Secret Agent: The Complete Series Is Another “Timeless” Hit

Courtesy;  Shout! Factory/Timeless Media Group

Courtesy; Shout! Factory/Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have established themselves in recent years as two of the leading companies in the realm of home entertainment.  Releases ranging from the Power Rangers to The Gene Autry Show to Nickelodeon’s classic 90s Nicktoons and classic Red Skelton collections have put both companies at the forefront of home entertainment.  They will continue to maintain that mantle with next Tuesday’s release of Secret Agent: The Complete SeriesSecret Agent: The Complete Series is another hit for Timeless Media and Shout Factory in part for its writing. Unlike every one of today’s action based series (E.g. The Blacklist) this U.K. series shows even today that a show doesn’t need loads of explosions, overt sexuality and violence in general to be entertaining.  All it needs is good writing.  Another reason that this latest box set is such a hit for both companies is its collective packaging and its look.  A little more than five decades have passed since Secret Agent first came to U.K. audiences. Even with that span of time passing, the footage looks just as impressive as in its original broadcasts.  And while the series has seen its half hour and hour-long episodes released in their own collections, Timeless Media’s upcoming release of Secret Agent: The Complete Series marks the first time that the entire original U.K. Danger Man series has been released in one complete set.  Its half-hour and full-hour episodes have been released in separate sets over the years.  But this set marks the first time that the entire series has been released in one box.  And there is plenty to note in regards to that, too.  It still isn’t all that makes this box set so welcome for any fan of classic TV and real action series.  One more factor worth noting is the bonus interview with star Patrick McGoohan’s daughter Catherine McGoohan.  It is a truly enlightening interview that reveals not just Steve McGoohan the celebrity, but the loving family man, too.  There are even some tidbits about his acting career late in his life that she reveals that might surprise a lot of people.  That’s not to discount the bonus commentary on select episodes, either.  The commentary adds its own touch to the presentation in whole, too.  All things considered, Secret Agent: The Complete Series is yet more proof of why Timeless Media and Shout! Factory remain today at the forefront of home entertainment.

Secret Agent (a.k.a. Danger Man) is a wonderful piece of television history.  Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the series, it proves to be a welcome escape from all of the overly violent and overtly sexualized action/drama series on television today.  One of the most important ways in which it proves this is through its writing.  From stopping an international drug ring in “Position of Trust” to uncovering who is blackmailing officials with the British Embassy in “The Black Book” to going toe-to-toe with an East German spymaster in “Fair Exchange,” and more, every episode is original and fun in its own right.  The series’ writers never required Drake to use a gun.  He always used his intelligence over any weapon.  He also used his suave demeanor to achieve his goals whether when dealing with men or women.  And at no point is there any overt sexuality or even unnecesary levels of violence thrown in, either.  Sure, it’s a product of its time.  But it’s too bad that such writing doesn’t exist in today’s action and drama series.  It’s just one part of what makes Secret Agent: The Complete Series another welcome addition to the collection of any classic TV lover or lover of truly great action series.

The writing that went into Secret Agent: The Complete Series is an important piece of the whole that makes this box set so welcome in the collection of any lover of classic television.  Just as important to the whole is the set’s overall packaging and the quality of the footage.  Timeless Media’s upcoming release marks the first time ever that this series has been released in one complete box set.  It has seen its half hour and hour-long episodes released in separate box sets over the years.  But none of them have ever been compiled into one box until now.  Timeless Media has done an outstanding job packaging the set into one box.  All seventeen discs that make up the series are packaged into three separate cases.  And within each case, the discs are placed on their own spindles and “leaves” inside the case, protecting the discs from one another.  This is a standard that was set by Timeless Media and Shout! Factory years ago.  it is a model that thankfully other companies adopted not too long after, either.  Making the packaging even better for audiences is a little history lesson on the show contained on the back of each of the three volumes.  Each volume also presents a full episode list on the back of its case.  That combination of elements proves yet again that the packaging for Secret Agent: The Complete Series is just as important as the writing behind the episodes themselves in the success of this box set. The positives still don’t end here, either.

