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Chris Hicks: Crime-solvers on DVD

Raymond Burr plays a wheelchair-bound former detective in the popular TV series "Ironside."
Raymond Burr plays a wheelchair-bound former detective in the popular TV series "Ironside."
Deseret Morning News Archives

Raymond Burr's post-"Perry Mason" series leads off this look at TV shows coming to DVD on Tuesday.

TV series

"Ironside: Season 2" (Shout! 1968-69, seven discs, $44.99). Burr is quite enjoyable as the gruff former chief of detectives for the San Francisco Police Department who finds himself wheelchair-bound thanks to a would-be assassin's bullet. Like James Woods on "Shark," he shows younger colleagues the ropes as he consults with police to solve mysteries.

The second season is highlighted by guest appearances from Ed Asner, Milton Berle, Anne Baxter and Burgess Meredith, among others.

Extras: Full frame 26 episodes

"Murder, She Wrote: Season 7" (Universal, 1990-91, five discs, $49.98). Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) finds yet more murders to solve, and there are a few episodes without her (though not as many as in Season 6). Still great fun, with guests including Vera Miles, Van Johnson, Diane Baker and Jerry Orbach.

Extras: Full frame, featurette

"Medium: The Third Season" (CBS/Paramount, 2006-07, six discs, $61.99). Patricia Arquette returns as the psychic who's also a wife and mother and consults with the district attorney's office to solve crimes. This show is up and down but generally enjoyable — and certainly better than similar shows that have followed.

Extras: Widescreen, 21 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers

"Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 1, Volume 2: Uncensored" (Warner, 1998-99, two discs, $26.97). Some funny stuff from Drew Carey and his improv friends, but if you don't like R-rated language, beware — the word "Uncensored" in the title should be heeded.

Extras: Full frame, deleted games, bloopers

"That '70s Show: Season Seven" (Fox, 2004-05, four discs, $49.98). Those '70s kids get in and out of more scrapes in this penultimate season, which sees Topher Grace leaving the series in the last episode here.

Extras: Full frame, 25 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes, promos

Documentaries

"Girl 27" (Westlake, 2007, $19.98). This exploration of a dark event that was buried by Hollywood at the time — the rape of a young woman by an MGM employee — covers several decades in an attempt to get at the truth. The result is both fascinating and repugnant, reinforcing the sordid image many have of the film industry.

There are places when "Girl 27" brings "Sherman's March" to mind, in the sense that the film is sometimes as much about the filmmaker as his subject, but it never seems to get in the way of the story.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, vintage short "Hollywood Extra Girl" (1935), trailer

"Crazy Love" (Magnolia, 2007, PG-13, $26.98). If it weren't true, this story of an obsessive 50-year romance would seem too far-fetched. In the 1950s, an attorney in his 30s falls in love with a 20-year-old girl, but when the relationship goes south, he pays someone to blind her. After serving a dozen years in prison, they reunite!

Extras: Widescreen, deleted interviews, audio commentary, letters, art gallery

"Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi" (HBO, 2007, $24.98). Pelosi plays reporter/tour guide on a road trip through the Bible Belt, focusing on evangelicals who helped get President Bush elected.

Extras: Full frame

"Warren Miller's No Boundaries" (Shout! 2004-07, four discs, $49.99). More documentaries from the king of ski pictures: "Off the Grid," "Higher Ground" and "Impact" are the three films here, along with a bonus disc that includes highlights from other films.

Extras: Widescreen/full frame, deleted scenes, featurettes, video fireplace

"Iraq: Battle Plan Under Fire" (WGBH, 2004, three discs, $39.95). The horrors of modern warfare and whether high-tech strategies are the way to battle terrorism.

Extras: Widescreen, printable materials

Horror/fantasy

"Masters of Horror: Season Two: The Damned Thing" (Anchor Bay, 2007, $14.98)

"Metalocalypse: Season One" (Warner, 2007, two discs, $29.98)

"Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The Laughing Man" (Manga, 2007, two discs, $24.98)

Kids shows

"Gustafer Yellowgold's Have You Ever Been Yellow?" (Apple-Eye, 2007, DVD/CD, $16.99)

"Bob the Builder: Ultimate Adventure Collection" (Fox/Hit, 2007, three discs, $29.98)

"Angelina Ballerina: A Star Collection" (Fox/Hit, 2007, three discs, $29.98)

• "Barney: The Imagination Collection" (Fox/Hit, 2007, three discs, $29.98)

"Thomas & Friends: Steam Engine Stories" (Fox/Hit, 2007, three discs, $29.98)


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com