Numb3rs experts solve crimes in unusual, mathematical ways
What is it? Numb3rs, complete series, 118 episodes on 31 discs from CBS Home Entertainment
How much? $89.98
Is this about math? It sort of is, actually. FBI Agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) is a skilled, experienced investigator with the Los Angeles Violent Crimes Squad but even he needs help from time to time and in his case, it comes from an unusual source.
Don’s kid brother, Charlie (David Krumholtz), is a mathematical genius and a professor at the California Institute of Science. When Charlie happens to get a look at a map being used to solve a series of rapes, he sees a pattern and is sure he can come up with an equation to find the perpetrator.
From that point on, Charlie, along with the help of his colleague and mentor Larry Fleinhardt (Peter MacNicol) and his fellow mathematician Amita Ramanujan (Navi Rawat), consults the FBI on some very tricky cases, using math and logic to hunt down bad guys across the city.
The two brothers love each other, but there’s occasional conflict and misunderstanding since they both view problems at hand and the world at large in different ways: pragmatic facts for Don, probability and theories for Charlie.
Watching from the sidelines is their father, Alan Eppes, a retired engineer who may not completely understand his sons’ lives, but who’s very interested nonetheless.
The cast also includes FBI agents David Sinclair (Alimi Ballard), Terry Lake (Sabrina Lloyd), Megan Reeves (Diane Farr), Colby Granger (Dylan Bruno), Liz Warner (Aya Sumika) and Nikki Betancourt (Sophina Brown).
But I hate math. That’s OK. Well, not OK according to Charlie. But you don’t have to be a math whiz to follow along or enjoy the show.
Charlie and the other mathematicians do a good job of explaining the various rules, theories and formulas in ways that make them more accessible to the general public — largely through demonstrations and analogies.
You might even find yourself taking an interest in mathematics. Or at least wishing you’d paid more attention in high school.
What’s it like? It’s much like many other procedurals that flooded the airwaves during the CSI boom of the early 2000s. The twist this time is the math.
But there’s also a very strong human element as the characters’ personal lives play a big part in what happens.
Are there extras? Quite a few. Spread out over the set, there are multiple episode commentaries, blooper reels, set tours and featurettes on characters, cinematography and other elements of the show. Each season also gets its own featurette rundown.
You can also find a short analysis of the original, unaired pilot, which had a (mostly) different cast, audition reels for Krumholtz and Rawat and excerpts from a Caltech (California Institute of Technology) professor’s Numb3rs-based lecture.
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