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"The Dick Van Dyke Show Season 3" -- A Personal Review

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#1 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 26 2004 - 04:23 PM


Posted Image

No. of Episodes: 32.
No. of Discs: 5 (Single-Sided; All "Region Free").
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame OAR (1.33:1).
Audio: English only 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono.
Color/B&W: Black-and-White.
Subtitles: None.
Closed Captioned?: No.
MSRP: $69.99.
Release Date: February 24, 2004.


Image Entertainment's third-season, multi-disc boxed set of CBS-TV's "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-1966) replicates the outstanding quality and tender-loving-care of its two predecessors. It's yet another fine example of a high-quality TV program being given first-rate treatment via this marvel known as the DVD Format.

This Season 3 package consists of five digital discs, each receiving its own ThinPak case, with appropriate high-resolution (and very nice-looking!) artwork and accompanying episode information. The outer slipcase, in the tradition established by Image's first two "DVD-on-DVD" releases, features the "old-time TV" look, complete with an attractive "lenticular" (3-D style) image adorning the mock "TV screen". This time, the snappy-looking 3-D image offers up a "motion" picture of Rob Petrie (Dick Van Dyke) falling out of a jury box (from the episode "One Angry Man", which actually was not a Season 3 episode, but rather a program from the first season of the show). But...no matter what season spawned the image, it's still another cool-looking hunk of cover art.

By the way, it's also worth mentioning here that these season-three discs are all "Region Free" (or "Region Zero") encoded. This is a change from the earlier two boxed sets of this series, which were only encoded for "Region 1" playback. This "Region 0" information isn't even mentioned on Image's own website. In fact, that site claims the discs are Region 1. But, unless all five covers are wrong, we have Region-Free material in this collection.

This third-season set gives us 32 top-notch episodes with Rob and Laura Petrie and associated friends and neighbors (even though the packaging says only 31), including the hysterical "That's My Boy??" episode, in which Rob is convinced he's brought the wrong baby home from the hospital. Also in Season 3: "October Eve", "Laura's Little Lie", "Big Max Calvada", and another of my all-time faves, "I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head At All".

All episodes have a running time of 25-plus minutes, meaning they are "uncut and unedited". The FULL shows, as filmed in 1963-1964, are presented here.

Picture quality is excellent throughout this set. These black-and-white shows have never looked so good! Good resolution, detail, and contrast. The original Mono sound is used, and it suffices just fine, thank you very much. The audio comes to us via robust Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtracks on each of the discs.

Menus .... The fairly simple and easy-to-use menus are the same as the earlier Image DVDs of the Van Dyke Show, with sub-menus presented for each of the episodes on each platter. The episode sub-menus break down the program chapter-by-chapter. Plus, there's an "Extras" sub-menu that branches off of each "Episode" menu (if applicable to that episode), which takes us to any special bonus features that apply to the episode we're navigating through.

The familiar Van Dyke Show theme music plays when you load up each disc for the first time. But you can bypass the music (and the FBI Warning) by immediately hitting your "Menu" or "Top Menu" buttons.

Another way to get to the material you want to see *faster* is to use your remote's "numbered" keys to access each episode, or to access ANY item on a sub-menu. Hitting "1" will take you right away to the first (very top) option shown on the screen you're viewing. And so on with number "2", "3", etc. This number-hitting method will work regardless of the type of menu screen you're looking at. Easter Eggs, too, can be accessed this way, using number "8" or "9" (if applicable). It's kind of a neat time-saving option (once you've memorized which episode is #1, #2, and so on). Posted Image (Do other TV DVDs offer this "number key" option to access programming? I really don't know.)

A "Play All Episodes" option is also available (from the Main Menu). This feature
makes it nice for those non-stop DVD-on-DVD marathons that every self-respecting fan of "Great TV" everywhere should subject themselves to at least once every few weeks! Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

BONUS FEATURES .........................

Like the first two boxed seasons, this 3rd Dick Van Dyke Show set is jammed-packed with bonus material. Here's a rundown:

>> There are 2 audio commentary tracks, featuring Dick Van Dyke and show creator Carl Reiner (for "That's My Boy??" and "October Eve").

>> Two clips from the 1964 Emmy Awards (length = 2:30). TDVDS won 15 total Emmys during its five-year CBS-TV run, five of which came from this third season. Unfortunately, only two of the individual Emmy clips are shown here. One has Dick Van Dyke winning; the other shows a rather surprised-looking Mary Tyler Moore coming up on stage to accept the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy.

(NOTE: Interestingly, many fans of the series might have noticed (as I did) that there's a slight error by Image Entertainment in the distribution of these various Emmy Award video clips. In the S.2 boxed set, you can view a David Janssen-issued Emmy Award that, in reality, should have been included on this S.3 set. (We can tell, for certain, that this clip featuring Janssen is NOT from the second season of the Van Dyke series -- because Emmy host Joey Bishop makes a quip about Janssen's series, "The Fugitive", which wasn't even on the air until September 1963, months *after* any Emmys for TDVDS S.2 would have been passed out.)

>> Assorted "Cast & Crew Interviews", sprinkled amongst the various discs.

>> Photo Galleries for many episodes. (Although not quite as many photos are available here as in the previous boxed season sets. But the pictures we do get here are of very good quality.)

>> A complete, full-length episode of "The Danny Thomas Show" (originally aired on October 21, 1963), in which Morey Amsterdam appears as his Dick Van Dyke Show character, Buddy Sorrell! This Danny Thomas program bears a strong resemblance, story-wise, to the 2nd-season Dick Van Dyke Show episode, "Ray Murdock's X-Ray". Run time of this bonus program is 25:20, and the picture quality is quite good.

(NOTE: This "Danny Thomas Show" extra is really fun to watch. But, upon watching it, you will no doubt gain an even further respect and affection for "The Dick Van Dyke Show". Thomas' show (and few others of any ilk) had the kind of realism and genuine homespun humor and likeability that the Van Dyke Show possessed. No other screen couple in history had the chemistry that Rob & Laura Petrie had.)

>> "Rehearsal Footage" (2:28) --- This extra contains a clip from an Arthur Godfrey-hosted TV documentary program from May of 1966, "A Day In The Life Of Sheldon Leonard". We see some behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage for the season-five Van Dyke episode, "Talk To The Snail". We catch brief glimpses of Frank Sutton (Sergeant Carter of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."), Andy Griffith, Henry Gibson, Jerry Paris, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, and, of course, Sheldon. Interesting stuff.

>> An excerpt (3:14) from Mr. Van Dyke's 1975 variety program, "Van Dyke & Company", in which Dick's former co-star, Mary Tyler Moore, makes an appearance. It's not a song-and-dance clip; it's a scripted comedy spot featuring Dick and Mary chatting. Not exactly side-splittingly funny (far from it); but it's still fun to watch these two performers get together again, nine years after the Van Dyke Show ended. (I wonder if additional clips from this show might show up in future Van Dyke season sets. Because I have a hard time believing that Mary appeared for just a short 3-minute cameo. Maybe so; but it seems like there should be more here.)

>> Easter Eggs --- There are 5 hidden "Eggs" (one on each of the five discs). Each is a TV ad (circa 1990s) for "Nick At Nite", featuring "Chairman" Dick Van Dyke. Be sure not to miss the one on Disc #5, in which Carl Reiner pops up (alongside Dick). That one is very funny! There are no "Kent" cigarette ads hidden as Eggs on S.3.

These "Easter Eggs" are buried within the episode sub-menus, and can be accessed by pressing your remote's "Left Arrow" key while the "Opening Titles" chapter is highlighted. On two of the discs, you can get to the same hidden "Egg" by "left arrowing" from any of the other chapter choices as well. If there is an Easter Egg present, the highlighted area will move off of the Chapter Selection to an area in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. A "glow" or "lighted" area will appear surrounding the cranium of Mr. Dick Van Dyke's artist rendering in the corner. If you see this "glow", you've accessed an "Egg". Press "Enter" or "Play" now, and you'll see the "Nick @ Nite" promo spot.

>> Plus: There's also a four-page mini-booklet, featuring some season-three facts and trivia, plus an informative bio on Rose Marie (who played "Sally Rogers" on the show).

NOTE: The packaging indicates that this set contains "Original Commercials Featuring the Cast and Network Promotional Spots". However, I've yet to locate any commercials on this set. There is, though, one very short "Promo" (at the end of Part 1 of the Two-Parter, "Laura's Little Lie"), which features Mr. Van Dyke encouraging viewers to tune in next week to see the conclusion of the 2-parter.

Whew! What a dazzling package of extra features! Absolutely fantastic in every respect. These boxed sets of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" just keep getting better and better! In my opinion, they are worth literally twice the asking price.

Anyone that currently owns the other sets of The Dick Van Dyke Show from Image will, without question, want to snap up this third installment of this timeless TV classic. Image Entertainment, once again, proves it's a class act when it comes to providing consumers with superlative TV product on Digital Disc. With great video transfers, plentiful bonus features, complete uncut episodes, and smart-and-classy packaging -- this boxed set is another no-brainer for collectors. It's a "must" for the DVD Library.


Here's a complete list of episodes you'll see in the stellar "Dick Van Dyke Season Three" 5-Disc Boxed Set (with original Air Dates):

Episode #: 64. That's My Boy?? (9/25/1963)
65. The Masterpiece (10/2/1963)
66. Laura's Little Lie (10/9/1963) **
67. Very Old Shoes, Very Old Rice (10/16/1963) **
68. Uncle George (11/13/1963)
69. Too Many Stars (10/30/1963)
70. Who And Where Was Antonio Stradivarius? (11/6/1963)
71. Big Max Calvada (11/20/1963)
72. The Ballad Of Betty Lou (11/27/1963)
73. Turtles, Ties And Toreadors (12/4/1963)
74. The Sound Of The Trumpets Of Conscience Falls Deafly
On A Brain That Holds Its Ears... (12/11/1963)
75. The Third One From The Left (1/1/1964)
76. The Alan Brady Show Presents (12/18/1963)
77. My Husband Is The Best One (1/8/1964)
78. Happy Birthday And Too Many More (2/5/1964)
79. The Lady And The Tiger And The Lawyer (1/15/1964)
80. The Life And Love Of Joe Coogan (1/22/1964)
81. A Nice, Friendly Game Of Cards (1/29/1964)
82. The Brave And The Backache (2/12/1964)
83. The Pen Is Mightier Than The Mouth (2/19/1964) **
84. My Part-Time Wife (2/26/1964) **
85. Honeymoons Are For The Lucky (3/4/1964)
86. How To Spank A Star (3/11/1964)
87. The Plots Thicken (3/18/1964)
88. Scratch My Car And Die (3/25/1964)
89. The Return Of Edwin Carp (4/1/1964)
90. October Eve (4/8/1964)
91. Dear Mrs. Petrie, Your Husband Is In Jail (4/15/1964)
92. My Neighbor's Husband's Other Life (4/22/1964)
93. I'd Rather Be Bald Than Have No Head At All (4/29/1964)
94. Teacher's Petrie (5/13/1964)
95. My Two Show-Offs And Me (12/16/1964)

** = A "Two-Parter"


Close-up looks at the Season-Three Packaging......


#2 of 159 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted February 26 2004 - 05:09 PM

David, thanks for the incredibly detailed and informative review. I'll have this set by the end of next week, a little short on funds right now. A question though, you mentioned that you could use your number keys to access the episodes number 1=episode 1 and so on. If this is true does it work for the "play all" feature and if so what is the number that you have to press? If say I can hit number 7 and have it just start playing all that would be really cool. Thanks again for the detailed review.

#3 of 159 OFFLINE   BrianP


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Posted February 26 2004 - 07:25 PM

Received my season 3 set Monday from Amazon but haven't had a chance to watch any episodes yet. Unfortunately it may take me a while to get to this set since I have so many other discs to watch. However I did thoroughly enjoy the first two seasons. I will have to bookmark this thread so I can remember how to find the easter eggs.

#4 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 26 2004 - 07:29 PM

Yes. That's exactly correct. EVERY possible menu item/option has its own "Number" that can be accessed via the remote.

And, like you eluded, "Number 7" oft-times WILL access the "Play All" option -- because it's the seventh item on the Main Menu (sometimes, that is). From playing around with the various Menus/Discs, it appears that "Play All" is either #7, #8, or #9 (per your remote). This depends upon whether there are 6 or 7 episodes on a particular platter....and also depends upon if there are any Commentary tracks on any of that disc's shows. Because the "Lips" (to the left of episode titles containing audio commentaries) also have their own remote-control "number" too. Posted Image

But once you've memorized the number you'll need, it's a simple & quick process to get to the Petries in short order. Just two button clicks, and you're "Playing All" -- immediately after your player has identified the disc as a DVD-Video, you can hit "Top Menu", followed by "#7" (or whatever #), and you're into "Instant DVD-on-DVD Marathon Mode". Posted Image

(God forbid we should actually have to *scroll* all the way down the Menu lists to garner our selections! Posted Image These disc-makers have thought of everything.)

(By the by .... I just noticed, also, that this "Access Via Keypad Numbers" option is also available on both S.1 and S.2 of TDVDS as well. Never even noticed it heretofore.)

#5 of 159 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted February 26 2004 - 07:41 PM

I'm still waiting for the brain wave interface that will allow me to simply think about what I want the player to do and then have the player perform that task. No more pushing buttons for me. Seriously though, thanks David. You of course are now nominated to do 1 of these for season 4 and 5.

#6 of 159 OFFLINE   David*P


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Posted February 27 2004 - 04:13 AM

Dang it! I shouldn't read your reviews of DVD on DVD because then I want to buy it all the more!! But my wallet just doesn't seem to be able to pull through for me........ Excellent review David!

