Edition - 1974/75 (2003) - 20th Century Fox
by Jeff Kleist of The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/B-/F
Specs and Features
648 mins (24 episodes total), NR, full frame (1.33:1), 3
single-sided, dual-layered discs (no layer switch), triple-disc
Alpha keep case packaging, laugh track free audio option,
program-themed menu screens, scene access (10 chapters per episode -
see episode listing below), languages:
English, French and Spanish (DD mono), subtitles: English and
Spanish, Closed Captioned
The 4077th continues their journey in season three of M*A*S*H,
just barely passing the twenty-five percent mark in what would be an
eleven year run, one of the longest in the history of television.
Season Three contains many of
the episodes that are the core of the show's syndication package, so
there's not nearly as many episodes that will be new to most people.
These include The General Flipped at Dawn
(with a cameo by soon-to-be Potter Harry Morgan), House
Arrest and one of my personal favorites that never seems
to get shown in syndication, Adam's Rib.
There's just something pure about a man's quest of the perfect
barbecue that really connects with me.
In terms of video, there's a bit more print damage in this set,
possibly because the masters got used more for syndication.
Following in the tradition of the previous sets, the video quality
is slightly improved. One of the beauties of older shows is that
they were finished on film, which means that they have the ability
to be re-transferred to better masters and can more easily be
restored to better quality. Gorgeous texture, detail and color
abound here, and only the scratches, nicks and dirt (that show up
about four or five times an episode) keep it from getting an A.
The Dolby Digital mono tracks stand on par with the two previous
sets. The audio is totally acceptable presentation of original
source material with limited dynamic range. Notable here is that the
quality of the sans-laugh track seems to have increased
significantly, and it should be fairly pleasing to those who prefer
to watch the show that way.
Extras are once again non-existent, aside from the laughless
track... and therein lies a real problem. At least three episodes on
the first disc default to the laughless track, and one episode (O.R.)
lacks the original laugh-inclusive track completely. What's up with
that? I could understand Fox NOT having the no-laugh for an episode,
but not having the main audio? Maybe the episode aired without one
and I don't know it, but I'm mystified. [Note:
As many readers have since informed me, M*A*S*H never
carried a laugh track while in the O.R., therefore there is only a
single audio track available for this episode.]
In any case, how can you go wrong with M*A*S*H?
Honestly, it's one of the greatest shows in the history of
television, and at less than $30 a season (at your discounter)
you're paying under $2 an episode. Fox continues to strive for
excellence in TV on DVD, and remains the LEADER in quality and
quantity. Give them an ovation with your wallet.
The General Flipped at Dawn
Officer of the Day
Iron Guts Kelly
Life with Father
There is Nothing like a Nurse
A Full Rich Day
Dogs and Servicemen
Private Charles Lamb
Love and Marriage