PBS Distribution Announces Release Date For New Apollo 11 Presentation

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution continues its celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission alter this month with another new story of the historic event.

8 DaysTo The Moon And Back is scheduled for release Sept. 24 on DVD.  The new program presents another new look at the Apollo 11 mission with the original audio of conversations held between the crew of the Apollo 11 and newly shot studio footage, NASA and news archives.

The upcoming release features Rufus Wainright (EastEndersMeet The RobinsonsI Am Sam), Jack Tarlton (The Imitation GameDr. WhoThe Genius of Mozart) and Patrick Kennedy (Mrs. KennedyAtonementPirates of the CaribbeanOn Stranger Tides) as the crew of the Apollo 11 in this re-telling of the Apollo 11 mission.

8 DaysTo The Moon and Back will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 through PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pbs

 

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PBS Distribution Releases New ‘Dinosaur Train’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/PBS Kids

PBS Distribution released another new collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit series Dinosaur Train this week.

Dinosaur TrainDinosaurs Big & Small was released Tuesday on DVD.  The collection features 10 more episodes from the family favorite animated series.  One of the multitude of episodes — titled “How Many Horns” — features Buddy Pteranodon and his friend Tank Triceratops learning why different dinosaurs have a different number of horns.

“The Tiny-Saur Train” sends the Pteranodon kids off to prehistoric China in a search for the smallest dinosaur of all.

“We’re Not All Dinosaurs,” another of the DVD’s featured episodes, finds the Pteranodon kids meeting a new mammal friend named Adele Alphadon and her friend Cindy Cimolestes.  The discussions in this episode point out that not all Mesozoic creatures were dinosaurs.

Dinosaur TrainDinosaurs Big and Small is available now.  More information on Dinosaur Train is available online now along with lots of activities, printables, videos and more at:

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/dinosaurtrain

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

 

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PBS Distribution’s Latest ‘Wild Kratts’ DVD Will Make Lots Of Positive Waves

Courtesy: PBS/PBS DIstribution

Early this spring, PBS Distribution released a new addition to its collection of Wild Kratts DVDs in the form of The Briny Blue Sea.  Released April 9, the DVD features two more episodes of the hit animated series.  The episodes in question follow the theme of the DVD’s title throughout.  This will be addressed shortly.  The secondary lessons about what makes the episodes’ featured creatures so great adds to the DVD’s appeal.  That content and the DVD’s primary content coupled, they make the DVD’s pricing affordable.  That affordability joins with the DVD’s primary and secondary content to make the DVD in whole another welcome addition to any family’s Wild Kratts collection.

PBS Distribution’s latest addition to its ongoing series of Wild Kratts DVDs is a welcome addition to that series and to any family’s Wild Kratts collection.  That is due in part to the DVD’s four featured episodes.  The episodes in question – “Osprey,” “Aye Aye,” “Puffin Rescue” and “Sea Otter Swim” – all follow the DVD’s central theme of the DVD’s title.  Given, “Aye Aye” does not necessarily follow the them in the purest sense of the word, as the story finds the Wild Kratts gang learning about the aye aye – a land creature – as they pretend to be pirates while aboard the Tortuga.  The other three episodes however, tend to follow the DVD’s central theme much more directly.  “Osprey” finds Chris and Martin having to recover the keys to the Tortuga after Jimmy accidentally loses them in the ocean.  It’s up to the brothers Kratt to recover them before Zach Varmitech gets his hands on them.  “Puffin Rescue” finds the Wild Kratts “gang” being separated after a rogue wave hits the Tortuga, spreading the group across the ocean.  Martin ends up washed up on a deserted island inhabited only by Puffins, which end up helping Aviva develop a Puffin creature suit for him.  He uses the suit to rescue the rest of the group, leading Chris to use his squid creature suit to help pull the Tortuga from the water.  “Sea Otter Swim” features Jimmy learning how to swim from a sea otter whom Chris and Martin have aptly named “Coach.”  In the process, the group learns about the “powers” that make sea otters stand out.  Again, all of thee episodes follow the DVD’s central theme of “The Briny Blue Sea.”  It’s hardly the first time a Wild Kratts DVD has done so, either.  To that end, it’s just one way in which the DVD impresses just as much as its predecessors.  The secondary lessons featured throughout the stories adds even more appeal to the DVD.

