The DVD’s for Sanctuary‘s forth and final season are out, and fans have every reason to go get their copy. Not only can they complete their collections and soothe the ache from the show’s cancellation, but they can also tap into some of the best bonus material that any show has ever offered.
The menus may be a little less state of the art than we have seen in the past, but don’t judge a DVD by it’s menu! Instead of doing crazy things with the menu like using the screens of the main lab to show bits of the episodes from the season, E One Entertainment focused on bringing fans some truly fantastic DVD extras that you aren’t going to find anywhere else. The bonus features on the season 4 DVD’s include the Amanda Cam, Tempus – Behind the Scenes, Robin Dunne Directs ‘Homecoming’, ‘Fugue’ – Making a Musical, a Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, and a letter from Amanda about her charity, Sanctuary for Kids. Plus there are audio commentaries included for a selection of the season’s episodes.
The Amanda Cam
My favorite featurette – and the one I absolutely had to watch first – was the Amanda Cam. We all know that Amanda Tapping is indescribably awesome, but in many ways I don’t think we know that half of it. In the Amanda Cam, fans get to experience Amanda’s “typical” day working on Sanctuary as an actress and an executive producer, as well as being a wife and a mother of a six year old. How would you like to drive to work with Amanda? Or go to the recording studio with her to dub some lost lines? There also fun testimonials from Robin Dunne, Ryan Robbins, Pascal Hutton, Martin Wood, and Damian Kindler. Could you acurately describe Amanda with just five words? As they discovered, it’s not easy!
The Extended and Deleted Scenes for Season 4 are a huge bonus because of the big mystery that everyone wants to know about: What the heck was Magnus doing for the 113 years that she spent hiding to protect the timeline? Hints will be given, suspicions will be confirmed, and new suspicions will be planted! Some of the scenes included were originally filmed for ‘Tempus’, ‘Fugue’, ‘The Depths’, and ‘Sanctuary for All Part 1’ and ‘Part 2’. Some scenes are poignant, and some are really funny. Sometimes when you watch scenes from the cutting room floor you can kind of see why it might have been cut, but for these scenes, they are all so good that I imagine time constraints were the single greatest reason for cutting most of them.
The Gag Reel
There are “meh” gag reels and then there are good gag reels. The Sanctuary Season 4 DVD’s include a Fantastic gag reel that will have you laughing or I’ll eat my computer mouse! There are many flubbed lines and goofing off moments that just happened to be caught on camera, but there are also practical jokes and tricks played that are way too good to pass up.
Tempus – Behind the Scenes
For those fans who are as interested in how the show is made as they are interested in the show itself, the Behind-the-Scenes bonuses can’t be beat. Season 4 had some truly groundbreaking episodes, including ‘Tempus’, where the entire episode was set in Victorian England. On top of the challenges that brought, Magnus and Adam had to be duplicated in a process called “Twinning”. The featurette provides an in depth look at how these challenges were tackled and what the experience of playing both the past and future Helen Magnus was like for Amanda.
Fugue – Making a Musical
‘Fugue’ was another groundbreaking episode in that it was a musical episode. While there may not be much to see as far as what went on behind the scenes, hearing the cast talk about what went through their heads as they prepared to do the episode, from taking the idea of a musical episode as a joke to recording their songs, is absolutely fascinating. There is also a whole story to how the episode was developed by writer Damian Kindler and composer Andrew Lockington. If you loved ‘Fugue’, this back story will give you a whole new level of appreciation for the musical episode and all the work that the cast put into it.
Robin Dunne Directs Homecoming
For ‘Homecoming’ Robin Dunne dove into the world of directing, and the crew chronicled his entire journey. That’s not to say that he didn’t still drop his pants now and then! Apparently there was no tolerance for megaphones on the Sanctuary set, but Robin wanted to do things his own way. Never the less, the awesome cast and crew rallied around Robin to help him take on the challenge, and take it on he did!
My only criticism is that none of the material hints at where the series was going to go next if it had received a fifth season. There is no mention of the hidden Sanctuary we see at the very end of ‘Sanctuary for None Part 2’. There is also no mention of the fact that the series was not renewed. If you’re looking for answers to those questions, you won’t find it here.
The Season 4 DVD box set of Sanctuary is well worth any price tag. The enjoyment fans will have from all the bonus material justifies every penny. Plus strong DVD sails may be the best way for fans to tell the show’s owner, Beedie Group, that the show can still turn a profit if they will give it another chance. So go find your copy today wherever DVDs are sold!