Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Ultimate Sci-Fi DVD Collection – Part III

This is the final installment in the boxed sets section of the Ultimate DVD collection.  The movies are for the most part covered under my earlier posts on Sci-Fi movie night, and I will post the  lesser known ones, those on VHS and any boxed sets that escaped my notice, in a later post, as well as one on Paranormal/Fantasy.  Enjoy!  I only wish I could win the lottery!  But then I’d have to play first…

The Pretender - Seasons 1 - 4

The Pretender – Seasons 1 – 4

Product Details

Amazon Customer Review

“This purchase was only a matter of time for me as I have always known The Pretender is the best series ever made! The acting is superb, the storylines complex and in-depth, and the scripting witty and fresh. This is an exciting time in Pretender fandom as the masses eagerly await the promised third movie or fifth series to continue this very special show […]. I recommend this series to people from all walks of life who will all be able to enjoy and relate to its underpinning messages of the importance of family, friendship, love, and freedom. With its mystery, suspense, comedy, and romance, find out for yourself why this show did better than ER and Grey’s Anatomy!”

The Pretender 2001 / The Pretender - Island of the Haunted

The Pretender 2001 / The Pretender – Island of the Haunted

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Disc 1 Side A: PRETENDER 2001 (Full Screen) Picking up where the television series left off, Jarod reunites with two old friends and unleashes some powerful Centre revelations. This film opens with a sequence that will allow it to be enjoyed by individuals who have not yet seen the TV series.

Disc 1 Side B: PRETENDER: ISLAND OF THE HAUNTED (Widescreen) Through a series of bizarre circumstances, Jarod and Miss Parker find themselves trapped together on a strange island in a life and death situation, out of which come some of the most important revelations about their pasts.

                               

Eureka – Season One        Eureka – Season Two (available 7/15/08)

Product Details

  • Directors: Jefery Levy
  • Format: AC-3, Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 558 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Some of the government’s best-kept secrets are waiting to be uncovered as Eureka:Season One arrives on DVD! Step into the quirky and seemingly perfect small town of Eureka, where the hidden work of America’s brightest scientists can lead to innovation or utter chaos. Making sense of the mysteries is Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson), a former U.S. marshal who is stranded in the surreal small town after a random car accident. Now fans can get in on his entertaining adventures with this 3-disc set packed with over 10 hours of bonus features and innovatively packaged in eco-friendly materials that were “Made in Eureka.” Nothing is as it seems in the brilliant and witty new series critics are calling “the most original new drams” (The Courier-Journal).

The Dresden Files – The Complete First Season

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Blackthorne, Valerie Cruz
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007
  • Run Time: 530 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
The Dresden Files is about a wizard named Harry. “Good marketing,” a cynical observer notes in one episode from the Sci-Fi Channel’s one-season wonder based on the books by Jim Butcher. “Couldn’t you come up with something a little more original?” Actually, this series manages to be plenty original despite echoes of The X-Files and the 1970s cult classic The Night Stalker. Paul Blackthorne stars as Harry Dresden, a scruffy Chicago private eye whose gift comes in handy for children menaced by skinwalkers, or for offering Lt. Murphy (Valerie Cruz) of the Chicago police “an unconventional point of view” concerning grisly, bizarre cases involving werewolves, vampires, and other decidedly unfriendly spirits. The Dresden Files is a paranormal noir (para-noir?) that deftly balances genuine scares, hard-boiled moxie, and tongue-in-cheek humor, delivered with panache by “Bob” (Terrance Mann), an ancient English spirit who resides in a skull and gives.Harry supernatural assistance. Harry’s backstory–magician father, wizard mother, treacherous uncle–is revealed over the course of these 12 episodes. The eighth broadcast episode, “Things That Go Bump,” was reportedly intended as the series pilot, and may be the best place to start. But Harry’s world-weary voice-over in the classic tradition (“If you’re a wizard and you fail, people can end up dead”) keeps viewers oriented. Low ratings made The Dresden Files disappear, making this DVD set welcome for the series’ hardcore fans who mounted the ultimately unsuccessful letter-writing campaign to save Dresden from the “Brilliant, but Cancelled” files. But even those who are unfamiliar with Butcher’s books or are not on the Sci-Fi Channel’s wavelength will be charmed. –Donald Liebenson
Product Description
Based on Jim Butcher’s best-selling novels, “The Dresden Files” chronicles the cases of no ordinary detective. Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne) is a wizard, the only one listed in the Chicago phone book. He’s got a handle on the crimes that can’t be solved by anyone else. Paranormal? No problem. Dresden deals in all matters of supernatural threats. If you need a little hocus pocus or some other worldly advice, Dresden’s your man.

Stargate - The Ark of Truth

Stargate – The Ark of Truth

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Michael Shanks, Claudia Black
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating:
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 102 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Fans disappointed by the demise of the Stargate SG-1 television series after ten fruitful seasons will delight in The Ark of Truth, the first full-length movie to follow in the show’s wake. In fact, some will be more than pleased–they’ll be relieved. For not only does the 102-minute film offer an opportunity to enjoy the same likable characters, reliable effects work, superior writing, and other elements that made the series so appealing, but after season upon season in which viewers were left wondering how everything turned out, The Ark finally brings at least one cliffhanger to a conclusion: the storyline involving the villains known as the Ori, who dominated SG-1’s final two years. Our heroes (including Ben Browder as fearless leader Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell, Amanda Tapping as the intrepid Lt. Col. Samantha Carter, Christopher Judge as the implacable alien Teal’c, Michael Shanks as the ever-resourceful Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Claudia Black as the irreverent Vala) have long known that the Ori are perhaps the most irresistible force they’ve ever encountered, in part because they are “ascended” beings who don’t exist in recognizable physical form (their spaceships do, and they’re huge). But now the team faces an even greater threat: the Ori have set their sights on good ol’ Planet Earth. That’s where the Ark comes in; if the good guys can just get their hands on it, they hope this ancient artifact will effectively put the big, bad Ori, their minions, and their entire religion (known as “Origin”) out of business. Of course, it ain’t easy. Both collectively and individually, the team will be severely tested, their task complicated not only by the Ori but by an arrogant, clueless government official whose meddling results in the return of the metallic, insect-like Replicators. There’s little doubt about how it will all turn out–after all, there’s at least one more movie already in the pipeline–but it’s all about the ride, and despite a few flaws (as was sometimes the case with the series, the script leans a bit too hard on exposition and techno babble), this one is lots of fun. Bonus features include commentary by writer-director Robert Cooper and others, a lengthy “making of,” and a helpful “prelude” to bring the uninitiated up to speed. –Sam Graham
Product Description
Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter Dr. Daniel Jackson Vala Mal Doran and the alien Tealc all members of the elite Stargate SG-1 team travel to the ruins of Dakara in hopes of finding the fabled Ark of Truth. Built by the Alterans (builders of the stargates) millions of years before this ancient artifact may be the sole means remaining to defeat the Ori armies who have thus far proven unstoppable in their quest to conquer the universe in the name of their religion Origin.

Stargate – Continuum (Available 7/29/08)

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Browder, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating:
  • Studio: MGM Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 99 minutes

Heroes – Season One

Product Details

  • Actors: Hayden Panettiere, Masi Oka, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar, Milo Ventimiglia
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Color, Digital Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 1035 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Arguably the most talked-about television show of the 2006-2007 season, the Emmy-nominated fantasy Heroes gives viewers blends comic book-style adventure with plotting and characters as rich and layered as any graphic novel or drama series. Creator Tim Kring’s premise is deceptively simple – ordinary individuals in locations around the globe discover that they have, for lack of a better term, super powers, and wrestle with this reality while facing challenges both global (the destruction of New York City, for one) and personal (indestructible cheerleader Hayden Panetierre has family issues – serious ones, as the true identity of her adoptive father reveals; Milo Ventimiglia’s Peter Petrelli, who absorbs other powers, must overcome his own insecurities). Add to this mix a terrific villain – Zachary Quinto’s Sylar, who hunts and kills people with extraordinary powers like our heroes – and viewers have a riveting series that exhibits an almost-perfect balance of cliffhanger thrills (the action and special effects are truly impressive for a network program) and genuine drama that sets the show apart from most speculative fiction (save, perhaps, the revived Battlestar Galactica, which it compares too favorably). The seven-disc set of Heroes: Season One offers a wealth of extras for fans, who may be familiar with some of them through the NBC.com website, especially the cast commentaries, which are featured on half of the episodes. Kring is featured on the 73-minute uncut pilot episode, which for some viewers, may be even better than the network version; the main difference is the degree of character development, including an entire storyline for D.L. Hawkins that isn’t featured in the broadcast version. Also on deck are some 50 deleted scenes from the episodes, several by-the-books making-of featurettes, including coverage of the special effects and stunt work, and a profile of artist Tim Sale, whose illustrations are used for Isaac Mendez’s prophetic artwork. Prospective buyers should note that while all of these supplemental features are included on the HD-DVD version of this set, the special Web-connectivity elements are not available here. — Paul Gaita
Product Description
Discover the phenomenon that is sweeping audiences everywhere as Heroes: Season 1 comes to DVD! Experience the suspense, mystery, and electrifying twists as this astonishing series follows seemingly unconnected, ordinary people around the globe who discover they have extraordinary powers. As they come to terms with their unique abilities, their risky decisions will affect the futures of everyone around them …and the world. Join their epic journey in this seven-disc set packed with hours of fascinating and revealing bonus features, including the never-before-aired series premiere from show creator Tim Kring.

Torchwood – The Complete First Season

Torchwood – The Complete Second Season (Available 9/16/08)

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
More than a spin-off of the Russell T. Davies incarnation of Doctor Who, the BBC series Torchwood is a wholly enjoyable blend of drama, science-fiction thrills, and mature subject matter that never fails to deliver its main purpose: to entertain on a weekly basis. John Barrowman, who captured the imagination of Who fans during the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras as 51st-century adventurer Capt. Jack Harkness, returns as the dashing, immortal time traveler; here, he’s the head of Torchwood, a covert organization that investigates extraterrestrial and supernatural events on Earth without the help of the British government or United Nations. Eve Myles is a police constable who joins the team after discovering them in the middle of bringing a stabbing victim back to life (in the debut episode, “Everything Changes”), and she brings a decidedly human touch to the Torchwood team’s tech-driven investigations. Among the mysteries encountered over the course of the 13-episode series: an alien gas that absorbs humans during sex (“Day One”); a half-human, half-Cyberman female with a connection to Torchwood support man Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) in “Cyberwoman”; a rash of cannibalistic murders (“Countrycide”); a very different kind of fairies than the ones of legend (“Small Worlds”); and most impressively of all, a skyscraper-sized demon that threatens to plunge the Torchwood team–and the world itself–into chaos (“End of Days,” which features an off-screen cameo by a certain Time Lord). What separates Torchwood from the most modern television science fiction (save, say,

Heroes and Battlestar Galactica) is the frankly adult tone of the series: The violence is plentiful and occasionally graphic, and there are frequent bedroom couplings between the team members and supporting players. There’s also a maturity to the relationships that exceeds the usual scope of sci-fi, most notably in the affecting “Captain Jack Harkness,” which sends him back to the London Blitz, where he meets and falls in love with a handsome American pilot who happens to share his name. Their love affair, like the majority of Torchwood‘s “grown-up” storylines, is handled with taste and real emotion. Extras on the First Series are remarkably plentiful; six of the seven discs include entirely new behind-the-scenes featurettes that explore the main characters and their major story arcs, location shooting, the impressive SUV that the team drives, and the show’s extensive special effects and alien creations. Barrowman also contributes a very funny “Captain’s Log,” which invites viewers to join him on one of the final shooting days of the series. The entire seventh disc is given over to Torchwood Declassified, the 13-part program which explored each episode on BBC Three and the BBC’s Torchwood website. Commentaries are offered for all 13 episodes, with Davies, Barrowman, Myles, Burn Gorman (who plays Torchwood’s medical officer, Owen Harper), David-Lloyd, producers Richard Stokes and Julie Gardner, and various episode writers, directors, and producers all lending their voices. A small battery of deleted scenes and outtakes, as well as previews for DVD releases of other BBC programs, including Doctor Who and MI-5, round out this impressive set. –Paul Gaita

Product Description
Separate from the government, outside the police, beyond the United Nations, Torchwood sets its own rules. Led by the enigmatic, ever watchful Captain Jack Harkness, the Torchwood team delves into the unknown and fights the impossible. Everyone who works for Torchwood is young. Some say that’s because it’s a new science. Others say it’s because they die young.

Doctor Who – The Complete First and Second Seasons

Product Details

  • Actors: Billie Piper, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 11
  • Rating:
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • DVD Release Date: January 16, 2007

First Season:

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
The venerable science fiction program Doctor Who returned to British televisions in 2005 after a 15-year absence and delighted the majority of fans and critics with its adherence to the adventure and charm of the original series while making admissions for a new generation of viewers (hipper editing and score, CGI effects). Thirteen episodes were generated, all starring Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor and pop-singer-turned-actress Billie Piper as his companion Rose; acclaimed writer/producer Russell T. Davies (Touching Evil, Queer as Folk) oversaw the show as chief writer and executive producer. The new series proved so popular that the BBC agreed to revive the program for second and third seasons–though without Eccleston, who has since been replaced by David Tennant. This six-disc set comes with all 13 episodes plus the battery of supplemental features now customary to all Doctor Who DVD releases.

