The Good

This show is like Quincy for a new generation!

The Bad

No extras whatsoever.

Like Columbo before it, Diagnosis Murder is one of the few dramatic, mystery shows that can show us the crime upfront (as well as the perpetrator) and yet it's still a lot of fun seeing the main sleuth get his man. In Diagnosis Murder: The Third Season we are given the always good Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan. He is a great doctor, with more than a few quirks, but his brilliance with medicine is only superceded by his ability to see that things aren't always as they seem. Aiding him in his work is Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell) and new doctor Jesse Travis (Charlie Schlatter). Sloan works with his son Steve (Barry Van Dyke), a detective, on various cases that start off with Sloan Sr. merely giving his opinion. As the episode wears on, something about the case generally stirs his interest and thus the whole team finds themselves involved in the proceedings.

While Diagnosis Murder: The Third Season usually features Dr. Mark putting the bad guy or girl behind bars, Van Dyke, like Peter Falk before him, always manages to make this character his own.

Features

No extras came with this DVD release.

Video

Full Screen Format. Alright, these shows may only hail from 1995-1996 but they do look really good. The lighting, shot composition and just about everything else are nothing if not familiar, but this doesn't mean that one should write off the look of this show out of hand. There is a strength to all the images and the colors seem like they have been bumped up without too much attention being called to this process. Sadly, this release does include this disclaimer, "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions."

Audio

Dolby Digital. English Stereo. The audio for this show, while nothing that will be grabbing too many people's attention, is also pretty darn solid. I can't recall anything about the sound design that grabbed my attention, but things sounded good and they also seemed to have leveled this show quite nicely.

Package

The main cast of Diagnosis Murder is presented on the front of this slipcase cover. The back features an expanded shot of the cast, some x--rays, a description of this show, and technical specs. All 5 discs are stored in 3 slim cases, which showcase the other cast members on the front and offer episode listings, airdates and descriptions. There is also more artwork of a doctoral manner laid out here.

Final Word

As much as I love Dick Van Dyke (he is a motion picture and television icon, right?), I would like to use this section of this review to focus on Charlie Schlatter. I did a quick scan of what he's done lately as an actor on IMDB and it seems like he has moved into the field of voice work. Why did this happen? One would have thought that after first coming on the scene in 18 Again! with George Burns, this actor would have seen his star soar. He then was seen in such movies as Bright Lights, Big City and Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow.

Yes, you have read that last movie selection right.

I am not saying that there's any shame to be had in this person's career. He is working steadily and he has stayed in his chosen field. I guess I just thought that he might have been more of a player. His work in Diagnosis Murder: The Third Season also seems to suggest this as well.

Diagnosis Murder was released .