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Smallville - 'The Complete Series' on DVD: Timeframe, Packaging, New Extras and Answer to 'Why Not On Blu-ray?'


Look for a collectible 62-DVD package, with previous bonus material and new supplements, later this year

Posted by David Lambert
4/26/2011
 
Smallville - The Complete SeriesAs reported earlier today by our big-sister website, TVGuide.com, Smallville - The Complete Series is coming to DVD this fall. You can see an early look at the package art on the right (courtesy of TVGuide.com) The 62-disc set will contain all 218 episodes from the show's 10-year run, plus bonus material. That includes new extras made just for this Complete Series set, which TVGuide.com reports will consist of:
  • 90-minute series retrospective with new cast and crew interviews
  • Commemorative issue of the Daily Planet, created by DC Comics
  • 2010 Comic-Con International panel
  • Episode guide with production art (storyboards and sketches) and behind the scenes photos
  • Previously unseen Superboy pilot from 1961
More about this can be seen in a TVGuide.com-exclusive trailer that you'll find in the story at their website, which you can get to using the link provided above. The trailer includes a "beauty shot" look at the package interior, and we've got a screen capture of that for you at the bottom. Note that the "book cover" in that image shows a look of Clark clinging to the side of a launching rocket; if you watch the actual trailer over there, then you'll quickly see that it's not the actual book cover but rather an in-motion series of segments from various episodes of the show. Hopefully Warner Home Video will get us finalized high-res artwork of this packaging, including the beauty shot, to pass along in a future update.

In the meantime, we can add a few things to the information our owners at TVGuide.com have provided. First of all, we've been informed by Warner Home Video that this release of Smallville - The Complete Series will ONLY be for DVD format, and not on Blu-ray Disc. We asked for some in-depth information about why the studio would make that decision, and we were informed that there are technical issues present in the early seasons. Here's an exact quote from the studio:
    "The special effects were created and output for standard definition broadcast using the tools and formats of that time. Elevating the special effects to an acceptable level for HD may require going back to original film elements and re-creating new special effects from scratch to marry with the film elements, which is extremely costly."
So, like other SFX-heavy series which were finished on videotape but not made-for-HD from the ground up (such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Babylon 5, early seasons of Doctor Who, and others), the first few seasons of Smallville simply aren't up-to-snuff for high def Blu-ray Disc format without paying for a pricey special effects do-over. It's quite understandable that Warner wouldn't go back and do that just now, with the economy still not where everybody wants it to be.

"Wait a second!," you might ask, "didn't Smallville - The Complete 5th Season come out in the now-defunct HD-DVD high-def format? Can't they make a Blu-ray version of it, at least?" Yes, we looked into that question as well. Warner's answer to us was this: "Although the release of Season 5 on Blu-ray is technically possible, we do not have current plans to release Season 5 on BD."

So, how far into the "fall" will Smallville - The Complete Series DVDs come out? Well, we don't know that for certain at the moment, but we can take a guess! In mid-March we passed along word that Smallville - The Complete 10th Season is reportedly coming to DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats on November 8th. That has NOT been officially announced by the studio, and could easily be subject to change. However, it's probably a rather safe guess that Smallville - The Complete 10th Season and Smallville - The Complete Series will be out on the same day, whatever that turns out to be. There's more to find out, and we're working to get that for you. Stay tuned!

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Smallville - The Complete Series
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