The secondary lessons featured in each of the DVD’s episodes are once again about various creatures and their interesting “creature powers.”  Audiences learn, for instance, in “Aye Aye” that the Aye Aye, which is a member for the lemur family, uses one of its fingers very much in the same way that a woodpecker uses its beak – to find and catch their meals.  It also notes the power of aye ayes’ ears.  “Osprey” teaches viewers how Ospreys use their wings and their powerful eyesight to spot fish in the water and catch them so quickly and precisely.  While “Sea Otter Swim” focuses mainly on sea otters and their powers, it also features other sea creatures, such as the starfish, bottlenose dolphin and the bald eagle, and how their interact with one another in and above the waves.  “Puffin Rescue” focuses on puffins’ beaks and wings, as well as their quite impressive vision.  Simply put, there is a lot of in-depth content that teaches young viewers what makes the featured creatures so interesting.  Once again, that content is delivered in a way that makes it accessible for any viewer.  Yet again, it’s a positive way to get young viewers interested in the biological and ecological sciences.  When this is considered along with the DVD’s primary content and its value, the whole of that content gives audiences a lot to appreciate.  On the same note, it makes the DVD’s average price point worth its low price point.

The average price point of Wild Kratts: The Briny Blue Sea is $11.98.  Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy offer the lowest prices at $9.90 (Amazon and Walmart) and $9.99 (Target and Best Buy) while PBS and Books-A-Million list the DVD at the most expensive price at $14.99.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ price of $14.12 is just below that of PBS.  Given, PBS presents one of the most expensive listings, but regardless of where audiences get the DVD, a portion of the money will still go to benefit PBS, so the money is well-spent no matter which retailer consumers choose.  Add in the content featured in the DVD, the price is affordable and worth paying regardless of retailer.  Keeping this in mind, the DVD proves, in the end clearly why it is a welcome addition to any family’s Wild Kratts collection.

Wild Kratts: The Briny Blue Sea is another enjoyable addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of Wild Kratts DVD releases.  That is proven in part through the four episodes that make up the body of the DVD.  They all follow the DVD’s central theme of the ocean.  The secondary content, which features more lessons about the featured creatures and their powers adds even more enjoyment and engagement to the DVD’s presentation.  Collectively, they make the DVD’s average price point money well-spent, regardless of retailer.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, they make the DVD one that will make plenty of waves in the best way possible.  More information on the DVD is available online along with lots of Wild Kratts games, activities, printables and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://pbskids.org/wildkratts

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

 

 

 

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Viewers Of All Ages Will “Celebrate” PBS Distribution’s New ‘Arthur’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

United we stand and divided we fall.  Sadly, it is seeming more and more like America (and the world) is on the brink of falling because we have become so divided by religions, political views and rhetoric.  To that end, PBS Distribution and PBS Kids’ latest Arthur DVD Arthur Celebrates Community – released just last month – could not have come at a better time.  The DVD features eight episodes from the series that promote community unity in eight very different ways.  That variety of topics is one of the most important and notable aspects of the DVD and will be addressed shortly. While the episodes each promote community through their own unique fashion, they also serve as starting points for discussions on the various topics, another key aspect of the DVD that will be addressed a little later.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price range makes it a DVD that proves to be yet another welcome addition to the library of any family and educator.  Keeping all of this in mind, Arthur Celebrates Community proves to be a presentation that many audiences will themselves celebrate.

