The Knick appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these single-sided, double-layered DVDs; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 sets. This was a mostly positive presentation.
The shows offered generally solid clarity. Definition was usually positive, but some softness popped up at times. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws failed to mar the presentation.
The series opted for a stylized palette that favored hues such as yellow or teal. Within those parameters, the colors seemed fine. Blacks were pretty deep and tight, while shadows appeared positive, with only a little opacity on occasion. Overall, the shows provided appealing visuals.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack suited the shows but won't win any awards. The soundstage appeared nicely broad at the appropriate times and could be moderately engulfing on occasion. It's a talky little series, so the focus was mainly up front, but the audio expanded when necessary. This occurred mostly via gentle environmental ambience, so the surrounds didn’t have a lot to do. Occasional street scenes added the most pep and that was about it. That said, the imaging made sense for the series.
Sound quality seemed fine. Dialogue always appeared crisp and natural, and I had no trouble understanding it. The low-key music that acted as the score was warm and distinctive. Effects also seemed realistic and adequate for the tasks at hand. Knick won't be anyone's demo track, but the mix worked well for the series.
We get audio commentaries for three episodes: “Methods and Madness”, “Get the Rope” and “Crutchfield”. All three include the same roster of participants: creators/executive producers/writers Jack Amiel and Michael Begler and actors Jeremy Bobb, Eve Hewson, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour and Eric Johnson.
In these commentaries, we learn about story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, props and period details, historical elements/accuracy, Steven Soderbergh’s impact on the shoot and connected elements. Though the tracks occasionally emphasize too much joking around, they usually provide good information about the series. We get nice notes about the history behind the events and learn more than enough filmmaking specifics to make these commentaries worthwhile.
Post-Op featurettes come with nine episodes: “Mr. Paris Shoes” (1:13), “The Busy Flea” (1:38), “Where’s the Dignity?” (2:00), “They Capture the Heat” (1:57), “Start Calling Me Dad” (2:33), “Get the Rope” (2:07), “Working Late a Lot” (1:54), “The Golden Lotus” (2:08) and “Crutchfield” (2:24). In these, we hear from Bobb, Begler, Amiel, Johnson, Sullivan, Hewson, Angarano, medical, historical and technical advisor Dr. Stanley Burns, and actors Andre Holland, Clive Owen, and Juliet Rylance. These give us some episode details. A few decent insights occur, but mostly these feel like generic summaries.
Though I don’t think it ever threatens to become a great series, The Knick has more ups than downs. It manages a fairly interesting mix of characters and usually stays intriguing despite some “soap opera’ elements. The DVD comes with generally good picture and audio but lacks many supplements. Season One works well enough to make me curious to see Season Two.