Eccleston is very engaging in the title role, bringing a manic curiosity tempered by occasional bouts of gravity (which befit a personality with a long and dramatic a lifespan as the Doctor’s) that hew closely to the (arguably) most popular Doctor, Tom Baker. Piper is equally adept as department store clerk Rose–she’s afforded more of a back story than most of the Doctor’s sidekicks have received in the past, and she more than handles her own alongside Eccleston. Highlights among the 13 episodes include the season opener, “Rose” (which sees the return of an old foe, the Autons, and their controlling force, the Nestene Consciousness); the revamped Daleks in “Dalek” and the two-parter “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways”; a trip to Victorian England to aid Charles Dickens in “The Unquiet Dead,” and of course, the arrival of the tenth Doctor at the conclusion of the action-packed “Parting of the Ways.” The episodes strike the right blend of quirk, excitement, and imagination, thanks largely to the engaging performances and the guidance of Davies, whose admiration for the show and its history is evident throughout.

Supplemental features–and there are many–including commentary on all 13 episodes by members of the cast and crew, including Piper and Davies; numerous making-of featurettes, including a profile of Davies; a video diary by Piper; an interview with Eccleston, and best of all, a glimpse at the 60-minute Christmas special, “The Christmas Invasion,” which picks up where the series concludes. Who fans won’t be disappointed. –Paul Gaita
Product Description
Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor is wise and funny cheeky and brave. An alien and a loner his detached logic gives him a vital edge when the world’s in danger. But when it comes to human relationships he can be found wanting. That’s why he needs Rose. From the moment they meet the Doctor and Rose understand and complement each other. As they travel together through time encountering new adversaries the Doctor shows her things beyond imagination.Running Time: 585 min.

Second Season:

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Christopher Eccleston’s tenure as the time-traveling title hero in the venerable UK sci-fi series Doctor Who lasted just 13 episodes, but he left enough of a impression on fans to make some wonder how his replacement, veteran television performer David Tennant, might fare in the role. As this second-series boxed set proves, the answer is: he’s a near-perfect Doctor who combines the eccentricities of earlier incarnations (most notably Tom Baker) with a fresh and youthful interpretation of his own, and even brings a healthy dash of romantic chemistry with his sidekick, Rose Tyler (the equally charming Billie Piper). And their adventures retain the solid blend of thoughtful speculative fiction, pulp action, and quirky humor that typified the series at its best. Among the 15 terrific stories contained in the six-disc set are the “Children in Need” (a.k.a. “Pudsey Cutaway”) mini-episode from the 2005 Children in Need telethon that showed Eccleston’s transformation into Tennant; “School Reunion,” in which Elisabeth Sladen returns as Sarah Jane Smith; “The Girl in the Fireplace,” which draws together robots in 18th century France with a derelict space station in the distant future; and the season finale, “Army of Ghosts/Doomsday,” which not only revives the series’ most popular villains, the robotic Daleks, in a head-to-head struggle against the Cybermen, but also marks the final appearance of another series regular. For fans and first-time visitors to the TARDIS alike, the Second Series is simply thrilling sci-fi TV.

As with the First Series set, the supplemental features are plentiful here; commentary by the show’s cast and crew is provided on each episode, and four feature picture-in-picture commentary tracks; deleted scenes and outtakes are also included, as are video diaries by Tennant and Piper, and a lengthy featurette, “Doctor Who Confidential,” which covers nearly every aspect of the series’ production, including the introduction of the Torchwood Institute and the return of Sarah Jane, both of which would be featured in their own respective spin-off series (the first in Doctor Who‘s long history) in 2007. – Paul Gaita
Product Description
Can Rose trust a man with a new face? David Tennant (Viva Blackpool Harry Potter) steps into the role of the Doctor now his 10th incarnation. Following on from the phenomenal success of the first series the second series is full of more thrills more laughs more heartbreak and some terrifying new aliens and old acquaintances. The Doctor and Rose meet Queen Victoria an evil race of Cat Women K9 and Sarah Jane and the dreaded Cybermen.Running Time: 645 min.

Doctor Who – The Complete Third Series

Product Details

  • Actors: David Tennant, Freema Agyeman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rating:
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 652 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Doctor Who fans concerned that the departure of popular companion Rose (Billie Piper) at the end of the second season might spell an end to the venerable UK science fiction series’ revival were soon reassured by the program’s third series, which is compiled in its entirety in this six-disc set. Not only did Freema Agyeman (as Earth doctor Martha Jones) prove to be more than a worthwhile replacement for Rose, but the quality of the series’ 14 episodes maintained–and in many cases surpassed–the blend of wit, excitement and drama brought by head writer Russell T. Jones when he revived the program in 2003. Highlights from the third series include the Christmas special “The Runaway Bride” (starring comedian Catherine Tate as a temporary companion to the Doctor as he mourns the loss of Rose), “Gridlock” (the Face of Boe summons the Doctor and Martha to a future New York City to stop an invasion by his old enemy the Macra), “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood” (a two-part serial in which the Doctor changes his biological form to escape the clutches of an alien brood who seek his immortality), and the three-part “Utopia,” “The Sound of Drums” and “The Last of the Time Lords,” which not only revives the Doctor’s greatest adversary, The Master (played by Derek Jacobi in “Utopia” and John Simm in “Drums” and “Time Lords”) but also revives Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and introduces his new position with the Torchwood team. Supplemental features are included on each of the six discs in the set; chief among them are commentary by Jones, Tennant, Agyeman, producer Phil Collinson, and members of the writing and production team (in various permutations) on each of the 14 episodes. The Doctor Who Confidential series, which aired on BBC Three and offered behind-the-scenes looks at elements from each episode, is included in its 15-minute “cut down” version (as well as an hour-long episode that covered a live performance of music from the show by the National Orchestra of Wales and hosted by Tennant), as are several video diaries shot by Tennant, who proves as engaging behind the camera as he is on the show. A smattering of deleted scenes, outtakes (mostly featuring Tennant reacting good-naturedly to his own blown lines), BBC promos for all 13 episodes (including the amusing “Vote Saxon” spot, which offers Sharon Osbourne and UK pop stars McFly throwing their support behind the Master’s disguise as a human MP in the series’ final two episodes), and trailers for other BBC series like Jekyll, Torchwood, and MI-5, round out this terrific set. — Paul Gaita
Product Description
The third installment of Doctor Who is full of new thrills new laughs new heartbreak and some terrifying new monsters. From the moment the Doctor walks into the life of medical student Martha Jones he changes it forever. In Elizabethan London they meet William Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre while back in present day London 76-year-old Professor Lazarus recaptures his youth with consequences that threaten Martha’s entire family. And the Doctor’s sworn enemies the Daleks who have been hiding in 1930’s New York return with a terrifying plan for humanity.

Surface - The Complete Series

Surface – The Complete Series

Product Details

  • Directors: Félix Enríquez Alcalá
  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 15, 2006
  • Run Time: 634 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Surface lasted one season on NBC before cancellation, but Surface: The Complete Series on DVD will keep the show’s exciting, Spielbergian suspense around for a long while. The primetime drama, involving several characters–in different parts of the world–all having similar brushes with fantastic creatures, instantly draws comparisons to Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Add a government conspiracy (complete with a cover story to force one community’s evacuation) to prevent the public from learning of the existence of a previously unknown life form, and the parallels with Close Encounters grow thick. But it’s not a problem: the many twists and turns in Surface‘s far-ranging storyline, and the nature of the species that slowly becomes a factor in the survival of the human race, are compelling on their own terms.

Created by twin brothers and television writers-producers-directors Josh and Jonas Pate (L.A. Dragnet), Surface stars rangy beauty Lake Bell as oceanographer and single mom Dr. Laura “Dee” Daughtery. While doing some research in a submersible at the bottom of the sea, Dee discovers a seemingly bottomless pit leading to astonishing depths in the Earth. But she also bumps into a sea monster that emanates electrical charges strong enough to wreak havoc with her vessel. Meanwhile, a Louisiana-based insurance salesman, Rich (Jay R. Ferguson), is traumatized when he sees his brother dragged away by a similar creature, and a 14-year-old boy, Miles (Carter Jenkins), raises one of the beasts after it hatches from an egg. Throughout all this, a scientist (Rade Sherbedgia) and a heavy-handed national security agent (Ian Anthony Dale) are trying to unlock the mystery of the species, which appears to be growing in number at the same time strange forces are affecting the oceans. Naturally, there’s a story behind the story–government and corporate shenanigans and all that. That stuff gets a little tedious and, truth be told, a couple of the show’s protagonists are among the most unlikable people seen in series television in a long while. But despite its premature end after a mere 15 episodes, Surface finally offers an original, unsettling, and even surreal vision of the world going through apocalyptic transformations. The final image of the final show lingers in the imagination a long time. –Tom Keogh
Product Description
Something new is lurking in the Earth s oceans, and now you can be part of the mystery as all 15 Season One episodes of the spectacular series, Surface, emerge on to DVD for the first time ever! When young oceanographer Laura Daughtery (Lake Bell) discovers a massive underwater creature, her obsession to uncover the origins of this dangerous unidentified species will lead her and others on a mysterious adventure through the darkest, deepest parts of the sea and the most sinister and shady places on Earth. The fate of the world is in their hands – they just don t know it. Including deleted scenes and phenomenal special effects, the amazing series that People magazine calls a show with some Spielbergian tricks of suspense is now the must-own DVD set for every fan.

Invasion - The Complete Series

Invasion – The Complete Series

Product Details

  • Actors: Invasion
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 22, 2006
  • Run Time: 907 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Following the success of Lost, Invasion was one of numerous sci-fi-themed shows that debuted in the fall of 2005. But unlike Threshold and Surface, Invasion had the distinct advantage of airing in ABC’s slot right after Lost, at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. Created and produced by Shaun Cassidy (yes, the former teen idol who also produced American Gothic), the series starts in a flurry with a devastating hurricane threatening a Florida city and a 21st-century family happens to be in the middle of it. There’s park ranger Russell Groves (Eddie Cibrian) and his wife, Larkin (Lisa Sheridan), who’s an inquisitive television reporter. Living with them is Larkin’s no-account brother, Dave (Tyler Labine), who blogs about conspiracy theories and aliens while between jobs. Also living with them some of the time are Russell’s kids, Rose (Ariel Gade) and Jesse (Evan Peters), who also spend time with their mother, doctor Mariel Underlay (Kari Matchett), who has also remarried, to the town’s sinister sheriff, Tom (William Fichtner). Tom also has a child from a previous marriage, sexy teen Kira (Alexis Dziena). Amid the chaos of the hurricane, little Rose is the only one to notice a group of strange lights dropping from the sky into the water, then Mariel disappears only to turn up in a swamp the next morning, seemingly unharmed but now with a strange affinity for water. Not so lucky is Dave, whose investigation of Rose’s colored lights leads to the discovery that those lights have a pretty fierce set of teeth. And what does the sheriff have to hide? Parts of Invasion feel like The X-Files or 24, and obviously the central concept isn’t new, but it has enough revelations and spooky chills to keep the viewer coming back for more. Unfortunately, even the plum slot following Lost wasn’t enough to keep Invasion from being canceled after its first season. The problem is that the season–and the series–ends in a whopping cliffhanger, which may never be resolved. So before you invest yourself into a full season of Invasion, be warned. –David Horiuchi
Product Description
From famed writer/producer Shaun Cassidy comes a suspenseful tale of a blended family trying to recover from a devastating hurricane and its mysterious aftermath For park ranger Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian), a divorced father of two who is expecting a third child with his new wife, the hurricane proves to be merely the beginning of a long journey into the unknown. As the tiny town of Homestead, Florida struggles to rebuild itself, Sheriff Tom Underlay (William Fichtner) – who is married to Russell’s ex-wife – suspiciously orders the entire area quarantined. Russell starts to investigate the strange goings on and unknowingly begins a fight for the survival of his family, his community, and what might ultimately be the whole human race.

The Time Tunnel Volume One

The Time Tunnel Volume One

Product Details

  • Actors: Time Tunnel
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating:
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 765 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Home video is our own little time tunnel, instantly transporting us back to dimly-remembered TV shows of our youth. The only thing more fun than re-encountering a show one hasn’t thought about in years is the happy discovery that it holds up relatively well. In The Time Tunnel, James Darrin and Robert Colbert star as intrepid scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips, who are studying the feasibility of time travel (“potentially the most valuable treasure the world will ever find”) as part of the top secret Project Tic Toc. The government, though, considers it a billion-dollar boondoggle and threatens to shut it down. Tony impetuously enters the untested Time Tunnel, and, on his inaugural adventure in “Rendezvous with Yesterday,” finds himself on a New York-bound ocean liner. It remains one of the great TV moments when a life preserver reveals that he is, in fact, on the Titanic. Doug will join him shortly after, and together they will hurtle backward and forward through time, usually arriving on the eve of some pivotal historic event. Meanwhile, back at Project Tic-Toc, the other scientists (including Lee “Catwoman” Meriwether’s Dr. Ann MacGregor) follow their progress and try to bring them home.

This four-double-sided-disc set contains the short-lived series’ first 15 episodes, complete with the freeze-frame cliffhangers that found the duo on some “fantastic new adventure.” Among the most memorable is “The Day the Sky Fell In,” in which Tony and Doug find themselves at Pearl Harbor the day before the Japanese attack, and Tony has a Field of Dreams moment that allows him the opportunity to find out what happened to his father, who stationed there at the time. In “Massacre,” Tony and Doug try to head off the battle at Little Big Horn. In “Invasion,” the pair land in France in advance of the D-Day invasion, and Doug is captured and brainwashed by the Gestapo. Notable guest stars include Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) as the captain of the Titanic, and Carroll O’Connor as a War of 1812 colonel and his modern-day descendant in “The Last Patrol.” The Time Tunnel was one of three shows that cult fave sci-fi/fantasy producer Irwin Allen had on the air in 1966 (the other two were Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Sure, the science and history are pure hooey, but The Time Tunnel‘s cheesy charms (such as the pre-psychodelic time travel light shows) are, well, timeless. –Donald Liebenson
Product Description
THE CONTROL OF TIME IS POTENTIALLY THE MOST VALUABLE TREASURE THAT MAN WILL EVER FIND. Or so believe the scientists of Project Tic Toc. Located beneath the Arizona desert, the ten-year project?s focus is the feasibility of time travel. But when the government reconsiders the project, the scientists have only 24 hours to prove their untested ?Time Tunnel? will actually work. Determined to save the project, Dr. Tony Newman and Dr. Doug Phillips go through the tunnel?and quickly find themselves catapulted from one historical event to another, barely escaping with their lives as their colleagues back in Arizona race to figure out a way to bring them back home.

