Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Warning to Canadian Briscovites

If you're in Canada and you're thinking of buying "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.", think again: the Canadian release leaves out the booklet, with notes and episode descriptions written by star Bruce Campbell. I have no idea why this happened, but the Canadian division of Warner Home Video has a strange track record of leaving random stuff out of its DVD releases (the Canadian release of The Band Wagon was missing one special feature, an outtake from the movie).

I would suggest ordering from or another US source instead.

It's a hell of a DVD set, as Gord Lacey's review makes clear. The show itself is the kind of openly escapist, good-natured fare you don't often get in these times, when TV hour-long drama is mostly all suffering and sweaty close-ups. The special features are good, too, particularly the 40-minute "roundtable" with the writing staff (these roundtable discussion featurettes are increasingly popular on TV-on-DVD sets, and definitely beat the standard fake-documentary format of most DVD featurettes).

My one problem with the special features is that so far I haven't heard anyone make any mention of two rather important points: one, the show's rather obvious debt to "The Wild Wild West" -- co-creator Carlton Cuse keeps talking as if he invented the whole idea of combining the Western with science fiction -- and two, the apparent falling-out between Cuse and co-creator Jeffrey Boam, who is credited throughout the run of the show but actually left quite early in the run. Supposedly he thought the show was being taken too far in the fantasy/sci-fi direction, which is odd considering that many of Boam's screenplays had been straightforward fantasy or sci-fi (Innerspace, The Lost Boys)


Anonymous said...

You know, I really loved that show, it blew my mind at the time, the way it all came together by the end of the first season. That and the amazingly awful non-stop puns.

"So, Baron von Zeppelin sponsored this flying ship... and he wants to me to name it after him and cover it in lead."
"So it'll be a Lead Zeppellin?" *rimshot!*

I'm not sure I love it enough to spend $70 on it, but the memories will never fade of that awful punnage. And the Shogun from The Last Dragon as the wonderfully irritable Lord Bowler.

npetrikov said...

Never saw this show, but I recall another bastard child of Wild Wild West of about the same vintage: Legend, starring Richard Dean Anderson and John de Lancie ("Q"), which I enjoyed mightily at the time. Not sure if it'd hold up, though.