- All 11 episodes from the 1989-90 season on three discs
- *Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions
Beauty and the Beast - The Final Season
DVD | Box Set
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Once upon a time is now and forever: Beauty and the Beast: The Third Season of the Emmy Award-winning, fan favorite show is more captivating than ever in this 3-disc collectible set. This unique fantasy-crime drama series features the adventures and romance between Vincent, a mythic, noble man-beast and Catherine, a savvy assistant DA in New York. These two share a strong, mystical bond that enables Vincent while in his underground lair to sense whenever Catherine is in danger in the World Above. In the powerful final season, Catherine, pregnant with Vincent¹s child, becomes a victim to a murderous drug-lord who steals her baby from her after she gives birth. Drawing strength from the everlasting love and unbreakable bond he and Catherine share, Vincent relentlessly pursues her killer, determined to bring him to justice and to rescue their child. Synopsis for Seasons 1 & 2: The Beauty and the Beast TV show was a fantasy series about a man-beast (Vincent) and his love for a beautiful assistant district attorney (Catherine Chandler). Vincent lived in an underground world beneath New York City where his gruesome looks were less important to his peers than were his caring and benevolent personality. Together, Vincent and Catherine had many adventures both above and below ground level and their love for each other continued to grow.
Beauty and the Beasts controversial final year plays like a one-arc epilogue. The impression comes from a change in direction and a smaller slate of episodes (12 instead of 22). While the second ended with the suggestion that Catherine (Linda Hamilton) had met her maker, two-part premiere "Though Lovers Be Lost" confirms that she's healthy--and pregnant--but Vincent (Ron Perlman) can no longer sense when she's in danger. Then Catherine takes on a case that jeopardizes her life, and Vincent arrives too late to save the day. Fans felt betrayed by the development, since the two were presented as soul mates rather than tragic lovers (Hamilton left the show because she and husband James Cameron were expecting a baby). With Paracelsus vanquished the previous year, Gabriel (A History of Violence's Steven McHattie) steps in as resident bad guy. Before he orders Catherine killed, Gabriel absconds with her son. Thereafter, the opening changes to reflect a focus on Vincent. While he teams up with Catherine's former flame, Elliot Burch (Edward Albert), to catch her killer, district attorney Joe Campbell (Jay Acovone) and detective Diana Bennett (new cast member Jo Anderson, portraying a harder-edged character) work towards the same goal. Their obstacles include Gabriel's henchman Snow (Millennium's Lance Henriksen as an icy blond) and two drug kingpins (played by Ugly Betty's Tony Plana and Medium's Miguel Sandoval).
Despite its tarnished reputation--and higher body count--Beauty and the Beast's third season averts disaster for the most part. If Vincent and Diana share a lower-wattage chemistry, they still work well together, and the rest of the cast offers good value, particularly Perlman and Roy Dotrice, who would re-team in 2008 for another adventure about a misunderstood man-beast, Guillermo Del Toro's Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Catherine's death itself is not what changed this series - actually, Diana's character could very easily have become a new "Beauty" for Vincent, had the relationship been given a chance to develop. The problem is the new tone, the darker perspective, the shift away from the tunnel community that had dominated the second season, and the fans' resistance to anything that even suggested that Vincent could move beyond his bond with Catherine and love another woman. The message of the first two seasons is clearly the power of love to conquer hate and fear; this would imply that Catherine's love for Vincent SHOULD enable him to love again - after all, that's what he always told her about the nature of love. Here, in Season Three, Vincent's grief is palpable, and Ron Perlman does an amazing job demonstrating what it is to feel loss. But there are subtle moments between him and Diana that are hopeful and beautiful - and I, as a fan of the series, find solace in such hope.
While watching the first episode (Though Lovers be Lost) is not easy, know that there are things beyond it of great value. Elliot Burch's character, especially, is given both a chance to redeem himself and chance to give Catherine a beautiful gift. Diana becomes a fascinating and original character whose own connection to Vincent is believable and real - she is not Catherine, but rather an independent and introspective woman who may have much more in common with Vincent spiritually than Catherine ever did. It would be so easy to see Diana becoming a part of Vincent's world. So, suffer through the difficult death and grieving scenes, be prepared for the shift in focus, but enjoy the new stories being told here about Vincent and the two worlds in which he lives. Yes, it's flawed - but there is still enough beauty to justify a return visit.
I don't remember disliking Diana. As an audience, we weren't given much to work with where she was concerned. And it didn't help that she wasn't "Catherine."
What I do remember, vividly, is the relationship that developed between Vincent and Elliot Burch. For me, the third season was wonderful and wonderous because it showed love enduring. Both men loved Catherine and Catherine loved both of them -- though Burch's feet of clay prevented her from having a deeper relationship with him. (The first season episode where he's introduced even has Vincent acknowledging that Catherine is falling in love with Burch, so please don't think I'm being heretical.)
Seeing how loving Catherine changed Burch and made it possible for Vincent, and, to a lesser extent Joe Malone, to work with him was for me the ultimate affirmation of the value and purpose of love.
All the men who loved Catherine, forged a bond through her. It was lovely to watch, and I can't wait to own the third season.
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