ARCHIVED NEWS - 10th - 16th MAY 2004

14th May 2004

Carlton Visual Entertainment are releasing the 1970-71 ITC science-fiction series Timeslip on July the 19th.

The series will be presented on two two-disc volumes packaged together. Each volume will contain two complete stories (The Wrong End of Time and The Time of the Ice Box on one, The Year of the Burn Up and The Day of the Clone on the other).

The episodes have been re-mastered from the surviving black and white film telerecordings. The set will also feature the only existing colour episode, taken from the original 2" master tape held by the BFI. Bonus materials include a stills gallery and cast biographies. RRP for the set is £29.99.

Westerns seem to be flavour of the month. Universal Pictures will release Kevin Costner's acclaimed Open Range on May the 31st.

The film, which also stars Robert Duvall, Annette Bening and Michael Gambon, will be presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, but no details of the aspect ratio were released. (The two-disc US version, from Buena Vista, is in 2.35:1 anamorphic format). The US disc also features a DTS audio track, which isn't mentioned in the UK press release, so appears to be missing.

The disc also features an audio commentary (by Costner); a short documentary, America's Open Range (12m), about the real open range of the 1800s, narrated by Costner; deleted scenes with introductions by the Director; a Storyboarding Open Range featurette and a montage music video. The hour-long Beyond The Open Range documentary is apparently also missing from the UK version. RRP is £17.99.

13th May 2004

Choicesdirect is listing two interesting Granada / VCI archive TV releases: the first series of the terrific period comedy series Brass, and the first series of the drama series Band of Gold. Both are apparently due on July the 5th, with an RRP of £19.99 each.

Warner Home Video has formerly announced the UK release of a package of vintage Westerns, including Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, on July the 19th.

The Blazing Saddles Special Edition will feature a Brooks commentary; an Intimate Portrait featurette on star Madeline Kahn; Back in the Saddle cast reunion documentary; the 1975 Black Bart spin-off TV show pilot; Additional Scenes and a theatrical trailer. The film will be presented in 2.4:1 ratio, with re-mastered 5.1 audio. RRP for this title is £15.99.

Lawrence Kasden's impressive Wyatt Earp will be released in its theatrical version, which runs 182 minutes. The film will be presented in 2.4:1 ratio, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Bonus features include two featurettes (It Happened This Way and Walk With A Legend), eleven deleted scenes (which were reintegrated into the film for it's laserdisc Director's Cut release) and a trailer.

The 1972 John Wayne film The Cowboys will be in 2.35:1 ratio, with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. The film will feature a previously-cut scene [SPOILER: where Wayne is shot in the stomach].

Wayne also stars in the evergreen Three Godfathers, alongside Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey Jr. The film will be presented in 1.37:1 format, with mono audio.

The 1968 Sean Connery misfire Shalako, which also features Honor Blackman and Brigette Bardot, is also part of the collection. No technical details were released for this disc.

John Ford's 1953 film Mogambo is apparently also part of this collection, but, aside from a fleeting reference in the Blazing Saddles press release, no further details were given. Perhaps someone realised that a film set in Kenya wouldn't really qualify as a Western...

Menu screens for Fox's Region 2 Runaway Jury DVD are now available, Click here!

Direct Video Distribution has announced the release of a further fifteen titles from the Arkoff Film Library, including Roger Corman cult favourites Teenage Caveman and Viking Women and the Sea Serpent. The new titles are: The Female Jungle (1956), Machine Gun Kelly (1958), Rock All Night (1957), Shake, Rattle and Rock (1956), Viking Women and the Sea Serpent (1958), The Bonnie Parker Story (1958), Dragstrip Girl (1957), Girls in Prison (1956), Motorcycle Gang (1957), Teenage Caveman (1958), The Cool and The Crazy (1958), and Daddy 'O' (1959).

As with the existing titles in the collection, these new releases will feature a fifty-minute audio interview with Samuel Z. Arkoff, and nine theatrical trailers.

Below are the sleeves for the first batch of titles, due on June 28th.


12th May 2004

Columbia Tristar has firmed up the bonus features for the UK release of Ron Howard's R-rated Western The Missing, which is being released on June the 21st. The film, which stars Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett, will be presented in 2.4:1 anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital audio and English HoH subtitles.

The bonus features will be two alternate endings, five deleted scenes, five Ron Howard on... featurettes, an outtake reel, three of Ron Howard's early short films and a photo' gallery.

