June 28, 2004 12:00 PM

The DVD debuts of two vintage series and a current hit offer a choice between escapist network TV and more explicit cable fare.

QUANTUM LEAP: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($39.98) In this quirky 1989-93 sci-fi series, an experiment-gone-awry has physicist Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) leaping into the bodies of characters from the ’50s to the ’80s. The result is a wildly uneven ride. Skip Sam’s sappy stint as a baseball player and savor his sensitive turn as a black servant in the segregated South.

Extras: Bakula introduces all eight episodes; he, Dean Stockwell (Sam’s holographic sidekick, Al) and Leap creator Donald P. Bellisario reminisce about the show’s origins.

NIP/TUCK: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON ($59.98) Talk about guilty pleasures. This five-disc set contains all 13 fabulously lurid episodes of FX’s hit series about two fat-sucking plastic surgeons (Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon). N/T pushes the envelope sexually (handcuffs, three-ways, orgies–it’s all here) and with its squirm-inducing medical procedures.

Extras: A satisfying assortment, including deleted scenes, a peek at how the surgeries are faked and creator-producer Ryan Murphy explaining that his goal was “to do a depthy show about superficiality.”

THE A-TEAM: SEASON ONE ($39.98) The 1983-87 action series that made Mr. T a household consonant. He joins George Peppard, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz as Vietnam vets who thwart drug lords, rogue cops and other baddies in wry, stogie-in-cheek style.

Extras: Disappointingly, none.

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