Plastic Man: The Complete Collection. According to some of the reviews online, this isn't actually the complete collection — but it is 120 minutes of superhero slapstick and zaniness, featuring the silliest DC Comics hero. I haven't ever seen this show, but apparently at its absolute best, it approaches The Tick levels of insanity. Extras include an unaired pilot for a 2006 Plastic Man revamp and a featurette about his history.
Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series Collection. Travel back to the days when Stargate was still fun, with this 26-disc set, including one disc of special features that are only available here. A couple of the episodes, including "Vegas," are available in their broadcast and extended versions. And new features include "Stargate Atlantis: A Retrospective." But be warned: according to customer reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, the set is badly designed and likely to damage some of the discs — and you may find one or two discs missing.
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series. For your friend who still doesn't own this series on DVD — here's a chance to reevaluate the whole shebang, from the groundbreaking miniseries to the, uh, controversial final episodes. The packaging is utterly gorgeous (although apparently it won't fit on your shelf) and includes a lovely Cylon action figure. The extras are mostly from the previous box sets, but you get extended versions of some season four episodes, and some deleted scenes that I'm not sure if are availalble elsewhere. Mostly, it's a chance to have all 25 discs of BSG in one place.
Land of the Lost: The Complete Series In the limited edition version, it comes in a cool retro looking lunchbox. That's pretty much all you need to know, right? Oh, okay. It's the complete Krofft classic, timed to come out alongside the forgettable movie version. There's no special features, but it's all 43 episodes, packed with surreal Krofft weirdness.
The Universe: Collector's Edition Megaset It's the entire Universe, in a Megaset! What more do you need to know??? Oh, here's the official description:
The unfathomable power of the Universe explodes to life in an out-of-this-world set from HISTORY. Planets, stars, and galaxies are revealed in a whole new light: not as tiny dots in a telescope, but as if you were right there. Incredibly realistic computer reconstructions, sophisticated animations, and the most current scientific intelligence combine to show the hottest events in the sky, from colliding celestial bodies to collapsing suns.
Closer to home, The Universe Collector's Edition delves into how our own Earth developed from an inferno of molten rock to the beautiful orb that sustains us today. Experience firsthand the cataclysmic events that set the stage for life, and visit sites where Earth s birthing process is still in evidence. Relive astronomical triumphs, from the first crude lenses that were able to magnify celestial bodies to probes that blaze to the most distant planets. It s a journey of cosmic discovery, amazement, and adventure like nothing on earth.
Join HISTORY on a stunning exploration of Earth, our solar system, and far-away galaxies on 14 DVDs.
The Universe: The Complete Season One
The Universe: The Complete Season Two
How the Earth Was Made
DVD Features: Bonus Documentary, Beyond The Big Bang; Featurette: Backyard Astronomer; Web Links to Space Camp Sites; Schedule of Past, Present and Future Eclipses; Bonus Documentary Inside the Volcano; Additional Footage
M.A.N.T.I.S.: The Complete Series The lack of a M.A.N.T.I.S. box set was one of the universe's greatest injustices — thank goodness it's been rectified now. An early attempt at superhero storytelling by Sam Raimi, this show features Alias' Carl Lumbly and Firefly's Gina Torres, in an smart, fast-paced story of a mysterious vigilante who paralyzes criminals. Sadly, there are no extras. But there's hours of superhero goodness!
The Middleman: The Complete SeriesLike M.A.N.T.I.S., this was a series that ended too soon — but at least we didn't have to wait a decade or so for a decent DVD collection. This box set includes all 12 episodes of this instant classic, plus commentaries, deleted/extended scenes, gag reel, audition footage, and some side-splitting commentary tracks. And you know you don't want to be wielding your truth bomb without an instructional booklet.
Get Smart: The Complete Series Gift Set. Okay, so this came out a year ago, but there's a chance your friend might not have it yet. It's got 25 discs of bumbling secret agents, weird gadgets and snarky androids. Apparently the extras are pretty amazing, including TV commercials, Max Smart's appearances on other shows, a roast of Don Adams, Adams' eulogy, and tons of other archival material. And the packaging looks pretty nifty.
