Public Media Distribution Announces ‘Endeavour: Season 4’ Domestic Release Date

Courtesy: itv/Public media Distribution/PBS

Public Media Distribution is bringing home the fourth season of the hit British crime drama Endeavour this summer.

Endeavour: Season Four will be released Sept. 4, just as summer starts to wind down and the weather starts to change, giving audiences plenty to enjoy through the rest of this year.  Season 4 picks up right where Season 3 left off with the young Detective Morse and his partner Thursday dealing with more personal and work issues.

Morse waits in the series fourth season for the results of his Sergeant’s exam at work while dealing with emotional issues off the job.  Thursday and Win have their own issues as Sam has left for the army and Joan has gone off to points unknown.

Season 4’s four episodes—‘Game,’ ‘Canticle,’ ‘Lazaretto,’ and ‘Harvest’—are spread across two discs, totaling 480 minutes.  The DVD will retail for MSRP of $34.99 and the Blu-ray for 44.99.  It will be listed soon online via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other PBS Masterpiece series is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series” Positives Outweigh Its Negatives

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Early this year, itv and PBS’ hit serial drama Mr. Selfridge took its final bow with the conclusion of the series’ fourth season.  In celebration of the series’ end, PBS Distribution released the series in its own complete series box set last month.  The set is a good gift idea for fans who might not already own the series’ previous standalone sets.  That is due in part to the set’s pricing, its key element.  While the pricing is a key positive to note, the set’s availability only on DVD is something of a negative that must be addressed.  This will be discussed later.  The availability of the series’ original bonus material in this collection makes up for the set’s primary negative.  Each element is important to note in its own right, to be fair.  All things considered, Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series is still a set that the series’ fans will want to have in their DVD libraries.

Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series is a fitting final statement for fans of the beloved itv and PBS series.  That is due in part to the collection’s price.  The collection’s average price The set is listed at a rather wide range of prices from one retailer to the next.  When those prices are averaged out, though, the set averages at approximately $63.  So considering that average and the collective cost of the series’ standalone season sets, the average price of this set proves to be its own positive.  This is the case even considering that PBS’ price for the set is the most expensive at $85.  When one adds up the cost of the series’ standalone season sets both on Blu-ray and on DVD through various outlets including PBS, the collective pricing of each by itself is still more expensive than this new set’s most expensive price.  That is especially true when one adds in the cost of shipping and handling to those collective prices.  Keeping all of this in mind, while the set’s price varies from one outlet to the next, it is still lower than the collective price of the series’ standalone season sets.  That maintains its place as a clear positive to the set’s presentation.  While it is a clear positive, the set is not exactly perfect in its presentation.  That is because it is presented only on DVD.

The pricing for Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series is clearly a positive that must be noted in examining this full series presentation of the show.  While it is an important piece of the set’s presentation, it is not the only element that must be noted.  The fact that the full series set is available only on DVD must also be noted.  For whatever reason, the show’s full series set is available only on DVD.  Audiences are not given the option to watch it on Blu-ray as well.  Sure, it might be a little more expensive than the DVD set.  But said set would likely be less expensive than the collective cost of the series’ standalone Blu-ray sets.  It is a minor complaint to have, certainly, but still one that must be addressed.  The same was an issue with the full series presentation of Inspector Lewis.  It would have been nice to see that set released on Blu-ray as well as DVD, too.  Even with that in mind, the availability of Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series exclusively on DVD is the set’s only real negative.  Considering this, the set is not a total loss.  The inclusion of the bonus material included in each of the series’ standalone sets is also presented here.  It makes up for the negative that is the set’s exclusivity on DVD.

The pricing for Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series and the set’s availability exclusively on DVD are both key to the set’s presentation.  The pricing is a positive while the availability of the set only on DVD is a bit of a negative, but it doesn’t completely ruin the set.  Even with that one negative in mind, this set is still a good addition to the home DVD library of any of the show’s fans.  That is especially the case considering the fact that the set also includes the bonus material that was included in the series’ standalone season sets.  That material includes cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and even a documentary focused on the downfall of Henry Selfridge in the series’ final season among much more.  The fact that all of the bonus material included in the series’ standalone season sets is included here more than makes up for the fact that the series is available only on DVD.  It make that lone negative trivial even as important as it is to note.  All things considered Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series proves itself to be a piece that any of this hit series’ fans will want to have in their home DVD libraries.

Mr. Selfridge: The Complete Series is a good addition to the home DVD library of any of the series’ fans.  That is due, again, in part to the set’s pricing and the inclusion of the bonus material presented in each season’s standalone season set.  While all of this stands out positively in examining the series’ presentation, it isn’t without its negatives either.  The set is available only on DVD.  Audiences are not given the option to view the series on Blu-ray even though its standalone season sets were available on both DVD and Blu-ray.  Even with this in mind, the set’s two brighter positives outweigh that one negative, maintaining the set as a welcome addition to the DVD library of any of the series’ fans.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other Masterpiece titles from PBS is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory’s Re-Issue Of ATV’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Is A “Rich” New Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

William Shakespeare is one of the most revered writers and playwrights in literary history.  For centuries his plays have been considered among the best works by critics ad audiences alike.  They have been adapted and re-adapted time and again, both in books and onscreen throughout the ages.  This past May Shout! Factory re-issued one of those countless adaptations when it released The Merchant of Venice.  The adaptation in question was a 1973 TV movie produced by Associated Television (ATV) and itv in the UK.  ABC handled broadcast duties for the special in the United States.  Neither its first nor it last adaptation, there is plenty to appreciate about this incarnation of the timeless story beginning with the story itself.  This will be discussed shortly.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as the story itself.  Last but hardly least of note in the movie’s presentation is in fact its very presentation.  It is presented here exactly as it was in its original 1973 broadcast.  It rounds out the movie’s most important elements in its new DVD re-issue and is just one of the movie’s most important elements.  Together with the movie’s other noted elements, all three elements join together to make Shout! Factory’s re-issue of ATV’s 1973 adaptation of The Merchant of Venice one of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

