Review | Supernatural The Complete Series Boxset
Carl fights off evil with Warner Bros’ extraordinary boxset of the entire Supernatural show!
Supernatural. What do you do when you’re confronted with a boxset of this magnitude? Eighty-six discs adding up to two hundred and twenty-one hours and thirteen minutes of viewing. Every episode from the first from 2005 right up to the finale in 2020. Dose up on caffeine, lock the doors, unplug the phone, and binge-watch! That’s what you do! If one was to binge-watch the boxset twenty-four hours a day, it would take ten days to watch it all. The trick is to watch what you can when you can and enjoy every moment of the popular series.
THE WINCHESTER BROTHERS COMPLETE JOURNEY
For the uninitiated, the show concerned the Winchester brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles). The show follows their adventures taking on every kind of threat from other dimensions. During the show’s run, the audience sees them taking on everything the writers can throw at them. From the yellow-eyed demon that murdered their mother through vampires, shape-shifters, ghosts, fallen gods, angels, and of course the two most powerful of them all, God and Lucifer. Crossing the country in their 1967 Chevy Impala, we follow their exploits from the first episode when Sam is forced back into the paranormal world by Dean up to the tear-jerking final episode in season 15. All are here in full.
SPECIAL FEATURES APLENTY!
As is common with most home entertainment releases, there are special features to accompany the main feature. And it is the same here. While the Blu-Ray boxset contains, even more, the DVD set holds its own. We will delve deep into what goes into making a show such as ‘Supernatural‘ and get to see how they brought some things to life. From the Impala itself through to make-up and creating the creatures we see in the show. The boxset has it all for the hardcore fan to delve into.
FROM LEGENDS TO REALITY: SUPERNATURAL EFFECTS
This is the first special feature we are given and it is wonderful. An intriguing look into how the look of the creatures came into being and how their looks and designs were finalized. We go behind the scenes to find out how the look of ‘The Changeling’ was accomplished. We discover how the showrunners perceived the look and movement of the ‘Black Smoke’. How certain nasty and gory effects were created. Many were done the old-fashioned way. By using practical effects.
Of course, nowadays, you can’t have a show like ‘Supernatural‘ without resorting to CGI. And we are shown how these effects were created. From the decapitation of a vampire by razor wire and the shot of his severed head. It is all revealed to us. How ‘The Changeling’s’ mouth design was agreed upon. The art of having a character get shot with blood splatter erupting from the wound, either front or behind them. How certain scenes were created digitally. The die-hard fan will relish this look behind the curtain.
The iconic car gets its own featurette, which it completely deserves. The Impala is almost like another character in the show, one that we would sorely miss if it wasn’t there. It is here where we go behind the scenes to see how the car is maintained. And here’s the kicker. There are many different editions of the same car stored away for use in the show. There are stunt cars, cars that are on casters and come apart easily for interior only shots. Some are used solely for parts for the others to be maintained and so on.
Every Impala used in the show, except for the one used in the pilot episode has to be repainted. But the beauty of them is exceptional. The interiors have been brought back to the original factory standard. The stereo inside the car is non-functioning but that is a moot point. We are even allowed a look inside the trunk of the car where the Winchester brothers have their weapons. Everything that we wish to know about the vehicle is presented to us in a fun little featurette.
No set of special features is complete without the obligatory gag reel. And we are afforded that luxury here. Mainly, the reel features Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles goofing around on set, messing up each other’s take but even Lauren Cohen gets in on the act. The goofiness of the two leads gives rise to giggles for the viewer and we get a sense of the fun everyone had onset. There are some real standout moments of hilarity. Whether it’s the goofy behavior of the two leads or the forgetting of lines. Even the waiting for a large snake to come over a shoulder. It is all here to bring some levity to the special features.
THE MYTHOLOGIES OF SUPERNATURAL: FROM HEAVEN TO HELL
This is set into three parts. Paradiso, Purgatorio, and Inferno. We start with Paradiso. This is broken down into three sections.
ANGELS AND ARCHANGELS
The first is ‘Angels and Archangels‘. Here, we will discuss the philosophical beliefs we have regarding angels. Various religious leaders speak about the perception we have and speak about the real truth. About how angels are warriors of God and about their orders. About how humanity is touched by these beings and how they influence our daily lives.
ANGELS AND MIRACLES
This part deals with resurrection and returning from the dead. During the show, characters return from heaven and hell and we delve into the aspects of this. Jesus is mentioned regarding performing miracles and we look into all beliefs and how all religions portray this. And how the subject is broached in the show. How God is the one who will allow the miracle to happen. About how we all view miracles in different ways. Such as the moon landing and seeing the earth from above. How the miracles are within us all.