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs: Complete Series A neglected classic from the people who brought you Voltron, this is a space western from long before Firefly. Starring Peter "Optimus Prime" Cullen. Just the fact that they're sheriffs in space, and there's an episode called "Oh Boy! Dinosaurs!" Ought to sell you on this one. Extras include original commercials and materials from the Japanese series. Here's the official description:
The Original Outer Space Western Anime is back! From the creators of Voltron come Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs! Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs was a 1980's animated space western following a similar theme of The Galaxy Rangers and Bravestarr. Originally a 1984 Japanese anime series known as Star Musketeer Bismarck created by Studio Pierrot. The series is set in the future, where the Star Sheriffs are duly-deputized special operatives of Cavalry Command, Earth's space-going law enforcement arm and defense patrol organization out in space, and along the New Frontier. Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs main assignment is to protect the Galaxy from the growing threat of the Outriders. With the help of April Eagle and RAMROD (voiced by Peter Cullen who voiced Optimus Prime in the 80s cartoon series Transformers), a battleship that can transform into a giant robot. When RAMROD undergoes the "Challenge Phase" transformation it calls out its rallying cry in a heavy Western drawl, "Head 'em up, move 'em out. Power stride and ready to ride!" Other than their wits, their courage, and their standard issue equipment, such as their blaster pistols, and RAMROD's array of electronics, they have no superpowers, just each other. When they do battle with the Outriders, it's a futuristic version of the code of the Old West. Volume Two consist of episodes 18-33 from the hit TV series, as well as never before seen extras and production art. Don t miss the chance to add an exclusive piece of animation history to your collection. Bonus Features: Audio interview with musical composer Dale Schacker, Original Japanese Opening, Ending and Transformation Sequence from Star Musketeer Bismarck, Image Gallery, Saber Rider Commercials, Bios. Product Specs: 6-DVD9s; Dolby Digital; 1200 minutes; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA-G; Year - 1984; SRP - $39.99.
MST3K Season XVI Another case where amazing packaging makes something even more of a must-have than it already was — your friend will be happy to spend the lazy days of late December watching the MST crew take apart Santa Claus Conquers The Devil and Night Of The Blood Beast. Features include a couple of retrospectives and a new interview with Warrior Of the Lost World director David Worth. Official description:
With the holidays upon us and the spirit of goodwill toward men in the air, let us be mindful of those less fortunate: Joel, Mike and their hapless bots Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot. The only presents under the tree on the Satellite of Love are four movies anyone else would return the next day, but thanks to their steady stream of wisecracks, there are enough ho ho hos to make this the best holiday ever! So come all ye faithful and let us adore the comedy madness that is Mystery Science Theater
Films include The Corpse Vanishes, Warrior Of The Lost World, Santa Claus, Night Of The Blood Beast. The first pressing of this box set comes packaged with a limited-edition Tom Servo figurine, the perfect companion to last years out-of-print Crow T. Robot figurine.
Transformers: The Matrix Of Leadership Pure awesomeness. This is a scarily huge boxset of the complete Transformers animated series, including every single episode plus tons of special features:
Five retrospective featurettes including brand-new, in-depth interviews with those most responsible for the success of The Transformers franchise. Two of these featurettes are exclusive to this set including a conversation with comic writer Bob Budiansky and a voice cast reunion. The reunion features Jack Angel (Ramjet), Michael Bell (Prowl), Gregg Berger (Grimlock), Arthur Burghardt (Devastator), Corey Burton (Spike Witwicky), Richard Gautier (Rodimus Prime), Neil Ross (Slag), Frank Welker (Megatron).
