William Shatner’s second TV series makes its home-video debut this week, along with “Rawhide’s” final season and a TV movie about the creation of “Doctor Who.”
“Barbary Coast” (Acorn/DVD, 1974-76, four discs, 13 episodes, pilot TV movie). For his first post- “Star Trek” series, Shatner went from the future to the past, starring in this tongue-in-cheek, semi-Western set in 1880s San Francisco. The ABC show owes more than a little to “Wild Wild West,” with Shatner as an undercover government agent who has an affinity for disguises.
Richard Kiel, the 7-foot villain of two James Bond movies and four episodes of “Wild Wild West,” co-stars, along with Doug McClure as a casino owner who reluctantly becomes Shatner’s sidekick (replacing Dennis Cole, who has the role in the pilot). Guests include Lynda Day George, Bill Bixby, James Cromwell, Henry Gibson, Joan Van Ark and Joyce Jameson.
“Rawhide: The Eighth and Final Season” (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 1965, b/w, four discs, 13 episodes). Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood) is promoted to trail boss for the last season of this cattle-driving CBS Western. (Eric Fleming left the show at the end of Season 7, then died later that year at age 41 in a canoeing accident during a film shoot.)
The show was canceled halfway through this season, freeing up Eastwood for a movie career, and we all know how that turned out. Guests include Charles Bronson, Bruce Dern, Rip Torn, Ralph Bellamy, Cesar Romero, Rory Calhoun and Johnny Crawford.
“An Adventure in Space and Time” (BBC/Blu-ray/DVD, 2013, three discs, TV movie, deleted scenes, featurettes; first “Doctor Who” serial: “An Unearthly Child,” featurettes, comedy skit spoofing the series). Fans will find this sentimental “docudrama” fascinating as it explores the creation of the British sci-fi “Doctor Who” TV series, which has maintained enormous popularity since the early 1960s. The focus here is on the ups and downs of developing the show and the obstacles that had to be overcome to get it on the air, and then keep it on as the star’s health began to decline.
“New Tricks: Season 10” (Acorn/DVD, 2013, three discs, 10 episodes, featurette, photo gallery). Det. Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) continues to lead the semi-retired codgers of her cold-case team (Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong, Denis Lawson) in this amusing police procedural, which contains coarse language and some sex. Redman and Armstrong left the show mid-season and were replaced by Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicholas Lyndhurst, respectively.
“Suits: Season 3” (Universal/DVD, 2013-14, four discs, 16 episodes, deleted scenes, alternate ending, featurettes, webisodes, bloopers). The third season of this drama set in a high-rolling Manhattan law firm in which the main character is actually not a lawyer but relies on his intellect and photographic memory. This season finds loyalties shifting when the firm merges with a powerful British company. (Season 4 begins airing on the USA cable network this month.)
“Covert Affairs: Season 4” (Universal/DVD, 2013, four discs, 16 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Piper Perabo stars in this thriller as a CIA operative. This season finds Hill Harper (“CSI: NY”) joining the cast as an ambitious station chief who may have duplicitous motives. (Season 4 begins airing on the USA cable network this month.)
“Warehouse 13: Season 5: The Final Season” (Universal/DVD, 2014, two discs, six episodes, deleted/extended scenes, podcasts, featurette, bloopers; holiday episode: “The Greatest Gift”). Syfy cable show described as a melding of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The X-Files” with a touch of “Moonlighting” sums up this fantasy series laced with comic banter about the government stronghold of the title that houses supernatural artifacts.
“Workaholics: Season 4” (Comedy Central/Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, 13 episodes, deleted/alternate scenes, outtakes). Sleazy cable sitcom about three slackers who are roommates, college dropouts and co-workers at a telemarketing company. Lots of jokes about sex, drugs, etc.
“Komodo: Secrets of the Dragon” (BBC Earth/DVD, 2011). This episode of Peter Capaldi’s live-action documentary series examines the Komodo dragon, which has a powerful set of jaws and a poisonous venom.
“Dragons: Defenders of Berk, Part 2” (Dreamworks/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2013-14, 10 episodes, featurettes). The final 10 episodes of this cartoon series spun off of the “How to Train Your Dragon” theatrical film (a sequel opens next week).
“Curious George: The Complete Seventh Season” (Universal/DVD, 2012-13, 12 episodes). PBS Kids cartoon series based on the popular children’s books follows the curious monkey’s adventures in Australia, which are designed to promote positive educational concepts for small fry.