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The Telefile

TV on DVD: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

by Ethan Alter March 11, 2014 6:00 am
TV on DVD: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Introducing... a series you've probably never heard of!

Rogue
British actress Thandie Newton headlines this Canadian-U.K. backed procedural that uses Vancouver as a stand-in for Oakland. It's here that Newton's undercover cop Grace is posted, as she attempts to torpedo a local crime boss's operation from the inside. That heavy, by the way, is portrayed by New Zealand actor Marton Csokas, who -- like everyone else in his native land -- had a role in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Not surprisingly, Grace has a personal reason for taking on this mission; her son died in the line of duty and she suspects that Csokas might have had something to do with it. If you've never heard of this series before, don't feel too guilty; Rogue aired stateside exclusively on the still little-watched Audience Network on DirectTV. Apparently enough people found that channel on their dial for the execs to order up a second season; ready or not, Rogue returns in May for 10 more episodes that most folks won't see until they arrive on DVD… if then.
Extras: A behind-the-scenes featurete and bonus webisodes.

Transformers: Armada -- The Complete Series
Pre-dating the Robots in Disguise's jump to their live-action big-screen incarnations, this 2002-2004 cartoon version of the Transformers franchise started the war between the Autobots and Decepticons over from scratch, opening on Cybertron before shifting the action to Earth. The main innovation in Armada, besides the animation style, is the introduction of the Mini-Cons, a race of man-sized transforming 'bots who get caught in the middle of their ongoing conflict. The 52-episode series chronicled the twists and turns of the good vs. evil battle, ending with Cybertron's destruction and Optimus Prime's self-imposed exile. But don't worry! He was back in time for the sequel series Energon, which ran for a year before being replaced by the third and final installment in this particular continuity, Cybertron. Look for those collected editions to follow this one over the next year or so.
Extras: Nada, but having all 52 episodes spread across eight discs is something of a bonus.

Big History: Season 1
Perhaps as a way to remind viewers that Cosmos isn't the only "life, the universe and everything" game in town, History Channel is releasing its version of that Carl Sagan classic two days after the reboot made its splashy debut across Fox's many networks. Like its competitor, Big History spans space and time, tackling the epoch-spanning histories of such subjects as gravity, meteors and our big, bright yellow sun. Bryan Cranston provides the narration for these mini-courses and if there's one person we trust to explain the world to us, it's Walter White.
Extras: 10 bonus segments that provide an additional half-hour's worth of brain food.

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