The Bewitched History Book by David L. Pierce ties in the events of the 60s with each episode 
and breaks down each episode in depth along with rare trivia, photos, and reviews!


Available now at BearManorMedia.com and Amazon.com in both paperback and hardback!


#7 of 159 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted February 27 2004 - 05:06 AM

Thanks for the review.

Well done... and it reminded me that I didn't get to the store on Tuesday to pick it up. So I went today at lunch. Posted Image

As for when I'll watch it... I still haven't watched all of season 2, yet. But I'll get there.


#8 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 27 2004 - 09:19 PM

Thanks, men! Posted Image

BTW....I've added a complete Episode List to my review post (above), which lists the shows (in proper order) we get in the S.3 boxed set.

#9 of 159 OFFLINE   DanFe


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Posted February 27 2004 - 09:55 PM

David, I tried to play these on my region 2 (Japan) player that I have and it didn't work. Region 0 or free, I don't think so. Can you tell us more your experience on it? So far, I can only play the season 3 set on my all region player or my region 1 player.

#10 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 27 2004 - 10:28 PM

#11 of 159 OFFLINE   DanFe


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Posted February 28 2004 - 12:29 AM

Sorry, but what I said was that the Season 3 set is not Region 0, but is Region 1 only. However, an update on that. All of my discs of Season 3 (1,2,4, and 5) except for disc 3 are all region. I did see the "0" insignia on the disc, but I put disc 3 in 2 of my players (my region 2 player and my region 1 player) and the only one it plays on is the region 1 player. When I put it into my region 2 player it ejects the disc. Now, that is just weird.

#12 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 28 2004 - 01:04 AM

Yes, that is weird (that *just* one disc would NOT be Region 0).

Perhaps you can contact Image Ent. about this snafu .....


#13 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 28 2004 - 07:54 PM

Just for the sake of thoroughness, and in order to give the first two seasons "equal time", here are my thoughts and perpetual ramblings regarding the Season 1 and Season 2 DVD-on-DVD aggregations. Posted Image ..........



Posted Image

No. of Episodes: 30 (31 Including the Pilot show, "Head Of The Family").
No. of Discs: 5 (Single-Sided; All "Region 1").
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame OAR (1.33:1).
Audio: English only 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono.
Color/B&W: Black-and-White.
Subtitles: None.
Closed Captioned?: No.
MSRP: $69.99.
Release Date: October 21, 2003.

Posted Image


Image Entertainment's DVD-Video release of "The Dick Van Dyke Show Season One" is a superior example of TV-on-DVD. Just about as close to "perfect" as you could get, in my opinion.

The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran for 5 seasons on CBS-TV from 1961-1966, seems as fresh, funny, and (above all) REAL today as it did all those years ago, when it barely was able to survive its rocky, low-rated first season.

This glorious five-disc DVD boxed set, containing every episode from the show's rookie season of 1961-1962, gives fans a chance to see Rob, Laura, Buddy, Sally, and the rest of the first-rate cast all over again, with crystal-clear Digital transfers of every episode.

Each of the 30 first-season programs is presented in uncut form, unlike any of the various chopped-up variations of the episodes you're likely to find on commercial television. The Season 1 set also includes the exceptionally-nice bonus of the pilot program, "Head Of The Family", created by resident series genius Carl Reiner, which starred Reiner as Rob Petrie, along with a completely different group of actors portraying the show's other characters. The pilot aired on CBS on July 19, 1960, its one and only network airing. It's great to have this rare pilot included within this Van Dyke package.

Thanks to Reiner and his brain-trust's method of just turning the cast loose and, to a great extent, letting them improvise their way through many of the show's well-structured and impeccibly-penned scripts, the shows always seem to have have that off-the-cuff and seemingly ad-libbed quality that, in this writer's observations, is unparalleled in the field of TV sitcoms. Although Van Dyke co-star Mary Tyler Moore's own 1970-1977 series that bears the star's name definitely rivals the Van Dyke series in terms of naturalness and the "unscripted" feel that it exudes.

Every facet of this DVD set is a treasure of gold. Everything! Starting with the ultra-classy packaging, with the outer slipcase representing a facsimile of an old-fashioned B&W TV (right down to the vent holes on the back!). The picture on the "TV" on the front of the slipcase shows Rob Petrie falling over the living-room ottoman, taken from the opening credits of the show. This picture (which is actually a removable insert card which can be slid in and out of the mock "TV screen" via a slot located on the inside of the slipcase) will yield a "motion picture" effect when tilted from side to side, or up and down. If you move the picture just right, you'll see this nice 3-D-like effect, with Rob starting out in a standing position, and then proceeding to fall over the ottoman. Very cool!