The Time Tunnel Volume Two

The Time Tunnel Volume Two

Product Details

  • Actors: Time Tunnel
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating:
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 768 minutes

Note, this only ran for one season, but the DVD is in two parts.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - Seasons 1 - 3

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea – Seasons 1 – 3

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Product Description – Season 1
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the brainchild of Writer/Producer/Director Irwin Allen… the “Master of Disaster.”It ran on ABC 1964-1968 and was for its four years of some of the best and most exciting science fiction on TV at the time. The classic adventures aboard the “SSRN Seaview” will captivate you today, as much as they did in the 60s.

Amazon.com – Season 2
Bolstered by its first-season success, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea returned on September 19, 1965, with a second season full of surprises. Now in full color, the continuing adventures of Adm. Nelson (Richard Basehart), Capt. Crane (David Hedison) and the intrepid crew of the nuclear sub Seaview were no longer limited to the ocean depths; the advent of the “Flying Sub” (officially dubbed “FS-1”), enabled Nelson and crew to expand the horizons of their top-secret service, flying at super-sonic speed or plunging into the ocean with the push of a joystick. The manta-shaped FS-1 quickly became a staple of nearly every episode, routinely deployed from its launch-bay on the newly upgraded Seaview, still the most elegant submarine of fact or fiction. Cold-war conspiracies and power-hungry villains remain common in these 13 episodes, all set in the “near future” of the 1970s, and spiced up with science-fiction scenarios familiar to any fan of producer Irwin Allen’s other ’60s SF shows like Land of the Giants and The Time Tunnel. And while the show’s occasional monsters (in episodes like “Jonah and the Whale,” “Leviathan” and “The Monster from Outer Space”) are laughably cheesy by modern standards, they’re balanced out by intelligent plots (many written by William Welch) involving espionage, sabotage, nuclear threats, and high-tech weaponry.

These are the plot elements that dominate most of these well-written episodes, capably handled by directors like Sobey Martin, Leo Penn (father of Sean), Nathan Juran (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) and others. And while Basehart and Hedison were never the most dynamic performers, they set a solid foundation for the series, holding their own with such prominent guest stars as Gia Scala (“Jonah and the Whale”), Victor Buono (“The Cyborg”), future indie-film pioneer John Cassavetes (“The Peacemaker”), soon-to-be-“Sulu” George Takei (“The Silent Saboteurs”), and many other ’60s TV stalwarts. Voyage never wavered from its stodgy pacing, flat humor, and occasional lapses in logic (like having divers talk while their mouths are stuffed with oxygen regulators, etc.), but despite occasional gaps in credibility, it remained a slick, smart adventure series rooted in the political reality of the cold war. As with previous Voyage DVD sets, these episodes are so crisp and clean that you can easily see the guide-wires used to “fly” the Flying Sub (on a “Lydecker” rig, named after special effects pioneer Howard Lydecker), and loyal fans will enjoy the mid-season shift to “sonar-screen” opening credits, economical recycling of sets and stock footage, and the lively contributions of supporting cast members Bob Dowdell (as “Chip” Morton), Terry Becker (Chief Sharkey), Allen Hunt (“Stu” Riley), and Del Monroe (Kowalski). Bonus features are minimal but worthwhile, especially for fans: There’s over 20 minutes of raw special effects footage (mostly redundant, but of interest to TV and FX historians), and photo galleries consisting of concept art, episode photos, behind-the-scenes photos and publicity stills. Best of all–and not mentioned on the DVD packaging–is the inclusion of “Voyage to See What’s on the Bottom,” a MAD magazine TV parody from 1966, viewable on-screen in its hilarious entirety. Nostalgic fun for seasoned fans, and likely to gain a new following on DVD, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is still entertaining after all these years. –Jeff Shannon
Product Description
JOURNEY TO A BREATHTAKING WORLD OF DANGER AND SUSPENSE.

The SSRN Seaview, the world’s most technologically advanced submarine, is back and more powerful than ever! Come aboard with Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane, and their crew as they brave hostile waters and explore uncharted depths, keeping the world safe from the enemies of mankind.

Season Two is full of innovative series firsts: it’s the first season to be shot in color, and the Seaview has been masterfully redesigned to house the spectacular Flying Sub! Filled with espionage, action, sci-fi and suspense, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is a true TV classic!

Editorial Reviews – Season 3

Amazon.com
In its second season, Irwin Allen’s science-fiction-adventure series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea shifted its tone from a mostly serious program based around stories of Cold War intrigue to an out-and-out fantasy show, complete with monsters, ghosts, and time travel. By the launch of its third season (1966-67), that format was firmly in place (solidified, no doubt, by the success of Allen’s similarly themed Lost in Space and The Time Tunnel, which were also running at the same time), and the crew of the Seaview battled all manner of bizarre creatures over the course of the 13 episodes compiled in this three-disc set, including werewolves, radioactive plant creatures, dinosaurs, scores of aliens, and even a spook or two. Critics and first-season Voyage fans have decried these episodes for decades, but there’s no denying that their child-like charms remain intact, even as the special effects age most ungracefully; highlights, such as they were, for the first half of season 3 include “Werewolf” (Richard Basehart’s Admiral Nelson contracts a virus that turns him into a wolfman; this storyline was picked up in the second half of season 3 in “Brand of the Beast”), “Deadly Waters” (Kowalski’s brother is trapped in a sub, but the crewman cannot save him), “The Lost Bomb” (the Seaview must deactivate a bomb on the ocean floor before an enemy sub reaches it), and the truly ludicrous “The Plant Man” (evil scientist wants to create an army of leafy green soldiers) and “The Terrible Toys” (aliens use toys to destroy the Seaview). Season 3, Volume 1 is rich with campy fun, and should carry considerable appeal to viewers who remember Voyage fondly from afternoon reruns. The set includes several extras, including interviews with star David Hedison (including an audio-only chat from 1966), galleries of publicity and episode shots (and a glimpse at the Voyage comic book), fan letters, and more. –Paul Gaita
Product Description
Join the crew of the Seaview aboard their super high-tech submarine, where no mission is too dangerous and no threat is too deadly, be it enemy agents, mad scientists, deadly sea creatures, or impending nuclear disaster.

Thunderbirds 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Megaset

Thunderbirds 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Megaset

Product Details

  • Actors: Gerry Anderson
  • Format: Box set, Collector’s Edition, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 12
  • Rating:
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 1664 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Review
DVD Features: Production Stills Photo Galleries; Behind the Scenes Featurettes
Bonus Disc Features:The Brains Behind Thunderbirds; The Making of Thunderbirds; Pop-Up Episode Pit of Peril ; Gerry Speaks – An Inside Look at Anderson s 7 Favorite Series –A&E Home Video
Product Description
Blast off into classic sci-fi adventure with the daring International Rescue team! Made up of fearless former astronaut Jeff Tracy and his courageous sons, the team protects against disaster in the year 2065.
When danger arises, the team springs into action, rushing to the scene in their futuristic Thunderbirds vehicles and facing trouble head-on with their high-tech devices. Working together to pull off amazing rescues and astonishing heroic feats, the Thunderbirds are Earth’s best defense against catastrophe and sabotage.

Thunderbirds International Rescue Edition 2-Pack Gift Set (Thunderbirds Are Go / Thunderbird 6) (1968)

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Thunderbirds Are Go followed the remarkable success of the Thunderbirds television series, bringing the three-dimensional puppet animation adventures of International Rescue to the big screen. Set in the 21st century, there is no attempt to explain the background story: as in the TV show International Rescue is a private family organization who uses high-tech craft to rescue anyone in peril. Here it’s the first manned flight to Mars that’s in danger, as International Rescue foils a sabotage attempt at the launch, then race to avert disaster when the spaceship returns to earth. What could have made a 50-minute TV episode is expanded to feature length with Martian “rock monsters” and a surreal dream-sequence involving Alan Tracy, Lady Penelope, and “Cliff Richard Jnr” & the Shadows, with a new song performed by the real Cliff and the Shadows. In the theaters, Thunderbirds Are Go was competing against another British children’s TV sci-fi spin-off, the equally colorful Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150AD, and would be followed by Thunderbird 6 (1968). Yet apart from more complex model work, a bigger orchestra, and even bigger explosions, on TV this plays like a widescreen double-length episode.

Thunderbird 6 revolved around a new addition to the lineup of International Rescue’s five emergency craft. The plot sees Lady Penelope, Alan, Tin-Tin, and Parker as the only passengers on the maiden, round-the-world flight of a futuristic airship, which is hijacked in a bid to capture Thunderbirds 1 and 2. From the moment Alan arrives on a Bond-style jetpack, the film veers away from the TV show into espionage adventure territory, and while the only people International Rescue rescues are their own members, they kill a fair number of bad guys. The global tour means there are more locations than ever, and though the story takes a long time developing, the Die Hard-on-an-airship finale delivers the most explosive set piece of Gerry Anderson’s career. As for Thunderbird 6, opinion remains divided as to whether it’s an ingenious twist or a disappointing gimmick, but the movie’s blend of model and live-action footage results in two superbly staged stunt sequences. The Andersons would make one further feature film, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969). –Gary S. Dalkin
Product Description
THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!
Blast off into interplanetary adventure with the first feature-length film starring the International Rescue team: millionaire ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy, his five stalwart sons, the fabulous secret agent Lady Penelope and, of course, their incredibly futuristic fleet of Thunderbird rescue ships! When the mighty spaceship Zero X is sabotaged on its first takeoff for Mars, International Rescue is summoned to provide security for the second launch attempt. But after the ship successfully reaches its destination, it is attacked by rampaging alien life forms! Once again, the brave and resourceful International Rescue team is called into action. Can the team help the damaged ship re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and prevent a crash-landing with devastating consequences?

THUNDERBIRD 6
The Tracy team are back in action in another riveting adventure! This time it will take all of their combined effort – and the cunning wit of their colleague Lady Penelope – to defeat an international ring of terrorists who’ve targeted International Rescue for destruction! While on the maiden voyage of the fabulous new passenger vessel “Skyship One,” Lady Penelope is shocked to discover that the original crew has been killed and replaced with a ruthless gang of hijackers who want to use her to obtain classified information about the International Rescue team! As the hijacked super-plane circles the globe on a collision course with catastrophe, Penelope must outwit her captors and send an urgent SOS to get help from her fearless cohorts…before it’s too late!

Beyond Reality - The First Season

Beyond Reality – The First Season

Product Details

  • Actors: Shari Belafonte, Carl Marotte
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 517 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Beyond Reality chronicles the unique lives of two adventuresome university professors who delve into the mysterious world of the paranormal.

Shari Belafonte stars as Laura Wingate, a parapsychologist who has traveled the world studying different cultures, religions and strange occurrences. As the open-minded, witty and outspoken head of a private university’s Parapsychology Department, Laura devotes her time to teaching but is constantly distracted investigating paranormal events.

Carl Marotte plays J.J. Stillman, a clinical psychologist who has been trained in the traditional sciences. He is inquisitive, responsible and often overly analytical.

Together, Laura and J.J. apply their combined expertise, curiosity and compassion to investigate the fascinating, extraordinary, but completely plausible world of the paranormal.

The Omega Factor: The Complete Series (3DVD)

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
“The Omega Factor” refers to the limitless potential of the human mind, which is explored in often-terrifying detail in this short-lived cult BBC series from 1979. The late James Hazeldine stars as a journalist who discovers that he possesses extraordinary psychic gifts; his talents bring him in contact with Department 7, a shadowy government bureau that investigates paranormal phenomena. Over the course of the series’ ten-episode run, Hazeldine, his friend and fellow Department 7 member Anne (Louise Jameson, Leela from the Tom Baker-era Doctor Who), and his somewhat sinister superior Dr. Martindale (John Carlisle) encounter haunted houses (“Visitations”), secret military experiments (“Night Games”), cases of apparent possession (“Powers of Darkness”), and all manner of psychic abilities, as well as a secret organization called Omega that plans world domination through mind control. Deftly handled by a host of TV veterans (many of whom also worked on Doctor Who, including producer George Gallaccio, director Paddy Russell, and writer Anthony Read, who also wrote the acclaimed U.K. sci-fi series Chocky and its sequels, which starred Hazeldine), The Omega Factor tackles its supernatural/conspiracy subject matter in a serious manner without sacrificing its inherent creepiness, much as The X-Files would 30 years later (the pleasing chemistry between Hazeldine and Jameson is also a forerunner to the Mulder-Scully relationship). Unfortunately, hysterical controversy from watchdog groups led to its early demise and enduring cult status. The three-DVD set includes the entire series, as well as a featurette of interviews with Gallaccio, Read, and co-producer/creator Jack Gershon; all three are featured on a commentary for the infamous “Powers of Darkness” episode (which garnered much of the public outcry during the series’ broadcast), for which they’re joined by director Eric Davidson. –Paul Gaita
Product Description
Over 10 episodes this BBC television drama explored mysterious occurrences and strange phenomena, with a journalist, Tom Crane (James Hazeldine), using his psychic powers to inform the government of supernatural forces at work. Similar to THE X-FILES, THE OMEGA FACTOR preceded it, and appears to have exerted quite an influence over its creators.

