MSRP: $63.98
STUDIO: Paramount
RUNNING TIME: 946 minutes

  • Deleted Scenes
  • A crime a dozen
  • Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas
  • A Farewell to Marg
  • Putting on a Freak Show
  • A family affair
  • Death, Trucks & Rock n’ Roll
  • Audio commentary on 2 tracks

The Pitch

Ted Danson brings new life to an aging show.

The Humans

Ted Danson, George Eads, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, Marg Helgenberger

The Nutshell

A Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) team in Las Vegas, Nevada who solve crimes by analyzing information gathered at a crime scene in a state of the art forensics laboratory.

The Lowdown

For me, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (from here on out referred to as CSI) peaked with season seven. That outstanding season included the excellent miniature killer storyline that spanned the entire season in eight episodes. Back then CSI was the #1 show averaging ten to 12 million viewers every week. Main star William Peterson (Grissom) realized that the miniature killer story was a hard act to follow so after nine seasons he decided to leave (that’s my theory on why he left and I am sticking with it). Since he was the star many fans were worried about the future of the show and the producers needed a strong lead to take Peterson’s place. They cast Laurence Fishburne who was on the show for three seasons. In the 12th season the series introduced new supervisor D.B. Russell (Ted Danson).

“Now see here, this series is filled to the brim with fake blondes and brown haired babes. One of us has to go.”

After season eight I lost interest in CSI and managed to catch a few episodes with Fishburne and even though I found those episodes compelling it was not enough to bring me back in as a regular viewer. Going into this set it had been a few years since watching an episode and I am pleased to say it was like meeting an old friendm and Ted Danson is the reason that season 12 was so enjoyable. Season 12 is all about introductions as a couple of new minor characters are on board as regulars now and the season also says goodbye to one of the most popular characters of the series, Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), who had been with the series since it premiered in 2000.

Introductions of a new main character can be tricky. Filmmakers have to be careful in making sure that the character does not come across too strong nor should they allow said character not to make an impression. Not an easy feat and yet they pull it off exceptionally well with D.B. Russell (Danson). In fact, they pulled it off so well that by bringing in Danson, CSI feels like a new series.

“Awww, at least we got rid of the most attractive one.”

Season 12 episodes

  • 73 Seconds
  • Tell-Tale Hearts
  • Bittersweet
  • Maid Man
  • CSI Down
  • Freaks & Geeks
  • Brain Doe
  • Crime After Crime
  • Zippered
  • Genetic Disorder
  • Ms. Willows Regrets
  • Willows in the Wind
  • Tressed to Kill
  • Seeing Red
  • Stealing Home
  • CSI Unplugged
  • Trends with Benefits
  • Malice in Wonderland
  • Split Decisions
  • Altered Stakes
  • Dune and Gloom
  • Homecoming

The season premiere, 73 seconds, is pretty much your standard CSI by the book episode where the team has to deal with two separate crimes. I like how they decided to start off the season with routine cases as this was a great way to allow Ted Danson to be introduced. A new cast member is also brought in, Morgan Brody (Elisabeth Harnois), who turns out to be the daughter of Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann) who has been a regular on the show for 11 seasons. CSI has always been known to have episodes where crimes wind up taking some wild turns and Tell-Tale Hearts is no exception. This episode was one of my favorites of the series as it finds the CSI team investigating the murder of a family and three people come forward confessing to the murders.

“Not so fast. I WILL be the attractive light haired one of this show from now on.”

Catherine’s departure from the show started early in the season with her being approached to take a job elsewhere. I like how they decided to touch upon her departure in bits and pieces instead of allowing that theme to run throughout the season. Catherine’s exit was wrapped up nicely in a two part Ms. Willows Regrets and Willows in the Wind. Her final moment with the cast was touching and those tears being shed were real which only made that moment more endearing. Other season highlights, Genetic Disorder is about Doc Robbins’ wife being the suspect of a murder. Nice to see Doc get his own episode and as always he delivers. Now this would not be CSI if it did not include some weirdness and it all comes to play in Freaks & Geeks where a sadistic murder has taken place at a carnival freak show. This takes the team behind the scenes of the freak show and to say the least it is pretty wild.

Season 12 turned out to be a very satisfying season with just a couple of weak episodes (Malice in Wonderland, Dune and Gloom). The acting is superb and the production values are some of the best on television. If you are considering getting back into CSI, season 12 is a great place to begin again.

“Glad to be leaving. There’s just too many fake blondes to deal with.”

The Package

I rarely get excited for extras on television series DVD sets simply because they are added for the die hard fans. The Deleted Scenes on a couple of episodes really add nothing and I can see why they have been deleted. The highlight of the featurettes is A Farewell to Marg, Putting on a Freak Show and A Family Affair. Again, these are your standard features and are worth viewing. As with the majority of featurettes this set does not have any that are worth repeat viewings.

The production values of this show has always been state of the art and the video/audio quality is no exception. I have a pet peeve with television series DVD’s which is there is no excuse to not have the play all option on each disc. That is just a minor gripe but it is still annoying.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars