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Fourth season of Dr. Kildare leads TV shows new to DVD this week
Raymond Massey, left, Georgann Johnson, Richard Chamberlain and Walter Matthau in the first episode of "Dr. Kildare: The Complete Fourth Season," now on DVD. - photo by Chris Hicks
Multiple-episode stories and guest roles by seasoned actors on the verge of stardom highlight the fourth season of Dr. Kildare, now on DVD.

Dr. Kildare: The Complete Fourth Season, Parts 1 & 2 (Warner Archive/DVD, 1964-65, b/w, eight discs, 34 episodes). Season four of the popular 60s black and white medical series with Richard Chamberlain as the titular young doctor and Raymond Massey as his mentor Dr. Gillespie is filled with event episodes and guest stars on the cusp of bigger things. And over the season, Kildare falls in love, not once but twice, in stories that are told over several episodes, and even Gillespie meets up with an old flame.

Walter Matthau is excellent in the first episode as a high-pressure salesman forced to confront his own mortality after a heart attack, and Lee Marvin is equally good as a cocky pro baseball player whose life and career is threatened by an aneurysm. Theres also a three-episode story filmed in Rome, where Kildare falls for an Italian woman (Daniela Bianchi, a Bond girl in From Russia With Love the year before).

And in the seasons most adult story, another three-episode arc, Kildare becomes engaged to a divorced woman (Angie Dickinson) who turns out to be a sex addict, a subject that is handled in a more coy manner than it would be today, but which is no less dramatic and tragic. Other guests include Leslie Nielsen, Robert Culp, Carroll OConnor, Dorothy Provine, Dennis Weaver, Ronny Howard, Barbara McNair and Rip Torn. (Available at

Murder in the First: The Complete First Season (TNT/Warner/DVD, 2014, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson star in this gritty and gripping show that plays like a 10-episode miniseries. They play San Francisco homicide detectives investigating a pair of murders that initially seem unrelated, but then they both lead to a young, cocky Silicon Valley tech mogul (Tom Felton) with a celebrity attorney (James Cromwell). Steven Weber and Nicole Ari Parker co-star. (Basic-cable level adult material; season two begins June 8.)

Walker, Texas Ranger: The Complete Series (CBS/Universal/DVD, 1993-2001, 52 discs, 198 episodes, 2005 TV movie Trial By Fire). Chuck Norris is Sgt. Cordell Walker, keeping the peace in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in this police procedural-action show about modern-day Texas Rangers. Think Murder, She Wrote or Matlock with a Western edge, an old-fashioned comfort-food series. And though it may have been mocked by younguns, the shows older fan base kept it strong in the ratings for eight years.

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Series (HBO/Blu-ray/DVD, 2010-14, 20 discs, 56 episodes, featurettes). A string of new bonus features highlights this series set of the HBO crime series (with the expected R-rated excesses), set during the Prohibition era and starring veteran character actor Steve Buscemi (Fargo) as Nucky Thompson, a fictionalized version of an Atlantic City political boss. The pilot was directed by Martin Scorsese.

Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season (eOne/DVD, 2015, two discs, eight episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes). The second season of this British mystery series is about a brooding detective inspector (David Tennant) with a heart defect banished to the small coastal village of the title and his partner, a sergeant (Olivia Colman) that lives in the town. This season focuses on the trial of the child killer caught at the end of the first season, as well as the reopening of a cold case about another child killing. (A third season has been announced.)

Unforgettable: The Third Season (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 2014, four discs, 13 episodes, deleted scenes, featurette, bloopers). Poppy Montgomery stars in this police procedural as a detective in the NYPDs Major Crimes unit who is blessed/cursed with a perfect photographic memory. Co-stars include Dylan Walsh as her partner and Saturday Night Live original cast member Jane Curtain as a medical examiner. (The A&E cable channel has picked up the show for a fourth season.)

