Several outstanding television programs are circling back as videos for those who may have missed the original showings and others who would like to save them.
From National Geographic Video and Warner Home Video comes "The Battle for Midway," which aired April 14 on TBS.
From A&E Video comes "Horatio Hornblower," a set of the four two-hour shows adapted from the sea-faring adventures of C.S. Forester's Napoleonic War hero.
From BBC Video comes
"The Life of Birds," a five-tape, 10-hour series by wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough that debuts on video Tuesday but doesn't air on PBS stations until July 20.
The Midway video features Robert Ballard and four World War II veterans searching for the remains of the U.S.S. Yorktown more than three miles down in the Pacific Ocean. This was Ballard's deepest dive, including his discovery of the passenger liner Titanic.
Peter Coyote narrates the 85-minute video, which juxtaposes eye-opening footage of the brutal and bloody battle taken by Hollywood director John Ford and first-hand accounts from survivors with Ballard's searching expedition ($19.98).
National Geographic Video
(1-800-627-5162) also has released three other special programs at the same $19.98 price, "Dolphins: The Wild Side," "Rainforest: Heroes of the High Frontier" and "The Filmmakers," which takes viewers behind the scenes and shows what talented photographers go through to get the pictures they want.
The Hornblower shows, which aired on the four Sunday nights of April, brought A&E Network some of its best ratings of the year and gave viewers the new Welsh acting sensation Ioan Gruffudd. It also has a full-scale replica of the HMS Indefatigable, a 24-gun frigate, and gobs of action on the high seas. The four programs -- "The Duel," "The Fire Ship," "The Duchess and the Devil" and "The Wrong Man" -- are available in boxed sets with running times of about 100 minutes each ($59.95;
BBC's bird series features Attenborough taking an up-close-and-personal look at his fine-feathered friends. The program required 48 cameramen, three years and $12 million to complete. The five-volume set about the most complex, colorful and magnificent species on the planet is distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment ($89.98).
Also newly available are three Muppets movies. Released by Columbia TriStar Home Video earlier this month were "The Muppet Movie," "The Great Muppet Caper" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan" ($14.95 each).
Originally, Jim Henson's Muppets made coffee commercials and were part of Willard Scott's television weather reports on Washington's WRC.
CAPTION: The USS Yorktown is sinking in the battle of Midway, the crew having already abandoned ship. National Geographic's video of the recent discovery of the ship, three miles down in the Pacific, is now available.