Shout! Factory’s new DVD re-issue of ATV’s 1973 take on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is one of 2016’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.  This is due in part to the movie’s story.  Audiences will be pleased to know that the story presented in this incarnation has not changed one bit from Shakespeare’s original play.  The only thing that has changed between the two stories is the play’s setting.  Whereas the original play was set in Italy, one has to assume by the backdrop and costumes here that the story takes place in early 19th Century England.  While the setting might have changed the story still fits interestingly enough.  That is thanks to the story, which centers on young Bassanio’s attempt to win the heart of Portia.  The problem is that in order to win her heart he needs the money to do so, which he doesn’t have.  So how does he get it?  He gets it by going to loan shark (let’s be realistic, that’s what he is—a loan shark) Shylock in order to obtain the funds.  In the process Bassanio gets his friend Antonio wrapped up in his own problems by essentially making Antonio a co-signer on his (Bassanio’s) loan without his knowledge.  This sounds like the setup for a drama.  But in reality it is a comedy loaded with plenty of moments that will entertain audiences.  Audiences will laugh happily as Portia and her friend trick Portia’s suitors so as to keep Portia from having to marry any of them.  Bassanio’s reaction to the women singing right at him as he makes his choice is just as entertaining.  Shylock even presents some funny moments in the story.  One of the funniest comes as Shylock discovers the fate of his daughter for whom he was so worried.  It shows the type of person that he really is.  As despicable as he is, one can’t help but laugh at his reaction.  It’s one more way in which the movie’s story, which again stays true to Shakespeare’s original play here—save for the setting—proves to be so important to its presentation in its new DVD re-issue.  The story is just one way in which this take on The Merchant of Venice shows itself to be so enjoyable for Shakespeare fans.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note in its presentation as the story.

The story at the center of ATV’s 1973 take of The Merchant of Venice is a hugely important part of the movie’s presentation.  Audiences will be pleased to know that even in a seemingly updated setting the story stays true to Shakespeare’s original play.  While it is an important part of the movie’s whole the story is just one important part of the movie’s presentation.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as the story.  Lead actor Laurence Olivier is flawless as the money-grubbing loan shark Shylock in this presentation of the play.  He completely embraces the character and in turn makes audiences love to hate him.  He makes Shylock a completely unscrupulous figure.  One can’t help but wonder, in watching Olivier’s performance if perhaps Charles Dickens might have in fact gotten some influence for Ebeneezer Scrooge from Shakespeare’s original Shylock in watching Olivier’s performance.  Yes, this movie was presented in 1973.  But the story goes back far more years than that, again leaving one to wonder if this character might have, again, been the original influence behind Dickens’ despised businessman.  The similarities between the pair are inescapable.  That is especially exhibited as Shylock shows no remorse in making Antonio Bassario’s “co-signer” even though Antonio isn’t even there to speak for himself.  All Shylock cares about is getting his money back.  Shylock’s reaction to the money spent by his daughter after she leaves home is another way in which Olivier shows his expertise.  He goes in an instant to being completely worried about her to being completely enraged at the money spent.  It is a wonderful moment.  His is just one performance that makes this movie so enjoyable for Shakespeare fans.  Joan Plowright’s take on Portia is just as fun to watch.

Laurence Olivier’s take on Shylock in this version of The Merchant of Venice is a prime example of why the cast’s work in this movie is so pivotal to its presentation.  Joan Plowright’s take on Portia is just as important to note.  Audiences, especially female audiences, will love how headstrong and confident Plowright makes Portia.  This confidence is exhibited throughout the course of the movie.  One of the most notable moments in which it is displayed comes as Antonio reveals what Bassanio has done.  She replies that they should basically pay him double and have the loan done with.  Her matter of fact tone in addressing the issue will leave audiences laughing just as much as any of Olivier’s moments.  In the same vein, her wit as she discusses having to deal with her suitors is just as entertaining.  She says of one suitor that if she is to marry him, she may as well marry a hundred men.  The tone of her voice in this delivery is hilarious and will have especially female audiences crack up because no doubt even today’s female audiences would be able to relate to some point to this moment.  It’s just one more example of Plowright’s talent in front of the camera and one more example of what makes the cast’s work so important to the movie’s presentation in whole.  It would be so easy to discuss the rest of the movie’s cast along with Plowright and Olivier.  But that would take far more time and space than is possible.  So suffice it to say that considering the work of both Olivier and Plowright joins together with that of their cast mates to keep audiences just as entertained and engaged in interpreting each scene as the story itself.  Now, having noted this, the story and the cast’s work on camera are not the movie’s only important elements.  The movie’s very presentation is just as important to note here as the story and the cast’s work.

The story at the heart of The Merchant of Venice and the work of the movie’s cast in this incarnation of the play are both key elements in its presentation.  The story stays largely true to Shakespeare’s original play, thus keeping it entertaining and engaging for audiences.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to note as its story.  That is because just as with the story itself, the cast will keep audiences just as entertained and engaged as the story.  For all of the positives presented by the story and the cast in this take of The Merchant of Venice these two elements are not the movie’s only key elements.  The story’s overall presentation is just as important to note as the story and the cast’s work.  Audiences will note in watching the movie’s two-hour plus presentation (it comes in at just a little more than two hours) that it is set up as if it was a play being acted out on television.  What that means is that instead of just being one long movie it is instead broken up into acts.  This means that audiences will not feel like they have to completely invest themselves in the movie in one sitting.  Rather, it allows audiences to stop the movie at specific points without feeling like they have missed anything and then come back to the movie later if need be.  Or they can even stop it at the “act breaks” go use the restroom and get a snack, and come back for the next act just as if they were taking in the movie in a live setting.  Even better they could do just that without having to navigate a sea of other people in doing so, too.  This makes the viewing experience even better.  It shows that even some forty-three years ago the people behind the presentation actually thought this through.  That is good thinking to say the very least.  And more than four decades later it still proves to be a hugely important part of the movie’s presentation.  That ability to stop and take a break will actually allow viewers to talk about each act, clear their heads, etc.  It enhances the movie’s viewing experience to no end.  Keeping this in mind, it shows why the story’s presentation (exactly as it was in its original airing) is just as important to the movie’s overall presentation as any other element.  Together with the movie’s story and the work of the movie’s cast, it rounds out the most important of this movie’s elements and shows once and for all why this version of The Merchant of Venice is a must see for any Shakespeare fan as well as on of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

