Flash (The): Season 3 (TV) (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - United Kingdom - Warner Home Video
Review written by and copyright: Rob Hunt (26th September 2017).
The Show

NOTE: This review is an expansion of the previous DVD review of The Flash: Season 3 (which can be found HERE).

Following on from a twist at the end of the last episode of season two, the third season of The Flash weaves into its season-long story arc the consequences of actions and choices that people make. It's a great backdrop to the week-by-week action, exploring the notion that some things can't be undone.

Following on from a stellar first season, the entertaining second season of The Flash threw an absolute stinker into the works in its closing scene of the finale, setting up the theme for this third season. As a fan of the series, I was unimpressed with the closing teaser and the implications it had for the third season's story. I was then pleased when this season came around and the events that unfolded in that scene were not brushed away or neatly tidied up - clearly what had happened should not have occurred, and things were messed up as a result. There is no easy fix for the decisions that were made. This theme of choices and their results permeates throughout the season, reoccurring in the various relationship dynamics of the main characters - most notably between Barry and Iris - and leading to a much deeper and more fraught finale, raising the bar higher still for the forthcoming fourth season.

Against this backdrop, The Flash includes the usual mix of entertaining and fan-pleasing episodes, such as the two episodes that see Grodd making a reappearance (and demonstrating where a lot of this season's budget went), as well as a slightly over-stretched four-show DC crossover, based around the episode "Invasion!", and a much better and tighter musical crossover with Supergirl. The four-show crossover is by no means bad, but the action predominantly occurs in The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, with Supergirl only really leading in and lending some of its characters. Whilst it was fun to see the shows 'collide', moving the action across four different series took away a bit of its magic as the story was stretched a little further than perhaps it should have been. By contrast, the musical crossover episode ("Duet") with Supergirl worked extremely well, and had the added benefits of tying in to the overarching 'choices' theme of The Flash and working well to enhance the Supergirl storyline also.

The third season of The Flash includes 23 episodes, spread across four blu-ray discs (six episodes per disc for the first three discs, five episodes on the last disc):
- "Flashpoint" (42:33)
- "Paradox" (42:30)
- "Magenta" (42:22)
- "The New Rogues" (42:31)
- "Monster" (42:32)
- "Shade" (42:26)
- "Killer Frost" (42:31)
- "Invasion!" (42:12)
- "The Present" (42:05)
- "Borrowing Problems from the Future" (42:27)
- "Dead Or Alive" (42:30)
- "Untouchable" (42:17)
- "Attack on Gorilla City" (42:31)
- "Attack on Central City" (42:30)
- "The Wrath of Savitar" (42:24)
- "Into the Speed Force" (42:12)
- "Duet" (43:25)
- "Abra Kadabra" (42:29)
- "The Once and Future Flash" (42:32)
- "I Know Who You Are" (42:23)
- "Cause and Effect" (42:24)
- "Infantino Street" (42:30)
- "Finish Line" (42:03)

Video

Video is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, encoded using the MPEG4 AVC codec. Along with Supergirl, and distinct from other DC shows such as Arrow and Gotham, most of the scenes in The Flash are at the brighter and lighter end of colour palette. Colours are strong on this release, with a crisp and sharp picture that follows on from the digitally-shot source material. Visual effects look excellent on this blu-ray, especially in the CG-heavy scenes in Gorilla City. Whilst this isn't a blockbuster movie (with an associated higher VFX budget), the level of detail is very good and impressive.

Audio

Audio is included in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as well as Brazilian Portuguese and Castilian Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo dubs, with optional subtitles in Danish, Finnish, French, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Swedish and English for the hearing impaired. When viewed with Japanese menu settings on, the choice becomes English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 or a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 sub, with optional subtitles in Japanese or English for the hearing impaired. For the purposes of this review, only English was used.

The show features both dialogue and a large amount of effects and action sequences which come to life in the lossless DTS-HD audio track. The audio is crystal clear and the surround channels are put to very effective use during the more action-based scenes.

