News Column

Zombies enliven the week's new-on-DVD lineup

August 30, 2013


Aug. 30--AMC's exciting, nerve-racking zombie survival story The Walking Dead last season reached a height of popularity thought impossible. The Season Three finale drew 12.4 million viewers, the highest in series history.

Fill the empty hours before the Season Four premiere on Oct. 13 with The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season, a five-disc box set containing all 16 episodes. The season opened with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) leading his chosen people out of a cruel winter to an abandoned prison. Other early highlights: Rick's estranged wife, Lori, has an unusual pregnancy; their teenage son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), has shot up 2 inches and can fight as well as any man; and Daryl (Norman Reedus) learns that his brother, evildoer Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) is alive.

As are all the dead. Alive. And walking.

(; $69.98 DVD; $79.99 Blu-ray; not rated)

TV shows on DVD

Parade's End (2012). Rebecca Hall and Benedict Cumberbatch are outstanding in this BBC-HBO coproduction, an adaptation of modernist novelist Ford Madox Ford's savage, epic story about the dissolution of Western civilization in the years leading up to World War I. The five-part miniseries is due Sept. 10. (; $39.98 DVD; $49.99; not rated).

Parade's End (1964). The BBC brought the story to the small screen five decades ago in a celebrated, if now somewhat dated, 41/2-hour version starring Judi Dench and Ronald Hines and finally available on DVD. (; $24.98; not rated).

Sapphire & Steel: The Complete Series. Before The X Files, before Fringe, there was Sapphire & Steel, a high-concept but decidedly low-budget sci-fi masterpiece that aired from 1979 to 1982 on Britain's ITV network. David McCallum and Joanna Lumley star as enigmatic, powerful beings who come to the universe's aid whenever the time-space-continuum is disrupted. This five-disc set contains six separate stories totaling almost 15 hours. (; $39.97; not rated)

Scandal: The Complete Second Season. Politics, money, industry, and sex -- above all sex -- intersect in this wonderfully scandalous drama from Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. Kerry Washington stars as a Washington fixer whose clients range from the president of the United States to brothel owners. (; $45.99; not rated)

The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Sixth Season. It seems today it's cool to be a science nerd. Stars Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons show you how in this goofadelic sitcom. (; $44.98; not rated)

Hunted: The Complete First Season. Melissa George is amazing as a sexy, fierce killer-spy in this Cinemax thriller set in the dangerous world of corporate espionage and private contractors. (; $39.95; not rated)

The Border: The Complete First Season. Yes, Canada also has terrorist-fightin' super agents -- and TV shows about them. This terrific, overlooked thriller, which ran for three seasons, follows a Toronto-based unit of Canada's Immigration & Customs Security, which handles everything from pot smuggling to terrorist plots. The 13 episodes in this collection are tight, exciting and thought provoking. (; $14.98; not rated)

Dr. Kildare: The Complete First Season. An impossibly young Richard Chamberlain stars in this rich hospital drama from 1961 as an ambitious-yet-caring young doctor in a big-city hospital. This nine-disc set features 33 episodes and is available directly from the Warner Archives Collection (; $49.95; not rated)

Contact Tirdad Derakhshani at 215-854-2736 or


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