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St. Elsewhere (St. Eligius) on DVD (1982-1988) (1 Viewer)

The Drifter

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When St. Elsewhere was on back in the '80's, I was a kid/teen & just wasn't into watching this hospital drama - even though I knew it was critically acclaimed. However, as time has gone by I've gotten more interested in seeing shows that I missed the first time around.

So, I finally saw S01 recently, on the old DVD set. Incredible series! I really enjoyed the both dramatic & sometimes comedic story-lines, and the cast was top-notch. This is definitely one of the best TV shows I've ever seen, and that's just based on this first season.

I liked the fact that St. Eligius is located in a run-down section of Boston & was considered less prestigious than other hospitals in the area. This was referenced several times in the season, and IMHO made the setting more interesting than it may have been otherwise.

Again, excellent ensemble cast, which included: David Morse; William Daniels; Denzel Washington (in his first?! role); Ed Begley Jr.; Terence Knox (Tour of Duty; an episode of Midnight Caller); Barbara Whinnery; Howie Mandel; Christina Pickles, etc.

Some (though definitely not all) of the most notable storylines from S01 include:

A scum-bag domestic terrorist sets off a device in a bank, and kills 2-3 innocent people. He ends up in St. Eligius due to being slightly injured in the blast so he can be treated - before being sent to prison & trial. This terrorist is from a wealthy family & is an entitled piece of garbage - who has no regrets about what he did. The culmination of this story-line is somewhat predictable, but satisfying. The terrorist is played by a young Tim Robbins, in his first notable (and possibly best) role.

The officious, condescending, and unlikable Dr. Mark Craig (William Daniels) is desperately trying to sell his old car, and keeps getting notes/messages from someone at the hospital who seemingly wants to buy this - but he is always one step behind the person & can't connect with them.
As it turns out, the whole thing was a prank on the part of another doctor, who felt that Craig deserved it due to his being such an a-hole. Hilarious!

The doctors save the life of a young man who is brought into the hospital after being assaulted/shot. When he regains consciousness, he doesn't remember anything about his past life. This amnesiac is played by Tom Hulce, who is best known for his role as Mozart in the iconic film Amadeus (1984).

A middle-aged man is brought into the hospital with numerous past injuries & unusual, unexplained possible illnesses. The doctors run a lot of tests trying to figure out what's wrong with him.
He eventually goes to surgery, and dies on the operating table. As it turned out, he had Munchausen syndrome; the injuries/fake illnesses were self-inflicted. Bizarre, and based on factual cases.

Obviously, later medical dramas like ER owe a lot to St. Elsewhere.

It's unfortunate that only S01 is available on Region 1 DVD, from the 200X's. The PQ is overall very good, but the terrible flipper-disk format is sub-par. However, I'm not at all surprised that none of the other seasons were released to DVD. This is par for the course with a lot of older TV shows. I.e., they released the first season & then sales may have been poor, so the releases stalled right there. I would definitely be interested in a boxed set of the entire series, even if it's just on DVD. Sure - I know the whole?! series is available via streaming, but it's not the same.
 
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bmasters9

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Ben Masters
It's unfortunate that only S01 is available on Region 1 DVD, from the 200X's. The PQ is overall very good, but the terrible flipper-disk format is sub-par. However, I'm not at all surprised that none of the other seasons were released to DVD. This is par for the course with a lot of older TV shows. I.e., they released the first season & then sales may have been poor, so the releases stalled right there. I would definitely be interested in a boxed set of the entire series, even if it's just on DVD. Sure - I know the whole?! series is available via streaming, but it's not the same.

Indeed-- I tried to see some of the second go (1983-84) on Hulu, but it was near impossible to enjoy (we don't have the best Internet speed where I live).
 

jcroy

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Obviously, later medical dramas like ER owe a lot to St. Elsewhere.

It's unfortunate that only S01 is available on Region 1 DVD, from the 200X's. The PQ is overall very good, but the terrible flipper-disk format is sub-par. However, I'm not at all surprised that none of the other seasons were released to DVD. This is par for the course with a lot of older TV shows. I.e., they released the first season & then sales may have been poor, so the releases stalled right there. I would definitely be interested in a boxed set of the entire series, even if it's just on DVD. Sure - I know the whole?! series is available via streaming, but it's not the same.

Unless somebody like VEI gets an inside track at Disney/Fox, then I'm not particularly optimistic about St Elsewhere being released on dvd beyond the first flipper discs set.
 

