Saturday, July 09, 2011

Digital Digest: Mannix - The Fifth Season DVD Review

It's another slow news week here for us at Digital Digest (after last week's busy week), but we've got more news for you this week. Additionally, we've got a review of Mannix - The Fifth Season from CBS Home Entertainment. Let's roll!


The only real news this week is the announcement of the entire series of the (now cancelled) Fox series Running Wilde. Running Wilde - Season One hits the shelves on August 30, from Lionsgate. The set will contain all 13 episodes of the series.

The Donna Reed Show has had an interesting bunch of ups and downs on DVD, but the most recent news that we have heard is that MPI would be releasing the fourth season of the show, at some date to be determined. We don't really have any new information about this, but it appears that this release has come much closer to being confirmed as a reality, as MPI's upcoming release of Here's Lucy - Best Of Collection (which, by the way, we will have a review for sometime very soon) has a preview advertising the fourth season of The Donna Reed Show. That is really all we know right now, but it is still great to know that the set has moved from rumors posted on a message board over a year ago to an actual advertising preview! We'll of course have more on this when we know more.

Some fans have wanted to know "where is the rest of Route 66?" Well, we don't have an announcement for you, at least not today, but the fourth (and final) season of the classic road series appears to POSSIBLY (and we stress, possibly) be in the horizon. This post on IMDb seems to suggest that the fourth season (or a release of the entire series without releasing the fourth season separately) is coming. The information comes from a person who says that they emailed Kirk Hallam, of Roxbury Entertainment (the studio that has been releasing the series) and received this response:

Interesting you asked that question because I was just considering with my distributor whether to release before the end of this year the 4th season along with the first 3 as part of a complete set of the entire show. So you are hearing from a number of fans that they want the 4th season, even though it doesn't feature George Maharis? What is their/your sentimen regarding the 4th season in general? Favorable?

Thanks much,
Kirk Hallam
Roxbury Entertainment
So, assuming that this exchange is legitimate (and we assume that it is), we will hopefully be seeing the rest of the series soon. But we'll let you know when and if we know more.


Tuesday (July 12) has just one DVD of note on tap, with HBO's release of Entourage - The Complete Seventh Season (also on Blu-ray). We'll have a review of the Blu-ray set soon.


There have been many detectives in the history of television, but none of them put up with all of the problems that Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) had to deal with. Mannix would regularly get beat up, shot at, and even drugged. But no matter what, he'd still get to the bottom of each and every case, often with the help of his secretary Peggy Fair (Gail Fisher). Here is our review of Mannix - The Fifth Season.

DVD Review - Mannix - The Fifth Season
by skees53

Mannix - The Fifth Season (CBS Home Entertainment, $49.98) brings 24 more episodes of the iconic detective drama to DVD in a six disc set. Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) is a detective like no other. While most detectives would do anything to get to the bottom of the case, Mannix would often get into situations that put himself at risk to get the answer, and bounce back just in time for the next case with only a few minor bumps and bruises.

The season begins with "Dark So Early, Dark So Long," where Mannix has to help a high school friend who is accused of murder. Mannix has to help a vineyard worker accused of murder when he visits his hometown in "Wine From These Grapes." Did a writer fake his own death to avoid retaliation? Mannix thinks so in "Days Beyond Recall." A youth baseball coach disappears and Mannix is hired to find him in "Run Till Dark." In "A Choice of Evils," Peggy is kidnapped and her life is threatened, so what will Mannix do to help? Three clients have just fired Mannix in "Murder Times Three," but there may be more to worry about than just losing a job.
In "To Save a Dead Man," Joe gets involved in an old case after a dying man makes a stunning confession. A TV comedian is blackmailed over an incriminating photo of his son (a soldier in Vietnam) in "Nightshade." A toy manufacturer's life is threatened in "Moving Target." Mannix is investigating infidelity when it suddenly turns to a deadly explosion in "A Walk in the Shadows." In "To Draw the Lightning," when a cop shoots the man who killed his partner, was it justified or just an act of revenge? Mannix should know that it isn't safe to transport eight million dollars worth of jewels from London to the United States, but he does it anyway in "Scapegoat." The season ends with "Death in the Fifth Gear," where Mannix gets into a race car accident and lands in a psychiatric clinic... and later becomes a suspect in a murder case.

