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ARCHIVE NEWS - 8th to 14th MARCH 2004

13th March 2004

I've been a Planet of the Apes fan for about as long as I can remember, and already have several Apes DVDs in my collection, including Image's terrific Behind the Planet of the Apes DVD, which offers a wealth of bonus material that fans could only have dreamed of seeing a decade ago. Even so, there's always room for one more disc, and on April the 26th UK fans will be able to add Fox's own Special Edition of Planet of the Apes to their collections.

The two disc set will feature the film in 2.35:1 anamorphic format, with a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (at 448kbps) or DTS audio tracks. The film is accompanied by two new commentary tracks: one by stars Roddy McDowall, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter, and make-up artist John Chambers (which totals about half an hour), and another by composer Jerry Goldsmith, interspersed with passages of his Oscar-winning score, in Dolby Digital 2.0 format (at 192kbps). Eric Greene, author of Planet of the Apes As American Myth, provides a text commentary for the film.

The second disc contains more than three hours of bonus material (much of which was on the Behind The Planet of the Apes disc), including a feature-length documentary, Behind The Planet of the Apes (127m), the famous make-up test footage, which feature Charlton Heston alongside his Soylent Green co-star Edward G. Robinson in orang-utan guise (9m); Roddy McDowall's on-set home movies (20m); dailies and outtakes (20m); a 1967 presentation for the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) (11m); a Planet of the Apes featurette; A Look Behind Planet of the Apes featurette (13m); Don Taylor Directs Escape From The Planet of the Apes featurette (8m); J. Lee Thompson Directs Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1m); six theatrical trailers; film reviews; costume, merchandise, stills and poster galleries and an Easter Egg [click and drag here to discover what it is: a toy commercial]. RRP for the new set is £19.99.

You can see a selection of menu screens from the new DVD by clicking here.

11th March 2004

The BBC have an extraordinarily lean selection of titles for April, and there's only one that is likely to spark the interest of visitors to this site: at last, the mighty The Day Today comes to DVD!

The Day Today will be a two-disc set released on April the 26th, in celebration of the series' tenth anniversary. (Why do I suddenly feel very old?)

Bonus features include six mini-news segments, an un-transmitted pilot episode, extended scenes and "an astonishingly po-faced Open University 'behind the scenes' programme". According to the press release the RRP is £15.99, but at least one retailer is listing it with an RRP of £19.99. Some retailers are listing an audio commentary, and an interview with Mark Radcliffe and Steve Coogan, but there's nothing about these features in the press release. The sleeve image shown here is being used by Amazon and the BBC Shop, amongst others. It looks like this release might be two discs in a slipcase. Some retailers are showing a less oblique sleeve featuring Alan Partridge. The VHS version (on two tapes) sold more than 160,000 copies, incidentally. That probably doesn't bode well for that long-overdue and eagerly-awaited Glam Metal Detectives DVD, because the VHS version sold about three copies.

The Legend of the Tamworth Two is being released on April the 13th, with an RRP of £15.99. The $2m comedy drama, about the two pigs that escaped from a Wiltshire slaughterhouse in 1998,  features Kevin Whatley. The sixty-minute programme uses Babe-style effects to make the snoutlaws talk. The voices of the porky escapees are provided by Brian Blessed and Frances Barber. Bonus features include "commentaries" by director Metin Hüseyin and producers Sally Woodward and Lynn Horsfeld.

Finally, the BBC will release a "special" box set of The Office on March the 22nd, containing the first two series, with an RRP of £29.99. It's very likely that the set will have identical content to the two series that are currently available separately. The BBC has sold 2.4 million copies of The Office on  DVD and video, and will release the two 2003 Christmas episodes later this year.

I've now received disc three of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Seven set. This one has some bona fide Special Features on it (the others 'only' had commentary tracks on them). Disc three contains an extensive collection of trailers (adverts): DVD trailers for Buffy seasons two to six, DVD trailers for Angel series one to three, an advert for the Chaos Bleeds video game (rated "T" for Teen!), an advert for the Slayer Collection DVDs, the retro-style animated Great DVDs ad', and the theatrical trailer for the 1992 movie.

Also on this disc is a four-minute featurette called It's All About The Fans, which is about the show's loyal online fan community. It includes comments from a couple of the cast and crew members, and footage from their 2003 Posting Board party. Now, I hope I can make the day of those fans whose interviews were used in the finished featurette: Abbie Bernstein, Lia Boyd, Colin D'Cruz, Alex Jurkat, Ethan Hackett and Janice Pope (of The Succubus Club internet radio show). Further Buffy - Season Seven news as I get it - assuming that any more turns up before the release date (the 5th of April).

