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Ally Walker, Robert Davi, Dennis Christopher. A talented forensic psychologist who retired after the murder of her husband is coaxed back into action by her FBI mentor. Includes all 22 first-season episodes and more! 6 DVDs. 1996-97/color/14 hrs/NR/fullscreen.
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The first season of Profiler gives fans and newcomers a fresh opportunity to view this popular TV series at its best. Premiering on September 21, 1996, the series lasted four seasons as part of NBC's Saturday-night "Thrillogy" lineup, attracting a predominantly female audience drawn to its lead character, FBI profiler and single mother Samantha "Sam" Waters, played by Ally Walker. As the pilot begins, Sam's living with her daughter (Caitlin Wachs) and roommate (a thankless role for Erica Gimpel), still traumatized by her encounter with Jack (a.k.a. "Jack of all Trades"), a psychotic genius who killed Sam's husband three years earlier. Sam's mentor and leader of the Atlanta-based Violent Crime Task Force, Bailey Malone (Robert Davi), convinces Sam to rejoin the Bureau, where her VCTF colleagues include former cop John (Julian McMahon), computer ace George (Peter Frechette), and forensics expert Grace (Roma Maffia). Taking a cue from The X-Files' "mythology," Profiler tracked Jack's killing spree for two seasons, challenging Sam in an extended subplot as the VCTF pursued weekly cases of murder and mystery, aided by Sam's uncanny ability to "profile" unidentified killers.
Profiler borrowed heavily from The Silence of the Lambs and The X-Files while cribbing its title sequence from Seven, but the series established its own dark identity through slick production values and gruesomely plausible plots. The miscasting of Walker reportedly troubled NBC executives despite her growing fan base, but Profiler earned respectable ratings, building its popularity on a compelling escalation of tension and terror. Walker's DVD commentary on the pilot episode repeats the official reason for her departure after two seasons (she'd grown weary of the show's humorless tone), while Davi's is refreshingly frank, citing on-set squabbles and network mismanagement as reasons for first-season hardship. Still, he's quite correct in stating that later, more successful shows (C.S.I., Without a Trace, and others) would not have existed without Profiler's stylishly trendsetting example. (Note: episode #4, "I'll Be Watching You," was omitted from this set due to prohibitively expensive music rights for the Police hit "Every Breath You Take," which featured prominently in that episode's plot.) --Jeff Shannon
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