While it may sound like a rather corny concept, the idea of a "Beauty and the Beast" television drama gained a cult following while it aired on CBS from 1987-1990. The drama starred Ron Perlman as Vincent, a mythic man-beast who lives in an underground lair below New York City. Throughout the series, he falls for and develops a powerful (if difficult, as the whole woman and lion-looking guy thing is probably tough) romance with assistant DA Catherine (Linda Hamilton). The two share a strong bond, and Vincent manages to always be there when Catherine finds herself in trouble.
While the series was never hugely popular, it did develop a cult following, and while I can't say the series is without some concerns, it's easy to see how fans could get swept up in the drama of the series. The performances from Perlman and Hamilton manage to engage without seeming overly hammy or melodramatic, which this series could quite easily have been.
Hamilton, however, would not be in the series for very long in this final season. Within the first few episodes of the final season, a pregnant Catherine is taken out of the picture. While Vincent tries to reach Catherine and his son when he senses they are in danger, he may be too late.
A new character is introduced in investigator Diana Bennett (Jo Anderson) and, while Anderson is a fine actress, she does not stand out as an adequate replacement and the hint of a new relationship between her and Vincent seems like starting a new thread a little too late after Hamilton left, which signaled the series may have not been on steady footing (and the third season did end up being a short final season.)Technically, the series is also solid, with strong cinematography and fine make-up work from famed artist Rick Baker.
Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions, reads the small note on the back of the box. My guess is some music rights issues.
3rd Season 1989
3- 1 12 Dec 89 Though Lovers Be Lost... (1)
- Catherine rescues Vincent from his madness just before she discovers she is pregnant with his child. Later, she is kidnapped by a shadowy figure, but Vincent cannot save her as he has lot his special bond with her.
3- 2 12 Dec 89 Though Lovers Be Lost... (2)
- As the baby's due date draws near, Catherine is still held captive. Sensing the child, Vincent is drawn to where Catherine is held. But he may be too late to thwart the evil plans in store for her and the baby.
3- 3 13 Dec 89 Walk Slowly
- Vincent brings Catherine's body back to her apartment, where he sits vigil over her until morning. While the DA starts investigating what happened to Catherine, Vincent begins a search for his son.
3- 4 20 Dec 89 Nevermore
- More determined than ever to find Catherine's killer, Vincent, Elliot, Joe and Diana each make different plans and Vincent reveals himself to Birch.
3- 5 27 Dec 89 Snow
- Vincent's nightmares about a snowstorm in the tunnels comes true when a man named Snow comes to the tunnels intending to kill him.
3- 6 3 Jan 90 Beggar's Comet
-Gabriel offers Elliot Birch restored power and wealth if Elliot betrays Vincent. Only a last minute change of heart saves Vincent, but at what cost to Elliot?
3- 7 10 Jan 90 A Time To Heal
- Suspecting that Vincent was Catherine's lover and father of her child, Diana waits for Vincent to reappear at Catherine's grave.
3- 8 17 Jan 90 The Chimes At Midnight
- Diana escapes from Gabriel's henchmen. Meanwhile, Vincent surrenders to Gabriel, who cages him and tortures him with footage of his kidnapped son.
3- 9 24 Jan 90 Invictus
- Vincent saves his son just as Gabriel is about to suffocate him. He then takes his infant son to the World Below, where during a special naming ceremony his guardian angel appears.
3-10 21 Jul 90 In the Forests of the Night
- After destroy's Gabriel's drug house, Vincent gives Snow's ring to Diana. Rolley returns to the World Below after trying to rob a liquor store.
3-11 28 Jul 90 The Reckoning
- A letter from an old flame inspires Father to visit her in the World Above, where he considers staying permanently.
3-12 4 Aug 90 Legacies
- Seeking revenge, the son of a cave-in victim tries to bury father alive.
VIDEO: Paramount's 1.33:1 full-frame presentation if the series is acceptable, as the show looked to be in fine shape throughout much of the presentation. Sharpness and detail were okay, as the picture remained mildly soft throughout the series, although never so soft that the image appeared blurry or hazy. Some minor grain was spotted, as well as occasional slight artifacting. No edge enhancement was seen, and colors appeared accurate and natural.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack remained crisp and clear throughout, with no distortion or other issues.
Final Thoughts: While the departure of Hamilton and the ratings meant a rocky road for the short final season, the series still pulls out a reasonably entertaining set of final episodes, with performances and writing still holding up okay despite behind-the-scenes turbulence. The DVD set provides satisfactory audio/video quality, but no extras. Recommended for fans.