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ALF - Season One



DVD Release Date: August 10, 2004 (Lions Gate Home Entertainment)
color/616 min.
MSRP: $39.98
Number of discs: 4
Number of episodes: 27 half hours (counting unaired pilot)
Languages and subtitles: English, Closed Captioned.
Special features: “Interactive Menus Hosted by ALF,” “The Original Un-Aired Pilot Episode,” “Gag/Outtakes Reel,” and “ALF Trivia Facts.”


ALF is finally making his way to DVD! Before he had his own talk show on TV Land, commercials for 1-800-COLLECT and 10-10-220, he had his own sitcom from 1986-1990 on NBC. ALF is voiced and puppeteer by Paul Fusco, who is also the creator & executive producer, and he even directed and wrote a few episodes! The show is about the Tanner family finding ALF in his spaceship on their garage roof. They keep him hidden from any other human and do not turn him in to the government. The Tanner family consists of Willie (Max Wright), Kate (Anne Schedeen), Lynn (Andrea Elson), and Brian (Benji Gregory). The nosy neighbors are the Ochmoneks (Trevor and Raquel), who always seem to find something fishy going around in the Tanner household. Will they ever figure out who ALF is? Find out on the season one DVD of ALF!

ALF stands for Alien Life Form. He was given that name by the Tanners. His real name is Gordon Shumway and he is from the planet Melmac. ALF was such a bit hit that two Saturday morning cartoons were created starring ALF in 1987. The ALF sitcom won a People’s Choice Award in 1986 for Favorite New Comedy Series.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Some famous ALF season one episodes include the “ALF Pilot,” “Looking for Lucky,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” the one-hour “Try to Remember,” and “La Cucaracha.” Famous guest stars include Harry Shearer (“Pennsylvania 6-5000”), Meshach Taylor (“Pennsylvania 6-5000”), Mary Jo Catlett (“Keeping the Faith”), and Anne Meara (recurring).


The packaging is pretty nice. The box cover is in blue with stars and ALF in the center. The ALF logo is in red. The back of the box lists the special features, a brief synopsis of the show, four ALF Facts, and ALF season one credits. There is also a photo of ALF in his full body with a rose in his mouth while holding the DVD set! The case also has the same cover as the box and the same back as the box. They should have made it different, but no biggie. Inside the case of course are the 4 discs and also an episode index sheet. The episode index sheet lists what episodes are on each disc with episode titles, and who wrote and directed the episode. It also features two quotes from ALF!

All the discs are in the blue color scheme and have the ALF logo in red with the words season one in light blue. Disc one has ALF’s face, similar to the cover, with a shot of a planet on the far left. It also mentions that disc one contains episodes 1-7. Disc two has ALF’s body with a rose in his mouth, similar to the back cover except he isn’t holding the DVD set. Disc two has episodes 8-14. Disc three has ALF in a red Hawaiian shirt pointing to the sky. Disc three features episodes 15-21. Disc four has a tough looking ALF with a gold chain and a silver chain representing a dollar sign, something out of the closet of Mr. T. Disc four has episodes 22-25 (really 26, since a 2-part episode is counted as one). The case is two sided and has 2 discs on each side.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screens are the best ever! I REALLY mean that. ALF himself hosts the menu screens! They are very interactive. ALF tells you a story then tells you to pick something from the menu screen. This is fun to watch. I spent over 10 minutes just watching him on the menu screen. Each disc has a different menu screen, with ALF saying different things. When you select the episodes option, you go to a screen with all the episodes listed. There is a play icon, a photo from the episode, and a question mark icon. When you click on the question mark, ALF gives you a brief video synopsis of the episode—in his own words! ALF was really involved in this DVD, it seems! On disc four when you click on special features, it takes you to the special features screen. ALF does another skit and then reads you the options on the menu screen, and waits for you to pick something. He actually does wait for you, though, he sounds pissed if you take long. The special features menu has “Unaired Pilot,” Gag Reel,” “Trivia Facts,” and “Credits.” The credits are the credits for the DVD. Who was involved, etc. There is no scene selection screen for each episode, but there are chapters on each episode, which you can use with your remote. I think there are about 4-6 chapters or so.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio look decent. The set is newly remastered, so you can tell how crisp the video looks and how the audio sounds. The audio is in 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround. I didn’t find any faults in the audio or video. All the episodes look good, but one question I can’t figure out is, why are all the episodes between 20-22 minutes in length? I hope they are not syndication prints. The unaired pilot is the longest in duration out of anything on this set. So something is wrong. I can’t prove anything unless I have some original episodes to compare, but I don’t. ALF himself was involved on this set, so I hope he is aware of this. I’m sure he wouldn’t let fans see edited episodes? Anyway, just buy the set and see yourself.

Special Features:

The special features are pretty nifty and they are all located on disc four. The first one is great. It is the unaired pilot. It runs about 23:50 in length. I don’t want to give anything away, but the actors are all the same from the aired pilot. The plot is basically the same, but the first about 6-7 minutes is different from the aired pilot. The unaired pilot doesn’t look back on how they got ALF; instead it is actually the day they got ALF. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it. The second feature is the Gag/Outtakes Reel. The quality on these is not that great, but it is very watch able. There is a running time clock on the bloopers, so they are for sure taken from a reel. The bloopers run just under 7 minutes in duration, I believe. ALF is hilarious in it. A must see! The third feature is ALF Trivia Facts. It is in text form and contains some useful information that you might have not known. Some info from there could be obvious to you, such as what ALF stands for. Then there is a credits section, so fans can see who was involved in the making of this set.

Final Comments:

I really liked this set. The menu screens were really energetic and nice to watch. The special features were decent, as well. I hope we get all seasons on DVD very soon. I’d like to see some episodes of the two animated series as extras on future releases. Of course, more bloopers would be nice. ALF should do commentary or interviews, too. Though, he was great on the menu screens on this set. Something very different and no other set that I am aware of has ever done. Interviews with the cast would be great for future sets as well. So, I do recommend you buying the DVD, but don’t put it near any cats! Haaaaaa!!!!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video quality: 4.7/5
Audio quality: 4.7/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.7/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 07/30/04

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