Here's the sleeve art for the Big Fish DVD, due from Columbia Tristar on June the 7th.

10th March 2004

Steven Spielberg's masterful Schindler's List is being released in the UK on April the 12th, as a two-disc set that includes a length bonus documentary, Voices From The List. Long films present some unusual problems for DVD authors, and Schindler's List is no exception. Read how Universal has tackled the problem in the Zeta Minor review, which can be found by clicking on the sleeve image, left, or here. The set has an RRP of £24.99. The Limited Edition Collector's Gift Set (details at the end of the review) has an RRP of £49.99.

By now many of you will know that disreputable DVD retailer SplashDVD has ceased trading. The company has generated numerous complaints from its customers (not least of which those contributing to this thread at Roobarb's DVD Forum). And the moral of the story: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is! 

A couple of updates about some of the information that was given in Monday's News entry (below).

Firstly, we're delighted to report that Network's Special Branch set was indeed released this week, contrary to the information that Network's PR company was able to provide. It looks like being a very nice package.

The sleeve image on Columbia Tristar's trade website contradicts the information about Jim Henson's The Storyteller being an NTSC disc. The sleeve says it's a PAL disc. I've tried to get official confirmation about this, but there's been no word yet.

8th March 2004

Ceri's back - yay! - and he's obviously been busy, rooting out all sorts of news from various unofficial sources, and finding some tempting special offers from the online retailers. So, without further ado, it's over to Ceri...

Hi everyone, after a few weeks off I’ve recharged and I’m raring to go, and it’s a good thing too as it’s a mammoth update this week. Incoming has some excellent additions and even though the Offers page was completely overhauled mid-week there’s still some juicy bargains knocking around!

To begin with we have some cracking information on some of BBC Worldwide’s new TV titles, and they are really going for the archive releases.

The six surviving episodes of the 1968 Sherlock Holmes series, starring Peter Cushing as Holmes and Nigel Stock as Watson, are being listed for the 24th of May. Only the two-episode adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles has previously been available, in a limited edition release by BBC Learning. The release of the other episodes is welcome news. Only a couple of the retailers are showing these at the moment and there is already some confusion! The BBC Shop is listing three releases: Sherlock Holmes: A Study In Scarlet and The Boscombe Valley Mystery; Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles and Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of the Four and The Blue Carbuncle all for an RRP of £9.99. Blackstar is showing The Hound of the Baskervilles, but all the other episodes as single releases, also with £9.99 as their RRP. As these are fifty-minute episodes I’m inclined to believe that Blackstar’s listing is a mistake. Hopefully there’ll be further clarification soon.

The BBC’s 1975 version of The Secret Garden is listed for the 7th of June with an RRP of £14.99. This seven part serial starred Sarah Hollis Andrews, John Woodnutt and David Patterson and was directed by Katrina Murray.

For the 21st of June there are four classic stagings of Shakespeare plays: Hamlet (from 1980 starring Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom and Patrick Stewart and directed by Rodney Bennett), A Midsummer’s Night Dream (from 1981 starring Helen Mirren, Robert Lindsey, Geoffrey Palmer and Brian Glover), King Lear (from 1982 directed by Jonathan Miller and starring Brenda Blethyn and Michael Hordern), and 1983’s Macbeth (starring Nicol Williamson, Jane Lapotaire, Ian Hogg, and James Bolam). All of them have a £12.99 RRP.

Alec Guinness returns as George Smiley in Smiley's People, listed for June the 28th with £15.99 as its RRP.

Following last weeks listing of behind the scenes footage for the second series of The Borrowers by the BBFC, it is now being listed by several retailers. It is scheduled for July the 5th and has an RRP of £14.99. Listed special features include the aforementioned behind the scenes footage, an interview with the cast, a photo gallery, cast biographies and an author profile.

That’s it for BBC Worldwide’s new titles, but there is also new information on releases that are already listed.

The release of The Day Today was put back to April the 26th to allow for further work on the special features. One of the retailers is now listing some more of those features and the BBFC has cleared a couple as well. Choices Direct is saying it will include the Pilot episode, six mini news features, a Behind the Scenes feature from an Open University programme, extra contributions from Collaterlie Sisters, Brian O'Hanraha'hanrahan, Christopher Morris, Valerie Sinatra and Alan Partridge (whatever they might be) and two extended scenes. These two scenes could be what the BBFC have cleared. One entitled “The Day Today DVD Extra” (possibly the previously rumoured extended scene, The Pool), which runs to 13m 54s and The Office Journey Through Hell (also previously rumoured) which runs to 13m 39s. The release has an RRP of £15.99. With that lot on board that makes it a very good price, and even better if pre-order ones can be found.

The BBC Shop is saying the Sellers on Sellers release for the 26th of April is actually going to be the one-off special, Peter Sellers: As He Filmed It, which was re-cut from the original 1995 three part series and shown in August 2002. Choices Direct is listing extras for the release. These are a never seen before TV interview, footage of a Sellers interview with Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon and a PG Tips TV Ad.

Finally for BBC Worldwide, Blackstar is now listing Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven and it’s at the £29.99 RRP as Choice Direct. The BBC Shop is still listing it at £15.99 with a pre-order price of £12.78 (plus P&P). So, it might be advisable to get your orders in there, although as ever there is no guarantee they will honour this price. Pennies From Heaven is listed with Potter’s other works, Casanova and Brimstone and Treacle for May the 31st.

More of Carlton’s TV titles are now showing on some of the retailers. Cadfael - The Complete Series 2, Kavanagh Q.C. - The Complete Series 2, and The Saint - The Complete Series 1 are all listed for 17th of May, with the Series 3 releases of Cadfael and Kavanagh Q.C.  These are all revised dates from Carlton’s original plans for the Cadfael and Kavanagh Q.C releases. The Cadfael have an RRP of £14.99, the Kavanagh Q.C. discs are at £19.99 and The Saint box set is at £49.99. Carlton also has some film releases listed for these dates which I’ve covered below.

Acorn are lining up more Midsomer Murders releases. Written In Blood is listed for April the 19th, with a £16.99 RRP, and The Fisher King has been cleared by the BBFC, though it isn’t listed by the retailers yet. When The Boat Comes In - Series 2: Part 3, which is the final part of the second series, is also listed for April the 19th, along with the complete Series 2 Box Set. The first part When The Boat Comes In - Series 3 is showing for May the 10th, and is joined by the final To Serve Them All My Days release, Part 3. All the individual part releases have an £19.99 RRP and the When The Boat Comes In Series 2 Box Set is at £59.99. Finally for Acorn, the Tenko - Series 3 Box Set has slipped and is now also listed for May the 10th, with an RRP of £49.99.

Some clarification has been posted over at The Mausoleum Club Forum about Network’s Public Eye release. It will be a three disc set, with the seven episodes of Series 4 (the first Thames series) spread over two discs and an additional disc of extras. There are still a lot of clearances to be sought for these extras (which may include the only surviving material from the first three series, which were made by ABC). A Network-produced interview with series co-creator Roger Marshall will be included. This release is being listed by the retailers with a new date of March the 22nd, but because of the further work still involved it is likely to slip into April. Network’s Hazell – The Complete Series 1 is also drifting in the schedules, with some sources now quoting the release date as March the 22nd. Don’t forget Choices Direct are listing Hazell at the pre-order mis-price of £21.24 (£18.74 off). Though, as ever, there is no guarantee that this price will be honoured. Hazell – the Complete Series 1 and the Public Eye set both have a £39.99 RRP.

The only releases Network’s PR company has officially confirmed for this month are Ever Decreasing Circles – The Complete Series 4 (on the 15th) and The Sweeney – The Complete Series Two (on the 22nd). Dates listed by retailers for other titles that are supposedly coming out during March (Special Branch and Hazell, for example), are probably erroneous. We have decided to move Network titles that don’t have an officially-announced release date to the In the Pipeline section of the Incoming guide.

Network have added one rather unexpected title to their slate, one that’s due to appear sooner rather than later: the first season of American sitcom 3rd Rock from The Sun. (Network released the final series on DVD almost two years ago!) 

The first season of the BBC mountain rescue series Rockface is due from Columbia Tristar on June the 14th. Their Sea of Souls DVD, due on April the 19th, has been upgraded to a two-disc set.. are listing some special features for Fabulous Films’ forthcoming Monkey! box sets. These are are a Making of… documentary (running to 45 minutes), episode synopses, a random Monkey! quote generator, cast biographies and character biographies. These same features are listed on box sets 25. It is not known yet if the features are identical and just duplicated across the boxes or if any of them are unique, or if only the first set will contain them. Box Set 1 contains the first 13 episodes and is listed for later in this month on the 29th. Box Set 2 has the next 13 episodes and is listed for May the 24th. Box Set 3 is listed for July the 26th, and the final two box sets (Box Set 5 containing the newly-dubbed Missing Episodes) are both listed for September the 27th. They all retail for £39.99.

The first volume of Jim Henson's The Storyteller is now listed as containing the episodes Hans My Hedgehog, Fearnot, A Story Short, The Luck Child, and The Soldier & Death. Which means Volume 2 should contain The Three Ravens, Sapsorrow, The Heartless Giant and The True Bride. The other thing is that both these releases are listed as being in NTSC format, which allows Columbia Tri-Star to release the series cheaply using the masters from their previous US version. This is a big shame, as this is a UK-produced programme and, although it was shot on film, it was assembled on PAL video. Volume 1 is listed for March the 22nd and Volume 2 for May the 17th. Both have an RRP of £12.99, which will make it about twice the price of the US version.

Last week there were two volumes of Tales of the Unexpected added for March the 22nd. It is now known these are from Firefly Entertainment for the 22nd of March. Both originate from Telstar’s previous four-disc box set, so presumably the other two discs will be released at some point as well. The discs contain 4four episodes each: The Vorpal Blade, The Tribute, The Best Chess Player In The World, and Down Among The Sheltering Palms on Volume 1 and The Wrong 'Un, Hit And Run, Have A Nice Death, and The Reconciliation on Volume 2. Both retail for £7.99, however, has the box set on sale for £17.99 at the moment.

And a final round-up of the TV releases: The Osbournes - The Second Series is due on May the 17th from Buena Vista, no word on RRP yet; and HMV are releasing the Shogun box set with exclusive packaging on the same day as the standard version, April the 5th, their price is £28.99.

Now onto some animation releases: fans of Tom and Jerry are being treated by Warner Home Video this year. The already-listed Classic Collection – Volume 1, due on the 5th of April, will be joined by a Volume 2 on the 3rd of May, both retail for £12.99. In addition to that HMV has 3 exclusive box sets: Collectors Edition: Volume 1 & 2 for the 5th of April; Collectors Edition: Volumes 3 & 4 for the 28th of June; and Collectors Edition: Volumes 5 & 6 for the 23rd of July. All three are listed by HMV at £19.99.

And now the film releases.

First up, as reported here last week, some of the retailers are now listing the much-anticipated Star Wars – Original Trilogy Box Set. It has a date of the 20th of September and an RRP of £44.99.

Choices Direct is listing Monty Python - The Meaning of Life - Series 1 [sic] with an £19.99 RRP for the 17th of May. There is no other information on the release or its label, but it’s presumably a UK version of the two-disc Meaning of Life Special Edition that was released in the US recently.

The BBFC has cleared some extras for the release of Tim Burton’s Big Fish, from Columbia Tristar. There are seven featurettes and an Easter egg:

The Character’s Journey #1  – Edward Bloom at Large (8m43s)

The Character’s Journey #2  – Amos at the Circus (4m35s)

The Character’s Journey #3  – Father and Sons (7m18s)

The Filmmakers’ Path #1 – Tim Burton: Storyteller (6m42s)

The Filmmakers’ Path #2 – A Fairytale World (9m30s)

The Filmmakers’ Path #3 – Creature Features (6m24s)

The Filmmakers’ Path #4 – The Author’s Journey (7m56s)

Easter egg (1m9s)

The release has a revised date of June the 7th and an RRP of £19.99

Ron Howard's acclaimed Western The Missing, which stars Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones, has been added to Columbia’s schedule for the 28th of June. 

Universal’s Scarface - Special Edition now has its special features listed by the retailers. These are The Rebirth Of Scarface, Acting Scarface, Creating Scarface, Scarface: The TV Version featurette, Def Jam Presents: Origin Of A Hip Hop Classics, Outtakes, and 2 Trailers. It has an RRP of £19.99, and is due on March the 29th.

School of Rock is currently doing rather well at multiplexes up and down the country, and a DVD release from Paramount is now being listed for the 5th of July. Special features include two commentaries, one from star Jack Black and director Richard Linklater and the other from the kids of the School Of Rock; a Lessons Learned In The School of Rock featurette; Jack Black's pitch to Led Zeppelin; School of Rock music video; a video diary from the kids; Jack Black's MTV diary; Dewey Finn's History of Rock interactive feature; web site archive; and the original theatrical trailer. Its RRP is £19.99.

Blackstar now has the sleeve art up for the two forthcoming DD Video British horror titles Night of the Big Heat and The Creeping Flesh, which are due on March the 22nd. Click on the images to go to Blackstar's website.