The five individual discs are housed in separate "ThinPak" type of DVD cases, which each has a different picture on the front. These cover art images are excellent, and crystal clear in quality. These DVD case cover photos appear to have been taken from original publicity stills. The individual cases represent practically a mini Photo Gallery in and of themselves. There are also some additional still photos on the back and on the inside of each ThinPak case, along with complete episode information for that particular disc, including episode numbers, film dates, original air dates, and a short synopsis of each program. Chapter stops are also included.

A small 4-page printed insert also comes in this package. This mini-booklet provides some informative general information and "Did You Know?" fun facts concerning The Dick Van Dyke Show and its cast.

Apart from the programs themselves, the large amount of effort utilized in creating just this first-rate packaging is readily apparent.

Each single-sided disc has 6 or 7 full-length, unedited episodes. Each program has a running time of just a tad more than 25 minutes, including the ending credits. So we know they're the FULL programs, without any portions cut out. Very nice! For marathon lovers, there is a "Play All Episodes" feature, for uninterrupted back-to-back viewing of that disc's programs.

Video Quality .... Picture quality is, in a word, Perfection! Or, at least "Near Perfection", let's put it that way. There is still the occasional bit of dirt and grain remaining on these prints. But, considering the decades-old age of these programs, I think it's safe to say, due to the intense and very lengthy restoration and re-mastering process undertaken, that these episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show have never looked any better. The resolution of these black-and-white shows is excellent. The image is very sharp and clear, bringing out some details you probably never knew were even there while watching these episodes originally in the 1960s on the smaller 19-inch monitors of the era.

Sound .... There's a very adequate Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack employed for each episode. This original mono soundtrack does very nicely. All dialogue is easily heard and understood.

Extras .... An amazing wealth of bonus material has been assembled for this boxed set (as well as its Season Two sister set, which actually contains even MORE than this volume!). Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner provide commentary tracks for two episodes. There's also retrospective interviews and featurettes with the cast & crew, Emmy Awards clips (which are great fun to see, transporting us back to the 1960s with the click of a remote button), Photo Galleries, network promos, and some original commercial spots. A fabulous amount of added-value content for a TV program from the early 1960s!

Menus .... The menu structure is simple and easy to navigate. Each episode has its own separate sub-menu, where you get the chapter selections for that episode. Highlighting the icon marked "Extras" takes you to all the special features that are specific to that episode. A "Special Features" option can also be accessed from the disc's Main Menu as well.

In addition, there's a feature on selected discs called "Ottoman Tripper", which, when selected, reveals a single trivia question about the Dick Van Dyke Show, with 4 possible answers. Selecting the correct answer will reveal a snippet of the opening credits of the show in which Rob Petrie sidesteps the ottoman upon entering the living room. If an incorrect choice is selected, you get a clip of Rob tripping over the ottoman, with added "crashing" sound effects. A cute little bonus, again emphasizing the devotion and care the creators of these DVDs have taken in producing this product.

Rounding out the extras, there's a "Meet The Cast" feature (text only), with some brief info on the show's cast.

Unfortunately, Carl Reiner (I've heard it told) nixed the idea of any outtakes or bloopers being included in these DVD-on-DVD sets. His reasoning, as I understand it, was that he didn't like the idea of having the audience seeing the characters he created appearing "out of character" while filming the show. Thusly, no outtakes/bloopers/deleted scenes are included here. (Although many DO exist. I have a VHS video that includes 24 minutes of Van Dyke Show outtakes and bloopers. Too bad they can't be shown on the DVDs. But, oh well...you can't have everything I guess.)

A new law should be passed immediately by the U.S. Congress, ordering all Rob & Laura-loving individuals in America to purchase this very reasonably-priced Season 1 boxed set of "DVD-on-DVD"!


Here's the complete Episode List of the Dick Van Dyke programs you'll see when you purchase the Season One boxed set from Image Entertainment (arranged in "film date" order, as they appear on the Image discs). Original "Air Dates" are shown here:

Episode # 1. The Sick Boy And The Sitter (10/3/1961)
2. The Meerschatz Pipe (11/28/1961)
3. Jealousy! (11/7/1961)
4. Sally And The Lab Technician (10/17/1961)
5. Washington vs. The Bunny (10/24/1961)
6. Oh How We Met The Night That We Danced (10/31/1961)
7. The Unwelcome House Guest (11/21/1961)
8. Harrison B. Harding Of Camp Crowder, Mo. (11/6/1961)
9. My Blonde-Haired Brunette (10/10/1961)
10. Forty-Four Tickets (12/5/1961)
11. To Tell Or Not To Tell (11/14/1961)
12. Sally Is A Girl (12/19/1961)
13. Empress Carlotta's Necklace (12/12/1961)
14. Buddy, Can You Spare A Job (12/26/1961)
15. Who Owes Who What? (1/24/1962)
16. Sol And The Sponsor (4/11/1962)
17. The Curious Thing About Women (1/10/1962)
18. Punch Thy Neighbor (1/17/1962)
19. Where Did I Come From? (1/3/1962)
20. The Boarder Incident (2/14/1962)
21. A Word A Day (2/7/1962)
22. The Talented Neighborhood (1/31/1962)
23. Father Of The Week (2/21/1962)
24. The Twizzle (2/28/1962)
25. One Angry Man (3/7/1962)
26. Where You Been, Fassbinder? (3/14/1962)
27. The Bad Old Days (4/4/1962)
28. I Am My Brother's Keeper (3/21/1962) **
29. The Sleeping Brother (3/28/1962) **
30. The Return Of Happy Spangler (4/18/1962)

** = A "Two-Parter"


Close-up looks at the Season-One Packaging......




Posted Image

No. of Episodes: 33.
No. of Discs: 5 (Single-Sided; All "Region 1").
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame OAR (1.33:1).
Audio: English only 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono.
Color/B&W: Black-and-White.
Subtitles: None.
Closed Captioned?: No.
MSRP: $69.99.
Release Date: October 21, 2003.

Posted Image


This second-season five-disc DVD boxed set of "The Dick Van Dyke Show", courtesy of Image Entertainment, ranks right up there with the Season 1 installment. Just a beautiful example of a great TV show being given superb DVD treatment.

There's a minor error on the Season 2 package. It claims on the outer case that there are 32 episodes contained in this set. In reality, we're treated to a total of 33. The final program on Disc #5, "All About Eavesdropping", was filmed at the end of the show's 2nd Season production cycle (in April 1963). But the episode did not actually air until October 23, 1963, which was well into Season #3 of the show. This was common practice for the Van Dyke Show crew throughout its network run. They would film an "extra" episode at the end of each season, to provide a sort of "head start" for the following season.

We're given the same type of very nice packaging for Season 2 that exists for the first-season set. Individual "slim" style DVD cases are used to hold each of the set's five platters. With very attractive disc and cover art utilized. Each disc is single-sided and contains six or seven Van Dyke Show episodes.

The image on the "TV" on the front of the slipcase is a nifty "3-D" insert card which can reveal a neat little "motion picture" (when turned just so) of Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore) sliding out of the Petrie hall closet, down a mountain of walnuts (taken from the classic Van Dyke Show episode).

Each disc's cover also shows episode numbers, film dates, original air dates, and a short synopsis of each program. There are Chapter Selections for each episode as well.

A small 4-page printed insert also comes in this package. This mini-booklet provides some informative general information and "Did You Know?" fun facts concerning The Dick Van Dyke Show and its cast.

Each of these Season Two Dick Van Dyke programs has a running time of just a tad more than 25 minutes, including the ending credits. So we know they're the full episodes (as originally aired in 1962 and 1963), without any scenes cut out. Very, very nice indeed!

There is also a "Play All Episodes" feature incorporated into this boxed set, for "marathon"-style viewing of that disc's programs. A great feature that many DVD purchasers will no doubt appreciate.

Video Quality .... Beautiful! Simply outstanding! Resolution looks A-OK to my eyes. Laura Petrie's beauty shines through brighter than ever on these crisp Digital Versatile Disc presentations.

The black-and-white photography is very sharp and clear, bringing out some details that we have never seen before (via previous subpar VHS versions of the shows).

Thank the Maker nobody tried to "colorize" these great old B&W shows! That would have been awful in my opinion. They were made in black-and-white, and that's the way they should remain. And they do remain that way, in exceptional fashion to boot, on these Image DVD compilations.

There's an occasional video blemish here and there, but I suppose that's to be expected from a program of this age. A few minutes of a few episodes on the Season 1 and this Season 2 boxed set suffer from a little blurriness or "flickering". It looks as though a few scenes are just slightly out of focus occasionally -- but very rarely -- on these otherwise-pristine remastered copies of TDVDS. And any minor video anomalies we experience seem to clear up rather quickly after just a short time.

