Banshee: The Complete Second Season review

Superlative sophomore season of Showtime's crime series will leaving you shrieking for more

With its rather carefree approach to sex and violence, this Showtime series became a guilty pleasure among Team HCC when it first surfaced back in 2013.

However, this second season sees the show take a serious step forward in quality across its 10 episodes, cutting down on the smut (but not eliminating it completely) and replacing it with a greater focus on its complex cast of characters, and a more heavyweight approach to storytelling that'll keep you gripped from beginning to end.

Following the events of the first season, life is getting tougher than ever for sheriff Lucas Hood (Anthony Starr). Gang kingpin Rabbit (Ben Cross) is still on the loose and the FBI are investigating – not a good thing when you're really a convicted criminal who has stolen the identity of a smalltown cop.

Meanwhile, Carrie (Ivana Milicevic) is dealing with the family turmoil that continues to spill out of the first run, her feelings for Lucas and the prospect of jail time. And to make things more complicated, tensions are heating up between local Amish crime boss Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) and Kinaho tribe leader Alex Longshadow (Anthony Ruivivar), while the teenage son of the real Lucas Hood (played by Harrison Thomas) is wanting some answers of his own…

Picture: HBO Home Entertainment spreads the ten episodes across four BD50 platters, which helps this second series of Banshee appear every bit as decent as its predecessor. The AVC 1.78:1 Full HD encodes are well up to the standards we've come to expect from studio, and a reminder that TV material can hold its on in hi-def.

Black levels are satisfyingly deep. Colours are punchy when needed yet desaturated when the tone of the show demands it, and with no loss of clarity of sharpness. While we did spot some (very) infrequent instances of banding and crush, more serious encoding issues, such as artefacting and aliasing, are nowhere to be seen.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: Just as impressive are the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks that accompany each episode. Loud and rowdy (particularly when there's a fight – which happens fairly often), they exhibit a healthy dynamic range, plenty of positional effects and make riotous use of the LFE channel. Neighbours, this ain't.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: The bonus content follows the pattern laid down by the first season. You get chat-tracks for five episodes, pop-up Twitter commentaries for two more episodes, breakdowns of the clues buried in the title sequences for each episode, 12 Banshee: Origins shorts, deleted scenes and much more.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: There’s no crime in wanting to own this superb show on Blu-ray

Banshee: The Complete Second Season, HBO Home Entertainment, All-region BD, £50 Approx