UK release - 22nd October

UK release - 2nd SeptemberUK release - 27th August



14th September 2004

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will issue a new version of Kevin Costner's great 1990 film Dances With Wolves on October the 11th.

The film, winner of seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, will be presented in its extended 227m version (the current Pathé version, now out-of-print, is the 173m theatrical edit). The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic format, with a choice of Dolby Digital or DTS audio. The film will have subtitles in English and Native American. Since this is a three-disc set (and the bonus materials don't add up to a hill o' beans), presumably the film will be split across two discs.

The new three-disc set will also contain a seventy-four minute documentary about the film called Creation of an Epic; a commentary track by Kevin Costner and producer Jim Wilson; a commentary track by Director of Photography Dean Semler and Editor Neil Travis; an "original music video"; photo' montage (9m) and poster gallery; four featurettes (Second Wind (5m), Confederate Marching (2m), Getting The Point (4m) and Burying the Hatchet (1m)); an original Making of... documentary (21m); a theatrical trailer; and "animatronic buffalo" (presumably some sort of featurette, and not some cornflake-box-freebie-style give-away!) RRP for the set is £24.99.

It's beginning to seem like Warner Home Video is having a mass clearout of their TV series vaults (perhaps this is why sorting out the rest of Babylon 5 is taking so darn long!)

They're releasing the enormously popular civil war epic mini-series North and South on DVD on November the 1st. Each of the two series (North and South Book One and North and South Book Two) will be presented in 4:3 format, across four discs, Each set has an RRP of £34.99.

Another popular mini-series, The Thorn Birds, is also being dusted down for DVD release. The ten-hour series, based on Colleen McCullough's best-selling novel, briefly revived Richard Chamberlain's flagging career, and made him an unlikely sex symbol for a whole generation of women. The series also starred Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Jean Simmons and Piper Laurie.

The set will feature a behind-the-scenes documentary, titled Old Friends, New Stories. The episodes will be presented in 4:3 format, with mono audio. The two-disc set is being released on November the 1st, with an RRP of £19.99.

The second season of Kung Fu is being released as a four-disc box set by Warner on November the 1st. The set will contain all twenty-two episodes, including the two-part season finale, The Cenotaph, in re-formatted anamorphic 1.77:1 ratio, with mono audio. RRP for the set is £29.99.

They're also releasing a five-disc set of The Waltons - The Complete First Season on November the 1st (twenty-five forty-five minute episodes, 4:3 format with mono audio, for £39.99) and Dallas - The Complete First and Second Seasons (five discs, twenty-nine episodes, £49.99). The Dallas box set will feature Soaptalk Dallas Reunion featurette, with Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and "poison dwarf" Charlene Tilton; and audio commentary "on the series pilot and other episodes" featuring Hagman, Tilton and creator David Jacobs.

Here are a couple of sleeve images...

Contender Entertainment is issuing 2DTV - The Very Best of Series 4 on November the 1st. The compilation will feature commentary by the voice-over artists, never-before-seen footage; the rudest 2DTV sketch ever - uncut; and shooting script DVD-Rom content. The disc has an RRP of £14.99.

Contender is releasing four Saturday Night Live - The Best of... compilations on November the 15th, showcasing the contributions of Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell and Chris Rock. Each disc features about seventy minutes of material, and has an RRP of £12.99.

Redbus Entertainment is releasing the recent British children's comedy Tooth on DVD on October the 18th. The film, which stars a shedload of British talent, including Stephen Fry, Vinnie Jones, Harry Enfield, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant and Sally Philips.

The disc will be packaged with free stickers (wow!) and a glittering holoprism sleeve (been there, done that!) Bonus features include a trailer, cast and crew interviews and a Making of... documentary.

13th September 2004

If you haven't visited for a few days, be sure to check out our review of Universal's two-disc Van Helsing Collector's Edition. Click here, or on the sleeve image, right to read it!

Ceri has updated the Incoming and Offers pages this week and, after a couple of weeks away, there are plenty of new titles and bargains on offer! Here's Ceri to give you a summary of the highlights...


