DVD Review: Bitten: The Complete First Season

By Jamie Ruby

BittenBitten, which is based on Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld novels, follows Elena Michaels (Laura Vandervoort), the only female ever to survive the werewolf bite and transformation.

Elena struggles to put her supernatural past behind her and live a normal life, hiding her true self. She seems to have done it with sexy fiancé Philip Greene (Paul Greene) and her photography career, until she is called back to Stonehaven by Pack leader Jeremy Danvers (Greg Bryk) after a girl is murdered.

Things become more complicated when Elena is reunited with Pack member and former lover Clayton Danvers (Greyston Holt). She helps her werewolf family to deal with the attacks and try to track down the killer, all while still trying to hold on to her life in Toronto, and not able to tell Philip the truth.

BittenI really enjoyed the first season of Bitten. It stands out from other popular series similar in genre. This series is more of a serious and often dark take than many in the genre. It also stands apart in that the show is about werewolves, and at least so far, werewolves alone. Don't expect to see vampires or other such supernatural creatures. The werewolves in Bitten once turned also look like wolves, not half-human half-animal creatures. They also have their own original mythology of course, such that, as previously mentioned, females don't survive the transformations, as well as their own set of rules that they must follow or face often extreme punishment.

The series focuses a lot on the the relationships in the series; not just on the romantic triangle, though obviously that's a big part of it. The show is often about Pack mentality and the idea of being there for family no matter what.

As I mentioned, the show has its dark moments, such as some brutality that I didn't expect. Some of the rules that often govern their morality can in be a gray area and one of the main characters goes a bit further, at least than I expected, to get the information they need. However, this does help to show that the characters are flawed, and that maybe some of their time-old rules could use some updating.

Watching the series, I really enjoyed the story. There is a continuous story thread throughout of the group trying to stop the murders in the town. The actors are both believable and relatable. I'm excited to see what comes next in the second season.

Behind the Scenes - In my opinion, this feature isn't exactly behind the scenes, per se. It's more about the characters and features the actors talking about the parts they play and the idea of Pack and family. The executive producer and creator are also featured. At the end there is a very brief bit where the cast talk about doing stunts.

VFX - Behind the Wolf - This short featurette talks about using CGI wolves and how they become integrated into the scene, as well as a bit on the transformations. Vandervoort also talks a bit about the challenges of episode 1.05 when she is first bitten, and Bryk talks about being responsible for the human part of it.

Deleted/Alternate Scenes - I was really surprised by the deleted and alternate scenes. These are generally some of my favorite features on DVDs, and usually they are few and far between. There are quite a few and for most episodes. They are also labeled when you play them, which was a nice touch. I've included a full list:

Episode 1: Elena learns about Bear Valley wolf attack
Episode 2: Elena's Dream Sequence (alternate)
Episode 2: Logan and Rachel bump into Philip (extended)
Episode 3: Elena meets hipster at the rave
Episode 3: Karl Marsten intro (extended)
Episode 4: Pack Mourns (extended)
Episode 6: Elena and the McAdams girls' wedding prep
Episode 9: Elena and Clay share a moment
Episode 10: Awkward moment with Clay and Philip
Episode 11: Elena tries to reach Philip
Episode 12: Logan and Rachel en route to Stonehaven
Episode 13 Clay and Elena in the tub (extended)
Episode 13: Clay and Elena pre-mutt attack prep
Episode 13: Nick returns

BittenStunt Choreography - This feature is broken apart by episode, and I've again included a list. Honestly I don't really get the point of this feature and therefore didn't really care for it. It's only clips of fight scenes and stunts with an insert in the corner showing the same scenes performed by stuntmen prior to the actors performances. It doesn't actually explain or talk at all about how they did the stunts.

Audio Commentary - with J.B. Sugar (executive producer), Daegan Fryklin (executive producer/writer), and actress Laura Vandervoort. There's commentary for three of the episodes: 1.01 Summons, 1.05 Bitten, and 1.13 Ready.

Trailers - The first disc also contains autoplay trailers for Haven: The Complete Fourth Season and From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series.

Packaging: - This set includes includes 13 uncut episodes (with footage not seen on American television) on four discs (discs 1-3 have four episodes and the fourth disc has one episode plus the bonus features). The discs are labeled with the episode numbers, and the names and numbers along with brief descriptions of the episodes are on the inside of the cover. It also lists some of the bonus features.

The blu-ray set comes in the regular blue clamshell case with a slipcase that covers from the side.

On the whole I really enjoyed this set. It's a great series and there are a fair amount of bonus features. I definitely recommend it.

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