Saturday, July 16, 2011

Digital Digest: Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volumes 1 and 2 DVD Review

We go from slow weeks to busy weeks and back and forth every single week here at Digital Digest (or so it seems), and this week, we're on a roll with plenty of news for you. And we've also got a two-for-one review full of caviar and catfights with our single review for two recent releases, Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 1 and Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 2.


Barney Miller seemed to have been stalled on DVD for quite some time, but this week, some big news popped up on Not only will we get to see more of the classic sitcom on DVD, but we'll get to see the entire series! A 25-disc collection of the entire series is coming October 25 from Shout! Factory, containing all eight seasons of the episode, and even the first season of the spinoff series, Fish. One thing that we hope to see on this set is unedited versions of all of the episodes. Some of the previous DVD releases from Sony of the first three seasons included a few syndicated episodes that slipped through the cracks. The only other question that remains is whether or not the other seasons of the series will be released individually. We'll let you know as soon as we know.

Barney Miller, though, isn't the only thing that we'll see on October 25. Also coming the same day is Dennis the Menace - Season Three. They really are moving fast on the releases for that series; Dennis the Menace Season Two isn't even out yet, though it will be soon (and we hope to have a review for that set soon, as well).

That isn't all for this week's Shout! Factory news though. The ABC Family sitcom, Melissa & Joey, makes a return to DVD on October 4 with Melissa & Joey - Season One, Part Two. The set will contain the 18 episodes of the series that have not yet been released on DVD.

Just like Shout! Factory, Lionsgate has had a busy week of announcements as well. On October 4, they will release their "tri-fecta" of series from ABC Studios that seems to have been released together twice before, with Boy Meets World - The Complete Seventh Season, According to Jim - The Complete Fifth Season, and The PJ's - Season Three. These releases will complete the run for Boy Meets World and The PJ's, and although According to Jim has three seasons remaining to be released, they have a total of 18 episodes each, so it could possibly (and we don't know that it will be done this way for a fact, this is just a conjecture) have seasons 6-8 combined in one set.

That isn't all for Lionsgate either, though. Although the seventh season just started, Weeds - Season Seven is already available for pre-order on, both on DVD and Blu-ray. No release date or details have been given so far, though, as the season has really only just begun.

We do, however, have a date for The Simpsons - The Fourteenth Season. It isn't available to pre-order just yet, but according to, we should see this set on December 6, just in time for Christmas.


Tuesday (July 19) is a light release date for most studios, but being the third Tuesday of the month makes it Mill Creek's day to shine with their best-of releases of series previously released by Shout! Factory, including Punky Brewster - The Best of Season 2, Punky Brewster - The Best of Season 3, and The Best of California Dreams, and Simon & Simon - The Best of Season 3. We've covered many of the full season versions of these sets in the past in our reviews; check out our main review page for the original set reviews (these sets contain fewer episodes, of course, but are very similar to the original releases in regards to quality). Tuesday also brings Hey Dude - Season One from Shout! Factory, which we will have a review of soon. Finally, Warner has The Smurfs - A Magical Smurf Adventure, which we'll have a review of next week in Digital Digest.


The 1980's was a busy time for prime time soap operas, but the two big ones that continue to remain cultural icons to this day are the oil business dramas Dallas and Dynasty. Dynasty, though, was much more chaotic than even Dallas was. It was a series full of rivalry, scandal, and of course, who can forget the memorable catfights between Krystle and Alexis? With two new releases of the series, comprising the entire fifth season, there is much more of this iconic series to enjoy on DVD with Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 1 and Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 2.

DVD Review - Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volumes 1 and 2
by Pavan

Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volumes 1 and 2 (CBS Home Entertainment, $36.98 each; $79.99 two-pack) brings all 29 episodes of season five in two sets, but this time they come out on the same date, so we don't have to wait for the second half this time! The only thing is they are actually two different volumes, that you might have to buy separately, but there is a two-pack available! John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins and the glamorous new star Catherine Oxenberg continue to heat up the show in the fifth season as we get to the one of the most "talked about" season finale cliffhangers ever--the Moldavian massacre! This is the season where it reached #1 in the ratings, besting the #3 in the fourth season. Seasons 3-6 all were in the time of the height of the popularity, with season five hitting being the peak. The series lasted 9 seasons on ABC, from 1981-89. We get the the entire fifth season (1984-85) on this two-pack set. I'm just glad we don't have to wait for the conclusion of the fifth season, but they are still splitting the seasons in half. It's just time they are out on the same day! Anyway, the drama in Denver continues whether it is at the mansion, the LaMirage hotel or even .

