Supernatural: Seasons 1-9 review

This bumper Warner Bros. Blu-ray boxset is worth selling you soul for this Halloween...

Since it started airing back in 2005, the CW's fantasy-horror series has gone from strength-to-strength, becoming a must-watch for savvy genre fans. For those unfamilar with the show, Supernatural follows the adventures of brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) as they travel the US in their iconic 1967 Chevrolet Impala hunting ghosts, monsters, demons and other things that go bump in the night. And while it may have started off as a way of doing 'homages' to popular horror films and urban legends, as Supernatural has progressed and become more confident in its abilities, the show has developed into something much more expansive, building its own mythology around the war between demons and angels, introducing fan-favourite characters Castiel (Mischa Collins) and Crowley (Mark Sheppard) into the mix to spice up the format.

So, if you're new to the world of Supernatural - or are simply looking for the perfect way to spend this Halloween weekend - then this bumper boxset collecting all 195 episodes from the show's first nine seasons (some 8,205 minutes of spook-tacular TV fun) is undoubtedly the perfect solution.

Picture: Across its nine seasons Supernatural consistantly serves up technically proficient 1080p 1.78:1-framed Blu-ray encodes. As befits the material, the show opts for a fairly grim and moody aesthetic that majors in subdued tones and impenetrable shadows (home to all sorts of unseen horrors waiting to leap out at you). Bold colours are used sparingly, but when those big splashes of bright red appear they are rich and vibrant enough to really pop off the screen. Detailing is also impressive, with well-refined textures on display at all times. Only some infrequent compression artefacting, occasional noise and obvious black crush hold the set back from grabbing a higher mark.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: The first five seasons of Supernatural are sadly saddled with the sort of 'lossy' Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes that Warner Bros. originally employed on all of its TV Blu-rays. Thankfully, from Season Six onwards the series makes the leap to 'lossless' DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks and the improvement is obvious. While the Dolby Digital mixes were no slouches when it came to surround effects, the DTS-HD MA tracks are far weightier affairs with richer tonality, punchier dynamics and more robust LFE.
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Each season is packaged in its own amaray case within the boxset and comes wth a strong selection of bonus goodies. Across the boxset's 35(!) Blu-ray platters you'll find a smattering of episodes commentaries (typically no more than three per season), unaired and extended scenes, outtakes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, gag reels, panel discussions, webisodes, interactive maps and even a couple of episodes from Supernatural: The Anime.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: An unmissible Blu-ray collection for the best fantasy-horror series currently on TV.

Supernatural: Seasons 1-9, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £90 Approx