The writing behind Secret Agent’s episodes and the packaging of Secret Agent: The Complete Series are both integral parts of the whole in their own way.  As important as they are to the whole, they would be moot points if the footage itself was not quality.  Luckily, that isn’t the case.  The footage contained throughout the set’s seventeen total discs looks just as good as it did in its original broadcasts in the 1960s.  Those that watch the series via a Blu-ray player will especially agree with that statement when they see the quality in its up-conversion.  Given, the series has been released previously by other companies.  But that doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality footage in their cases.  In the case of Timeless Media’s full series release, it is guaranteed from the series’ first episode to its last.  The same applies even for audiences watching the series through a DVD player.  Such quality restoration is one more reason that this latest full-series release from Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory proves to be such a success.

The packaging and look of Secret Agent: The Complete Series are two of the most important factors in the set’s overall success.  They are just as important as the writing behind the show’s episodes.  As if that isn’t enough for audiences, there is a bonus interview with Patrick McGoohan’s daughter Catherine that sheds quite a light on McGoohan the actor and the family man.  Audiences will be surprised to learn through her interview that McGoohan did his own stunts throughout Danger Man’s original run.  Just as intriguing is her note that her father was the antithesis of the typical TV star.  He was more focused on his family than his career.  She speaks so lovingly and warmly of him when she discusses her one-on-one talks with her father when she was young and his desire to maintain a strong bond with his whole family, thus the comment about him being married to her mother for almost sixty years before his passing.  She goes on to note near the interview’s end to also note very surprisingly that her father was (believe it or not) the first choice to play Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings franchise and Professor Dumbledore in the hugely popular Harry Potter franchise.  Apparently, the reason he turned down both roles was his dedication to his family.  It’s really a deep statement.  It’s a refreshing statement that shows not every star is all about fame and fortune.  She discusses so much more throughout the course of her roughly half-hour interview.  But that is for audiences to see and hear for themselves when they purchase this box set.  Together with the set’s packaging, the quality of the footage, and the episodes’ writing, it all comes together to make Secret Agent: The Complete Series a big hit for any lover of classic television and action/drama series.

The bonus first-person interview with Catherine McGoohan is itself a true bonus for audiences in this set regardless of their familiarity with Danger Man or Secret Agent.  In the same vein, the commentary included with select episodes adds its own value to the set, too.  While not every episode boasts commentary, those that do include commentary are made all the more interesting thanks to said commentary.  It is commentary that at times even links to other episodes.  Taking that into account, it is the final touch to a series that in the end proves to be just as valuable for lovers of classic television as previous releases from Timeless Media and Shout! Factory.

Secret Agent: The Complete Series will be available Tuesday, December 9th on DVD in stores and online.  Audiences can order it online direct from Timeless Media’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/tv-action-adventure/secret-agent-aka-danger-man-the-complete-series for a reduced priec of $63.97 versus the MSRP of $79.97.  More information on this and other titles from Timeless Media Group is available online at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364?ref=br_tf

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Lionsgate’s Latest Power Rangers DVD A Good Watch Any Time Of The Year

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Saban/Saban Brands

Nickelodeon is set to close out the latest installment of Saban’s hugely popular Power Rangers franchise this weekend.  Power Rangers Super Megaforce will close out this Saturday on Nickelodeon.  Before it closes out Saban and Lionsgate have released a new featuring a holiday episode from this season.  Power Rangers Megaforce: Robo Knight Before Christmas brings to audiences yet another new holiday tale from what has over the years become a worldwide phenomenon.  What audiences will appreciate most of all in this episode is the fact that yet again, the people behind the franchise have switched things up in this episode instead of repeating the same story as in previous Power Rangers seasons.  This is especially important considering some of the redundancy that can be seen in the seasons that followed the franchise’s original seven-season run.  The lessons taught in the central episode tie directly in to that originality.  It’s another reason that audiences will appreciate this installment from the Megaforce Rangers.  Speaking of lessons being taught, the lessons taught in the companion episodes are just as important to the overall presentation.  The episodes themselves may not be Christmas-themed.  But the lessons shared in said episodes are just as applicable during the holidays as they are any other time of the year.  Those lessons coupled with the lessons taught in the DVD’s central episode and said episode’s originality combine to make this DVD one that any Power Rangers fan will enjoy whether during the holidays or any other time of the year.