Shout! Factory’s re-issue of ATV’s The Merchant of Venice is one of 2016’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.  The forty-three year old movie is a must see for any Shakespeare fan.  That is because its story stays true largely to Shakespeare’s original play.  The work of the movie’s cast is just as important to its presentation as its story.  Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright lead the movie’s cast in this incarnation.  That the movie is presented as a play on screen, complete with act breaks, enhances the movie’s viewing experience to no end.  Each element proves in the end to be important in its own right.  Altogether they make this take on The Merchant of Venice one that, again, every Shakespeare fan should see at least once if not more.  In the end, all three elements make this release one of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-drama/the-merchant-of-venice.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mr. Selfridge Goes Out On A High Note In Its Final Season

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution/itv

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/itv

The end is finally here for Harry Selfridge.  What started a little more than three years ago on Britain’s itv finally wrapped earlier this year.  And this Tuesday, May 17th, the final season of the historically-based period drama will be available on DVD and Blu-ray.  For those that haven’t yet seen this season, hopefully those viewers have already seen the series’ previous three seasons.  That is the only way in which viewers will have any understanding of and appreciation for this season’s story.  Speaking of the story, the work put in to establish the story—that of the series’ writers—is the central element of this season’s presentation.  That will be discussed shortly.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to the season’s presentation as the writers’ contributions.  The collective work of those behind the cameras—the costume and set crew, editors, etc.—is just as important to note in the show’s presentation this season as that of the show’s writers and cast.  It rounds out the season’s most important elements and brings everything together in full.  Altogether, all three elements send this standout series out on just as much of a high note as that on which Mr. Selfridge went out (not to give away too much).

The fourth and final season of Mr. Selfridge is one of the series’ finest hours if not its finest.  It sends off the show on just as much of a high note as that on which Mr. Selfridge himself went out.  That is due in part to the work of the series’ writers.  On the surface, the writers have once again expertly woven together so many storylines from one episode to the next for the ensemble cast.  The connection between each storyline is so finely tuned that there is not even a need for a program in order to follow each one.  They are that well balanced.  Looking deeper at those storylines, each story is just as certain to keep viewers as entertained as the other beginning with the story of Harry Selfridge’s fall from grace so to speak.  What’s really interesting in this story is that Harry is such a sympathetic character here.  Yes, he continues his playboy lifestyle, spending money, wooing women, and more.  But that downward spiral happens as a result of having lost his mother not too long after having lost his wife.  When one loses so much over such a short period of time, it is easy to see how said person would fall so fast.  The speed at which he falls, and the work put in by star Jeremy Piven to help illustrate that fall, leaves viewers wanting things to turn around for Harry so badly.  In other words, their combined work ensures audience engagement from the season’s premiere to its finale.  It is just one example of the strength of the series’ writing this season.  The laughs and loss that are experienced over the course of this season’s ten episodes can also be cited in explaining the strength of the show’s writing this season.

Harry’s downward spiral this season is a powerful and engaging storyline that will most certainly keep viewers engaged from Episode One to Episode Ten.  It is just one of the many storylines that make this season so entertaining and engaging. There are plenty of laughs and even some painful losses presented throughout this season.  The store suffers a terrible loss late in the season as one of its own passes away somewhat unexpectedly.  The emphasis is on somewhat as it ties in to a diagnosis that had given character more time.  It’s an interesting twist to the story to say the least.  On a related note, another key character from the past returns, leading to a wedding.  There is also a whodunit element that helps move the series on to its finale and even yet another conflict for Harry with Lord Loxley out of the picture.  This time it’s with an unscrupulous newspaper man who is set on destroying Harry’s empire.  There’s also a birth and a divorce for good measure.  It sounds like a lot.  And it is, too.  But again, the manner in which the series’ writers balance each of the storylines will keep viewers engaged from one episode to the next, like a good book that one can’t stop reading.  All things considered here the writing proves in the end to be a hugely important part of Season Four’s presentation.  It is not the season’s only important element, though.  The cast’s work in interpreting the scripts is just as important to note as that of the show’s writers.

The writing behind Mr. Selfridge in its fourth season is immeasurably important to its overall presentation.  That is the case especially considering just how many storylines have once again been incorporated into the season’s overall story and their balance.  There is so much power in each storyline due to the season’s mix of joy and sadness within each one.  While the writing behind this season proves to be of the utmost importance to its presentation it is hardly the season’s only important element.  The cast’s work in interpreting each episode’s script is just as important as the stories that were crafted for the cast.  It has already been noted that star Jeremy Piven is just as on point here as in the series’ previous seasons.  His emotional display upon Harry’s discovery of his mother’s death hits all the right notes.  This sort of scene is nothing new in the realm of TV dramas.  It goes way back to television’s golden age.  Keeping this in mind, it would have been so easy for him to over emote and really ham it up.  But he didn’t go that route.  Rather he managed to keep Harry’s reaction controlled just enough to make the moment (and Harry’s pain) believable.  His eventual emotional breakdown following her death is just as believable.

On another note, the growing friendship between Mr. Grove’s daughter Meryl (Lottie Tolhurst) and seamstress Tilly Brockless (Mimi Ndiweni) is another example of the power and importance of the cast’s work.  It’s interesting to see how the pair’s friendship grows despite the difference in skin color.  On the surface their friendship serves to illustrate the growing progressive nature of the world in that era.  The changes experienced by African-Americans weren’t limited to just America, obviously.  They were evident in other parts of the world, too.  On a deeper level, the pair’s friendship served to show changes in both women.  On another level it serves to show both women’s personal development.  They grew both personally and together thanks to their friendship.  And the manner in which both women handled their roles was just as impressive as those of their cast mates.  Considering how new both women were to being in the limelight that is saying quite a bit.  If that isn’t enough of an example of the importance of the cast’s work, Vincent Riotta’s take on Harry’s gambling agent (I.E. bookie) is just as impressive despite being just a temporary cast member.

Riotta’s work as D’Ancona conjures thoughts of Marlon Brando’s Don Vito Corleone from the famed Godfather franchise.  While he may not be on camera anywhere near as much as Brando was so many decades ago he is just as solid in his role.  That is because of the attitude and self-confidence that he brings to D’Ancona.  Even as D’Ancona sits in his car, silently giving orders to destroy the windows at Selfridge’s, there is something about the subtlety of his simple action that makes him a great gangster-style figure.  It’s just one more way in which the cast’s acting proves important to Season Four’s overall presentation.  Emma Hamilton and Zoe Richards are just as fun to watch as the gold-digging Dolly Sisters.  They make audiences love to hate them as they bring the selfish, money-grubbing pair to life.  There are plenty of other examples that could be cited here.  Those examples, alongside the ones more directly noted here, serve to show in whole why the acting presented in Season Four is just as important to the series this time out as the writing.  Both elements are equally important to Season Four.  However they are still not this season’s only important elements.  The work of the show’s crew is just as important to note as its cast and its writers.

