With the release of the final season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” on Blu-ray, the entire series is available in high definition. Also, the latest incarnation of “Doctor Who” is on home video this week.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Seven” (CBS/Paramount/Blu-ray, 1993-94, six discs, 25 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, promos, bloopers). The last season of this great sci-fi series, the first of several sequels to the 1960s “Star Trek,” wraps up what was arguably the best of all the Star Trek series. Like other fans, I have a fondness for the original Kirk-Spock show, but I found this series much more satisfying, and it’s been fun to revisit in these gorgeous high-definition episodes.
In addition to the usual flights of fancy, this final season features a murder mystery, a visit from the Borg and the terrific wrap-up episode, which finds Q putting humanity on trial and charging Capt. Picard (Patrick Stewart) with defending mankind. Fans will also discover a lot of new bonus material here, including deleted scenes, audio commentaries and featurettes that have not been previously available. (The final feature-length episode, “All Good Things,” is also purchasable as a stand-alone Blu-ray.)
“Dr. Who: The Complete Eighth Series” (BBC/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, four/five discs, 12 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, music video). Everyone seems to agree that the latest season of this venerable, hugely popular show is right up there with the best of the series, and Peter Capaldi is great as the newly regenerated 12th doctor with Jenna Cole as his time-traveling companion, Clara Oswald. Aside from the season’s main story concerning a revelation about mysterious Missy (Michelle Gomez), they encounter Robin Hood, a dinosaur and their old enemies the Daleks.
“Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 2002” (BBC/DVD, 2002, two discs, 10 episodes, Christmas special). Aging men who act like children is the mainstay of this 23rd season of the never-ending British slapstick sitcom, which this season includes romantic rivalries, an exorcism performed on a bicycle and the world’s first portable hot-dog stand.
“Under the Dome: Season 2” (CBS/Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, four discs, 13 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). This sci-fi series is based on the Stephen King novel about a mysterious, clear dome that suddenly covers a small town, cutting it off from the rest of the world and jamming Internet and mobile capabilities. Soap opera machinations ensue. (Season 3 will air next year.)
“James Brown: Live at Boston Garden, April 5, 1968: Extended Edition” (Shout!/DVD, 1968). This is the famous concert that Brown and guests (Bobby Byrd, Marva Whitney, comic Maceo Parker) performed the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and that was broadcast live to Boston audiences. This version adds more than a half-hour to previous releases with performances unseen for decades.
“Edith Wharton: The Sense of Harmony” (IndiePix/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014). Wharton, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Ethan Frome” and “The Age of Innocence,” among many others, is profiled in this documentary, which includes the usual scholarly talking heads but also features the only footage of the writer known to exist.
“Exodus: The Real Story” (History/Lionsgate/DVD, 1994-2009, two discs, five episodes). Five Old Testament documentaries from the History cable channel: “Moses and the Ten Commandments,” “Moses: Death Chase,” “Joshua: Epic Slaughter,” “The Secret Life of Ramses II” and “The Lost Ark of the Covenant.”
“In Search of Aliens: Season One” (History/Lionsgate/DVD, 2014, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). In this History cable channel series, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, described as an “ancient astronaut theorist,” searches for explanations to popular myths, including the city of Atlantis, the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, etc.
“Kroll Show: Seasons 1 & 2” (Comedy Central/Paramount, 2013-14, three discs, 19 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, karaoke, music videos). Comedian Nick Kroll stars in and co-writes this occasionally raunchy Comedy Central cable series, a sketch-parody show in which he plays multiple characters. Guests include Amy Poehler, Laura Dern, Zach Galifianakis, Katy Perry and Utah’s own Jon Heder, among others.
“Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” (Comedy Central/Paramount/DVD, 2008). Reissue of the 85-minute holiday-themed special with Dunham and his puppets, including Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Occasional raunchy material is not for kids.
“Broad City: Season 1” (Comedy Central/Paramount/DVD, 2014, 10 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, outtakes, photo gallery). Raunchy comedy series about a pair of single best friends in Manhattan, written by and starring Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, based on their popular Web series. Guests include Amy Poehler, Janeane Garofalo and Amy Sedaris.
“Por Siempre Mi Amor” (Cinedigm/DVD, 2013-14, four discs, 20 episodes, in Spanish with no subtitles). This Mexican telenovela, broadcast internationally as “Forever Yours,” is a remake of the 1989 telenovela “Mi Segunda Madre (My Second Mother),” about a happily married couple who have a young daughter and whose marriage is torpedoed by the wife’s sister.
“RWBY, Volume 2” (Cinedigm/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, 12 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, storyboards). Visually arresting animated Web series about four teenage girls in combat training at a private academy in a supernatural world, each girl with a unique power and weapon. American anime action comprised of 12 12-minute episodes.
“The Legend of Korra: Book Three: Change” (Nickelodeon/Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, two discs, 13 episodes, nine audio commentaries, featurettes). Korra attempts to pull new Airbenders together to rebuild Air Nation in this third season of the animated series.
“Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce: Earth Fights Back” (Lionsgate/DVD, 2014, four episodes). Episodes from the current 20th season of the popular TV series: “Super Megaforce,” “Earth Fights Back,” “Blue Saber Saga” and “A Lion’s Alliance.”
“Chuggington: Snow Rescue” (Anchor Bay/DVD, 2011-14, five episodes, featurette, episode of “Badge Quest”; DVD-Rom coloring/activity sheets). Episodes from Seasons 3 and 4 of the British animated show for children about an anthropomorphic train and his friends.
“Thomas & Friends: Signals Crossed” (Hit/Universal/DVD, 2014, five episodes, two singalong music videos, interactive puzzle). More episodes of the animated show that stars an American animated anthropomorphic train named Thomas.