The (single-disc) UK version appears to be missing a couple of  features that are present on the two-disc American version. The Region 1 disc features six more deleted scenes (about twelve minutes more than the UK disc), an extra Ron Howard on... featurette (about John Wayne) and five behind-the-scenes featurettes (totalling about an hour). RRP for the UK disc is £19.99.

Here's the sleeve art for the eagerly-awaited UK versions of the three-disc Panic Room and Black Hawk Down Special Edition DVDs, which are due on July the 17th.

11th May 2004

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the John Grisham thriller Runaway Jury on June the 14th. The film, about a young couple who offer to sway a jury who are contemplating a gun control liability case, will be supplemented by a Director's commentary track, deleted scenes with optional commentary, selected scene commentary by Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman, and seven featurettes: Exploring the Scene: Hackman an Hoffman Together (14m), Off The Cuff: Hoffman and Hackman (9m), The Ensemble: Acting (4m), The Making of Runaway Jury (12m), Shadow and Light: Cinematography (6m), A Vision of New Orleans: Production Design (5m) and Rhythm - The Craft of Editing (5m). (These durations are taken from the US version of the disc). The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio and optional English HoH subtitles. The disc has a very reasonable RRP of £15.99.

Warner Home Video will release Joe Dante's Looney Tunes Back in Action on July the 19th. The film, which was surprisingly successful in the UK, will feature deleted scenes (Looney Tunes Out of Action - The Best Scenes You Never Seen), a tour (Behind The Toons), a special effects featurette (Bang, Crash, Boom), trailer, M Kids music video, a bonus Looney Tune featuring the Roadrunner, The Whizzard of Ow, and an Easter Egg [Yosemite Sam with TNT!]. The disc has an RRP of £15.99. No technical spec's were released. In support of the release, Warner Home Video will also release two all-new DVD cartoon collections, The Best of Bugs (on July 5th) and Best of Porky and Daffy (on July the 12th).

Other forthcoming Warner Home Video titles include biker gang thriller Torque on July the 4th (commentary track, Racing and Train animatic, music video, Easter Egg, 2.4:1 transfer, RRP £15.99) and the Kate Hudson / Luke Wilson romance Alex & Emma on July the 12th (commentary by Director Rob Reiner and Wilson, trailer, 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, 5.1 audio, RRP £15.99).

Finally, in an interesting snippet of news related to the DVD release of series two of Survivors, the PR company is making Pennant Roberts (Director), and actors Heather Wright (Melanie), Lorna Lewis (Pet Simpson) and Denis Lill (Charles Vaughan) available for press interviews. It seems likely that they'd also be contributing to the DVDs (which are due in the Autumn).

10th May 2004

We're saddened to report the death of actor Anthony Ainley, known to Doctor Who fans for his portrayal of The Master between 1981 and 1989. Ainley was an old school, second-generation gentleman actor, who appeared in numerous TV and film productions during the 60s and 70s.

He often played caddish types, including semi-regular roles in LWT's Upstairs, Downstairs and The Pallisers. He also appeared in episodes of Doomwatch, The Avengers, Secret Army, Out of the Unknown and Department S. In 1972 he starred in the ITC adventure series Spyder's Web. He also featured in cult movies Blood on Satan's Claw and The Land That Time Forgot.

Ainley was a hugely charismatic performer, and his appearances at Doctor Who conventions were usually the highlight of any event he attended. He was passionate about cricket, and regularly opened  for the London Theatres Cricket Club team.

It's especially shocking to see that Ainley's death on May the 3rd has gone unreported for so long. His obituary in this morning's edition of The Independent has stunned many admirers. Our condolences go to his friends and family. A forum thread commemorating Anthony Ainley has been started here.

Roobarb's DVD Forum denizen Matt West has kindly contributed a review of Universal's new two-disc Special Edition of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, which is due out next week. Click on the sleeve image, right, or here, to read it. It looks like a very nice package for Python fans.

And now, over to Ceri, for the weekly roundup of all the news that the PR companies haven't released officially, and his summary of the latest bargains...

Hello folks! Another week, another update. It’s mainly TV additions and changes to Incoming again this week, and there are a couple of particularly juicy bargains added to the Offers page.

Lets get things started with a look at some new information for some of Twentieth Century Fox’s forthcoming titles…

Now being listed for August the 9th is Roswell The Complete Second Season. No word yet on the special features, but it has an RRP of £39.99.

More extras have been cleared at the BBFC for the - still as yet un-listed - Season 4 box set of The Simpsons. This time they’re for the episode, So It’s Come To This: A Simpson’s Clip Show: animatic footage running to just under six minutes and a multi-angle sequence (boy, they’re really going to town on these for this release!) running just under four minutes. Again it has four angles: Angle two is Main Animatic with PIP; Angle 3 is Main Colour with PIP; Angle 4 is the Storyboards; and again Angle 1 is untitled, so is probably the fully completed sequence.

Also on the extras front this, listed by both the BBFC and some of the retailers, is the content of the Millennium – Season 1 and Harsh Realm – Season 1 box sets: Millennium will feature a commentary tracks for at least two episodes (the Region 1 version has three: Pilot, Gehenna and The Judge); a Making of… documentary entitled Order in Chaos: Making Millennium Season One (48m44s); two featurettes: Chasing The Dragon: a conversation with the Academy Group (21m19s) and Creating the Logo and Title Sequence (9m34s). The BBFC have cleared 22m44s of Inside Look: 24 TV Product – Sizzle Segment. The six-disc set has an RRP of £39.99.

Chris Carter’s short-lived series Harsh Realm will feature a featurette titled Inside The Harsh Realm (25m48s); another Creating the Logo and Title Sequence featurette (8m44s); and the TV spots from the show’s US launch. The three-disc set has an RRP of £34.99.

Both the Millennium and Harsh Realm box sets are listed for the same day – July the 12th.

Play have put up quite a few new titles Acorn. BBC Drama series By The Sword Divided portrays the troubles faced by a family during the English Civil War. This will be presumably the first series, from 1983. There were two series in total, with the second broadcast the following year. Part 1 is listed for September the 13th and Part 2 for October the 11th. Both series ran to thirteen episodes, so there should also be a Part 3 (if Acorn follow their standard release pattern). Play are the only retailer showing these at the moment, with Part 1 having a listed RRP of £24.99 and Part 2 at £19.99. One of these has to be a mis-price, so if it’s Part 2 and you’re interested in, I’d get your order in now before they change it. Play are offering it at £14.99. Here’s a direct link to their listing: Click!

There are the three parts of Granada’s  Sam – Series 2: August the 9th sees Part 1; Part 2 follows on September the 13th, and Part 3 on the 11th of October. All three have an RRP of £19.99.

Wendy Craig stars in the 1930s era BBC series, Nanny, with Part 1 of Series 1 listed for August the 9th and Part 2 on September the 13th. Nanny ran for three series of ten episodes a piece, so Acorn may be releasing these parts with five episodes each. Both parts have an RRP of £19.99.

There are four more Midsomer Murders titles listed: The Electric Vendetta and Destroying Angel on the 9th of August; and Dark Autumn and Who Killed Cock Robin? on the 11th of October. All four have an RRP of £16.99.

Also on October the 11th is Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, with an RRP of £24.99. Presumably, this is all six episodes that formed the first series.

And finally, for Acorn, is Series 2 of ITV’s female detective drama Rosemary and Thyme, starring Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris, listed for December the 27th. There are two parts showing, both having an RRP of £16.99 each.

As a follow-up to the Richard Gregory’s report last Friday that Revelation will be releasing the final three series of The Tomorrow People initially as an MVC exclusive box set on August the 23rd, TV Zone magazine are now listing that two of the individual volumes have the following dates for a full release: Series 6 (The Lost Gods, Hitler’s Last Secret and  The Thargon Menace) on October the 20th and Series 7 (Castle of Fear, Achilles Heel and The Living Skins) on November the 22nd. Series 8 may follow a month later. The box sets have had previous RRPs of £34.99, with the individual volumes at £15.99, so expect these releases to be similarly priced.

Following my report about BBC Worldwide’s The Secret Garden last week, an eleven-minute featurette entitled Remembering The Secret Garden has now been cleared by the BBFC. This features stars Sarah Hollis Andrews and Andrew Harrison. The Secret Garden has an RRP of £14.99 and a release date of he 7th of June.

Three of Network’s titles have slipped back to May the 31st - both the standard and special edition versions (which includes Volume 1 as a bonus) of Charley Says – Volume 2 and Public Eye. Expect to Public Eye to drift into June as work is still ongoing on it’s special features, but also expect it to be an excellent release!

