'Da Vinci's Demons: The Complete First Season'
(Tom Riley, Laura Haddock, Elliot Cowan, Lara Pulver, Tom Bateman, et al / 3-Disc Blu ray / NR / 2013 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Overview: In a world where thought and faith are controlled, one man fights to set knowledge free. Leonardo Da Vinci is tortured by a gift of superhuman genius. He finds himself in a conflict between truth and lies, religion and reason, past and future. His quest for knowledge nearly becomes his undoing, but Da Vinci's genius prevails and he emerges as an unstoppable force that lifts an entire era out of darkness and propels it into light.
Blu ray Verdict: 'Da Vinci's Demons' is an intriguing cable television series; well acted and boasting rich production values that transport viewers back to Italy of the 1400s.
The first season of the series, consisting of eight one-hour episodes, is a portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci (Tom Riley) as a young man, tortured by the gift of superhuman genius. He lives in an age where he must take up the fight against powerful forces that use history, religion and politics to suppress the truth. Indeed, his quest for knowledge almost becomes his undoing as he explores the fringes of his own sanity.
As worthy as 'Da Vinci's Demons' might be, it does have its problems. Primarily, it deals with a time in European history of which many people, including this writer, are not overly familiar. Therefore, it would have been quite helpful if, at the start of the series, the producers had included some sort of narration or other device that would have put the story we were about to see into context.
The series also introduces multiple characters and plot lines so quickly and without explanation that much of the enterprise becomes confusing. One continually wonders who are these characters, what are their relationships and why are they doing what they are doing?
Aside from Riley, the excellent cast of the series includes Laura Haddock, Blake Ritson, Elliot Cowan, Gregg Chillin and Lara Pulver. Now, it has to be said that some people won't like this show because it's not historically accurate! But, people, come on - it's just a show. So, of course it won't be historically accurate. It's also a show on Starz therefore ensuring that it's going to be driven by how crazy, sexy, stimulating, and beautiful they can make it! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the special features of:
Audio Commentaries with Writer/Creator/Executive Producer/Director David S. Goyer and Actors Tomy Riley, Laura Haddock, Blake Ritson, David Schofield and Tom Bateman
Mastering Da Vinci Featurette
Constructing Da Vinci Featurette
Dressing Da Vinci Featurette
Second Screen Promo