Two concept art galleries
Archival Hasbro toy commercials
All 98 episodes of dialogue scripts. Three full scripts, with original handwritten notes, include Transport To Oblivion, Starscreams Brigade and The Revenge of Bruticus
All 5 rare PSAs
From the files of Teletraan-2
A fan art gallery
An animated fan film entitled Transformers: Generation One featuring an optional audio commentary by the filmmakers
Housed in a deluxe Matrix of Leadership multi-paneled box
Ergo Proxy: The Complete Series Box Set (Viridian Collection) Own the complete anime series from 2006. Here's the official synopsis:
The domed city of Romdo is an impenetrable would-be utopia where humans and robots coexist, and everything is under complete government control, or so it appears. While working on a mysterious murder case, Re-l Mayer, a female detective from the Civilian Intelligence Office, receives a foreboding message that something is going to "awaken." That night, she's attacked by a deformed super-being...what was this unidentified monster that attacked her, and who was the figure that came in between them? As Re-l attempts to unlock this spiraling mystery, a metaphysical battle cry leads her to the unknown outside world...
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 This cancelled-too-soon series is now available in one box set. I bet you have at least one friend who never fully appreciated the awesomeness of this series, who could stand to come to a new appreciation for it now. I'm not sure what you get in this set, other than just the box sets of seasons one and two, but that should be enough for under $50. Presumably, you get all the special features, including featurettes and deleted scenes galore. Most of all, you get the chance to watch the whole shebang in a few sittings and see how amazingly it all comes together.
Superman: The Complete Animated Series/Justice League: The Complete Series
It took a surprisingly long time to get these two great animated series complete on DVD, but now they're here. Neither of them made quite as much impact as Batman: The Animated Series, but they ahve plenty of goodness to offer. Superman includes 54 episodes that would be a good starting point for any Warner Bros. suits looking for ways to "reinvent" the Man Of Steel for his next movie. Extras include commentaries, pop-up trivia, and a new featurette on Darkseid. And the Justice League set includes both the JLA and Justice League Unlimited series, which were nirvana for DC Universe fans. Extras include commentary, making-of featurettes, and a new feature about "exploring the depths of the DC Universe."
The Prisoner: The Complete Series Megaset (Collector's Edition) There was already a box set of the complete series, but this one looks a bit more nicely packaged, and includes tons and tons of extras — including a 90 minute making of documentary. You'll learn that a place like the Village really did exist during World War II, to keep retired spies from revealing their knowledge to "the other side." There's also a featurette on the town of Portmeiron, and a preview of the recent AMC remake (bah.)
Farscape: The Complete Series This is another one to give to your friend who's never given this show a proper chance, or just doesn't happen to own any of the individual seasons on DVD. Supposedly Best Buy has a special edition that also includes the Peacekeeper Wars. Either version also includes these extras:
88 episodes and 15 hours of bonus features on 26 discs
Farscape Undressed: The home-video premiere of the rarely seen, long-sought-after behind-the-scenes special
Three archival documentaries: "In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson," "Making of a Space Opera," and "Season Three: A Look Back with Executive Producer David Kemper"
Three Inside Farscape featurettes: Villains, Visual Effects, and Save Farscape
31 audio commentaries
Deleted scenes, director's cut scenes, and an alternate version of the season 2 premiere
Behind-the-scenes interviews with the characters, cast, and creative team of Farscape
Listening in with composer Guy Gross featurettes for 12 episodes
Original TV promos and more
Claymore: Complete Series Box Set.
Clare is a Claymore, a half monster-half human asskicker, in this anime series newly on DVD. Here's the official description:
A brutal scourge stalks the land. Yoma, monsters driven by a hunger satisfied by only one quarry – Humanity. The dark breed knows but a singular foe: Claymore. Human-Yoma hybrids of extraordinary strength and cunning, the Claymores roam from skirmish to skirmish delivering salvation by the edge of a blade. Thus begins the twisting tale of Clare, one such sister of the sword driven by pain in both victory and defeat. A child silent and suffering hidden in her past, Clare's march toward vengeance unfolds along a path marked by violence, solitude and scorn. In a land where even the predator is prey, the haunted hearts of hunter and hunted alike wear the scars of the age.