Due on Blu: Fringe – The Complete Second Season

On the eve of TV2 screening the season two finale of Fringe, Warner Bros Video has confirmed the Blu-ray will be released here on July 13.

It should have gone on sale six months ago but was held back after TV2 pulled Fringe mid-run and rescheduled it from primetime to late-night.

The broadcaster’s also upset fans by not playing the 23 episodes sequentially.

Indeed, TV2 will follow the two-part season finale, which starts tonight at 10.30, with two unaired episodes, including Jacksonville, to screen on May 19 and 26.

It will then begin season three on June 2 – which means it should come out here on Blu-ray soon after its US release.

In the US, High-Def Digest criticised WB for cramming season two’s 23 episodes on to four discs when season one’s 20 episodes were spread across five. “Noise and compression issues abound,” it reported.

Blu-ray.com thought likewise: “Minor compression issues are the chief culprit, mingling with Fringe’s already noisy disposition and invading everything from out-of-focus backgrounds to brief establishing shots to a few mismanaged close-ups.

“But don’t shoot off any angry e-mails to Warner just yet. The fleeting artifacts that appear never amount to a significant distraction — videophiles will have to scour the image to find them.”

Which explains why other critics weren’t as bothered.

The Cinema Laser called the image “wonderfully crisp and clear. Dimensionality is very strong, plus there is a strong level of fine detail and texturing.

“Close-ups by and large bristle; you can see every line, freckle, blemish and imperfection in the actors’ skin.

“Of course, there are some shots that are a bit softer than others, but unless one feels like picking nits, there really isn’t much here to complain about.”

DVD Verdict agreed: “A beautiful 1.78:1 widescreen transfer that outperforms broadcast HD and works wonders on the multitude of far-out sights the series utilises.”

Extras include four commentaries, an hour of behind-the-scenes content, deleted scenes and a “bonus” episode, Unearthed, that was left over from season one (Fox TV didn’t air it in the US and WB excluded it from the Blu-ray compilation).

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