Hey everyone, it’s been a few weeks, but, as promised, I’m back will the usual sorts of gubbins culled from the retailers, lovingly presented on the Incoming and Offers pages… 

I’m starting with the films this week. First up we have listings for two versions of King Arthur - (another in a long line of American re-inventions of British history!) – a Director's Cut and Theatrical Cut – from Buena Vista for November the 29th. Both are listed as containing the same special features: an alternative ending and Blood On The Land - The Forging of King Arthur, a making of … documentary. They are both listed with the same RRP - £19.99.

Warner Home Video’s release of Catwoman has appeared for the 24th of January with an RRP of £15.99. No word on any special features yet.

A couple of Warner Home Video’s film titles that were due about now, but never officially announced, have been put back to the beginning of next year: Forbidden Planet and the Heat - Special Edition are now listed for February the 14th.

More delays…

In the form of Pathé’s three-disc special edition of Memento, which now has a date of the 27th of December. Momentum’s Total Recall - Special Edition has been put back to the 28th of February.

Joining the pointless Universal Monster’s Collection box set on October the 11th are double bill releases of The Invisible Man/Phantom of the Opera and The Mummy/Creature from the Black Lagoon at an RRP each of £19.99. Universal UK really must think its customers are mugs!

Optimum will release four of the Ealing Studios film in a box set on September the 20th: Champagne Charlie, The Maggie, It Always Rains on a Sunday and Whiskey Galore. It has an RRP of £29.99.

And finally, for the films, Prism are lining up a release of Wonderwall, the 1968 film scored by George Harrison (and made famous more recently by Oasis naming a song after it) for the 4th of October with an RRP of £5.99.

Now the TV releases…

Columbia Tri-Star’s release of the initial series of Seinfeld is now starting to appear on some of the retailers for November the 8th. (The episodes and special features have recently been cleared by the BBFC). Seinfeld – Seasons 1, 2 & 3 are available in a complete eight-disc box set for an RRP of £59.99, as are separate Seinfeld – Seasons 1 & 2 and Seinfeld – Season 3 four-disc sets for £34.99 each. Special features listed for the main box set (which presumably are spread over the two smaller ones) are: Yada Yada Yada (audio commentaries from creator Larry David and members of the cast); How It Began (a look at how Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David came up with the idea for the show, how it almost never got made and how the show changed the television sitcom genre); In The Vault (never before seen deleted scenes from series 1,2 & 3 that were rescued from the cutting room floor!); two versions of the pilot episode; Notes About Nothing (behind-the-scenes scoops and production notes); Inside Looks (the cast and creators talk about what happened behind the scenes on certain episodes); Not That There's Anything Wrong With That (previously unseen outtakes and bloopers); Kramer vs Kramer - From Kenny To Cosmo (meet the real Kramer, Kenny Kramer!); Master of His Domain (exclusive previously-unseen footage of Jerry Seinfeld's stand-up routine); and original NBC promotional adverts and trailers. Currently Amazon has the best price, with the complete Seasons 1, 2 & 3 box set at £41.99 (click here if you are interested! ), with the Seinfeld – Seasons 1 & 2 at £26.24 (click here if you are interested!) and Seinfeld – Season 3 also at £26.24 (click here if you are interested!)

It looks like Clearvision are lining up a more general release of Taggart - The Jim Taggart Years (Episodes 1-6), which was previously only available direct from their website, as it is staring to appear on some of the retailers. The box set has a date of the 4th of October and an RRP of £39.99.

An unknown company is preparing a three-disc release of The Richard Pryor Show, the stand-up comedian’s US TV series. It is showing for the 25th of October with £24.99 as it’s RRP.

Another unknown company (possibly Medusa) has Lynda La Plante’s drama series The Commander listed for December the 26th, which has to be wrong as that date is a Sunday! So, in lieu of more definite information, I’ve added it to the listing for December the 27th. The release has an RRP of £15.99.

And more delays…

Hustle – Series 1 is now listed for the 10th of January, and BBC Worldwide’s State of Play has a date of the 7th of February.

Two Warner Home Video titles moved in a far-reaching schedule re-organisation: the 10th of January is the new date for Without a Trace – Season 1, and The Sopranos - Season 5 is now due on the 14th of February.