The Jupiter Moon DVD website has published some new details on the releases from Oracle Home Entertainment (which is a division of Eureka). The volumes will be two-disc sets, each featuring ten episodes (Volume 1 has eleven episodes to get things started), as well as special features. They all will have a subtitle, with Volume 1 entitled (in 1950s style!) Invasion From Space. Volume 1 will also include the following (To Be Confirmed) features: Series producer William Smethurst setting the scene for Jupiter Moon; The Design of the Ilea, written by Jupiter Moon's scientific advisor Professor Bob Parkinson, author of Citizens of the Sky; SFX sequences/out-takes; Anna Chancellor biography; Jason Durr biography; and Jupiter Moon Trivia. No word of the content or subtitles of the other volumes yet. Volume 1 has a date of the 21st of June, with Volume 2 following of the 23rd of August and Volume 3 on the 25th of October. All three have an RRP of £24.99.

Following the report on Friday that the eleven-episode German TV / BBC 2 co-production Heimat is included in Tartan’s schedule, it has now appeared on retailers. The five-disc box set will also include photographs, maps, guides and critical analyses, for an RRP of £99.99. It’s listed date is August the 23rd.

Right, now the film releases…

There’s a Director’s Cut Special Edition of Donnie Darko being listed for September the 20th, with an RRP of £19.99. This will probably be from Metrodome who released the first version of the film within the UK. This might be Metrodome’s way of wrestling the film, which has a growing cult following, away from being a budget title. Their original DVD had extensive bonus features.

There’s another extra cleared at the BBFC for Warner Home Video’s six-disc Marx Brothers box set. This time it’s another short (from 1940), entitled Quicker ‘n a Wink (9m12s), destined for the GoWest / The Big Store disc.

Cinema Club’s release of the Stephen Poliakoff film Close My Eyes will include a commentary with the director and four interviews: Alan Rickman (13m4s), Clive Owen (7m34s), Saskia Reeves (8m50s) and Stephen Poliakoff (14m27s). These are being listed by some of the retailers as well as been cleared by the BBFC. The release has a date of June the 14th at £12.99.

Now the additions to the Offers page… have the Arkoff Film Library titles at £5.99 and Urban Gothic – Series 1 at £8.99. Thanks to Stuart Flanagan for posting that they have The Day Today at £11.99. Amazon previously had it at this price, but they’ve put it up now.

Amazon have the Police Academy box set of all the films at £52.99 (£17.50 off), the Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes box set at £22.49 (£7.50 off), Star Trek Voyager – Season 1 at £55.99 (£29.00 off), 24 – Series 3 at £34.99 (£15.00 off), Smallville - Season 1 at £24.99 (£30.00 off), Smallville - Season 2 at £41.24 (£13.75 off) and the Smallville - Seasons 1 & 2 set at £59.99 (£20.00 off). Thanks to Ed Parsons for posting that they also have Network’s forthcoming Strange Report box set at £37.49 (£12.50 off).

The BBC Shop has Series 1 of Little Britain at £12.99 (£7.00 off).

Thanks to both Barry Delve (for emailing me) and Mark Aldridge (for posting) that CD-Wow have the Blake’s 7 – Series 1 box set at £19.99. Be warned this is the first version, not the re-pressing.

Choices Direct have the offer price of the ER – Series 2 box set now at £23.99. They have the RRP of £44.99 correct, so this must be an error, possibly it should be £33.99. Anyway it’s a bargain, at £21.00 off!

To follow-up John Pettigrew’s posting at the beginning of last week that DVD Plus have the House of Cards Trilogy box set at the excellently priced £17.87 (£17.01 off!), they also have Big Train – Series 1 & 2 at £14.87 (£10.12 off). have a horror sale running at the moment with all items at £6.99. Their sister site,, is running two Region 1 sales of Dracula and 50s Sci-Fi titles – click here for further details.

Thanks to Paul Gethin for letting me know that Play have taken the Network titles out of their TV Favourites sale, but they’ve added some new titles to make up for this. These include Series 1 and 2 of Teachers at £14.99 (£15.00 off) and Law and Order – Series 1 at £25.99 (£19.00 off). I’ve also added the possible mis-price I mentioned for By The Sword Divided – Part 2.

Also thanks to Paul for letting me know that retailers Powerplay Direct have the three Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes releases at £6.99 and the BFI’s The Signalman at £10.99  and edirectory have Clearvision’s Father Dear Father – Series 3 at £4.99. Click here for direct links.

If you spot a bargain please contact me via email or by posting in The High Street section of Roobarb's DVD Forum.

Previous News entries can viewed here.


Released on May 17th.

Released on May the 17th.

Released on May the 17th.

Released 12th July 2004.

Released May 24th.

Released 12th May.


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