Ain't It Cool News (


I am – Hercules!!


“Probe” is the TV-movie pilot for a forgotten 1972 sci-fi spy series called “Search.” Created by Leslie Stevens (“The Outer Limits”), both “Probe” and “Search” were about private secret agents who had tiny audio receivers implanted in their skulls, tiny magnetic cameras that they could attach to their rings and tie-clips, and even high-tech fillings in their teeth that permitted them to secretly communicate across huge distances via Morse code.
The cameras would transmit video, audio and other telemetry to Probe Control, essentially a room full of supersmart specialists and experts who could give the agent information and advice through his in-skull audio receiver.
Like “The Name of The Game,” a series about journalists that Stevens helped write, NBC’s “Search” would follow a different secret agent every week, rotating between spies played by Hugh O’Brian (who created his role in “Probe”), Tony Franciosa (who also starred in “The Name of the Game”), and longtime “Virginian” icon Doug McClure.
The weekly constant was the ethnically diverse Probe Control staff, let by big-brained V.C. Cameron (a post-Penguin, pre-Mickey Burgess Meredith).
I adored this series when I was a tot, but have no idea how it holds up 40 years later.


Syfy’s “Haven” is more like “Haven’t.”

A sci-fi series barely based on the 2005 paranormal-free Stephen King novella “The Colorado Kid” and written by a bunch of guys who turned King’s “Dead Zone” into a USA series, “Haven” is more of the bland and familiar original-series filler that is fast becoming Syfy’s post-“Galactica” trademark. (One missing ingredient is late, great “Dead Zone” showrunner Michael Piller, a gifted writer who had a big hand in eventually turning “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” into series worth remembering and revering.) “Haven” follows hot FBI girl Audrey Parker (“John From Cincinnati’s” Cass, Emily Rose), who is dispatched to track down an escaped convict who has fled to his small seaside Maine hometown. And yeah, “The Fugitive” and “Karen Sisco” and “Justified” have taught us this does seem like more a job for the marshal’s service than the FBI. Whatever. When the convict is killed in the opening minutes, Parker encounters unconvincing “uncanny” CGI events, dull characters and a town that will serve to irritate fans of the similar but much better “Twin Peaks.” (“Haven” is, however, rather less annoying than “Happy Town,” ABC’s 2010 attempt to clone “Peaks.” For whatever that’s worth.) The series’ other main characters include a handsome but slow-on-the-uptake local cop played by Lucas Bryant (“Queer As Folk”) and a roguish local seaman played by Eric Balfour of “24” and “Six Feet Under” fame. The mystery built in the pilot involves a victim, suspects and witnesses few are likely to care about. And given how “Dead Zone” sputtered to its uninspired conclusion, I’ve little faith this enterprise will right itself anytime soon. The hour’s highlight is an odd, brief sequence in which Parker wakes naked in unfamiliar surroundings. Rose cavorts briefly without pants, and she’s an actress few will mind seeing in any state of undress. USA Today says:

… a ludicrously see-through supernatural crime drama that wastes a perfectly fine performance from Emily Rose … sort of Eureka without the science or wit …

The New York Times says:

… “Haven” not only resembles its Syfy stablemates, but it’s also just about as good, which means that if you like a cozy, lived-in mystery with some quirky characters in a pleasant setting — and you don’t mind spotty writing and perfunctory camerawork — you may enjoy it. Where it pales is in its central performances. In “Eureka” Colin Ferguson plays bland, to good comic effect; in “Haven” Emily Rose (“ER,” “Jericho”), as the F.B.I. agent Audrey Parker, is bland. Eric Balfour (“24”) also stars as a fisherman and the bad-boy leg of a potential romantic triangle; his acting is still less arresting than the stark planes of his face. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

… Viewers sad about the end of "Happy Town" and looking for another creepy municipal drama filmed in Canada may find this a port in the storm, though it is more cheaply appointed and less spectacularly cast. Still, it would be pointless to attack the show for not achieving things that are beyond its ambitions. It wants to scare you a little, and to amuse you a little more. …

HitFix says:

… the fish out of water story needs either an interesting fish or an interesting body of water, and preferably both. If you’re going to relocate a boring person to a boring place, why bother at all? No one, unfortunately, revealed that lesson to the creators of “Haven” …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

… Syfy's latest and not greatest series. … The mysteries of "Haven" do offer some intrigue but coupled with fairly unextraordinary situations and plots, the show may have a tough time convincing viewers to become weekly visitors.