PBS Distribution/PBS Kids’ latest Arthur DVD Arthur Celebrates Community is a presentation that many viewers will celebrate.  That is due in pat to the many ways in which its episodes promote that community unity.  The whole thing opens with the much-talked about episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” which is a story that addresses the issue of gay marriage.  The very topic is something that has been extremely divisive in America today, yet is becoming more accepted.  This episode serves to continue the fight to make it even more accepted as well as those who are within that community.  “The Feud,” which immediately follows that episode, encourages people to not let disputes between two people to infect their own views and spread like some disease.  Considering what is going on in America today because of Donald Trump, this message of maintaining community and unity is completely relevant and important.  Much the same applies to “When Rivals Came To Roost,” as it reminds us that we cannot let stereotypes and things of the past keep us divided.  Again, here is a key message celebrating community and unity.  “The Longest eleven Minutes” presents a unique message of community as it reminds audiences of the dangers of becoming so reliant on the internet because of how it has truly separated and dehumanized us.  “Muffy’s House Guests” turns things even more as it presents more of a message of biological and ecological unity.  Muffy wants to evict the peregrine falcons who have made a home outside her home, but she learns in the long run, the importance that they play in the Earth’s bigger community.  The tone changes slightly in “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants” as Binky learns a key lesson that sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  That theme continues in “Muffy’s Car Campaign” as she and her friends learn about the impact of locally sourced resources versus those sourced from far away.  “Truth Or Poll” goes back to the issue of politics as it points out the negative impact that polls and statistics can have on community.  It approaches the topic in a way that is accessible for viewers of all ages, too.  All of these episodes considered, it is clear how they all follow the same theme of promoting community and unity by relation.  The fact that they follow that one central theme, but in so many ways, makes for plenty of reason for viewers to watch this DVD from start to finish.  The commonality of the episodes’ stories, in terms of their theme, is just one key aspect of the DVD.  The fact that the varied stories serve as their own starting points for so many topics makes the DVD even more appealing for viewers.

“The Longest Eleven Minutes” is a key example of how the episodes serve as that starting point. In an age when everything is digital and people have come to expect instant gratification and have seemingly forgotten about the beauty of the world, etc. this story is a good stepping stone to remind people of how humans survived prior to the digital age.  It reminds viewers that it is possible to survive without so much technology, too.  That Arthur’s father was listening to music on a radio instead of an ipad, a cell phone, etc. is proof positive of that.  “Muffy’s Car Campaign” and “Binky Can’t Always Get What He Wants” serve collectively as a good starting point for a discussion about putting others’ needs before their own.  Such discussions can lead to discussions about the importance of sharing and considering others’ thoughts and feelings.  “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” serves as that starting point for discussions on the fact that not everyone is the same and that accepting one another’s differences will help make our global community so much better.  “The Feud” and “When Rivals Came To Roost” serves to remind viewers that words can be very powerful, especially when they are words of hurt and stereotyping.  This is something with which we as a people deal with even today in the real world.  It’s just one more way in which the stories featured on this disc show their importance not just for their stories but for what the stories can do in terms of creating whole new discussions among viewers.  Keeping all of this in mind, this DVD proves to have some very engaging and enjoyable content.  That content makes the DVD’s average price point money well-spent

The average price point for Arthur Celebrates Community is $5.99.  That price is determined by averaging prices from Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ store.  At the time of this review’s posting, it was not listed through Walmart.  The most expensive of the listings is at PBS’ store and at Books-A-Million, at $6.99 while the least expensive listing is at Amazon and Target at $4.69.  Best Buy ($5.99) is the midpoint of the price range while Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listing of $6.58 is just under the most expensive listing.  Regardless of which retailer one uses, the fact of the matter is that a portion of the sales will still go to benefit PBS in its efforts to continue to entertain and educate audiences of all ages.  It does that and more with this DVD, whose average price point doesn’t even reach $10.  Considering that the breadth and depth of the DVD’s content, that is a rather admirable aspect.  Keeping this in mind, it joins with that noted content to show even more why Arthur Celebrates Community is such a positive new release from PBS Distribution and PBS Kids.  It shows even more why viewers of all ages will celebrate the DVD, which is available now.

Arthur Celebrates Community is another positive new addition to PBS Distribution’s ongoing series of Arthur DVDs.  That is proven in part through the eight episodes that make up the body of the DVD.  The stories each follow the DVD’s central theme of community unity, all in different ways.  The discussions that the stories can start among viewers of all ages add to the DVD’s appeal, as noted here.  The combination of the stories and those discussions that they can create makes the DVD’s average price point of less than $10 well worth spending as it is certain viewers will find themselves watching all eight of the DVD’s episodes time and again and discussing their content plenty, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Arthur Celebrates Community.  All things considered, they make the DVD a presentation that audiences of all ages will celebrate.  More information on the DVD is available along with lots of printables, activities, games and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/arthur

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

 

 

 

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‘Endeavour’ Remains Among TV’s Top Crime Dramas In Its Sixth Season

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

British TV network itv’s hit crime drama Endeavour will return for a seventh season.  The announcement was recently made on PBS’ official Masterpiece website following the airing of the finale for the series’ sixth season on PBS.  That means that fans of the famed sleuth will have at least one more season to enjoy.  The announcement, which is posted at to.pbs.org/31PxG7Z, states the seventh season will air sometime in 2020, but does not specify the air date for the season premiere.  As audiences wait for the premiere of Season Seven, they can enjoy the series’ sixth season on DVD and Blu-ray.  Released July 9, this latest season is another positive addition to the ongoing series.  That is due in part to the season’s writing, which will be addressed shortly.  The work of the series’ cast adds even more interest and appeal to the season.  It will be addressed a little later.  The bonus content featured with the season’s home release rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be addressed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the season’s home presentation.  All things considered, they make the collection another positive offering from itv and PBS.

