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November's TV Box Sets: 'Red Dwarf', 'Downton Abbey', 'Friends'

By and Morgan Jeffery
Forget Bonfire Night - in our opinion the best way to get your November off to a bang is with some excessive TV watching. This month you don't need a giant fire to feel all warm and content, just indulge in some of the brilliant box sets coming over the next few weeks, such as Downton Abbey, Mad Men and the Blu-ray debut of Friends...

Supernatural - Season 7 (November 5)
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver
Rated: 15
Format: DVD and Blu-ray
Carry on my wayward son! Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sammy (Jared Padalecki) are both back for 23 new spooky, action-packed adventures! This time round, the Winchesters must face the terrifying Leviathans - led by the ruthless Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart) - and a devastating personal loss...

Packaged along with the episodes comes an impressive set of special features - three episode commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes 'Directing the Supernatural' and 'Washboards & Tommy Guns', deleted and extended scenes and gag reels. As Dean himself might remark: "Awesome!"



Downton Abbey - Series 3 (November 5)
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Maggie Smith, Shirley MacLaine
Rated: 12
Format: DVD and Blu-ray
"No family is ever what it seems from the outside," notes Dame Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess. Indeed, all manner of scandals and shocks are going on behind the walls of the eponymous manor in the much-anticipated third series.

The Crawleys and their staff enter the roaring '20s with their futures hinging on the exuberant Mrs Levinson (Shirley MacLaine), who's crossed the Atlantic for the marriage of Matthew and Mary. But greater tragedy than mere financial ruin is yet to strike Downton Abbey, and, with the series finale airing just one day before the release of the box set, who knows if the family will have a happy ending?



Mad Men - Season 5 (November 5)
Starring: Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser
Rated: 15
Format: DVD and Blu-ray
After the horrendously long wait for Mad Men to return on TV, Don Draper's arrival on DVD and Blu-ray has been relatively speedy - thank God! Season five is where things at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce get dark, the final two episodes in particular leaving you so drained that it's as if you'd overdone it on the Old Fashioneds the night before.

But never fear, there's still plenty of those slick, cool and just a little bit crazy Mad Men moments to go around, the standout being a bewildering, sultry performance of 'Zou Bisou Bisou' that'll have you wishing you could zip back to the '60s.



Friends - The Complete Seasons 1-10 (November 12)
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow
Rated: TBA
Format: Blu-ray
You've watched every episode ten times already, thanks to years of endless repeats on E4 and now Comedy Central. But, gosh darn it, you can never really see Rachel running into Central Perk in her wedding dress, Chandler and Monica getting together, Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar, Joey speaking French, the 'Holiday Armadillo' or FAJITAS! enough times. And now, you can witness it all in glorious high definition, as Friends finally arrives on Blu-ray.

Aside from the obvious new thrill of being able to see every wrinkle pop up on the cast as the seasons go by, the complete (and at £90, reasonably priced) Friends box set includes over 20 hours of special features, including two hours of brand new extras such as unaired footage from the show and exclusive cast interviews. So you can keep on soaking up that Friends-ey goodness long after 'The Last One'.



Red Dwarf X (November 19)
Starring: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Robert Llewellyn, Danny John-Jules
Rated: 12
Format: DVD and Blu-ray
Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and Cat return for another outing, in what many are calling a return to form. This tenth series has more of a 'grumpy old men in space' feel and has proven popular with fans and critics alike.

This box set - available in DVD and Blu-ray formats - includes all six new episodes, plus over 150 minutes of extras including an exclusive making-of documentary, deleted scenes and a brand-spanking-new collection of 'Smeg Ups'.


ALSO RELEASED... November 5: Spy Series 1, The Bletchley Circle Series 1, New Tricks Series 9, November 12: Dallas Season 1, Once Upon a Time Season 1, Him & Her Series 2, Threesome Series 1, Alan Partridge Mid-Morning Matters Series 1, November 19: Revenge Season 1, The Thick of It Series 4, Malcolm in the Middle Season 2, November 26: Hunted Season 1, Criminal Minds Season 7, Merlin Series 5: Volume 1, Hatfields & McCoys.

Which TV DVDs will you be buying this month? Leave your comments below!

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