Rockford Files - Season Two

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Brent Avery, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    Finally! After flying through Season One I was hoping the day would arrive for the next Season - and I got one before release day which is always a plus. After quickly putting a disc in the old player I have to say - this Season seems to look cleaner, sharper and definitely a notch up in overall color saturation. I noticed the theme music scoring changed somewhat and is a tad slower - not that it's good or bad - just different.

    Best of all is the digipak case that holds 6 standard discs - by standard I refer to the much better single sided DVD 9s - I sure am glad Universal finally made the effort to not release this set with the problem plagued DVD 18s. Mind you I personally have never had any issues with them. The digipak simply folds open, three clear plastic holders attached to the cardboard case contain two discs each. I never had any problem releasing an individual disc from its holder which is good - some can be quite frustrating. Looking at the case I wish some other series such as The Munsters had been released this way. It appears sturdy enough to hold up under use that is not too abusive. I'm quite careful so as long as it isn't too flimsy I'm happy. Some might prefer the indivdual slim cases that Season One used but I don't think the digipak is a bad idea, the discs are easier to access and I kind of like the look - they have a photo on each of the three fold out panels the clear disc holders are attached to - done in a two tone orange into yellow theme.

    The Special Features are on disc 6 and Universal has included the Original Series Pilot and an interview with Stephen J. Cannell reflecting on the Second Season which clocks at 9 min. 10 sec. Great interview with Mr. Cannell and honestly, I wish it was longer because he is candid and quite informative. So for those of you anxious for round two your almost there.
     
  2. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    The "digipacks" were also used for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chosen One collection, and they are more convenient being in album form to pick each episode on the disc you want to see Vs. having thin cases for each disc.

    I had no problem with the thin cases though, because I usually watched Rockfod Files in order. All of the first season shows were flawless copies, so no complaints here. [​IMG] It will be a while before I purchase the 2nd season though, since money is kind of tight now.
     
  3. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Glad to hear that Season 2 is on single-sided discs.....Just started on Season 1 which I received as a Christmas gift only to discover that the second episode locks up in the third chapter. [​IMG] I'm going through the other 2 discs first before I contact Universal for a replacement disc. Other than this problem, the episodes are quite enjoyable.....shame that I didn't appreciate this show as a kid. I certainly do now. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Brent,

    Thanks for the cool post. Very informative. My set's on the way. I was fortunate and had no playback issues with S1.
     
  5. John Stell

    John Stell Supporting Actor

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    Excellent post and news, Brent. I'm glad Universal has finally abandoned the DVD-18s. Mine should arrive today or Monday. I held off on watching Season 1 so I can watch the pilot first, and then proceed with Season 1.
     
  6. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  7. Aryn Leroux

    Aryn Leroux Screenwriter

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    I am looking forward to watching more rockford next week!! mine is yet to ship. I did see it out early @ a local store and it looked to me that it had 3 slim cases in the box. I woulda picked it up but why pay almost $10 more for it just to have it a few days early.
     
  8. Dan*T

    Dan*T Supporting Actor

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    I for one am very happy that this is doing well! I also was too young to appreciate this show as a kid, but I love it now!!
    Great news about the single sided disks, hopefully they will release the remaining four seasons the same way!!
    {hint, hint!!}
     
  9. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    I'm happy to confirm the pilot included is the original broadcast version, running just over 73 minutes, and not the 2-part syndication version. Did I mention that it looks fantastic? A new transfer was obviously made for this DVD, since it looks so much better than the transfer used for the previous VHS release. I fully expected Universal to simply use that existing transfer, since it took so much effort to get them to include the pilot, after neglecting it in the Season One set (where it belonged.)

    A quick scan of the 22 episodes show them to be slightly improved over the transfers of the Season One set. I still need to check them for timing, so hopefully there are no problems (edits) with them. Since the discs are all DVD-9s, I anticipate no skipping/freezing issues that plague (several) Universal DVD-18s.

    I'm so happy with the (original) pilot's inclusion, and its transfer, that I'm not even going to mention my (slight) disappointment with Universal for choosing to return to the DigiPak (with overlapping-disc trays!) for the set's packaging. The overall package is only slightly wider than if they had used the now-standard double-thin case package, so it still looks decent next to the Season One set. It's almost as though Universal intentionally gave (some of) us something to gripe about, in an otherwise top-notch set.

