TITLE: MISTER ED - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010 (Shout! Factory)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: approx. 13 hours
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 1 hour, 45 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: Audio Interview with Alan Young from Shokus Internet Radio's Stu Show
Here for the first time on DVD are all 26 episodes from the third season of the classic TV sitcom.
Architect Wilbur Post (Alan Young, The Time Machine) and his wife Carol (Connie Hines) are once again up to their ears in trouble - and hilarity - with all the mischief brought on by their meddlesome talking horse. This season Ed gets amnesia, finds himself in a lion's cage (with a lion!) and experiences his first taste of show biz. Featured guest stars include Richard Deacon (The Dick Van Dyke Show) and Jack LaLanne.
Ed gets accidentally hit in the head with a bucket of carrots and he can't remember Wilbur or who he is in "Ed Gets Amnesia." When Ed causes a newsboy to lose his job, Wilbur and Addison each suspect each other of being the one who did it in "Wilbur, The Good Samaritan." While Wilbur is working on nice living quarters for an elephant, Ed is taking apples from Addison's apple tree in "Wilbur and Ed in Show Biz." Wilbur thinks that Ed looks ungroomed and needs a good haircut, so he gets a hairdresser to do the job in "The Bashful Clipper." Wilbur has promised to take Ed camping, but the visit of Addison's mother spoils that from happening in "Ed and the Allergy." Addison's letter to the editor fails when he wants the bridle path removed so that they can use the space to add on to the golf course in "Horse Sense." Feeling afraid of what Carol and the neighbors might think, Wilbur tries to talk Ed out of it when Ed asks Wilbur to take him kite flying in "Wilbur in the Lion's Den." Legendary character actor guest stars as Charley Foster. Ed realizes that it's his birthday and tries to persuade Wilbur to throw a birthday party in "Horse Party."
Ed tells how a horse was involved in the true story of Thanksgiving, in the hopes that Wilbur will consider giving him some of the Thanksgiving dinner in "Ed the Pilgrim." Ed hesitates to participate in Wilbur's stage magic act in "Disappearing Act." Addison, being the Chairman and a distant relative from Paul Revere, hires a sculptor to create an image of Paul. Ed also thinks it's fair to have him on his ancestor also......a horse of course of course in "Ed and Paul Revere." Wilbur gets into trouble with a married woman in the park as he is riding Ed. Ed also has the hots for a filly that this married woman is riding in "Wilbur the Masher." The circus comes to town, and they intend to place it on the Addisons' property in "Horse of a Different Color." Ed's feelings are hurt when Wilbur begins to ride a bike daily. Wilbur then realizes that he can't talk to a bike and that a bike cannot care for him the way Ed does in "Ed and the Bicycle." Wilbur constructs a rocking chair out of Ed's old shoes. Everyone thinks that Wilbur's chair is ridiculous until an antique buyer is willing to pay some cash for it in "Ol' Rockin' Chair." The Posts, Addisons, and Ed all go to a ski lodge. During the trip they fall victim to card sharks. That is until they use Ed to try and help them out in "Big Pine Lodge."
Ed becomes unemployed when Wilbur works him in the stable. After that happens, Ed feels that he is entitled to unemployment insurance in "Unemployment Show." Wilbur and Ed help an old handyman who was wrongfully accused of drugging a horse before a big race in "Horse Talk." Carol and Kay try to persuade their husbands to join the hunt club to emulate the First Lady. Wilbur agrees to join, but Ed won't let Wilbur ride him in the hunt in "Ed and the Secret Service." After cutting the budget on their wives spending, it's up to Wilbur and Addison to keep house while the women work and make the money in "Working Wives." Ed confuses Wilbur about his father's plans to remarry in "Wilbur's Father." Ed has an uncontrollable urge for Addison's apples and constantly takes them from Addison's apple tree. Addison gets very angry at Ed and threatens Wilbur to stop Ed, or there will be trouble in "The Price of Apples." Richard Deacon appears in the recurring role of Dr. Griffith. Wilbur wants a picture of Ed to enter into a contest, and Ed does not want to participate. Feeling that the contest is undignified, Ed runs away to a zoo as a zebra in "Ed the Zebra." The Posts buy Kay a cockatoo bird for her birthday. Addison is disapointed in the gift and Ed is pleased with the gift in "Ed the Emancipator." Addison's TV set stops working and Wilbur lends him his. Ed gets upset because he won't be able to watch his favorite doctor show in "Doctor Ed." Jack LaLanne appears as himself. Joy hits Ed when he learns that he is about to become an Uncle. When he hears of this news, he goes straight to the typewriter and starts to list a bunch of names suitable to fit the little guy in "The Blessed Event."
