Review of The Originals: The Complete Fourth Season DVD set DVD Review: The Originals: The Complete Fourth Season

The Originals: The Complete Fourth Season has its wide retail DVD release on August 29 with a Blu-ray edition coming the same day courtesy of the Warner Archive. The 3-disc set contains all 13 episodes from The Originals Season 4. KSiteTV has been provided with a copy for review; what did we think? Check out our review below; but first, here’s how the set is described:

Season four of The Originals begins on the fifth anniversary of the Mikaelson family’s greatest defeat. Although Marcel Gerard has ushered in a new era of peace in the French Quarter, an army of unsired vampires has arrived seeking to bargain for the life of Marcel’s infamous captive, the Original hybrid, Klaus. Meanwhile, the other Mikaelson siblings remain in an enchanted sleep Freya designed to keep them safe, buying Hayley time to find a cure for them – while also protecting her daughter, Hope. After a daring rescue, the Mikaelsons are reunited, only to find themselves faced with an even bigger threat: the revival of an ancient evil that has strong ties to their most vulnerable family member. Following a devastating attack by this nightmarish entity, the Mikaelsons discover there is only one way to save themselves – they must stand their ground in New Orleans and forge an alliance with their former friends, both Marcel and the leader of the New Orleans witches, Vincent Griffith. With the city of New Orleans consumed by a seemingly all-powerful cult hell-bent on child kidnappings and ghastly rituals, Klaus must face his own inner demons as he struggles to become the father he never had, to the child he is only now getting to know. Upon learning the truth – that their evil adversary cannot be killed – the Mikaelson siblings will have no choice but to stand together – even if this is to be their final battle.

Season four of The Originals stars Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries), Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries, Saving Hope), Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle), Charles Michael Davis (Grey’s Anatomy), Yusuf Gatewood (The Interpreter, Wonder Boys) and Riley Voelkel (The Social Network, The Newsroom). Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries, Kyle XY) executive produces along with Michael Narducci (The Vampire Diaries, Medium), and Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars). Created by Julie Plec, the series is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with My So-Called Company, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, and based in part on the character Klaus from The Vampire Diaries novels by L.J. Smith.

So what’s the verdict?

The Episodes: Season 4 starts with a time jump and now “baby Hope” is older and played by a different actress, and of course, there are some threats that would recall the title of Daniel Gillies’ other TV series “Saving Hope” as being a good name for this season as well.

What impresses me about The Originals is how rich its world has become, and the characters that have weaved in and out. I think it’s also telling about the production that even Claire Holt, who has recently starred in big screen movies, will still come back and play as Rebekah. The Mikaelson family says “always and forever,” and I guess that sticks here. There are newer characters like Vincent or Freya who feel like they’ve been a part of the core group all along, and I also really love that.

I admit, I had missed a lot of The Originals Season 4 as they aired as the Friday timeslot was just not something I could keep up with, so it’s nice to be able to have these episodes available in one sitting. I have a feeling this is a series a lot of people are going to discover after the fact and hit themselves for not watching to begin with. With this season being only 13 episodes, it’s shorter than The Originals has been at times, but that also keeps out the filler.

The season finale (spoiler warning) could, in many ways, have served as a final episode; I’m quite excited that it’s not the end as I’m very curious to see what’s next. Do be aware when watching though that this isn’t the very end.

Graphics & Sound: And here’s where I complain, Part 1. I hate this thing with some WB releases where Blu-ray is only available via the Warner Archive. Shows are done at such high quality now — The Originals included — that it’s really disappointing to not have the best possible picture. With that said, it looks and sounds great, but it pains me that it could be even greater, and on a wider scale. Is it really unprofitable to wide-release Blu-rays? Are people still buying DVDs?

Part of me is just being spoiled here, since the versions we are sent for review are the DVDs, and not Blu-rays, and that’s what I’d prefer to watch.

Extras: And here’s where I complain, Part 2. The obligatory “Comic-Con panel” is an extra, as is a gag reel and a “Come Visit Georgia” feature. There are, however, deleted scenes for 9 of the 13 episodes. But it’s unfortunate: I get that this isn’t a newer series or a higher priority, but the world of The Originals is so intricate it deserves more, even an episode commentary or something like that. It is also that The Originals is now all that’s left of the Vampire Diaries TV universe — so throw something good at it, please? Otherwise, people might as well just watch the show on Netflix.

Is It Worth It? If you’re a big fan of The Originals, of course. But, again, the extras on this set really lacked. I doubt anyone would go into The Originals with a Season 4 set first, but if they did, even a primer on what the series is about would really be nice.

The Originals: The Complete Fourth Season hits DVD on August 29. Order yours through our link and support KSiteTV!

Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.

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