Surface - The Complete Series (2005)

Actors: Lake Bell, Jay R. Ferguson
Directors: Aaron Lipstadt
Box set, Color, NTSC
Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs:
Run Time:
634 minutes

DVD Features:

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • 15 episodes on 4 discs
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Sci-Fi and Special Effects



"Spielbergian" is the adjective best used to describe this short-lived 2005 television series about giant sea monsters long thought to be extinct suddenly appearing all over the globe.

Not only does the series outright steal plot points, characters, visual motifs and scenarios straight from early Spielberg movies such as E.T. - the Extra-Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jaws, but even the kids (yes, there are obviously kids) look like they have just time-warped in right from the late-1970s with their longish hair and vaguely retro outfits.

Of course Steven Spielberg had nothing to do with this particular TV series, but it is a sure bet that its screenwriters no doubt spent a huge chunk of their impressionable childhoods watching the likes of E.T., The Goonies and so forth.

THE DISCS: All fifteen episodes of the entire series are spread over four discs. Extras include ?Sci-Fi and Special Effects,? a behind the scenes look at the show, including cast interviews. There are some deleted scenes too.

WORTH IT? "Spielbergian" isn't necessarily a bad thing, particularly if you grew up on a healthy dose of 1980s Spielbergia and feel nostalgic for that sort of entertainment especially now that Spielberg himself has grown up and gotten all serious with "adult" movies like Schindler's List and Munich. (Let's face up to it: those early Spielberg movies informed by his own memories of growing up in American suburbia is a whole lot more personal and heartfelt than any his later ?arty? efforts.)

Acting is fair and the computer-generated special effects range from the impressive to the cheesy (a lot of the underwater scenes are CG and would no doubt have spared director James Cameron a whole lot of hassle during the late-1980s while he was making The Abyss). It's all rather watchable and fun as long as you keep reminding yourself that this is after all a TV series and not a big budget blockbuster.

RECOMMENDATION: Surface makes for better daytime TV watching than the stuff they actually do have on nowadays. A great way to spend a few lazy afternoons with nothing much better to do.



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