Before we had Syfy, there was the old reliable Sci-Fi channel to provide audiences with little-known gems that inspired small, but passionate fanbases. In the summer of 2006, the world was introduced to the magical, fictional town of Eureka, Oregon. Through the experience of the genial new sheriff, we got to explore what it would be like to live in a town of scientific geniuses who actively develop some of the most awe-inspiring technological breakthroughs that the world has ever seen. Eureka was a lighthearted show that offered up a fun adventure every week while allowing audiences a way to get to know these quirky citizens. Throughout its five-season run, the show delicately balanced parsing out an overarching narrative while technological mishaps plagued the town every week. This show is pure comfort food for genre fans who crave dynamic characters with their inventive storytelling. This very well may be the first time you have ever heard of the show, but those who know it truly love it. With the recent release of the complete series on Blu-Ray courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment, now is the perfect time to revisit this show that has brought me so many fond memories. 

We begin the series with Deputy US Marshal Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) transporting a prisoner across the country. As we soon learn, the prisoner in question is actually his daughter Zoe (Jordan Hinson), who he is taking back to her mother’s home in California. While driving through the outskirts of Eureka, Oregon, Zoe witnesses something weird; she believes she has seen a version of themselves driving in the other direction. Amidst the chaos and poor weather conditions, the two get in an accident and get stranded temporarily in Eureka. They soon realize that this town is unlike any other they have ever encountered. The brilliant citizens have created a town filled with technological wonder that is shielded by an electromagnetic field to keep out intruders. The town is a project of sorts for the US Department of Defense, who operate the town’s major employer Global Dynamics. When Jack helps save the town from a major disaster, he is drafted to fill the vacancy that has recently been left by the town sheriff. As Jack and Zoe settle into their new home, they are offered a crash course in scientific oddities. Jack is not a super genius, but his simple-man point of view and natural intuition provide a balance to the town that often helps save the day. 

One of the great joys of this series is spending time with this town full of colorful characters and watching their dynamic grow throughout the series. Perhaps the most rewarding aspect is seeing the father-daughter relationship between Jack and Zoe evolve from being more antagonistic due to Jack’s previous absence to more outwardly loving due to their time living together in Eureka. Zoe has the smarts to keep up with the residents in the town while also maintaining the natural intuition that she inherited from her dad. Zoe is not the only person Jack grows closer to over the series; Dr. Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), often the bridge between Jack and GD, is the perfect romantic foil for Jack. Allison is portrayed as quite brilliant in her own right, but that does not mean she cannot indulge in a love-triangle of sorts between Jack and her ex, Nathan (Ed Quinn). Other favorites include Deputy Jo Lupo (Erica Cerra), a tough-as-nails former Army Ranger who softens over the story, Dr. Henry Deacon (Joe Morton), the seen-it-all scientist-turned-mechanic who often has the most intriguing storyline, Zane (Niall Matter), whose bad boy ways evolve quite nicely thanks to the town, and Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayston), the lovable doofus who is often both the victim and cause of many of the town anomalies. These residents are just the tip of the iceberg, and the way they feel like a family throughout the run just brings about such joy. 

Eureka was a show that tackled scenarios both large and small. From minor things like citizens changing different colors to major disruptions such as inadvertent time travel that resulted in a fracturing timeline, this show covered it all. Even at its most dramatic, the show still maintained its air of breezy fun that served as a welcome respite from the world each week. The overarching plot developments such as shadow organizations and character motivations provided a compelling foundation for the series to spin off in whatever fun, creative direction it felt like. All of the cast members did a truly excellent job of bringing nuance to these characters without devolving into caricatures at any point. By the time you reached the lovely series finale, you felt as if you had been on a complete journey filled with heartache and joyous moments. The series was not some big-budget cutting-edge show, but it had solid production values that never took you out of the story. Eureka is a show near and dear to my heart, and with this new complete collection, I hope more people will discover its charms. 

