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Commander in Chief - The Inaugural Edition, Part 2



DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.99
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 8
Running Time: 390 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 31 minutes
+ 86 minutes worth of audio commentaries
Video: Widescreen 1.78:1; Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Subtitles: No subtitles; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: “A Conversation with Madam President,” Deleted Scenes, White House Humor: Bloopers & Outtakes and 2 Audio Commentaries


Continuing where we left off in June, part 2 of COMMANDER IN CHIEF: THE INAUGURAL EDITION is now available on DVD! Part 2 features the thrilling last 8 episodes of this enthralling best new drama on a 2-disc DVD and this time with bonus features! 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 September 5!

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 eight episodes on this set, you really need to watch then all in order to get a full grasp of every detail. The show produced 18 episode, the first 10 episodes were on the part one DVD in June! Episodes 11-18 aired over three different nights and times actually on ABC. After coming back in January and over a month off in between new episodes, the ratings began to slip just a bit, so ABC pulled the Tuesday at 9 timeslot after episode 12 on January 24. The show didn’t return until April 13 where it aired for three weeks on Thursdays at 10. That didn’t go so well, so ABC shelved it until the official 05-06 season was over and “burned” the last three episodes off in early summer on Wednesdays at 10. It was too bad this happened because from Sept-Nov, this show was doing #1 in the ratings for a new show and winning its Tuesdays at 9 timeslot. I’m not going to give away plot lines for the last 8 episodes, but I’ll tell you which episodes are my personal best for this set: “No Nukes is Good Nukes,” “The Elephant in the Room,” “Happy Birthday Madam President” and “Unfinished Business.” All the episodes with runtimes will be detailed in the videos section.

Guest starring on these eight episodes are Adam Arkin as Attorney General Brantley, Peter Coyle as Warren Keaton, Samantha Eggar as Sara Templeton, and Polly Bergen as Kate Allen.


The packaging is simple and light and similar to the part one DVD. You get a snap case (or is it a thin amaray case?). The cover has headshots of the first family and another of just Mac, with the White House on the left. The color scheme is blue and black (it was red and black for part one). The back has three snapshots from the show; on the top has information on the show and set. And there is also a box listing bonus features and spec info.

The case has a button type of opening, just like part one. 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 an ad for Desperate Housewives Season 2 DVD. Also an insert on how you can save money on other Buena Vista sets. 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 11-15 are on disc three and episodes 16-18 on disc four. They are just continuing the disc labeling from part one, where we had discs one & two, so that is why discs three & four are listed for this set.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is decent and the same as part one, 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. 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 (just like part one). 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 an oval screenshot from the episode along with the number/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 (9 stops or so) for each episode and the show is in widescreen and it looks so good! The last disc has auto trailer to start the disc that runs over 9 minutes. We also have Bonus Features and Sneak Peek options. Bonus Features of course lists all the extras and Sneak Peeks has other Buena Vista shows like previews for DVDs of Scrubs S4, Desperate Housewives S2, Grey’s Anatomy S2 and Grey’s Anatomy on ABC.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are both excellent (and on par with part one), 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 9 chapter stops for each episode. Chapter stops are always needed for each TV DVDs, or any DVDS for that matter. And the episodes are unedited of course. The following are the episodes on this set and their runtimes:

Disc 3:
11. “No Nukes is Good Nukes” (43:11)
12. “Wind Beneath My Wing” (41:25)
13. “State of the Unions” (42:39)
14. “The Price You Pay” (41:14)
15. “Tied That Bind” (43:13)

Disc 4:
16. “The Elephant in the Room” (42:24)
17. “Happy Birthday, Madam President” (43:04)
18. “Unfinished Business” (43:02)

Special Features:

Unlike part one, this set has extras and some quality extras, too, but not in the style of other ABC dramas like Desperate Housewives, Lost and Grey’s Anatomy. We get a nice interview featurette with Geena Davis, called “A Conversation with Madam President.” It runs 5:53 and Geena talks a bit about the show and stuff. She mentioned she never wanted to do a one-hour TV show because of the long hours, but this show was very special. The featurette could have been a bit longer, but oh well. Then we get 21:38 worth of deleted scenes! Let’s get to them. First Woman President (0:43) has Mac and Amy talking. Jim’s Loss (1:27) has Jim and Rod talking about losing President Bridges. Missing Agents (1:44) has Mac in a room with her staff. Big Jump (0:24) has Kelly after her first press conference; she used to be a speech writer, so this is a big change for her. Lock and Key (1:29) has Mac watching on the news that she has chosen a Vice President, yet she hasn’t. Keeping Busy (1:21) has Rod finding out how to be the First Gentleman. Snooping Templeton (0:44) has Nathan Templeton snooping around and sees General Keaton in the oval office. Misguided Q&A (1:33) has Rod & Keaton talking then Mac walks in. First Move (0:37) has Mac talking to Jim I believe before (or is it after?) the ball. Candy Corn (0:50) has Mac eating Amy’s candy corn. An Incident (0:57) has Mac talking to Horace about an incident at school. The Bottom Line (0:45) has Mac being briefed and we see Amy in her Halloween costume. Agenda (0:16) has Mac & Rod talking about Nathan. Family Matters (2:43) has Kate (Mac’s mom) & Amy talking, and then Kate talks to Rod & Mac. Strong Men (1:05) has Mac & Nathan talking on Air Force One. Dinner Bet (1:01) has Dickey & Jane talking. Spiked Drink (1:01) has Rod, Jim, Kelly & Dickey talking about who spiked Rod’s drink. Chinese Finger Trap (0:47) has Rod, Jim, Kelly & Dickey talking. A Present for Templeton (0:42) has Sara Templeton giving her husband Nathan a gift. And finally Why President’s Are (1:08) has Mac talking to a staff member.

Then we have White house Humor: Bloopers & Outtakes. This hilarious reel runs 3:17 and mainly features Geena Davis. She is hilarious! Finally, we have two audio commentaries--one for “Pilot” from Rod Lurie (Creator) and the other for “The Elephant in the Room” by writer/producer Dee Johnson. I don’t understand why the audio commentary for “Pilot” was not on part one. They could have put that on part one and added another commentary or something else in its place for this set. It is like have the pilot on both sets because you have the option to turn the commentary on or off. Strange I think.

Final Comments:

Like I said for part one, 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 a TV movie so things can wrap up. I hope ABC keeps their promise on that. I haven’t heard any time table on when it could air. The set is decently done and the episodes look great in widescreen. The extras are pretty good, but could have been better. The show is very good I think and I think it should have gotten a season two order, but it would have been hard to find a timeslot after the disaster on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is a great series, and you should pick this set up. If you picked up part one, then for sure do pick this set up! I guess Buena Vista wanted to make more money out of this series since it is only going to be a one season wonder and maybe that is why they decided to break it down in two sets. Donald Sutherland and Geena Davis are great and should have won Emmys for their roles!

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

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 09/02/06

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