THE AGELESS UNSEEN WAR
This final part deals with the end of days. Where God will ultimately triumph. The internal battle within ourselves. How we must decide between doing right or wrong daily. About what we, as human beings can do in the everlasting struggle between good and evil. About the part, we will play in the eventual outcome. How our hearts and minds can be twisted and manipulated by what we believe to be outside forces. In reality, it is the battle inside ourselves. The philosophical questions that the entire section throws up are something we all ponder. And only we can decide what side we are on.
Here we will discuss the bonds of limbo. About the three believed states when we die. If we are good, we go to heaven. If we are evil, we go to hell. But what about those in between? They go to purgatory. A waiting room if you will where their ultimate fate will be determined. About how the dead, whether they died tragically, before their time, are unexpecting of death or any other form, will try and cling onto this world. This is where ghosts come into play. How the dead, who haven’t been guided to their final destination can become angry. Hence the term ‘angry spirits’. We also hear about our preconception of the grim reaper. The figure of death who will come for us when our time has come. All aspects are discussed here.
It is here where we will discuss and discover our darkest fear. The place we all fear we will go to when we pass on. Hell. Once again, this is broken up into three sections where we will look at all aspects of this fiery and feared place.
THE PRICE OF FREE WILL
In this first section, we will discover the beliefs regarding the devil and his minions. How God created man and showed him to his angels to love and worship. When Lucifer/ Satan refused, he was cast out of heaven. How his minions showed man how to do things while at the same time manipulating the design to become something that mankind could use as a weapon against each other. How the power of good and evil is within us all. Many religions have their interpretations of the devil but ultimately, they all describe him the same. Just in different ways.
THE SWEET SONG OF DEATH
In this part, we will discuss and discover the history of the sirens. How through the ages and mythologies, they have been portrayed. From the tales of tempting unsuspecting sailors to their doom to tales from greek mythology. About how Jason on his quest for the golden fleece brought along Orpheus, the son of Apollo. When Jason and his crew encountered the sirens, Orpheus countermanded their song and lulled them into a state which allowed Jason and the Argo to pass safely. How the sirens have evolved throughout history until they were portrayed in ‘Supernatural’ as strippers. The same principles applied. The sirens still grabbed the hearts of men and made them do what they wanted. Cash was now their payment for luring unsuspecting males to their charms.
THE DESTROYER OF CHILDREN
This final section is devoted to Lilith. Contrary to beliefs, Eve was not the first woman on earth. It was Lilith. Adam rejected her and so she went off to become the first demon. She preys upon young boys. A defiler of children. How she refused to be subservient to Adam. When Eve was punished for being tempted by the serpent in the garden of Eden, she was punished by receiving the pain of childbirth and being subservient to man. Lilith refused to accept any of these and became a demon to be feared. Her story is told here and is a fascinating watch.
INTO THE APOCALYPSE: A WORLD WITHOUT THE WINCHESTERS
We now come across a feature about our two eponymous heroes themselves as they enter the rift. They come upon a world between worlds. A world where angels and demons fight. A world that is apocalyptic and desolate. We see how the look and style of this world were created. What the makers decided they wanted to show. And how they went about it. Everything is brought to us, from the costumes right up to the looks of the demons. Everything we wanted to know about this vital world is delivered to us in a short but interesting feature.
THE WINCHESTER MYTHOLOGY: NATURE VS NURTURE
Next up, we have a featurette regarding Jack and his father, Lucifer. We look at how Sam nurtures Jack, believing him to do good while Dean wants to destroy him for good. The moral fiber that runs through the storyline is examined in great detail with contributions from the actors themselves. They discuss how they approached the storyline and how their respective characters felt about the son of the devil being torn between good and evil. The discussion also speaks of the entire storyline and how they feel it should be resolved. We also get the chance to feel sorry for Lucifer himself. But of course, it is all a ploy that we have fallen into. Once again, the devil pulls out his bag of tricks to con us into siding with him. To fall for his lies and make him powerful once again.
The movie and tv conventions happen around the world and ‘Supernatural‘ didn’t disappoint. Among the special features is a featurette about their appearance at one of the Comic cons as well as the full-length 2017, 2018, and 2019 panels that the stars and creators took part in. As someone who has been to hundreds of panels like this, I can say the viewer will get enjoyment out of watching what happens at these amazing events. Just to be able to see, hear and interact with your favorite actors and actresses is cool!
THE WINCHESTER MYTHOLOGY: THE CHOICES WE MAKE
Continuing with our look at the mythology behind the series, we now take an in-depth look at the aftermath of Michael taking possession of Dean and Lucifer taking possession of Jack. Dean willingly accepted Michael into him but wasn’t prepared for the consequences of his actions. Whereas Jack took Lucifer in willingly and was never going to change. The featurette follows what will happen during season 14 and the revelation that will lead into season 15 and the final season. We see Jack’s struggle after the events of season 13 and we witness the tragic events that follow him as the season hurtles towards its conclusion.
