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Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Second Season


TITLE: HOGAN'S HEROES - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005 (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Color
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 30
Running Time: 762 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed Captioned.
Special Features: Rare home movies, bloopers, audio commentary, Cast appearances on TV shows and original promos. (Approximate runtime in total: 30 minutes).


Introduction:

HOGAN'S HEROES fans fall in line.... for a second season of hilarious laughs featuring the wacky World War II POWs, known as Hogan's Heroes! Join Colonel Robert Hogan (Bob Crane) and his gang of men (Larry Hovis, Robert Clary, Richard Dawson and Ivan Dixon) as they come up with even more dangerous and elaborate ruses underneath the not so watchful eye of Colonel Klink (Werner Klemperer) and his very bumbling sidekick, Sgt. Schultz (John Banner). It's a mess of laughs with all 30 season two episodes of the top-rated, hit television sitcom in this five-disc DVD collection!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Season Two, again, boasts several memorable and hilarious episodes. I'll only list a few. "Hogan Gives a Birthday Party," "Operation Briefcase," "A Tiger Hunt In Paris" (Parts 1 & 2), "Klink's Rocket," Art For Hogan's Sake," "The General Swap," "Hogan And The Lady Doctor," "The Most Escape Proof Camp I've Ever Escaped From," The Tower," and "The Reluctant Target."

Some special guests this season include veteran actor James Gregory, known for "The Manchurian Candidate" but probably better known as beloved Inspector Frank Lugar from the television hit, "BARNEY MILLER." Also making an appearance was, now, well-known television actor, the late Parley Baer.


Packaging:

The cover art is once again a colorful design that features a grayish-blue backdrop with barbed wire. The top of the box features pictures of Schultz and Klink with a larger picture of Hogan while the bottom portion features the rest of the regular cast in what looks like press photos from certain episodes. It's a very nice cover and it's almost exactly like the first season's cover. The back features more or less the same design. The case is like many Paramount releases; slip covers (think thin pack discs inside of a box). Each individual box features pictures of each cast member (two on a cover) with the same design used for the main box. But for this set, they've sliced it down to just three cases and the first two cases hold two discs, while the third case only holds disc 5. Case 1/Disc 1 features Hogan and Schultz and Episodes 1-7 while Disc 2 features Hogan and Klink and episodes 8-14. Case 2/Disc 3 features Klink and Hogan and episodes 15-20 and Disc 4 features Newkirk and LeBeau and episodes 21-26. Case 3/Disc 5 features Schultz and Carter and episodes 27-30 as well as all of the special features included on this set.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu screen has undergone a huge overhaul. For the better! It's more animated and features brief video clips from the episodes. It's very "military" themed and over the menu is a cool spotlight that goes back and forth over the menu screen. There is a music that plays continuously throughout and it's the military style drum beating (heard in the first few seconds of Hogan's Heroes opening credits). This is a much better design than Season 1's. The main menu that pops up has an immediate list of the episodes you can select. There is also a "Play All" feature.


Video and Audio Quality:

For a show that's nearly 40 years old from the premiere date, the video is very good. The audio, like on most older show sets, was low, but not nearly as low as some older sets, so it may require you to increase the volume on your TV a bit. But there were no major issues to be concerned with on this set. And on this set, closed captioning is available but there were no Subtitles made available, or any type of language selection, for that matter. All episodes will generally run between approx. 24 and 25 minutes. You'll get nearly three to four extra minutes you can't see in syndication! Each episode has the chapter skip option available.


Special Features:

Unlike the Season 1 release, this set is packed with extras. I think I died and went to heaven. I complain endlessly about wanting bloopers, original promos, and various other special features for other shows I review. I was thrilled to see so many of those on this set. Every type of bonus feature you could think of is here and they are all great--kudos to Paramount for going all out for this release. Here is a listing of all the special features you can enjoy on this set, as well as just a brief description of each (including runtimes). I don't want to give everything away, now do I?

* Audio Commentary on Select Episodes
Sigrid Valdis (Patricia Crane) gives audio commentary on episode 33 (first episode located on disc 1) "Hogan Gives a Birthday Party" and regular cast member Robert Clary gives his audio commentary on episode 48 (second episode located on disc 3) "Art For Hogan's Sake". Patricia Crane also lends her commentary to the wedding film and Bob Crane's home videos from the Hogan's Heroes set.