The work of Mr. Selfridge’s writers and cast in the show’s fourth season is undeniably important to the show’s presentation.  Both elements work in tandem to make Season Four’s overall quite impressive in its own right.  As important as both elements prove to be in the long run, they are not the season’s only important elements.  The work of the show’s crew is just as important as its cast and writers.  The transitions between scenes, and even from the opening credits to each episode’s opening scene are a credit to the work of the show’s editors.  In the same vein the camera and audio crew is to be applauded just as much for their work.  The different angles and shots presented by the camera crew play their own part in illustrating each scene’s emotion.  This applies not just to the wider shots but to the closer shots that require a certain amount of emoting from the cast and even from general exteriors and interiors.  In the same vein, those responsible for handling the show’s audio elements deserve just as much credit for their work.  Between what this critic has come to term as “whisper scenes”—which are exactly what they sound like—the blowouts, the moodier moments, and points in between, the audio engineers captured the emotion of each scene just as well as the camera crew.  They caught the emotion in each actor’s voice just as well as the camera crew did in the cast’s faces.  On another level, the balance of those moments with the show’s musical audio adds even more depth to the show’s presentation.  Believe it or not there are still shows out there today whose audio engineers don’t know how to balance said shows’ music with the cast’s lines from one scene to the mix.  The end result is a presentation in each case that is anything but easy on the ears at either end of the volume.  Luckily that wasn’t the case here.  That being the case the work of all involved joins together to make Season Four just as aesthetically pleasing for audiences as the writing and acting does in ever y other avenue.  All things considered, each of the elements noted here is important in its own right to the presentation of Mr. Selfridge: Season Four.  In total they send this season out on just as much of a high note as that on which harry himself went out.

The fourth and final season of Mr. Selfridge is quite the sendoff for the series.  Thanks to the work of the show’s writers, its cast, and even its crew, the series goes out on just as much of a high note as that on which Harry himself went out.  The writing is so powerful as it presents Harry at his lowest point, struggling to regain some normalcy to his life and business.  In the same vein, the show’s other interweaving storylines prove their own share of interest all while maintaining their separation from one another.  The cast’s work in interpreting each episode’s script plays just as much of an important part in proving this.  From the leads to the lesser appearing characters, all involved present their own impressive performances.  The show’s crew is just as deserving of credit and applause for their work as the cast and writers.  That is because they work together to fully capture the emotion of each scene and heighten it in all of the right ways and moments.  Each element plays its own important part in the whole of the Season Four.  Even the bonus material included in Season Four’s new home release plays its own part.  That’s a story for another time.  All things considered, this final installment of episodes from Mr. Selfridge sends the series off on just as much of a high note as the on which Harry himself went out.  together with the series’ previous seasons, it shows one last time exactly why it is one of the best dramas on television in recent years and why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  It will be available this Tuesday, May 17th in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store both on DVD and Blu-ray at http://www.shoppbs.org/family/index.jsp?categoryId=20384186&sr=1&origkw=Mr.%20Selfridge.  More information on this and other PBS Masterpiece programs is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Announces Release Date For “Mr. Selfridge: Season 4”

It’s finally time to close up shop for Mr. Selfridge.

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/itv

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/itv

PBS and PBS Distribution will release the fourth and final season of Mr. Selfridge this spring.  It will be released on Tuesday, May 17th on DVD and Blu-ray. This final season of Mr. Selfridge sees Selfridge & Co. celebrating its 20-year anniversary.  One would think that it would mark a time to celebrate.  But things aren’t quite as they seem.  The store’s ongoing success is beginning to take even more of a toll than ever on the store’s staff.  It is also taking a big toll on Harry’s family, friends, and Harry himself.  There is a growing divide between Harry and his son as things progress and issues stemming from a major gamble on a failing emporium, Harry taking on a new business partner named Jimmy Dillon (Sacha Dhawan – After Earth, 24: Live Another Day, Outsourced)  and much more this season.

Returning for the final season of Mr. Selfridge are: Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street, The Night Manager, Happy Valley) as Lady Mae, Amanda Abington (Sherlock, 20 Things To Do Before You’re 30, The Bill) as Josie Mardle, Tom Goodman-Hill (Case Histories, The Imitation Game, Everest) as Mr. Grove, Ron Cook (Chocolat, Hot Fuzz, Little Dorrit) as Mr. Crabb, and Trystan Gravelle (Anonymous, One Chance, A Way of Life) as Victor Colleano.  Also back on board for this season are: Amy Beth Hayes (Eva, Insoma, Shameless) and Samuel West (Van Helsing, Hyde Park on Hudson, Notting Hill) as Kitty and Frank Edwards, and Greg Austin (Law & Order: UK) as Gordon Selfridge.

Alongside Sacha Dhawan, Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones, Master & Commander: Far Side of the World, Robin Hood) is new to the cast this season.  He plays press magnate Lord Wynnstay, who is a constant thorn in Harry’s proverbial side.  Also new this season are Emma Hamilton (The Tudors, The Cold Light of Day, Into The Storm) and Zoe Richards (How To Become a Criminal Mastermind, Get Him to the Greek, The Possession of David O’Reilly) as the Dolly Sisters, Rosie and Jennie.

Mr. Selfridge: The Final Season will be released Tuesday, May 17th.  It will be released on DVD box set and Blu-ray box set.  The DVD box set will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and the Blu-ray for $49.99.  Both can be ordered at discounted prices of $34.99 and 44.99 respectively via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85849986&cp=2809871.20384186&sr=1&origkw=Mr.+Selfridge&parentPage=family.  Audiences can view a trailer for Mr. Selfridge: The Final Season online via PBS’ YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8XX4Rvx8bA.

