Saturday, November 27, 2010

Digital Digest: The Fugitive - The Final (Fourth) Season, Volume One DVD Review

Welcome to Digital Digest, where we bring you news each and every week along with DVD/Blu-ray Disc reviews and other features! We hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving, and we have a lot of great news to be thankful for this week! Plus, we have a review of The Fugitive - The Fourth and Final Season, Volume One, from CBS Home Entertainment. Let's get started!

DIGITAL NEWS

This week, we start with some news that we have missed, but it is about a DVD release that is only a few weeks away! For those who have been purchasing The Lucille Ball Specials that MPI Home Video has been releasing, there is another DVD containing two of these specials coming up on December 16... that is only a few weeks away! The Lucille Ball Specials - Happy Anniversary & Goodbye/What Now, Catherine Curtis? will debut on DVD in a single disc on December 16 at a $14.98 MSRP. This was announced some time ago, but the release date was unknown at the time. Now, we know. We'll have a review of this in a few weeks!

That isn't the only DVD coming soon, though. Fans of the series The New Adventures of Old Christine will be pleased to know that The New Adventures of Old Christine - The Complete Fourth Season is coming soon, and very soon at that! On December 7, Warner Archive will be releasing the next-to-last season of the series, as an exclusive DVD-R product to their website. We don't have all of the details yet, but we are definitely glad to see the series continue on DVD, even if it isn't a wide retail release.

While we are speaking of Warner Archive, in our review of their Classic TV Christmas Collection, we noted that the episode of Perfect Strangers included in the set is a syndicated version of the episode. In response, they issued the following statement:
We thought we were releasing the Christmas DVD with the most complete original master of the Perfect Strangers episode "The Gift of the Mypiot," but apparently we included the syndicated version that is approximately two minutes shorter. Currently, we are reviewing the many master tapes we have to see if we can find the complete episode, and if we do have it, we will replace the current episode with the more complete one. The good thing about manufacturing-on-demand is that we are able to make rolling changes to our line since we are not stuck with tens of thousands of copies in a warehouse. That said, we will keep you posted with details on if we locate the correct master, and how we are rolling it out. Also- we honestly appreciate when fans point these kinds of errors out, because we are committed to releasing the best quality products we can. Thanks!
So what does this long and verbose statement mean? Simply put, in a nutshell, they thought that they had included the unedited version, and are trying to find the correct version. And if they do find it, then they will replace the edited version with the unedited version on future orders of the DVD set. Hopefully, they will find it (and perhaps be able to do something for those who have already purchased the set). There is still no word on what they plan on doing with Night Court - The Complete Fourth Season, but as of this writing, it is still unavailable to order from their website.

Mill Creek announced a few weeks ago that they would be releasing several "best of" and "volume" sets of series previously released by Shout! Factory, and in January, they will be delivering once again. January 18 will bring My Two Dads - You Can Count on Me!, Simon & Simon - The Best of Season Two, and thirtysomething - Season One, Volume One. All of these are episodes of series that have already been released, but now you can get them at a much lower price for just a few of the episodes. They all have a $14.98 MSRP, but you'll likely be able to find them in the $5-10 price range as most Mill Creek DVD sets are. And yes, they will likely come in those atrocious paper sleeves that Mill Creek has been using for all of their DVD sets.

Mill Creek will also be releasing some more series from their Stephen J. Cannell library, including 21 Jump Street - The Complete Fourth Season and Stingray - The Complete Series on the same day. This is the second time that both sets have been released, but for Stingray, this is the first time it has been released as an American release (previously, it was released for Canada by VEI). These will also have a $14.98 MSRP.

Finally, we end with two news items from CBS Home Entertainment, the first regarding the legal drama Matlock. Matlock - The Sixth Season is coming January 25 at a $49.99 MSRP. Meanwhile, the primetime soap opera that mixed catfights and caviar, Dynasty, will be coming with a new release on March 22. Presumably, this will be the first half of the fifth season of the series, unless CBS Home Entertainment changes their release model.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Get prepared for another slow week of releases on Tuesday (November 30), but at least they are both very good sets. From Universal, we have Parks & Recreation - Season Two. This is a very hilarious show, and a very good DVD set. I encourage you to read our review of the set. CBS Home Entertainment has another installment of The Lucy Show - The Official Third Season. Unfortunately, we haven't received this to review yet, but we are sure that it'll be an "all-star" DVD set as well, and will not disappoint any fan of Lucy out there. We'll have a review of it as soon as we get it on our main review page.


BLOG FEATURE REVIEW

The Fugitive - The Fourth and Final Season, Volume One
by skees53

A man who is on the run from the law is a fugitive, but Richard Kimble (David Janssen) is no ordinary fugitive. Having escaped from death row (thanks to a train wreck) for being wrongly convicted of killing his wife, Kimble is determined to go on a journey to prove his innocence, and along the way, he runs in to others who need his help too. Check out our review of The Fugitive - The Fourth and Final Season, Volume One.


The Fugitive - The Fourth and Final Season, Volume One (CBS Home Entertainment, $39.98) is the first installment of the final season in Richard Kimble's (David Janssen) quest to prove that he is not guilty of killing his wife. The fourth season, the first (and only) one to be broadcast in color, finally brings closure to the series, but before we get there, this set contains the first 15 episodes of the journey to that closure.

