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Headsup: The 4400: The Complete Series

If you’re a fan of The 4400, you probably know a lot about the show, but did you realize it’s already been ten years since it went off the air?

If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s the story of what happens when 4,400 people who have gone missing over the past several decades suddenly reappear in Washington State (at the same age they were when they disappeared) via a mysterious ball of light.  As the NTAC (National Threat Assessment Command) division of Homeland Security struggles to solve the mystery of what has happened, they are presented with an additional challenge when members of The 4400 begin to develop superhuman powers such as mega strength, telekinesis, and the ability to see through walls.

Starring Joel Gretsch (as Tom Baldwin) and Jacqueline McKenzie (as Diana Skouris), the show was popular with its fan base and was even nominated for three Emmy Awards, but took some creative hits during the Writers Guild strike and was taken off of USA’s lineup in 2007.  When the show was cancelled with Season 4 ending in a cliffhanger, disappointment-fueled fans launched a campaign to bring the show back on the air (but, sadly, were unsuccessful).

In October 2008 CBS/Paramount released a complete series DVD collection which included all four seasons of the show along with the bonus features that had been part of the single season releases (including audio commentaries, featurettes, a Director’s cut of the episode “The Great Leap Forward”, and gag reels) along with a disc of new bonus content.  This collection was discontinued for a while, but fans who missed getting it the first time will be happy to know that it has been re-released (albeit without the extra bonus content disc from 2008) and is currently available on Amazon for just $27.95.  That evens out to about 65 cents per episode (plus all the original bonus content), a definite improvement over the pricing of around $40 if you were to purchase all the individual seasons separately.  Netflix subscribers also have access to all four seasons, so this is one of those cases where it’s important to decide how much you value the extras if you could otherwise get it for no extra cost via Netflix.  If you’re a super-mega fan and don’t have it on the shelf, though, remember that just because it’s on Netflix today doesn’t mean it always will be, and just because the complete series set is out right now is no guarantee that it will stay (they already discontinued it once), so with that coupled with the show’s cliffhanger finale that was never resolved, it’s up to you to decide if you want to opt out of getting the set and risk your beloved show giving you yet another heartache.