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Good; Could Have Been A Little Better
on March 18, 2010
This set collects in a nice slipcase the four half-season sets previously released by Timeless Media from October 2007 to January 2009. The 12 DVDs are exactly the same as the originals. The six individual slimline cases are exclusive to this set. Each holds two DVDs and has "The Complete Series" and disc numbers printed on the spine. The video quality of these DVDs is very good, probably the best of Timeless' western releases of the past few years. The color is bright overall and shows very little, if any, fading. I'm not sure if the shows were ever remastered but they looked pretty good on Encore Westerns in the mid-90s and these appear to be from the same source. The back of the slipcase states that the series is "faithfully reproduced from the original NBC masters". For whatever reason, the show looks good for 45 years old.
The first six discs, covering the first season, play the show's opening credits only as part of the menu. The second season's six DVDs all play the opening as part of each episode, which is the way it should be and the way the first DVDs should have been done. The sound quality on all is very good and in most instances comes blasting from my TV's speakers. It would have been nice to have more extras. The only extra here is a recent interview with co-star Peter Brown. It's interesting but covers most of his career and not just Laredo. I would have liked for the series pilot, at the very least, to be included in this set. The pilot was actually the final episode of the third season of The Virginian, titled "We've Lost A Train". Timeless has recently released the first two seasons of The Virginian, so maybe there's hope for the third season and the elusive Laredo pilot.
On the back of the slipcase is one misstatement and one glaring error. Claude Akins is stated as having joined the series in its second season, while Robert Wolders made several appearances. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. In the bottom right corner, we read: "Contains Exclusive Interview With Robert Fuller". Robert Fuller?? Robert Fuller's interview is on the Wagon Train Seventh Season Set. As I stated previously, the interview on Disc 10 here is with Peter Brown. Someone at Timeless did a poor job of proofreading.
If you're bothering to read this, you probably already know about the show. I will merely add that I've found it to be a nice blend of western action and comedy, with some occasional drama. The stars play well off each other. If you haven't seen it, think of the comic episodes of Bonanza mixed with the jocularity of Alias Smith and Jones, and including enough gunplay to please any western fan. Give it a try. You should find at least a few episodes to your liking.
Update: Timeless is releasing Season Three of The Virginian on DVD March 15. The final episode of that season, "We've Lost A Train", is the Laredo pilot.