Beastmaster: Season One

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In a world cloaked in darkness, with evil around every turn, one man stands up to ensure the survival of good. This man is Dar (Daniel Goddard), also known as The Beastmaster, since he has special powers with the animals around him. Dar is able to communicate with the various animals and even will them to do what he commands. The relationship is a perfect one, as he knows the animals will do as he wishes, while the animals know he will not send them to be harmed, because the trust is so intense. Whenever evil surfaces, it threatens all those who live in the land, both the human and animal realms. As such, Dar must unite the two worlds and with that collective power, take on the evils that arrive. And in this land, a new evil seems to arrive all the time and as such, Dar and his companions have a lot of work to do. At the same time, Dar seeks out his love Kyra (Natalie Jackson Mendoza) and tries to keep his spirits raised. He is not alone in his quest to crush evil though, as he is joined by the scholar Tao (Jackson Raine), who offers his advice and friendship. The task of defending nature and its splendor is not a simple one, but Dar knows it is his destiny to do so, as he is The Beastmaster.

The original film The Beastmaster is a cult classic and given the success of sci/fi fantasy shows like Xena and Hercules, a series based on the character seemed like a natural choice. But is Beastmaster as much fun as those shows? As fan of The Beastmaster, I had some reservations about this series, as the bulk of these sci/fi fantasy television shows wind up as lame, with only a handful being worthwhile. If you’re looking for an extended version of the movie, you’ll be let down here however, as Beastmaster only uses the source material for a base, then it moves in new directions. The title character is more of a surfer, instead of a hulking warrior, while the tone moves from dark to brisk in most cases. I liked the supernatural elements found in Beastmaster, but the show has no real blueprint for its mythology, which means there are some inconsistent moments. I also wanted a lot of action, but this first season focuses more on the characters, including a lot of emphasis on romance. The later seasons provide a little more action, but still remain focused on the relationships. This show only ran for three seasons, which allows ample time for a complete arc to unfold. I can’t recommend this series to everyone, especially diehard fans of the movie, but if you’re a sci/fantasy nut, then Beastmaster: Season One is worth a look.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. As this is such a recent series, I expected an excellent visual treatment and of course, ADV Films has supplied some great looking anamorphic widescreen episodes. The prints look almost pristine throughout the season, while the visuals have a sharp and refined texture. This means softness is never a problem, so detail is high and image depth is top notch. I found colors to be bright and rich as well, especially the greens of the woods. No troubles with flesh tones either, as skin tones come across in warm, natural fashion. The contrast is quite good also, as black levels look stark and consistent, so even the shadows look excellent here. I am quite pleased with ADV Films’ work here and of course, I hope the final two seasons look this impressive.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio here sounds much like it would if you watched a broadcast episode, which is good and bad. The bad news is that the audio is never that dynamic, but the good news is that it still sounds good and no real flaws surface. There is some decent directional presence, but only as much as the format allows, as this is not a full blown surround option. A new surround remix would have added to the atmosphere and amped up some sequences, but in truth, the audio found here is more than solid on its own. You might not be dazzled, but you won’t be let down in the least either, which means the material is well handled. I found dialogue to be clean at all times, with no volume errors, so I see no reason to complain here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release includes episode previews, but no other bonus materials.

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