In the late 1980's and early 1990's a different type of reality show swept the North America, and still can be seen on cable TV to this day, and that show is Unsolved Mysteries. Not entirely reality, Unsolved Mysteries was a series of dramatic re-enactments that generally dealt with the unexplained such as UFOs, aliens and in the case of this DVD set, Psychics.
Hosted by the late Robert Stack (initially by Perry Mason himself, Raymond Burr), it's music is instantly recognizable to any fan of the show. Not only a cultural phenomenon, UM claims that roughly 300 cases of its 1,200 segments have been solved thanks to it's viewers. You see, that was the key to constant viewer-ship in that age of TV, have some audience interaction and then give them updates in later episodes to let them know that they are making a difference in the world. Great TV.
Not grouped into the usual seasonal box set like most TV on DVD is, First Look Home Entertainment has logically grouped the Unsolved Mysteries show into themes ranging from this topic of Psychics(and Near Death Experiences resulting in psychic happenings), UFOs, Miracles, Ghosts, Strange Legends and Bizarre Murders.
The four disc set is divided into the following arrangement:
Disk 1- Life after Lightning, Pix of the Dead, Rainboy, Reincarnated Submariner, James Van Praagh, Epilepsy Pooches, Plateau Vision
Disk 2- George Anderson, Twins, Suddenly Psychic, Bible Code, Storm In Hell, POW Dream, Murder Premonition, Lottery Miracle
Disk 3- Electric Lady, Reincarnation, Dorothy Allison/Police Psychic, Mother's Instinct, Twin ESP Connection, After Death Visits
Disk 4- Past Lives, Incredible Journeys, Psychic Detective, Life after Life, Powers of Miss Katie, Dreams Come True, Silent Witness
As fellow reviewer Randy Miller III has said, watching Unsolved Mysteries now on DVD loses some of the impact that it packed when it was originally aired. No longer is there a phone number for you to call and offer tips, or the updates between segments to tell us that we all helped in solving one of the nations most horrifying murders in recent memory.
How's it Look:
Based on the segments that I was able to review, seeing as this was a screener disc and not the entire set, the quality varied from segment to segment, with some standing the test of time a little better than others. However, given the time period these were shot in and that they weren't intended for the DVD market until recently, they do look quite good considering the source material.
How's the Sound:
The case advertised it as remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1, and thankfully the surrounds weren't overused in the mix, it was used mainly for ambience. The majority of the sound still comes from the front speakers and sounds as good now as it did back in the 90s.
According to the screener packaging received, the Unsolved Mysteries psychic set contains less features than some of the other sets. The only extra listed here is audio commentaries for selected episodes from the show's creators, although the disc I reviewed did not have a commentary on it to discuss.
Given that this show, like many TV shows, can still be seen regularly on TV it's still billed to be a great collection of psychic segment from Unsolved Mysteries. The group that I got to watch were almost as enjoyable now as they were back when originally aired and still were able to keep my interest. Fans of the show definitely should consider picking up this set along with the other Unsolved Mysteries sets by First Look to help prove that old shows do deserve the DVD treatment. For the group of you out there who haven't seen this show before, then perhaps renting it from the video store or borrowing it from a fan is in order, because you're missing out on some great television.
Check out the other Unsolved Mysteries DVD Reviews