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Birds of Prey: The Complete Series
Review by Charles Mohapel
Warner Home Video DVD  ISBN/ITEM#: B000SMNL92
Date: 01 August 2008 List Price $39.98 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

This 4-disc set includes all 13 episodes of Birds of Prey broadcast in the 2002-2003 season plus the unaired pilot. This short-lived WB series either failed to reach its target audience, or more likely, failed to meet the expectations of network executives with one hand on the trap door trigger.

That said, according to IMDB.com:

"The series was cancelled in January 2003, with 11 episodes aired. The producers were, however, allowed to film the final two episodes of their 13-episode commitment, and these episodes aired in February 2003, with the final episode retooled in order to close off the various storylines in the series, an unusual privilege for a cancelled series."
Fans of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis will recognize Joe Flanigan as Detective Claude Morton in "Prey for the Hunter", Episode 3; Michael Welch (the 15 year old Jack O'Neill clone in Stargate SG-1) as the '14 Year Old 'Guy' in "Three Birds and a Baby" in Episode 4; and Mitch Pileggi as the post-plastic surgery Al Hawke in "Nature of the Beast", Episode 9.

One thing I was unaware of was the fact that according to Amazon.com:

"… the aspect ratio of the episodes in the set was full frame, but has dark bars on top and on bottom to mimic widescreen."
While I had never seen Gotham Girls, which are quirky animated shorts, they were so ridiculously over the top that they were funny. Imagine making a similar set of animated shorts for kids based on the TV Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward and you get the idea.

I made a point of viewing the "Unaired Pilot" and the "Pilot" back-to-back for comparison purposes and I found that while Sherilynn Fenn may have been outstandingly strange in Twin Peaks, in the "Unaired Pilot" she was too restrained in the dual role of Dr. Harleen Quinzel/ Harley Quinn and some scenes in the pilot were reshot with Mia Sara replacing her. While I had only seen Ms. Sara in 1994's Timecop as Jean-Claude van Damme's wife, here she did an outstanding job as the mentally unbalanced psychiatrist/supervillain.

While I watched every episode when they first aired, I remembered some episodes better than others, but when I compare Birds of Prey to some of the shows that lasted more than 13 episodes or even a full season, it's a crying shame nobody else picked it up.

This is definitely a DVD set I would recommend for more than just diehard DC fans since the show brims with female empowerment (and three young women who can kick some serious butt), as well as emphasizing the importance of teamwork.

Contents:
Disc 1:

    Pilot
    Slick
    Prey for the Hunter
    Three Birds and a Baby
    Gotham Girls, Season 1
Disc 2:
    Sins of the Mother
    Primal Scream
    Split
    Gotham Girls, Season 2
Disc 3:
    Lady Shiva
    Nature of the Beast
    Gladiatrix
    Reunion
    Gotham Girls, Season 3
Disc 4:
    Feat of Clay
    Devil's Eyes
    Special Features:
    Unaired Pilot

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