As we’ve reported here, some of Network’s titles have slipped into October, with some of the retailers suggesting dates of October the 18th for Star Cops – The Complete Series and October the 4th for The Adventures of Robin Hood – The Complete Series 3. But two new Network titles have appeared for the latter date, too: Third Rock from the Sun – The Complete Series 4 and a complete series box set of Third Rock from the Sun, with RRPs respectively of £29.99 and £119.99. (This is odd, because it presumably means that Series 5 will be released in the box set before it’s made available separately!)

And finally, for Incoming, is a bit of a mini music DVD roundup.

The 27th of December sees Goldfrapp – Wonderful Electric (Live in London) from Vital Distribution at an RRP of £17.99 and from Jive Records (for an as yet unknown RRP) a Groove Armada compilation coinciding with their greatest hits album release. Then on the 11th of October Virgin Records are preparing a music promo compilation for The Verve (also coinciding with a greatest hits release). The track listing is showing as: This Is Music, Slide Away, Lucky Man, History, She's A Superstar, On Your Own, Blue, Sonnet, All In The Mind, The Drugs Don't Work, Gravity Grave, Bittersweet Symphony, and Lucky Man. It has an RRP of £17.99.

Right, now onto the highlights of the Offers update!

Amazon has dropped their price for The Ultimate Matrix Collection (the ten-disc one) to £41.99, and is now listing the limited edition version (with the figurine and book) at a price of £59.99. DD Video’s release of Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed at £12.74; The Complete Ripping Yarns is at £18.74 (though Play have it cheaper for non-international folks); Universal Playback’s re-issued box set of A Touch of Frost – Series 1-5 is at £29.99 and Carlton’s new release of Series 6-10 is at £52.49; Delta’s The Worzel Gummidge Collection – Volume 2 is at £22.49; with the first three seasons of The X-Files box set re-issues being offered at £24.49 each (which sounds like a bargain to me!).

Thanks to Barry Delve for posting that Amazon are running a 40% Off Audiobooks offer. The selection is relatively small, but they are also listing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary Phase at £15.99.

Benson’s World has BBC Worldwide’s Absolutely Fabulous – Series 5 and Monkey Dust – Series 1 at £13.99 each. The Acorn titles By the Sword Divided – Part 2 and Hetty Wainthrope Investigates – Series 1 at £16.99 each, with The House of Eliott – Part 2, Sam – Series 2 – Part 2 and When the Boat Comes In – Series 4 – Part 3 all £12.99. DD Video’s Fall of Eagles, Serect Army – Series 3 and Survivors – Series 2 at £34.95, with Orde Wingate at £12.99. The Ronin – Special Edition is at £12.99. Carlton’s  A Touch of Frost – Series 6 is at £16.99. Thanks to Paul02 for posting that they have the Thriller – Episodes 1-10 at the previously-listed RRP of £19.99 and at the bargain pre-order price of £12.99!

CD-Wow has the Region 4 special edition release of Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste at £11.99, the Region 1 10th Anniversary Edition of Kevin Smith’s Clerks for £15.99, and the Region 1 four-disc Ultimate Edition of the original version of Dawn of the Dead for £19.99. Thanks to Analogueman for posting that BBC Worldwide’s recent The Forsyte Saga (Region 2 box set) is at £39.99. Thanks to Chris for posting that Shaun of the Dead (Region 2) is also at £11.99 (the same prize as Amazon, who are offering an exclusive sleeve design). The limited edition two-disc release of Oasis’ Definitely Maybe – Special Edition (Region 2) is at £9.99.

Another “thanks” to Paul02 for posting that have the Doctor Who – Lost in Time box set at the fabulous bargain price of £17.99 (£12.00!)

Loaded247 has the Twin Peaks – Season 1 box set at £17.99.

And, finally, the aforementioned The Complete Ripping Yarns box is being offered at £17.99 by Play.

Finally, I am indebted to Matthew Lee for this fine obituary for character actor Glyn Owen.

Prolific stage and television actor Glyn Owen passed away on Friday, September 10th, 2004 at his home in Caernarfon in North Wales, having endured a cancer-related illness for a brief period of time. His passing marks the end of a distinguished career in which, as with the likes of Geoffrey Palmer, he carved out a successful career in a wide range of supporting and starring roles both on stage and in a variety of BBC and ITV television programmes spanning some fifty years.

Seventy-six-year-old Owen was born in Bolton, Lancashire to an English mother and Welsh father, the latter from whom it is believed he inherited his singing talents. