Every Tuesday I take a look at obscure and/or classic television programs, specials, miniseries or made-for-TV movies being released on DVD. For the record I consider anything broadcast prior to 1980 to be classic or else there wouldn’t be much to discuss. The releases referred to in these posts are encoded for Region 1 use in the United States and Canada.
The only release of interest this week comes from Timeless Media Group. Checkmate – The Complete Series is a massive, 14-DVD set containing all 70 episodes of the detective series that originally ran on CBS from 1960 to 1962. Doug McClure, Sebastian Cabot and Anthony George starred. Timeless previously released a “best of” set featuring episodes from Season One in October of 2007 and one featuring episodes of Season Two in March of 2008. It’s a relatively expensive set, with a suggested retail price of $79.98, but that works out to just over a dollar an episode.
Also, Small Wonder – The Complete 2nd Season and Swamp Thing: The Series – Volume 3 are now available through Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select program, meaning you can online purchase it online directly through Shout! Factory. Although Small Wonder aired in first-run syndication from 1985 to 1989 and Swamp Thing: The Series on USA Network during the early 1990s, I mention them because the Shout! Select program deserves attention. So far, Shout! has released a dozen sets through Shout! Select, including Ironside – Season 3 and The Bill Cosby Show – Season 2, which came out roughly two years and four years after the previous season sets, respectively. For programs that have been seemingly abandoned, Shout! Select could be the only way to get the remaining seasons to DVD.
And if other studios follow Shout!’s lead and create similar online exclusive programs, it could mean more and more programs that retail stories don’t want to carry could come to DVD.