The recently released sixth season of EndeavourSeason Six is yet another positive addition to the series.  That is proven in part through the season’s writing.  Audiences will note over the course of season six, that the series’ writers do not just rely on all of the same storylines that made up the series’ first five season in terms of the crimes.  To top it off, the character development – that ongoing storyline that started in Season One – continues to evolve throughout this season, too.  In regards to the crimes featured throughout each of the season’s four episodes, fans of Law & Order SVU will find appealing the story in the season premiere, “Pylon.”  The disappearance of a young girl leads Endeavour Morse and his now former partner DI Friday to an investigation into the Thames Valley’s seedy underworld of perverts, which leads to a years-old cold case being solved.  The suspect in the case is someone that no one would have expected.  The noted girl is eventually found, and her cause of death is just as unexpected.  It won’t be given away here, but it is a plot element that has not been used up to this point in the series.  The season’s second episode, “Apollo,” is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.  It serves as the basis of a murder mystery that also pays tribute to the late great Gerry Anderson and all of his supermarionation series.  The murder happens, as it turns out, because of a love triangle between three people who are working on the fictional puppet-based series.  “Confection,” the season’s third episode, is another whodunit centered on a romantic tryst.  The season finale “Duguello” takes the season out on a bang as it takes in the all-too-familiar crime drama plot elements of corrupt cops and government officials for its basis.  That is the extent of what will be given away here, but its outcome plays a key role in what happens at the Thames Valley headquarters.  Again that element will be left for viewers to discover for themselves.  All four stories offer more than their own share of entertainment and engagement for crime drama fans on both sides of the Atlantic.  The fact that the writers continued on this season, to bring viewers new, twist-filled stories that will keep them guessing right to the end is in itself just one key element of the season’s writing.  The writing involved with the season’s secondary story elements is just as important to note as that of the primary stories.

The writing involved with the season’s secondary stories – Morse’s relationship with Friday, Friday’s relationship with his (and Endeavour’s) new boss, and even Friday’s relationship with his own wife adds its own share of entertainment and engagement to this season.  The writers are to be commended for how they handled each element within the bigger picture of the season.  The change in Morse and Friday’s relationship is gradual and subtle.  That subtlety in this storyline  does just enough to leave viewers watching to see when the longtime friends’ friendship will finally reach its breaking point (and it does, too).  In the same breath, Friday’s relationship with his wife creates its own share of drama too because of the subtlety in how it was approached.  The balance of these secondary story lines with the primary story lines involving the crimes makes for more than enough entertainment and engagement.  It shows once again why Endeavour remains one of the best crime dramas on television today if not the absolute best.  While the writing at the center of Season Six does more than its share to keep viewers entertained and engaged, it is only one part of what makes this season work so well.  The work of the show’s cast does just as much to make it so appealing.