As mentioned above Carlton have some more film releases listed. For May the 17th there are special edition versions of Tiger Bay and Whistle Down The Wind, both of which have an £12.99 RRP, and these are joined by a standard version of When Eight Bells Toll for £9.99. The two special editions both contain an audio commentary from Hayley Mills, a location report and trailer. June the 21st has special editions of The Eagle has Landed and Escape to Athena. The listed content of The Eagle Has Landed is looking pretty impressive. Disc One has an extended cut of the film running to 145 minutes and 17 minutes of deleted scenes, together with interviews with director John Sturges and actors Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland. Disc Two has the Theatrical version, running to 131 minutes with 5.1 surround sound, archive location reports from programmes ATV Today and Film Night, biographies, a stills gallery and theatrical trailer. is listing the RRP as being £12.99, which is amazing considering the content, even more so with their knock down price of £9.99. If you intend to buy this, now might be a good time to place an order! The Escape To Athena release has a location report, cast and crew interviews and also has an RRP of £12.99.

Twentieth Century Fox are preparing a Special Edition of There’s Something About Mary for May the 3rd. It will contain an extended version of the film with an additional 20 minutes of footage; a Getting Behind Mary Documentary; four featurettes; Best Fights: Ben Stiller and Puffy The Dog; an Outtakes Reel; Build Me Up Buttercup Karaoke; Music Videos; Trailers; Interviews; and an Easter Egg.

The BBFC is showing another item for Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai, which is listed as Additional Scene / Beheading Easter Egg, running to just over 2 minutes. This release from Warner Home Video is listed for May the 17th with a £22.99 RRP.

And finally for the films, MGM’s release of 1984, starring John Hurt, has had it’s date revised to May the 3rd. It’s RRP is £15.99.

Right, now the additions to the Offers page! Firstly, two new retailers have been added – and Blockbuster, the rental chain. For those of you unfamiliar with, as it’s name suggests it primarily deals with cds, and is particularly good for imports and rare or out of print items. It also sells DVDs, and is offering some good bargains at the moment – 24 – Season 1 at £17.99 (£27.00 off), The Nightmare on Elm Street Film Collection at £16.99 (£37.00 off) and the Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers Extended (4 Disc Set) at £15.99. (£19.00 off). Blockbuster has been added because MikeW and JohnR posted that it has some of Second Sight’s titles at £4.99, which include Children of the Stones and Chocky (both £15.00 off), Chocky’s Challenge and Chocky’s Children (both £11.00 off), and Moonbase 3 (£20.00 off). Many thanks to both Mike and John.

New items from Amazon this week are Network’s The Adventures of Robin Hood – The Complete Series Two on pre-order at £29.99 (£10.00 off), the Family Guy Compendium for £40.99 (£19.00 off) and Secret Army – Series 2 on pre-order at £37.49 (£12.50 off). Blackstar have the Tenko – Complete Series 1 set on sale at £34.99 (£15.00 off). Choices Direct are running a Special Editions sale and the same The Simpsons / Futurama / Family Guy promotional offer as Thanks to Ed Parsons and Anlogueman respectively for posting about these. The Series 1 box set of Secret Army is offered by DVDSource at £34.99 (£15.00 off).

HMV have some good pre-orders again: Babylon 5 – Season 4 at £37.99 (£17.00 off), Curb Your Enthusiasm – Season 1 at £25.99 (£9.00 off, but still much more expensive than the Region 1 version), MASH – Season 4 at £21.99 (£8.00 off) and The X-Files – Season 9 at £54.99 (£25.00 off). They also have the Family Guy Compendium at the same price as Amazon, £40.99. has some amazing bargains: Adam Adamant Lives - A Vintage Year For Scoundrels and Death Has A Thousand Faces at £3.99 (£16.00 off), Doomwatch – The Plastic Eaters and Tomorrow the Rat at £2.99!! (£17.00 off), The Green Hornet (TV movie) at £3.99 (£11.00 off), The Green Hornet / Fury of the Dragon Box Set (both TV movies) for £7.99 and Lynda La Plante’s ITV drama Widows 3 - She’s Out at £3.99 (£21.00 off).

And finally, has a buy one get one free promotion for the Special Edition re-issues of the Alien films, so if you haven’t got the Quadrilogy – and don’t need the bonus disc that’s exclusive to the box set - you can pick up any two of the double disc sets for £16.99. More titles have been added to BBC Sale and these include Abigail's Party, Boys From The Blackstuff, Edge of Darkness, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Look Around You all for £10.99. Thanks to emmbrook for posting that all four series of Red Dwarf are now at £11.99 each. Network’s The Adventures of Robin Hood – The Complete Second Series is also available for pre-order at £29.99.

Phew! I told you it was a big update!

Thanks, Ceri. Now, where's my credit card...

Previous News entries can viewed be by following this link.



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