8th October 2004
Australian label Umbrella has announced two
new releases of classic British TV series.
first is a box set of the first season of the LWT action series The
Professionals. This is going to be a tough sell for Umbrella, at least
here in the UK, where the series is already available, and quite cheaply,
through Contender. It wouldn't be hard to improve on Contender's horrible
picture quality, though. As an incentive, Umbrella's set will feature some
bonus materials, including exclusive audio commentaries with the series'
creator / Executive Producer Brian Clemens (on Private Madness, Public
Danger and the banned episode Klansmen). Other bonus features
include production notes, talent profiles, the original opening credit
sequence, and commercial break bumper, a rare US sales trailer and
isolated music and effects tracks on some episodes. The sleeve artwork
shown here is provisional. The set is due on January the 12th, with an RRP
of AU$69..99 (inc sales tax).
will release the third and final collection of the black and white
episodes of The Saint on January the 12th.
The set will feature twenty-three episodes,
uncut and digitally remastered, including two with commentary tracks, (Sir
Roger Moore and guest star Eunice Gayson - perhaps best known from her
appearances in Dr. No and From Russia With Love - on The
Saint Bids Diamonds and with regular ITC guest star Jane Merrow on
The Happy Suicide). The set will also feature text from the original
ITC press book, talent profiles, production notes, isolated music and
effects tracks on selected episodes, original ITC story information, and
"more to be confirmed". The set has an RRP of AU$119.95.
has confirmed the features for their eight-disc box set of Man in a
Fitting in with star Richard Bradford's
busy schedule has been difficult, explaining a delay in the release, which
is now expected on December the 8th. The set will feature commentary
tracks on four episodes (with Richard Bradford on Man From The Dead
and Brainwash; with director Peter Duffell on The
Revolutionaries; and writer Philip Broadley on Day of Execution);
introductions by guest stars Jane Merrow (on The Bridge) and George
Sewell (on The Sitting Pigeon); a new interview with Richard
Bradford; the text from the original ITC publicity brochure; ITC video
trailer; isolated music and effects tracks on selected episodes; original
script pages; extensive image and memorabilia galleries; production notes;
cast and crew profiles; textless material "and a few more to come..."
Warner Home Video's Without A Trace -
The Complete First Series box set has a new release date: January the
10th. The twenty-two episode set has been rescheduled several times. The
US version came out at the beginning of last month, and can be bought for
about half the £59.99 RRP of the UK version...
Warner Home Video's third ER set -
originally due on October the 11th, will now be released on January 31st.
Warner don't seem to be able to get their act together with their TV
product here in the UK... just ask any Babylon 5 fan!
To mark next Monday's re-release of the
first three seasons of The X-Files in new packaging, at a new price
point (£39.99), Fox has released a special trailer promoting the series,
which you can find
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is
issuing four more Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Slayer Collection
discs on November the 1st. Each disc features four episodes highlighting a
particular character, and a fifteen-minute profile. This time they focus
on Cordelia (Out of Mind, Out of Sight (a.k.a. Invisible Girl),
What's My Line - Part 2, Homecoming and The Prom),
Giles (The Dark Age, Passion, A New Man, Lies My
Parents Told Me), Dawn (The Real Me, Blood Ties,
Older and Far Away and Potential), and Xander (The Pack,
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, The Zeppo and Hell's
If you didn't already know, Fox is
re-promoting their Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel season
sets starting on October the 18th. Each set has a new RRP of £49.99,
except for Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1, which is £34.99. This
is the last time the book-style packaging will be available, so if you
want your collection to look reasonably uniform, now's the time to fill
Speaking of vampires, Universal will
Emilio Martinez-Lazaro and Donnie Yen's
award-winning action movie The Twins Effect on November the 1st.
The disc has an anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) transfer, and a choice of
Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps) and 2.0 (at 224kbps) Cantonese sound mixes,
with optional English subtitles. Bonus features include trailers, a
behind-the-scenes featurette (16m) and Interviews with Cast & Crew
(approx. 50m). The RRP is £17.99. Menu screens from the disc can be
Finally, Fox is running a
Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer between November the 15th to December the 24th
on three of their animated series lines: The Simpsons - Seasons 1-4,
Family Guy - Seasons 1-3 and Futurama - Seasons 1-4. (Don't
forget, if you buy the separate Family Guy sets you won't get the box
set's bonus disc!) Prices will vary by retailer: each The Simpsons
and Futurama set normally has an RRP of £39.99
6th October 2004
Two new reviews for you today. Matt West
eulogises Network's new box set of the TV series Chancer
here, and I've taken a look at
Metrodome's UK version of the acclaimed serial killer biopic Monster,
which is released next Monday,
5th October 2004
Subscribers to Doctor Who Magazine
have received their copies of the next issue of the magazine, which is due
in stores on October the 14th. The magazine's news page reveals that
another Patrick Troughton story, The Mind Robber, will be released
on DVD in March. This practically amounts to an official announcement,
since the Magazine has a cosy relationship with BBC Worldwide.
