DVD Review HTF DVD REVIEW: The Incredible Hulk - The Complete Series

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Kevin EK, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    [​IMG]

    THE INCREDIBLE HULK
    THE COMPLETE SERIES



    [​IMG]
    Studio: Universal
    Original Broadcast: 1977-1982
    Length: 63 hours 19 mins (82 episodes)
    Genre: Science Fiction/Drama

    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
    Color/B&W: Color

    Audio:
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono


    Subtitles: English SDH
    Rating: Unrated (TV-safe violence, Multiple Hulkouts)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]














    Release Date: October 21, 2008

    Rating:
    Starring: Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno and Jack Colvin

    From the Comic Book Created By: Stan Lee
    Executive Producer: Kenneth Johnson





    The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series is a box set that collects all 20 DVDs of the individual season sets as a single omnibus package. The DVDs and DVD cases in the box here are literally the same ones that can be found in the earlier packages. There are no new special features here. If anything, the “special feature” still included of bonus episodes from later seasons in the Season 1 and Season 2 discs, is now irrelevant, but since the same DVDs are being used, they are still present. This series package is probably best for fans of the series who either have not bought any of the DVD releases of the series before, or who perhaps only picked up one season and would like to find this package at a reduced rate.

    For those who haven’t seen the series before, it is a dramatic adaptation of the Marvel comic book about a man who transforms into a raging green creature whenever he becomes angry. For the series, almost all the comic book details have been dropped and the story concerns Dr. David Banner, a scientist who accidentally overdoses himself with gamma radiation and winds up wandering the US looking for a way to cure himself or at least stay out of trouble. And typically, he finds trouble wherever he goes, leading to two Hulkouts per episode and a finale each week that finds him hitchhiking down the road again to Joe Harnell’s mournful “Lonely Man” theme.

    As I have already listed the contents of the DVDs for the 3rd, 4th and 5th seasons in prior reviews here, I will dispense with that. Suffice it to say that every episode of the original series is present here, along with the original pilot movies and a few bonus features. The bonus features here, already discussed on prior reviews, include scene specific commentaries by Kenneth Johnson for the three episodes he directed himself (The original pilot film, the second season premiere “Married”, and the fourth season premiere “Prometheus”), a collection of interview featurettes mostly drawn from a single long interview with Johnson but intercut with some of the other writers for the show, a shortened gag reel at the end of the 5th season, a quick photo gallery from “Prometheus” and a sneak peek of the 2008 Edward Norton film of the Hulk.


    [​IMG]VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5 [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series offers full-frame presentations of the best masters available. As discussed before, the image here is what you saw when these episodes originally aired. Picture quality varies throughout, but this is to be expected from 30 year old prints made on a television schedule. As far as the transfer itself goes, it is an accurate representation of the series as it was telecast.

    [​IMG]AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series is presented in an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono mix that essentially gives us what we heard during the original broadcasts up to 30 years ago. The dialogue is mostly clear, as is the music and the sound effects of Hulkouts, roars and growls.


    IN THE END...

    The Incredible Hulk: The Complete Series can only be recommended to completist fans of the series, and specifically those who have either not picked up any of the season sets or who have only picked up one. Since the discs in the box are identical to what is already available in the season sets, there is no reason to get this set if you already own more than one season.


    Kevin Koster
    November 8, 2008
     
  2. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Just curious...Are the individual discs in exactly the same type cases used for the season sets? The season sets used a non-consistent combination of single-slim paks, double-slim paks, and single-Amarays.
     
  3. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    They are exactly the same cases. If I didn't know better, I'd say that the discs and cases come from the earlier season sets - literally taking them out of one box and putting them into another. Some have one disc, some have two, etc. The dead giveaway is when you have special features like bonus episodes from the next season, which is irrelevant when all the episodes are present anyway...
     
  4. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info. That's incredibly lazy on Uni's part. You'd think they could have designed a better interior presentation for the set. I suppose it's possible they simply "recycled" unsold season sets by repackaging them as the complete series set.
     
  5. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I think that's probably what happened. On the other hand, for those fans who never picked up any of the season sets, this would be a more economic alternative to buying each of the seasons individually. But I can't believe that the fans didn't pick these up already as they came out.

    The Hulk has been released at this point at least three times on DVD. The initial release was the pilot film, backed with "Married", which came out around the time of the 2003 Hulk movie. Then, that October there was a series collection set of 6 discs that compiled a lot of the best episodes including the 2 hour/2 part eps and a few gems. And then they began to release each season on its own, culminating with the final three seasons this year to coincide with the theatrical and DVD release of the new film.

    Beyond that, the later TV movies are available on DVD from other companies.

