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The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

by Ethan Alter November 22, 2011 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Doctor Who, now? Isn't that just an Inspector Spacetime rip-off?

Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series
Season 6 of the new incarnation of the long-running British sci-fi serial opened with a death and ended with a shotgun marriage. In between, the Doctor (played by Matt Smith in his sophomore year as the TARDIS-tripping alien) confronted 17th-century pirates, decaying clones and Adolf Hitler, himself. He also participated in an adventure penned by none other than fan favorite author Neil Gaiman. So after that kind of epic year, what on Earth could Steven Moffat and the rest of the creative team behind Doctor Who have planned for an encore? We suspect a possible regeneration may be in the cards...
Extras: Seven new DVD-only scenes filling in the gaps between episodes; new installments in the behind-the-scenes documentary series Doctor Who Confidential; commentary tracks and information-packed files about some of the monsters the good Doctor confronts in his Season 6 travels.

The Office: 10th Anniversary Special Edition
Ricky Gervais' annoyingly masochistic relationship with the Golden Globes has diminished him in our eyes of late, but the original Office -- the series that put him on the comedy map -- remains a thing of beauty, as hysterical and heartbreaking today as it was a decade ago when it first hit the airwaves. The show's impact on TV comedy in general can't be overstated; without The Office, we wouldn't have Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and, of course, the American Office (it's hard to remember now, but that show really was terrific once upon a time). Gervais has never again attained this level of sheer comic perfection -- although his second series Extras had some inspired episodes -- but The Office alone is enough to secure him a seat in Comedy Valhalla.
Extras: Special episode introductions by Gervais, co-creator Stephen Merchant and famous fans like Ben Stiller and Hugh Jackman; the uncut original pilot; an all-new making-of documentary and a featurette devoted to the making of that immortal David Brent original, "Freelove Freeway."

The Adventures of Tintin: Season One
Just in time for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's action-packed, motion-capture version of Hergé's iconic globetrotting journalist/adventurer, Shout! Factory releases the first season of this '90s animated series, which played its initial American run on HBO. Adapted directly from the pages of the comic books (as opposed to the new movie, which mashes various books together) Season 1 included re-tellings of such adventures as The Crab With the Golden Claws, Cigars of the Pharoah and The Calculus Affair. (Our personal favorites, Destination Moon and Explorers of the Moon, were brought to the small screen in Season 3.) While less visually dazzling than Tintin's impending big-screen adventure, these episodes do effectively translate Hergé's well-plotted adventures and colorful cast of characters.
Extras: None.

Also on DVD:
In between his original '80s big-screen incarnation and the reboot that invaded theaters this year, Conan the Barbarian headlined his own '90s animated series, Conan The Adventurer: Season Two, Part 1, which ran in syndication from 1992-1994. The main plot arc found Conan pursuing the villainous Serpent Man through various realms to free his parents from a spell that transformed them into living statues. Hot off its recent TV run, the History Channel's Vietnam in HD miniseries gets a DVD and Blu-ray release, the better to appreciate its high-def conversions of vintage Vietnam War-related footage. Despite a few duds here and there, ESPN's ambitious documentary series ESPN 30 for 30 Collector's Set Blu-ray yielded some fantastic films about virtually every major sport in existence (except for bocce and curling, of course), from "Muhammad and Larry" to "The Two Escobars." Still upset that the flagship Law & Order series has been sent to that TV graveyard in the sky? Re-experience some of your favorite cases via Law & Order UK: Season Two, which gives the original American teleplays an English twist. The Tyler Perry juggernaut keeps on rolling with Meet the Browns: Season 3, the junior year of his hit TBS series. Finally, Survivor: The Amazon allows Survivor fans to relive the pioneering reality show's sixth season, which introduced the world to Jenna Morasca and featured that famous moment when Jenna and her pal Heidi stripped down to their birthday suits for a plate of chocolate and peanut butter.

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