Video Quality

Eureka: The Complete Series arrives on Blu-Ray courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment with a passable AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This is the first time any of the seasons have been released on Blu-Ray in the US, and Mill Creek dedicates 12 discs to these 77 episodes. The resulting image seems very unstable as it suffers from visible compression artifacts from cramming too much onto one disc. This set is a significant step up from the DVD set of season one I owned, but it is not the homerun that one would wish for with this series. On a positive note, the levels of detail this presentation is able to provide is quite agreeable, as subtle features in the production design are easily identifiable. The color palette runs fairly bright and vivid with some instances of beautiful colors popping off the screen, especially the lush foliage that surrounds the town. Black levels are a bit problematic as scenes often suffer from crush when delving into the darker settings of the show. Brightly lit scenes allow the show a lot more stability in terms of picture quality. Skin tones appear natural across the entire cast. It is a treat to finally be able to own this show in high definition, but adding more discs to the set would have allowed more breathing room for the series that would have benefitted it greatly. The presentation is far from a trainwreck, but do not expect this series to look pristine here. 

Audio Quality

This Blu-Ray comes with an incredibly active DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track that brings this world to life quite nicely. The tone of the series is set by the bouncy, lighthearted score that gives the show a unique identity. The effect is extremely satisfying and gives the soundtrack a nice foundation from which to build. Dialogue always comes through crisp and clear without being stepped on by the various, fantastical sound effects at work. Action sequences and more kinetic moments are given the appropriate power in the mix with a noticeable showing in the low end. Ambient sounds are also precisely placed in the rear channels. The audio presentation here is enjoyable on all levels.

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Special Features

Disc One

  • Audio Commentary:
    • Pilot: Two commentary tracks are provided for the series debut. One featuring show creators Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia and actor Colin Ferguson, and a second one featuring Ferguson going solo. 
  • Podcast Commentary:
    • Many Happy Returns: A commentary track from actor Colin Ferguson.
    • Before I Forget: A commentary track from actor Colin Ferguson, writer John Rogers, producer and co-creator Andrew Cosby, co-creator Jaime Paglia, and staff writer Johanna Stokes. 
    • Alienated: A commentary track from actor Colin Ferguson, producer and co-creator Andrew Cosby and co-creator Jaime Paglia. 
    • Invincible: A commentary track from actor Colin Ferguson.
    • Dr. Nobel: A commentary track from actor Colin Ferguson and director Jeff Woolnough. 
  • Deleted Scenes: Twenty minutes of unused or extended material including a steamy dream sequence, more character interactions at the funeral, more moments between Allison and Nathan and more. These comes with optional audio commentary from show creators Andrew Cosby and Jaime Paglia and actor Colin Ferguson
  • Webisodes: Eight webisodes are provided here totaling sixteen minutes are provided here that tell an interesting story about a mysterious creature in the woods titled “Hide and Seek.”
  • Made In Eureka (Mock Infomercials): Two-minute long mock infomercials are provided here that showcase a method for cryogenically storing your pet and a convenient (and probably terribly dangerous) way to heat your food on the go.

 

Disc Two

  • Podcast Commentary:
    • Blink: A commentary track from producer and co-creator Andrew Cosby, co-creator Jaime Paglia, and staff writer Johanna Stokes. 
    • Right As Raynes: A commentary track from producer and co-creator Andrew Cosby, co-creator Jaime Paglia, actor Ed Quinn and staff writer Johanna Stokes. 
    • Primal: A commentary track from actors Colin Ferguson and Ed Quinn and co-creator Jaime Paglia.
    • Purple Haze: Two commentary tracks are provided for this episode. One featuring show creator Jaime Paglia and actors Colin Ferguson, Ed Quinn and Jordan Hinson, and a second one featuring Ferguson going solo. 
    • H.O.U.S.E. Rules: Two commentary tracks are provided for this episode. One featuring show creator Jaime Paglia and actors Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Jordan Hinson, and a second one featuring Ferguson going solo. 
    • Once In A Lifetime: A commentary track from actor Colin Ferguson, producer and co-creator Andrew Cosby and co-creator Jaime Paglia. 
  • Once In A Lifetime Outtake: A two-minute unfinished alternate take between Jo and Taggart at Cafe Diem is included here which features Taggart downing a drink in an impressive amount of time. You can watch this with optional commentary from actor Colin Ferguson, producer and co-creator Andrew Cosby and co-creator Jaime Paglia. 

