It might have seemed like it was never going to happen, but SCTV is finally getting the DVDtreatment. According to the accompanying booklet, legal rights involving the music is what heldthings up for so long. At any rate, this first release is not Season 1 — it represents a fairly lateperiod in the ensemble’s history. Here are the 90-minute NBC episodes that began broadcastingin 1981. A lot of the material is repackaged older fare, but that’s just fine. All your favouritec…aracters are here (Bob and Doug Mackenzie, Dr. Tongue, Guy Caballero, Sammy Maudlin,etc). This is probably the closest North American TV comedy came to Monty Python-styleabsurdity.
The sound is, of course, the original mono. Stereo remixes would have been rather pointlessin this context. The mono is crisp and clear, with only minor buzz, and when one bears in mindthat some of the material is actually much older than 1981, then the sound is pretty good.
The same is true for the picture. Even if one didn’t make allowances for age, the image is ingood shape. It is sharp, with clear colours, and virtually no grain. (Again, depending a bit on thesource material.) All in all, this collection looks a sight better than DVDs of much more recenttelevision. It certainly kicks the stuffing out of things like the Who’s the Boss?collection, released the same date.
Each disc has a half-hour documentary. “SCTV Remembers” has the cast recounting behind-the-scenes anecdotes. “Origins of SCTV” traces the history of the ensemble from its earliestbeginnings. “Remembering John Candy” is self-explanatory. “The Craft of SCTV” looks at theproduction aspects of the show. Disc 5 has the hour-long “SCTV Reunion”. Recorded at the1999 US Comedy Arts Festival, this has most of the cast on-stage being interviewed by ConanO’Brien. As well, Joe Flaherty (cheerful) and Eugene Levy (sardonic) provide commentaries ontwo of the episodes. There is also a 22-page booklet, which is pretty informative in its own right.The menu is basic.
A very strong initial offering. The shows look and sound good, and the extras are solid.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries on 2 Episodes
- “SCTV Remembers” Documentary
- “Origins of SCTV” Documentary
- “Remembering John Candy” Documentary
- “The Craft of SCTV” Documentary
- “SCTV Reunion”