Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Bewitched: The Complete Third Season (1966/1967)
"I must say, I can't see where I went wrong. I brought you up as a proper witch, taught you the best incantations. And here you are, married to a mortal, doing the most menial tasks. A fallen woman."- Endora (Agnes Moorehead)
Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Agnes Moorehead, David White, Marion Lorne
Other Stars: Erin Murphy, Diane Murphy, Kasey Rogers, Sandra Gould, George Tobias, Paul Lynde, Robert Q. Lewis, Maurice Evans, Reta Shaw, Estelle Winwood, Jim Begg, Joan Huntington, Willie Mays, Marty Ingels, Reginald Owen, Parley Baer, Norman Fell, Bridget Hanley, Burt Mustin, Paul Dooley, Ned Glass, Helen Kleeb, Paul Smith, Howard Morton, J. Pat O'Malley, Anne Seymour, Mike Road, Fredd Wayne, Don Steele, Paul Reed, William Bramley, Michael Shea, Joey Forman, Dick Wilson, Irwin Charone, Dave Madden, Nancy Andrews, Jill Foster, Dan Tobin, Arthur Julian, Angus Duncan, Joanna Moore, Jane Connell, Robert H. Harris, Julie Gregg, Paul Barselou, Larry D. Mann, Dick Wilson, Mabel Albertson, Robert F. Simon, Henry Beckman, Lisa Kirk, John Fiedler, Bernard Fox, Milton Frome
Director: William Asher, various
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 13h:45m:43s
Release Date: 2006-03-21
DVD Review"With her, nothing's impossible." - Darrin
Although color broadcasting and televisions had been available as early as the 1950s, it was not until the fall of 1966 when all three American networks switched to the color standard for the production of new shows, and in its third season, ABC's hit series Bewitched was among those debuting in color for the first time. The previous two seasons had seen the show in the top ten, with two Emmys in the bag. The 1966-67 season would earn another five Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy series, with Elizabeth Montgomery (Samantha) and Agnes Moorehead (Samantha's mother, Endora) and Marion Lorne (Aunt Clara) getting nods for their roles, along with director William Asher. Sony brings all 33 episodes in this set.
The third season would see some cast changes. Alice Pierce, who took home an Emmy for her portrayal of nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz succumbed to cancer early in 1966, so Sandra Gould takes over the role. Due to her association with producer Danny Arnold, who left the show after the second season, Irene Vernon was replaced by Kasey Rogers as Louise Tate. After having five different children playing Tabitha in the previous year, fraternal twins Erin and Diane Murphy took over the part from the third season on (both Helen Hunt and Jodie Foster were considered for the role). Having played a different character the previous season, Bernard Fox makes his first appearance as in the soon to be recurring role of Dr. Bombay, in the final episode. The basic premise remains intact, wih a variety of magical mishaps causing havoc, and leaving Sam and Darrin to try and cover up the enchantments. Of course, interfering neighbor Gladys is on hand to witness the strange occurences at the Stephens' house, but has a hard time convincing her sceptical husband.
"Other kids leave their toys lying around—in my house they're flying around!" - Darrin
The season begins with a check-up for baby Tabitha, but her perfect bill of health has one glaring omission. To Endora's delight, her granddaughter is a witch—but Sam has to figure out a way of breaking the news to Darrin before flying toy ponies or pots and pans arouse suspicion from the Tates. As the newest member in the order, Endora hosts a witch's council to test the young girl's abilities.
Like any good mother, Endora is still trying to convince her daughter of the error of her ways in marrying a human, and manages to cause a number of tricky situations for the Stephens. After conceding to do something nice for Darrin, she bestows upon him a new car, unfortunately, it is an original experimental model, not the copy Darrin thinks he got (Super Car). When Sam complains about Darrin always being at work, Endora sets out to prove a point by enchanting him with a care-free, stay at home attitude (Oedipus Hex). When a donated sports coat becomes a bone of contention between Sam and Darrin, Endora conjures up Sigmund Freud (Norman Fell) for a little counselling. In a plot to prove that mortal men are incapable of being faithful, she also, unbeknownst to him, grants Darrin Three Wishes, so when he gets stuck in a freak snow storm in Boston with a beautiful model, Samantha is thinking the worst. After failing to remember a client's name, Endora gives Darrin the gift of perfect recall (I Remember You... Sometimes), but his fount of knowledge could cost him an important account, and when Sam argues about how likeable Darrin is, leave it to Endora to make sure no one else thinks so (No More Mr. Nice Guy). When Darrin's parents show up to see Tabitha, Endora is enlisted to help curb the child's "wishcraft," but instead leads the grandparents into believing that Sam and Darrin are fighting.
