Join the high commander Dick Solomon (John Lithgow), decorated military officer, Sally (Kristen Johnston), seasoned intelligence specialist Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Harry (French Stewart), the extra seat, for their Emmy award-winning third season. Watch as the naive aliens, dressed as humans, experience the peculiarities of earthlings in marriage, love, fear, doctors, jury duty and diets. This celebrated third season includes co-stars Jane Curtin, Wayne Knight, Simbi Khali, Elmarie Wendel and Jan Hooks as well as special guests Cindy Crawford, John Cleese and Roseanne!
Season three began with "Fun with Dick and Janet," in which Dick receives an unpleasant order from the home planet in the hour-long third-season opener: he must marry the Big Giant Head's niece Janet. Dick and Mary take out their frustrations about their broken engagement on each other and begin an elaborate game of practical-joke one-upmanship, while Sally eyes her disinterested yoga instructor and Tommy reluctantly joins a garage band, with Harry as his roadie in "Tricky Dick." Dick inadvertently lets a huge skeleton out of Mary's parents' closet when he accompanies her on a trip to see her folks, while Sally adjusts to new closet space when she temporarily moves in with Nina in "Dick-in-Law." Dick turns out to be a scaredy cat when faced with the prospect of a physical exam in "Scaredy Dick." Dick discovers he's put on an enormous amount of weight in "Moby Dick." Dick longs for the chance to administer his "unique brand of jurisprudence" when he's called for jury duty; Sally falls for an "artist" [to Officer Don's chagrin]; and Tommy and Harry help Albright with a "preverbal" project [they must remain mute for five days] in "Eleven Angry Men & Dick." Dick, friendless after his breakup with Albright, tries to shoehorn Officer Don into his life as best friend and constant companion... with mixed results in "A Friend in Dick." Tommy tells Dick he'd really like to meet a woman closer to his real age, say someone like Angie Dickinson in "Tom, Dick and Mary."
The Solomons reflect on their sinful ways in an episode that illustrates their misdeeds in clips from past episodes in "Seven Deadly Clips." Dick thinks he's doing the right thing when he offers to personally rehabilitate a criminal, but winds up doing more harm than good; Sally tries to help Mary find a new home for Pepper; and Harry struggles to complete a book report on Little Women in "Jailhouse Dick." Dick hurts himself playing in a wheelchair, which puts him in one for real -- and turns him into an angry advocate for handicapped rights in "Dick on a Roll." Dick decides that it's time to date again, so he goes to Sally and Officer Don for advice; Harry and Tommy find a wallet with $200 in it, and return the money to the owner in "The Great Dickdater." Venusians disguised as gorgeous babes plot to plunder Earth of its riches in an uproarious episode that climaxes at Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego in "36! 24! 36! Dick!" Harry's pet follows him to Earth -- in human form; Sally visits her first gynecologist and decides to pretend she is pregnant in "Pickles and Ice Cream." Dick has casual sex with a woman he meets in line at the movies, then doesn't understand why Dr. Albright gets upset when he keeps talking about the encounter in "Auto Erodicka." Tommy, tired of having to handle all of the "kid" duties [when in reality he's the oldest member of the mission], decides to retire in "Portrait of Tommy as an Old Man."
Dick tries to get Mary back and considers himself lucky when the two of them get locked in the school library overnight in "Stuck with Dick." Albright's father walks out on his wife and into Sally's life, while Harry walks into Rutherford College's vacant radio studio and begins his career as a shock jock in "My Daddy's Little Girl." Dick demands that Sally and Harry go to work, so she signs on as Albright's research assistant and he gets a job tending bar in "The Physics of Being Dick." John Cleese puts his zaniness to good use in a two-part guest shot as a new professor who's even nuttier than Dick in "Just Your Average Dick." Dick has a rival for the title of Pendelton's nuttiest professor -- and a rival for Albright's affections -- with the arrival of the mysterious Dr. Liam Neesam in "Dick and the Other Guy." Sally turns to romance novels for inspiration when it's time for her first kiss with Officer Don in "Sally and Don's First Kiss." Dick takes the family camping as a mission bonding activity in "When Aliens Camp."
Mary is asked to appear in a new Pendelton University promotional video in "The Tooth Harry." The Solomons wind up their third season -- and perhaps their mission on Earth -- with a romantic dinner party that turns predictably raucous in "Eat, Drink, Dick, Mary." Episode summaries courtesy of TV.com .
Here are some notable guest stars as we reported in our earlier third season review:
Roseanne: Fun With Dick and Janet
Pat Finn (game show host): The Great Dickdator
Greg Gumbel (Sportscaster): 36! 24! 36! Dick!
Cindy Crawford (…): 36! 24! 36! Dick!
Dom DeLuise: Auto Erodicka
John Cleese (Monty Python!): Just Your Average Dick, Dick and the Other Guy
Phil Hartman: Eat, Drink, Dick, Mary
All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times over 22 minutes. A few episodes like "Fun with Dick and Janet" and "36! 24! 36! Dick!" originally aired as one-hour episodes, but they are presented in two parts, just as they were on Anchor Bay's 2006 set. These episodes have pretty much the same runtimes as the previous release. There were no James Earl Jones intros in the third season originally. The runtimes are as follows:
Fun with Dick and Janet: Part 1 (22:11)
Fun with Dick and Janet: Part 2 (22:11)
Tricky Dick (22:09)
Scaredy Dick (22:11)
Moby Dick (22:12)
Eleven Angry Men & Dick (aka Eleven Angry Men and One Dick) (22:11)
A Friend in Dick (22:12)
Tom, Dick and Mary (22:11)
Seven Deadly Clips (22:10)
Jailhouse Dick (22:11)
Dick on a Roll (22:10)
The Great Dickdater (22:11)
36! 24! 36! Dick!: Part 1 (22:13)
36! 24! 36! Dick!: Part 2 (22:11)
Pickles & Ice Cream (22:12)
Auto Erodicka (22:12)
Portrait of Tommy as an Old Man (22:11)
Stuck with Dick (22:11)
My Daddy's Little Girl (22:11)
The Physics of Being Dick (22:11)
Just Your Average Dick (22:12)
Dick and the Other Guy (22:10)
Sally and Don's First Kiss (22:12)
When Aliens Camp (22:11)
The Tooth Harry (22:11)
Eat, Drink, Dick, Mary (22:10)
The 3-disc set contains all 27 episodes from the third (1997-98) season. It comes in a standard keepcase with interior paper sleeves. The cover art features large headshots of John Lithgow, French Stewart, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kristen Johnston and a smaller photo of co-stars Jane Curtin, Wayne Knight, Elmarie Wendel and Simbi Khali. The show logo is in the center and "The Complete Season Three" is above it. The back cover has a photo of Lithgow, Gordon-Levitt and Stewart watching Johnston playing pool. A short synopsis of the set and a listing of the special features are provided. Somehow they spelled Jane Curtin's name "Curtain" in the summary. Kristen Johnston is featured on the spine of the case. The interior of the packaging is a bit of problem. The 3 discs are stored in the dreaded black paper sleeves that other Mill Creek releases have been using inside a plastic holder. This storage method isn't ideal because the discs can easily be scratched. The original 2006 Anchor Bay DVD release included a 16-page booklet, but there is no booklet included this time. There is also no talking box this time like the 2006 release had. The actual discs have a nice design. They feature a large headshot of one of the cast members on each. Lithgow is on Disc 1. Johnston is on Disc 2. Gordon-Levitt is feautred on Disc 3. There's a smaller cast photo of co-stars Curtin, Knight, Wendel and Khali on each disc. The 3rd Rock logo, episodes titles and special features are printed on them. Each disc holds a whopping 9 episodes. The special features (besides a couple of audio commentaries) are found on Disc 3. Overall, the design and layout of the packaging is very nice, but the interior paper sleeves leave a lot left to be desired. If people really voiced their displeaure with the paper sleeves, maybe Mill Creek would use another method.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu begins with an animated sequence of the cast members heads on top of moving planets. The theme song plays in the background for about 25 seconds before looping. The show logo is in the top left side of the screen. There are options for Play All, Episode Select and Special Features at the bottom. The option you highlight is in green and turns white upon your selection. When you choose episode selection, there's another menu with the same stars background. The episode titles are listed vertically in white text with the episode you select highlighted in green. There are transitions between the menus. The special features has a similar stars background, with some shining light at the bottom of the screen. Chapter stops are placed at the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video quality is nice. The video does hav some digital artifacting like the previous two Mill Creek released seasons. There are simply too many episodes (9 this season!) per disc. You just lose some of the sharpness that these episodes should have. Some scenes look a little blurry and unfocused when they shouldn't be. The Anchor Bay episodes were much better spread out with fewer episodes on each disc and offered some improved video quality. The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. The sound is spread evenly among
both channels. The audio is loud and clear. There are no detectable muffled spots. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes. Closed captioning may not apply to the special features.