Extras

Warner has included a series of featurettes and deleted scenes for this release, along with a gag reel, spread across all four of the discs. (Each of the extras includes optional Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American) or English HoH subtitles.) Below is a closer look.

DISC ONE
This disc contains one deleted scene, for the episode "The New Rogues" (1:13), which has additional dialogue between Jesse and Wally. It also includes a featurette, "Villain School: The Flash Rogues" (7:42), which discusses the villains included in the show, the reasons why they were chosen and how they have been presented.

DISC TWO
This disc has three deleted scenes, for the episodes "Invasion!" (0:54), "The Present" (0:32) and "Borrowing Problems from the Future" (1:15). The "Invasion!" deleted scene expands on an existing scene with HR and Thea Queen, whilst the other two consist of a brief additional bit of dialogue from Alchemy and an additional bit of conversation between Wally and Joe, respectively. The disc also includes a featurette, "Allied: The Invasion Complex (The Flash)" (9:49), which discusses the four-show crossover from the perspective of The Flash. Companion featurettes are featured on the Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 release and on the Arrow Season 5 release.

DISC THREE
This disc has three deleted scenes, one for the episode "The Wrath of Savitar" (1:31), which features another bit of additional dialogue between Wally and Jesse, and two for the episode "Duet" (2:40), the first featuring a young Barry and his mother and the second featuring HR and Wally. It also includes five featurettes, one focussing on Grodd and the digital effects that went into Gorilla City, and four centred around the musical two-parter Supergirl crossover episode, the concluding part of which is The Flash's episode "Duet".

The first featurette, "Rise of Gorilla City" (9:08), discusses the plans for bringing Grodd back into the third season, how it came about and how it fits in with the season story arc. It includes a series of behind-the-scenes clips detailing how the digital effects were created and then rendered, as well as discussion on what went into the sequences. The second, "The Flash: Hitting the Fast Note" (4:08), gives some background to how the musical episode came about as well as the two key musical numbers. The third, "The Flash: I'm Your Super Friend" (2:43), follows one of the two key musical numbers (I'm Your Super Friend, co-written by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's highly talented Rachel Bloom) with a series of shots of the song being filmed/performed. Lastly, the fourth, "Harmony In a Flash" (15:34), and fifth, "Synchronicity In a Flash" (20:59), constitute a much more extensive look behind the scenes of the musical crossover than "Hitting the Fast Note" (which feels like a cut-down version of these two) and takes a deeper look into the various aspects that went into creating it from musical arrangement to recording.

DISC FOUR
This disc has three deleted scenes, one for the episode "I Know Who You Are" (1:35), featuring Joe and Cecile, and two from "Finish Line" (2:46), featuring Cisco and Caitlin/Killer Frost in the first and featuring Barry and Joe in the second. There are also three featurettes - "The Flash: 2016 Comic-Con Panel" (29:50), "A Flash In Time: Time Travel In the Flash Universe" (21:47), and "A Conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith" (3:55) - and a gag reel (4:04). The gag reel is fairly amusing, which comes as no surprise given how well the cast appear to get on behind the scenes. The Comic-Con panel featurette also amuses, as well as giving an interesting teaser to the third season. "A Conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith" is a short featurette that touches on the technical challenges of filming Supergirl and The Flash from Kevin Smith's perspective as guest director. Finally, "A Flash In Time: Time Travel In the Flash Universe" is the most meaty and by far the most interesting featurette in the bonus features, approaching the Flash universe from a genuine scientific perspective, discussing what is and isn't based on real science and the concepts behind some of the show's storylines.

Packaging

Packaged in a 4-disc Viva Elite keep case, with two trays inside, each holding two discs back to back. Initial pressings come in a slipbox. An HD UV digital copy is also included.

Overall

A strong continuation of the series, the third season of The Flash is a solid choice. The season takes the twist from the end of the second season and doesn't shy away from the issues such events bring about. This release features a decent selection of extras, excellent HD video and audio and is highly recommended.

The Show: A- Video: A- Audio: A- Extras: B- Overall: A-

 


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