The Complete Series

The Tomorrow People: The Complete Series

Product Details

  • Actors: Nicholas Young
  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 12
  • Rating:
  • Studio: A & E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2006

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Thames Television’s The Tomorrow People (1973-79) was a fondly remembered U.K. science fiction TV series that drew in teen and adult audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with its thought-provoking premise and cliffhanger stories; the show’s first two seasons make their American DVD debut in an impressive four-disc collection. For any kid struggling with growing pains, the show provided an irresistible hook: Stephen Jameson (Peter Vaughn-Clarke) discovers that he is no average teen, but one of the “Tomorrow People,” a select group of youths with extraordinary powers who protect Earth from a host of threats from space and time.

Series creator Roger Price (later the man behind You Can’t Do That on Television and other Canadian programming shown on Nickelodeon, where the Tomorrow People also aired in the ’80s) penned the six serialized stories compiled here (three are co-written with Brian Finch), which pit the Tomorrow People against a shape-shifting robot (“Slaves of Jedikiah” and “The Medusa Strain,” the latter featuring an appearance by David “Darth Vader” Prowse), an evil military organization (“The Doomsday Men”), and a villain who attempts to change the course of history (“A Rift in Time”). Modern teens might guffaw over the show’s primitive special effects, but the stories are engaging and exciting enough to win over even diehard CGI fans; older viewers should appreciate the care with which this program has been preserved on DVD. All 26 episodes of the first and second season are presented here, with cast members Vaughn-Clarke, Nicholas Young (who played John), and Sammie Winmill (Carol) contributing commentary on “Slaves of Jedikiah.” Bios for the cast round out the extras on this entertaining collection. –Paul Gaita
Product Description
Welcome to the next stage of human evolution. Not your everyday Homo sapiens, the Tomorrow People are Homo superiors, children with amazing powers–here in our world TODAY. Originally broadcast in the 1970s, THE TOMORROW PEOPLE introduced British television viewers to an instant cult classic in Sci-Fi adventuring. Imagine young Stephen’s surprise when he learns he is actually one of the Tomorrow People, teenagers with powers of telekinesis, teleportation (called jaunting), and telepathy. Headquartered in a secret underground Lab and protected by the supercomputer Tim, the Tomorrow People look for the emergence of more of their kind and battle evil forces from the farthest reaches of space and time. Thought provoking, action packed, and creatively produced, this edition of THE TOMORROW PEOPLE contains all twenty-six episodes from the series’ first two seasons on DVD for the first time. DVD Features: Commentary with Stars Nicholas Young, Peter Vaughn-Clarke, and Sammie Winmill on “The Slaves of Jedikiah”; Cast Biographies; Interactive Menu; Scene Selection

Sapphire and Steel - The Complete Series

Sapphire and Steel – The Complete Series

Product Details

  • Directors: David Foster (VI), Shaun O’Riordan
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rating:
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 918 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
One of the oddest shows ever mounted for mainstream British television, Sapphire & Steel was one of ITV’s many short-lived attempts at grabbing the sci-fi cult status of the BBC’s Doctor Who. Ex-Man from U.N.C.L.E. David McCallum and ex-Avenger Joanna Lumley play human-looking incarnations of the eponymous substances, mysterious investigators working at the behest of an apparent God of Order and zipping about TARDIS-like to cope with anomalies in the time-stream that manifest as apparent supernatural forces in remote English locales like an isolated farmhouse (Adventure One), a deserted rural railway station (Adventure Two) and a high-rise block of flats (Adventure Three).

McCallum and Lumley play their “medium atomic weights” with blank style and a few touches of baffled humor, not to mention visual flair in the case of Lumley’s blue fashions and occasional glowing eyes. But the lengthy serial format, strictly limited guest casts, and claustrophobic confinement to studio sets tend to mean individual serials straggle on with a great deal of repetition, as six- or eight-part stories seem to take forever to get moving and then resolve. Shot on video, with a few strange 1970s effects (evil follow-spots, floating pillows), this remains prime cult material, though it’s hard to sit still for more than one episode at a time. –Kim Newman
Product Description
The spiritual precursor to The X-Files, SAPPHIRE & STEEL is one of the most atmospheric, mysterious and compelling television programs ever made. Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab, Cold Comfort Farm) and David McCallum (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) star as alien investigators sent to earth to monitor and police ruptures in time. Defying convention at every turn, SAPPHIRE & STEEL spread six adventures over 34 episodes, keeping viewers constantly in suspense and heightening the tension with its distinctively claustrophobic sets (only one tale used any location footage), stark lighting and ethereal music. Combined with the deeply ambiguous stories, this created a distinctly unsettling and riveting experience. Now, SAPPHIRE & STEEL is ready to capture the minds of a new generation of fans with this comprehensive DVD collection, which features every moody minute of the revolutionary show.

Timeslip: The Complete Series

Product Details

  • Directors: Peter Jeffries, Ron Francis, John Cooper
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating:
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 650 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Timeslip is a suspenseful, mysterious, brain-puzzling British serial from 1970 suitable for kids and adults. Told in four suites of stories, each comprised of six two-part episodes, Timeslip concerns the adventures of a pair of teenage friends, Liz (Cheryl Burfield) and Simon (Spencer Banks), who stumble across an invisible portal to the past and future at the edge of an old navy base. In their first experience, “The Wrong End of Time,” Liz and Simon arrive inside the secure navy base as it was during World War II. There they are captured and interrogated by none other than Liz’s future father, Frank (Derek Benfield), and his commander, an enigmatic physicist named Traynor (Denis Quilley). By coincidence–or not–the kids have turned up on the night the base was temporarily overtaken by Germans in search for the truth behind Traynor’s alleged research into radar. Making things even more puzzling, Liz and Simon just happen to have found the portal on the same 1970 night when an older Traynor has appeared in town greatly curious to see how Liz and Simon make out on their visit to the past.

The second suite, “The Time of the Ice Box” is a much weirder story set in the kids’ then-future: 1990. Traveling through the portal, Liz and Simon turn up by a research station at the South Pole, where they are mistaken for human guinea pigs set to participate in some extreme and top-secret bio-engineering experiments conducted by a barely human yet brilliant scientist. “The Year of the Burn Up” anticipates global warming in a tale finding Liz and Simon once again exploring the future and discovering that England is now a jungle. Just as strange is the appearance of a rather mad Traynor in this scenario, as well as an adult version of Simon–a man with a number for a name. (Liz meets her own grown-up self in “The Time of the Ice Box.”) Finally, “The Day of the Clone” has Simon searching for a secret government research center five years in the past, where he encounters yet another variation on Traynor. Even in some of its sillier moments (characters standing around talking about taking action instead of actually taking it), Timeslip is irresistible good fun and hard to stop watching. It’s a pleasure to set aside a day or two just to plow through it with minimal breaks, enjoying every time-travel paradox along the way. –Tom Keogh
Product Description
Have you ever had the feeling you’ve been here before? Or you know what will happen next? Perhaps you’re experiencing a TIMESLIP, where past and future are just a blink of an eye away. A TIMESLIP is exactly what fifteen-year-olds Simon Randall and Liz Skinner stumble through while on vacation. In search of a missing girl, the intrepid teens pass through an invisible time barrier that takes them back to World War II. Soon, though it could be later, the two find themselves traveling to 1990s Antarctica, a tropical jungle that turns out to be England, and a secret research institute in the mid sixties. Guiding the Skinners is the enigmatic Traynor, who appears in different forms throughout their fantastic adventures. Ahead of its time when it premiered in 1970, TIMESLIP tackled topics like anti-aging drugs, global warming and cloning that are part of today’s headlines. Ambitious, superbly acted and thought provoking, this first-time DVD edition features all 26 original episodes. DVD Features: “Beyond the Barrier” Documentary; Timeslip Intro; Selected Biographies; Interactive Map; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Jeremiah – The Complete First Season

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Jeremiah fans have been clamoring for the release of the show on DVD (it originally aired on Showtime), and with 19 episodes and a passel of special features spread out over six discs and totaling nearly 15 hours, they are unlikely to be disappointed.

Based on a series of graphic novels by Hermann Huppen, the show takes place on an Earth where, some 15 years earlier, a hormonal virus killed everyone who was past puberty. It’s an intriguing premise, but one that creator J. Michael Straczynski (best known for his work on “Babylon 5”) and his team haven’t exploited to its fullest. The slow-moving, 90-minute pilot episode explains little of the internal logic of this post-apocalyptic world; how, for instance, did these young folks, the oldest of whom were only 12 or 13 when “the Big Death” wiped out six billion people, manage to survive, educate themselves, and learn skills and trades without any adult influence in a society that’s in shambles? It would be fun to know more.

Still, the show’s ideas are provocative, and the work of co-stars and TV stalwarts Luke Perry as the title character, a hero with a conscience, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner as his more cynical sidekick, is good. Jeremiah, to its credit, doesn’t rely on special effects, production design, costumes, or sets to carry it. That means the burden is on the ongoing themes (Jeremiah’s guilt over his younger brother’s death and his search for the maybe-mythic “Valhalla Sector”; the threat of the plague returning in an even more virulent form; the attempts to rebuild civilization) and individual stories, which are frequently compelling and smart (especially “Things Left Unsaid,” the two-part season finale, a cliffhanger that offers many possibilities for future seasons), even while favoring talk over action.

The special features occupy disc 1, along with the pilot, and include deleted scenes, production sketches, and commentary on the pilot by Perry (who also executive produced) and Warner. If you’re looking for superior sci-fi escapism, however, try Farscape or Stargate SG-1, to name just two. –Sam Graham
Product Description
A stunning sci-fi epic that re-envisions the future of mankind, this top-rated, action-packed original series is “intriguing” (Associated Press), “fascinating” (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel) and “deep and intense” (Science Fiction Weekly)! Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills 90210,” “Oz”) stars as Jeremiah, one of the many young survivors of the “Big Death” that claimed the lives of every adult in the world 15 years ago. Now forging his way through a bleak wilderness fraught with danger and conspiracy, Jeremiah and his most trusted friend, Kurdy (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), are plunged into thrilling adventures that test every facet of their humanity…and ultimately the fate of the human race itself!

Odyssey 5 – The Complete Series

Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Weller, Sebastian Roché, Christopher Gorham, Leslie Silva, Tamara Craig Thomas
  • Directors: Terry Ingram, Milan Cheylov, David Straiton
  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Portuguese
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE: Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called “region-free” DVD players. For more information on RCE, click here.
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 935 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
While flying under the ratings radar on Showtime, Odyssey 5 drew loyal fans with a premise that could have yielded fascinating developments beyond its 19-episode run. Before taking show-runner jobs on UPN’s ill-fated Star Trek: Enterprise and Fox’s 24, creator-writer-producer Manny Coto dreamed up this provocative pastiche of sci-fi ideas, connecting an end-of-the-world scenario with a time-travel twist and an alien invasion plot with X-Files overtones. You could argue that Coto’s reach exceeded his grasp, since none of these elements combine to form a fully satisfying whole (especially since the series was cancelled before it reached its intended conclusion), but there’s something to be said for the show’s entertaining tangents and unexpected complications. It all begins when the five-member crew of the space shuttle Odyssey witnesses the shocking implosion of the Earth, leaving them stranded and doomed to suffocate when their air supply is depleted. Instead, they are rescued by the Seeker (John Neville), a crystalline alien in human form, who sends them (or at least, their mental and spiritual essence) five years back in time, reunited with their physical bodies with a mission to discover what went wrong and save Earth from oblivion.

Peter Weller stars as the brash, foul-mouthed Commander Chuck Taggart, a seasoned flyboy whose 22-year-old computer-whiz son Neil (Christopher Gorham) must now cope with being physically 17 again, reliving high-school (including his first serious relationship) while investigating possible causes of Earth’s destruction. Along with geneticist Kurt Mendel (Sebastian Roché), shuttle pilot Angela Perry (Tamara Craig Thomas), and TV news reporter Sarah Forbes (Leslie Silva), their quest leads to the discovery of sentient nano-bots, synthetic humans, and a far-reaching conspiracy masterminded by a NASA splinter group secretly known as “the Cadre.” In his pilot episode commentary recorded with Weller in 2005, Coto outlines some of the ideas he would’ve developed had the series run longer, and these 19 episodes serve up plenty of surprises that hint at the series’ untapped potential. That makes Odyssey 5 both fun and frustrating–we’re left dangling with an unresolved cliffhanger–but the ensemble cast makes it worthwhile. While the writing skews toward juvenile silliness on some occasions (and veers into full-on comedy with guest star Ted Raimi in the entertaining episode “The Trouble with Harry”), it’s clear that Odyssey 5 was pushing conventional boundaries of TV science fiction. For that reason alone, it’s a shame it lacked the audience that would’ve warranted additional episodes. –Jeff Shannon

Miracles – The Complete Series

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
ABC’s Miracles had a sizable viewership during its brief 2002-2003 primetime run, but the network’s coverage of the Iraq war broke the show’s momentum, resulting in cancellation after a mere six episodes. Those half-dozen shows and seven more unaired stories are included in this boxed set, which certainly underscores the series’ unfulfilled promise as a kind of spiritually based version of The X-Files. Skeet Ulrich (Scream) stars as Paul Callan, an investigator of miracles for the Catholic Church. Demoralized and confused about his purpose in life, Paul takes a hiatus from his job, but is soon asked to check out claims about a dying young boy, Tommy Ferguson (Jacob Smith), with the power to heal. During his research, Paul has apocalyptic visions and is himself saved from death by Tommy, but the effort kills the latter. Tommy becomes a ghost who intermittently appears throughout the series with cryptic warnings about a coming “darkness.” Paul grapples with the meaning of that, as well as the significance of a phenomenon in which his own, spilled blood formed the words, “God Is Now Here.”

