Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The man from Laramie

I make it a point to stop by DVD Price Search on Monday and Thursday mornings only because those are the days when they add new titles to their inventory—and I noticed an entry entitled Laramie: Season 3, Part 1 during Monday’s hunt. (As of this post, it’s available at CD Universe for $39.43 - $36.44 + 2.99 s&h.) Rumors of a release of the Robert Fuller/John Smith western series—originally telecast on NBC from 1959-63—have been floating around TV-On-DVD collectors’ circles for quite some time now (Hank Dearborn at the Home Theater Forum mentioned it back in March) and according to the sketchy information at Price Search it will be released February 24, 2009 by Timeless Media Group as a six-DVD edition.

I was curious at first as to why Timeless was starting in the middle of Laramie’s run until I noticed that the collection was being touted on other DVD sale sites as “Laramie in Color, Part 1.” The series shifted to color at the beginning of the 1961-62 season, and it doesn’t take an experienced wrangler (I tried this sentence using “rocket scientist” and it just didn’t seem to fit) to dope out that a rarely-seen series filmed in color will probably do better than one in monochrome. Of course, Timeless’ recent release of two Wagon Train DVD box sets (one particularly focused on the series’ “color season”) goes about getting buyers from both camps, so it’s entirely possible that in the case of Laramie we’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

A tidbit from TVShowsOnDVD.com, however, does confirm that a first season release of the classic 70s high-school series Room 222 will be hitting the streets March 24, 2009 with a four-DVD set courtesy of the good people at Shout! Factory. It’s very encouraging to get a confirmation on this and especially good to learn that Factory is handling the release. For fans of later TV sitcoms, you might want to check out some earlier announcements from Messrs. Lacey and Lambert on upcoming releases of Blossom and Mr. Belvedere (you’ll just have to excuse my lack of enthusiasm).

Update: Here's the box art for the Room 222 set.


Bobh said...


I don't know how accurate this is, but my understanding is that Timeless may be getting tape transfers of color shows from Universal, whereas they have to assemble episodes of black & white shows on their own. I haven't seen the color "Wagon Train" episodes, but "Laredo" was definitely a lot better looking than black & white shows like "Checkmate" or "Riverboat," among others. The tape transfers may have already existed because of syndication by Universal to some of the cable channels specializing in Westerns. But if this is the case, it does beg the question as to whether or not the episodes are complete. There has been some suggestion that at least some of the "Wagon Train" color episodes may have been trimmed. Unfortunately, I can't comment beyond that since I don't own the set.


Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

As always, Bob--thanks for "filling in the blanks" on news like this. I don't have any of the Wagon Train sets, either--I've been waiting to see how Congress is going to vote on the bill giving TDOY a bailout...er, rescue plan.