 

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/itv

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/itv

 

More information on this and other titles from PBS’ Masterpiece is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/

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

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mr. Selfridge Is As Entertaining As Ever As It Counts Down To Closing

Courtesy:  itv/PBS

Courtesy: itv/PBS

Late last year, it was announced that the fourth season of itv’s hit drama Mr. Selfridge would be the series’ last. The reaction among the series’ audiences has been quite surprising with an overwhelming show of support for the show. Now as season three has come to an end both on itv and PBS, which imported the series from the UK, audiences here in the United States have begun anxiously awaiting the arrival of that final season. No official announcement has been made in regards to the arrival of Season Four either on television or on DVD and Blu-ray. That being the case, fans that have not yet gotten up to speed with the hit drama still have some time to do so while they wait for Season Four’s arrival. That is because Season Three is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. It was released this past May on both platforms. For those that perhaps have yet to add Season Three to their own home DVD/Blu-ray libraries, Season Three offers quite a bit of entertainment beginning with its writing. More specifically, the stories that make up Season Three lie at the center of Season Three’s overall presentation. The cast’s interpretation of said scripts is just as important as the scripts themselves. Together, both elements create ten episodes that will keep audiences engaged from season premiere to finale. Last of note in this season’s overall viewing experience is its bonus material. PBS and itv take viewers behind the series’ scenes once again this season and show just how much work went into bringing the season to life. Together with the Season Three’s scripts and acting, that bonus addition builds even more appreciation for the work that went into bringing Season Three to life. And together with the scripts and acting, all three elements make the third season of Mr. Selfridge yet another incredible installment of the hit drama and one of the best of this year’s box sets for grownups.

Mr. Selfridge: Season Three is yet another incredible installment of itv and PBS’ hit drama. It is also one of the best of this year’s box sets for grownups. The central reason for this is the series’ writing in its third season. More specifically, the scripts that were crafted for this season are primarily to thank for this season’s success. There is so much that is going on throughout the course of each episode’s script. Yet even with so much going on, the writers were able to balance every interweaving story element seamlessly throughout each episode. That is saying quite a bit considering just how much goes on throughout the course of Season Three’s ten episodes. The whole thing opens with Harry laying his wife to rest, only to follow that up with him escorting Rosalie down the aisle. From that point, there is much more to note. Harry’s son becomes the store’s new deputy (not to reveal too much) and falls for one of the store employees. Mr. Groves has to come to terms with a double dose of devastating news that rocks his world. And even Harry has his own issues to handle as the vile Lord Loxley has returned once again in another attempt to ruin Harry. That’s just one of his problems. He also meets a beautiful woman named Nancy Webb and falls for her. But she isn’t exactly all that she appears to be. What’s really great here is that the writers don’t make this obvious to audiences early on. It isnt until later that viewers find out who she really is and the result of the discovery. It’s just one more way in which Season Three’s writing proves to be key to the season’s overall presentation. There are plenty of other examples that could be cited such as Henri’s (Gregory Fitoussi) battle with PTSD having fought on the frontlines of World War II, and Kitty (Amy Beth Hayes) being assaulted by anoth veteran. There is simply so much going on in terms of the series’ writing this season that there is not enough time to note all of its strengths. Regardless, it can be said of the writing in whole that it is more than enough reason for any of the show’s fans to add this season to his or her own home DVD/Blu-ray library. It is just one part of what makes Season Three such a hit, too. The cast’s interpretation of the season’s scripts is just as important to its overall presentation as the scripts themselves.

The scripts that lie at the center of Mr. Selfridge’s third season are key to the season’s overall presentation. That is because of the engaging story arcs and the writers’ ability to balance said story arcs so expertly. While the scripts are important in their own right, they are nothing without a solid cast to interpret them. Thankfully every member of the series’ cast displays the utmost expertise in interpreting each episode’s script. Not one of the cast members outshines the others at any point in the show’s run this time out. Jeremy Piven (Entourage, PCU, Serendipity) is spot on once again as the series’ lead character. When he mourns for his beloved wife in the season premiere, he makes audiences fully feel Harry’s pain. And when he falls for Nancy, his blind, impulsivity is just as believable. Everyone has been in his position or at least knows someone that has gone through that blind behavior. On another note, Aidan McArdle is just as great as the villanous Lord Loxley. He really makes audiences not just want to hate him but love to hate him. His self-righteous, hate-filled portrayal is just as spot both by itself and when set against Piven’s portrayal of Harry Selfridge. Moving to even another example, Tom Goodman-Hill’s pained Mr. Grove is a wholly sympathetic character as he tries to deal with the revelations that challenge him this season. He makes audiences want so badly to root for him and see him get over his struggles. As much as this critic would love to spoil the outcome here, that won’t happen here. Though, the outcome will leave a smile on fans’ faces. That much can be said. These are just a few examples of how the work of the series’ cast proves to be just as important to Season Three as the show’s scripts. And as with the scripts, there are plenty of other examples that could be cited here. Case in point Hannah Tointon’s (Penny Dreadful, The Inbetweeners, Walking With The Enemy) portrayal of Violette Selfridge is just as convincing in its own right. Her portrayal of the now defiant young woman is just as relatable for viewers. What viewer out there hasn’t had that sassy, headstrong teenager in their home? Exactly. It’s a portrayal that transcends cultures and in turn will entertain audiences on both sides of the pond. And Leon Ockenden (Red Tails, Heavy Rain, The Cosmonaut) is just as entertaining as Serge De Bolotoff. It is interesting to see him handle Serge’s growth from a snobbish, snivelling playboy to a much more mature individual with his head finally in the right place. The path that he takes in order to get from point “A” to point “B” will keep audiences just as engrossed as any of the other cast members’ portrayals. Whether for any of those noted, those not noted, or all combined, it can be said in closing here that the work of the cast here in Season Three proves to be just as pivotal to the series’ presentation this time out as the season’s script. And together with said scripts, the two elements together give viewers more than enough reason for audiences and fans alike to add this season to his or her own DVD/Blu-ray library. They are just two parts of the whole of the season’s important elements, too. The bonus material included along with the episodes rounds out the ways in which this season proves to be well worth the watch.

