

CSI: Season 5.1

April 20, 2006

Director: Richard J. Lewis, Kenneth Fink, Danny Cannon, Nelson McCormick, ,
Starring: William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Gary Dourdan, Jorja Fox, George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Paul Guilfoyle, ,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

CSI, Crime Scene Investigation is a popular American TV series that has swept across the world spawning many spin offs, video games, comics, novels and heaps of other merchandise, just like many other American shows such as Buffy, X-Files, 24 etc… So what gives CSI any weight? Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (Bad Boys, Con Air, Pirates of the Caribbean), his movie magic comes to the TV screen with CSI having an edgy fast paced, ultra stylised aesthetic.

Las Vegas, gambling capital of the world, tourists flock in and out every day, some to try their luck in the casinos, some to try their luck against the Las Vegas Police Department. Crimes are committed, and in steps Crime Scene Investigation team. Using amazing attention to detail, scientific skill and the latest technology, CSI analyse the scene, examine the evidence, follow the clues and piece together what happened to solve the mysteries. There is no such thing as the perfect crime; there is always a trace of the truth left behind.

Regular viewers of Bruckheimer productions won’t be disappointed as the super savvy, super sexy, hip and cool philosophies all transfer to television superbly. The quick cuts, clever transitions, funky score, the ghosting flashbacks to what might of happened, the graphic close ups of blood, bodies and body parts, the mixture of dark shadows and nonsensical multi-coloured back lighting and tints, gives CSI the highly original feel it rightly deserves. Tag on some dry humour, cheesy line-liners, complex enigmas and the perfect blend of fact and fiction to give the show its lighter elements. The scripts are expertly crafted and paced brilliantly, and even if there are one to many plots to follow at once or over abundance of technical jargon is spouted at you, audiences will always be trying to devise a conclusion with the CSI team.

Part One holds the opening twelve episodes of season 5 at approximately 40 minutes each and is well worth your time. The end of Season 4 saw regular character Sarah Sidel (Jorja Fox) getting arrested for Drinking Under the Influence, a story arc that is continued in season 5 and ultimately leads to something much bigger that affects every major character in the show. Season 5 also sees Greg get more air time as he steps out from the lab and takes to the field, however this seems like a weak replacement for Gil Grissom (William Peterson) who seems to be taking less screen time as the seasons progress, that is until new character and potential love interest arrives from the day shift, in the form of the acutely British Sophia Curtis (Louise Lombard). Season 5 also provides a good place for newbies to jump on. As with the pilot episode, we observe the CSI team and their surroundings through new eyes; with Greg’s new field experience and his new lab replacement. Even the episode which brings back the ‘blue paint’ killer from season 3 is easily followed for new fans and an utter joy for long-time ones.

It’s dead bodies a go-go, as the team come across a buried alien near Area 51, a severed head in newspaper dispenser, a trans gender with her Adams apple cut out and a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast is murdered in Baker Street replica room, all keeping LVPD busy. Season 5 also brings plenty of guest stars including Aisha Taylor (Friends, Bad Boys), Doug Savant (Desperate Housewives), Reiko Aylesworth (24) and French Stewart (3rd Rock from the Sun) who all seamlessly fit right in around the staples.

Special Features

Disappointing commentaries on five episodes, never featuring any of the actors and you’d expect a lot more from producers and directors who find it very difficult to give up anything the resembles a secret or a insight into how they did that.

On disc 2, a ten minute piece called ‘Maintaining the Accuracy’ which does pretty much what the commentaries should have done and let us in to how the crew research and write the technical side of the show. Includes interviews with producers, researchers and real life CSI-ers.


J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 70%



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