Diahann Carroll joined the cast in the final two episodes of season four as the very mysterious Dominique Deveraux and she is back for an entire season this time. We now know who she really is. Heather Locklear is also back, as she returned for the second half of season four as Sammy Jo Carrington. The fifth season begins with "Disappearance," as the fourth season cliffhanger is sort of answered about Fallon (that's all I will give away). We learn more about what happened to Fallon in the third episode, titled "Fallon." The classic episode "The Trial" has Alexis on trial for the murder of Mark Jennings kicking off. The next episode is "The Verdict." Will Alexis be guilty or innocent? In "Amanda," Catherine Oxenberg joins the cast as Alexis' secret daughter Amanda. In "Krystina," after falling down the stairs, Krystle goes into premature labour and gives birth to a baby girl who they name Krystina. In "The Ball," Amanda meets Prince Michael of Moldavia whilst Krystle kisses Daniel Reece (guest star Rock Hudson). In "Sammy Jo,", Sammy Jo finds out who her real father is. In "The Heiress," Alexis, Michael and Amanda go to Moldavia to prepare for the big wedding. Who needs William & Kate, as Dynasty already had a Royal Wedding in the season finale "Royal Wedding," where the entire family gathers to watch Amanda and Michael get married, but as the couple are proclaimed man and wife, armed revolutionaries attack the chapel, leaving all in attendance blood-soaked on the floor, in one of the most talked about cliffhangers in the history of television! You'll have to wait until season six to find out what happens next!

Each episode on this set is just around 46-47 minutes on average, with most of the episodes around 46:50. Nearly every CBS DVD has a disclaimer on the back of the box saying, "Some episodes maybe be edited from their original network versions." So there is a chance something could be edited, but I didn't see anything, as the runtimes were fairly consistent, lowest was 45:44 and highest was 47:01. Runtimes are as follows:

Volume 1

Disc 1:
1. "Disappearance" (46:49)
2. "The Mortgage" (46:39)
3. "Fallon" (46:18)
4. "The Rescue" (46:48)

Disc 2:
5. "The Trial" (46:32)
6. "The Verdict" (46:50)
7. "Amanda" (47:01)
8. "The Secret" (45:44)

Disc 3:
9. "Domestic Intrigue" (46:51)
10. "Krystina" (46:35)
11. "Swept Away" (46:33)

Disc 4:
12. "That Holiday Spirit" (46:52)
13. "The Avenger" (46:44)
14. "The Will" (46:52)

Volume 2

Disc 1:
1. "The Treasure" (46:48)
2. "Foreign Relations" (46:38)
3. "Triangles" (46:38)
4. "The Ball" (46:49)

Disc 2:
5. "Circumstantial Evidence" (46:47)
6. "The Collapse" (46:37)
7. "Life And Death" (46:27)
8. "Parental Consent" (46:33)

Disc 3:
9. "Photo Finish" (46:44)
10. "The Crash" (46:30)
11. "Reconciliation" (46:32)
12. "Sammy Jo" (45:52)

Disc 4:
13. "Kidnap" (46:15)
14. "The Heiress" (46:33)
15. "Royal Wedding" (46:23)

Packaging for both volumes once again is a snap case holding the discs inside, similar to previous sets. Again the discs don't overlap each other, which is great. We have two plastic holders on both volumes. Discs one and two are in the first plastic holder, while discs three and four are in the second plastic holder. That little holder is cheap, but I guess it works. The cover art of the first volume has Blake surrounded by the women of the series (Amanda, Krystal, Alexis and Dominique) with the Dynasty logo below them. Volume two's cover art has Blake and the men in similar style. The color schemes are light blue for volume one and light red for volume two. The back of the case's on both volumes has synopsis of the show, the set, and technical information. We also have two episodic photos and a feature photo. The feature photo on volume one is Alexis & Dex and volume two has Amanda & Michael. Back inside the cases, there is a disc-by-disc breakdown on the left and right panel for every episode on this set. We get episode titles and a synopsis of each episode. It seems like they removed the original airdates for some reason...anyway, don't be reading it before watching the episode now! Artwork on the discs is just plain again. It is plain silver for each one. Dynasty logo and whatever disc number it is on the disc, and episode titles are listed. Disc-by-disc breakdown is available above in episode runtimes, but basically we either have 3 or 4 episodes on each disc. There is nothing different about the packaging here, except they expanded to 4 discs per volume instead of 3. It is always consistent.

And the consistency continues for the menus. CBS DVD is terrible in menus, as you all know. Each menu has different artwork but it is so plain again. The episodes are listed right on the main menu once again. Subtitles option is also available below the list of episodes, but it is only English this time and not Spanish. Main menu artwork has three shots of the same image. For volume one, disc 1's main menu has three shots of Blake & Krystal, disc two has three shots of Alexis, disc three has three shots of Blake & Krystal again and disc four has three shots of Blake. For volume two, disc 1's main menu has three shots of Dominique, disc two has three shots of Krystal, disc three has three shots of Amanda and disc four has three shots of Blake & Krystal. It is very similar to the previous sets. No theme music or any music in the background once again. Before the main menu on both disc one's, there is an option for previews...we get previews such as 90210 S1 DVD, CBS Home Entertainment series and Melrose Place S3 DVD...AGAIN. But you can skip to the main menu if you wish.

The video is on par with the previous season and it looks good. Just some debris here and there in the opening credits, like flashing black dots, but it is still good quality. It isn't in widescreen, obviously. The audio is decent, a nice sounding mono...that is crisp and clear. No problems here at all. It seems the video and audio get better as the seasons go on, which makes sense. There are 6 chapter stops each for every episode, counting the opening and closing credits stops. This is all consistent again from previous sets.

