Release Date: February 14, 2012 (Timeless Media Group)
Packaging: Double-Thick Keep Case
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: 900 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
If any series has the potential to make it to TV, it also has the potential to make it to DVD. Timeless Media Group has proven that with their release of They Came From Outer Space - The Complete Television Series, a four-disc set that brings a series that most people probably don't remember (or have ever even seen) from the 1990-1991 season to DVD. The comedy series stars Dean Cameron and Stuart Fratkin as Bo and Abe, two twin brothers with parents have arranged for them to get a quality education at a foreign university, Cambridge University. But it isn't as simple as it sounds. Abe and Bo don't even make it to Cambridge, and decide that they would rather just spend their time cruising through California, while their parents believe that they are at Cambridge studying. Oh, and did I mention that when I refer to Cambridge as a "foreign" university, I don't just mean that Bo and Abe are from other countries, but rather, they came from... well, outer space? That is the premise in this bizarre, quirky, but fun series that Universal created through their MTE Television division that aired in syndication in the early 90s.
The series begins with "Malibu or Bust," where Bo and Abe manage to build a Corvette in a junkyard after landing in Malibu (instead of Oxford like they were supposed to) and meet up with a beautiful blond on the run from some thugs. In "Undressed for Success," the guys find their latest job in a strip club, but they are incredibly disappointed when they learn it is a male bar. Bo and Abe judge a beauty contest (and have reason to fear for their lives) in "The Beauty Contest." In "Something Personal," Bo tries to help Abe lose his virginity, with the help of personal ads. The boys' parents want to see their report cards from Oxford in "School Fools," which means they need to come up with a plan (and fast). A sexy bounty hunter is after Bo and Abe in "Tennessee Lacey." In "Trading Faces," Bo meets a man who looks exactly like him, but the man is about to go to prison and has special plans for Bo. A trip to the dentist ends with a bull-riding contest in "Rodeo Romeos." In "Mr. Geek," the guys help a professional wrestler win a woman's heart. A freak accident causes Abe to think he is a certain 1950s rock star in "The Legend."
In "Ads "R" Us," the twins get a job as ad campaign designers. Ruth Buzzi guest stars in "Animal Magnetism," where the guys get committed to a mental hospital. Bo and Abe take over a failing public access cable TV station and take the job very seriously in "High Five." In "Cozy Cove," Bo and Abe are searching for buried treasure. The guys are out to save a celebrity canine in "Look Who's Barking." Halle Berry guest stars in "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow," where the guys get a job at a hair salon. The guys help a scientist prove that her work has been stolen in "Play Doctor." In "Double Jeopardy," the guys start their own detective agency. The series ends with the two-part episode "Sex Lies and UFOs," where the aliens have to stop fellow aliens from invading Earth. John Astin guest stars.
As far as I know, the episodes are unedited, but having never seen the series before, I can't say for sure. Runtimes are as follows:
1. "Malibu or Bust" (46:50)
2. "Undressed for Success" (45:55)
3. "The Beauty Contest" (46:51)
4. "Something Personal" (45:54)
5. "School Fools" (46:56)
16. "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" (46:53)
17. "Play Doctor" (46:56)
18. "Double Jeopardy" (46:51)
19. "Sex Lies and UFOs: Part 1" (46:50)
20. "Sex Lies and UFOs: Part 2" (45:52)
The only true downfall of this DVD set is the packaging. The set is packaged in a double-thick keep case with two discs on each side inside the case. It is looks rather cheap and almost makes the set look like a public domain release, but don't worry, it isn't. On the cover, we have a photo of Bo and Abe in their car with a spaceship floating above them. On the back, there is a description of the series, along with a few episode snapshots. Inside the case, you'll find the discs, all of which have various outer space images on them. Each disc contains exactly five episodes, and for some reason, the discs aren't numbered at all. If you want to make sure that you are watching the episodes in order, you'll need to check an online episode guide. The episodes ARE, in fact, in order, but there is no numbering of the discs or episodes, which can cause some confusion. With that being said, there are no episode guides or inserts inside the case.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the set are very basic, but some effort was definitely placed into them. The main menu on each disc gives you a listing of all of the episodes, along with a Play All option, while the theme song plays in the background. Once you select an episode, you get an animated transition that takes you into the episode. It is a very nice effect. Chapters are placed throughout the episodes at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
Having seen many Timeless Media Group releases in the past that were of atrocious quality, I kind of expected the worst here. But actually, the quality of the episodes is not bad at all. The problems with quality on other releases from the studio are most likely a result of those series being 50 years old (or older), as TMG primarily focuses on much older series than this one. Some of the episodes do have a somewhat dull VHS transfer quality to them, but it isn't that bad at all. The audio on the episodes is, for the most part, loud and clear. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles or closed-captioning for the episodes.
There are no special features at all on this set. It would have been nice to have seen something along the lines of cast biographies or trivia, something that could have been easily added without too much cast input. Or better yet, even the cast appearing in some special features themselves would have been nice.
I had never seen this show prior to this release, but was very interested in seeing it after hearing about the release of the series on DVD. The series is actually a decent series, and brings together a bizarre blend of Route 66 and the various comedy series about aliens from the late 80s and early 90s. It is surprising that this series even made it to DVD, but it is very nice to see such a rare series make it to DVD. It would be nice to see Timeless Media Group release more of these quirky series from the same era, as it seems that they often focus on western series of the 50s and 60s. I think that this series would appeal to anybody who loves sci-fi comedy series from the era, such as Weird Science. In any event, I think that this series, even though it probably doesn't have many "fans" (who can even remember it), is an interesting and worthwhile addition to the collections of those who like quirky comedies.