* Gag Reel - Edited By Bob Crane (approx: 5 minutes and 23 seconds)
This is one of the better parts of the set. Bob Crane had previously edited this set of bloopers together. It's from his collection, I would assume, and contains numerous shots of the cast screwing up lines, missing cues and other hilarious things that make up a bloopers reel. It was great.

* Patricia and Bob Crane Wedding Film (approx: 7 minutes and 17 seconds)
This is an almost bittersweet bonus feature. What really drives this home is Patricia Crane's commentary as the ceremony takes place. You'll see the walk down the unconventional aisle, the minister reciting the vows and even the official picture taking. It's a very nice bonus feature and many fans will probably love this.

* Bob's 8MM Home Movies on Hogan Set (approx: 5 minutes and 56 seconds)
This is much like the wedding film. But it's on 8MM video, although it's pretty good. It mostly focuses on Patricia Crane, who also adds her commentary to this. It's another great bonus feature.

* CBS Promo 1 (approx: 20 seconds)
It's great they included this, but the promo comes across as very messy (obviously not at all like today's promos) and it's almost puzzling why it's included. It doesn't have a specific episode mentioning, it's just an average promo. Nice to see, but I think if possible, they could have picked a better one.

* CBS Promo 2 (approx: 1 minute and 25 seconds)
This is a much better promo than the first one. It's a black and white one featuring John Banner as a bag checker for a TWA flight. He is on the top of his game and does a hilarious job. He talks the ear off of a passenger who just wants to get his bag onto the plane and at the very end, he plugs Hogan's Heroes.

* Jello/Dream Whip Commercial with Carol Channing (approx: 2 minutes and 17 seconds)
This ad features the entire cast plugging Jello and Dream Whip nearly every chance they get. It also features a brief cameo by Carol Channing.

* The Leslie Uggams Show (approx: 2 minutes and 17 seconds)
This very brief scene is from the Leslie Uggams Show and features the entire cast, except for Richard Dawson and Ivan Dixon. They are in character and coming up with fake names, using their own in real-life. It's a nice little appearance. Not sure if there was more to it than that, since I'm not very familiar with The Leslie Uggams Show.

* "The Lucy Show" - "Lucy and Bob Crane" from 1966 (approx: 2 minutes and 34 seconds)
This brief clip features all Bob Crane's guest appearance as himself on "The Lucy Show" and includes a brief cameo by John Banner in character as Klink. Lucy, Bob and John were at their finest and I would have loved to see the whole episode.

* "Air Force Now" Hogan's Cast Segments" (approx: 1 minute and 24 seconds)
I wasn't very familiar with this, but I think the cast was plugging the movie. It was confusing but I'm sure fans that are aware of this will enjoy it.

* Bob Crane US Air Force Recruitment Spot 1 (approx: 1 minute and 4 seconds)
It's self explanatory, really. Bob Crane taped an ad recuriting people for the US Air Force.

* Bob Crane US Air Force Recruitment Spot 2 (approx: 1 minute)
It's self explanatory, really. Bob Crane taped an ad recuriting people for the US Air Force. Not the same ad as above, a different one, but with the same purpose.

* Bob Crane Radio Material (no approximate times)
This was fascinating stuff. It was great to listen to. I really hedge going into too many details, so go out and buy the set. This is a very nice bonus feature. There are several different interviews that take place:
- (1965) Richard Dawson and Chad Everett on KNX
- (1967) Armed Forces Radio Christmas Show featuring Bob Crane with Werner Klemperer, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis, Robert Clary and Sigrid Valdis (Patricia Crane). You can go through each name and select them to listen to their selection.

And finally, a photo gallery featuring several photos of the cast is featured. The photos were mostly taken on set with the actors in character and probably used for press releases about the show.


Final Comments:

In conclusion, this set was a complete overhaul from Season 1. Except the design of the box art, which remained the same, everything was better. The menu screen was animated and attractive and the special features are fantastic. I can't praise Paramount enough for these changes. I was pretty disappointed with the first season release but can't contain my happiness for Season 2. Every company should take note of how to put out a very good release. Although a lot of shows do contain loads of bonus features, a lot of older shows are lacking these elements. Paramount, which very much disappointed me with Taxi, could actually teach the others a lesson or two. I definitely encourage all the fans to go out and buy this set because it's one of the best revamps of a set I've ever seen. Great job, Paramount!


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

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 09/17/05

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000A6T1J0/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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