The Boston Herald says:

… Tonight’s mystery ultimately doesn’t hang together, but it does establish the show’s light mythos in an easy-to-digest way … Rose might grow into her role, but Bryant is so wan and emotionally distant, I half-expected him to turn out to be a vampire, the monster du jour. He could give “True Blood’s” Stephen Moyer lessons in emotional repression. (There’s always sweeps for that sort of revelation.) “Haven’s” most frightening omen: The presence of known show killer Eric Balfour (“Conviction,” “Veritas: The Quest”) as bad boy Duke Crocker. The producers might be considering a triangle similar to “True Blood’s” Bill-Sookie-Eric tangle, but the safest course for this series is to arrange an eviction.

The Boston Globe says:

… a third-rate summer series … the TV equivalent of a $3 Halloween mask. … Is the town filled with superheroes, super-villains, or average people cursed with unwanted “gifts’’? Whatever. The characters are so shallow, it’s hard to invest interest in them. …

The Hollywood Reporter says:

… a show one will like for 20 reasons, and one that will irritate for 25 more. It has some good bones, though, and a strong, willing cast. Whether the big picture is even worth delving into, however, is one mystery that probably won't be so easily solved.

Variety says:

… Despite its "Imagine Greater" promotional slogan, Syfy appears stuck in a bit of a creative rut. Enter "Haven," which, even with a Stephen King pedigree (it's based on his novella "The Colorado Kid"), feels like the bastard child of its lead-in, "Eureka," and "Warehouse 13." Beyond the ominous clouds, collapsing roads and unpredictable weather, there's not much to get excited about in the pilot for this Canadian co-production, which has the added burden of some unfortunate casting choices. In short, those seeking a haven from summer ennui had best look elsewhere. …

Herc’s Popular Pricing Pantry

The Blu-ray edition of the Saul Goodman-enhanced second season of “Breaking Bad,” $44.99 last year and $35.99 last week, has momentarily plummeted to an all-time low of $16.45!! (67% Off!!)

All four seasons of the badass sci-fi espionage adventure “The Wild Wild West,” $81.99 last month and $70.99 last week, has momentarily fallen to an all-time low of $46.99!! That works out to $11.75/Season!! (53% Off!!)

From the creator of “Chuck”! The complete first season of “Gossip Girl,” $49.99 in April and $24.49 in May, has momentarily plummeted to an all-time low of $9.99!! (83% Off!!)

Aaron Sorkin’s AMAZING (the president yells at God in church!) second season of “The West Wing,” $52.49 last month and $40.99 last week, has momentarily fallen to an all-time low of $15.65!!

Once upon a time people suspected Aaron Sorkin was secretly writing “Gilmore Girls” too! He wasn’t, but it’s still a relic of a golden age of American TV. $31.99 in April and $16.99 last week, seasons one or two can momentarily be had for an all-time low of $9.99/season!! And most of the other seasons for $15.99. Such a deal!! And we really need to get Amy Sherman back to work already!!

From the creators of Jack Bauer and Naked Mandy!! Some “La Femme Nikita” seasons, $86.49 last year and $75.99 two weeks ago, have fallen to all-time lows of $15.99!!

The superb second season of “Mad Men,” $44.99 last year and $21.99 three weeks ago, has momentarily plummeted to $11.99!! (66% Off!!)

Every episode of the great Louis CK’s HBO series “Lucky Louie,” $29.99 last month, has momentarily plummeted to $10.69!! (64% Off!!)

All seasons of the brilliant “Veronica Mars,” from the creator of “Cupid” and “Party Down,” are momentarily $17.99/Season!! (70% Off!!)

TV-on-Disc Calendar

Last Week
The Big C 1.x
The Big C 1.x (Blu-ray)
Breaking Bad 3.x
Breaking Bad 3.x (Blu-ray)
Burn Notice 4.x
The Gene Autry Show 1.x
HawthoRNe 2.x
Hopalong Cassidy: The Complete Series
Leverage 3.x
McMillan and Wife 3.x
New Tricks 4.x
Pretty Little Liars 1.x
Rawhide 4.x Vol. 1
Robin of Sherwood Vol. 1 (Blu-ray)
Rome 1.x (Blu-ray)
Rome 2.x (Blu-ray)
The Secret Life Of The American Teenager Vol .6
Spectacle: Elvis Costello 2.x
Transformers Beast Wars 1.x
White Collar 2.x

This Week


American Loggers 1.x


A-Team: Best Of


Celebrity Bowling


Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes - Dr. Bell & Mr. Doyle


Doctor Who: Frontios
Doctor Who: Time and the Rani


Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Night of Living Dead


Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Satanic Rites of Dracula


The Glades 1.x


Happiness Is Peanuts: Snoopy's Adventures


Haven 1.x


Haven 1.x (Blu-ray)


Hero 108 Vol. 1


House of Payne Vol. 8
Jetsons Meet Flintstones


Knight Rider: Best Of


Little Rascals Vols. 1-8


Magnum PI: Best Of


Man Vs. Food 3.x


Miami Vice: Best Of


Probe: The Pilot


Sergeant Cribb: The Complete Series


SpongeBob SquarePants: Heroes of Bikini Bottom


Supernatural 2.x (Blu-ray)

