Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)

Reign Season 1The CW put out a great fun dramatic new series last year, The Originals, but it also put out another new series, Reign.  Now while the show is inspired, it really offers very little in terms substance or anything new.  It’s essentially just like any of the other teeny soapy shows that they are accused of doing but with a period piece setting to mask it.  CW has had a good run with me in regards of being surprised with their programming lately.  Instead of being a fun and campy genre piece, Reign just ends up being fluffy teenage camp.   This is not my cup of tea, but Warner Brothers continues its excellent home video release reputation and Reign is beautiful.

Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)


A young Mary Stuart (Played by Adelaide Kane), Queen of Scotland, is thrust into the world of the French court.  Where she meets her husband to be Prince Francis (Toby Regbo).  Along with his half-brother Sebastian (Who is illegitimate, but don’t worry they mention it enough for you to know that, played by Torrance Coombs).  King Henry (Played by Alan Van Sprang) who really embraces the mad king character.  His manipulative Queen Catherine (Megan Follows), who is pretty fun to watch.  Then Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland) is in the show as the prophesier and local mad men.  All of these characters and more are all involved while Mary ascends to the height of her power and gets engrossed in a love triangle because why not?

It has some campy acting but nothing as fun as past shows like The Tudors or even Borgias.  It just seems like a toned down version of either of those shows since they can’t get really violent or too excessively sexual in content.  That’s fine, but if the show you are trying to sell is centered on backstabbing and sexual intrigue it draws you out of the setting.

Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)

Speaking of breaking your disbelief, the use of contemporary music and some contemporary designers.  The music stuck out so much, they were trying to go with the hip cool use of music like A Knight’s Tale.  But that film used classic rock and it fit nicely with the rest of the motif of the film.  Here it is clunky and very jarring, there are only so many Lumineer songs you can fit on one soundtrack.  While the Alexander McQueen dress that Mary wears is a nice touch that fits, there are other parts of the show that almost aggressively modern.  Upon hearing of the pitch for Reign I was on board.  It was The Tudors, great fun show, and Gossip Girl, a good trashy show.  But it just wasn’t a good mesh for me.

All 22 episodes are spread across 5 DVDS, the first 4 are dual layered.

Disc 1:

  1. Pilot
  2. Snakes In the Garden
  3. Kissed
  4. Hearts and Minds
  5. A Chill in the Air

Disc 2:

  1. Chosen
  2. Left Behind
  3. Fated
  4. For King and Country
  5. Sacrifice

Disc 3

  1. Inquisition
  2. Royal Blood
  3. The Consummation
  4. Dirty Laundry
  5. The Darkness

Disc 4

  1. Monsters
  2. Liege Lord
  3. No Exit
  4. Toy Soldiers
  5. Higher Ground

Disc 5

  1. Long Live The King
  2. Slaughter of the Innocence

Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)



Warner Brothers continues to do great home video releases, even for a DVD, this is a beaut. I wasn’t expecting too much from a show with little action sequences in terms of bombastic visuals.  But the set pieces are gorgeous and vibrant.  Now it isn’t best looking period piece on DVD, but it ranks up there, especially for a new TV series.

  • Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.78:1 (16×9)
  • Clarity/Detail:   Other than the scenes in the outdoors, it tends to be a very dark and candlelit show.  So I found a few issues with how well I can see the background or extras, but I believe that has more to do with how they show was lit and not visual detail.
  • Depth:  Not so much in the indoor chamber room scenes, but once the story goes outside to the courtyard or woods, it really makes it pop.
  • Black Levels: Very dark, very inky.  It’s something that really pops visually for this DVD release is how nice the blacks are.
  • Color Reproduction: Like discussed with the depth and clarity issues, once this show goes outside the green from the shrubbery, the blue from the water and the white from the snow really are nice.
  • Flesh Tones: Nothing terrible.  Pretty nice throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts:  Nothing distracting.  Clairtt was my only real issue with the video but that had nothing to do with the DVD.  It’s just a dark show.

Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)


With only a few scenes of loud action the sound on the disc are incredibly loud, unless you count Mary sobbing or a few other characters yelling.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dynamics:  Satisfactory, the Dolby mix is great for the DVD, but maybe because I was spoiled recently with some other great audio mixes for recent Warner Brothers Blu- ray releases and this doesn’t quite measure up to those.  However, it is nice for a DVD.
  • Low Frequency Extension: My subwoofer purred nicely during an outside skirmish, so that was nice.
  • Surround Sound Presentation:  For a DVD, it is quite nice.    Sadly not much in the series really gave it a chance to sign.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Great!  All of the dialogue accents came in clear and crisp.

Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)


The extras are very minimal here.  It’s a 22 hour show and they essentially only have under an hour of special features.  It’s very lackluster considering other CW shows got a lot more with their releases.

Reign: The Making of a Queen (17:25) – It’s a standard fluffy EPK style featurette, they highlight on the filming of the show and lightly on casting.  It was fine, but nothing of very much substance.   The executive producers Laurie McCarthy and Brad Silberling care about this show, so more power to them.  The cast seem to enjoy working on the show and playing dress up.

The Authenticity of Reign: Recreating the 16th Century  (12:44) – This was a good idea for a special feature.  They focused on the look and locations of the show.  They could of devoted a whole hour to this subject and it would of kept me interested.

Deleted Scenes  (1:52) – Here we have just a random assortment of deleted scenes throughout the season.  There are also deleted scenes throughout the box set for certain individual episodes.

Reign Season 1 (DVD Review)



It was trying too hard to be Sofia Coppala’s Marie Antionette, but it ended up just being teenage schlock in a pretty setting and fancy clothes.  The DVD is great, if you already like or love the show then by all means go out and get the DVD release, but sadly the content didn’t resonate with me.  The producers seemed like they wanted to make a Game Of Thrones style show with no effects and made for your younger sister.  If that was the case, then they succeeded.  However, it was not enough for me to be interested in a second season.

Reign Season 1 DVD Cover


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