As noted, the story line involving Friday and Morse’s friendship creates its own interest for viewers.  While the work of the show’s writing team deserves its own accolades for that interest, stars Shaun Evans (Morse) and Roger Allam (Friday) deserves its own share of credit, too.  It would have been so easy for the pair to go over the top as tensions rose between their characters, but being the consummate professionals that they are, that never happened.  The same can be said of Allam’s work as he works on-screen alongside new co-star Simon Harrison (DCI Ronnie Box).  The duo’s work together creates just the right amount of tension as their partnership progresses.  Those developments play expertly off of the aforementioned work between Allam and Evans for a bigger developing story that shows in whole, just how hard the cast worked to keep viewers watching.  Much the same could be said of Allam’s interaction on camera with co-star Caroline O’Neill, who plays Thursday’s wife Win.  As the couple’s marriage seems to break down due to Thursday’s work life, it would have been just as easy for the pair to ham it up.  Thankfully that didn’t happen in this case, either.  The result is even more engagement for viewers.  All things considered here, the cast’s work interpreting each script within this season makes for just as much entertainment and engagement for viewers as the stories that form the season’s basis.  For all that it does to add to the season’s enjoyment, the work of the cast is not the last of the season’s most important elements.  The bonus content that is featured with the season’s home release rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus content featured within the home release of EndeavourSeason Six is a series of featurettes that finds the cast discussing various aspects of the season.  Harrison, Allam and Richard Riddell sit down to talk about the stylistic difference in law enforcement between Morse, Jango and Box in one of the featurettes.  The featurette in question even presents a tribute to the famed British crime drama The Sweeney as Harrison discusses Box’s methodology.  Fans of that series (which was the basis for FX’s former hit crime drama The Shield) will appreciate this mention, and in turn the noted relationships between Friday and Box, Friday and Morse and Box and Morse.  In yet another of the bonuses, the cast talks about the tribute to Gerry Anderson in the episode “Apollo.”  Viewers will be interested to learn about the episode’s tie to Anderson’s timeless series Thunderbirds with this episode, as well as the fact that the puppeteers had to be trained (yes, trained) in how to handle the puppets for certain scenes within the episode.  There are also brief vignettes with certain cast members that features those cast members sharing fond thoughts about their characters and scenes that they recorded for Season Six.  Some of those scenes made the final cut while others weren’t so lucky.  All things considered here, the bonus content featured with the home release of Season Six is brief, but still adds its own share of entertainment and insight to the whole of the season.  When that is considered alongside the engagement and entertainment guaranteed through the season’s acting and writing, it becomes no mystery why the sixth season of Endeavour is another success for the series.

EndeavourSeason Six is another strong new entry in the long-running crime drama’s run.  That is proven in part through the writing that went into the series.  Both the primary and secondary story lines show the strength of said writing.  The work of the series’ cast is just as strong as the writing.  The bonus content, though brief, adds its own entertainment and insight to the whole of the season’s presentation.  Each item is important in its own way to the season’s whole.  All things considered, they show why Endeavour continues to be one of television’s top crime dramas in its sixth season, if not the best.  More information on Endeavour is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/masterpiece

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/masterpiecepbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

 

 

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PBS Distribution Taking Audiences Back To Space Again Later This Month In New ‘NOVA’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

PBS Distribution is taking audiences back into the cosmos again with another new episode of NOVA.

NOVAThe Planets is scheduled for release Aug. 27 on Blu-ray and DVD.  The five-episode presentation takes viewers from the Milky Way’s inner planets all the way to its outermost regions.

Narrated by actor Zachary Quinto (StarTrekStar Trek Into DarknessStar Trek Beyond), takes viewers on the intergalactic journey using the most up-to-date planetary research and footage captured by orbiters, landers and rovers.  From the mystery of why Earth is the only planet of the rocky planets that can sustain life to how the outer planets and gas giants came to form and sit where they do now, the program takes viewers on a previously inexperienced journey through the galaxy.

NOVAThe Planets will retail for $29.99 (DVD) and $34.99 (Blu-ray).  It can be pre-ordered at a reduced price of $24.99 (DVD) and $29.99 (Blu-ray) through PBS’ store.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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PBS Distribution To Release New ‘NOVA’ Episode To DVD Next Week

Courtesy: PBS Distribution

PBS Distribution is taking audiences on another archaeological dig next week in another new episode of NOVA.

NOVA: Lost Viking Army is scheduled for release Aug. 13 on DVD.  The program follows a bio-archaeologist named  Cat Jarman who believes that a mass grave discovered roughly forty years ago is the final resting place of an infamous Viking force known as the “Great Heathen Army.”

The “Great Heathen Army,” also known as the “Great Danish Army,” was a group of Vikings who came together from Norway, Sweden and Denmark to invade England in 865 AD.  The army’s conquest lasted a total of 14 years.  The legend behind the raid is that it was a reprisal for the execution of the Viking King Ragnar Lothrbok by Aella of Northumbria.

As this episode of NOVA presents, investigations of the mass grave and stories behind the Viking raid lead to revelations about items, such as female warriors taking part in the conflict and a king reunited with his son in death.

NOVALost Viking Army will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered at a reduced price of $19.99 through PBS’ store.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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