HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Dig: Season 1
HTS Overall Score:67
The USA Network has been trying to find replacement shows for the front runners that have been canceled over the last year or so. “Covert Affairs” is gone. “Royal Pains” is gone, “Burn Notice” is gone, and they have been working around the clock at trying to re do the network’s public image by putting in a wider variety of show types into the lineup. There has been the introduction of their first half hour sitcoms, and now “Dig”, a supernatural, conspiracy theory show much in the same vein as “The Da Vinci Code” or “Angels and Demons”, just without the excellent writing and top quality leads of the afore mentioned movies. “Dig” has been promoted HEAVILY by USA Network, with pretty much every other show having SOME sort of commercial advertising the 10 episodes series (can’t exactly call it a miniseries, but can’t call it a full season with only 10 eps, so It’s a weird one off season).
FBI agent Peter Connelly (Jason Isaacs) is suffering from the loss of his daughter via suicide. His marriage is in a shambles as a result and he has run all the way across the globe to be a special correspondent agent over in Jerusalem where he is stationed with his on and off again lover/boss Lynn Monahan (Anne Heche). While life isn’t exactly NORMAL over there, it all becomes a lot weirder when Agent Connelly runs into a mysterious red headed American working on an archeology visa looking for the Ark of the Covenant under the city. What seems like a chance late night meeting between two Americans in a strange county ends up being much much more when she turns of dead the next morning and Peter the last person on camera who had seen her.
Simultaneously we see some seriously devious goings on from several other parties. On one hand we have a cult church out in the New Mexican desert raising an enigmatic child who is seen as some sort of savior. On the other side of the globe, a red calf has been born and Hassidic Jews are doing everything it takes to keep this calf safe for some mysterious means. Add in jewel thieves by the very same people that Peter works for into the mix and you have a mixed up soup of distrust and conspiracy theories that will make a believer, or a skeptic, out of you when it’s all done.
“Dig” is kind of a strange series. It was originally conceived of as a one off series, with no sequel seasons in the works, but it seems that the powers that be have decided to renew it for a second season. This concept was to ensure that the series went straight for the jugular right out of the gate and never lets up until the final credits roll. This is partially achieved with the first 3 episodes being a whirlwind of action and intrigue, but after those initial episodes the pace slows down quite a bit and you have the standard mid-season lull that happens in so many other shows. The “whirlwind” that I mentioned has both positives and negatives to it, the main one being that “Dig” is sooooooooo convoluted and twisted in on itself with intrigue that it becomes your typical bowl of spaghetti with plot points winding around other plot points and getting so tangled up that you can’t find one end from the other.
The whole idea of a religious conspiracy has been done before, quite well in fact, with other movies and shows, but USA Network hasn’t seemed to be able to grasp all of the nuances of that type of genre just yet. The show tries to paint Peter as a complicated and less than perfect agent, but once he gets going in the field it’s very hard to get an accurate read on the man. His investigation goes one way and then drastically goes another and his motivations seems out in left field at times. Even by the end of the show you’re not sure what to make of him. Also, the spaghetti plot of different sub plots is done so frenetically and shifted around so much that by the time you’re done the viewer is left a little bit confused. Usually shows or movies of this nature use the confusion and mystery to draw the viewer in and guide them down a set path toward a payoff of some sort, but unfortunately here, there isn’t as much payoff as much of the mystery is just a double blind to keep the show convoluted. I didn’t dislike the show, as Jason Isaacs is always fantastic, and his interactions with Israeli police detective Golan (Ori Pfeffer) were fantastic, but I wish there had been more cohesion and structure to the shows goals.
1 – Pilot
2 – Catch You Later
3 – Meet the Rosenbergs
4 – Prayer of David
5 – Emma Wilson's Father
6 – The Well of Souls
7 – Trust No One
8 – Sisters of Dinah
9 – Jehoshaphat
10 – Armageddon Protocol
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=51473[/img]“Dig: Season 1” comes to Blu-ray with a decidedly all over the map encode. Digitally shot, the film sports a slew of color grading styles and detail levels which range from mediocre to fantastic. Much of the Jerusalem scenes are covered in a yellowish color that give it a sandy and bleak texture to it. The darker scenes showcase some decent enough black levels, but also introduce a decent amount of crush into the picture. The New Mexico cult hideout has a blue color grading that looks sterile, but extremely detailed and well colored. Flesh tones are natural and lightly pinkish, while the yellow colored Jerusalem scenes have a bit more pasty of a texture. Fine detail can be really good in close-ups, and overall excellent in New Mexico, but many times the focus isn’t the best and detail can be a bit smeary. Other points of the movie we have a completely ungraded looking image, with natural flesh tones, good contrast and solid blacks. It’s definitely stylistic in nature, as each location has its own specific look, but it does lend itself towards being a bit inconsistent in terms of image cohesion.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=51481[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track on the disc is a strong entry for a TV series, and gives a completely enjoyable experience. Set in the hubbub of Jerusalem, there is a lot of hubbub and the hustle and bustle in the audio mix is well represented, with a strong surround support as well as some great directionality. Dialog is crisp and clear, locked up front in the center channel and very rarely did I have to strain to hear what someone was saying, and that was usually do to a Yiddish accent. The LFE is nice, but nothing wild. Due to the whole “conspiracy” angle as well as the doom and gloom score, I was expecting a little more weight to the low end, but subs never really REALLY lit up. It’s a very good track overall, and does its job quite nicely, my only real nitpick was a little more on the bass and my nerd self would have been in heaven.
• Dig: Unearthing the Mystery
• International Cut of The Pilot Episode (15 minutes longer)
• Delete Scenes
“Dig” is an interesting little short series. It was meant as a one off show, which means no trying to stretch a plot line over 5 seasons and desperately trying to keep the money train afloat, but it may not have been the perfect entry into television history. Certain plot points and sub texts felt like they needed more exposition and maybe some more effort into fleshing out the characters. Another person mentioned in passing that it felt more like it would have been better as a book instead of a tv show, and that comment got me thinking that maybe he was right. There just didn’t seem time enough to fully flesh out some of what was shown, and very well might have benefitted better from a medium that can do that more appropriately, but either way. I had a decent amount of fun with the little show. Solid Rental
Starring: Anne Heche, Jason Isaacs, Ori Pfeffer
Created by: Tim Kring, Gideon Raff
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Studio: Universal (USA Network)
Rated: Rated NR
Runtime: 520 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: August 11th, 2015
Buy Dig: Season 1 On Blu-ray at Amazon
More about Mike