Dallas – The
Complete Final Season/Fourteen
(1990 – 1991/Warner Bros.) + James
Clavell’s Shogun (1980/CBS) + Wish
Me Luck – Series 2 (1989/Acorn Media/DVD Sets)
Picture: C/C+/C Sound: C/C+/C Extras: D (Shogun: B-) Episodes:
The TV event
was something to be impressed by in its time, when quality event TV was not
only on PBS and before cable/satellite and home video really kicked in. These programs show the peak and decline of
the peak of the original Dallas series
was the Who Shot J.R.? episode, not the
series continued to try and keep audiences no matter what, but by The Complete Final Season/Fourteen in 1990
– 1991, the show was well past its prime and long in the tooth. The tired narratives were finally laid to
rest and in the last feature-length show, a mysterious stranger (Joel Gray)
shows up to show J.R. how life would have been without him. It has a nice twist conclusion and way for
the show to go out, but you realize this should have happened a few seasons
before. Some feel it was when Bobby
returned mysteriously himself, but that’s another matter. There are no extras and the 1.33 X 1 picture
and Dolby Digital Mono sound are similar to Season 13.
means we have covered the entire series.
Try these links for starters and we’ll see if it ever makes Blu-ray:
Seasons 1 – 8
the most successful TV mini-series of all time still to this day, James Clavell’s Shogun (1980) re-promoted
by CBS on its 30th Anniversary.
This is the same set issued a few years ago, but we missed it then. Richard Chamberlain stars as Major John
Blackthorne, a British navigator in the 17th Century who lands up in
and finds himself in the middle of power conflicts he could never have
imagined. The title refers to the title
of the man who becomes the main head of wars and battles and in a coup for this
series, legendary actor Toshiro Mifune plays one of the men fighting for the
London directed the five-part, 9+ hour epic that many felt was very faithful to
the novel. TV was proud at the time to
prove that more than a feature-length film was considered a great idea to adapt
a book, though that would sadly be lost over the decades since. Clavell worked on the teleplay and the
supporting cast includes Yoko Shimada, Alan Badel, Furanki Sakai, Damien
Thomas, John Rhys-Davies, Vladek Sheybal and has Orson Welles narrates.
X 1 image is very colorful and good throughout, though some shots are softer
than I would have liked, but this was all shot on 35mm film at great expense
and the best shots will impress.
Director of Photography Andrew Lazlo, A.S.C., (You’re A Big Boy Now, The
Warriors, Streets Of Fire, Beatles At Shea Stadium) did a great
job in what is one of the best-looking mini-series in TV history to this
day. Color can be fine too and I bet
this would be great on Blu-ray. The
Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is a little better than the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, but
they are not too different because the upgrade is only so different. Maurice Jarre’s score is a plus, but a
lossless remaster with original sound elements could yield much more.
audio commentary on select scenes, a 13-segment making of documentary and three
historical featurettes: The Samurai, The Tea Party, The Geisha.
we have the conclusion of Wish Me Luck –
Series 2 (1989), a British mini-series that had its first part originally
issued years ago, then never wrapped up and was out of print. Acorn reissued that set, as this link will
years later, we finally get the
conclusion on DVD. The spy mission by
British pilots against the Nazis and Axis forces continues with Liz Grainger
(Kate Buffery) having to face some tough decisions before the living nightmare
of her mission is all over. The final
seven episodes are as good as the beginning and it was nice to finally see how
this one wrapped up. I will not say much
more, except if you are interested, definitely start with the first set.
X 1 image is soft in its mix of PAL analog video with some 16mm filming, but
the image is too soft versus similar production of its time and could use some
fixing up. Flaws include staircasing,
aliasing, some video noise, video banding, some tape scratching, tape damage
and cross color. The Dolby Digital 2.0
Mono is also a couple of generations down not always as clean as it could be
with distortion and compression. There
are no extras.
- Nicholas Sheffo