Over the course of its now twenty-ne years on television, Saban’s Power Rangers franchise has made a tradition of running a new Christmas-themed episode in every season.  And every season’s Christmas episode has proven to be different from the last.  This applies both stylistically and in terms of their stories.  Power Rangers Megaforce: Robo Knight Before Christmas is no different in that fashion.  Given, it is for all intents and purposes a clip show.  And it’s not the first time that Saban has used clip shows in previous seasons of the Power Rangers.  But through the use of the various clips, the story is more than just another typical clip show.  For that matter, it’s also not just another piece telling about the “true meaning of Christmas.”  The show’s writers incorporate the values commonly associated with Christmas into Robo Knight’s own attempt to better understand humans.  The end result is something of a third person vantage point that helps to better illustrate the morals and values that are so important not just during the holiday season but during any time of the year.  The show’s writers accomplish this goal without being overly preachy about it, either.  Sure there’s some sappiness.  But it’s still a good non-traditional piece that focuses on the holiday season and its associated values.

The lesson centering on Christmas’ values and Robo Knight’s own attempt to understand those values couple to make Robo Knight Before Christmas another enjoyable Christmas episode of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise.  Staying on that same train of thought, the two Power Rangers episodes included as bonuses offer audiences their own positive lessons.  Neither episode takes place during Christmas or even the holiday season.  But they still teach invaluable lessons.  Power Rangers Wild Force’s episode “Team Carnival” teaches an important and invaluable lesson about self-worth.  The interesting thing of the episode is that the writers behind that season actually also took a non-traditional route in presenting said lesson.  In the case of this episode, that season’s writers presented the lesson through the use of the season’s villains Toxica (Sin Wong) and Jindrax (Danny Wayne).  When Jindrax sees that Toxica has her own family in the fight against the Power Rangers, it makes Jindrax feel worthless.  He ends up teaming up with his own family member to fight the rangers and still learns his own valuable lesson about self-worth in the long run.  It’s interesting to see any episode of the Power Rangers make a villain a sympathetic character.  But it works here.  That and the lesson centering on personal self-worth makes this episode its own invaluable addition to this DVD.  It’s one more reason that this latest Power Rangers is another *ahem* mega-hit for audiences.

The second of the bonus episodes included in the new Power Rangers Megaforce DVD, “The Spirit of Kindness,” comes from Power Rangers Jungle Fury.  The most important lesson taught through this episode could be argued to be that of the golden rule so to speak.  As audiences will see in this episode, Casey (Jason Smith)  finally wins over an old nemesis in Whiger (Jared Turner) and convinces Whiger to join him in fighting Whiger’s own former evil ally.  Whiger admits before disappearing that he fought alongside Casey because Casey was kind to him unlike the season’s other villains.  He finally realized in that final moment before his own demise the importance of kindness.  It taught Casey that kindness can be just as powerful as fighting, too.  That in itself is an extremely important lesson to be taken away from this episode.  It’s one more lesson that is just as important during the holiday season as any other time of the year.  This lesson combined with the others presented on this DVD shows once more how much the Power Rangers franchise has to offer audiences even two decades plus after it first debuted.

If the lessons taught in each of the DVD’s trio of episodes isn’t enough for audiences, then the fact that the DVD comes with a bonus digital copy will win over audiences.  Having that digital copy means that audiences can take all three of these episodes with them wherever they go.  So the lessons and the entertaining stories can be shared with any viewer without having to lug around the DVD.  It is the finishing touch to yet another DVD that any Power Rangers fan will appreciate.

Power Rangers Megaforce: Robo Knight Before Christmas is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct from Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/product.asp?Id=31609&TitleParentId=9994.  More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Finishes Off Saban’s Original Power Rangers Franchise Next Month

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Fox/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Fox/Saban/Saban Brands

Shout! Factory and Saban will finish off Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise next month when it releases Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two.

Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two will be released Tuesday, October 7th. The upcoming box set is the end of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise. It is in this box set that audiences see Zordon, who created the very first team of Power Rangers, sacrifices himself in order to put an end to all of the evil forces that have faced the various incarnations of the Power Rangers throughout the franchise’s previous seasons. The season that would follow—Power Rangers Lost Galaxy—would be set in the same universe as the original Power Rangers franchise. However, its story line keeps the Rangers in space as humans search out a new world where humans can live. Also in this final chapter of the Power Rangers’ original Zordon era, a surprising secret is revealed to the Rangers. It is a secret that plays a big role in the final outcome of this long-running franchise. That and much more is in Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two.

Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two will retail for MSRP of $12.99. It can be ordered online via the Shout Factory online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-in-space-vol-2. Prices will vary from one store to another. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://ww.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Beginning Of The End Is Here For Saban’s Original Power Rangers Franchise

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

The countdown to the end of the original Power Rangers franchise is on.

Shout! Factory, in conjunction with Saban Brands, released Power Rangers in Space: Volume 1 this week. The first of two volumes, this collection of episodes begins the countdown to the end of what is dubbed by many as the “Zordon era” or in layman’s terms, the original Power Rangers franchise. Not only does this latest collection episodes mark the end of an important era in the Power Rangers franchise, it also marks the end of the show runners’ practice of employing a set group of actors for multiple seasons. After the end of Power Rangers in Space audiences would see each team of Rangers in a different setting within each season.

Power Rangers in Space: Volume 1 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online now direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-space-vol-1. More information on this and other releases is available online now at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/officialshoutfactory. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Power Rangers Turbo Vol. 2 To Be Released Next Week

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

The countdown to the end of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise is on. Shout! Factory will release Power Rangers: TurboVolume 2 next week.

Power Rangers: TurboVolume Two will be released Tuesday, June 3rd on DVD. Volume Two picks up right where Volume One left off. Tommy, the last of the original Power Rangers and Kat, the second Pink Ranger both depart and are replaced by new Rangers as are Yellow Ranger Tanya and Green Ranger Adam. With a whole new team in place, it’s up to them to stop Divatox once and for all before it’s too late. The Rangers’ battle against Divatox and her evil brother General Havoc leads to what would be the final, epic chapter in the original “Zordon Era” of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise.

Power Rangers: TurboVolume Two will retail for SRP of $19.93. It can be ordered direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-turbo-vol-2. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Power Rangers Seasons 13 – 17 Another Welcome Addition To Any Diehard Power Rangers Fan’s Collection

Courtesy:  SHout! Factory/Saban Brands

Courtesy: SHout! Factory/Saban Brands

Just over two decades ago, Saban Brands brought to young American audiences a little special effects laden, live action children’s series called Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Little did anyone think at the time that the original Power Rangers franchise would last a total of seven seasons. Even more surprising is the fact that those seven seasons would also not be the last for the Power Rangers franchise. Thirteen seasons later, the Power Rangers franchise is still among the most successful in children’s programming. Even those adults that were kids when Mighty Mrophin’ Power Rangers first debuted in 1993 are still fans of the franchise today. And thanks to Saban Brands and Shout! Factory, those same fans will get to enjoy five more seasons of the Power Rangers franchise with the brand new box set, Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17. The very first and most obvious positive to this set is that it includes Seasons 13 – 17 in one large box set. The set’s second most important factor is that while it doesn’t mark the end of the road for the Power Rangers releases from Shout! Factory, fans won’t be seeing Seasons 18 – 20 from Shout! Factory. That’s thanks to a deal between Saban and Lionsgate. And last but not least, audiences will appreciate that once again, Saban and Shout! Factory have included a load of bonus material both on a bonus disc and in the set’s companion booklet. That booklet and bonus DVD are the finishing touches to one more box set that any hardcore Power Rangers fan will want to add to their collection.

The first and most obvious factor that makes Power Rangers: Seasons 13 –17 is the fact that includes all five seasons in one full box. True diehard fans will agree that despite what seems like a hefty price tag, it is cheaper to own Seasons 13 – 17 in one box than paying separate costs for each separate season set. Odds are that eventually Shout! Factory will release each season in its own stand-alone box as the seasons progress. The collective costs of those stand-alone sets will likely be more expensive than that of all five seasons bundled together. That’s just part of what makes Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 worth buying. The space taken up on a DVD rack by Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 is another reason fans will appreciate this set. The total space taken up by the complete set is going to be nearly equal to that of the separate stand-alone season sets put side by side. The only X-factor here is that the box set includes both a bonus disc loaded with extra features and a bonus booklet. Even with their inclusion, the extra space taken up is minimal at best. So again, true diehard Power Rangers fans that want to complete their collections will benefit just as much from this box set as they would from the stand-alone season sets that will likely come later. The previous Power Rangers box set containing Seasons 8 – 12 also contained the bonus features disc and bonus booklet. So any doubts about the set’s ergonomics will be cleared up by comparing the two sets to what will be their stand-alone counterparts.

