This long-awaited collection finally arrives on DVD November 3, 2009! All 24 episodes of the fourth and final season are included in this set, along with nearly two hours of bonus features (the same ones included in last year's Complete Series set released by the Jim Henson Company, HIT Entertainment and Lionsgate).
Some of the most touching, sincere and sentimental episodes are found within the final season of this legendary television experience, including a giant wrap-up taking place over the last three. Perfection is the only suitable word. Everything that IS Fraggle Rock is on prominent display over these ninety minutes, forming one of the most beautiful conclusions to any show in the history of the medium.
Many other episodes demonstrate the Henson team at what is probably the highest point of artistic expression the company has ever known, delivering heartfelt storytelling magic in shows including "Uncle Matt's Discovery," "The Perfect Blue Rollie," "Wembley's Flight," "The Voice Inside," "A Tune for Two," "The River of Life" and "Gone But Not Forgotten." Those last three deal with racism, pollution/environmental awareness and death, respectively, in charming fashion unique to the series; however they, in particular, must be seen to be truly believed.
*Like the previous three season sets, Season 4's bonus material is simply outstanding. Everything you would hope to see and hear about the final season is delivered by familiar faces in a typically wonderful and extensive manner. Close to thirty minutes is spent covering the episodes themselves, with the best of the season (listed above) nearly all discussed by each corresponding writer. Featured are staples Jocelyn Stevenson, Lawrence Mirkin and Jerry Juhl (archival footage), as well as the returning David Young ("The Perfect Blue Rollie," "The River of Life") and newcomer Laura Phillips ("A Tune for Two," "Gone But Not Forgotten").
The list of remaining bonus features are as follows, with the last four alone worth the price of admission:
- The Inner Gorg: interviews body performers Trish Leeper (Ma Gorg), Gord Robertson (Pa Gorg) and Rob Mills (Junior Gorg).
- Designing the Puppets: interviews builders Rollie Krewson and Tim Miller.
- Directing the Fraggles: interviews directors Eric Till and George Bloomfield.
- Let the Music Play: Philip Balsam and Dennis Lee, interviewed together for the first time on DVD, give a first-hand recollection of what it was like to produce two or three unforgettable songs each week.
- Dance Your Cares Away: Philip Balsam discusses the evolution of the theme song. Nearly ten minutes of unused themes are seen and heard here.
- You Cannot Leave the Magic: rare, incredible footage from the last day of shooting.
- Celebrating Fraggle Rock: rare, incredible footage from the show's wrap party.
Simply put, the show speaks for itself. Now that the Henson Company has unloaded HIT, who blatantly failed to release this remaining installment last year, they are finally able to give their top property the home video sendoff it rightly deserves. As most people buying this set already know, there is nothing like Fraggle Rock. For those revisiting these last episodes: it's as good as you dare remember. For those who know the show but haven't seen this season: the best is yet to come.
Fraggle Rock Season 4 episode list:
1. Sidebottom Blues
2. Uncle Matt's Discovery
3. Junior Faces the Music
4. A Tune for Two
5. The Perfect Blue Rollie
6. A Brush with Jealousy
7. Wembley's Flight
8. Red's Blue Dragon
9. Wonder Mountain
10. Space Frog Follies
11. Boober Gorg
12. Mirror, Mirror
13. The Riddle of Rhyming Rock
14. The Voice Inside
15. The Trial of Cotterpin Doozer
16. The River of Life
17. Beyond the Pond
18. Gone But Not Forgotten
19. Mokey, Then and Now
20. Ring Around the Rock
21. Inspector Red
22. The Gorg Who Would Be King
23. The Honk of Honks
24. Change of Address
*To date (8/23/2009), there is no word if this collection will include a replica of production or art material like the previous sets. If an inclusion is announced, I will update this review.