The latest episodes of “Doctor Who” lead a mix of old and new TV shows that have been released this week on DVD and Blu-ray.
“Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series” (BBC, 2012-13, five discs, $79.98, 13 episodes, prequels, 2011 and 2012 Christmas specials, mini-episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). This is the final season for Matt Smith as the good doctor, and his companions, played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, depart in Episode 5. At that point, Jenna-Louise Coleman signs on as the doctor’s new companion for the remainder of the season.
In this set, Doctor Who travels via TARDIS through time and space for such quirky adventures as rescuing dinosaurs from an unmanned spaceship and battling a cyborg gunslinger in the American Old West, as well as finding himself in both Victorian London and 1938 Manhattan.
Guests include John Hurt, Warwick Davis, David Warner, Diana Rigg and the voice of Ian McKellan. Look for “Doctor Who at Comic-Con” among the bonus features. (Also on Blu-ray, $89.98)
“Jack Irish: Set 1” (Acorn/Blu-ray, 2012, two discs, $39.99, Blu-ray and DVD versions, two episodes, featurette). Guy Pearce is great in this Australian series as the title lawyer, whose life falls apart when his wife is murdered by a disgruntled client. Several years later he’s making his living by collecting debts and helping to fix horse races for shady pals when he becomes a de facto detective investigating murders in a pair of feature-length episodes. The stories are quite involving, but be warned: This is R-rated stuff, with violence, sex, nudity and foul language. (Also on single DVD, same price)
“The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Fourth Season” (CBS/Paramount, 1965-66, four discs, $19.96, 32 episodes). For Season 4, this iconic sitcom goes from black and white to color, with the Clampetts — Jed (Buddy Ebsen), Granny (Irene Ryan), Elly May (Donna Douglas) and Jethro (Max Baer Jr.) — firmly established in their Beverly Hills mansion after striking oil on their swampland. You can mock this as the lowest of comedy but it was a huge hit for nine seasons and influenced many other shows at the time. (Available exclusively at Walmart and Sam’s Club.)
“Petticoat Junction: The Official Third Season” (CBS/Paramount, 1965-66, four discs, $19.96, 34 episodes). Another countrified sitcom from “Beverly Hillbillies” creator Paul Henning, set in and around the Shady Rest Hotel in Hooterville, owned by Kate Bradley (Bea Benaderet), who is assisted by get-rich-quick schemer Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) and her three daughters, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo. This season marks the departure of Jeanine Riley as Billie Jo and Pat Woodell as Bobbie Jo, replaced, respectively, by Gunilla Hutton and Lori Saunders. It’s also the first in color. (Available exclusively at Walmart and Sam’s Club.)
“Awkward: Seasons 1 & 2” (MTV/Paramount, 2011-12, four discs, $26.99, 24 episodes, webisodes, featurettes). Teen comedy series follows 15-year-old Jenna Hamiltion (Ashley Rickards) as she navigates the hazards of high school.
“Teen Mom: The Complete First Season” (MTV/Paramount, 2009-10, three discs, $9.96, DVD and digital version, eight episodes, finale special, deleted scenes). Controversial MTV reality-show follow-up to “16 & Pregnant,” focusing on four of the girls from that show who had their babies and are attempting to raise them against the odds. (Exclusively at Walmart)
“North America” (Gaiam/Vivendi, 2013, two discs, $29.93, seven episodes, audio commentary, music/ambient soundtrack). Discovery cable channel series hosted by Tom Selleck explores wildlife in hard-to-get-to wilderness areas. These are extended episodes, longer than what was shown on TV. (Also on Blu-ray, $34.99, and Blu-ray with 32-page booklet, $39.93)
“The Castle Project: Colorado’s Haunted Mansion” (Cinema Libre, 2013, $19.95, trailer). Documentary about the title abode, purchased by an architect and his business partner, who want to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast tourist stop. But then things start to go bump in the night and the haunted history of the house seems to be true.
“Bryce Begins” (MLB/Lionsgate, 2013, $14.98, featurettes). Documentary look at baseball player Bryce Harper, a first pick in the Major League draft by the Washington Nationals when he was just 17.
“Shaquille O’Neal Presents All-Star Comedy Jam Live From Atlanta” (Lionsgate, 2013, $14.98, featurettes). Shaq handpicked the stand-up comic up-and-comers featured in this live show, hosted by Faizon Love and featuring Red Grant, Finesse Mitchell, Gina Yashere and others.Comment on this story
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ultimate Showdown” (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2013, two discs, $19.99, 12 episodes, four shorts, animated comic books; eight-page comic book). Computer-animated episodes from the third TV series featuring the “Heroes in a Half Shell.”
“Wow! Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Best of Collection” (Anchor Bay, 2013, four discs, $19.98, 28 episodes, music videos, coloring/activity sheets). Animated episodes with Wubbzy, Walden, Daizy and Widget are pulled together for this set.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." His website is www.hicksflicks.com