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F-Troop - Television Favorites


TITLE: F-TROOP - TELEVISION FAVORITES


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005 (Warner Bros. Home Video)
B&W/Color (Mixed)
MSRP: $9.97
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 6
Running Time: 153 Minutes
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

They were men who had proven themselves in the Civil War by proving they were lunkheaded bumblers. In other words, perfect candidates for the postwar frontier outpost of Fort Courage and F-Troop.

In an era when stalwart heroes nightly rode along dusty primetime TV trails, along came a series built on the premise of how the West was fun. Answering the roll-call are Forrest Tucker as the sergeant eager to make money not war, Larry Storch as his addled assistant, Ken Berry as the fort’s captain uncourageous, Melody Patterson as feisty Wrangler Jane, and Frank de Kova as Chief Wild Eagle. The spoof is loose in these 6 episodes featuring guest stars Don Rickles, Harvey Korman, and Paul Lynde. Laugh yourself silly!


Episodes Included:

Included in the release are six episodes, handpicked as being the shows thought to be among the funniest of the series. The episodes ARE NOT in airdate order, however, the B&W shows DO come before the color shows on the set. The episodes are listed below in the order they appear on the disc, with a brief episode summary and original airdate included, as well as any guest starts, whether the episode is B&W or color, and any guest starts in the episode:

#1: Episode 29, Indian Fever, April 5, 1966 (Season One):
Agarn thinks he is crazy when he is the only one to see an Indian.

#2: Episode 7, The Girl from Philadelphia, October 27, 1965 (Season One)
Wilton's old girlfriend comes to vie for his affection and to persuade him to return to the East.

#3: Episode 5, The Return of Bald Eagle, October 12, 1965 (Season One)
Guest Star: Don Rickles (as Bald Eagle)
A renegade Indian tries to go straight but finds he can't.

#4: Episode 35: The Singing Mountie, September 8, 1966
Guest Star: Paul Lynde (Sgt. Ramsden)
A mountie is after the burglar of Banff, whom he believes is Agarn's look-a-like French Canadian cousin, Lucky Pierre Agarniere.

#5: Bye, Bye Balloon, Episode 37, September 22, 1966
Guest Star: Harvey Korman (Col. Heinrich von Zeppel)
A Prussian balloonist comes to the Fort to inspect prospective personnel.

#6: Our Brave in F Troop, Episode 64, March 30, 1967
Wild Eagle has a toothache, so O'Rourke sneaks him into the Fort to see a visiting dentist, where he has to pretend to be a member of the troop when he attracts the attention of a visiting general.


Packaging:

Packaging is extraordinarily simple, but given that it’s a single-disc release, the lack of complexity is a good thing. The front cover features a shot of the soldier portion of the main cast looking bewildered and confused, while attempting to “use” various weapons (hands over cannon, broken sword). The photo is surrounded by an “antique TV” type border, with the WB logo and “television favorites” text at the top. Back cover has the same wood grain look, with a full cast shot as one smaller photo, and a photo of Ken Berry and Melody Patterson as the other small photo. Inside cover has the three key Indians from the show covering the entire interior cover, with a small panel telling the episodes in the set on the left side. The disc has Ken Berry, in character, on the left side, with blue skies and the F-Troop logo on the right. The packaging itself is nothing more than a translucent keep case.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Despite the simplicity that you’d expect for a set like this, the menus are actually nicely designed, and fit with the show. In front of brown leather background is old antique-style map of the Fort Courage area. Above the map is the show logo, and to the right is Ken Berry in full costume. The Episodes and Languages menus are similar, but feature different art on the right. The episodes menu has a photo of Forrest and Larry’s characters tied to a stake, while the Languages menu has a photo of Wrangler Jane (Melody Patterson). Unfortunately, there are no scene selection menus or even chapter stops within the episodes.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video on the B&W episodes is as grainy as you’d imagine from a western-set show from the 60s. It especially looks bad on larger and LCD screens. As for the color shows, the shows get decreasingly grainy as you go along. Our Brave in F-Troop looks amazingly good, while the two shows immediately before it look amazingly grainy for a shown-in-color series, and again, look bad on large screens and on LCD screens. The final episode, Our Brave in F-Troop, looks surprisingly well compared to the first five shows, which is strange. Audio’s a Dolby Digital mono track. It is 1966 folks, 5.1 isn’t happening here. About as good as you’re going to see…err…hear from a Dolby Mono track. Runtimes for all episodes are between 24:45 and 25:00


Special Features:

No special features on this set. Just the 6 episodes are included.


Final Comments:

Why Warner couldn’t be bothered to release the show onto DVD in full season format is beyond me. Still, having these six shows on DVD is better than nothing, I guess. Given the format of the set, Special Features weren’t really an option…heck, I’m surprised to see the foreign language subtitles. Overall, the set is well-done, if a bit simple.

As far as what I’d like to see next time, all I can say is 6 words: F-Troop - The Complete First Season. THAT would make myself and hundreds of thousands of F- Troop fans, past and present, the happiest. Still, this is a great show (this coming from a die-hard hater of the Westerns genre of TV), and I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s a classic show, it’s hilarious, and it’s cheap…what else can be said?


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 10/15/05

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000A0GXHE/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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