The most extreme case of this "flickering"/"blurriness" that I have noticed on either the Season 1 or Season 2 boxed set occurs during the first-season episode "Punch Thy Neighbor", where approximately 8 minutes in the middle of the episode exhibits a picture that's not exactly crystal-clear. It's most noticeable, I believe, in a close-up shot of Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore), where we can see her patterned blouse strobing and flickering. Although, even here, it's not a huge deal, and not worth writing your local Congressman or getting in an uproar about. Posted Image

Sound .... We get a more-than-ample Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack employed for each of these second-season programs. Dialogue is easily heard and understood. The "Live Studio Audience" laughter seems quite robust also on these mono tracks.

Extras .... Some outstanding extra bonus features are contained on these discs. Several episodes feature commentary tracks. Some of the audio commentaries are provided by the duo of Dick Van Dyke and show creator/writer/producer/co-star Carl Reiner. And there are also some episodes featuring audio commentary by a trio of Van Dyke Show co-stars: Rose Marie ("Sally Rogers"), Ann Morgan Guilbert ("Millie Helper"), and Larry Mathews ("Ritchie Petrie").

There's also a hefty dose of interviews and featurettes, Emmy Awards clips (which are a real treat to watch so many years later), Photo Galleries, and some original commercial spots.

One of the featurettes, which has a fairly new batch of cast interviews, is "The Making Of 'It May Look Like A Walnut' ", in which Dick, Carl, and Rose reflect back on the hilarious "Walnut" episode. They all, needless to say, remember that one with great fondness.

And probably my favorite bonus feature is on Disc 5 of this Season 2 boxed set, when we're treated to four members of the Van Dyke Show cast appearing on a CBS game show called "Stump The Stars" (which, I've now discovered, is an alternate USA title for "Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz"). Dick, Mary Tyler Moore, Morey Amsterdam, and Rose Marie compete in this charades-style game against the show's "regulars", which include the likes of Sebastian Cabot, Ross Martin, and others. It's very fun to watch the cast in a setting where they are not in character.

This "Stump The Stars" bonus is not just a clip or two from the show...it's the entire episode (run time: 27 minutes)! Even included is a very humorous commercial for Wheat Chex cereal. This game-show bonus exhibits very good picture quality too. Just great, great stuff. (Let me say, too, that all the players involved in that game show were excellent at playing the game too. You can tell the Van Dyke Show cast had been practicing in anticipation of their appearance on this Pat Harrington-hosted program.)

Easter Eggs .... There are several "Eggs" buried amongst these discs. All are commercial spots (many for "Kent" cigarettes, featuring the show's cast members). The "Eggs" can be accessed via several of the disc's "Episode" sub-menus. With any of the chapters highlighted (it varies by episode, so you'll have to check every chapter), hit your remote's "Left Arrow" key. If there's an Easter Egg, you'll then see a "glow" around the head of the artist rendering of Dick Van Dyke. Pressing "Enter/Play" at this point will take you to the hidden commercial treats.

Also keep an eye open for the "Ottoman Tripper" bonus feature (on selected discs). "Tripper" is a trivia game, where a correct answer takes you to a shot of Rob Petrie deftly "sidestepping" his famous ottoman. Give a wrong answer, and watch Rob fall on his face. This is yet another neat little non-hidden "Easter Egg" type of extra feature that brings a smile to the face of the person participating.

Rounding out the large batch of supplements, there's a "Meet The Cast" feature (text screens only), with some brief info on the show's cast. (One text screen per cast member.)

Menus .... The menu structure is simple and easy to navigate. Each episode has its own separate sub-menu, where you get the chapter selections for that episode. After the initial disc load-up, you'll hear the familiar Van Dyke Show theme, followed by--thankfully--silence, for the remainder of that disc "session". There are no annoying (and lengthy) musical menu transitions. As Montgomery Burns would say: "Excellent!" Posted Image

If I had my druthers, Congress would immediately pass a law that demands all good citizens go out and purchase a copy of this worthwhile DVD boxed set. Everyone then could enjoy, in digital splendor, the excellence that was (and still is) The Dick Van Dyke Show. Posted Image


Here's a complete Episode Guide to Season Two -- in the order in which they appear on the DVDs, which is by "Film Date" (Original CBS-TV Air Dates are in parenthesis):

