A sequel to the original "Mission: Impossible" leads these TV shows new to DVD this week.
"Mission: Impossible: The '88 TV Season" (CBS/Paramount, 1988-89, five discs, $42.99). This sequel to/remake of the '60s series some 20 years later brings back Peter Graves in his Jim Phelps role, pulled out of retirement to direct espionage assignments after forming a new, younger team — including Grant Collier, son of the original series' Barney Collier, and played by Phil Morris, son of Greg Morris, who played Barney.
This series isn't bad but it's in the unfortunate position of laboring beneath the very long shadow of the original. A jolt of energy arrives in Episode 12 as the team is joined by Jane Badler, whom sci-fi fans will remember as the chief villain in the original "V" (and as the mother of the recent remake's chief villain).
Guest stars include Janis Paige, Lynda Day George, Maud Adams — and Greg Morris, reprising his '60s role.
Extras full frame, 19 episodes
"The Lucy Show: The Official Fifth Season" (CBS/Paramount, 1966-67, four discs, $42.99). Lucille Ball's follow-up to "I Love Lucy" goes into Season 5 with her character firmly established as a single Los Angelino, with ever-exasperated Gale Gordon in tow.
Lots of big-name guest stars appear here, including John Wayne, Carol Burnett (in a two-parter), George Burns, Paul Winchell, Phil Silvers, Mel Torme, Don Rickles, Tennessee Ernie Ford — and Vivian Vance returns for an episode that finds her with Lucy as they pose as hippies.
Extras full frame, 22 episodes, special: "Lucy in London," clips of Ball on other shows, vintage openings & closings, promos, bloopers, photo galleries, text production notes, text biographies
"Designing Women: The Complete Fifth Season" (Shout!/Sony, 1990-91, four discs, $44.99). This is the final season for the complete original cast of characters at the Georgia interior-design firm of Sugarbaker's. Neither Delta Burke nor Jean Smart would return for Season 6. Lots of funny episodes, with Burke, Smart, Annie Potts, Dixie Carter, Meshach Taylor and Alice Ghostley all getting their fair share of laughs.
Extras full frame, 24 episodes
"Underbelly: The Trilogy" (eOne, 2008-2010, 12 discs, $99.98). Violent, profane and sexual (on an R-rated level) Australian crime drama (based on true accounts), often compared to "The Sopranos." The three 13-episode seasons here, each with its own subtitle, tells the story of criminal activity in various parts of the country from the late 1970s through 2004. Compelling/repugnant characters, good writing but not for the faint of heart. (A fourth season aired this year.)
Extras widescreen, 39 episodes, featurettes
"Daktari: The Complete First Season" (Warner Archive, 1966-67, five discs, $44.95). "Daktari" means "doctor" in Swahili, and Marshall Thompson continues his veterinarian character from the 1965 feature film "Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion" … as does Clarence! Set at an animal research center in Africa but filmed in a wild-animal park near Los Angeles.. (Available at www.WarnerArchive.com.)
Extras full frame, 18 episodes
"SpongeBob SquarePants: Complete Seventh Season" (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2009-2010, four discs, $26.99). SpongeBob, Patrick and the entire Bikini Bottom gang continue their adventures for a seventh year, from love stories to whodunits to Squidward on Public TV.
Extras full frame, 50 episodes, 12 animated shorts
"Dinosaur Train: T-Rex tales" (PBS Kids, 2011, $12.99). More animated tales from the children's show that tries to be both entertaining and educational.
Extras full frame, six episodes, bonus holiday episode, interactive game, coloring pages, reference guide for parents
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