Saturday, October 16, 2010

Digital Digest: Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season Two DVD Review

They say that when it rains, it pours. And that is indeed what has happened with news on the home media front this week. This is perhaps one of our busiest weeks yet for news, and we have tons of it! Plus, we've got a review of Shout! Factory's release of Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season Two. And if you haven't been keeping up, we still have plenty of reviews for you to read (we are all caught up now, by the way!) on our main review page. Let's get going!

DIGITAL NEWS

We'll start with our biggest batch of news this week, coming from Mill Creek Entertainment. The website US Townhall hosted an online chat with their vice president of product acquisitions, and much to our surprise, they have a LOT of stuff on the way! You can read full details in this article from TVShowsOnDVD.com. But here are the highlights in a "digest" form for you:
  • Women of the House, the spinoff of Designing Women that starred Delta Burke, is coming in May (or perhaps sooner).
  • Mill Creek has more bargain releases of Shout! Factory releases on the way, including The Bill Cosby Show, Marcus Welby, M.D., My Two Dads, and California Dreams.
  • Complete series releases of other Stephen J. Cannell series (ones that have not been previously released in the United States) are coming, including Stingray, Hawkeye, and Street Justice.
  • Mill Creek has the rights to other Cannell properties as well, including The Greatest American Heroine, The Return of Hunter, Sonny Spoon, J.J. Starbuck, and more. A new manufacture-on-demand DVD program is coming soon, and many of these properties are likely to be released through that.
  • Many animated series are coming through a deal with Cookie Jar/DiC, with plans to release at DVDs from the deal every month for the next few YEARS.
  • Mill Creek is looking in to several other series (we won't mention titles, since it is all speculative right now).
Those are just the highlights... it looks like a lot of good stuff is on the way from this company that used to dabble almost exclusively in public domain properties! And while we are on the subject of Mill Creek, a pre-order listing for 21 Jump Street - The Complete Fourth Season has shown up on amazon.com and indicates a release date of January 18.

Next, we have a big scoop that is... well... a somewhat unconfirmed scoop. It has been floating out there for a while, and it only recently came to our attention... and frankly even now, we're still not sure how accurate the information is. But it has come to our attention that the series Car 54, Where Are You? is possibly in the process of being prepared for a DVD release from Shanachie Entertainment! We do want to caution our readers, though, because we have not seen anything official on this, but this information (along with information from other websites) seems to suggest that this is the real deal. According to the information provided, look for the first season sometime early next year!

We all know that love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, and now, Al and Peggy Bundy are coming together on DVD for Married... With Children - The Complete Series! Scheduled for release on November 29 at a $250.95 MSRP. That is subject to possible change, of course, as no official announcement or details have been made public.

Something that HAS been made public, however, is the details of CBS Home Entertainment's The Andy Griffith Show - 50th Anniversary: The Best of Mayberry have FINALLY been revealed, and a (hopefully) firm release date is now set! It should be available December 21 at $24.99, and will include 17 episodes of the series, along with many nice special features (including all of the ones that had been previously released on The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Series). You can check out this article for more details.

That isn't all for CBS, though. They made a little announcement on their Facebook page on Thursday night that indicates that a new release of a popular series is coming up in the near future! Look for a new release of Dynasty to come to DVD sometime early next year! To be specific, they stated, in response to a question from a fan about the series about the series:
"The next Dynasty release should be in the beginning of the year. Thanks for posting."
Of course, that tidbit doesn't address exactly when, or what the release will be (although it should be the first half of the fifth season), but it is nice to know that something is on the way. Even more interesting, though, was the response that CBS DVD provided about the Dynasty spinoff, The Colbys:
"The next Dynasty release should be the beginning of the year. CBS is also looking at releasing the Colby's (sic). Thanks for posting."
We wouldn't suggest that fans get their hopes up for a release just yet, but that is much more promising than a "no" or "we'll look in to it."

Finally, you can pre-order the first season of the HBO series How to Make it in America on Blu-ray Disc and DVD from amazon.com, although a release date has not yet been determined. Still, the existence of a pre-order indicates that it is most likely on the way.

It really has been a busy week for news on the home media front, and of course, we can't cover it all here, so we suggest that you check out TVShowsOnDVD.com for more news!

UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (October 19) brings us only one sitcom, with Accidentally on Purpose - The Complete Series. We should have a review of this set very soon. There are other releases of interest to classic TV fans, though, including Tales from the Darkside - The Final Season, Ironside - Season Four (from Shout! Select), and Alias Smith and Jones - The Complete Series. And fans of the 1980s series Pee-wee's Playhouse might be interested in Pee-wee's Playhouse - The Complete Collection, although it does not contain any new or previously unreleased material.

BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

The doctor is in once again with Season Two of Marcus Welby, M.D. on DVD. Marcus Welby, M.D. stars Robert Young as Dr. Welby, a no-nonsense family practitioner with a heart of gold. Along with his partner, Dr. Steven Kiley, he tackles life-threatening conditions and situations in each and every episode. Here is our review of Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season Two.

DVD Review: Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season Two
by skees53

Marcus Welby, M.D. - Season Two (Shout! Factory, $49.97) includes all 24 episodes of the second season of the medical drama from the early 1970s on a six disc set. Robert Young and James Brolin star as Dr. Welby and Dr. Kiley, two doctors with different philosophies of medicine, but both with the same goal (to make their pateitns better), as they make it through some of the toughest medical cases out there. Unlike many other characters in medical dramas, Dr. Welby made house calls all over Los Angeles, making the show much more than a hospital drama.

A teenager gets a STD from swinging in "A Very Special Sailfish." In "Warn the World About Mike," Dr. Kiley's brother believes that he may be dying. The mother of a mentally handicapped child is forced to make a difficult decision in "Daisy in the Shadows." A young woman discovers that she has leprosy in "The Girl from Rainbow Beach." In "Sounding Brass," a father refuses to get help for his supposedly mentally handicapped child. A man endangers his life by not following Dr. Welby's advice after getting mononucleosis in "All the Golden Dandelions Are Gone."

Dr. Kiley falls in love with a young tuberculosis patient (who also happens to be married) in "False Spring." Dr. Welby must help an alcoholic surgeon in "A Woman's Place." In "Cynthia," Dr. Welby and Dr. Kiley are sued for malpractice. Dr. Welby helps a blind woman arrange plastic surgery for her big-eared son in "Don't Be a Kidder." In "Elegy for a Mad Dog," Dr. Welby is bitten by a rabid dog who belongs to a mentally challenged patient. A young girl develops an ulcer because she believes that her parents don't love her in "The Windfall."

This season has plenty of guest stars, including Cloris Leachman, Michele Lee, Larry Hagman, Suzanne Pleshette, Ricardo Montalban, Christine Belford, Belinda Montgomery, Dana Elcar, Mabel Albertson, Jessica Walter, and many others as patients, family members, and other doctors.

The episodes all appear to be unedited, with runtimes as follows:

Disc 1:
1. A Very Special Sailfish (49:27)
2. The Worth of a Man (49:34)
3. Warn the World About Mike (49:44)
4. Epidemic (49:28)

Disc 2:
5. To Get Through the Night (49:43)
6. Daisy in the Shadows (49:38)
7. The Labyrinth (49:44)
8. The Girl from Rainbow Beach (49:34)

Disc 3:
9. Aura to a New Tomorrow (49:33)
10. Sounding Brass (49:50)
11. To Carry the Sun in a Golden Cup (49:43)
12. All the Golden Dandelions Are Gone (49:34)

Disc 4:
13. Brave on a Mountain Top (49:46)
14. Another Buckle for Wesley Hill (49:44)
15. False Spring (49:36)
16. The Passing of Torches (49:44)

Disc 5:
17. A Woman's Place (49:46)
18. A Spanish Saying I Made Up (49:46)
19. Cynthia (49:45)
20. Don't Kid a Kidder (49:44)

Disc 6:
21. Elegy for a Mad Dog (49:50)
22. The Contract (49:41)
23. The Windfall (49:40)
24. The House of Alquist (49:41)

Just like the first season, the second season comes packaged in a double-thick keepcase containing six discs. The cover art has a picture of the two doctors in the office, and the back includes general information about the series and the second season. Inside, there are six discs, each containing a different medical related symbol. Each disc contains exactly four episodes. On the interior panels of the case, there are listings of all of the episodes and original airdates, but there is also a booklet inside. Just as was the case with season one, the booklet is nicely themed. This time, the cover is designed to look like a textbook, "Primary Healthcare: Continued Education." The booklet contains many photographs from the series, and brief descriptions for each and every episode.