Disc Three

  • Podcast Commentary:
    • Try. Try Again: Two commentary tracks are provided for this episode. One featuring actors Colin Ferguson and Neil Grayston, and a second one featuring Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig and Executive Producer Thania St. John. 
  • Deleted Scenes: Nine minutes of unused material from five episodes are included here featuring more moments between Nathan and Fargo, more moments with Beverly, some scenes outside of Eureka and more. 
  • Happenings Around Town. The Second Season: A twelve-minute look at the changes between the first and second season, how the characters have evolved, playing with the tone of the show, developing deeper character arcs and more. 
  • SciFi.com Webcasts: Another thirteen-minute look at the second season which recycles some of the same footage from the previous supplement. The best part of this is at the end when Ferguson answers some questions from Comic-Con fans. 
  • “Live Smart, Eureka” PSA’s: Seven short videos totaling about three minutes are included here that humorously provide guidance to the residents of Eureka on how to handle various situations. This was a lot of fun, but I wish there was a “Play All” function. 

 

Disc Four

  • Podcast Commentary:
    • Sight Unseen: A commentary track from Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig. 
    • God Is In The Details: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and staff writer Eric Wallace. 
    • Maneater: A commentary track from Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig and Co-Executive Producer Bruce Mills. 
  • Deleted Scenes: Twelve minutes of unused material from four episodes are included here featuring Allison giving a tour of Global Dynamics, Jack having a heart to heart with Henry and more. 
  • Gag Reel: A six-minute collection of flubbed or forgotten lines, ruined takes and other humorous antics from the set. 
  • Inside The Writer’s Room: A 15-minute look at the writer’s room as they prepare for the third season. It’s fun to get some behind-the-scenes insight into the creative process. 

Disc Five

  • Audio Commentary: 
    • Bad To The Drone: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Visual Effects Producer Matthew Gore. 
  • Podcast Commentary: 
    • Bad To The Drone: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig. 
    • What About Bob?: A commentary track from Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig. 
    • Best In Faux: A commentary track from Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig and Co-Executive Producer Bruce Miller. 
    • I Do Over: A commentary track from Executive Producer/Showrunner Charlie Craig and Executive Producer/Episode Writer Thania St. John. 
    • Show Me The Mummy:  A commentary track from Supervising Producer/Episode Writer Curtis Kheel.
  • Deleted Scenes: Twenty minutes of unused material from six episodes are included here featuring Jack and Henry playing chess in jail, an unfinished scene of Jack talking to an Allison hologram and more. 

 

Disc Six

  • Audio Commentary: 
    • Your Face Or Mine?: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Actor Colin Ferguson. 
  • Podcast Commentary: 
    • Welcome Back, Carter: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Writer Bruce Miller. 
  • Deleted Scenes: Seventeen minutes of unused material from six episodes are included here featuring Jo gleefully wanting to get permission to use extraordinary measures, the gang contending with a solar flare, flirtatious moments between Jo and Zane and more. 
  • Creating A Musical Personality: A nearly nineteen-minute look at crafting the signature score of the series with composer Bear McCreary. This is a fun look at how the characters informed the sound of the show. 

Disc Seven

  • Audio Commentary: 
    • What Goes Around, Comes Around: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Director Matt Hastings.
  • Podcast Commentary: 
    • If You Build It: A commentary track from Writer Bruce Miller and Series Star Jordan Hinson.
    • Ship Happens:  A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Actor Colin Ferguson. 
    • You Don’t Know Jack:  A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Writer Eric Wallace.
  • Deleted Scenes: Eight minutes of unused material from five episodes are included here featuring Fargo struggling to make a commitment, some more moments of the gang trying to solve one of their signature issues and more. 
  • Finishing Touch – The Visual Effects of Eureka: A fifteen minute look at the construction and utilization of the various digital effects employed in the show. It is interesting to see how they pull some of the scenes off. 