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

Disc 1:
1. "Dark So Early, Dark So Long" (51:02)
2. "Cold Trail" (51:03)
3. "A Step in Time" (50:49)
4. "Wine From These Grapes" (50:49)

Disc 2:
5. "Woman in the Shadows" (51:01)
6. "Days Beyond Recall" (51:02)
7. "Run Till Dark" (50:49)
8. "The Glass Trap" (51:03)

Disc 3:
9. "A Choice of Evils" (50:50)
10. "A Button for General D" (50:50)
11. "The Man Outside" (50:49)
12. "Murder Times Three" (50:49)

Disc 4:
13. "Catspaw" (50:47)
14. "To Save a Dead Man" (50:48)
15. "Night Shade" (50:48)
16. "Babe in the Woods" (50:48)

Disc 5:
17. "The Sound of Murder" (50:48)
18. "Moving Target" (50:45)
19. "Cry Pigeon" (50:47)
20. "A Walk in the Shadows" (50:48)

Disc 6:
21. "Lifeline" (50:48)
22. "To Draw the Lightning" (50:48)
23. "Scapegoat" (50:48)
24. "Death in the Fifth Gear" (50:48)

The set is packaged in a standard Viva pack, with a picture of Mannix on the cover and a green color scheme. There is a picture of Mannix and Peggy on the back of the case, along with several snapshots of Mannix from the episodes. Inside the case, all of the episodes are listed, along with brief descriptions and airdates for the episodes. The disc artwork is the standard gray CBS DVD artwork with nothing more than the series logo. Each disc contains exactly four episodes.

The menus on the set are no different from the previous sets, with a sequence similar to the opening credits playing at the beginning of each disc, along with the theme song. The theme song continues to play, along with the videos once the episode titles come up on the main menu. The main menu also has an option to Play All and Subtitles. Each episode has chapters placed at all of the appropriate places.

Just like most other CBS Home Entertainment releases, the video and audio quality on this set is excellent. This series has been remastered in high-definition prior to each season being released (a common practice for CBS), and the episodes look and sound excellent with only a few minor artifacts here and there. The audio is presented in mono and is very loud and clear. There is no closed-captioning on the set, but each episode does contain English subtitles.

The set contains no special features once again, which is a shame. With episodes that look this great, this could be a stellar set with good special features. Even something like original promos for the series would have been a nice touch.

I am still fairly new to the series (I only started watching it with last year's release of The Fourth Season), but I'm quickly becoming a fan of the series. I just wish that the sets weren't so barebones. I hope that we see some of the later seasons soon, but there could be a slight delay in that. Recently, there was a report that Mike Connors is actually suing CBS over DVD royalties for the series. Hopefully this legal issue doesn't delay future seasons. But in any case, I think that any fan of classic detective dramas is sure to enjoy this series, and should definitely pick up this great set.

(4/5 stars)

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Get ready for more soapy drama next week with our review of the most recent releases of Dynasty, with Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 1 and Dynasty - The Fifth Season, Volume 2. We can never predict what our news will be like on any given week, but we can say for certain that we are going to be really busy with our reviews over the next few months, particularly with releases of the 2010-2011 seasons of current series. So until then, keep it digital!

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Sunday, March 18

Bob's Burgers - "Y Tu Ga-Ga Tambien" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob decides to start serving brunch at Bob's Burgers in order to offer more strict competition against Jimmy Pesto and his pizzeria.

Bob's Burgers - "The Secret Ceramics Room of Secrets" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The kids set out to find a secret room filled with homemade ceramics which is rumored to be hidden at their school; Teddy starts a phone repair service and the adults become determined to improve his online rating.

The Simpsons - "Homer Is Where the Art Isn't" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Homer is accused of stealing a million-dollar painting, only a detective from the 1970s can clear his name.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Safe House" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Seamus threatens Kevin, Holt devises an elaborate plan to hide him in a safe house, using Jake as his guard; Kevin is miserable as the 99 works overtime to find Seamus and take him down.

Family Guy - "Send in Stewie, Please" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
When Stewie gets sent to see his school's child psychologist for a surprising session, he reveals major secrets about himself.

The Last Man on Earth - "Hamilton/Berg" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After the graveyard incident, Tandy and Todd try to convince the rest of the gang that something is wrong with Karl.

School of Rock - "Photograph" (Nickelodeon, 7:30PM ET/PT)
The whole band works together to get Zack to look perfect for photo day, so he can finally have a picture on his parents' mantle at home.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of March 12)

Friday, March 16

  • Yara Shahidi (grown-ish/black-ish) - Watch Yara on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Donald Glover (Atlanta/Community) - Donald appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • J. J. Totah (Champions) - J. J. is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) - Josh appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly visits The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry guest hosts The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • Josh Henderson (One on One) - Josh visits Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) - Drew talks about Santa Clarita Diet on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.