Enter Alva Keel (Angus Macfadyen, who played Robert the Bruce in Braveheart), a paranormal researcher convinced that scattered miracles recently occurring around the world point to a “large event” coming. Paul warily joins Alva’s team, which includes a former cop named Evelyn Santos (Marisa Ramirez). Together they investigate such supernatural oddities as the momentary disappearance of a commercial jet (the passengers subsequently live out their dreams), the possession of a paralysis victim by an entity, the spectral appearance of a dead girl prior to several disasters, and the co-existence of a Civil War-era past and present in a small town. The final episode, “Paul Is Dead,” is a particularly spooky tale (with an unexpected twist) in which our hero reaches into the afterlife to help, and be helped, by Tommy after Evelyn’s son goes missing. The series’ storylines are fairly comparable to the adventures of Mulder and Scully, with a lot of recognizable human pain and anguish dovetailing with the fantastic. Some of the elements of Miracles hadn’t quite come together by the 13th program–Alva, Paul and Evelyn never really feel like a cohesive unit–but the potential was certainly there and the writing was unusually strong. If Miracles is finally yet another lost opportunity on network television, at least there remains the strong showing represented in this set. –Tom Keogh
Product Description
The ABC network drama finally comes to DVD! Includes 7 Episodes Never Before Aired in the U.S.!

Paul Callan (Skeet Ulrich) is an investigator of modern miracles whose own faith becomes tested with each new mundane explanation. Then something happens that changes everything. A young boy with the power to heal saves Paul’s life — and pays for it with his own. But before the boy dies, they both see the words “God Is Now Here” written in Paul’s blood, launching Paul on an odyssey of paranormal investigation and spiritual awakening.

Paul finds a kindred spirit in a former Harvard professor turned investigator of the occult (Angus Macfadyen), who opens Paul’s eyes to the growing number of “strange occurrences” that may signal a much more sinister revelation. Teaming up with a former police officer (Marisa Ramirez), these investigators explore the unexplained and try to find a solution to the coming “darkness” before it’s too late.

Special Features include:
-Interview & Commentaries
-Deleted Scenes
-5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound

Jason of Star Command – The Complete Series

Product Details

Amazon Customer Review

“The time: the distant future. Man has reached the farther stars, but has also uncovered dark, mysterious galaxies. And, as Star Command heads into the unknown, danger lies in wait.”
Originally broadcast in the wake of the “Star Wars” phenomenon as a 15-minute live action segment of CBS’s “Tarzan and the Super 7” show during the 1978-1979 season, “Jason of Command” had proved to be so popular (and the most expensive Filmation series) it became a separate half-hour Saturday morning show a season later.
Set in the 22nd century, the “Space Academy” spinoff (utilizing the sets, costumes and props) featured Craig Littler as Jason, the Han Solo-esque space explorer vital to Star Command’s defense against the Dragonship attacks of deliciously evil “Master of the Cosmos” Dragos played by Sid Haig. Star Command itself was actually a special ops division of the Space Academy.
The supporting cast includes Susan O’Hanlon (“All My Children”) as computer expert Capt. Nicole Davidoff; James Doohan (TV’s “Star Trek”) as Season One Commander Canarvin; Charlie Dell as inventor Professor E.J. Parsafoot; Tamara Dobson (“Cleopatra Jones”) as Season Two super-strong alien telepath Samantha (replacing Nicole); and John Russell (“Pale Rider”) as Season Two blue-skinned Commander Stone (replacing Canarvin); plus outer space-ready pocket droid “Wiki” (W1K1), and Peepo the robot.
Though obviously inspired by Star Wars and Ray Harryhausen model animated epics, Jason of Star Command most closely resembled the sci-fi serials of the 1930s and 40s, with a single-storied overall first season told in 16 chapters. Unlike previous Filmation shows, the stories focused more on action (non-violent, of course) than education. Nonetheless, “Jason” still commands respect among those who fondly remember it as arguably Saturday morning’s most ambitious live action series this side of Battlestar Galactica.
Jason of Star Command – The Complete Series is 3-disc set featuring all 28 episodes in Full Frame (1.33:1) Video. BCI Eclipse even tracked down Jason himself Craig Littler, and got him to do commentary for the set! Special Features include:
* The all-new half-hour documentary, “The Adventures of Jason of Star Command,” featuring interviews with the producer, stars, and visual effects artists.
* Two commentary tracks for Season One episodes “Attack of the Dragonship” and “The Disappearing Man” hosted by Andy Mangels with executive producer Lou Scheimer, and actors Craig Littler and John Berwick.
* Special effects commentary track for Season Two episode “Beyond the Stars!” hosted by Andy Mangels with visual effects supervisor Chuck Comisky, stop motion animator Jim Aupperle, and live action creature effects artist John Carl Beuchler.
* Jason of Star Command special effects demo reel
* Extensive gallery of promotional photos
* Extensive gallery of behind the scenes photos
* Gallery of cast & crew renunion photos
* Art gallery style guide for proposed “Jason of Star Command” animated series
* Booklet with episode guide and trivia
* DVD-ROM scripts from the series
* Easter eggs
* More previews from Ink & Paint
Season One:
1. Attack of the Dragonship
2. Prisoner of Dragos
3. Escape from the Dragons
4. A Cry for Help
5. Wiki to the Rescue
6. Planet of the Lost
7. Marooned in Time
8. Attack of the Dragons
9. Peepo’s Last Chance
10. The Disappearing Man
11. The Haunted Planet
12. Escape from Kesh
13. Return of the Creature
14. Peepo on Trial
15. The Trojan Horse
16. The Victory of Star Command
Season Two:
1. Mission to the Stars
2. Frozen in Space
3. Web of the Star Witch
4. Beyond the Stars!
5. Secret of the Ancients
6. The Power of the Star Disk
7. Through the Stargate
8. Face to Face
9. Phantom Force
10. Little Girl Lost
11. Mimi’s Secret
12. Battle for Freedom”

Jupiter Moon: New Frontier (4pc)

Product Details

  • Actors: Jupiter Moon
  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 870 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
In the year 2050, mankind has reached out into the vastness of space, exploring the mysteries and dangers of the solar system. But to the teen and twenty-something students and staff on board the university space station Ilea, the wonders and perils of deep space must compete with the ups and downs of relationships and young romance. Collect all 150 interstellar episodes of this celebrated sci-fi series, each one more astronomically addictive than the next!

In This Collection: Episodes 1-36

Preparing for the big New Year’s party, life aboard the Ilea suddenly takes a dark turn when the crew discovers a black void racing through space, threatening to engulf the entire ship. Meanwhile, fear spreads when a student shows signs of a deadly virus and a harrowing rumor begins to spread that the ship is being attacked by a dreaded “Space Serpent.”

Jupiter Moon: Ghost in the Machine

Jupiter Moon: Pirates of Leda

 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World – Season One

Product Details

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Determined to prove the existence of The Lost World, dashing adventurer and scholar Professor Edward Challenger mounts a British expedition team consisting of a mismatched group of enthusiasts, all with less than selfless reasons for making the journey. Traveling through the uncharted Amazon jungle to this prehistoric plateau, the group encounters incredible adventures: tribal headhunters, vicious ape men, giant crocodiles, and terrifying dinosaurs! This thrilling spectacle from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, brings cliffhanging action into your home with this special box set! 22 action-packed, one-hour episodes the entire first season of this exciting TV hit! As seen on WGN and in National Syndication Still a Viewer Favorite from Coast to Coast! Dinosaurs Are Huge Business! Market to fans of the Jurassic Park series and Walking with Dinosaurs From Executive Producer John Landis, Creator of An American Werewolf in London and National Lampoon’s Animal House Eye-Catching Deluxe Slimcase Packaging with Collectible Artwork! Each DVD case highlights a different personality from the TV program. Episodes include: The Journey Begins, Stranded, More than Human, Nectar, Cave of Fear, Salvation, Blood Lust, Out of Time, Paradise Found, The Beast Within, Creatures of the Dark, Tribute, Absolute Power, Camelot, Unnatural Selection, Time After Time, Prodigal Father, Birthright, Resurrection, Prophecy, The Chosen One, Barbarians at the Gate.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World - Season Two

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World – Season Two

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World - Season Three

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World – Season Three

Relic Hunter

Product Details

  • Directors: Jonathan Hackett (III), John Bell (XI), Wade Eastwood
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Limited Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rating:
  • Studio: KOCH VISION
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 1080 minutes

Amazon Customer Reviews

All those who missed the adventure and humor of the fun serials and “B” pictures of the 1930’s embraced this wonderful show from the very beginning and remained loyal until its final episode. Tia Carrere was wonderful as the college professor who spent more time chasing down lost artifacts than she did in the classroom.
While it would have been easy to go too far with a female lead in what would decades ago have surely been a male role, Hawaiin native Carrere always managed to remain feminine while getting the best of others after the same object, or in some cases, Sydney herself. There was a terrific if small supporting cast we came to really like just as much as Sydney.
Christien Anholt’s character, Nigel Bailey, always brought charm and humor to the role of Sydney Fox’s assistant. And Lindy Booth was fabulous as the daffy blonde secretary, Claudia, you loved in spite of her unorthodox mind. Though Booth was missed by fans when she left the show, Tanja Reichert grew into her role as Karen Petrusky, the voluptuous and not so daffy secretary who seemed to have a spark with Nigel.
Whether it was caves or jungles or rickety old planes and snakes, it was fun each week to escape for an hour with old and likable friends. It was what television is supposed to be but seldom is anymore. It bordered on camp at times but never crossed the line.
While it is true that not everything we fans would like to have been included on this set has been, it is still sweet that it is available at all. While every network show under the sun seems to be released on DVD as of late, many fine syndicated shows such as “One West Waikiki” have been completely ignored. We can just be grateful to have a little time with Sydney and the gang thanks to its availability.
Those looking for serial and “B” movie type adventure will find as much here as they can handle. A fun and delightful show.

RELIC HUNTER EPISODES IN PROPER ORDER
SEASON ONE
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH-DISC TWO
ETCHED IN STONE-DISC THREE
THE BOOK OF LOVE-DISC THREE
A GOOD YEAR-DISC FOUR
THE LAST KNIGHT-DISC FOUR
LOVE LETTER-DISC FOUR
POSSESSED-DISC FIVE
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH-DISC FOUR
MEMORIES OF MONTMARTE-DISC FIVE
SEASON TWO
LAST OF THE MOHICAS-DISC ONE
THE LEGEND OF THE LOST-DISC ONE
FERTILE GROUND-DISC ONE
GYPSY JIGSAW-DISC ONE
THREE RIVERS TO CROSS-DISC ONE
ROMAN HOLIDAY-DISC TWO
CROSS OF VOODOO-DISC TWO
LOST CONTACT-DISC TWO
THE REEL THING-DISC TWO
M.I.A.-DISC FOUR
OUT OF THE PAST-DISC THREE
EYES OF THE TOKLAMANEE-DISC THREE
RUN SYDNEY RUN-DISC THREE

Note:  This is apparently NOT the entire show – it’s a pick of the best so to speak.

Bionic Woman - Volume One

Bionic Woman – Volume One

Product Details

  • Actors: Michelle Ryan
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 338 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Join one of TV’s most stunning breakout heroines as the action-packed series Bionic Woman leaps into DVD! From executive producer David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) comes this gripping re-imagining of the universally beloved character.

Jamie Sommers is a hard-working woman struggling to take care of her younger sister. But after a serious, life-threatening accident, Jamie is saved by a top-secret procedure that makes her much more than just an ordinary woman…it makes her superhumanly bionic. Starring hot newcomer Michelle Ryan, as well as Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan), Molly Price (Third Watch), Will Yun Lee (Witchblade), Lucy Kate Hale (How I Met Your Mother), and guest stars Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), it’s a non-stop thrill ride unlike anything you’ve seen before!

The Invisible Man: Season One

Product Details

  • Actors: Vincent Ventresca, Invisible Man, Matt Greenberg
  • Format: Anamorphic, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 1056 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
The sensational sci-fi series that has to be seen to be believed, The Invisible Man is now available on DVD for the first time ever! Join con man-turned-covert-op-specialist Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca) in 23 gripping Season One episodes, including the two-hour TV-length pilot, as he undergoes a top-secret invisibility experiment by the “Agency.” As he takes on spy networks, assassins and lethal weapons cases, Darien must come to terms with the “Quicksilver madness” and physical outbursts that are unexpected side effects of his special abilities. Co-starring Paul Ben-Victor (Entourage) and Shannon Kenny (7th Heaven), this suspenseful action series has intrigue, humor and futuristic weaponry that you’ll want to “see” again and again!

Painkiller Jane (6pc)

Product Details

  • Actors: Painkiller Jane
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating:
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 1029 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Kristanna Loken of Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and Bloodrayne stars as Jane Vasco, a tough-yet-sexy DEA agent recruited by a covert government unit to hunt superhuman neurological aberrations known as Neuros who can do dangerous things with their minds. But when Jane discovers that she herself can
rapidly heal from any injury, she begins to investigate her own disturbing background. In this sole season of the Sci Fi Channel series, Jane and her team
battle assassins, arsonists, time loops, prison breaks, mythical beasts, undead armies, killer hallucinations and more, all in a bullet-riddled world  of the very near future where nothing may be what it seems …and pain is always a bitch.