The scripts at the center of Mr. Selfrige’s third season come together with the cast’s interpretation of said scripts to make this season well worth the watch by themselves. While both elements prove by themselves to make Season Three well worth the watch by fans and audiences alike, they are collectively just a portion of what makes this season’s home release a surprisingly impressive collection of episodes. The bonus material that is included with Season Three is just as important to the season’s viewing experience as the scripts and their interpretation. The bonus material included in this run of episodes features interviews with the series’ main cast members as well as some in-depth discussions on the efforts undertaken to make Selfridge’s and London in whole as believable as possible for audiences. Viewers that perhaps have never paid attention to the bonus material in the series’ previous season sets will be surprised to see the seamless balance of the series’ CG elements and live action elements. In the same vein, audiences will be just as surprised to learn little tidbits such as how vodka (yes, vodka) was used in the place of cologne and perfume so as to keep the color in the associated bottles and how the packaging designs of many of the displayed items had not changed once since they were originally presented in the real Selfridge’s well over a century ago. There is also an intriguing revelation that even the documents signed by Harry are in fact copies of actual documents once handled by the real Harry Selfridge so long ago. Between these noted discussions and others–such as the playful discussion on who would win in a fight between Selfridge and Loxley or Adam Wilson’s (Broadchurch, Silent Witness, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch) discussion on growing a real moustache for the show versus having a false one put onto his face–the bonus material in whole shows to be just as important to the whole of Season Three’s overall presentation as the season’s scripts and acting. Each element plays its own important part in that presentation. Collectively, they make Mr. Selfridge: Season Three a collection of episodes that every one of the series’ fans will want to have in his or her own home DVD/Blu-ray library just as much as those that might be new to this hit series.

Mr. Selfridge: Season Three is yet another impressive installment of itv and PBS’ hit historical drama. That is made clear through solid writing that expertly balances its engaging and numerous story arcs. The cast’s interpretation of said scripts by the series’ cast is just as key to this season’s overall presentation. The bonus material that is included with the set (both on DVD and Blu-ray) rounds out the presentation. The bonus interviews and discussions add their own share of insight and entertainment to the season. Each element proves in the end to play its own important part in the whole of the season. Collectively, they make Season Three a fitting setup to the series’ final season and a box set that any of the series’ fans will want to have in their own home DVD/Blu-ray libraries while they wait for that final season to be released. Mr. Selfridge: Season Three is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/family/index.jsp?categoryId=20384186&sr=1&origkw=Mr.%20Selfridge. More information on this and other Masterpiece offerings from PBS is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/series/mr-selfridge/

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Broadchurch Outshines All Other Crime Dramas Again In Its Second Season

Courtesy:  eOne/itv

Courtesy: eOne/itv

British crime drama Broadchurch is one of the greatest series within its genre on television today. That is in comparison to crime dramas both overseas and in the United States. It already proved that two years ago when it first debuted two years ago overseas on the British television network itv. It built one heck of a reputation over the course of its premiere season’s run both among UK and American audiences (not counting those that watched the American re-imagining that was Gracepoint). That meant that it had some major expectations to live up to when it was announced that Broadchurch had been re-upped for a second season. UK audiences already know that the hit crime drama more than lived up to its reputation when itv aired its second season this past March and April. American audiences that didn’t have access to itv weren’t so lucky. Speaking of luck, now that its second season has officially hit store shelves here in the U.S., American audiences will get to see for themselves what the series’ UK audiences already knew. Season Two lives up to expectations first and foremost because of its writing. The writing alone will keep viewers literally on the edge of their collective seats from Season Two’s premiere right to its surprising finale. The work of the series’ cast strengthens that argument even more. The material included as bonus material with this season rounds out the reasons that Broadchurch has more than lived up to expectations in its second season. By itself, the set’s bonus material proves entertaining enough. Together with the work of the series’ writers and cast, all three elements combine to make Broadchurch’s second season just as gripping and entertaining as its first season. What’s more, all three elements come together to prove that after only two seasons, Broadchurch has proven to be one of television’s greatest crime dramas if not the best.

Broadchurch is only two seasons into its run with a third season allegedly in the works beginning this summer. Even as young as it is, it has proven in only two seasons to be one of the best of its kind. The main way that it proves this is through its writing. The most noticeable way that the writing has proven so important again is that it continues in exactly the same fashion as the series’ first season. Rather than use the season’s eight episodes this time to make eight different cases (which is what American crime dramas would have done), Broadchurch’s writers have used all eight episodes of Season Two to tell the story of the fallout from Season One. And boy is there ever fallout? D.I. Miller’s husband Joe is finally in court, facing potential punishment for the murder of the Latimers’ son in Season One. Mark and Beth’s marriage is put to the ultimate test after Mark is asked to take the stand. Ellie’s friendship with Beth Latimer is put to the test, too after revelations are made about Ellie’s confrontation with her husband at the end of Season One. Making things even more interesting is that Ellie is pulled in to a second case being investigated by Alec. It is a case that has haunted Alec for years, as he notes at one point. With so much going on, one would think it easy for the writers to let Season Two get bogged down in itself. But the writers didn’t let that happen. It is obvious over the course of Season Two’s eight episodes that the writers went to painstaking efforts to keep that from happening. Their efforts paid off in spades. At no one point do any of these story lines overpower the others. Rather the writers have surprisingly managed to balance it all with the utmost expertise. The end result is a collection of story lines that will keep viewers literally on the edge of their seats from the season premiere to the season finale.

The manner in which Broadchurch’s writers handled Season Two’s multiple story lines is just one way that this season’s writing makes its episodes so engaging. There are just enough twists, turns, and red herrings to keep viewers guessing right up to the very end. At one point, the writers leave viewers thinking that in fact maybe Mark actually could have been the killer thanks to his meetings with Ellie’s son Tom (Adam Wilson). It does seem a bit creepy to say the least. The writers also keep viewers guessing whether Lee (James D’Arcy) was responsible for the deaths of Pippa Gillespie (Hollie Burgess) and her sister, if it was Lee’s wife Claire (Eve Myles) or if it was perhaps even both of them. The ultimate reveal will leave audiences astonished. As if that isn’t enough, viewers will find themselves just as shocked when Joe Miller’s final fate is revealed. The writers went to great lengths to mislead audiences as to what would happen to Joe. And those efforts paid off greatly. To that extent, that revelation will leave viewers breathless, chomping at the bit for the series’ third season. Yet again it shows just how important the writing is to the series throughout Season Two.

