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Review – Haven Season 5 Volume 2: The Final Episodes

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Produced by my boy Stephen King and based on his bestselling novel “The Colorado Kid”, Haven reaches its climax in “Haven Season 5 Volume 2: The Final Episodes”. The four disc DVD set is released in the UK on the 4th of April.

The town of Haven has been cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious fog – and hometown heroes Audrey (Emily Rose – ER), Nathan (Lucas Bryant – Queer as Folk) and Duke (Eric Balfour – Skyline, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) are faced with challenges unlike any they’ve experienced before. As events in Haven sprint towards a cataclysmic showdown, tensions rise, allegiances shift and – in a harrowing closing chapter – the mystery of “Croatoan” is finally revealed.

Confession time: I have never seen an episode of Haven before, so forgive any inaccuracies or misreads from the guy who has only seen the second half of the last season! As it features Eric Balfour, who is a cool guy that I once had a twitter conversation with about The Dark Tower, it has been on my radar – but there’s a lot of great telly out there, and I never got around to this.

I should have. Balfour is great, and seems to have a lot of special powers he didn’t have before, in this season. The town has suffered from supernatural events called “Troubles” that can manifest in its residents as special powers, like changing the weather, reading minds, or making nightmares real. Balfour’s character Duke can now channel these himself.

The effects are good for a TV series, and the show takes its subject matter seriously – even if it’s sometimes hard to yourself – I struggled to accept wrestlers “Edge” and “Christian”, who I recognised from playing WWF Smackdown on the PS2 at Uni, as law enforcement. The mystery of “Croatoan” is paced out well, and the show feels very Stephen King.

The DVD boxset of Season 5 Volume 2 includes all 13 episodes across four discs, as well as lots of extras. The episode encodes are uniformly high quality across the whole season, with no video faults visible.

In terms of bonus material, there is plenty to get stuck into here. There is a “Mythology Refresher” – which, as a noob, can prove particularly helpful, “Haven Origins: Lovers Conquered”, “Haven Origins: Trust Kills”, “Haven Revisited: Livestream segments with cast and crew”, “Haven Archives: Entries from The Crocker Diaries”, “Inside Haven Featurettes”, and also interviews with Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour, William Shatner, Adam Copeland and Shawn Piller.

Having never seen the show before I was at times lost, but always intrigued. Like a lot of prematurely cancelled sci-fi shows, Haven’s passing seems harsh; and you would think that if a first-timer can see that straight away, then a network could – but them’s the breaks. The highest compliment I can pay Haven Season 5 is that it makes me want to double back and catch up with what has gone before. Fortuitously, this is currently possible via Amazon Prime if you have access to that.

3-out-of-5
Haven Season 5 Volume 2: The Final Episodes is released on DVD in the UK on the 4th April 2016.

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