True Detective: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray review

Oct 02, 2019- Permalink

In the third season of True Detective, two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali plays Detective Wayne Hays in three different decades, starting in the 1980s and 1990s and finally in 2015. In the latter timeframe, Hays, now suffering from dementia, is interviewed by a documentary on the Purcell case he worked on with his partner (Stephen Dorff). You can now reexamine the case yourself as True Detective: The Complete Third Season is available for your home library. HBO gave us a chance to review this Blu-ray release.

The AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is in the series’ original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Shot digitally, the show presents us with a very clean video presentation. Like a good detective’s case notes, the image is full of great detail, whether it be skin and hair, textiles, or natural and man-made environmental details. The colour palette is drab and dreary, matching both the weather and the subject matter. With a digital to digital transfer, there is really no evidence of digital noise or artifacts.

The set comes with a large selection of soundtracks and subtitles to choose from, turning the audio/subtitle menus into a veritable United Nations. On the soundtrack side, you have an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, French, Castilian Spanish, German and Italian DTS 5.1 tracks and Latin Spanish DTS 2.0 track. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, German, Italian SDH, Castilian Spanish, Latin Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Like a hard-working detective the soundtrack does its job but isn’t flashy. There a decent amount of surround usage to give you some ambient placement. In a procedural drama, dialogue is king and the dialogue here is clean and properly prioritized in the mix.

Besides a digital copy code, the set’s extras are spread out over the three Blu-ray discs the season is presented on. The first disc includes some deleted scenes and two featurettes. “Designing the Decades” looks at the production design challenges of telling the story over three decades, while “A Conversation with Nic Pizzolatto and T Bone Burnett” looks at the use of Burnett’s music in the season. On disc two, you’ll find some more deleted scenes, while disc three contains deleted scenes and an extended cut of the final episode with new and extended scenes.

A great lead performance by Mahershala Ali coupled with an excellent video presentation and very good audio presentation makes True Detective: The Complete Third Season a worthy addition to your home entertainment library.