Supernatural Season One on Blu-Ray

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When SUPERNATURAL premiered on the CW Network in 2005, fans could not have dreamed it would last over five seasons.  In fact, creator Eric Kripke had originally planned to end the series after the fifth season, but the ratings were so good that the CW wanted a sixth season.  As one of the very few true horror shows that doesn’t (thankfully) feature vampires, SUPERNATURAL has become must-see TV as we’ve watched the two stars Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) and Jared Padelecki (Sam Winchester) transform from fresh-faced and wide-eyed young men, to hardened, battle-weary monster-hunters who have dealt with the tragic losses of nearly everyone close to them.

Warner Brothers has released the first season of SUPERNATURAL, all 22 episodes, on Blu-Ray, complete with two new bonus features.  The pilot episode tells the story of Dean and Sam’s mother Mary being killed by a demonic force while Sam was still an infant.  Years later, Sam is off at college and estranged brother Dean arrives to tell him their father, John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), has disappeared.  Dean has his father’s journal and hopes to use it to track him down, but Sam is reluctant, wanting no part of this wandering, demon-hunting lifestyle.  When Sam’s girlfriend is killed in the same way as his mother, he is left with little choice.  Kripke gets the show off to a high-energy and horrifying start.  SUPERNATURAL was raw and edgy from the beginning, combing its horror elements with the strained relationship of the brothers.

Much of the first season is spent looking for their father and encountering various monsters, demons, and spirits along the way.  What kept the show fresh – and still keeps it fresh to this day – is that it wasn’t about hunting demons or vampires exclusively. The boys hunted those but also all manner of spirits, creatures of myth, cursed objects, and urban legends.  One of these urban legends was encountered in episode five, “Bloody Mary”.  Here the boys take on the vengeful spirit who is summoned when her name is uttered three times in front of a mirror.

Thee writers draw on myths both well known and obscure in episodes like “Scarecrow,” in which a spirit of Norse mythology is being summoned in the form of a scarecrow to protect the town, in exchange for annual sacrifices.  During this episode they first encounter Meg Masters, who will become one of the recurring villains during the early run of the show.  In “Faith,” they have their first encounter with one of the Reapers, spirits who are the underlings of Death, that come to claim the souls of those who have died.  The Brothers also have a run-in with a haunted house in episode 17, “Hell House”.

In the final episodes of Season One, they will finally track down both their father and the demon that killed their mother and Sam’s girlfriend, culminating in a jarring season-ending cliffhanger.  In the season finale, we also meet fellow hunter Bobby Singer who will become a semi-regular over the entire series run.

Supernatural season oneAnother aspect that makes the show unique is that the brothers are always on the road, travelling across the entire nation and ending up in primarily small towns throughout the USA:  Saginaw, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Hibbing, Minnesota. It was pretty cool if an episode was set in your town or one close by.  As the guys drive from town to town in Dean’s classic 1967 Chevy Impala, the series treated us to a diversified selection of classic rock.

SUPERNATURAL  quite easily could have become a mundane, monster-of-the-week battle, but the show’s writers kept the storylines constantly invigorated with new sub-plots, characters, and a liberal injection of satire and often gut-busting humor.  The sixth season may be the last, but we can always relive this fantastic show on DVD or Blu-Ray.

Blu-Ray Special Features

There are two audio commentary tracks: one on the “Pilot” by Series Creator Eric Kripke, Director David Nutter and Producer Peter Johnson; one on “Phantom Traveler” by Co-Stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles.

Supernatural Tales from the Edge of Darkness (23:00) A behind-the-scenes look at season one and how creator Eric Kripke was influenced by his love of urban legends.  Takes a look at creating the pilot episode in which the boy’s father was originally intended to be killed.

Day in the Life of Jared and Jensen (10:37). The two stars take you through an average day on the set.  Much of it is spent simply passing time and waiting to be called to the set.  Jensen practices his knife throwing in his trailer.  Finally they are called and go first to makeup and then to costuming before going to the set for filming.

Gag Reel (7:40)

(NEW!) Paley Television Festival Panel Discussion (1:12:00) This hour plus feature was shot during the Paley Television Festival after the first season.  Jared Padelecki and Jensen Ackles are joined on stage by Eric Kripke, Director/Producer the late Kim Manners, and Executive Producer Robert Singer.  They do a Q & A session with the fans in attendance.  Kripke mentions how his original pitch was about a reporter but was too similar to the old Kolchak: The Nightstalker series.  The actors discuss their auditions, favorite episodes, and some of the creepy events that happened on set.  Kripke also talks about the significance of having the Winchesters be from Lawrence, Kansas and invites fans to Google Lawrence to learn why.

(NEW!) Devil’s Road Map: Even better is this very cool interactive map of the U.S. showing the location where each season episode took place.  Clicking on each location will bring up all new interviews with cast members, writers, and producers about that specific episode.  You can also click on each city to learn more about local legends and urban myths from that region.  In all this feature includes about 90 additional minutes of interviews.  There’s also a secret Easter Egg you can find with a special interview.

Supernatural: Season One (2005) Created by Eric Kripke.  Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki

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About the Author

Tim Janson

Tim Janson is a native Michigander with a life long love of horror and fantasy. He has written hundreds of reviews, feature articles, and interviews for numerous online and print publications.

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