Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Classic Sci-Fi TV - 150 Episodes|
Actors: Captain Z-Ro, Rocky Jones, Flash Gordon
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Animation
Science Fiction programming from the Golden Age of Television fills this 12-DVD collection with 24 all-time classic shows! — Captain Fathom - 4 EpisodesCaptain Z-Ro - 24 EpisodesClimax - 1 EpisodeDestination Space - 1 Episo... more »
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Sci-Fi TV Smorgasbord
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 04/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mill Creek Entertainment has done it again! After tackling TV Westerns, TV Crime Shows, TV Spies and Family TV Shows, this offering focuses on early television science fiction shows, with a bit of horror and the paranormal thrown in for good measure. There is quite a bit to savor in this set, so here's the rundown, by category:
Captain Fathom - 3 episodes
Clutch Cargo - 1 episode
Space Angel - 9 episodes
Filmed TV Series:
Captain Z-Ro - 24 episodes
Flash Gordon - 14 episodes
Johnny Jupiter - 1 episode
One Step Beyond - 16 episodes
Rocky Jones, Space Ranger - 23 episodes
Thriller (Boris Karloff version) - 1 episode
Live Television Series:
Climax - 1 episode
Lights Out - 4 episodes
Tales of Tomorrow - 6 episodes
Filmed Dramatic Anthology Series:
G.E. Theater - 2 episodes
The Star and the Story - 1 episode
Your Jeweler's Showcase (Operation E.S.P.) - 1 episode
Unsold TV Pilots:
Captain Fathom (live action version)
Here Comes Tobor
The Shadow (Tom Helmore version)
The Shadow: Invisible Avenger (Richard Derr version)
Tales of Frankenstein
Public Service Film:
Stamp Day for Superman (cast of "The Adventures of Superman")
The Phantom Empire
Radar Men from the Moon
The Undersea Kingdom
While some may consider the inclusion of movie serials to be a bit of a cheat on this set, one can argue that movie serials (and radio) served as a starting point of sorts for the early years of episodic television and, of course, the serials did eventually make their way to television's airwaves. Perhaps the only major omission of a show with a paranormal flavor that is in the public domain and is not included in this set is Boris Karloff's limited series "The Veil" which, possibly, could have substituted for one of the serials. Regardless, this 12-DVD set includes a mixture of some very common, some not so common, and some downright rare shows. Arguably, the biggest "find" on this set is the inclusion of 24 episodes of "Captain Z-Ro" and, to the best of my knowledge, this set marks the commercial DVD debut of Boris Karloff's "Thriller," a series that many fans have long desired to see on DVD. Perhaps the inclusion of the "Thriller" episode "The Return of Andrew Bentley" might prompt further consideration for an official DVD release of this series in the future. And those who previously purchased Mill Creek's 4-DVD set of 50 "One Step Beyond" episodes will be delighted to know that of the 16 episodes included here, only one episode ("Where Are They?") is repeated from that earlier box set.
Among the unsold pilots, I enjoyed the second incarnation of "The Shadow" titled "Invisible Avenger," which was filmed on location in New Orleans in the late 1950s and was eventually released theatrically, and "Tales of Frankenstein." Don Megowan, who appears as the monster in "Frankenstein" also appears in the live action version of "Captain Fathom," which plays like a low rent version of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." One also wonders about the possibilities of "Destination Space" had it been picked up as a regular series by CBS. Though a bit on the talky side (especially in the middle scenes depicted on earth), the pilot featured solid performances from TV veterans like Harry Townes, Charles Aidman, Edward Platt, Whitney Blake and Gail Kobe, and had the backing of a major studio, Paramount.
As is the case with compilations of public domain shows, the audio/visual quality is all over the map and reflects a variety of sources such as kinescopes for the live shows and unrestored 16 millimeter syndication prints for many of the TV show episodes. While none of the episodes that I have viewed so far are unwatchable, this is definitely not a set for videophiles, nor those expecting state-of-the-art special effects. In fact, the special effects are downright primitive when compared to today's special effects and CGI. But considering the low budgets for most of these productions, it's obvious that the SFX people were trying to do the best they could with the limited resources available to them and that's part of the charm of watching these early Sci-Fi TV efforts.
The variety of the shows included in this set is so broad that there is bound to be something to appeal to almost anyone who even remotely enjoys science fiction. This set is highly recommended for classic/vintage TV fans and those who enjoy the early days of science fiction on the small screen. My rating is closer to **** & ½ for this release, just missing a full five stars given the variable audio/visual quality.
Looks to be a fun trip down memory lane for the whole family
B. Hassel | Jacksonville, FL United States | 12/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Any reviewer stating that this collection is a rip-off couldn't be more wrong in my opinion. Mill Creek is a wonderful company that is one of the first distributors to provide public domain material at a budget, affordable price. Their price structure is the same for all their 150 episode box sets. If you can wait a little while you will be able to pick this up for around $16 or less. I couldn't recommend their other TV classics enough. Their 3 Western and Detective releases are wonderful, and should be sought-out. I have been asking Mill Creek to release a Sci-fi set this past year and they are now doing it and I couldn't be happier. Since they are releasing public domain material, they have to stick with what they have available. I'm sure they are putting the serials on the set to not only fill space, but they must have thought they would fit in nicely with the Sci-fi theme. I can't wait to watch some of these old episodes again. Looks like good family fun."
Out of this world!
Peter Sykes | Airlie Beach, Australia | 03/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I run the Sci-Fi Lists website and I have to say I am more than happy with this outstanding collection of public domain TV episodes and cinematic serials. Despite what one other reviewer said, some of this stuff is extremely hard to find anywhere else... especially the 24 time-tripping episodes of Captain Z-Ro. When you add in the TV version of Flash Gordon (14eps) and the well-produced Rocky Jones (23eps) there is no escaping the fact that this set is value for money.
Criticism of the inclusion of cinematic serials is also unfair. They were repeated mercilessly during the early days of TV, with the good quality transfers of the Commando Cody adventure Radar Men From the Moon being the pick of the bunch. For sheer low-budget joy check out failed pilot Here Comes Tobor and the three nifty 'Synchro-Vox' Cambia animated series. The episodes of the various TV anthology series are also generally very well selected on the basis of their sci-fi content. No Captain Video, Tom Corbett or Space Patrol--but the cosmically canny sci-fi artefacts on offer are out of this world!"
Another Great Collection of Classics
justice4all72 | 04/03/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Classic Sci-Fi is definitely on this collection! There are some great episodes of Flash Gordon and Captain Z-Ro as well as some unexpected animated series on this collection. Mill Creek Entertainment has continued to bring classic shows to DVD and these large movie packs come at a great value. The quality of the discs are great, mill creek entertainment has begun shipping their products with all new packaging and artwork that brings these collections to a whole new light. Classic Sci-FI 150 episodes will bring hours of entertainment of some great shows from the 1950's."