SUPERNATURAL: THE END OF THE ROAD
All good things must come to an end and that extends to ‘Supernatural‘. After fifteen seasons, the curtain has come down on the Winchester brothers and their exploits. This featurette celebrates this fact. It follows the cast and crew as they commence on the last ride for their characters and the resolution of the storylines that have been running from the start. The characters’ fates are revealed and you get a real sense of sadness that it is all ending. It is revealed that the end of the show was always on the cards from day one. The logistics had to be worked out but the creators were always going to end it the way they did. Covid played a huge part in delaying the finale but it was worked around to complete the arcs. It is a satisfying and enjoyable feature.
SUPERNATURAL: FAMILY DON’T END WITH BLOOD
Sam and Dean Winchester during the series created their own sense of family. It was the same for the entire cast and crew of the show. Throughout the fifteen seasons, they came together as one huge, extended family. This segment celebrates that fact as we go on a journey with them through the seasons and beyond. We see the cast meeting fans. We see fans reacting to the series finale and the events that make up the emotional parts. And hear about the loss of crew members during the fifteen seasons and how it impacted everyone involved. We get a huge sense of togetherness with everyone. And we discover some people met their husbands or wives on the show. How births were celebrated. How crew members were treated after hospital stays. These people are their own unique family.
THE WINCHESTER MYTHOLOGY: MIDWESTERN HEROES
Creator Eric Kripke envisioned the show to be, in his words, ‘a cross between Roue 66 and The X-Files‘. The characters of Sam and Dean embody that in some way. They are almost like modern-day cowboys. The show is almost like a western in some respects. The town or people are in danger. Nobody can stand up to the villain and his gang. From out of nowhere rides in a lonesome stranger or two gunslingers who will save the day and the town. The same mythology goes for Sam and Dean. They travel across America solving supernatural problems for those who can’t solve them by themselves. They travel through the mid-west like drifters from an old John Wayne movie. This section celebrates that.
SUPERNATURAL: THE LONG ROAD HOME
The final special feature on the DVD boxset. It is a special one-off documentary that was shown before the final episode aired in the United States. It looks back at the entire history of the show from its pilot episode up to its final goodbye. Many of the stars appear during the documentary including Padalecki, Ackles alongside Micha Collins, Alexander Calvert, Samantha Smith, Jim Beaver, Kim Rhodes, Ruth Connell, and Mark Sheppard. Eric Kripke, Andrew Dabb, and Robert Singer also make an appearance alongside archive footage of the guest stars from the entire fifteen seasons.
INTERESTING DETAILS REVEALED!
During the documentary, there are a few snippets that may surprise fans of the show. These include Jared Padalecki revealing he would like to do a whole season about ‘Scoobynatural‘. Robert Singer revealing the audience loved The Impala so much, they filmed the entire episode from the Impala’s point of view. Jensen Ackles revealing ‘The French Mistake’ is one of both his and Jared’s favorite episodes. And Eric Kripke comparing the relationship of Sam and Dean to that of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo.
That isn’t all of course. The set also contains audio commentary on certain episodes, deleted scenes, and a terrific collectible 68-page booklet with the synopsis of every episode alongside photographs from the episodes themselves. All in all, it is quite a package and one that will be the pride of place in anyone’s collection.
But what of the boxset itself? It is incredible. Five jewel cases hold the eighty-six DVDs, three seasons to a case. Every episode holds the attention with its terrific storytelling and special effects. We feel invested in these characters from the start. We laugh with them. And cry with them. We feel their pain and hope they get a happy ending when all is said and done. The front of the boxset features the Impala, driving down a dirt road into another frightening adventure. The back packaging has a lift-off description of what is contained within the box and what is contained on the discs themselves. Remove the lift-off packaging and a picture of Sam and Dean posing in front of the Impala is revealed.
It is rather a large box set as can be expected but what it contains will bring weeks of top-quality entertainment. For those fans who have yet to own the complete series for themselves, it is the perfect gift to buy for themselves or to receive as a present. For those who have yet to experience the show, they don’t know what they’ve been missing. This is the perfect way to see every episode ever produced. Scary, frightening, nasty, gory, and utterly compelling viewing. Jump in the Impala, race down to your local store, and grab yourself something supernatural to watch at home. You won’t regret it. Just make sure no angels or demons get their hands on it before you!
Supernatural: The Complete Series Boxset is released by Warner Bros. and is available to own NOW!
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Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!