Most of the special features from Anchor Bay's 2006 third season release have been carried over on this set, but there are no new special features included. There are 4 Audio Commentaries by Executive Producers Mike Schiff and Bill Martin and Actor French Stewart, Season 3 Highlights, Cast Interviews, Wild About Harry: Favorite Harry Moments and Bloopers. The only thing that appears to be lacking on this release are the TV previews/promos. As previously mentioned, the 16-page collectible booklet from the Anchor Bay set is also not included in this release.
Audo Commentary on Tricky Dick (22:09) by Executive
Producers Mike Schiff and Bill Martin, and Actor
French Stewart. All 4 commentaries for season three
will be these guys, so sit down and be comfortable,
you're getting 90 minutes of the same commentary team.
Mike and Bill had become the show runners (main
people) behind the scenes at that point. Essentially,
this episode is the burn off of all the post-breakup
angst of Mary and Dick.
Audio commentary on Dick on a Roll (22:10) by Mike Schiff, Bill Martin, and French
Stewart: Lithgow hurt himself, so they come up with an
idea to have Dick hurt himself on the show. Want to know more? Buy/Rent the DVD and listen!
Audio Commentary on Dick and the Other Guy (22:10) by Mike Schiff, Bill Martin, and
French Stewart. Basic reflective commentary. Proof
that French Stewart is NOT like Harry.
Audio Commentary on Eat, Drink, Dick, Mary (22:10) by Mike Schiff, Bill Martin, and
French Stewart. More of the same.
Season 3 Highlights (9:21) - The funnier moments of season three condensed into 9:21. Some guest stars/extras are blurred out.
Interviews with the Cast: The Superest Two-Part Episode Ever (4:52) - Interviews with John Lithgow, Kristen Johnston and French Stewart.
Interesting thing that was filmed on the set of the episode. The parts filmed in the evil lair in the various pictures are blurred out.
French Stewart Interview (10:30) - This was a new interview that was conducted for the 2006 DVD release. French was cast on 3rd Rock
after getting fired from another show. First thing he thought when reading the audition script was that
the show was great, the 2nd that it would never get on TV. What kind of character is Harry? Harry is an
idiot. French's words, not mine. French loved that Harry was a traditional "sidekick idiot". 10:30 of
French's opinions on Harry and the show.
Wild About Harry (6:05) - Favorite Harry moments from season three.
Bloopers (10:09) - Over 10 minutes worth of bloopers. The video quality is not great on these as they look to be from a VHS source, but all are watchable. Dinnertime!
I'm not really a huge 3rd Rock fan, but if I was a new or casual fan I would be running to pick up these very affordable Mill Creek DVD releases. Some of the other Anchor Bay releases are out of print and expensive on the secondary market, so it's nice that these new releases are available. I'm not sure how they are making any money on these releases at such a low cost. It's nice they included most of the original special features (except for the promo spots) for this release. Since this is a budget release, there are a few problems with the set. There are far too many episodes crammed on each disc, so there are some compression issues. The discs come in the dreaded black paper sleeves and can easily be damaged. The good thing is the case is large enough that you can easily replace the paper sleeves with some sturdier plastic sleeves. Overall, I think this is a very underrated show and recommended for new fans to discover. This was one of Seth's, our die-hard fan and original DVD reviewer, favorite seasons of the series.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 05/06/12
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