    A big [​IMG] to Universal for including the original pilot with this set. I can only hope our collective efforts in lobbying Universal forced them to oblige. If so, it's a good sign our pleas did not fall on deaf ears. It would still be nice to have some kind of acknowledgement from them confirming our efforts.

    Again, [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    I can live with the overlapping disc trays if it means an end to DVD-18s for all of universal's TV sets. I'm tired of going back to the stores to exchange discs over and over again. I've returned so many of them that I think they recognize me whenever I show up. [​IMG]
     
  11. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Here's a list of the episode running times:


    49:45 The Aaron Ironwood School of Success
    49:59 The Farnsworth Stratagem
    49:59 Gearjammers (1)
    49:59 Gearjammers (2)

    49:59 The Deep Blue Sleep
    48:57 The Great Blue Lake Land and Development Company
    50:00 The Real Easy Red Dog
    49:55 Resurrection in Black & White

    50:01 Chicken Little is a Little Chicken
    49:58 2 Into 5.56 Won't Go
    49:58 Pastoria Prime Pick
    49:59 The Reincarnation of Angie

    48:56 The Girl in the Bay City Boys Club
    49:58 The Hammer of C Block
    49:55 The No-Cut Contract
    50:01 A Portrait of Elizabeth

    49:58 Joey Blue Eyes
    48:58 In Hazard
    50:04 The Italian Bird Fiasco
    49:57 Where's Houston?

    50:01 Foul on the First Play
    50:00 A Bad Deal in the Valley
    73:07 Pilot

    All but three clock in at almost exactly 50 minutes. The three shorter ones are each about 49 minutes. I wouldn't know if anything is missing from them, but it's doubtful. All feature the original "teaser" intros, but lack the original Universal closing logo (they also lack the annoying new logo.) The new Universal logo, and FBI warning, appear only at the start of each disc, and are skippable. Disc one has a few previews for other Uni shows, also skippable.

    I agree with the comment above, that the Cannell interview (Disc 6) should have been longer. His memories of the show are a joy to hear, and he has such enthusiasm in telling them. Hopefully there will be more of this interview spread out over the remaining seasons.

    After skimming through the episodes, I've decided the transfers are a bigger improvement over the Season One transfers than I initially noticed. The pilot may be the best looking on this set. The quality is right up there with the Columbo sets, with just a trace more film debris. The colors are properly saturated, shadow detail is super, and the sound is unusually vibrant (for a 1975 mono show.)

    Assuming the three (slightly) shorter episodes are uncut, the set gets a big [​IMG] from me -- and I'm pretty discriminating.
     
  12. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I don't know why anyone would time how long each episode is. [​IMG]

    They're all uncut except for the end Universal logo. That studio is known for doing a very professional job regardless of the project. Rockford Files film quality has always been excellent, as was Columbo (and other Mystery Movie series), Run for Your Life, It Takes a Thief, and all Universal shows produced from the late 1960s on. Even The Virginian, from the early 1960s -- if it ever makes it to DVD doesn't need film print remastering because it looks great to begin with.
     
  13. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    That's usually the case. They do have their off-days -- just fewer than the other studios. A few examples would be Quantum Leap, Northern Exposure, and Kate & Allie.
     
  14. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    ...and McCloud, which I ranted about in an older post, with its syndicated versions of the season-one episodes (the original six 1-hour shows were paired off into three 90-minute or 2-hour eps for syndication).

    I enjoy seeing the run time of every ep in a set if there are substantial cuts in any one of them. But with those three eps in Rockford S2 all clocking in at almost excactly 1 minute shorter, I'm sure they're either A) uncut and uncompressed, just a little shorter for some reason, or B) uncut but marginally time-compressed. Or, maybe Jim whistles the theme from Maverick for a full minute in each of those three episodes, and, well, you know...

    Jeff, I'll be one of the first in line for The Virginian, but for now I'll get my Universal fix with Jim, Rocky, Angel, and friends.
     
  15. Dan*T

    Dan*T Supporting Actor

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    I'm VERY happy about this release. It's been a long time waiting for Rockford, and it looks as if they finally have it right!
    I'll be picking up my copy tomrrow!!

    Can't Wait!!
     
  16. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    I'm very please with the packaging and the sigle sided discs. I'm so glad that we are finally getting Rockford.
     
  17. RickardL

    RickardL Second Unit

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    My Season 2 R1 set has shipped. It will be interesting to see the original
    pilot at 73 minutes since I have the R2 Season 1 set with the 2 part version
    with 26 minutes of filler footage.
     

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