TITLE: GET SMART - SEASON 3 (HBO HOME VIDEO)
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009 (HBO Video)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: 650 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Audio Introductions by Barbara Feldon for all episodes, Commentaries for two episodes
Maxwell Smart is back along with his fellow spy agents in Season Three of Get Smart! The Season Three retail release brings all 26 episodes from the 1967-1968 season of the series together on a basic (but still very nice) four-disc set, which includes audio introductions from Barbara Feldon and commentaries on two of the episodes.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
The season begins with “The Spy Who Met Himself,” where KAOS agents are impersonating CONTROL agents, causing true, err, chaos! Max and 99 have to save a South American leader in “Viva Smart.” In “The Spirit is Willing,” Max is using an informant that’ll only talk through a séance. Max becomes a private eye in “Maxwell Smart, Private Eye.” Gordon Jump guest stars. Carol Burnett guest stars in “One of Our Olives is Missing.” Max and 99 go undercover in a motorcycle gang in “The Mild Ones.” Max is poisoned and must find an antidote QUICK in “Classification: Dead.”
We get a tale of teenage zombies in “The Groovy Guru.” In the two part episode “Little Black Book,” Don Rickles guest stars as Max’s friends get into his list of KAOS agents and set up dates with them! 99 may be getting married in “99 Loses CONTROL,” but is it just a set up by KAOS agents? 86 and 99 can never get a day off, as they find out in “The Wax Max.” The series spoofs a real spy series, I Spy, in “Die, Spy.”
You’ll find many guest stars making uncredited cameos throughout the set, including Danny Thomas, Joey Bishop, Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Bill Dana, Milton Berle, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Culp, Bob Hope, and more!
The packaging for this set is just like all of the previous sets: a standard Amaray case (a white one) with a cardboard sleeve on the outside. The outer sleeve has a picture of (who else?) Maxwell Smart on the front and the entire set has a blue color scheme. Inside, you’ll find the four discs, each with no artwork other than a blue and purple background with the series logo in white lettering. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-7, Disc 2 contains episodes 8-12, Disc 3 contains episodes 13-20, and Disc 4 contains episodes 21-26.
There is an episode list inside the set that contains the disc breakdown and all of the original airdates, but unfortunately, no episode descriptions are given. There is also an introduction to the set from Alan Spencer.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the set are basic, but still very nice. The main menu has the theme song playing in the background with videos from the episodes on the screen, with options of Play All, Episodes, and Commentaries (Disc 3). The Episodes menu has all of the episodes on the disc listed on one screen, with episode snapshots, and once you select an episode, you go to the audio introduction by Barbara Feldon, which lasts about 20-30 seconds. You can skip it and play the episode right away, but I’d suggest listening to the introductions, as they are all very interesting. Chapters are placed in all of the appropriate places on each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
I am simply amazed at how great of a job HBO did with restoring these episodes. Many series from this era tend to not look so great on DVD, but these episodes are said to be “restored” on the packaging, and it appears that they truly mean what they say about the episodes being restored. The video quality is clear, vivid, and sharp with just a little bit of grain floating here and there, and the audio is loud and clear, even if it IS presented in mono. And the episodes themselves are the original unedited versions, which is another nice aspect of the set. Runtimes for each episode are as follows:
The Spy Who Met Himself (25:24)
Viva Smart (25:23)
Witness for the Persecution (25:27)
The Spirit is Willing (25:16)
Maxwell Smart, Private Eye (24:56)
Supersonic Boom (25:29)
One of Our Olives is Missing (25:26)
When Good Fellows Get Together (25:27)
Dr. Yes (24:34)
That Old Gang of Mine (25:25)
The Mild Ones (25:13)
Classification: Dead (25:26)
The Mysterious Dr. T (25:21)
The King Lives? (25:29)
The Groovy Guru (25:27)
The Little Black Book, Part I (25:26)
The Little Black Book, Part 2 (25:17)
Don’t Look Back (25:26)
99 Loses CONTROL (25:26)
The Wax Max (24:26)
Run, Robot, Run (25:24)
Operation Ridiculous (25:25)
Spy, Spy, Birdie (24:25)
The Hot Line (25:27)
Die, Spy (25:26)
The Reluctant Redhead (25:28)
With this being the “mainstream retail release,” we have hardly any special features. But to be fair, that is a positive in a way--it allows certain fans to purchase the set at a deeply discounted price. If you are truly interested in special features, there is a release from Time-Life that is a little more expensive that contains an entire disc of special features, and HBO has actually already released a Complete Series set which contains a ton of them. But for those that want just the episodes with minimal special features, this is the set for them.
We still have audio introductions from Barbara Feldon for each episode on this set, as well as commentaries on two episodes. Don Rickles provides commentary on “The Little Black Book, Part II,” and we have a commentary track for the episode “99 Loses CONTROL,” from Barbara Feldon and Buck Henry. The Don Rickles commentary ends very abruptly and strangely with a somewhat unhappy Don Rickles. So clearly, the set isn’t a total loss for special features. There is also one other special feature that made it onto this set--bloopers from Don Rickles on the episode “The Little Black Book, Part II.” They are VERY rough and presented in black and white.
Every time I get one of these Get Smart DVD sets to review, I always get excited, which is unusual for a series that I’ve never really watched. The series never appealed to me in syndication, not even when it aired most recently on TV Land, but I have now discovered this series and am fascinated by it and finding myself thoroughly enjoying it! It is a very funny and quirky show that anybody can understand if they just pay attention to the episodes. I am equally impressed with the quality of the episodes on the set. So many series from this era look HORRIBLE on DVD, but these episodes look great on DVD.
As I’ve said before, for devoted fan of the series, go for the Complete Series DVD set that has already been released (one of our former reviewers actually reviewed it a long time ago) and is readily available at retail outlets now, as it is loaded with special features for those willing to pay the price. But if you just want to watch a funny show and want an inexpensive DVD set without the frills, these season sets are perfect for you (I know that they are good enough for me), and you’ll want to own this set today!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 06/09/09
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