For years now, The Shield mastermind Shawn Ryan has been telling fans that a massive, hi-def restoration was in progress for FX's dearly-departed crooked cop series, and for years we have not-so-patiently waited to hear...well, anything other than "It's being worked on as we speak."
Today, nearly a full decade after The Shield went off the air (with one of the greatest series finales ever to grace television), we finally have an update: according to a post on the Mill Creek Entertainment Facebook page, the restoration of Ryan's critically-acclaimed series has finally been completed, and it'll hit Blu-ray on November 6th of this year.
Here's everything you might wanna know:
"Minneapolis, MN (July 27, 2018) Mill Creek Entertainment, the recognized leader in the independent home entertainment industry will release the groundbreaking, multi-award-winning series "The Shield" on Blu-ray, 10 years after the unforgettable finale aired on TV. This comprehensive Complete Series collection will include all 88 fully restored episodes in high-definition from the series’ seven season run and will also include a host of bonus features including an all-new cast reunion, writers panel featurette, and retrospective on the landmark series. Packaged in a premium, collectible Digi-book housing 18 Blu-ray discs – this Special Collector’s Edition of "The Shield" will be available for $229.98 SRP on November 6, 2018.
Controversial, compelling and critically acclaimed, "The Shield" takes place in a tough, morally ambiguous world in which the line between right and wrong is crossed every day and the road to justice is twisted. Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winner Michael Chiklis portrays one of television’s greatest antiheros, Detective Vic Mackey, who runs his elite Strike Team under his own set of rules as he tries to maintain balance in the criminal ecosystem on the streets of Los Angeles.
Creator Shawn Ryan hails this Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set “as the exclamation point to the legacy of 'The Shield'.” Ryan recalls, “A high-definition restoration was not possible until now.” Thanks to a new patented process, the entire series has undergone a 4k transfer and restoration from the 16mm film elements preserving the intentional grit and raw texture that’s unique to this series.
“We are thrilled to be able to present 'The Shield' in its entirety, available for the first time on Blu-ray having been masterfully restored in widescreen, high definition,” says Barrett Evans, VP of Marketing and Product Development for Mill Creek Entertainment. “The series had a monumental impact on television when it debuted, and its themes and subject matter are still poignant and relevant today.”
In celebration of this release, Mill Creek Entertainment is orchestrating a reunion with the principal cast and crew including Shawn Ryan, Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, Jay Karnes, Benito Martinez, CCH Pounder, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, Kenny Johnson, David Rees Snell, Paula Garcés, and David Marciano. Also included on this special Blu-ray release will be a writers panel from the ATX Festival featuring Ryan, Kurt Sutter, and Glen Mazzara plus interviews with the executives and critics who framed and followed the show as it changed the television landscape. “'The Shield' redefined cable television and paved the way for a new level of hard-hitting shows that followed,” says J.W. Starrett, Director of Product Development for Mill Creek Entertainment. “Getting the cast and crew back together 10 years after the final episode aired gives some really interesting insight and fascinating stories about their experience working on the show.” Additional special features will be included from previous DVD releases as well as new features currently in development. A complete listing will be announced in the coming weeks."
It's hard to overhype this series. A gritty, ahead-of-its-time tale revolving around a wildly corrupt crew of crooked cops and the decent cops (as well as the many, many dangerous criminals) trying to bring them down, The Shield is one of the best television shows ever made, full stop, overflowing with powerful performances and top-shelf writing. It's an ultraviolent, sleazy, thrilling, impossibly twisty series, and introduced Walton Goggins to an entire generation of fans. Really, I can't say enough good things about it.
Trouble is, for years The Shield has only been available in standard definition. Combined with some of the other, shall we say, dated aspects of the show (regret to inform you that the otherwise-excellent premiere episode features a climax cut to Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba"), the series' low-fi presentation has made it hard to recommend to newcomers. But now that it'll be available on glorious Blu-ray, there will be no more excuses. If you've never watched this show, you have 88 hours' worth of greatness to look forward to on November 6th.
Get ready, and celebrate along with us in the comments below.