Sometimes a show cancelled prematurely can still put its competitors to shame. Boomtown was a radical and inventive approach to the ensemble cop show that added up to so much more than just its central gimmick of telling different stories from different perspectives. In fact, after the first few episodes in which the breakneck jumps of viewpoint and the time-frame demanded real attention, it de-emphasised them, while still forcing us to pay attention, making the viewer guess which story we were being told. Devised by award-winning screenwriter Graham Yost and director Jon Avnet, the first series of Boomtown covered a wide variety of cases: everything from baby-stealing to run-ins with the Russian Mafia, from hostage situations in suburban sports stores to rich kids having justice bought for them whether they wanted it or not. It was also the story of its seven central characters: Deputy DA David (Neil McDonough), for example, failing to cope with his growing alcoholism and sense of disillusion, and detective Joel Stevens (Donnie Wahlberg) endlessly reliving the cot-death of his daughter and his wife's attempted suicide. If the show had flaws, they were the slight marginalisation of the central female characters--a crime reporter and a paramedic--and the presence of too many storylines that were as much about teaching the characters a Valuable Lesson as credible crime stories. Nonetheless, it was a stunning show, which deserved a longer life. This complete Series 1 box set at least offers a readily available record of it for those of us who liked it too late. On the DVD: Boomtown, Series 1 DVD box set presents all 18 episodes (a further six were made for Series 2 before the show's cancellation) presented in widescreen 16:9 with the choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 Pro Logic. The only special features are a trailer and the original series pitch video. --Roz Kaveney
Henry is put down by all those around him. His wife is sleeping with another man, his best friend is stealing his money behind his back and his housekeeper insults him in Spanish. After hearing a man commit suicide on live radio Henry is moved to action. He wakes with a white plastic mask on his face and sets out to get his revenge.
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