"it's a great, heart wrenching opening episode"

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is arguably one of the best American TV shows airing at the moment, and certainly one of the most original. Now in its tenth season and tenth year and creating two spin-off series, it is a show you are likely to have heard of even if you are not a fan, perhaps courtesy to high profile episodes such as ‘Grave Danger' directed by Quentin Tarantino.

After eight years, something apparently had to give over in CSI-land. Season Eight saw the departure of one of the core characters and the point-blank shooting of another. Part of this change-up was motivated by non-narrative factors: both the aforementioned characters were notoriously unhappy with their contracts during the show's run.

Part of their departure was necessitated by the simple fact that the show was threatening to stagnate after almost two hundred episodes. After dealing with all manner of freaks and their crimes the team needed a shakeup to stay fresh, so the creative team decided to inject some new blood into the show. Although the early signs show that the transfusion has been successful, the long-term prognosis for the patient doesn't look good.

It's a great and heart wrenching opening episode, but the few episodes between this and essentially Grissom leaving in episode 10 seem a bit mismatched, and they haven't got the same atmosphere that previous episodes have had. The storylines are good, but something seems to be missing. This could be because of the changes within the team, Warrick and Sara are gone and fans know that Grissom will be following them. A new character has also been added to the mix, Riley Adams (played by Lauren Lee Smith) to replace Sara so they entire group dynamic has been changed.

What changes all of this is the introduction of Laurence Fishburne. Just before Grissom leaves the series a murder is committed that has a similarity to those of a serial killer who is serving two life sentences in jail. This leads to Grissom joining forces with a criminal pathologist Dr. Raymond Langston (Laurence Fishburne) to solve the case. Grissom suggests that Langston joins the CSI team on a permanent basis which he accepts.

Season 9 is a strong season and can hold its own among the rest in terms of storylines. The writers were faced with the departure of three main characters and had to change the entire set up of the team, a risky move when there had been no changes for eight years for fans to adapt to. Laurence Fishburne saves the day and fills the large shoes left by Grissom in a part he makes his own. He stops the show from becoming too repetitive or boring, and at the same time it ensures that the changes within the CSI team are not so completely different for it to not feel like the same show that fans have come to love.

Overall a great show that I feel will keep getting better and I'm looking forward to observing how the new team will grow and work together. It is also being released for the first time on blu-ray, as well as a single box set.

Special Features:

  • Crime Scene Initiation
  • CSI Mode
  • Rats in Space
  • From Zero to 200 in Nine Seasons
  • Good-bye Grissom
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Episode 916 "Turn, Turn, Turn" Audio Commentary
  • Episode 920 "A Space Oddity" Audio Commentary