Season One had some problems with eight edited/syndicated episodes. Season Two had all unedited episodes. Once again, there is some good news to report with this release. All episodes appear to be unedited, with runtimes of around 25 minutes and 30 seconds. Exact runtimes are as follows:
Ed Gets Amnesia (09/27/62) (25:32)
Wilbur, The Good Samaritan (10/04/62) (25:29)
Wilbur and Ed in Show Biz (10/11/62) (25:29)
The Bashful Clipper (10/18/62) (25:32)
Ed and the Allergy (10/25/62) (25:31)
Horse Sense (11/01/62) (25:32)
Wilbur in the Lion's Den (11/08/62) (25:28)
Horse Party (11/15/62) (25:31)
Ed the Pilgrim (11/22/62) (25:28)
Disappearing Horse (11/29/62) (25:30)
Ed and Paul Revere (12/06/62) (25:30)
Wilbur the Masher (12/13/62) (25:32)
Horse of a Different Color (12/20/62) (25:30)
Ed and the Bicycle (01/03/63) (25:28)
Ol' Rockin' Chair (01/10/63) (25:31)
Big Pine Lodge (01/17/63) (25:32)
Unemployment Show (01/24/63) (25:31)
Horse Talk (01/31/63) (25:29)
Ed and the Secret Service (02/07/63) (25:30)
Working Wives (02/14/63) (25:27)
Wilbur's Father (02/28/63) (25:29)
The Price of Apples (03/07/63) (25:33)
Ed the Zebra (03/21/63) (25:29)
Ed the Emancipator (03/28/63) (25:28)
Doctor Ed (03/31/63) (25:30)
The Blessed Event (05/12/63) (25:29)
The 4-disc set contains all 26 episodes from the third (1962-63) season. The outer cardboard box features a color photo of Alan Young, Mister Ed and Connie Hines with a drawing of a barn in the background. On the back of the box, there are two black & white photos of Hines, Mister Ed and Young. A synopsis of the set and a listing of the special feature is provided. The two slim cases slide out from the right of the box. Slim case #1 has a color photo of Mister Ed, Hines and Young and holds discs 1 & 2. Slim case #2 has a photo of Mister Ed wearing a hat and Young. On the back of each slim case, there is a listing of episodes with original airdates. Unfortunately, there was no episode booklet included this time like there were for the first two seasons. The episode booklets were nice to have for reference. There are bails of hay inside the slim cases. The discs feature the Mister Ed logo, with the sky and grass in the background. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-8, Disc 2 contains episodes 9-16, Disc 3 contains episodes 17-24, and Disc 4 contains episodes 25 and 26 of the third season.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Sadly, the menus on this set are the same as the ones seen on the previous release, which were not very easy to navigate. The main menu has Mister Ed introducing himself along with some videos, along with options of Play All and Select Episode. Choosing Select Episode, however, does not list all of the episodes on the disc. Instead, it shows you the first episode on the disc, and you are forced to use the arrows on the bottom of the screen to go to the next episode. On each menu screen, you are given a snapshot from the episode with options of Play Episode, Previous, Menu, and Next. Previous and Next are the two options you have to use to find the episode that you want. It is incredibly obnoxious, and I have no clue why Shout! Factory would do that on this set when they’ve never done it on any other set (at least not to my knowledge). The main menus feature some instrumental music. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
There were some quality issues with the first season release, but many of the major problems seem to be gone with the last two seasons. There are still some grain and lighting issues, but they are nothing of major concern. The audio can be a little dull at times, but that is somewhat expected for a series that aired in the 60s. Every episode is presented in mono, of course, and each episode is closed-captioned. The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is one for a Filmways Television Production.
After having multiple special features on the previous seasons, we only have one bonus this time. Once again, it is a radio interview from "Stu's Show," an internet radio program, featuring Alan Young and the host Stu Shostak. This program was broadcast on October 24, 2007. The audio interview with Alan Young and Connie Hines that was included on the second season was broadcast on February 6, 2008. Once again, this interview is placed as an alternate audio track over almost 4 entire episodes. It sort of works as a commentary.
The radio interview runs approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes (without commercials). Connie Hines was supposed to originally be on this show but was unable to make it, so they did a second show with her and Alan Young a few months later. This interview covers many topics related to Alan Young and Mister Ed. They talk a little about Alan's two books before discussing his early days of growing up in Scotland before moving to Canada with his family. Then they talk about how Alan got his start in radio and his move to New York and eventually back to Canada. Next, they discuss the start of his film career, his CBS variety show and working with animals. The last part of the program mainly focuses on Mister Ed with some trivia, the casting of Connie Hines, working with Rocky Laine, and favorite episodes. A few calls are taken and they also talk about his voice-over work for various animated series. The interview is quite interesting and lively and held my interest for the nearly two hours. Mr. Young was in his upper 80's at the time of the interview and seems to have quite a good memory and is a good storyteller.
For many more audio interviews with classic TV stars and other people in the industry, you can visit Shokus Internet Radio.
Unfortunately, they didn't include any kind of tribute to the lovely Connie Hines on this set. She passed away after the production of the season two release. It was nice that she was able to participate in the first two season releases of this series on DVD. Hopefully they will include some kind of tribute featurette on her on a future release.
It's been great that these seasons have been released about every 4 months. It looked like MGM had abandoned the series years ago, but thankfully Shout! Factory has stepped up to the plate and delivered some quality sets over the last 8 months. The third season didn't have as many big name guest stars as the second season, but that didn't take away from the enjoyment of the show. The show was always about Mister Ed, Wilbur, Connie and company. I have only a few minor complaints about this set. Once again, the menus could be easier to navigate. I'm surprised that they didn't include an episode booklet guide like the two previous seasons. That was handy resource to have available to quickly look up a summary. The radio interviews that they've included were interesting and entertaining to hear. Let's hope that they include some kind of tribute to Connie Hines in the future. We still have 3 more seasons (the last season was only 13 episodes), so it will be fantastic to have the series complete sometime in 2011 if the release pattern holds.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
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