Episode # 31. Never Name A Duck (9/26/1962)
32. The Two Faces Of Rob (10/3/1962)
33. Bank Book 6565696 (10/17/1962)
34. The Attempted Marriage (10/10/1962)
35. Hustling The Hustler (10/24/1962)
36. What's In A Middle Name? (11/7/1962)
37. My Husband Is Not A Drunk (10/31/1962)
38. Like A Sister (11/14/1962)
39. The Night The Roof Fell In (11/21/1962)
40. The Secret Life Of Buddy And Sally (11/28/1962)
41. A Bird In The Head Hurts (12/5/1962)
42. Gesundheit, Darling (12/12/1962)
43. A Man's Teeth Are Not His Own (12/19/1962)
44. Somebody Has To Play Cleopatra (12/26/1962)
45. The Cat Burglar (1/2/1963)
46. The Foul-Weather Girl (1/9/1963)
47. Will You Two Be My Wife? (1/16/1963)
48. Ray Murdock's X-Ray (1/23/1963)
49. I Was A Teenage Head Writer (1/30/1963)
50. My Husband Is A Check-Grabber (2/13/1963)
51. It May Look Like A Walnut (2/6/1963)
52. Don't Trip Over That Mountain (2/20/1963)
53. Give Me Your Walls (2/27/1963)
54. The Sam Pomerantz Scandals (3/6/1963)
55. I'm No Henry Walden (3/27/1963)
56. The Square Triangle (3/20/1963)
57. Racy Tracy Rattigan (4/3/1963)
58. Divorce (4/10/1963)
59. It's A Shame She Married Me (4/17/1963)
60. A Surprise Surprise Is A Surprise (4/24/1963)
61. Jilting The Jilter (5/1/1963)
62. When A Bowling Pin Talks, Listen (5/8/1963)
63. All About Eavesdropping (10/23/1963)


Close-up looks at the Season-Two Packaging......



#14 of 159 OFFLINE   Jaime_Weinman


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Posted February 29 2004 - 02:37 AM

I think that the Dick Van Dyke show (like the Mary Tyler Moore Show) took a leap forward in its third season. Not that the first two seasons weren't good; but in season 3, with the arrival of Bill Persky and Sam Denoff (and later in the season, Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson), there was more variety in the stories and the types of jokes, more and better use of guest characters, and Carl Reiner's own scripts got even better (perhaps because he could take more time over them). One thing that surprises me is how few episodes actually used the famous tripping-over-the-ottoman opening. I think they only used it in the second season and maybe once a year thereafter.

#15 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 29 2004 - 02:48 AM

Carl Reiner explains this (briefly) in one of the audio commentaries, telling of how gamblers in Vegas would actually bet on whether Dick would fall or sidestep each week, and then, after XXX weeks, they just decided to use only the "sidestep" version of the opening.

The rarely-seen third opening variant is also seen during the first episode of Season 3 ("That's My Boy??"), with Rob going around the ottoman, but then stumbling slightly afterward.

It's also kind of interesting to note that this unique third opening sequence seems a tad bit clearer on the DVDs than its two sister openings. (It either "cleaned-up" a little better than the other opening credits; or it was somehow better preserved in the vaults in the first place; because it's the clearest of the bunch.)

Speaking of credits' sequences....sharp-eyed Van Dyke watchers will also notice the lack of quality during the closing credits on "That's My Boy??". It's really grainy, with lesser-quality sound as well (you can hear where the sound "lowers" as this crappier ending sequence has been inserted). For some reason, Image/Brownstein couldn't come up with a restored/remastered version of this particular ending. Haven't noticed this on any other episodes (as yet).

#16 of 159 OFFLINE   BrianP


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Posted February 29 2004 - 09:07 AM

As much as David VP knows about this series I think he should offer his services to do a commentary or documentary for a season set. Probably even Carl Reiner would learn something about his own show.

#17 of 159 OFFLINE   Steve...O



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Posted February 29 2004 - 11:21 AM

Actually, I though David VP was Carl Reiner in disguise Posted Image

Seriously, thanks for the great job covering these fine releases David. I'll be picking S3 fairly soon when finances permit.

Please help UCLA restore the Laurel & Hardy films: https://www.cinema.u...aurel-and-hardy

#18 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 29 2004 - 06:50 PM

No, no.
I'm actually Dick Van Dyke in disguise. (Just changed my last initial to protect the innocent.) Posted Image

Posted Image

#19 of 159 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted February 29 2004 - 10:01 PM

I knew that's what the V stood for, I just knew it. Although unless Dick's real first name is David, then you would've changed more than your last initial. Seriously though, thanks again for the very complete reviews of the Dick Van Dyke Show on DVD. Of course, I'm not sure what you'll do in June when all 5 seasons are out and you'll have no more of the Dick Van Dyke Show to look forward to on DVD, oh well, I guess that's when you can concenntrate on the Andy Griffith Show!

#20 of 159 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted February 29 2004 - 11:19 PM

Dick's full name is: Richard Wayne Van Dyke. Posted Image

Now, if my name was Richard (like Mr. Van Dyke's), and my middle name was the same as Robert Simpson Petrie's...I'd have some cool-looking initials indeed! -- RSVP! Posted Image

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