Painkiller Is A Thriller!
Kristanna Loken Kicks Ass!
StuffMagazine.com

The Invaders – The First Season

Product Details

  • Actors: Invaders
  • Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 6, 2008
  • Run Time: 869 minutes

Amazon Customer Review

“When I was a kid, this show truly terrified me and DID give me nightmares – but I loved it anyway! Now, at long last, the original, iconic Sci-Fi TV Classic “The Invaders” is being released on DVD in boxed season sets. The first 17 episodes have been gathered in the initial DVD release.
The Invaders, which premiered on ABC in 1967, starred Roy Thinnes. It was a mid-season replacement show that was an hour-long, full-color science fiction thriller that sadly lasted only 43 episodes. Families across the country truly gathered around their TV sets when the series aired on Tuesday’s at 8:30 p.m. to see what happened next.
The show opened with an unforgettable and chilling narration: “The Invaders, a Quinn Martin Production starring Roy Thinnes as architect David Vincent. The Invaders – alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination – the Earth. Their purpose: to make it `their’ world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed, deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now, David Vincent knows that the Invaders are here; that they have taken human form. Somehow, he must convince a disbelieving world, that the nightmare has already begun…”
Voice talents were Hank Simms, who was the introductory narrator, and William Woodson who was episode narrator for the entire series.
In the first episode, Vincent is driving home at night after working a long, tiring day. He turns onto what he believes is a shortcut, then down the dark, isolated road. Unexpectedly, he ends up at Bud’s Cafe, situated in a ghost town. Exhausted, he decides to park to rest for a while before continuing home. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, something wakes him: a strange glowing object is “landing” in front of his eyes.
Leaving his car and edging forward, he sees the advance army of what he learns is an alien invasion. From that moment forward, he tries to warn a skeptical world that there are aliens in their midst masquerading as humans. At the same time, he struggles to stay alive – because not only had he seen the aliens, but they had seen him!
While the premise seems simple in this day and age, the series had such great production values, flawless acting by Thinnes, fantastically creepy music by Dominic Frontiere, use of creative and intentionally distorted camera work, and even weird title credits by Wayne Fitzgerald, that it really did scare the wits out of legions of fans. In addition, the true form of the Invaders was never shown, so viewers’ imaginations were encouraged to run wild, an effective creative device that has been sadly abandoned in this “show everything no matter what” Internet age.
As the series progressed, Vincent was able to identify some Invaders through certain characteristics, and he also learned that their human forms were unstable and had to be “regenerated” occasionally, or they would perish.
In 1995, there was a feeble attempt to resurrect the show in a mini-series starring Scott Bakula as Nolan Wood, with an appearance by Thinnes.
“The Invaders” remains so popular that in 2004 the character of David Vincent was ranked No. 6 in TV Guide’s list of the Twenty-Five Greatest Sci-Fi Legends.
It may not be coincidental that The Invaders seems an intriguing mix of the Sci-Fi film masterpiece “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the TV Classic drama “The Fugitive,” which was also produced by the brilliant Quinn Martin, who also produced The Untouchables, and The Streets of San Francisco, to name a few.
Episodes included in this boxed set are: Beachhead; The Experiment; The Mutation; The Leeches; Genesis; Vikor; Nightmare; Doomsday Minus One; Quantity: Unknown; The Innocent; The Ivy Curtain; The Betrayed; Storm; Panic; Moonshot; Wall of Crystal; The Condemned.
Let’s hope the remainder of this fantastic series will be quickly released on DVD.”

Farscape - The Complete First Season

Farscape – The Complete First Season

Product Details

  • Directors: Tony Tilse, Ian Watson (II), Geoff Bennett (II)
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 11
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Adv Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 29, 2002
  • Run Time: 1100 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Farscape is genre television at its most ambitious, inspired both by the cult appeal of Babylon 5 and the continuing success of the Star Trek franchise, but taking a visual and conceptual leap beyond those shows. Making extensive use of CGI, prosthetics, and state-of-the-art puppetry, courtesy of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the Farscape concept has a freshness that makes it look and feel completely original. Among the first season’s 22 episodes, “Premiere” introduces the characters and the basic premise: American astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) is flung through a wormhole and comes out in the midst of an interstellar prison escape on the other side of the universe. When the galactic cops (called “Peacekeepers”) mark him as the new public enemy number one, Crichton is forced to ally himself with the convicts: hulking warrior D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), blue-skinned priest Zhaan (Virginia Hey), fugitive peacekeeper Aeryn (Claudia Black), exiled king Rygel (Jonathan Hardy), and Pilot, the giant insectlike nerve center of their living ship, Moya.

In the action-packed and stylishly directed “Throne for a Loss,” a race of mercenary criminals called the Tavleks kidnap the imperious Rygel. “PK Tech Girl” and “That Old Black Magic” feature a peek into the pasts of Rygel and Zhaan as they hide from the fleets of Peacekeeper soldiers in the galactic frontier known as the Uncharted Territories. Leading toward the climax of the show’s first season, “Nerve” and “The Hidden Memory” make for a bold two-parter that reunites Crichton with his Peacekeeper Tech girlfriend, Gilina, and introduces the dreaded Scorpius, who uses his Aurora Chair torture device to extract what he mistakenly believes is vital knowledge from Crichton. The final episode, “Family Ties,” ends with a cliffhanger guaranteed to bring viewers back for more, as the duplicitous Rygel plans to turn traitor, which eventually leaves the fates of Crichton and D’Argo up for grabs and Moya’s young offspring under the control of the conflicted villain Crais, among other developments.

Farscape – The Complete Second Season

Farscape – The Complete Third Season

Farscape – The Complete Fourth Season

Farscape – The Peacekeeper Wars

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Wayne Pygram
  • Directors: Brian Henson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, Miniseries, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating:
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2005
  • Run Time: 182 minutes

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
Created at least in part due to popular demand, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars will provide some closure to fans who were dismayed by the demise of the popular science fiction television show in 2003 and campaigned mightily to bring it back. Indeed, this miniseries (originally broadcast over two nights on the Sci-Fi Channel) will likely appeal primarily to the Farscape faithful, as the somewhat convoluted storyline may prove baffling to the uninitiated.

A brief bit of backstory explains how John Crichton, an astronaut from Earth, went through a wormhole and ended up on Moya, a living spaceship, with a motley group of aliens, including D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe), Chiana (Gigi Edgley), various puppet characters (designed by the Jim Henson Company), and Aeryn (Claudia Black), Crichton’s love interest, who’s expecting their first child. As The Peacekeeper Wars begins, our heroes find themselves in the middle of a war-to-end-all-wars between the lizard-like, implacably evil Scarrans and their rivals, the Peacekeepers. Crichton is the lynchpin in all of this, as his knowledge of “wormhole technology” is coveted by all, including his old nemesis Scorpius (Wayne Pygram), who captured and tortured Crichton back in season 1 and with whom Crichton must now form an uneasy alliance against the Scarrans.

Over the course of the three-hour miniseries, we get lots of weird- and cool-looking aliens, some nice sets and special effects, plenty of battles, and lots of portentous talk about the fate of the universe–nothing especially original, but all presented with outstanding production values. There’s drama and action, love and betrayal, tragedy and triumph, war and, ultimately, peace, with a suitably spectacular ending (and a nod to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey). With a 30-minute “making of” documentary among the DVD special features, The Peacekeeper Wars is a fitting way to end the Farscape saga. –Sam Graham

Voyagers TV on DVD

Voyagers DVD – Season 1

DVD SPECS
Video Format: Normal Screen
Special Features: None
Menu’s Yes (Interactive Menu for quick and easy
episode selection)
Commercials: None
Language Tracks: English
Subtitle Tracks: None
Rating: Not Rated
Product Packaging: Standard DVD Cases with
Professional, Full Color Artwork
Region Code: 0 (Region-Free – Plays Worldwide)
DVD Format: Format-Free DVD-R (Plays in both
PAL and NTSC DVD players)

Voyagers was debuted on the 3rd of October 1982 and ended on the 31st of July 1983. The series has only one (1) season and twenty (20) episodes. It follows the exploit of one of the members of time travelers known as Voyagers.
Phineas Bogg portrayed by Jon-Erik Hexum, a twenty-five (25) years old time traveler and help the history along and give it a push when it’s needed. He has done all the jobs with the help of the Omni, a time machine that is a pocket watch sized and with a temporal boundary of as far ahead as 1970 but unfortunately it malfunctioned and he land in an apartment where a little boy named Jeffrey Jones portrayed by Meeno Peluce and his aunt and uncle lived. Jeffrey accidentally fell on the window and Phineas saves him that causes the activation of the Omni and that they travel on a different time. Unfortunately Bogg’s guidebook was grabbed by Jeffrey’s dog and so Jeffrey became his historian guide as he has a lack of knowledge about history. And together they do the job.

  • The Voyagers DVD is a collection of 10 DVDs in a 2 box set as shown above, all episodes are organize from pilot to finale.
  • The Voyagers DVD collection also includes custom artwork and episode guides so you can find your favorite episode at anytime
  • The Voyagers DVD collection are formatted region free so they will play on any DVD player, DVD-ROM X-Box or PS2 Worldwide
  • All DVDs are presented in full screen, commercial free and unedited. Exactly the same as it was shown in American television.
  • Presented in English
  • This item has not been rated

Newbery Winning Books for Teens and Pre-teens

 

The following books are Newbery Winners.  Note that many of these books are required reading in classes or were.  Parents may recall some of the older ones.  Here are two excellent comments on reading such books:

As an elementary school librarian, I think it’s informative to read all the reviews found here. It can be summed up that readers either like or dislike … Newbery Award winning book[s]. There is no middle ground.

However, one should pay attention to the many negative reviews by “bored” students. It’s my opinion that these students were probably not sufficiently prepared to read th[ese … somewhat challenging–stor[ies]. If a teacher just passes this book out, or says, “Go read a Newbery book,” then I don’t blame them for yawning.”

“As for complaints about this book: Note that virtually all of them say that it was a schoolwork book; once again, we have disgruntled students seeking “revenge” on a non-fluff book that they had to read. This is not a book that should be assigned, but a book that should be selected individually. Don’t read it just because it’s a Newbery, read it if you can handle it!”

As for my take, check the story line, the date of publication, and for earlier books, check some reviews – some of the book reflect the times and have racial stereotypes or other offensive things to today’s readers.  For those books, give them to mature readers, who can handle the challenge and explain and discuss some of the book’s shortcomings in these areas and why – the books are still deserving and should not be discarded because of attitudes that existed during that time – it is the same as discarding huckleberry Finn – a form of book censorship, in my opinion.  But the first one has nothing to complain about – it is a family favorite.

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo

Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread (Tale of Despereaux)

Ages 6 and up.  “Kate DiCamillo, author of the Newbery Honor book Because of Winn-Dixie, spins a tidy tale of mice and men where she explores the “powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous” nature of love, hope, and forgiveness. Her old-fashioned, somewhat dark story, narrated “Dear Reader”-style, begins “within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse.” Despereaux Tilling, the new baby mouse, is different from all other mice. Sadly, the romantic, unmouselike spirit that leads the unusually tiny, large-eared mouse to the foot of the human king and the beautiful Princess Pea ultimately causes him to be banished by his own father to the foul, rat-filled dungeon.

The first book of four tells Despereaux’s sad story, where he falls deeply in love with Princess Pea and meets his cruel fate. The second book introduces another creature who differs from his peers–Chiaroscuro, a rat who instead of loving the darkness of his home in the dungeon, loves the light so much he ends up in the castle& in the queen’s soup. The third book describes young Miggery Sow, a girl who has been “clouted” so many times that she has cauliflower ears. Still, all the slow-witted, hard-of-hearing Mig dreams of is wearing the crown of Princess Pea. The fourth book returns to the dungeon-bound Despereaux and connects the lives of mouse, rat, girl, and princess in a dramatic denouement.

Children whose hopes and dreams burn secretly within their hearts will relate to this cast of outsiders who desire what is said to be out of their reach and dare to break “never-to-be-broken rules of conduct.” Timothy Basil Ering’s pencil illustrations are stunning, reflecting DiCamillo’s extensive light and darkness imagery as well as the sweet, fragile nature of the tiny mouse hero who lives happily ever after. (Ages 9 and older).”  Amazon [Newbery Winner 2004]

Out Of The Dust by by Karen Hesse

 Out Of The Dust (Apple Signature Edition)

Ages 12 and up.  “Like the Oklahoma dust bowl from which she came, 14-year-old narrator Billie Jo writes in sparse, free-floating verse. In this compelling, immediate journal, Billie Jo reveals the grim domestic realities of living during the years of constant dust storms: That hopes–like the crops–blow away in the night like skittering tumbleweeds. That trucks, tractors, even Billie Jo’s beloved piano, can suddenly be buried beneath drifts of dust. Perhaps swallowing all that grit is what gives Billie Jo–our strong, endearing, rough-cut heroine–the stoic courage to face the death of her mother after a hideous accident that also leaves her piano-playing hands in pain and permanently scarred.