Call the Midwife: Season 4 (BBC/DVD, 2015, three discs, eight episodes). Well-written and performed British series about midwives in post-World War II England. With this season the show moves into the 1960s as narrator Jenny leaves the action and relates stories of other nurses working with the impoverished residents of Londons West End. Among the ensemble cast is Jenny Agutter and the narrative voice of Vanessa Redgrave. (Season five has been announced.)

Rogue: The Complete Second Season (eOne/DVD, 2014, three discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). This DirecTV police procedural set in northern California stars Thandie Newton as an undercover San Jose cop who, at the end of season one reluctantly joined a San Francisco-based FBI task force. This season, she is investigating corporate espionage when a member of the team goes missing and she finds herself back in a tangled web of lies and deceit. Very R-rated in terms of content. (Season three is forthcoming.)

Orange Is the New Black: Season Two (Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, three/four discs, 13 episodes, audio commentaries, featurettes). Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne and Kate Mulgrew star in this very dark but popular Netflix ensemble comedy-drama set in a womens federal prison (with plenty of R-rated content). It is based on Piper Kermans best-selling memoir. (Season three starts June 12.)

Welcome to Sweden: The Complete First Season (eOne/DVD, 2014, two discs, 10 episodes.) Half-hour sitcom based on the real-life experiences of star Greg Poehler when he moved to Sweden with a girlfriend, which sent him into culture shock. Produced by Poehler and his sister, comic actress Amy Poehler, who guests in a few episodes. (Season two begins July 19.)

Beauty and the Beast: The Second Season (CBS/Paramount/DVD, 2013-14, six discs, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). A reboot is a remake that is only loosely adapted from its original source. Hence, the CWs updated version of the 1987 cult favorite, this time making Catherine an NYPD homicide detective (Kristin Kreuk) and the beast Vincent (Jay Ryan) a former soldier with mutant DNA, thanks to secret government experiments. He transforms when hes angry: Beauty and the Hulk, perhaps? (Season three, shortened to 13 episodes, begins June 11.)

American Hercules: Babe Ruth (MLB/A&E/Lionsgate/DVD, 2014, bonus archival footage). A&E cable documentary about the Sultan of Swat, following him from his boyhood in Baltimore to his rise as a superstar home-run hitter with the New York Yankees.

Britains Bloodiest Dynasty: The Plantagenets (Athena/DVD, 2015, two discs, four episodes, text profiles of Plantagenet queens; 12-page booklet). Historian/journalist Dan Jones, an expert on the Middle Ages, narrates the story of the title dynasty as dramatic re-enactments demonstrate the actions of these warriors and queens whose history is compared with the HBO series Game of Thrones. (Graphic violence, sex, nudity.)

Duck Dynasty: Season 7 (A&E/Lionsgate, 2014-15, two discs, 10 episodes, featurettes). The hourlong season premiere of this popular reality show finds the Robertson clan in Scotland, followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes, and the season finale has the family gathering around Jep when he suffers a health crisis.

Cops: Wildest Chases (Spike/Paramount, 2013-14, seven episodes). These are chase-oriented episodes from seasons 26 & 27 of the wildly popular Cops reality show.

Bar Rescue: Toughest Rescues (Spike/Paramount, 2011-14, four episodes, featurette). This reality show stars veteran food-and-beverage industry consultant Jon Taffer, who goes to struggling or failing bars with hidden cameras to locate weaknesses and then attempts to help the owners turn their businesses around.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Minnies Pet Salon (Disney Junior/DVD, 2013, extended title episode, four bonus episodes). Minnie Mouses pet salon hosts Plutos all-star pet show in the titular episode, with Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Goofy, Clarabelle Cow and, of course, Mickey Mouse in tow.

Team Umizoomi: Meet Shark Car (Nickelodeon/Paramount, 2014, four episodes). This animated series aims to teach math to preschoolers. Episodes include Shark Car, Umi Toy Store, Stompasaurus and Lost and Found Toys.
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