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Chris Hicks: ‘Space: 1999' gets Blu-ray treatment

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The debut of a cult favorite on Blu-ray leads these TV shows that are new to DVD this week.

"Space: 1999: Season 1" (A&E/Blu-ray, 1975-77, seven discs, $99.95). Then-married Martin Landau and Barbara Bain star in this 1970s British-produced, big-budget, sophisticated (for the time) sci-fi series. And this hi-def buffing shows off its effects, set design and models to great advantage, although some are admittedly rather dated now.

But as with all good science fiction, the stories and characters are what make the show worth watching. The central plot has an explosion at a lunar waste dump sending the moon — and occupants of a moon base — through the universe, encountering strange life forms. So forget physics and enjoy the ride.

Boy, in 1975 the year 1999 seemed so far off.

Extras: full frame, 24 episodes, introductions by Landau and Bain, audio/text commentaries, featurettes, music-only tracks, alternate opening/closing titles, photo/art galleries

"Frank Sinatra: Concert for the Americas" (Shout!, 1982, $19.98). Sinatra (at age 66) performs for 90 minutes at a 5,000-seat amphitheater in the Dominican Republic, demonstrating how charismatic he was onstage, even at retirement age.

Buddy Rich's orchestra accompanies, and Rich is great on drums. Plus there's a guest appearance by guitarist Tony Mottola on "Send in the Clowns." Other songs include a wide sampling of the Sinatra songbook, from "I've Got the World on a String" to "New York, New York."

Extras: full frame, 19 songs (this disc is also available as part of "Frank Sinatra: Concert Collection," a seven-disc set, $79.98)

"Prayers for Bobby" (Lifetime, 2008, $19.95). Sigourney Weaver stars in this Lifetime Channel movie, the true story of a member of the religious right who struggles to accept that her son is gay, ultimately becoming a rights advocate. A nice showcase for Weaver, a sensitive story given the light Lifetime touch. Have a box of Kleenex nearby.

Extras: widescree, featurettes (including interviews with the real-life mother), PSAs

"Exit Through the Gift Shop" (Oscilloscope, 2010; R for language; $29.99). This one is either an insightful documentary about graffiti artists or a con by the street artist known as Banksy. Either way, it's entertaining, as the film begins with the former but then Banksy takes over and turns the camera on the filmmaker.

Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, featurettes; postcards, decal, "star" glasses

"Army Wives: The Complete Fourth Season" (ABC/Lifetime, 2010, four discs, $39.99). Kim Delaney, Catherine Bell and friends return for Season 4 of this soap opera about the lives of military spouses. Guests include Ann-Margret, Gabrielle Union, Harry Hamlin and Wynonna Judd.

Extras: widescreen, 18 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers

"Hoarders: Season Two, Part One" (A&E, 2009-10, two discs, $19.95). Compulsive hoarders who can't stop, even if eviction or divorce is impending, are examined in this reality series that's sort of like a traffic accident — it's horrifying but you have to watch.

Extras: widescreen, seven episodes

"Baseball's Greatest Games: 1960 World Series game 7" (A&E, 1960, two discs, $29.95). Uber-fans know this was a real upset, as the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates went into this match against the top-of-their-game New York Yankees — and to everyone's surprise did more than hold their own, right down to the surprise final hit.

Extras: full frame, original TV broadcast, alternate radio play-by-play, highlights, newsreels, featurettes

"The Magic Inside: The 2010 Season of the World Champion San Francisco Giants" (A&E, 2010, $19.95). Giants fans will eat up this chronicle of the 2010 season.

Extras: widescreen, featurettes

"It's Time: The Incredible Season of the 2010 American League Champion Texas Rangers" (A&E, 2010, $19.95). OK, so the Giants won the series, but Rangers fans will enjoy this overview of their worthy season run.

Extras: widescreen, featurettes, music video

"San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Collector's Edition" (A&E, 2010, eight discs, $79.95). And if highlights just aren't enough, here's the set for the ultimate Giants fans, the entire series, each complete game, plus bonus games against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Extras: widescreen, five World Series games, two NLCS games, featurettes

e-mail: hicks@desnews.com