Vista will release two separate single-disc versions of Antoine Fuqua's
revisionist historical drama King Arthur on November the 29th: the
12-certificate Theatrical Version and an 18-certificate
Director's Cut, both with an RRP of £19.99.
Spoilers ahead - click-and-drag your mouse
over the hidden text! The Director's Cut offers
much more brutality in the battle scenes
that bookend the film, including a much better look at each of the
knights' individual fighting styles. Lancelot and Guinevere's roles in the
fight scenes are strengthened considerably. Lancelot is much more
aggressive (scissor-cutting the head off a woad with his two swords in the
opening battle), and Guinevere really gets stuck into the fighting, rather
than seeming to skirt daintily around it, picking off Saxons with her bow.
In one memorable scene a group of female woads overpower a Saxon soldier,
and Guinevere garrottes him! In the extended version Lancelot really
gets his revenge on Cynric, by skewering him through the neck! The
showdown between Arthur and Cerdic is longer, both men succeeding in
landing crippling blows before Arthur strikes the coup de grâce..
New scenes include
the young Arthur being introduced to his
future colleagues by his mentor; a short scene where one of the knights is
seen training on his horse, a scene where the knights make plain to Bishop
Germanius their contempt at being made to undertake the rescue of Marcus
Honorius and his son; and a sequence where Cerdic cuts Cynric's cheek,
after his failure to secure victory in the lake battle.
Two scenes that might have been seen as obvious candidates for extension (the
attempted rape and subsequent murder of the village girl, and the love
scene between Arthur and Guinevere)
haven't been lengthened.
Both discs will feature the same bonus
material, spearheaded by a behind-the-scenes featurette, titled Blood
on the Land: The Making of King Arthur (17m), a whirlwind-paced
look at many aspects of the film, including the construction of Hadrian's
wall (which, ironically looks like CGI, but actually took four-and-a-half
months to build); a quick look at the props, and some of the
two-and-a-half thousand costumes; a possible explanation of
Skarsgård's Darth Maul-like vocal mutterings (he's a chain smoker); a few
words about training on horseback ("I understand now why John Wayne walks
like he did", grouches Ray Winstone); a look at how some of the
three-hundred effects shots for the ice lake scene were created (most
impressive); a couple of notes from the London Philharmonic and composer
Hans Zimmer; and a rare chance to hear what's presumably Ioan Gruffudd's
a four--minute alternate ending, which
drops the wedding scene
that test audiences demanded, and adds a little more to the Excalibur
mythology. This has optional director's commentary. Finally, there's a
Sneak Peak at the next
Bruckheimer adventure film, the Tomb Raider-esque National
The Director's Cut version will have
a choice of Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks (the Theatrical Version
doesn't have DTS). According to the press release, the Theatrical
Version will be in full-frame format, and the Director's Cut
will be (anamorphic 2.35:1) widescreen.
4th October 2004
Blimey O'Reilly. It's been a very, very
busy weekend here, so there's not been a lot of time for news gathering.
Truth be told, it's all a bit quiet, anyway.
There's not a lot of room on retailer's
shelves between now and the end of the year for anything but A-list
titles. Having said that, there are hundreds of titles coming out between
now and Christmas. Most of them will get trampled underfoot, as the Summer
blockbusters begin to grab shelf-space. It's a nasty dilemma for
independent labels with new titles to launch - release it now, and hope
that it will pick up a few seasonal sales from the few retailers large
enough to stock it, or delay the release, and pray that it will make more
of an impression in the New Year.
Anyhoo... in lieu of any real news, we have
three new reviews for you today, and three new competitions! (There'll be
more new reviews later this week, including one for Network's Chancer
box set, which is released today).
Ceri has reviewed Network's The Complete
Ripping Yarns set; Matthew Lee has taken a detailed look at Umbrella's
Return of the Saint box set (which should be available from the
Antipodean retailer of your choice now - we can vouch for EzyDVD and
Family Box Office - see the bottom of the
page for contact details); and, last but by no means least, Mark Frost has
completed a trilogy of Spaghetti Western reviews, with a look at one of
the genre's classics, Django, which has just been released by
Argent. (The other two films in the recent batch were
Adios). Click on the sleeve
images, below (or right), or
here for the Ripping Yarns competition,
here for the Return of
the Saint competition, or here
for the Django review. My thanks to Ceri, Matthew and Mark for
As you might have noticed, we also have
three new competitions today, where you could win a copy of Umbrella's
Return of the Saint box set, a copy of Network's six-disc Chancer
set, or a copy of a new collection of six early Taggart TV
movies, from ClearVision.
Click on the banners, above, or
here for the
here for the
Taggart competition, or
here for the
Return of the Saint competition.
page has been given a quick update - all
the titles listed as coming out today are due today, according to Play.com.
Next week, by hook or by crook, a full overhaul!
Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed