TV on DVD Channel Guide: 'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil' – Canada's Stoner Answer to 'Buffy'?
Plus British television old and new and more
"Law & Order: The Tenth Year" (Universal), the 1999-2000 season of the TV's definitive procedural war horse, features Jesse L. Martin as Det. Ed Green, the new partner of Det. Lenny Briscoe (Jerry Orbach), and Steven Hill in his final full season as D.A. Adam Schiff. Sam Waterston, Angie Harmon and S. Epatha Merkerson fill out the cast this season. Videodrone's review is here.
"Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete First Season" (eOne) is a high school farce from Canadian TV, sort of a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with a geeky metalhead stoner (Alex House) joining the fight to find the satanic spellbook and stop the bad juju tearing through the school and the students just to get close to the school beauty (Maggie Castle) who makes finding the book her life's purpose. It would be a stretch to call it clever, but the show knows its audience and delivers monsters, blood, exaggerated high school stereotypes, sexually-obsessed teenage boys, and lots of really stupid behavior. Kevin Smith favorite Jason Mewes costars as the school janitor, the closest the series has to a voice of reason (and believe, it's not that close). 13 episodes on two discs, with commentary on three episodes, deleted scenes, outtakes, bloopers, a cast Q&A and the original short film that inspired the series. DVD only.
See a preview below, after the jump.
"The Brief: Complete Collection" (Acorn), the 2004 seriocomic legal series from the creators of "Inspector Morse" (or so advertises the packaging, though in fact it's more accurate to say it comes from some veterans of "Inspector Morse"), casts comic actor Alan Davies as a brilliant barrister with a messy personal life and a sense of humor in the courtroom. The series, which co-star Cherie Lunghi as a fellow barrister, ran for two series and eight episodes, all collected in this four-disc box set. DVD only.
"French Fields: Complete Collection" (Acorn), a sitcom starring Anton Rogers and Julia McKenzie as a frustrated British couple who up the opportunity of a job offer in France to move across the channel, ran three series between 1989 to 1991. All 19 episodes on three discs. DVD only.
"The Indian Doctor: Series 1" (BFS) stars Sanjeez Bhaskar as a medical school graduate from New Delhi who is wooed by the British Health Ministry to come practice in the U.K. and moves with his wife to a Welsh coal mining village. Culture shock ensues. Five episodes on two discs, DVD only.
"Midsomer Murders: Set 19" (Acorn) – Four more feature-length murder mysteries from the long-running British series starring John Nettles stars as the unflappable DCI Barnaby. Two discs on both Blu-ray and DVD. "Land Girls: Season 3" (BFS) continues the story of the city women working British farms as part of the Women's Land Army in World War II. Five episodes on two discs, DVD only.
Peter Graves is back as Jim Phelps in "Mission: Impossible – The '89 TV Season" (Paramount), the second and last season of the eighties revival of the series, with a team consisting of Thaao Penghlis, Tony Hamilton, Phil Morris, and Jane Badler. 16 episodes on four discs, DVD only.
"Here Come the Brides: The Complete Second Season" (Shout! Factory), the sixties series of loggers in 1850s Seattle and the women who arrive to romance them, is also the final season of the show. 26 episodes on six discs, DVD only. "Angry Beavers: Season 3 Part 1" (Shout! Factory) features 11 episodes of the animated series on two discs, DVD only.
Pierce Brosnan stars in the "The Manions of America" (eOne), an immigrant saga mini-series from 1981 (DVD only, two discs). "Redakai: Conquer the Kairu – The Journey Begins" features the first 13 episodes from the Cartoon Network animated series based on the trading card game (DVD only, two discs).
"Nova: Mystery of a Masterpiece" (PBS) looks into the science of forensics in the study and analysis of paintings (DVD only). "American Experience: The Amish" (PBS) offers viewers unprecedented access to the insular culture of the mysterious religious community (Blu-ray and DVD).