The painstaking efforts of Broadchurch’s writers in the series’ second season have resulted in eight episodes that will have viewers just as rapt as the episodes that made up the series’ first season. That is because the series’ writers have so expertly balanced each of the season’s various story elements from beginning to end. In a similar vein, the work of the cast this season is just as much worth the note. Olivia Colman (D.I. Ellie Colman) is most notable of the cast members this season. That is because of the impact of the story on her character. Viewers see her really grow and change over the course of this season’s episodes. Ellie is forced to face a lot of challenges this season. She sees her friendship with Beth Latimer put to the test after she is forced to take the stand in her husband’s case. She also has the emotional strain of the case on herself. Having to balance all of that emotional stress with helping D.I. Alec Hardy (David Tennant) only makes things more difficult, especially after the surprising verdict handed down to her husband by the jury. All of the psychological and emotional stress put on Ellie breaks her down. And Colman is to be applauded for the manner in which she interpreted Ellie’s reaction to it all. She shows the impact of these stresses to the fullest without going over the top even once. Her furious reaction toward her son after he lied to protect his dad is a prime example of how expertly Colman interpreted Ellie’s emotional strain as is her reaction to the verdict as Alec talks to her about his own case. That moment is actually a moment when Tennant shines, too. His reaction to her anger actually makes for a certain amount of humor if only for that one moment. Getting back on track though, Colman’s portrayal of Ellie is just one example of how the cast’s acting has added to the enjoyment of Broadchurch’s second season. Newcomer Marianne Jean-Baptiste adds even more enjoyment as the despicable yet sympathetic defense attorney Sharon Bishop.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste’s portrayal of defense attorney Sharon Bishop is another example of the role that the cast’s work plays in this season’s success. It is such a fine example of the importance of the cast’s work this season because of how easily Jean-Baptise makes it to hate her character yet feel a certain amount of sympathy for her at the same time. Audiences will love to hate Sharon because of her dogged determination to discount all of the prosecution’s witnesses including Mark Latimer, D.I. Miller, and D.I. Hardy. Bishop is like an attack dog when she faces each of the prosecution’s witnesses. Once she sinks in her proverbial teeth, she does not let go. As much as this makes her easy to hate, the revelation of what has caused her to be the way she is makes her something of a sympathetic character, too. In seeing what Bishop is personally going through, audiences won’t be able to help but feel sorry for her to a point and maybe even understand why she is the way that she is in the courtroom. Such ability to make audiences feel so many mixed emotions about one character is a tribute to Jean-Baptiste’s talents. And it shows yet again why the work of the cast is just as important to the success and enjoyment of Broadchurch’s second season as the work of the series’ writers.

The work of both Broadchurch’s writers and its cast pay off greatly over the course of the episodes that make up its second season. Thanks to the work of all involved, both those that might be new to the series and those that are more familiar with it will find themselves literally on the edge of their seats from the season’s premiere to its finale. Having made their way through all eight episodes of Season Two, audiences will also take note of the material included with the set as bonuses. The standard “making of” featurette is there as is a full complement of deleted and extended scenes as well as a group of interviews with the cast. The interviews in question see the cast discussing not just the events of Season Two but also those of Season One and how they relate to Season Two. While being mostly short vignettes, the interviews still each offer their own insight and entertainment. Viewers will laugh as James D’Arcy playfully compares his character to the classic villain thanks to the way that the writers developed his character. David Tennant’s joke about sitting on the bach in his “undercrackers” will have viewers laughing just as much as his co-star. In comparison to those short segments, the deleted and extended scenes played continuously run approximately half an hour. That is a lot of material that hit the cutting room floor (or in the digital age, the recycle bin). It’s obvious why some of the material in question got the axe. Other later scenes from Episodes six, seven, and eight make for more debate, though. Some of the scenes in question could actually have been kept. Others were more of a 50/50 call. It just goes to show the impact–yet again–that bonus material can have in the enjoyment of a presentation whether it be a TV show such as Broadchurch or any random movie. It is yet another way in which Broadchurch proves to be just as gripping and entertaining in its second season as in its first if not more so. Combined with the work of the series’ writers and its cast, all three elements together show why this season of Broadchurch is another hit not just for itv and eOne, but for viewers, too. It also shows once and for all why the second season of Broadchurch is without a doubt one of this year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences.

As one can see by now, there is a lot to say to the positive in regards to the second season of Broadchurch. The series’ writers have crafted eight more episodes that display great depth and that expertly balance every story element. The cast’s equally impressive interpretation of Season Two’s scripts will pull viewers even deeper and leave them not wanting to turn it off. The bonus material included in Season Two’s home release rounds out the presentation, adding even more depth to the season as well as some laughs. All three elements together make Season Two one of this year’s best new box sets for grown-up audiences. Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Entertainment One is available online now at:

Website: http://www.entertainmentone.com/home

All of the latest updates on Broadchurch are available online now at:

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

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Thunderbirds Are Go This June!

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

It’s official. Thunderbirds are go!

Timeless Media Group has announced that it will release Thunderbirds: The Complete Series next month. Perhaps the most well-known and beloved of Gerry Anderson’s “supermarionation” series, the complete thirty-two episode series will be released on Tuesday, June 9th. It will be released both on an eight-disc DVD box set and six-disc Blu-ray box set. Along with its complete complement of re-mastered episodes, Thunderbirds: The Complete Series will also include the documentary “Launching Thunderbirds,” which includes yet another never-before-seen interview with Gerry Anderson, and a vintage publicity brochure.

Thunderbirds is set in the year 2065. It follows the operations of the top secret organization known as International Rescue. The island-based organization is led by Jeff Tracy. He is joined by his sons Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon, and Adam. The group travels the world in its specialized vehicles in a variety of humanitarian missions. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $49.97 and the Blu-ray for $69.97. Both can be pre-ordered now online via TMG’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/thunderbirds-the-complete-series. The DVD can be pre-ordered online at a discounted price of $42.97 and the Blu-ray for $55.97. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online now at:

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Joe 90: The Complete Series Is One Of Gerry Anderson’s Classic Supermarionation Series

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have done it yet again. The two companies have proven once again today why they are collectively the absolute leader in home entertainment. How have they done this? They have done so by re-issuing yet another of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series, this time in the form of Joe 90. This release, much as with the companies’ other re-issued series, was originally released on DVD by A&E Home Video some twelve years ago in 2003. While Anderson’s series Thunderbirds leads the way among his many works, Joe 90 is deserving of its own credit, too. One could actually argue that among the many series that Anderson created throughout his life, this series actually stands right on par with Thunderbirds. Perhaps part of the reason for its success is its writing. One could argue that unlike Anderson’s other series, Joe 90 follows more purely the classic action model. Those other series were more sci-fi and fantasy-based by comparison. It is more akin to Thunderbirds than those series when placing them side by side. On a related note, there is something about the overall look of the series, too. There is something about the detail of the marionettes and the way that they move, coupled with the acting of those pulling the marionettes’ strings that makes this series look more realistic than any of Anderson’s other series. Simply put, seeing is believing. The bonus material included in this set rounds out the reasons that it performs so well. There is another archived interview with Gerry Anderson in which he discusses the roots of his work in even more depth, and commentary with specific episodes just as with Timeless Media Group’s other Gerry Anderson sets. The bonus features, the look of the series, and the writing are each important to the enjoyment and success of Joe 90 in their own right. When all three elements are assembled together, they show clearly why Joe 90: The Complete Series is another welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s collection. They also show collectively why Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory together are the single leading entity in the world of home entertainment.

