TV on Disc Channel Guide: 'The Runaway' - Love in the London Underworld
Plus a small library of non-fiction television
"Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season" (eOne) turns the building of the transcontinental railway into forge that created the new America in the aftermath of the Civil War: it's all about mud, blood, graft, power, vengeance, and a hotbed of racial conflict. 10 episodes on three discs on both Blu-ray and DVD. Videodrone's review is here.
"The Runaway" (BFS), a 2010 British TV mini-series adapted from a Martina Cole novel, stars Jack O'Connell and Joanna Vanderham as star-crossed lovers in the turbulent culture of London East End 1966 and 1976, getting tangled up with gangsters and corrupt cops. "It's all brilliantly, brutally done," recommends The Guardian TV critic Lucy Mangan. "The script is workmanlike – the plot's the thing – but the wonderful cast (including Keith Allen as the hardman, Kierston Wareing as Madge, and with the likes of Alan Cumming and Ken Stott still to come) punches well above its weight." DVD only.
"Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel" (PBS) profiles the Atlanta debutante and reporter who wrote "Gone With the Wind," her one and only novel. Produced for the PBS showcase "American Masters." DVD only, with bonus interview with author Pat Conroy and archival footage.
"Time Team: Unearthing the Roman Invasion" (Athena) examines the archeological evidence left behind from the Roman occupation of Britain. Tony Robinson hosts the 12-episode series. Three discs in a box set of three thinpak cases with a study guide. DVD only.
"The Universe: The Complete Season Six" (History) takes the astronomical explorations to the farthest reaches of the solar system, using NASA footage and computer models to illustrate the state-of-the-art of astrophysics. 14 episodes on three discs on Blu-ray and DVD.
"Nova: Deadliest Tornadoes" (PBS) looks at the recent upsurge is tornado outbreaks in the U.S. and the state of tornado prediction. DVD only.
"Treasure Houses of Britain" (Athena) tours five of the most spectacular country homes in England. Five episodes on two discs, DVD only.
"Aaahh!!! Real Monster: Season 2" (Shout! Factory) presents 13 episodes of an animated Nickelodeon series and "Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Around the World" (Warner) collects 13 classic episodes with the Scooby gang. Both on two DVDs.