True Blood: The Complete Third Season

Southern Gothic series hits a new high with this new Blu-ray boxset

True Blood: The Complete Third Season continues the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse as she goes hunting for her missing vampire lover Bill following the shocking finale to the last year’s 12-episode run.

This year’s major storylines dial down the craziness (a little) from the orgiastic antics of Season Two, but still finds time to add plenty of new wrinkles to the mix – the most dramatic of which is surely the long awaited arrival of werewolves into the show’s growing mythology.  Add to this even more screen time for the show’s best supporting characters (Jessica, Eric, Jason and Lafayette) and a brilliantly nutty new vampire in the form of Mississippi’s vampire king Russell Edgington, and there’s plenty to love about this particular slice of Southern Gothic.

Picture: As with season past, this latest run of True Blood looks sensational in 1080p high-definition. Okay, so there’s the occasional instance of banding, and the odd bit of shadow detail gets lost in the pervading darkness that shrouds so much of the series. But, other than that, all 12 AVC 1.78:1 encodes are simply superb – glitch free and wholly representative of the original source material.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: True Blood continues to impress with its sound design, which often seems so much more accomplished and considered than you’d expect from a film, let alone a TV series. Be it the subtle atmospherics of the swampy bayou, the swirling voices that accompany Sookie’s as attempts at reading a mind or the directional dynamism of a no-holds-barred fight between vampires and werewolves, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes sound absolutely perfect and drag the viewer right into the heart of the action. Couple that with some rich music presentation and perfect dialogue reproduction and there’s really nothing to complain about.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: As always, each episode is accompanied by a Recap and Preview, and there’s also an Enhanced Viewing Mode with PiP in-character videos, pop-up biographies and histories, and links to previous and future episodes. The in-character videos (all 380 of them, running 61mins) can also be found on the final disc to be watched separately. Six of the episodes also get audio commentaries that mix up a cast member with a writer and writer or director. Making their debut this season are Post Mortems for each episode (short related videos that run from behind-the-scenes stuff to fake news stories), a Snoop Dogg music video and an 11min Anatomy of a Scene featurette for Bill’s werewolf fight in the second episode.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: Great AV and an overall pickup in quality from Season Two means this is a must for fans.

HBO, All-region BD, £50 approx, On sale now