ScottRE

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I did suffer through the IMDB TV streaming for a couple of seasons before I tapered off. They at least put the ads with the commercial breaks are, so it's like watching them on broadcast tv. I would be fine with ads on free streamers if they would actually change them up, I'm so damned sick of Lemu Emu and Doug and the same car commercials.

Anyway, it was worth the aggravation since the show is incredibly good. The is so much emotion in the series and William Daniels is always a riot. Ed Flanders was incredibly good. The whole cast was top class. Storywise, it was gripping. The Peter White arc was incredible and even for the time it was shocking. Especially if you paid attention to the dialog when Dr. Craig was trying to save his life after his shooting and says he needed a "complete orchiectomy." Yikes. ER would have character massacres on a regular, but St. Elsewhere did them a little more sparingly. I think only three characters were actually killed off during the main run (not including the finale) and one was off screen well after the actor had left the cast.
 

Wiseguy

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Erich P. Wise
I did suffer through the IMDB TV streaming for a couple of seasons before I tapered off. They at least put the ads with the commercial breaks are, so it's like watching them on broadcast tv. I would be fine with ads on free streamers if they would actually change them up, I'm so damned sick of Lemu Emu and Doug and the same car commercials.

Anyway, it was worth the aggravation since the show is incredibly good. The is so much emotion in the series and William Daniels is always a riot. Ed Flanders was incredibly good. The whole cast was top class. Storywise, it was gripping. The Peter White arc was incredible and even for the time it was shocking. Especially if you paid attention to the dialog when Dr. Craig was trying to save his life after his shooting and says he needed a "complete orchiectomy." Yikes. ER would have character massacres on a regular, but St. Elsewhere did them a little more sparingly. I think only three characters were actually killed off during the main run (not including the finale) and one was off screen well after the actor had left the cast.
Peter White
Wendy Armstrong
Daniel Auschlander
Robert Caldwell
Elliot Axelrod
 

tsodcollector

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matthew baduria
maybe shout factory might look into this 80's television classic,what's great about this television series,has dealt with many topics including death,autism,daily pressures of work,which is also doctors helping patients,which is very upbringing.an 80's
television classic.
 

The Drifter

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Jim
I've tried streaming St. Elsewhere & can't find decent prints of S02-on. They all look like VHS rips, and are borderline-unwatchable. I suspect a lot of this is because the show is older, and hasn't been remastered. Obviously the PQ can be significantly better, given how good the S01 DVD Prints were/are.

I may end up watching S02-on anyway, but the sub-par PQ is negatively affecting my enjoyment of the show.
 
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Harry-N

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Lots of happy memories associated with ST. ELSEWHERE. I was there for the very first episode, and every one in between, right up to the ending. This Wednesday night show was water-cooler discussion fodder every Thursday at work. (And Friday's we did HILL ST. BLUES.)

After its run, the show went into syndication reruns, and I recall trying to VHS tape them. That didn't work out so well as I was using the very slow speed so as not to eat up too much tape, and I lost interest after a season or so. I think all I've saved was the anniversary of St. Eligius special episode.

As much as I loved the show, I'm not sure that I'd buy a full-series set, just due to the time it would take to watch all of the episodes.
 

bmasters9

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As much as I loved the show, I'm not sure that I'd buy a full-series set, just due to the time it would take to watch all of the episodes.

I have a lot of releases that are like that as well (long and involved, and would take massive time investment to see in full).
 

Wiseguy

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Lots of happy memories associated with ST. ELSEWHERE. I was there for the very first episode, and every one in between, right up to the ending. This Wednesday night show was water-cooler discussion fodder every Thursday at work. (And Friday's we did HILL ST. BLUES.)

After its run, the show went into syndication reruns, and I recall trying to VHS tape them. That didn't work out so well as I was using the very slow speed so as not to eat up too much tape, and I lost interest after a season or so. I think all I've saved was the anniversary of St. Eligius special episode.

As much as I loved the show, I'm not sure that I'd buy a full-series set, just due to the time it would take to watch all of the episodes.
I recall seeing that anniversary episode on TVLand and they had replaced the song "Ain't Misbehavin'" with generic 1930's music. Ruined the episode. (I imagine the same would be done for the sequel (the next season's premiere)).

I recall a later episode of Designing Women using that song (I think it was the funeral episode in the second season). Don't know if the song still exists in reruns/DVDs.
 

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