Next Week
Big Time Rush 1.x Vol. 2
Cheaters Vol. 3
Cheaters Vol. 4
The Closer 6.x
Eureka 4.0


Louie 1.x (Blu-ray)
Marple 5.x (Blu-ray)
Marple: The Pale Horse
Medium 7.x


Medium: The Complete Series


Mister T 1.x
Monte Carlo: The Complete Miniseries
Queenie: The Complete Miniseries
Sins: The Complete Miniseries
Squidbillies Vol. 4

June 28
Above And Beyond: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
American Pickers 2.x
Ancient Aliens 2.x
Billy The Exterminator 3.x
Dog the Bounty Hunter: This Family Means Business
George Gently 3.x (Blu-ray)
Hell's Kitchen 1.x-4.x
The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant: The Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
Law & Order Criminal Intent 6.x
Reboot 3.x/4.x
Reboot: Definitive Mainframe Edition
Rizzoli & Isles 1.x
To the Ends of the Earth: Complete Miniseries (Blu-ray)
Underwater Universe 1.x


Warehouse 13 2.x

July 5
According To Jim 4.x
Boy Meets World 6.x


The Cape: The Complete Series
Dynasty 5.x

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
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  • June 14, 2011, 5:05 a.m. CST


    by terryworld


  • June 14, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Crappy LOST Deal...

    by Preditor74

    $167.99? I was hoping for at least $125.... guess I'm waiting till Black Friday this year.

  • June 14, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Wonder if Hercules continued to watch "Haven"

    by jim

    I found it to be quite an enjoyable show - looking forward to Season 2 (there is going to be a second season, yes?).

  • June 14, 2011, 12:53 p.m. CST

    LOSt deal was very disappointing

    by HansBubi

    When something costs nearly $200, taking off about $20 isn't a huge deal. As someone else already commented, $120 would have been a very nice deal, and I think a lot of the "I'll wait for the price to go down" shoppers would have made the plunge. Also, I am assuming they would have made more money because I refuse to believe many people bought the set at the discount price today.

  • June 14, 2011, 1:45 p.m. CST


    by HansBubi

    Wow, I checked after the deal expired so I didn't see the percentage claimed. 3% says it all.

  • June 14, 2011, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Herculoids announced...

    by yhtomitb

    I can't believe they missed this one...

  • June 15, 2011, 6:48 a.m. CST

    apocalypse now deal $36.49

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    I'm not even that a good deal @ this point. Amazon says this version was 59 but I feel like I saw it cheaper.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Dunno what sickens me more...

    by Telly

    1) The CONSTANT schilling on this site that is passed off as "journalism". Seriously -- there's no point in even coming here on "New Release Tuesday". 2) The fact that the painfully overused term "Chrismukkah", from a long-since dead and forgotten froofy piece of teen drama is still being used by grown men 3) The fact that a director actually corrected William Shatner on his pronunciation of "sabotage" in the 1970s.

  • Apparently, they suck and Herc is steering you to a raw deal.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    I'd pay to see 70's era Adrienne Barbeau bowl


    depending on what she was wearing

  • June 16, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST


    by ReportAbuse


  • June 16, 2011, 3:50 p.m. CST


    by Hercules

    Bullshit. Star Trek looks fantastic on Blu. If Amazon says they look bad, Amazon is steering you wrong.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Star Trek quality

    by fullrotor

    I have the set and they're mostly fine. The first movie looks great compared to the rest mostly because it was shot in Super 70mm...2nd one was shot on the cheap and has big noticable grain, but, well, it's a MOVIE. Grain is okay if that's what was in there originally, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, at ten bucks each, if you like the Star Trek movies, you'll enjoy this. And contrary to what some people think, I'm glad they put the original version of ST:TMP in the set...I guess the updated effects were fun in the "Director's Cut" version but they also made cuts/changes elsewhere...I'd be happy to see that version too if they ever redo the effects in HD, but I'm glad the original isn't being buried.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    The Cape

    by Meglos

    Six seasons and a movie!

  • June 16, 2011, 7:42 p.m. CST

    I pulled the trigger and ordered the Star Trek set

    by lv_426

    From what I've seen reviews-wise, the only one that is really not that great in terms of picture quality is STIV: The Voyage Home. Now, is this set worth a hundred dollars? No, but for 55 bucks you can't go wrong if you don't already own any or all of the Star Trek flicks. I only had The Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan, and a couple of the Next Generation films on DVD, so this made sense for me to purchase while it is still cheap. Throw in all the special features and the Captain's Summit, and I see it as a pretty damn good deal.