TMG and Shout! Factory’s brand new re-issue of Joe 90: The Complete Series is another big win for both companies and for classic TV buffs alike. It is not the first of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series that the companies have released so far. But it is one of Anderson’s best by comparison. One of the reasons that this series stands out among Anderson’s many series is its writing. Unlike Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons, Stingray, and Fireball XL5–or even Supercar, which is due out next month–Joe 90 is that one series that is perhaps most closely akin to Anderson’s biggest hit, Thunderbirds. The sci-fi elements of those other series are present here. But this series is more characterized by its pure action elements more so than the sci-fi elements. The sci-fi elements incorporate here are more tools to help the episodes advance than the star of the show again unlike those aforementioned series. Audiences that might not be so familiar with Joe 90 will appreciate in this series that as with Anderson’s other series, the main character–Joe 90–goes on all kinds of adventures. But in the case of this series those adventures are all centered on Earth. They don’t take Joe into the depths of space or the sea or any other outrageous backdrops. This makes the stories a little more believable and in turn even more interesting. Speaking of that ability to suspend disbelief, two of the series’ episodes pit Joe 90 against two of the West’s biggest Cold War foes in Russia and China. Presenting two real foes from the time the series ran helped to make the series that much more believable and in turn enjoyable. It made it that much easier for audiences to root for Joe 90. On another note, Joe 90 also boasts its own share of pure action stories. One example comes late in the series’ run in the episode “Trial At Sea.” This episode sees Joe 90 having to stop a madman that wants to sink a ship. Only Joe can stop the bomb from going off and sinking the ship on which he and his father are riding. Even when Joe and his dad try to go on vacation, they can’t get a break as they are pulled into an international incident in which a military organization has taken over one of W.I.N.’s outposts. It’s yet another example of how the stories crafted for Joe 90 make this series stand out from Gerry Anderson’s other series and in turn, what makes it so enjoyable. Whether for the noted episodes or for those not noted, Joe 90 proves itself a fun watch for the whole family. Its stories are more reality based despite their sometimes outrageous settings. One can’t help but think about James Bond at least to some extent in watching this series. And maybe at its heart, this is why the show works. Not only is it similar to Thunderbirds, but it also bears a similarity to James Bond. Regardless, the episodes crafted for Joe 90 are collectively one clear reason why Joe 90 is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages and why it is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s series.

The writing that went into Joe 90 is one of the most important parts of the series’ enjoyment and success in its new re-issue. That is hopefully made clear with the basic outline of the writing noted above. As important as it is to the whole, the look of the series coupled with the work of the people pulling the strings is just as important. The look of Joe 90 is noticeably different from that of Gerry Anderson’s other supermarionation series. The detail on the marionettes makes them look even more human than in any of Anderson’s other series. The work of those pulling the strings adds to that feeling of realism as audiences will see. Maybe it is just the interpretation of this critic. But the motions of the marionettes seems more fluid and real than in any of Anderson’s other series. Those fluid motions from the marionettes and their seemingly more detailed look overall makes them as close as marionettes could come to being human without being human. It makes the ability of viewers to suspend their disbelief all the easier. In turn, it makes the series in whole that much more enjoyable and all the more worth adding to any classic TV buff’s home library.

The surprisingly impressive look of Joe 90 by itself makes for plenty of reason for classic TV buffs to check out this blast from the past. The series’ solid writing taken into consideration along with its look shows just as much why it is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. They are not the only factors to note in the set’s success, either. The bonus material included with this box set rounds out the package. Audiences are treated to episode-specific commentaries and another archived interview with Gerry Anderson. The commentaries in question add their own insight into the given episodes, just as with TMG’s other Gerry Anderson series. Together with the archived Anderson interview, in which Anderson discusses another star of his series (not just Joe 90), the interview and companion commentaries offer plenty of insight into Joe 90 and the other series that made Gerry Anderson so famous in his day. They also collectively show why this series and his others remain family favorites to this day.

The insight offered via the bonus commentaries and archived interview are few. Even as few commentaries as there are, the amount of insight offered via said commentaries–and the bonus interview with Gerry Anderson–makes for plenty of enjoyment for every classic TV buff. The same can be said of the series’ writing and its equally surprisingly impressive look. All three elements considered together, they show without a doubt that Joe 90 is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s supermarionation series. It also proves itself to be, again, a piece that any classic TV fan will love to have in his or her own home collection. Joe 90 is available now on DVD in stores and online and can be ordered direct online at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/joe-90-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

TMG Releasing Another Classic Gerry Anderson Series Next Month

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Timeless Media Group will release the latest installment of its classic Gerry Anderson series next month when it releases Supercar: The Complete Series on DVD.

Timeless Media Group will release Supercar: The Complete Series on DVD box set on Tuesday, May 12th. The series, another of Gerry Anderson’s hit supermarionation series, follows the adventures of one Mike Mercury, his sidekick Jimmy and geniuses Dr. Horatio Beaker and Professor Rudolph Popkiss. The group travels all over the world in Supercar fighting the forces of evil including Mike Mercury’s arch-nemesis Masterspy.

Supercar: The Complete Series features all thirty-nine episodes of the classic series spread across five discs. It also includes one more previously unseen interview with series creator Gerry Anderson, audio commentaries on select episodes, and the bonus featurette “Derek Meddings: The Man and His Miniatures.” Supercar: The Complete Series will retail for MSRP of $34.93 but can be pre-ordered online now for a discounted price of $29.93 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/supercar-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Timeless Media Group is available online now at:

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.