There are many twists and turns in the storyline to get us here, and it all began in the first season when a fortunate train wreck helped Kimble to escape from prison. Kimble, a former physician, was on a train to go to his execution for killing his wife, a crime that he did not commit. Once the train crashes, he struggles with trying to prove his innocence, but in the meantime, he has to move from town to town to avoid the inevitable, going back to death row. The time clock is ticking and Kimble has to do whatever is possible to prove his innocence before he gets caught. Along the way, he supports himself by helping others in whatever way possible, just hoping that he doesn't get caught.

The fourth season begins with "The Last Oasis," where Kimble finds a (temporary) home at an Indian reservation, where he is offered a job as a teacher. Kimble is caught on security camera and fears that he may be caught, and in the process becomes a witness to a murder in "Death is a Door Prize." Kimble finds a quiet town in "A Clean and Quiet Town," but not all is well for him when he discovers the town is run by the mob, and they are out to get him. Kimble is accused of murder while working as an apartment building janitor in "Sharp Edge of Chivalry." In "Joshua's Kingdom," Kimble tries to uphold his duties as a doctor against a father unwilling to use medicine. Kimble has to intervene in a labor strike when the union leader may be on a hit list in "Wine is a Traitor."
Kimble helps a woman struck by a car in "Nobody Loses All the Time," but as it turns out, she happens to be the girlfriend of the man he believed framed him for murder. Kimble is arrested during a union strike in "Right in the Middle of the Season." Can Kimble kill to protect his innocence in his wife's murder? A motorcycle gang offers to help in "The Devil's Disciples." In "The Blessings of Liberty," another doctor is wanted for murder after offering illegal abortions. Kimble has an offer from a mobster to kill his pursuer in "The Evil Men Do." The set ends with "Run the Man Down," where stolen money threatens to cause more trouble for Kimble.

There are many great guest stars in this set, including Hope Lange, Lois Nettleton, Tom Skerritt, Dabney Coleman, Julie Sommars, Ed Asner, and more.

Having never seen this series prior to this review, I don't know if the episodes are unedited or not. However, most episodes on the set look fine. There were some major issues with music replacement on a previous set, and this set says that it contains music edits. However, I don't know how severe they are, and they mostly seem fine. The episodes even have their original "Next, The Fugitive, in color" tags at the beginning. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "The Last Oasis" (51:36)
2. "Death is a Door Prize" (51:23)
3. "A Clean and Quiet Town" (51:36)
4. "Sharp Edge of Chivalry" (51:37)

Disc 2:
5. "Ten Thousand Pieces of Silver" (51:37)
6. "Joshua's Kingdom" (51:35)
7. "Second Sight" (50:37)
8. "Wine is a Traitor" (50:36)

Disc 3:
9. "Approach with Care" (51:37)
10. "Nobody Loses All the Time" (51:36)
11. "Right in the Middle of the Season" (51:36)
12. "The Devil's Disciples" (51:35)

Disc 4:
13. "The Blessings of Liberty" (51:27)
14. "The Evil Men Do" (51:06)
15. "Run the Man Down" (51:34)

Like the previous releases, this set is in a Viva pack, with a picture of Dr. Kimble on the cover. The back has another picture of Kimble, along with several snapshots from the series, and basic information about the season. Inside the case, there are four discs (no artwork except the series logo) which contain four episodes each, except for Disc 4, which contains three episodes. There are episode descriptions and airdates for all of the episodes, as well.

As for the menus, they are VERY basic, with just various stills of Kimble, and a listing of all of the episodes on the disc, along with a Play All option and a Set Up option. Set Up allows you to turn on the English subtitles. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.

The series looks and sounds great, and there are few (if any) issues with the video and audio quality. The color does allow SOME of the minor imperfections to show up (since the previous sets were of black and white episodes), but the only real issue is some minor grain and debris. The sound is very loud and clear, as well. Each episode contains English subtitles.

There is one special feature on this disc, and it can be found on Disc 4. "Composer Dominic Frontiere: A Season of Change" (10:37) is a brief featurette that talks about Dominic Frontiere, the new musical composer for this season of the series. Really, this is basically just an interview with him, where he talks about his beginnings, this series, and other series that he worked on. Still, it is nice to see that this set wasn't totally neglected for special features.

This was my first time watching the series, and at first, I thought that it was awful. And if you don't know the backstory, then it probably IS awful. But I recently picked up Season One, Volume One at Big Lots (in their $6) DVDs and watched the pilot, and with a better understanding of what is going on, I realized how great this series actually is. So, if you've never seen the series before, I would strongly recommend NOT starting with this season, but instead to start from the beginning. I think fans of this type of series will enjoy the series. It is a lot like a version of The A-Team from the 60s. So what is in store for Dr. Kimble next? Find out when CBS Home Entertainment releases the final volume of the series!

(4/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com DVD Reviews Page
The Fugitive on TV.com


LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week with more news and reviews! As we approach the holiday season, our news will probably slow down, although this week proves that it doesn't exactly come to a halt! Until then, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)

American Dad! - Volume 11 Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized) The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two Hooperman - Season One

12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, January 20

Last Man Standing - "A House Divided" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Mike and Vanessa ask newlyweds Mandy and Kyle to tone down their constant displays of affection, Mandy agrees but only if her parents become more discreet in the way they express their feelings to each other. Meanwhile, Kristen gets Eve a gig playing at the Grill, but Ed wants to fire her after a lackluster performance.

Dr. Ken - "A Day in the Life" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Amy (guest star Yvette Nicole Brown), the producer of a documentary health series, follows Ken around to record a typical day at an HMO, giving Ken his big moment in the limelight.  But much to Ken’s chagrin, a series of the less than thrilling day-to-day parts of the job at Welltopia leads Ken to doubt his own career choice.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 16)

Friday, January 20

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
  • Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.