DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008 (Shout! Factory)
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 30
Running Time: 720 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: None
It’s time to set sail one last time for one of the most hilarious guys in the Navy! McHale’s Navy: Season Four brings the final 30 episodes of the sitcom staring Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway together on a five disc DVD set. This crew doesn’t exactly play around--or do they? Maybe that is why they can’t seem to do anything quite right! Will the crew make it through all of it safely or will one of them end up tipping the ship and going overboard? Find out in season four of McHale’s Navy!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Some of the members of the crew have to pretend to be Italian to avoid being captured in “The Bathtub Thief.” We get to meet McHale’s Italian cousin in “Giuseppe McHale.” The boys are having some unauthorized rest and relaxation in “The Bald-Headed Contessa,” which causes more trouble than they ever expected. McHale and the gang find a new home--in a wine cellar--in “A Wine Cellar is Not a Home.” Binghampton puts the mayor of the Italian town in which they are in right now in jail in “The Good Luck Fountain,” but McHale and the guys have a plan to get him out.
In “Reunion for PT-73,” McHale is about to be court-martialed by Binghampton, but can McHale stop him? McHale’s Italian cousin strikes again (and helps him out) in “The Return of Giuseppe.” Parker has to pretend to be a WAC (a member of the Women’s Army Corps) to save another WAC in “The Wacky WAC.” Binghampton wants McHale to help him get back $1000 that he lost in “McHale’s Country Club Caper.” When McHale takes a temporary absence, the crew can’t stand Parker and tries to leave his command in “My Son, the Skipper.” Don Knotts guest stars in “Little Red Riding Doctor.” The series ends with “Wally for Congress,” where Binghampton has to prove that he is a fighter and a leader, rather than one that just sits and commands.
The set contains three slim cases inside of the outer box, which has artwork of the entire cast on the cover. Inside, the first two slim cases contain two discs each, and the third one contains one disc. Each slim case has, on the back, a list of all of the episodes contained on the discs along with original airdates. Sadly, no episode descriptions are provided anywhere on the set. The disc artwork is very nice, in that each disc is designed to look like a life preserver. As there are 30 episodes on the set, each disc contains exactly six episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the set are very nice and beautifully designed, with a complete naval theme, but at the same time, are very simple and straightforward. The main menu gives you video from the episodes on the set with the theme song, and you have options of Play All and Episode. If you select Play All, then every episode plays (as one would expect). Selecting Episodes will take you to a menu where you can pick out which episode you wish to view. Chapters are placed within each episode at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
To be quite honest, the episodes on this set look rather well for a series this old. There is some grain here and there, and the contrast seems to be a bit off at times, but it isn’t too bad. For those that are wondering, these episodes are presented in black-and-white, and are NOT the colorized versions that some TV stations aired back in the 1980s. I would say that it would have been nice to have been provided an option, as Sony has done with a few shows, but I have VHS tapes with the last few minutes of the colorized versions of this series, and they look pretty awful and probably deserve to be buried for good. The audio sounds fine, being presented in the original mono, of course. Closed-captioning is available for those that may need it. The episodes are all very consistent as far as runtimes, and all appear to be unedited. In fact, there is very little variance on the runtimes. Each episode runs around 25:25, give or take a few seconds.
Unfortunately, the set has no special features, at all. This is actually a change from some of the earlier seasons. Certainly they could have found something, such as original promos or interviews or something like that.
I can’t exactly say that this is my type of show, but then again, there are probably many others out there that can say that about this series. It does have some hilarious moments that any sitcom fan is sure to appreciate, but honestly, the people that will appreciate it the most would be those loyal and dedicated fans of the series that already exist. Shout! Factory put together a very nice set of episodes for this release, but it is disappointing that special features are totally lacking in this set once again. Still, the quality of the episodes is pretty good for a series this old, and is even more impressive considering that this is being released by a third party distributor. Hopefully, a complete series release is in the works for those that are fans of the series. So, if this all appeals to you, then perhaps you, too, should join McHale’s Navy!