TV on DVD: Reviewing the Childhood Favorites (and a Giveaway!)
November 25th, 2012 12:30pm EST
This year, a number of favorite TV series have been released (or re-released) onto DVD just in time for holiday gift-giving. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, VR Troopers and more have arrived..but are they worth taking home and putting under your tree?
After years of releasing partial volumes and seasons, Lionsgate has finally compiled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series, which contains all ten seasons of the 1987 animated series across more than twenty DVDs. It's great that fans can now definitely get the whole series, though those who have been buying the earlier releases don't need to shell out (ha) for this set.
Given the age of the material, the DVD transfer is pretty good. It's not demo-quality by any standard, but it's better than the original broadcasts, and should satisfy fans of the show. A handy booklet included with the set explains which episodes are on which disc, so there's no hunting around.
The special features are here, but not new: they're the same ones that were included on Lionsgate's previous releases - though if you have those, you probably don't need this anyway. The real appeal of this set is finally having the entire show in one place and in good condition.
The packaging for the set leaves a lot to be desired for collectors. While the outside looks fantastic - a replica of the Turtles' van - it's very flimsy on the inside. The van itself is not very sturdy, and the discs simply rest upright in the bottom half of the van, in a plastic tray, without any individual sleeves or protection. Without any additional support, they fall over very easily, and it's not hard to see how they could become scratched or damaged. Keep the van as a wonderful collectible, but you'll want to look for an alternative method of storing the DVDs.
You can pick up TMNT: The Complete Classic Series for roughly $89, or less than $10 per season, at Amazon by clicking here.
If you enjoyed the live-action Turtles, you can also get Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation in two volumes. Each will cost you $14.99. Click here for that.
Some of the Saban-produced series have begun to hit DVD as well. The cult favorite VR Troopers, which ran from 1994 to 1996 and co-starred General Hospital's Sarah Brown, has come out in 'Season 1, Volume 1.' There are no special features included, but the transfer of the episodes is an improvement over the VHS tapes that were put out when the show was airing. The second half, 'Season 1, Volume 2' will arrive in January. You can pick up Volume 1 by clicking this link and pre-order Volume 2 here, for under $20 each.
The Saban series that followed VR Troopers on Fox Kids, 1996-1998's Big Bad Beetleborgs, has also been released via half-season sets. Click here to pick up the first volume of that show.
A copy of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series was requested but did not arrive in time for publication of this article.
In a similar vein, my friends over at TV Shows on DVD report that Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad is on track for a 2013 release through Mill Creek. No other information or pre-order listing is yet available, but at least it's in the works!
Another childhood favorite for me was David E. Kelley's medical drama Chicago Hope, which first aired in 1994. I'm happy to report that the Mandy Patinkin/Adam Arkin-led series has finally surfaced on DVD...if you have a Region 2 DVD player. Amazon UK now has the first three seasons of Chicago Hope available to order. There are no special features, but fans will no doubt be happy to at least have the episodes in your collection.
And for my fellow sci-fi fans, Warner Brothers has released 1993-1994's sci-fi TV series Time Trax on DVD through their Warner Archive website and also through Amazon. You can pick up season one of the Dale Midkiff-led show by clicking here.
While we're talking about the holidays, here's my gift to you, dear TV on DVD readers: I have one copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series available to give away to one lucky reader! Just click on over to my official website and tell me why you think you should be the one to win the set. Entry closes next Sunday, December 2. Winner will be contacted via email for prizing information.
For more from Brittany Frederick, visit Digital Airwaves and follow me on Twitter (@tvbrittanyf).
(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.
Photo Credits: TV Shows on DVD.com