1980s 'Twilight Zone,' first season of 'Dynasty' on DVD this week
Posted March 16
The 1980s version of “The Twilight Zone” is on DVD this week in new packaging, along with the first season of “Dynasty.”
“The Twilight Zone: The Complete ’80s Series” (CBS/Paramount, 1985-89, 13 discs, 110 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurette). If it’s not quite up to the original series, this 1980s remake does feature some very good episodes, with stars that include Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Janet Leigh, Danny Kaye and many more.
“Dynasty: The First Season” (CBS/Paramount, 1981, four discs, 15 episodes, featurettes). This is a reissue of the premiere season of the hugely popular prime-time soap opera about conflicts within the wealthy Carrington family, starring John Forsythe and Linda Evans (Joan Collins didn’t join the cast until the second season).
“Victoria: The Complete First Season” (PBS, 2016, three discs, eight episodes, featurettes). Jenna Coleman (Matt Smith’s “Dr. Who” companion) stars in this lavish British period series about the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, beginning with her ascent to the throne at age 18. (The second season will premiere later this year, followed by a Christmas special.)
“Killing Reagan” (National Geographic, 2016, featurette). This is a docudrama chronicling the events leading up to and the aftermath of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. in March 1981. Tim Matheson plays Reagan with Cynthia Nixon as the first lady. This is an adaptation of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s fifth book in the Killing series.
“Frankenstein: The Real Story”/“The Real Wolfman” (History/Lionsgate, 1995-2009, two discs, four episodes). This includes four History cable channel “documentaries” on the title horror subjects: “It’s Alive! The True Story of Frankenstein” (1995), “Frankenstein” (1997), “In Search of the Real Frankenstein” (2008) and “The Real Wolfman” (2009).
“The Weapon Hunter: Season One” (Smithsonian, two discs, six episodes). This reality show follows self-described military history buff Paul Shull (whose enthusiasm is contagious) as he travels the world to investigate historical weaponry and interact with those who collect such devices.
“Sabrina Down Under” (CBS/Paramount, 1999). This was the third and final TV movie that originally aired on ABC as a special during the series “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” starring Melissa Joan Hart as the title character. Here she travels to Australia, where she meets up with a merman (Scott Michaelson). This is strictly for fans of the juvenile TV series.
“Shaun the Sheep: Seasons 3 & 4” (Lionsgate, 2013-14, four discs, 50 episodes). Shaun and his pals at Mossy Bottom Farm are still driving sheepdog Bitzer crazy, even as the Farmer remains oblivious to their antics. This includes clever sight gags from the folks that gave us Wallace & Gromit (in whose films Shaun originally appeared).
“Barbie: Video Game Hero” (Universal, 2017, featurettes, music video, three “Dreamtopia” shorts). Barbie meets a new friend, cloud-shaped “Cutie,” after being pulled into her favorite video game and becoming a roller-skating character. This is the latest straight-to-video feature (73 minutes) based on the Mattel doll line.
“Saban’s Power Rangers: Dino Charge: The Complete Season” (Lionsgate, 2015, five discs, 22 episodes). Believe it or not, this is the 22nd season of the various American Power Rangers incarnations. The alien Keeper is pursued by a bounty hunter, and their battle on prehistoric Earth inadvertently triggers an event that causes the dinosaurs’ extinction.
“Shimmer and Shine: Friendship Divine” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2016, eight episodes). There are eight episodes from the second season here from the animated preschool series about two young girl genies-in-training named Shimmer and Shine.
“Caillou: Playtime With Caillou” (PBS, 2010, seven episodes). This is a Canadian animated series for preschoolers focusing on the 4-year-old title character whose imagination helps make these learning episodes fun as well.
“Graves: Season One” (Lionsgate, 2016, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes, bloopers). Two decades after leaving office, a former Republican president (Nick Nolte) decides to admit and make right his errors in office. Left-wing apologetics inform this dark satire with Sela Ward. The series is profane on an R-rated level. (The second season will be shown on Epix later this year.)
“Ballers: The Complete Second Season” (HBO, 2016, two discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). Dwayne Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a former Miami Dolphins football player-turned-financial manager in this half-hour comedy-drama about faded pro athletes. Johnson is as charming as ever but, this being HBO, there’s also R-rated language, sex and nudity.
“Vice Principals: The Complete First Season” (HBO, 2016, two discs, nine episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, bloopers). Danny McBride created this sitcom and co-stars with Walton Goggins as two high school vice principals vying for the top job when the principal steps down (a cameo by Bill Murray). The show is mean-spirited and has quite profane humor. (The second season will be shown later this year.)
“From Dusk Till Dawn: Season Three” (Miramax/eOne, 2016, three discs, 10 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, trailers). Violent and sleazy (on an R-rated level), this supernatural series (which owes something to “Supernatural”) is about murderous, bank-robber brothers and their battles with demons, vampires and other occult creatures. (No word yet on a fourth season.)
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.