DVD Tuesday: The Deputy, “Evening Primrose”

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.

Out today from The Archive of American Television Presents and Entertainment One is “Evening Primrose,” an episode of ABC Stage ’67 originally broadcast on November 16th, 1966 and never repeated. Based on a short story by John Collier, the musical was written by James Goldman with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. According to The New York Times, the DVD release is the “holy grail for Sondheim completists” who previously had to make due with bootleg copies or visit The Paley Center for Media to see the musical. Although broadcast in color, only black and white copies are known to exist. A “newly discovered” 16mm copy was used for the remastered DVD release, which also includes color test footage of star Anthony Perkins, a video interview with director Paul Bogart, an audio interview with co-star Chamian Carr and a booklet written by Sondheim and Jane Klain of the Paley Center for Media.

Also out today, from Timeless Media Group, is The Deputy – The Complete Series. Henry Fonda starred in the half-hour western, which ran for two seasons on NBC from 1959 to 1961 and produced 76 episodes. A “best of” release came out in October of 2008 and select episodes were included in a western compilation set earlier this month. Other releases out today include On the Road With Charles Kuralt Set 3, Tonight – 4 Decades of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson and The Twilight Zone – Fan Favorites. Finally, Alpha Video has two new single disc DVDs available today, each with four episodes: Sheriff Of Cochise, Volume 4 and Topper, Volume 3.

3 Comments

  • ejp says:

    The Tonight Show set, has as I expected very awkwardly edited episodes cut down to no more than 30 minutes in length from their original broadcasts. Sometimes the edits are done smoothly but most of the time they are not, with awkward fadeouts in mid-stream during a segment.

    The one hour of “rescued” material from the 1960s contains very little that those who have seen “Carson’s Comedy Classics” haven’t seen before. The only difference is that identical material sometimes gets a few extra seconds at the beginning or end of the sequence. The two exceptions are a much longer version of the appearance of Jay Silverheels on the show where he does a comic bit with Johnny as a personnel officer interviewing Tonto to see if a new job can be found for him after “Thirty lousy years with Kemosabe.” This time we get the entire serious interview with Silverheels prior to this spot as well as the chat after the comic bit for a total of 12 minutes footage overall. The other good new item is nine minutes of Johnny interviewing the Apollo 13 astronauts one month after their flight.

  • Jeff Wildman says:

    It’s unfortunate that the ebay/Ioffer crowd killed off the opportunity to purchase “real” Tonight Shows. These endless releases of overly-rehashed Carson clips and segments has worn mighty thin. Carson Entertainment’s original press release claim that this set would contain “complete shows” was dubious from the start and, as expected, the claim was amended shortly thereafter. It’s bad enough that NBC erased the first 10 years of the show, but the manner in which the existing legacy is being handled is just as appaling.

  • ejp says:

    Jeff Sotzing, the keeper of the Carson vault has been ripping off the public for years with his boring repackaged sets, shutting off the vault to purchase complete episodes and now this rip-off that is far less than what it promised to be. Out of pure spite BTW, more than HALF of the pre-1975 programs that are offered in cut down state are the SAME programs that are a regular part of the trade circuit as if he were extending a middle finger to those who would have even gladly taken cut down versions of previously unseen programs.

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