Meanwhile, Billie Jo’s silent, windblown father is literally decaying with grief and skin cancer before her very eyes. When she decides to flee the lingering ghosts and dust of her homestead and jump a train west, she discovers a simple but profound truth about herself and her plight. There are no tight, sentimental endings here–just a steady ember of hope that brightens Karen Hesse’s exquisitely written and mournful tale. Hesse won the 1998 Newbery Award for this elegantly crafted, gut-wrenching novel, and her fans won’t want to miss The Music of Dolphins or Letters from Rifka. (Ages 9 and older),”  Amazon

The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman

Ages 12 and up.  “Karen Cushman likes to write with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, and her feisty female characters firmly planted in history. In The Midwife’s Apprentice, which earned the 1996 Newbery Medal, this makes a winning combination for children and adult readers alike. Like her award-winning book Catherine, Called Birdy, the story takes place in medieval England. This time our protagonist is Alyce, who rises from the dung heap (literally) of homelessness and namelessness to find a station in life–apprentice to the crotchety, snaggletoothed midwife Jane Sharp. On Alyce’s first solo outing as a midwife, she fails to deliver. Instead of facing her ignorance, Alyce chooses to run from failure–never a good choice. Disappointingly, Cushman does not offer any hardships or internal wrestling to warrant Alyce’s final epiphanies, and one of the book’s climactic insights is when Alyce discovers that lo and behold she is actually pretty! Still, Cushman redeems her writing, as always, with historical accuracy, saucy dialogue, fast-paced action, and plucky, original characters that older readers will eagerly devour. (Ages 12 and older).”  Amazon

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Ages 12 and up.  “Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle’s mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Salamanca tells a story to pass the time about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. One of them read, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” Despite her father’s warning that she is “fishing in the air,” Salamanca hopes to bring her home. By drawing strength from her Native American ancestry, she is able to face the truth about her mother. Walk Two Moons won the 1995 Newbery Medal.”  Amazon

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

The Giver

Ages 12 and up.  “In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.”  Amazon

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant

Missing May

Ages 9 and up.  “This wonderful book revolves around a few delightfully named characters: Summer, Uncle Ob, Aunt May and Cletus Underwood. After being passed among relatives, Summer joins her aunt and uncle and marvels at the couple’s deep love for one another. But after Aunt May dies, Summer and Uncle Ob are brought together in their struggles to come to terms with the death. Cletus, a neighbor boy, comes along to help provide an answer. This simple and sweet story, which won the Newbery Medal in 1993, is injected with just the right touches of humor and mysticism.”  Amazon

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sis

Ages 9-12.  “With his flair for persuading readers to believe in the ridiculous, Fleischman scores a hit with his new creation. Sis’s skillful pictures emphasize events in the adventures of the orphan Jemmy, kept in his king’s palace to be thrashed for the offenses committed by the royal heir, known as Prince Brat. It is forbidden to punish Brat, whose tricks multiply until Jemmy is tempted to escape the daily round of flogging. But the prince himself takes off and forces the whipping boy to go with him. As they get into and out of trouble on the outside, Jemmy hears that he has been accused of abducting Brat. When the prince arranges for their return to the palace, poor Jemmy fears the worst, but things turn out for the best at the story’s satisfying close. Colorful types like a thief called Hold-Your-Nose Billy, Betsy and her dancing bear Petunia, et al., increase the fun.”  Publishers Weekly  [Newbery Winner 1987]

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Dear Mr. Henshaw (rpkg) (HarperClassics)

Ages 9-12.  “When, in second grade, Leigh writes to an author to tell him how much he “licked” his book, he never suspects that he’ll still be writing to him four years later. And he never imagines the kinds of things he’ll be writing about:

Dear Mr. Henshaw, I am sorry I was rude in my last letter… Maybe I was mad about other things, like Dad forgetting to send this month’s support payment. Mom tried to phone him at the trailer park where, as Mom says, he hangs his hat.

It’s not easy being the new kid in town, with recently divorced parents, no dog anymore, and a lunch that gets stolen every day (all the “good stuff,” anyway). Writing letters, first to the real Mr. Henshaw, and then in a diary to a pretend Mr. Henshaw, may be just what he needs.

This Newbery Medal-winning book [1984], by the terrifically popular and prolific Beverly Cleary (Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Runaway Ralph), exhibits a subtlety and sensitivity that will be appreciated by any youngster who feels lonely and troubled during the transition into adolescence. Winner of numerous other awards, including two Newbery Honors, Cleary teams up with Caldecott winner Paul O. Zelinsky, who creates a quiet backdrop for the realistic characters. (Ages 8 to 12)

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Ages 9 and up.  “I highly recommend this novel. It deals with difficult, but very real and raw emotions between siblings. The author Katherine Paterson is one of the best story tellers that young people of this generation can read and understand. The story has everything! A tale of family relationships, and rivalry between twins, set in the 1940’s era in the Chesapeake Bay. I enjoyed this book for it’s dramatic intensity, fullness of the characterizations, believability, and honest dealing with many teen issues. Also, it took place in a locale that we don’t usually read about. I will never forget these characters. Paterson is a wonderful writer. I read this book to catch up on children’s lit for the age group I will be teaching this coming school year. Fifth graders on up should really read this book. They will certainly come away enriched. I discovered Paterson after reading her riveting “Bridge to Terabithia”, another must read.”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner  1981]

The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising Sequence) by Susan Cooper

The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising Sequence)

Ages 9-12.  “”The Dark Is Rising” is a hard book to top, but Susan Cooper nearly matches it in “Grey King,” the fourth book of her Dark is Rising Sequence, A stunning, atmospheric Welsh fantasy tinged with Arthurian legend, it also introduces one of the most important and unusual characters in this classic series.

In the aftermath of a nasty case of hepatitis, Will Stanton has temporarily forgotten his mission from the Light: to recover a golden harp, with the help of the “raven boy” and “silver eyes that see the wind.” When his family sends him to Wales to recover from the illness, he regains his memory when he meets an albino boy his own age named Bran — which means “raven.” Bran’s mother “Gwenny” vanished many years before, and his stepfather has devoted himself to religion and penitance. Bran’s only friend is the silver-eyed dog Cafall.
Will acquaints his new friend with more information about the battle with the Dark, while Bran acquaints him with information about Wales that can help Will find the golden harp, and wake the Sleepers under the hill. But the malevolent Grey King is spying on them with magical warestones and trying to wrest the harp from Will. To stop the Grey King, Will must learn the secret of Bran’s past and evade the dangerous farmer Caradog Pritchard…

Atmosphere is thick and enticing in “Grey King” — Cooper has clearly come a long way from the fluffier “Over Sea Under Stone.” This book, unlike “Greenwitch,” does not handle the Drew family, or even much about Merriman: it’s all about Bran and Will, who are given equal parts of the plotline. Though there are many other characters, these two are the core of the story.

Here the Arthurian theme, which has been present in a smaller way throughout the series, becomes more pronounced and integral. Cooper continues interweaving mythic elements into it, such as the Sleepers, Cafall the dog, and the Brenin Llwyd. Fans of mythology and other mythic-themed stories such as the Prydain Chronicles will have a heyday.

Will is very much like he is in “Greenwitch” — sometimes he’s an ordinary preteen boy who starts yelling “Achtung!” at the top of his lungs, and sometimes he is the wise and ancient Old One, with knowledge he learned from the book of Gramarye. Bran is an instantly sympathetic character, a very ordinary boy with an extraordinay past; he, like Will in the second book, gradually grows into a unique and more powerful person. Caradog Pritchard will inspire disgust from his first appearance onward, while the tragic Owen Davies will gain the sympathy of the readers despite his insulated life.

Perhaps the worst thing about reading “Grey King” is the knowledge that there is only one more book in this series. But if that book is half as good as “Grey King,” then it will be quite a ride before the end.”  Amazon Customer Review [Newbery Winner 1976]

Others in the Dark is Rising series:

Over Sea, Under Stone

The Dark Is Rising

Greenwitch

The Grey King

Silver on the Tree

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Is_Rising_Sequence for more information on this marvelous series

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien and Zena Bernstein

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (Aladdin Fantasy)

Ages 9-12.  “There’s something very strange about the rats living under the rosebush at the Fitzgibbon farm. But Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with a sick child, is in dire straits and must turn to these exceptional creatures for assistance. Soon she finds herself flying on the back of a crow, slipping sleeping powder into a ferocious cat’s dinner dish, and helping 108 brilliant, laboratory-enhanced rats escape to a utopian civilization of their own design, no longer to live “on the edge of somebody else’s, like fleas on a dog’s back.”

This unusual novel, winner of the Newbery Medal (among a host of other accolades) snags the reader on page one and reels in steadily all the way through to the exhilarating conclusion. Robert O’Brien has created a small but complete world in which a mother’s concern for her son overpowers her fear of all her natural enemies and allows her to make some extraordinary discoveries along the way. O’Brien’s incredible tale, along with Zena Bernstein’s appealing ink drawings, ensures that readers will never again look at alley rats and field mice in the same way. (Ages 9 to 12).  Amazon [Newbery Winner 1972]

Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

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Ages 12 and up.  “Sara is a teenage girl with lots of reasons to be angry. Her mother is dead, her father has left her to be raised by her aunt, her older sister seems prettier and more mature, and her younger brother Charlie is mentally retarded. She often feels put upon to look after Charlie when nobody else wants to. On top of all this, she is having the worst summer vacation ever. She learns to see her world with new eyes, though, when Charlie disappears one day.
Author Betsy Byars presents an effective and believable character in Sara and writes convincingly from Charlie’s point of view. Her fine short novel makes the point that the most precious things in our lives are the people we see every day, even though we might believe that they make our lives miserable.”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Medal 1971]

The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander

The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain)

Ages 8 and up.  “Since The Book of Three was first published in 1964, young readers have been enthralled by the adventures of Taran the Assistant Pig-keeper and his quest to become a hero. Taran is joined by an engaging cast of characters that includes Eilonwy, the strong-willed and sharp-tongued princess; Fflewddur Fflam, the hyperbole-prone bard; the ever-faithful Gurgi; and the curmudgeonly Doli–all of whom become involved in an epic struggle between good and evil that shapes the fate of the legendary land of Prydain.Released over a period of five years, Lloyd Alexander’s beautifully written tales not only captured children’s imaginations but also garnered the highest critical praise.

The Black Cauldron was a Newbery Honor Book, and the final volume in the chronicles, The High King, crowned the series by winning the Newbery Medal for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. “Henry Holt is proud to present this classic series to a new generation of young readers. Jackets have been handsomely redesigned while retaining the original art of Caldecott Medal-winning artist Evaline Ness. Each retypeset volume now includes a pronunciation guide prepared by Lloyd Alexander.  A companion book of short stories, The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain, is also available in hardcover for the first time in twenty years. In their more than thirty years in print, the Chronicles of Prydain have become the standard of excellence in fantasy literature for children.”  Book Description [Newbery Winner 1969]

Other in the Chronicles of Prydain series are:

The Book of Three

The Black Cauldron

The Castle of Llyr  

The Castle of Llyr (The Chronicles of Prydain) (Hardcover)

Taran Wanderer

The High King

The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain) (Hardcover)

The Foundling: And Other Tales of Prydain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronicles_of_Prydain

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton De Trevino

I, Juan de Pareja (Sunburst Book)

Ages 12 and up.  “Based on “thin threads” of truth, “I, Juan de Pareja” explores the relationship between famous 17th-century Spanish painter Diego Velazquez and his black slave, Juan de Pareja. Written in first person as if Juan is really telling his story, it is the chronicle of much of Juan’s life and and his colorful experiences as apprentice to a master painter.

There are many excellent aspects of this book, yet I think that the “strength” of the character of Juan is the book’s biggest asset. Many books that are simply first person narratives are dry and boring, yet one could never complain of boredom while reading “I, Juan de Pareja.” Juan’s intelligence shines through in every page and his intuitiveness fills the book with detail. Also, his struggle to paint (because Spanish slaves at the time were forbidden to practice the arts) is fascinating, suspenseful, and ultimately inspiring. This book would not be a 5-star read without a strong character like Juan.

Historical detail also adds great richness to the book. Author de Trevino has captured the mood of 17th century Spain perfectly, and her accounts of Juan’s Italian travels fascinate the reader as well. Art facts and descriptions are well-placed, and the reader will find themselves interested in the rich history presented in the book, rather than bored by it.

Furthermore, supporting characters are excellent! The portrayal of Diego Velazquez was well-imagined by the author, and the master painter’s comments ring with insight and truth. The nobles, the painter’s family, the Spanish king, Dutch painter Ruebens…they all come to life in “I, Juan de Pareja.”

Finally, the end of the book is triumphant and fitting. I can’t say much more without spoiling the book, but trust me, it’s one of the most well-done endings you could find. It is hard to find a single flaw in this book. Vibrant history, excellent characters…why aren’t more people reading this book?”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1966] 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time

Ages 9-12.  “I’ve had a beautiful edition of this book sitting on my book shelf for the longest time, continuing to call out to read me, and I finally pulled it down and did, to find a sweet magical tale cloaked around religious allegory. It wasn’t until I was three quarters of the way through that I remembered first seeing it as a child in our church’s library, nestled next to the C.S. Lewis Narnia books, and now I know why. That’s not to say it pounds you over the head with anything. Quite the contrary, aside form a few vague references to God it plays as a simple magic story of a young girl who’s Father has disappeared, and she and her brother and friend go to rescue him after being visited by three spectral old ladies. The book has a dated quality to it, feeling very representative of the psychadelic 60s especially in it’s vivid descriptions of the other worlds they travel to, however that only adds to it’s charms as a classic of children’s literature. And whatever you glean form the story, religious or otherwise, its a sweet tale for children and adults alike.”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1963]

Note:  Although this book dates back to 1963, and has some religious allegory, it, like Chronicles of Narnia, has been a perennial favorite of kids for generations.  I know my kids loved the series, and they are not religious in the least.

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

The Bronze Bow

Ages 14 and up.  “I was first introduced to this book in my 8th grade English class. I enjoyed it so much then, I went out and read the author’s other books. I recently picked this one up again and was amazed at how powerful it still was to me.