The cost and ergonomic factors tied to Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 are central to why the most diehard members of the “Ranger Nation” will want to add this set to their collections. By direct connection, fans will be pleased to know that this set is not the end of the road for Shout! Factory’s Power Ranger sets. It goes without saying that more than likely all five seasons of this set will eventually get their own stand-alone releases over time. But before they get their release, Shout! Factory will also take fans back in time again. Shout! Factory will release Power Rangers Turbo in two separate sets this Spring. It would be no surprise if sets for Power Rangers in Space and Power Rangers Lost Galaxy will follow before Shout! Factory releases stand-alone sets for Seasons 8 – 17, too. So those that perhaps can’t afford to pick up this new box set or just don’t want to shell out the money will more than likely be able to pick up their personal favorite season(s) over time. On a side note, it’s too bad that Shout! Factory didn’t get the distribution rights for the more recent Power Rangers Samurai, Power Rangers Super Samurai, and Power Rangers Megaforce. That is because Lionsgate as proven time and again that rather than respecting the “Ranger Nation”, all it cares about it releasing compilation after compilation rather than building anticipation and releasing proper full season sets. Shout! Factory has shown time and again with its Power Rangers releases that it has the utmost respect for the franchise’s fans and the series’ legacy. So it would have been interesting to see what Shout! Factory would have done with the newer seasons. They did plenty with Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 and its all previous Power Rangers sets.

Shout! Factory has proven time and again the respect that it has for the “Ranger Nation” and for the legacy of the Power Rangers franchise as a whole with all of its releases up to this new box set. The inclusion of a bonus features disc and companion booklet with the set makes the presentation and viewing experience with this set all the richer for fans. The bonus DVD includes even more in-depth bonus material than what was presented in Power Rangers: Seasons 8 – 12. Audiences are treated in this set’s bonus disc to discussions on the props used throughout Seasons 13 – 17. Stories on the props are shared by both those behind the cameras and by the cast members. Fans will really appreciate that those stories aren’t relegated to just the seasons included in this set. They go as far back as stories from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Also shared by cast members are stories of the cast’s favorite and least favorite sets as well as general fond memories of working on each series among so much more bonus material. The most intriguing factor that fans will take away from all of these stories is the fact that many of the actors that filled each season’s cast were themselves Power Rangers fans before Power Rangers cast members. Fans will appreciate the respect that said cast members have and had for the franchise both before being cast and during their time on their respective seasons.

The stories and other bonuses included in the set’s bonus DVD makes the overall viewing experience of this set so much richer for fans. The same can be said of the companion booklet included as a final bonus to the set. As with Power Rangers: Seasons 8 – 12, the companion booklet included in this set includes a comprehensive character guide and episode guide all in one. Both the Rangers (as characters and actors) are introduced as are each season’s villain. The episode guide for each season includes short but concise summaries of each episode from each season. It gives audiences just enough information to effectively set the stage for each episode. Those summaries, the episodes themselves, and all of the other bonuses included in the set make Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 one more welcome addition to the library of any true diehard Power Rangers fan. It will be available next Tuesday, April 1st and can be pre-ordered now through the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-seasons-13-17.
More information on Power Rangers: Seasons 13 – 17 and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 Box Set A Must Have For Any Diehard PR Fan

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory’s release of Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is an absolute must have for anyone that is a true hardcore fan of the Power Rangers franchise.  This latest box set was released in late 2013, only months before the planned release of the franchise’s next box set, containing Seasons 13 – 17.  Audiences that grew up watching Seasons 8 – 12 will appreciate this box set primarily because of its writing.  Seasons 8 – 12 mark a complete cutting of ties so to speak from the original Power Rangers franchise, which ended with Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.  It was a surprisingly clean cut, too.  The bonus DVD included in this set adds to its value for any true hardcore Power Rangers fan.  That’s because of the abundant amount of extras included just on the one disc alone.  And rounding out the whole thing is the bonus booklet that comes with the set.  All of this together makes Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 a set that the most hardcore Power Rangers will want to add to their personal collection.

Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is an important addition to any hardcore Power Rangers fan’s collection first and foremost because of the writing behind each season.  It all starts with Season 8 a.k.a. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue.  This season and those that follow mark a clean cut from the Power Rangers’ original franchise, which ran technically six seasons.  The franchise’s seventh season saw what would be the first attempt at cutting ties from the original franchise.  But even that season maintained at least some link to the original franchise with the re-introduction of the Astro Megaship, which was used in Season 6 (Power Rangers in Space).  That essentially makes Season 8 the very first time that the franchise’s writers made a complete and clean break from the original series.  It did this quite well, too.  It is interesting to see the Power Rangers go from almost superhero-like status in its previous incarnations to being made into a semi-militaristic force in Season 8.  A similar approach is taken in Power Rangers Time Force.  The writers behind Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue made a clean, solid break from the Power Rangers’ original franchise.  For all of their ability to break from that franchise, audiences will appreciate that they did throw back to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers with the introduction of the Titanium Ranger in this series.  Just as Tommy was originally brainwashed by Rita, so was Ryan brainwashed by Diabolico.  Fans that grew up with the original Power Rangers franchise will appreciate this throwback, whether it was intentional or not.

The eighth and ninth seasons of Power Rangers exhibited brand new chapters in the long-running franchise’s mythology.  They showed in their writing that the Power Rangers brand could keep running even in a whole new universe separate from the one created in the its first seven seasons.  This trend continued on through Seasons 10 and 11.  The most intriguing of the seasons included in this set would have to be Season 12, though.  Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank) returns in Season 12 a.k.a. Power Rangers Dino Thunder as the head of a new team of Power Rangers.  What makes this season so enjoyable is that while it lives within the confines of its own universe, it also makes no attempt to ignore Tommy’s past as one of the original Power Rangers.  The very fact that it would be titled Dino Thunder and that the new Power Rangers would have their own dinozords of sorts is a full on throwback.  It brings everything full circle in this set.  It goes without saying that this was not the longest series in the Power Rangers canon.  But it was nice to see the writers and the franchise’s heads make that re-connection with the early days of the Power Rangers once again, just as Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue did in Season 8.

All involved behind Power Rangers Season 8 – 12 are to be commended .  These five seasons prove to be some of the best from the Power Rangers franchise in its post-Zordon era.  Fans will see this for themselves when they order the complete five-season box set from Shout! Factory.  The solid writing in each season and the inclusion of each season are only the starting point in what makes this collection a must have for any hardcore Power Rangers fan.  The set also comes with an extra sixth disc loaded with bonus material that fans will love.

The bonus sixth disc that comes with Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is a bonus in itself.  It is loaded with more than its share of background on each season beginning with an in-depth look at how the actors voiced their parts for the big fight scenes.  Audiences will laugh along with the cast members as they recall being in the recording booth, recording their lines and even fight sounds as they see the action on screen.  The “Ranger Tales” segment is just as in-depth.  It offers insight on each season from different members of each season’s cast.  What’s more, this segment proceeds chronologically from Season 8 – 12.  Viewers will also enjoy watching “A Web of Fans.”  This bonus feature takes a look at the impact of the show on its fans and vice versa.  It showed how close-knit the Power Rangers fanbase is to this day and how it has helped to keep the franchise alive such a long time.  There are even more bonuses including one that discusses the introduction of the Titanium Ranger and a semi-promo from Tommy himself pushing Power Rangers Dino Thunder and even a promo by two members of the Dino Thunder cast for Power Rangers S.P.D. which is part of the next Power Rangers box set.  The bonuses don’t end here.  There is still at least one more aspect of this set that fans will appreciate being included.  That bonus is the booklet that comes with the box set.

Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 includes as a companion to the bonus sixth disc, a bonus booklet that includes character bios for each season as well as a complete episode guide for each season as well.  Along with the character bios are the actual names of each cast member from each season.  This includes both the Rangers and the villains.  There are even stills of various scenes taken from different episodes of each season to enhance the booklet even more.  From the stills to the episode list and character guide, those responsible for assembling this booklet put in a lot of work to make it the perfect addition to the overall set.  Together with the bonus sixth disc, the two bonus additions collectively make for one wonderful bonus to a set that simply put is a must have for any true hardcore Power Rangers fan.  Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-seasons-8-12.  More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.