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Commander in Chief - The Inaugural Edition, Part 1



DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.99
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 10
Running Time: 427 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: N/A
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1; Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: No subtitles; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: None


Available for the first time on DVD, COMMANDER IN CHIEF: THE INAUGURAL EDITION Part 1 features the thrilling first ten episodes of this riveting best new drama on a 2-disc DVD. Academy Award winner Geena Davis stars as Mackenzie Allen, the first woman President of the United States. While breaking new ground as the first female leader of the free world, "Mac" faces tremendous challengers, both personal and political, unknown to any previous Commander In Chief. Her family adjusts to their new life as the "first family," and Mac has an ongoing conflict with foes led by the Speaker of the House (Donald Sutherland). Amidst constant struggles and fiery political battles, Mac perseveres with integrity and poise. You can find that and more on this DVD set from Buena Vista Home Entertainment on June 27!

Commander in Chief stars Geena Davis as President Allen, Donald Sutherland as Nathan Templeton, Harry Lennix as Jim Gardner, Kyle Secor as Rod Calloway, Ever Carradine as Kelly, Matt Lanter as Horace, Caitlin Wachs as Rebecca, Jasmine Anthony as Amy, Anthony Azizi as Vince, with Natasha Henstridge as Jayne Murray and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Dickie.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

With just ten episodes on this set, you really need to watch all ten in order to get a full grasp of every detail. The show produced 18 episode, but the final eight episodes will be released on a Part 2 DVD in September…with extras! I’m not going to give away plot lines, but I’ll tell you which episodes are my personal best for this set. “Pilot” (the first episode), “First Choice,” “First Dance,” “First Disaster,” “First Scandal,” and the first episode produced by Steven Bochco “Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express.” All the episodes with runtimes will be detailed in the videos section.

Guest starring on these ten episodes are Mary Page Keller as Grace Bridges, Will Lyman as President Bridges, Peter Coyle as Warren Keaton, Samantha Eggar as Sara Templeton, and Polly Bergen as Kate Allen.


The packaging is simple and light. You get a snap case (or is it a thin amaray case?). The cover has headshots of Nathan and Mac, with the Capitol building on the right. The color scheme is red and black. The back has shots of the first couple, Jayne & Nathan, Mac, and photo of the men: Rod, Warren, Dickie and Jim; on the top has information on the show and set. And there is also a box listing spec info.

The case has a button type of opening, similar to Grey’s Anatomy Season 1. There are two buttons that you pull so you can get inside the case. It is a nice touch and good move by Buena Vista, since this is just a two disc set. When we open the case, on the left side we see an insert with details of the episodes on this set and the back of that has the cover for the part 2 set coming this September. The discs are on the right side. They are not overlapped. They are in like a book type form. Looking at disc one, then you turn the page and you get to disc two. The discs themselves are plain looking, with a red background and the show logo in grey coloring. Episodes 1-5 are on disc one and episodes 6-10 on disc two.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is decent, but a little let down compared to Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. There is no animation just a basic menu, but it works I guess. At least there are no auto trailers or any trailers at all! Background music is playing in the background and it does loop, but the music is quite long. Three photos are on the menu: Rod, Mac and Nathan. The options are: Play All, Episode Selection, & Set Up. Set Up menu has where you can turn on the captions for the hearing impaired along with how to register your DVD. Episode Selection menu has a screenshot from the episode along with the title of the episode, and then you can select which one you want to view. Each submenu for both discs has a different track from the show’s great music! Chapter stops are available (10 stops or so) for each episode and the show is in widescreen and it looks so good!

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are both excellent, as it should be since this series is new. The video is in widescreen like I mentioned. Audio is perfect in Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I have no complaints whatsoever. There are chapter stops, which is always needed for each TV DVD I think. And the episodes are unedited of course. The following are the episodes on this set and their runtimes:

Disc 1:
1. “Pilot” (43:46)
2. “First Choice” (43:11)
3. “First Strike” (42:42)
4. “First Dance” (42:08)
5. “First…Do No Harm” (40:54)

Disc 2:
6. “First Disaster” (41:32)
7. “First Scandal” (42:56)
8. “Rubie Dubidoux and the Brown Bound Express” (42:38)
9. “The Mom Who Came to Dinner” (42:48)
10. “The Sub Enchanted Evening” (43:07)

Special Features:

The set has no special features. They are saving them all for part 2, which comes out September 5. I think they should have had at least audio commentary on the pilot or other key episodes from the first 10 episodes. The first 7 are done by Rod Lurie. Steven Bochco takes over starting with episode 8. So something should have been said regarding that.

Final Comments:

This and Invasion were the best new dramas last fall. It is such a shame both will gone by this fall. Commander in Chief will return at some point though as TV movie so things can wrap up. The set is decently done and the episodes look good. The extras are being saved for part two, but I still think we should have had a bit on this one, too. The menu screen was plain for a high profile drama like this. Packaging was excellent though. This show started off so well in the ratings, but dipped by January since there were no new episodes airing for a while. The production delays were a problem. The show never really had a slowing down process quality wise. It was good from start to finish. The Bochco episodes I thought focused more on the political side, but his later ones went back to the family a bit more, like how the original 7 were. This is a great series, and you should pick this set up, along with part two coming September 5 loaded with extras! Donald Sutherland and Geena Davis are great and should get Emmy nominations this fall!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 06/23/06

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