The Good

An uplifting show that has a lot in common with the great Highway to Heaven.

The Bad

No Extra Features. Released in a Volume and not a Full Season.

Monica (Roma Downey), Tess (Della Reese) and Andrew (John Dye) are on hand for Touched by an Angel: The Complete Fourth Season, Vol. 1. This uplifting release serves up 13 episodes that show the benefits of faith and the vagaries of turning away from the things one believes in.

Opening with the solid two parter "Joe's Return AKA The Road Home" we see Joe Green immersed in a world of lies and drugs. The Angels come into his life to help him out but it is clearly evident that Joe must want to help himself first. Other standout episodes include "Jones Vs. God," in which a bunch of farmers in South Dakota are blaming the lord for the drought that has befallen them. The Angel's appear to remind them of all the good things God has brought to their lives. Lastly, "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" is an inspired episode which sees Monica working with a disabled man to help him deal with the disappearance of his brother. She is aided by Mark Twain.

While at times this show seems fantastical, when you realize that it is working from a standpoint of faith, that makes Touched by an Angel: The Complete Fourth Season, Vol. 1 very easy to digest.

Features

No Special Features.

Video

Full Screen Format. There's something about the shows from the late 1990s. It could be how they are compressed on to DVD, but these episodes seemed especially bright. They are so blown out (especially in the outside scenes) that in some shots they simply seem like they were lit too brightly. This doesn't get in the way of watching the episodes it was just something I noticed. Another thing they have done with this show is not made any of the colors stand out at all. Everyone is dressed down in such a way that it seems to play into the 13 stories on these discs. It's almost like this helps the subject matter stand alone in the foreground.

Audio

Dolby Digital. English Stereo. Spanish Stereo. English Subtitles. This is the only part of the DVD that feels a little forced. By it's very title, this show seems to be going out of it's way to be uplifting; and it is. It is a well crafted show that highlights the resiliency of the human spirit. The soundtrack is laced with music that is meant to underscore the character's emotional situations. This works to good effect but it just feels a little telegraphed in spots. That said, I didn't notice any hits in the audio or points where anything dropped out in the sound design.

Package

Our three stars are featured on this front cover with a tan, parchment-like image of a far off city skyline all around them. The dove that is used so prominently on this show is also flying around. The back continues this look with a description of this show laid out over it, three pictures from various episodes, and some minor technical specs. All four discs are nicely packed into one amaray case, and on the inside of this case are episode listings, descriptions and airdates. My only problem with this release is that it's been put out as a volume (and not a full season) and thus feels incomplete.

Final Word

I really have enjoyed getting to rediscover Touched by an Angel. I recall when it played on TV, but I never really spent much time watching it. In fact, I never watched it at all. Having recently been reminded how much I enjoyed Highway to Heaven when I was younger (as it played on TV Land), I decided to see how close Touched by an Angel was to that show. Well, not surprisingly, accept for being made in two different decades and switching the characters around a little bit, these shows are very similar. This is a good thing because I think we need more shows like this today. Too much TV is filled with doom and gloom, and while I think that has a place, there's also room for Touched by an Angel-styled programming.

Touched by an Angel was released .