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Missing, The - Season 1 Review




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Rating
Video:   9/10
Audio:   8/10
Extras:   2/10

Really tough for parents to watch!
by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
4/22/2015

    When five year-old Oliver Hughes disappears while on holiday in France, it sets off a nearly decade-long search for his whereabouts. The Missing, a STARZ Limited Series, is a dramatic thriller that takes you inside the mind of a father, Tony (played by James Nesbitt of The Hobbit trilogy and Jekyll), desperate to locate his lost son. With help from a legendary detective (played by Tcheky Karyo of Goldeneye and The Patriot), Tony embarks on an obsessive quest to find his son and those responsible for his disappearance. A gripping puzzle with twists and turns at every stage, Tony's exhaustive search fractures his relationship with his wife, Emily (played by Frances O'Connor of Mr. Selfridg and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence), and threatens to destroy his life. Told through a complex narrative, The Missing unfolds over two time frames simultaneously.
I have memories of my mom crying while watching certain shows when I was a kid. They always involved something happening to a little kid, either being kidnapped or injured, and I wondered why it was so upsetting for her. It's a show - it's not real, so it's silly to get upset over it. I have a 3-year-old now, and it all makes sense. Parents aren't upset because of what happens on the TV, they're upset because they're projecting it onto their own child. That makes watching a show like this extremely difficult. I mean extremely difficult!! I wanted to watch the show, but then I didn't want to watch the show, and then I really wanted to watch the show...

All 8 episodes of the series, which was intended to be a limited series before it was renewed, are on this 2-disc set. And while the show has been renewed, this is a self-contained story as the second season has a new plot, and new characters.

Disc 1 (3:54:55)
Eden (59:09)
Pray for Me (58:25)
The Meeting (58:43)
Gone Fishing (58:38)

Disc 2 (3:53:12)
Molly (58:28)
Concrete (58:27)
Return to Eden (58:23)
Till Death (57:54)

Video

The quality of the 1.78:1 image on Blu-ray looks great, though the setting is a bit depressing. The picture has a lot of blue in it, echoing the depressing nature of the show (there's nothing cheery about searching for a missing child), but the quality is excellent. There are only a few issues of noise appearing in some night shots, otherwise it's nearly flawless. Each disc has a "play all" that remembers where you stopped (so many of them don't), and will prompt you to insert the second disc when you're done with the first.

Audio

Just one audio track on this release, but it's a great-sounding English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Everything is easy to understand, and there are subtitles for the French pieces. The rear speakers are used for ambiance, with most of the sound coming from the center speaker (dialog). There are subtitles in English and Spanish. The show was a co-production between BBC and Starz, so if you have problems with British accents you'll enjoy having the subtitles available.

Extras - How we rate extras

The Missing: Time Changes All (2:02)
A short featurette on the time-changing periods, and how it was used to drive the narrative.

The Missing: Transformations (1:59)
Because the story takes place over a long period of time, great care had to be put into the "style" of the characters through the story.

The Missing: Behind the Scenes (2:32)
Interviews with the cast and crew about the show, mixed with lots of scenes from the series.

Summary

This was an excellent series, even though it stressed me out and had me checking on my kid multiple times through the night whenever I watched it. James Nesbitt was absolutely outstanding (I'm shocked he wasn't nominated for anything) as Tony, the father of the little boy that goes missing, and Frances O'Connor (who was nominated) was excellent as Emily, the mother.

While the series was great, I wish there were more bonus features on the set. 8 episodes long, and the bonus material is less than 10 minutes; I was disappointed. I would have loved a commentary track on some of the episodes (first and last, for sure), but the only things here are 3 very short featurettes.

I'm definitely interested in the second season of this show, even though it's going to stress me out and cost me sleep.


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