The story concerns Daniel, a young Jew at the time of Christ. He has an intense hatred of the Romans and lives with in an outlaw band in the hills. When his grandmother dies, he must move to the village to take care of his sister while trying to continue his life’s mission of driving the Romans back to Rome. He is drawn to the miracle worker, but just doesn’t know what he truly thinks about him. Is he the Messiah sent to free them from the Romans? And will his sister ever recover?

Ms. Speare was able to create a complex plot that is simple enough for her target age to understand, but still captivating to adults. I got so caught up in the events when I was rereading that I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this children’s novel to readers of all ages.  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1962] 

Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark

Ages 9-12.  “Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark is a marvelous children’s novel which can be very important reading for children. The beautiful novel certainly earned its Newbery Medal.

The novel is the story of Cusi. He is an Inca boy who has been raised in a remote valley of the Andes mountain range by an old man, Chuto. Cusi is of royal Inca blood, but this is four hundred years after the Spanish conquest. Cusi has been raised in the traditional Inca manner. The plot of the novel concerns Cusi’s search for himself. He has been raised without a “family” (at least in the traditional sense), and he is sent from the valley, with the companionship of his pet llama, to find his path in the world, a task that he sees as finding himself a family. The world Cusi goes into is one which is very different from the one he has been raised in because the Spanish culture has become predominant. Then, Cusi is forced to come to terms with his own way of life and with what his concept of “family” should be.

Secret of the Andes is an amazing book. I think that it can be extremely important in helping children to understand the view-point of Native Americans and helping them to understand Native American literature later in life. I also found that this novel was, in ways, similar to adult novels like Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. It aids in this understanding through a fairly simple story of a young, regular boy who can be related to. Ann Nolan Clark really created a masterpiece with Secret of the Andes.”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1953] 

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli

The Door in the Wall (Books for Young Readers)

Ages 9-15.  “A Newbery Award Medal Winner and winner of the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, The Door in the Wall is an excellent book about finding your own way.

Robin’s father is off fighting for the king, his mother is lady-in-waiting to the queen and the plague is sweeping through London. Robin finds himself alone and unable to use his legs; he tries to be brave as a knight should be, but he’s scared and feeling bad for himself. When Brother Luke finds him and brings him to the hospice, he tells Robin that if he comes to a wall, and follows the wall far enough, he will find a door. Robin doesn’t understand what this means, but he trusts the friar and learns from him.

Robin’s wall is that he’s unable to walk alone and his worries that he’ll let his father down because he cannot become a knight. With the help of the friars, he finds his door in that wall and becomes stronger, just in time. The castle of Lindsay is under seige and Robin is the only one who can save them all.
The language is old-fashioned and there’s a sentence or two that were difficult for me to make sense of, so that might be a barrier for the young reader. Still, more than worth the time it took to read, even for adults!”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1950]

Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski

Ages (listed) 9-12.  “I hereby nominate Lois Lenski’s 1946 Newbery Award winning book, “Strawberry Girl” for the Most-Misleading-Cover-Art-And-Title Award of the 20th century. Picking up this story, I was fairly certain that this tale would be a cutesy little number about a girl who picks strawberries for fun. On the cover, after all, you see a little blond barefooted child clutching a cache of yummy red fruit as she walks along in her sunbonnet. I was anticipating Strawberry Shortcake. What I got was “Tobacco Road” for kids. An oddly shocking delight.

Lenski prefaces this book with an explanation of Florida “Crackers”. Personally, I’ve never heard this term used as anything but a base insult. Lenski, however, seems to think that the phrase is deserving of pride. Concentrating on the hardworking rural natives of Florida, she gives a little background on the history of these people in an effort to, “present vivid, sympathetic pictures of the real life of different Americans, against authentic backgrounds of diverse localities”. In this case, Lenski interviewed “Crackers” on her own time and used their stories (watered down, as was appropriate) to write this book. The result is a seething concoction of barely contained violence and danger, centered on the lives of two very different Florida Cracker families.

The Boyers have just moved into the old Roddenberry house, and they’ve got big plans. Originally from Marion County, Carolina, the family attempts to settle into their new life and make friends with their neighbors. Unfortunately, those neighbors include Sam Slater. A nasty man with a penchant for drunkenness, Sam’s just the kind of guy who doesn’t mind causing his fellow man a bit of trouble once in a while. When the wild hogs and cows of the Slaters start eating the Boyer family’s crops, tensions begin to rise between the two households. The Boyers are good hardworking people with pride and bright ideas. The Slaters could be categorized as white trash, never lifting a finger to feed their own animals and jealously coveting those nice things their neighbors have. Our hero of the story, Birdie Boyer, has her own problems dealing with Shoestring Slater, a boy roughly her age who’s just as likely to brag or throw a snake on a girl’s hat as he is help keep his father’s pigs out of trouble or lament his own lack of education.

Lenski does an interesting thing with the beginning of this book. She begins it through the point of view of seven-year-old Essie Slater, leading you to believe that she herself will be the heroine of this tale. As you slowly come to the realization that her father is not the usual wise/good/loving pop found in most 1945 children’s books, the text suddenly switches to the point of view of Birdie Boyer and Essie is never heard from again. Lenski’s characters aren’t as cardboard cut-outish as they first appear either. At the start, the Boyers seem good and the Slaters bad. Then odd occurrences make you begin to doubt this assumption. Mr. Boyer, in an attempt to teach Shoestring Slater a lesson, whips the boy harshly in front of his mother and sisters (who, understandably, are frightened and furious by this violence). Mr. Boyer is also prone to killing his neighbor’s pigs if they get in his way, even sometimes cutting off their ears as a sign. He won’t even create a path for Slater’s cattle herd to reach the nearest water source, instead fencing up the area and getting mad when it’s cut down. The Slaters also win your affection at odd moments. Birdie is quick to blame Shoestring for anything he does wrong, but the boy is a good egg in a bad situation. He has to juggle his family’s expectations while figuring out for himself what the right and wrong actions he should take really are.

A lot of this book is enjoyable partly because it goes the “Little House On the Prairie” route and explains the day-to-day goings on of the Boyers’ lives in interesting ways. In what other children’s book will you learn exactly how to grind sugar cane and pull it for fun afterwards? Or the ins and outs of raising strawberries in naturally sandy soil? What other book explains the intricacies of Florida weather in the spring and summer? Or tells you how to create roses out of paraffin? Part of the charm of “Strawberry Girl” is in describing how the old Florida pioneers did it. Less impressive are Lenski’s pictures. It was with a heavy heart that I discovered that Lenski considered herself an artist first and a novelist second. That’s too bad because the illustrations in this tale are particularly poor. I just couldn’t like ’em and I suspect they’ll easily deter many a prospective boy reader with their girlyness.

For a surprisingly dour and sharpely written novel about roughing it, definitely try “Strawberry Girl”. You might find that the ending suffers from being a little too pat (there’s a happy finish there that jars with the realism of the rest of the text) but all in all it’s still a very interesting read. For a good Florida based kid’s book, both this and Carl Hiaasen’s, “Hoot” are excellent choices. A sobering but enjoyable tale.”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1946]

The White Stag by Kate Seredy

Ages 9 and up.  “This book is a classic in my family, who are of mixed Hungarian and Scotch-Irish descent. While it is far from accurate history, it is a beautiful legend of the origins of that curious non-Slavic race called the Magyars. Seredy’s grasp of myth is readily apparent; her prose is simple enough for an eight- or nine-year-old to understand but she never talks down to the reader, since she uses the universal, spare language of the epic poet. This book was richly deserving of the Newbery Medal and remains a must-read for young adults (and old adults) today.”  Amazon Customer Review  [Newbery Winner 1938]

Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis and William Low

Ages 12 and up.  “A classic Newbery Award winner, with an introduction by Katherine Paterson and new illustrations. When Young Fu arrives with his mother in bustling 1920s Chungking, all he has seen of the world is the rural farming village where he has grown up. He knows nothing of city life. But the city, with its wonders and dangers, fascinates the thirteen-year-old boy, and he sets out to make the best of what it has to offer him. First published in 1932, Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze was one of the earliest Newbery Medal winners. Although China has changed since that time, Young Fu’s experiences, like making friends, are timeless.”  Book Description  [Newbery winner 1933]

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

Ages 9 and up.  “It’s hard to beat this book for all-out imaginative craziness. Oddly enough, other than talking animals, there is very little fantasy in this book, rather, Lofting chose to make Dr. Dolittle and his surroundings a calm place, a place where the animals talk to him, a place where adventures happen, but where there is never any brutal violence, unlike the adventures of Alice in Wonderland or Dorothy in OZ (both of which I like, BTW). What is really nice is that Lofting was able to make this formula WORK!

This edition, pink covers with a credit to Christopher Lofting, has been edited from it’s original issue to remove some now offensive racial stereotypes and illustrations. I’m glad to say that, while I generally do not support this type of editing, in this case it was well done and did not subtract from the entertainment value of the book.

Note: The original Dr. Doolittle books have almost nothing in common with the Eddie Murphy movies, other than talking animals. Don’t get them confused!

Enjoy!”  Amazon Customer Review [Newbery Winner 1923] 

Some of the other Newbery winners have been covered in other posts, so see the posts “From My Daughter’s Bookshelf…,” etc.

Here is the complete list:

2008
Laura Amy Schlitz
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

2007
Susan Patron
The Higher Power of Lucky

2006
Lynne Rae Perkins
Criss Cross

2005
Cynthia Kadohata
Kira-Kira

2004
Kate DiCamillo
The Tale of Despereaux

2003
Avi
Crispin: The Cross of Lead

2002
Linda Sue Park
A Single Shard

2001
Richard Peck
A Year Down Yonder

2000
Christopher Paul Curtis
Bud, Not Buddy

1999
Louis Sachar
Holes

1998
Karen Hesse
Out of the Dust

1997
E. L. Konigsburg
The View from Saturday

1996
Karen Cushman
The Midwife’s Apprentice

1995
Sharon Creech
Walk Two Moons

1994
Lois Lowry
The Giver

1993
Cynthia Rylant
Missing May

1992
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Shiloh

1991
Jerry Spinelli
Maniac Magee

1990
Lois Lowry
Number the Stars

1989
Paul Fleischman
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices

1988
Russell Freedman
Lincoln: A Photobiography

1987
Sid Fleischman
The Whipping Boy

1986
Patricia MacLachlan
Sarah, Plain and Tall

1985
Robin McKinley
The Hero and the Crown

1984
Beverly Cleary
Dear Mr. Henshaw

1983
Cynthia Voigt
Dicey’s Song

1982
Nancy Willard
A Visit to William Blake’s Inn

1981
Katherine Paterson
Jacob Have I Loved

1980
Joan Blos
A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal

1979
Ellen Raskin
The Westing Game

1978
Katherine Paterson
Bridge to Terabithia

1977
Mildred Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

1976
Susan Cooper
The Grey King

1975
Virginia Hamilton
M. C. Higgins, the Great

1974
Paula Fox
The Slave Dancer

1973
Jean Craighead George
Julie of the Wolves

1972
Robert C. O’Brien
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

1971
Betsy Byars
Summer of the Swans

1970
William H. Armstrong
Sounder

1969
Lloyd Alexander
The High King

1968
E. L. Konigsburg
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

1967
Irene Hunt
Up a Road Slowly

1966
Elizabeth Borton de Treviño
I, Juan de Pareja

1965
Maia Wojciechowska
Shadow of a Bull

1964
Emily Cheney Neville
It’s Like This, Cat

1963
Madeleine L’Engle
A Wrinkle in Time

1962
Elizabeth George Speare
The Bronze Bow

1961
Scott O’Dell
Island of the Blue Dolphins

1960
Joseph Krumgold
Onion John

1959
Elizabeth George Speare
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

1958
Harold Keith
Rifles for Watie

1957
Virginia Sorenson
Miracles on Maple Hill

1956
Jean Lee Latham
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

1955
Meindert DeJong
The Wheel on the School

1954
Joseph Krumgold
…And Now Miguel

1953
Ann Nolan Clark
Secret of the Andes

1952
Eleanor Estes
Ginger Pye

1951
Elizabeth Yates
Amos Fortune, Free Man

1950
Marguerite de Angeli
The Door in the Wall

1949
Marguerite Henry
King of the Wind

1948
William Pène du Bois
The Twenty-One Balloons

1947
Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
Miss Hickory

1946
Lois Lenski
Strawberry Girl

1945
Robert Lawson
Rabbit Hill

1944
Esther Forbes
Johnny Tremain

1943
Elizabeth Gray Vining
Adam of the Road

1942
Walter D. Edmonds
The Matchlock Gun

1941
Armstrong Sperry
Call It Courage

1940
James Daugherty
Daniel Boone

1939
Elizabeth Enright
Thimble Summer

1938
Kate Seredy
The White Stag

1937
Ruth Sawyer
Roller Skates

1936
Carol Ryrie Brink
Caddie Woodlawn

1935
Monica Shannon
Dobry

1934
Cornelia Meigs
Invincible Louisa

1933
Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

1932
Laura Adams Armer
Waterless Mountain

1931
Elizabeth Coatsworth
The Cat Who Went to Heaven

1930
Rachel Field
Hitty, Her First Hundred Years

1929
Eric P. Kelly
The Trumpeter of Krakow

1928
Dhan Gopal Mukerji
Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon

1927
Will James
Smoky the Cow Horse

1926
Arthur Bowie Chrisman
Shen of the Sea

1925
Charles Finger
Tales from Silver Lands

1924
Charles Hawes
The Dark Frigate

1923
Hugh Lofting
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

1922
Hendrik Willem van Loon
The Story of Mankind

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