TV on Disc Channel Guide: Gene Roddenberry celebrates the military code of 'West Point'
Plus season 12 of 'Law & Order,' 'Africa' with David Attenborough, and more
"The Client List: The Complete First Season" (Sony), Lifetime's new series starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, is a racy melodrama with roots in real-life anxieties and Hewitt spending a lot of time in lingerie. Videodrone's review is here.
"West Point: The Complete Series" (Timeless) is a 1957 anthology series about the stories of cadets in the famous officer training school of the U.S. Army. The show, supposedly based on real-life events, lasted a single season of half-hour episodes and featured a series of guest stars that includes Steve McQueen, Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Clint Eastwood, Leonard Nimoy, Chuck Connors, and others, but its legacy today largely rests on Gene Roddenberry, who wrote nine scripts for the series. Between this and "The Lieutenant," the 1963 series set at an army training base that Roddenberry created, you can see the roots of his fascination with the military code in his utopian science fiction series "Star Trek." 39 episodes (all that currently survive according to the case) on four discs on DVD.
"Law & Order: The Twelfth Year" (Universal), the 2001-2002 season of the TV's definitive procedural war horse, adds Elisabeth Röhm to the cast as ADA Serena Southerlyn (replacing Angie Harmon). She joins Sam Waterston and Dianne Wiest (in her final season) on the "order" side of the show, while Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, and S. Epatha Merkerson handle the investigations. Guest stars this season include Gary Busey and Joe Piscopo. 24 episodes on five discs, DVD.
"Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown" (BBC), a six-part natural history series produced by the BBC and Discovery Channel, is a portrait of the wildlife and the ecosystems of Africa. Producer Michael Gunton and his crew previously made the Emmy-nominated series "Life" and spent four years shooting in over 27 countries to make this series. The series was narrated by Forest Whitaker in the version that played on Discovery Channel in the U.S., but this disc presents the original British version with acclaimed naturalist and producer David Attenborough narrating. Blu-ray and DVD, with making-of featurettes on each episode, interviews with Attenborough, the producers, and the cameramen, deleted scenes, and outtakes.
"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (Acorn) is the 1978 mini-series adaptation of Muriel Sparks' novel, made for PBS and starring Geraldine McEwan as the unorthodox teacher previously played in Maggie Smith on the big screen.
"Garrow's Law: The Complete Collection" (Acorn) boxes up all three seasons of the legal drama set in the Old Bailey 18th-century London, starring Andrew Buchan as an idealistic young barrister who tries to drag the corrupt system into the modern era of legal jurisprudence and Alun Armstrong as his mentor. 12 episodes on six discs in three standard cases, with three featurettes. DVD.
"Maigret: Complete Collection" (Acorn) presents all 12 episodes of the 1991 series based on the stories of George Simenon and starring Michael Gambon. Four discs in a box set of two cases, DVD, with a booklet.
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles" (Paramount) presents the first six episodes of the new animated version of the offbeat superhero series, a CGI production made for Nickelodeon and featuring the voices of (among others) Sean Astin and Jason Biggs. DVD.
"Rocko's Modern Life: The Complete Series" (Shout Factory) collects all four seasons and 52 episodes of the Nickelodeon series from the 1990s. Eight discs on DVD, with featurettes, select scene commentary, and the original pilot.
"Phineas & Ferb: Animal Agents" (Disney) presents 12 episodes from the popular Disney Channel series featuring Perry the Platypus, aka Agent P.