 

Disc Eight

  • Deleted Scenes: Twenty-one minutes of unused material from seven episodes are included here featuring Jo complaining about Zane, Henry delivering breakfast in bed in a unique way and more. 
  • In The Beginning – Camp Eureka 1947: A five-minute featurette which takes a look at all the elements that went into creating a realistic depiction of Eureka in 1947 for the season premiere. 

 

Disc Nine

  • Audio Commentary: 
    • Liftoff: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Executive Producer Bruce Miller.
  • Podcast Commentary: 
    • Liftoff: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia, Executive Producer Bruce Miller and VFX Producer Matt Gore.
    • Reprise:  A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Writer/Co-Executive Producer Amy Berg.
  • Deleted Scenes:  Eight minutes of unused material from five episodes are included here featuring more moments in the past during Founder’s Day, some touching moments between Jack and Allison and more. 
  • Gag Reel: A five-minute collection of flubbed or forgotten lines, ruined takes and other humorous antics from the set. 
  • The Mythology of Eureka: A fifteen-minute look at the storylines that the show has attempted to set up throughout the series and how they are finally able to pay some of them off this season. The participants also talk about all of the narrative possibilities that open up with the time travel aspect in the premiere episode. 

Disc Ten 

  • Podcast Commentary: 
    • Omega Girls: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Actress/Director Salli Richardson-Whitfield. 
    • One Giant Leap…:  A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Director/Co-Executive Producer Matthew Hastings.
  • Deleted Scenes: Thirteen minutes of unused material from five episodes are included here featuring the senator messing with Fargo, Jo and Zoe bonding and more. 
  • Gag Reel: A five-minute collection of flubbed or forgotten lines, ruined takes and other humorous antics from the set. 
  • Eureka Season Five Sneak Peek: A five-minute look at the last season of the show via an exciting preview scene and other fun teases. 

 

Disc Eleven

  • Deleted Scenes: Sixteen minutes of unused material from four episodes are included here featuring Zane and Jo arguing, Jack  spending time at Cafe Diem and more. 
  • Gag Reel: A three-minute collection of flubbed or forgotten lines, ruined takes and other humorous antics from the set. 
  • Anatomy Of An Episode – “Jack Of All Trades”: A seventeen-minute deep-dive into this standout episode of the season which delves into the concept, structuring the episodes, the performances, the direction and so much more. This is a pretty fun breakdown for fans.
  • Ode To Carl The Jeep: A three-minute featurette which takes you on a perilous journey with Carter’s signature Jeep, which has faced some tough breaks in Eureka. 
  • “This Song Is On The House”: A four-minute video in which Jaime Paglia introduces Tally Deushane’s song about a smart house, a robot cop, and love.

Disc Twelve

  • Audio Commentary: 
    • Just Another Day…: A commentary track from Executive Producer Jaime Paglia and Executive Producers Bruce Miller and Todd Sharp.
  • Deleted Scenes: Four minutes of unused material from two episodes are included here featuring Henry and Grace discussing their future, Henry suffering an accident at the lab, Zane, Jo and Carter trying to come up with a plan to save the day and more. 
  • A Fond Farewell: A nearly four-minute video in which the cast and crew say goodbye to the fans and express their gratitude for the unending support over the years. This is a lovely way to end the journey. 

 

Final Thoughts

Eureka is a show that consistently brought a great amount of joy over its five season run. Getting to know the citizens of the town was a unique treat, and watching how they evolved over the course of the series was completely satisfying. Eureka is a town filled with wonder, and the show still brings the same amount of excitement after all these years. Mill Creek Entertainment has released the complete series on Blu-Ray with a passable A/V presentation and a slew of interesting special features. If you, like me, are a fan of this delightful series, you will be glad to finally be able to own this in high definition. Recommended 

Eureka: The Complete Series is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Mill Creek Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.

 

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