We get ONE special feature actually! The second season had a little family tree thing, which was something at least and the first season was done by 20th Century Fox, and they did a decent job with some featurettes and commentaries, but CBS DVD has done basically nothing...which is typical. But for the second volume of season five we get something archival! It is a clip from Entertainment Tonight in 1985 as Leeza Gibbons interviews guest star Rock Hudson and we also have Linda Evans talking about Rock. It only runs 2:04, but it is better than nothing. I wish they cleared more archival stuff like this. One is good, but not enough!

Season five is a wrap and all in one day and no waiting for months to continue! I highly do recommend any fan of the show to pick-up these two volumes, because the episodes are so good and addictive and you'll want to see the cliffhanger in the finale. That cliffhanger scene might be tame now, but it still gets you. I cannot stop watching whenever I put the DVD in. This is the mother of all primetime soaps (sorry never was big into Dallas, but the upcoming TNT series looks great)! If you have the first four seasons, then you have to get this to continue your collection of course because it wouldn't make sense if you didn't continue. If you haven't gotten those yet, what are you waiting for? It won't make sense buying these two volumes for your first buy of this series, as the episodes are heavily serialized and you'll be so lost. I hope CBS reconsiders and gives us the ENTIRE sixth season instead in one volume instead of splitting it up into two volumes, but they won't. At least both volumes for season five came out on one day. Still, I urge fans to buy it so we keep getting more sets. CBS DVD is at least consistent with their sets. They are very predictable as the sets are nearly identical to each other (it makes the reviews boring). But like I said last time (and the time before that), complain to CBS DVD for the lack of extras and splitting the seasons in half. We did get something extra on this set, so it's a start! Anyway, you're going to get glued in this fifth season and especially after the finale you'll be stunned. You don't have to travel to Moldavia to buy these two volumes, just click below and Blake will be pleased!

(4/5 stars)

To purchase Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 1, click below and help support

To purchase Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 2, click below and help support

To purchase Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volumes 1 and 2 TOGETHER, click below and help support

Related links: DVD Reviews Page
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Come back next week, as we have animation reviews of The Smurfs - A Magical Smurf Adventure and Rocko's Modern Life - Season One. We've got busy weeks ahead for reviews, and we hope that you'll be here for all of them. Until then, keep it digital!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season Modern Family - The Complete Season 7

09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, October 23

The Simpsons - "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In an encore of last season’s Halloween episode, Sideshow Bob finally kills Bart, only to reanimate him; Homer wakes up with short-term memory loss; and Lisa, Bart, and Milhouse get super powers from radiation.

Bob's Burgers - "Teen-a-Witch" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
With Halloween quickly approaching, Tina reveals her brilliant idea that will finally win her first place in the annual costume contest. When Tammy steals her idea, Tina is forced to seek the help of Mr. Ambrose, who leads her to alternate and other-worldly methods of winning. Meanwhile, Bob is on a mission to figure out who is stealing his perfectly crafted pumpkins.

The Simpsons - "Trust But Clarify" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Lisa and Bart investigate Krusty’s suspicious new “Krustaceans” candy. Meanwhile, Homer wants a promotion at the nuclear plant and asks Marge to help him dress the part, and news anchor Kent Brockman struggles to find his feet in the changing media world.

Son of Zorn - "A Taste of Zephyria" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After learning how Zephyria is depicted in the media, Zorn attempts to teach Alan about his culture. Meanwhile, Edie wages war with her new neighbors over their talking garden gnome.

Family Guy - "Inside Family Guy" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
FAMILY GUY takes viewers behind the scenes of a regular “FAMILY GUY” production week, with James Woods as the guide. See the ins-and-outs of what goes into the making of a “FAMILY GUY” episode and watch the drama unfold as Peter is replaced and ends up in the office of Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman to pitch his very own new series.

The Last Man on Earth - "Five Hoda Kotbs" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
A post-apocalyptic road trip has everyone at war with each other and Gail is really pushed to her breaking point.

Bizaardvark - "Spoiler Alert: Belissa Returns" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When Paige and Frankie hit a writing slump and other bad things start happening to them, Paige begins to think they are cursed; Amelia and Dirk are at odds when the lifestyle Diva declutters the Dare Lair.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 24)

Sunday, October 23

  • Patti LaBelle (Out All Night) - Catch Patti on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
Monday, October 24
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Watch Ricky on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Tom appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Inferno on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) - Nick stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) - Zooey is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Chiklis (Daddio) - Michael drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) - Jameela appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) - Aya talks about You're the Worst on the AOL Build ShoW at 2pm. She will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
  • Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Mary Steenburgen (The Last Man on Earth/Ink) - Mary talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. She will also be on the AOL Build Show at 12:30pm.
  • Anna Camp (The Mindy Project) - Anna talks about Good Girls Revolt on People Now at 8:30am.
  • James Brolin (Life in Pieces) - James is a guest on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.