The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

by admin April 3, 2012 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

For Torchwood fans, this won't be such a beautiful day.

Torchwood: Miracle Day
When it was first announced that Russell T Davies was bringing his Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood to American shores, excitement among sci-fi fans ran high... very high. Unfortunately, those expectations weren't met by the finished product. Picking up after the events of the stellar third series Children of Earth, Miracle Day finds the population of Earth confronting a baffling, yet not entirely unpleasant development: Death has literally taken a holiday, meaning nobody can kick the bucket. To investigate the situation, Captain Jack Harkness (the indefatigable John Barrowman) returns to Earth and reunites with Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), while also acquiring a new partner in the form of CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer). Although it got off to a decent start, Miracle Day ran out of steam early in its 10-episode run and limped across the finish line. At this point, there's no word on whether Torchwood will see a fifth season and, based on this outing, we're not sure it deserves one.
Extras: Cast and crew commentary tracks, a behind-the-scenes special, the motion comic Web of Lies and character profiles.

Bob: The Complete Series
Comedy legend Bob Newhart starred in not just one, but two of the most beloved CBS sitcoms of all time: The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1978) and Newhart (1982-1990). So he was probably overdue for a flop and that's what happened when he returned to the Eye network in 1992 with Bob, in which he played a greeting card artist who received a second opportunity to pursue his first love: comic books. Years ago, he had created a superhero named Mad-Dog and, unbeknownst to him, that character had been revived and given the Frank Miller-treatment by a younger artist and writer. In true odd couple fashion, the old guy and the new guy were thrown together in order to create a comic book they both could be happy with. Since Bob hit the airwaves at least a decade before geek culture crossed over into the mainstream, the series struggled to find an audience for the first season. When it returned briefly the following fall, the comic book angle was dropped completely and Bob was now running the greeting card company with a cast of wacky employees. Not surprisingly, this revamped version of the show lasted only five episodes. We're totally down for a Mad-Dog revival, though. Quick, someone get this guy his own booth at Comic-Con.
Extras: None, sadly. A piece of original Mad-Dog artwork would have made for a nice collectible.

Starman: The Complete Series
Starman is something of an outlier in John Carpenter's filmography in that it involves neither 1) Knife-wielding serial killers and/or 2) Kurt Russell. Instead, this romantic drama stars Jeff Bridges as an alien who falls to Earth and assumes the image of a young woman's (Karen Allen) dead husband. Two years after the film's release, ABC tried to translate it into an ongoing series, with Airplane's Robert Hays taking over the role of the extra-terrestrial. A sequel as opposed to a remake, the show picks up 14 years after the movie and finds the alien returning to Earth to find his former flame and the child she bore him, Scott. Tracking the kid down to an orphanage, father and son hit the road in search of Mom. Unlike the film, the Starman series didn't find much of an audience and it left the terrestrial airwaves after a single season. We like to think that it's a big hit on the Starman's home world, though.
Extras: None

Also on DVD:
In case you missed them the first time around, a trio of popular sitcoms are re-releasing their third and fourth years, including 3rd Rock From the Sun: Season 3 and Season 4, That '70s Show: Season 3 and Season 4, and Roseanne: Season 3 and Season 4. Meanwhile, kiddies can choose between the Cartoon Network animated series Regular Show Slack Pack and the Nickelodeon's Danny Phantom: Season 2, Part 1. Finally, fans of Saturday Night Live's Abby Elliott (and who isn't?) can see what her dad Chris is currently up to with Eagleheart: Season 1, Adult Swim's Walker, Texas Ranger spoof that stars the elder Elliott as US Marshall Chris Monsanto.

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