    Personally, I'd love to see a script for Kenneth Johnson's series finale, but this was never written since CBS pulled the plug before he could do one. Perhaps people could convince him to write it in novel form, as he has done with his continuation of "V"...
     
  6. Rodrick

    Rodrick Second Unit

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    I am interested in picking this set up cause I never owned any sets previous, I have only the Hulk dvd that had 2 movies in it. I found that in a $10 bin.
    And these 2 movies aren't in the set.
     
  7. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Rodrick, is the DVD you picked up the one with Thor and Daredevil (The Incredible Hulk Returns and the Trial of the Incredible Hulk)?

    Or is it the pilot movie and the episode "Married" with commentaries by Kenneth Johnson? If it's these two, then they are included at the beginnings of the 1st and 2nd seasons. On the other hand, you'll get all the other episodes, so even if you have these two, there are many more to see.

    If what you have is the Anchor Bay collection of two of the later movies, then this will definitely be worth your time, as the series was of a significantly higher quality than the later films.
     
  8. Carabimero

    Carabimero Cinematographer
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    I bought season one way back but I picked up this set and I feel like I'm glad I waited, I got a nice price at DD with 20% off, but what a pain to dig in a long box for a slim case...unless it happens to be on top. As usual, I put the discs in a wallet and chucked the cool-looking but useless space hogging box.
     
  9. Dean C

    Dean C Second Unit

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    Wow you threw away the box, and put the discs in a binder. I did that with a few boxsets, like The Brady Bunch.

    Yeah Rodrick if you have the Thor and Daredevil DVD movies, it has a great film on Lou Ferrigno and also him in an interview.
     
  10. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    Have done a HTF search for threads about the late 70's - early 80's TV series The Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby (much missed), Jack Colvin and Lou Ferrigno. There were several threads.


    Recently I started watching the first season DVD set of The Incredible Hulk (the two feature length pilot movies, or feature length pilot TV movie "The Incredible Hulk" and the follow-up TV movie "A Death in the Family" and ten x 60 minute episodes). For the most part the print quality is pretty good with the colours hardly faded. My least favourite episode so far is "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break". My favourite of the 60 minute episodes so far is "The Hulk Breaks Las Vegas" (it incorporates McGee, who makes an excellent foil to David Banner and the Hulk, very well into the story).
     
  11. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Richard, if you do a search, you should find reviews I submitted for the 3rd, 4th and 5th Season Sets, wherein I went into some detail about the episodes and the special features.


    There are a couple of fun things to note about "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break". One is the shameless reuse of footage from DUEL, which sent Spielberg's blood pressure skyrocketing. The second is the hulkout where David Banner doesn't have 25 cents to call 911 from a phone booth - which may be one of the single funniest moments in the entire series.


    You could also look up Kenneth Johnson's website at kennethjohnson.us You'll find a treasure trove of information there, including a list I compiled back in the 90s and which he was kind enough to host on his site.
     
  12. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    It had been many years since I last saw "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break", so watching it recently I saw things in the writing and scenes I hadn't noticed before. There was a lot of footage used from Duel, and in a way it was clever how they mixed that footage in with newly shot scenes and how it was written. But considering it was written by Kenneth Johnson, I'm shocked by how they got away with using the footage from Duel (ditto with the episode "747" and the scenes from one of the Airport films, and "Earthquakes Happen" and the scenes from Earthquake).


    Just the season finale "The Waterfront Story" left to watch, and then it's onto the second season and "Married".
     
  13. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Richard, all three of the movies that had material lifted were Universal releases, where Universal felt they owned the rights to the material. Thus, The Incredible Hulk could make use of footage from any of those projects for a TV episode and thus seem to multiply its budget by many numbers when in fact the stock footage came from a hit movie that cost much more than the series could ever have spent.


    This kind of thing came to a head with an episode of the 90s-2000s series JAG called "Smoked", where footage from Clear And Present Danger was lifted and placed into the episode. And after which there was a lot of angry comments from the producers of the movie about how their footage was grabbed without their consent. I don't believe this kind of thing has happened again without the producers' involvement.
     
  14. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    I bought the season sets as they came out, and I'm almost done with season 5 (I know, very slow going - I got sidetracked!). Very enjoyable show overall, and a cool updating of the concept behind The Fugitive (it's very close to being the same show). Bixby was terrific, as were many of the guest stars. The show did suffer from the same thing so many of its contemporaries did, which is a tendency toward sappy plotlines on occasion and too many stories that feature too-cute kids. But that was the landscape of late 70s television, I'm afraid. But overall, this is a very cool show and one that deserves a look for those interested in good TV.
     

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