Num­b3rs ex­perts solve crimes in un­usual, math­e­mat­i­cal ways

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JEN­NIFER NIXON

What is it? Num­b3rs, com­plete se­ries, 118 episodes on 31 discs from CBS Home Entertainment

When? Now

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.

New this week: Class, sea­son 1; The Ma­gi­cians, Sea­son 2; The Miss­ing, Sea­son 2; Rake, Sea­son 2; The Tun­nel, Sea­son 2; Underground, Sea­sons 1-2

Next week: The 100, Sea­son 4; Adventure Time, Sea­son 7; Coronet Blue, com­plete se­ries; The Expanse, Sea­son 2; Fa­ther Knows Best, Sea­son 6; Grantch­ester, Sea­son 3; T.J. Hooker, com­plete se­ries; Teen Wolf, Sea­son 6, Part 1; The Un­touch­ables, Scar­face Mob

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