Repackaging of a pair of British series lead these TV shows new to DVD and Blu-ray.
"Poirot: Series 1" (Acorn/Blu-ray, 1989, two discs, $ 49.99). The fussy Belgian detective, perfectly embodied by David Suchet's terrific performance, came to definitive life in this wonderfully realized show based on Agatha Christie's novels.
Now, as the series is getting a Blu-ray sheen, the attention to detail is more vivid than ever. And the mysteries hold up as well as when they first aired more than 20 years ago.
Extras full frame, 10 episodes ("Poirot: Series 2" is also being released on Blu-ray this week, $49.99)
"Poldark: The Complete Collection" (Acorn, 1975-77, eight discs, $79.99). The highly entertaining historical soap opera filmed as a sweeping epic is sort of a costume "Dallas" across the pond. Robin Ellis stars in the title role as an English captain returning home to Cornwall after fighting in the American Revolution, only to find his life in upheaval.
Extras full frame, 29 episodes, featurette, text filmographies
"The Comic Strip Presents: The Complete Collection" (eOne, 1982-2000, nine discs, $89.98). The Comic Strip is sort of Monty Python a decade later, only not as widely popular (and even more raunchy). "The Comic Strip Presents" is, as you might expect, a sketch/blackout series of comic sequences with the Comic Strip players, including Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (of "Absolutely Fabulous"), and occasionally Robbie Coltrane ("Cracker" and Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" films). (In America, this show aired on MTV.)
Extras full frame/widescreen, featurettes, live performance, short film: "The Comic Strip"
"Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles" (eOne, 2011, $24.98). Offbeat documentary — a favorite at last year's Sundance Film Festival — delves into a cult mystery about strange tiles on streets in various cities on the East Coast. Merely obscure art? Or is there a deeper hidden meaning?
Extras widescreen, deleted scenes, audio commentary, tile gallery
"Hey Dude: Season Two" (Shout! 1989, two discs, $19.93). Nickelodeon teen sitcom follows a divorced New Jersey father who buys a dude ranch, much to the consternation of his city-bred son. Stories focus on father and son transplanted to the West, along with the ranch's young employees.
Extras full frame, 13 episodes
"Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears … and more African folk tales" (Scholastic, 2011, $14.85). Animated stories from Africa, two of them narrated by James Earl Jones.
Extras full frame, five stories
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