- All 20 Episodes from 1996 season
- Bloopers Reel
- Interview with entire cast including John Lithgow
- 3rd Rock: Behind the Scenes
- Season One Highlights
- TV Spots
- 16-page collectible booklet
- DVD-ROM: Teleplays
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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3rd Rock from the Sun, which has earned 31 Emmy nominations,is an inspired half-hour comedy series farcically dealing with the human condition. It was created by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner in association with Carsey-Werner Productions, LLC for NBC-TV. Set in the fictional city of Rutherford, Ohio, this gentle-hearted series stars John Lithgow as the High Commander of an investigative team sent to Earth on a mission to learn everything about humans and their so-called advanced cilvilization.
In the irreverent tradition of My Favorite Martian and Mork and Mindy, Bonnie and Terry Turner (That 70s Show) created 3rd Rock From the Sun. Launched in 1996 as a midseason replacement, the alien comedy ran for six seasons, garnering 31 Emmy nominations and eight wins, including three for John Lithgow and two for Kristen Johnston.
In the pilot ("Brains and Eggs"), four extra-terrestrials suddenly materialize in the college town of Rutherford, Ohio. Disguised as humans, they dub themselves the Solomons. They are Dick (Lithgow), Sally (Johnston), Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), and Harry (French Stewart). On the surface, Dick is a physics professor and Tommy is his hormonally challenged 14-year-old son. In reality, Dick is the high commander, Tommy (who's actually the oldest) is the senior information officer, Sally (who's actually a man) is the lieutenant, and squinty-eyed Harry is the transmitter/receiver. The humans in their lives include Dick's colleague--and object of his affections--Mary (Jane Curtin, Kate and Allie), secretary Nina (Simbi Khali), and landlady Mrs. Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel). The first season also introduces Officer Don (Wayne Knight, Seinfeld), who will appear more often in future seasons.
There were 20 episodes in the first year. In each, the Solomons learn something new about the human condition. In the debut, its feelings. Dick finds them silly, until he realizes how essential they are--you can't be fully human without them. Then there's sportsmanship ("Green-Eyed Dick"), mortality ("Body & Soul & Dick"), and so on. Guest stars include Harry's dream girl, Martha Stewart ("Post-Nasal Dick"), The Gilmore Girls Lauren Graham ("Dick's First Birthday"), and Newsradios Phil Hartman ("Lonely Dick"). After the shows demise, the cast would move on to other ventures, most notably Broadway hit Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for the versatile Lithgow and independent drama Mysterious Skin for the grown-up Gordon-Levitt. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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The first season is spread out on the four DVDs. I don't know if they are edited or not. It has been a while since I have seen the series. Sadly, it doesn't run in syndication like it should regularly. Still twenty years later, the jokes are fresh and alive. Guest cast in the first season included Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls and Parenthood); John Mahoney (Frasier); and Phil Hartman (Newsradio and Saturday Night Live). The fourth DVD includes extras like interviews with the entire cast, highlights, TV spots and comes with a 16 page collectible booklet. I did notice that James Earl Jones' introduction to the series wasn't in any of the episodes like it was on NBC.
It's a shame that all we get on dvd, hulu, netflix are the syndicated versions. This DVD is the first time we get to see Season 2 uncut. I still think some of these episodes are cut however, seeing how the final episode was originally aired as one hour, but it's split into two episodes on the dvd. So, I think there is a bit of false advertising going on here.
My only other complaint would be the episodes are very grainy and I don't know if that's just because that's how they are or it's bad dvd compression.
As for product quality, the discs were in good shape and the packaging okay. I do wish there had been a handy listing of the episodes with a brief synopsis of each, either on the package or as an insert. But since I got "3rd Rock From the Sun--Season 1" very cheaply, I guess I couldn't expect this. (In the past I had bought Season 2 of "3rd Rock From the Sun" & it had included such an episode list on the package; however, I paid quite a bit more for this set).