What an amazing gift from Paramount. Devoted fans of this beloved television series have waited sixteen years for this DVD release. It has been a difficult sixteen years, watching one mediocre show after another gain release while this treasure sat gathering dust in some vault. Amidst a torrent of fan mail, petitions and frantic pleas prayers have finally been answered.
No words of mine can possibly convey how special "Beauty and the Beast" was, and is. It was a phenomenon in 1986, and remains so today. CBS was gusty and wise to place this poetic stunner, starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, on its blockbuster Friday night schedule at 8 pm, a leader to rating winners Dallas and Falcon Crest. The on-screen chemistry shared by its actors was the stuff dreams are made of. I have never found in all the years since a cast so seemingly kissed by the gods, if you will.
"Beauty and the Beast" came out of nowhere in the sense that it was entirely unique to broadcast-commercial television. To turn on a major network at 8 pm and find the music Schubert, the sonnets of Shakespeare, all melded into a classically timeless tale of romantic yearning was nothing short of miraculous. To be gifted such a gem on PBS, on the original A&E or even on the big screen might have been plausible. Sadly, Hamilton's departure at the end of season two marked a serious and dark turn for the series. It could never recover its artistic integrity or ratings in season three and was sadly, though rightfully cancelled. With all due respect to Perlman's immense talent the magic was lost with the killing of Hamilton's character. WHAT WERE THE WRITERS THINKING? Even at this saddest, lowest point the series was still far better than anything else to be found on the tube.
I am grateful to Paramount for buying the rights from Republic Pictures. I can only hope that seasons two and three will follow.