Saturday, August 29, 2009

“Wagon Train's a really cool show, but did you notice they never get anywhere? They just keep wagon training...”

TVShowsOnDVD.com has made the announcement that one of the most elusive of classic television shows, Wagon Train, will see a full season one release on November 10, 2009—courtesy of the good people at Timeless Media Group, who will issue all thirty-nine episodes from the classic western’s inaugural season in a limited edition ten-disc tin. (I should also point out that the magic number here—thirty-nine—already constitutes more installments that are currently owned by RTV, who appear to have only eight programs in their library and endlessly repeat these in their two-hour showcases on Saturday and Sunday mornings beginning at 11am EDT…at least, that’s how they’re shown on the RTV affiliate in Atlanta, WSB-TV DT.)

Some collectors out there may be adopting a jaded position on this news because Timeless has already issued forth two previous Wagon Train collections, a 3-DVD collection entitled Wagon Train: Going West that collected a smattering of episodes from all eight seasons of the series save season seven, which got its own release in Wagon Train: The Complete Color Season (and also included selected episodes from previous seasons as well). Timeless’ website still offers the Going West collection (I tried to obtain it from DVD Pacific, which finally got around to telling me it was out-of-stock) but I’ve had more than one person tell me the quality of the shows leave a bit to be desired. I do own the color season collection, and considering both the age of the series and the fact that NBC-Universal has little to no interest in preserving the episodes I thought the set was okay, quality-wise. Wagon Train: The Complete First Season has a hefty price tag on it (SRP: $79.98) so I may wait a bit until this one goes on sale.

Speaking of RTV (formerly RTN, the Retro Television Network) Cultureshark’s own Rick Brooks e-mailed me earlier this week to let me know that they now have their very own Facebook page where participants are allowed to piss-and-moan about their cavalier methods of programming. Not to be outdone, TVShowsOnDVD.com has started up its very own Facebook fan club as well.

In other TV-on-DVD news, CBS-Paramount has announced the release date of The Untouchables: Season 3, Volume 2 as November 10th (I thought I had mentioned this one earlier but I can’t seem to locate it in the blog archives), which is good news to this fan (I plan to snatch up Volume 1 sometime this week, gritting my teeth as I do so *stupid split-season sets*) and also looks that the company will put out the fourth and final season as well…followed by a “complete collection” that will contain “extras not present on the previous releases” if you know how these rat bastards work.

Another release that I’ll have to check out is The Golden Age of Television, which—since it bears the Criterion stamp—looks to be a first-rate collection of the 1981 PBS television series, with presentations of classic dramas that include Marty, Patterns, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Comedian, and Days of Wine and Roses. Also on this set, commentaries by directors Daniel Petrie, John Frankenheimer, Delbert Mann and Ralph Nelson; interviews with some of the cast and crew from these landmark presentations; and a companion booklet featuring an essay written by Ron Simon, curator of The Paley Center for Media. This set has a street date of November 24th.

Finally—if anyone still cares at this point—Infinity Resources has finally got their collective stuff together and will be sending the corrected Route 66: Season 3 collections to Best Buy stores this week. To make sure customers don’t pick up one of the defective sets in error, the company has wrapped the corrected sets in yellow cellophane. Why they just don’t pull the faulty sets off the shelves is a question they didn’t answer…or maybe nobody bothered to ask.

1 comment:

Dave Lewis said...

Good question about Wagon Train. I live about 10 miles from the end of the Oregon Trail. I'll have to stop by and see if they ever arrived.