Darrin isn't the only one Endora's meddling puts out of whack. Trying to do right by her granddaughter, she hexes the host of a television program into awarding Tabitha with a chest full of toys, but things get really out of hand when Hoho the Clown shows up with a pony for his new favorite child. When Sam enters a painting in a local charity auction (Art for Sam's Sake) which her mother believes is a disgrace to the family honor, Endora makes a swap for a piece by an upcoming French artist, leaving Darrin in charge of stopping his client from buying it. Sam is in the middle as an old family feud erupts when Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde) shows up, causing fits for Gladys when a new house arrives on the block when Endora Moves in for a Spell, then a Halloween party gets out of hand in Twitch or Treat.
Bumbling Aunt Clara is causing more trouble this time out as well. It's bad enough that Clara manages to crash down the chimney or land in the closet on a regular basis, but her incantations rarely go off without a hitch, leading to some bizarre consequences. Her first mistake is creating a twin of the Tate's child (Accidental Twins), then mixing up who is who. In a rare two-parter (My Friend Ben and Samantha for the Defence), while trying to help out with an electrical problem, Clara transports Benjamin Franklin into the Stephens household, but when Ben accidentally "steals" a fire truck, he is put on trial. This pair of episodes feature a fair amount of historical educational content. A toy for Tabitha lands a pink elephant in the Stephens livingroom (A Gazebo Never Forgets), an idea for a lullaby finds the piano on the stairs. Aware of her ineptitude, Clara ponders transforming herself into an inanimate object, but Sam mistakes a client's prize Guernsey for the results (The Corn is as High as a Guernsey's Eye). The witch world also recognizes Clara's shortcomings, and decide to put her on trial, with Sam leading her defence. While reminiscing about the past, Clara accidentally summons Queen Victoria into the present, who quickly becomes a royal pain. The season also features visits from a wood nymph with vengeance on her mind (sending Sam back to the 14th century), a 200-year-old seductress hoping to trap Darring into lifting a curse, a devious diaper man, a chair with a mind of its own, and a frog who has been turned into a human seeking Sam's help to return to his former self.
The acting is wonderful, with grand performances from the entire cast. The mix of personalities and bizzare situations continue to entertain despite using the same basic "cover up the magic" schtick repeatedly, and the episodes are pretty even in terms of writing, with none standing out as inferior. The episodes appear to be intact, however a couple run about a minute shorter than the rest, with Samantha for the Defense the odd one out opening with a credit sequence.
Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The transfer looks very good overall, and Endora's flamboyant costuming is especially enhanced with the change from black and white. Colors are nicely saturated, and contrast is excellent for the most part. The image is crisp, with good detail. There are a few anomalies, including some brightness shifting, color fringing, and sequences where shadow detail is limited. Print defects are nowhere to be found, although there is some evidence of the clean-up process, especially during the title sequence. While not perfect, I can't say I've ever seen the show looking better.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is very good. Dialogue is clear and easy to discern. The only real issue is some warbling in the background music in places. No complaints here.
Audio Transfer Grade: A-
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 198 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
7 Other Trailer(s) featuring Classic Comedy, Classic Urban TV, The Partridge Family, I Dream of Jeannie, Fun With Dick and Jane, Bewitched, Capra Box Set
Extras Review: The only extras are a collection of trailers for other Sony products, which open the fourth disc, but are also accessable from the menu. Included are Bewitched (TV), Classic Comedy, Classic Urban TV, The Partridge Family, I Dream of Jeannie, Fun With Dick and Jane, the movie version of Bewitched and the Capra boxed set.
Like the first and second seasons, the opening credits, which originally featured the show's sponsors, have been replaced by the generic syndication versions.
There is a "play all" feature on each disc, plus episode selection menus. Each episode has six chapter stops, including one directly after the opening credits. The four disc set is housed in a box with two double thinpak cases. Episode synopses are on the back covers.
Extras Grade: D
Final CommentsThe first true color season of Bewitched delivers another 33 episodes full of magic and mayhem. A stellar cast and fun-filled storylines are sure to entertain, just as they did the first time around. Recommended.
Jeff Ulmer 2006-03-13