I had intended for this entry in The 2019 PopCult gift Guide to be a “flashback” pick, but then, to my shock, I discovered that I had never recommended the DVD version of this release of the classic 1970s Shazam! TV show.
With a newly-upgraded, re-mastered and color-corrected print of every episode, the new Blu Ray edition (or the redone DVD) of Shazam!: The Complete Live Action Series includes all of the “Moral” segments at the ends of the show, scanned from the original film elements. This is a massive improvement from the prior DVD release that used the syndication prints that had those edited out for time. That disc included some of them, but they were acquired from collectors who had primitive off-air tapes. Now the shows are uncut, as they were delivered to CBS in th 1970s.
I haven’t actually seen this yet, since I have the original DVD release and all of these episodes are available on DC Universe in their new HD scans and they look amazing–better than they did when they were originally broadcast over the air, but this is the perfect gift for any fan of the original Captain Marvel, as well as for fans of classic Saturday Morning TV and people who want to see how Captain Marvel is supposed to behave. It’s cheesy, campy and low-budget, but it’s a million times better than that cornball parody that was released to theaters this year. If you want my thoughts on that abomination, go HERE.
If you want to see the adventures of Captain Marvel in live action, you have your choice of this set, or the 1940s serial. Shazam!: The Complete Live Action Series is the most fun way to enjoy a live-action Cap on TV.
Check out the press blurb:
By uttering a single magic word, young Billy Batson transforms himself into the world’s mightiest mortal: Captain Marvel. That word is created from the first letters of the names of the six elders who train Billy with their special gifts – Solomon, wisdom; Hercules, strength; Atlas, stamina; Zeus, power; Achilles, courage; and Mercury, speed – SHAZAM! Now, the entire series has been meticulously remastered in High Definition from original elements, bringing a whole new viewing experience in this 4-disc set featuring every exciting episode of this classic television show!
Another nice touch with this new Warner Archives release is that the package artwork is the same piece by Power of Shazam! artist/writer, Jerry Ordway, that was offered as a limited edition on the original DVD release. Now it’s been promoted to be the main cover design. There is conflicting information about whether or not there are any bonus features on this 4 disc set, but DC Universe has a great mini-doc on the restoration of the show that sure seems like it was intended to be a Blu Ray extra.
A new DVD version is also available, bringing the remastered version to collectors who don’t have a Blu Ray Player yet. This is the perfect gift for fans of the original Captain Marvel who were horrified by the awful movie version from earlier this year, but might also be a good gift for fans of that movie, so they can see how the character is supposed to be done.