Chris Hicks: 'Sherlock,' 'Dr. Kildare,' 'Newhart' and 'The Red Skelton Show' on DVD
If you missed any of the three new episodes of “Sherlock” on PBS last month, you can now catch up with Season 3 on DVD, along with the long-awaited second seasons of “Dr. Kildare” and “Newhart,” along with a collection of “lost” episodes of “The Red Skelton Show.”
“Sherlock: Season Three” (BBC, 2014, two discs, $29.98, three episodes, featurettes). It’s been a long wait (20 months, for crying out loud) to see how Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) faked his death at the end of the second season of this modern-day reboot, which embraces 21st century technology without abandoning all that’s appealing about Arthur Conan Doyle’s super-detective.
That how-he-did-it answer comes in the first episode, but not before we see all kinds of speculation from Sherlock’s social-media fans. John Watson (Martin Freeman), however, deeply mourns the loss of Holmes until the resolution is thrust upon him. Along with lots of good-natured ribbing about Watson’s new mustache.
There’s a lot going on in these three feature-length episodes, including Watson’s engagement, then his wedding, along with more murders and attempted murders to solve (one of them at the wedding) and a bait-and-switch “wow” in the third show. And it more than lives up to the promise of the first two seasons and will no doubt have fans anxiously looking forward to Season 4. That will be next year, right? (Also on Blu-ray, $39.98)
“Dr. Kildare: The Complete Second Season, Part One” (Warner Archive, 1962-63, b/w, five discs, 20 episodes).
“Dr. Kildare: The Complete Second Season, Part Two” (Warner Archive, 1962-63, b/w, four discs, 14 episodes). Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey play Drs. Kildare and Gillespie, respectively, in this second season of the beloved 1960s medical series. Robert Redford has a prominent role in the second episode, which is, surprisingly, in color — the only such episode until the series switched over from black and white to color in 1965, for the fifth and final season. The Redford episode also features Carroll O’Connor and Harvey Korman. Other guests include John Cassevetes, Suzanne Pleshette, James Caan, Claire Trevor, Gloria Swanson, Mary Astor, Edward Asner, Peter Falk and Leonard Nimoy. (Both volumes are sold as a single set, $49.95, available at warnerarchive.com.)
“Newhart: The Complete Second Season” (Shout!, 1983-84, three discs, $29.93, 22 episodes). Not a lot of comedians have two TV series that are huge hits but Bob Newhart did. “The Bob Newhart Show” is still a favorite, but no less loved is “Newhart,” which ran two years longer. He plays a Vermont innkeeper married to Mary Frann and surrounded by eccentrics, led by Tom Poston, Julia Duffy and those guys playing Larry and the two Darryls. Very funny stuff. Guests include Stella Stevens in the opening two-parter, Jackie Joseph and Iron Eyes Cody. (It’s been six years since Season 1 was released; let’s hope Season 3 gets here quicker.)
“The Red Skelton Show: The Lost Episodes” (Timeless, 1959-62, b/w, two discs, $19.97, 16 episodes, two bonus episodes). A handful of episodes of Skelton’s live comedy-variety series have been floating around forever, but these 16 are making their home-video debut, half-hour shows from the middle of Skelton’s 20-year run. Guests Eve Arden, Buster Crabbe, Sebastian Cabot, Amanda Blake, Vivian Vance and others join Skelton’s characters San Fernando Red, Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader, etc. Two bonus episodes have, respectively, Danny Thomas, and Jackie Gleason and Arthur Godfrey filling in when Skelton was ill.
“Doctor Who: The Moonbase” (BBC, 1967, b/w, $24.98, four episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, PDF materials). Here’s another early “Who” serial with the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) looking into a plague that is killing crewmembers of a moon base in 2070. Two of this story’s four episodes are lost and have been replaced with animated versions.
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