TV on DVD: This week’s releases

0 Comments 23 August 2011

This week’s round-up of DVD and Blu-ray releases featuring TV shows past and present, featuring a couple of must-haves and more than a few must-never-soil-my-DVD-player-withs.


The Vampire Diaries – Season 2 [DVD] – buy it from
The Vampire Diaries – Season 2 [Blu-ray] – buy it from

The second season of The CW‘s smash hit supernatural drama hits both DVD and Blu-ray this week. One of the creative forces behind the show is Kevin Williamson, who has extensive experience in bringing teen horror to the small and big screens with the likes of Scream, I know What You Did Last Summer and Dawson’s Creek. The latter was a different type of teen horror, granted — but I still have nightmares.


The Vampire Diaries – Seasons 1-2 Complete [DVD] – buy it from
The Vampire Diaries – Seasons 1-2 Complete [Blu-ray] – buy it from

If you’re new to The Vampire Diaries and fancy giving it a whirl, your best value option is to buy the newly-released Season 1 & 2 collection, which bundles all 44 episodes together in one neat package — along with a bunch of extras. It’s significantly cheaper than buying the two separately, so if you’re up for taking the plunge, this is the one to go for.


Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show [DVD] – buy it from

Lowest common denominator ‘humour’ written and performed by — and tailored to — single-digit braincell morons. It’s a BBC Three comedy; what more did you expect?


NCIS: Los Angeles – Season 2 [DVD] – buy it from

We’ve spoken recently of our desire for some new spin-off shows but NCIS: Los Angeles is noteworthy for taking it one step further; it’s a spin-off of a spin-off. The LA strain is an offshoot from the original NCIS series, which itself was spawned from legal drama JAG. If you’ve never come across the NCIS franchise, the words behind the acronym — Naval Criminal Investigative Service — should give you an idea what to expect.


Lewis – Series 1-5 Complete [DVD] – buy it from

ITV hit upon the winning murder mystery formula with Inspector Morse, to the extent that sidekick Lewis, played by Kevin Wheatley, was deemed strong enough to sustain a spin-off show of his own following the killing off of the Morse character. The gamble paid off, with five successful series completed to date, all of which are collected in this box set.


Who Do You Think You Are? Complete Series 1-7 [DVD] – buy it from

A string of celebrities trace their family history with frequently moving results. The first seven series of the popular BBC geneaology show are collected here, along with the first season of the US version of the show. The show’s producers generally carry out initial research of around double the number of subjects they plan to film for each series, meaning that only the most interesting cases make it into the show.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People Double Pack [DVD] – buy it from

Classic BBC adaptations of  John le Carré’s celebrated spy novels, featuring an outstanding turn from Sir Alec Guiness as George Smiley, a retired intelligence expert drawn back into service in order to weed out a Soviet mole. That’s a mole as in an undercover agent rather than, you know, an actual mole. That would have been a very different story.


Ben 10: Ultimate Alien – Vol. 2 [DVD] – buy it from

Listen and understand. The Ben 10 franchise is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you’ve emptied your wallet or purse for merchandising just to shut your brat kid up for 10 minutes.


Andrew Marr’s Megacities [DVD] – buy it from

Andrew Marr may look like the older, thinner brother of Vincent D’Onofrio’s character in Men in Black but he knows how to front a decent documentary, as this BBC series shows. Marr visits London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Shanghai and Dhaka, interviewing some of the people who work hard to help those cities tick.


99-1 – The Complete Second Series [DVD] – buy it from

Confession time: as much as we like to give the impression that we here at New TV Shows watch every programme available, there are only so many hours in the day — we have to draw the line somewhere. Our line is drawn well before ITV drama vehicles for Leslie Grantham.


Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 2 [DVD] – buy it from

An animated take on Marvel’s superhero superteam, featuring the likes of The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Ant-Man. Spot the weak link in that lot. Draw up a list of your dream superpowers; being able to shrink to the size of a particularly small insect probably isn’t too near the top.


Batman – The Brave And The Bold Vol. 6 [DVD] – buy it from

More animated action, this time an adaptation of the DC Comics series that sees different superhero pairings (or sometimes teams) join forces to fight evil. The best thing about this is that Diedrich Baber supplies the voice of The Dark Knight — and as anybody who has seen Office Space or Napoleon Dynamite will attest to, Diedrich Baber is excellent.


The Cuckoo Waltz – The Complete Fourth Series [DVD] – buy it from

The fourth and final series of the ITV sitcom revolving around a hard-up couple who decide toopen their Manchester home to a lodger in order to earn a little extra cash. Lewis Collins, who played the original long-term house guest in the first three series, was replaced here by Ian Saynor.


Ax Men Season 1 and Season 2 Collector’s Edition [DVD] – buy it from

The latest documentary series from ‘men with pretty dangerous jobs’ specialist Original Productions, Ax Men follows a number of different American logging crews and the issues they’re faced with on a day-to-day basis. Originally aired on The History Channel, the show follows in the footsteps of the likes of Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers.


Michael Bentine’s Potty Time – The Complete Third Series [DVD] – buy it from

Potty Time was a long-running 1970s  children’s show which featured bearded puppets acting out scenes from history. It was once voted as the 71st best kids’ TV show of all time by Channel 4 viewers — high praise indeed.


Underworld At War: The Complete ITV Series [DVD] – buy it from

ITV documentary series looking back at the unique opportunity given to nefarious sorts during the Second World War; while bomb sites were a tragedy for those who once lived there, they offered murderers the perfect place to hide dead bodies. ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser offers an insight into some of the goings on he witnessed — and took part in — between 1939 and 1945.


The Upchat Collection – The Complete Series [DVD] – buy it from

Playful ITV sitcom with a twist — homless protagonist Mike Upchat is played by two different actors depending on the scenario. This double DVD collection covers original series The Upchat Line and follow-up show The Upchat Connection.


Dennis & Gnasher: Special Agent Dennis & 25 More Crazy Adventures [DVD] – buy it from

Bumper DVD pack collecting the first two series of the animated CBBC series featuring Beano cover star Dennis the Menace and  his trusty dog Gnasher. The set also features plenty of extras including a number of other Beano characters, including Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids.


Complete Victorian Farm Collection






The Complete Victorian Farm Collection Boxed Set [DVD] – buy it from

This set collects the original BBC documentary series Victorian Farm and all of its subsequent spin-offs, including Victorian Farm Christmas, Tales From The Green Valley, Victorian Pharmacy and Edwardian Farm. Just the thing for history buffs.

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