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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Fugitive: Most Wanted Edition

October 21st, 2012

The Fugitive: Most Wanted Edition - Buy from Amazon

The Fugitive is one of the most famous TV shows of all time. Not only did it win awards, its finale broke the record for most watched TV episode of all time. It is still the third most watched TV broadcast from an episodic series. (Only the "Who Shot J.R." episode of Dallas and the finale of M*A*S*H had bigger shares of the audience.) After coming out on DVD in eight volumes, it is coming out on a Full Series Megaset. Is it worth picking up if you passed the first time? Is it worth the upgrade?

The Show

This is going to be one of the shortest reviews I've done, especially compared to the size of the release. Except for the first season, I've reviewed the rest. Here's the links to season two, season three, and season four. The show itself is absolutely worth owning. The real question is what does this Megaset have over the original releases.

The Extras

There are no extras on most discs on this release. The first three seasons had no real extras when they were first released and that hasn't changed now. The two fourth season releases do have some extras that I mentioned in my original review. The first 32 discs do have some improvements, including more of the original music from the broadcasts. Originally, Paramount couldn't get the rights, so they had to use a lot of generic music. There are still some problems with music replacement, but that's mostly been taken care of.

The 33rd disc on this Megaset is a collection of special features. Some of these are substantial, but some of these are really short. These start with the original unaired pilot, which can be seen with or without audio commentary. This is a real treat. David Janssen appears as a special guest on the Mike Douglas Show plus there's a short promo for the show. Fugitive Around the World continues David Janssen's appearance on the Mike Douglas Show, this time as an interviewee. There's the epilogue for the series finale, which either didn't air or was interrupted in some markets when it was originally broadcast, so it was aired the next week with a slightly different voiceover at the end. There's an audio interview with David Janssen and Joey Bishop. Memories of a Maestro is a six-minute featurette about Dominic Frontiere, one of the composers from the show. The Sound of the Chase is an eight-minute featurette on the music, this time focusing on another composer, Pete Rugolo. David Janssen was in a skit on the Dinah Shore Show, which is the next extra. There's a 12-minute featurette on Barry Morse. The last extra on the DVD is Merely Players, an eight-minute featurette with Barry Morse describing how he became part of the show. Finally, there's a CD of the soundtrack to the show. Since the music was such an important part of the show, this is an important extra. Admittedly, some of these extras are around a minute long, but there are enough substantial extras that the overall box set does give something more and isn't a cheap cash grab.

The Verdict

The Fugitive: Most Wanted Edition costs $225 on Amazon.com. This works out to just under $30 per original DVD release, which isn't a great bargain. The Megaset does have a bonus disc of extras, plus the CD soundtrack, so it does have better extras than the original releases. I think it is the better deal than the original releases, even compared to the deeper discount some of those DVDs have. However, I wouldn't argue it is worth the double-dip.


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