The menus on the set are nice, but fairly basic. The main menu gives options of Play All and Select Episode, while the theme song plays in the background, and video from the episodes plays on top of the screen. Once you go to Select Episodes, a text list of episodes appears on the screen. That is really all there is to it. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.

For the most part, the video and audio quality on the set is pretty good, although there does seem to be some fluctuation from episode to episode. There is some grain and debris, but it really isn't too much out of the ordinary. The audio levels are fine, with the audio being presented in mono. The set is not closed-captioned or subtitled, unfortunately.

This set is totally devoid of special features, which is really a shame. It would be nice to see a special feature with actual physicians of the modern era to reflect on some of Dr. Welby's medical advice, some of which would be unheard of these days.

All in all, this is another great set of episodes of the series, although I still feel that the series needs something along the lines of special features. But it isn't a major problem, because there is so much to watch here with the episodes alone. Fans of newer medical dramas may not appreciate the slower pace of this medical drama, but the reality is that this series is a realistic view of the medical world OUTSIDE of the emergency room. This really is a great series, and medical drama fans should at least check it out.


-- Reviewed by skees53
(4/5 stars)

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Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Marcus Welby, M.D. TV.com Page


LOOKING AHEAD

Halloween is on the way, so look for some "spooktacular" reviews of some Halloween related DVD releases over the next two weeks. We'll also be taking a look at some public domain DVDs, and plan to have some other features for you. And, even though we've still got a little over a month to go, we plan to put you completely in the loop next month with where you can find the best discounts on DVD for Black Friday (are we getting close to that time of the year already???). Until next time, keep it digital!
Sitcoms Airing Tonight (Friday, April 18)

Last Man Standing - "April, Come She Will" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Vanessa’s mooching sister April comes to visit, Mike suspects it’s because she needs money. Sure enough, April explains that she’s decided to have a baby but doesn’t have the funds for a donor egg. While Vanessa and Mike aren’t on board, Mandy comes up with a solution. Meanwhile at Outdoor Man, Mike tries pulling a prank on Chuck Larabee that gives him some new perspective.

Last Man Standing - "Tasers" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
A large bouquet of roses is delivered anonymously to the Baxter’s house on Valentine’s Day. Vanessa knows they’re not for her because Mike doesn’t believe in the frivolity of flowers on a Hallmark holiday. As an expression of his love though, Mike buys Vanessa a Taser, which only adds to her disappointment. Meanwhile, Kristin suspects her boss, John Baker (guest star Jonathan Taylor Thomas), may be the secret admirer, while Mandy assumes the flowers are from Kyle.

The Rickey Smiley Show - "The Bachelor" (TV One, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A Bachelor type promotion on the radio station.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 14) (All times Eastern unless noted)

Friday, April 18

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Melissa Rauch (The Big Bang Theory) - Melissa appears on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • William Shatner ($#*! My Dad Says) - William visits The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl/I Hate My Teenage Daughter) - Jaime is a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel) - Kenan stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Tichina Arnold (Martin/Everybody Hates Chris/Happily Divorced) - Tichina and the cast of the new Lifetime movie A Day Late and a Dollar Short chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. She also appears on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show at 12am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Margo Martindale (The Millers) - Margo chats about the new film Heaven is for Real on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, so check your listings. She will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Tony Hale (Veep/Arrested Development) - Tony appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Tracy Morgan (30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Tracy is a guest on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC. He also talks getting animated for Rio 2 on 106 & Park at 6pm on BET.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin is challenged to a hilarious round of charades on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
  • George Lopez (Saint George/George Lopez) - George appears on a repeat of The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife) - Albert is a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show, so check your local listings.
  • Chris Messina (The Mindy Project) - Chris will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Valerie Harper (Rhoda/The Mary Tyler Moore Show/Valerie) - Valerie talks about Signed, Sealed, Delivered on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York at 9:40am. She can also be heard on WGN Radio in Chicago with host Dean Richards on Sunday.
  • Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) - Sofia is a guest on Pop Sugar Now on TV Guide Network at 6pm and on the next day on their website at noon.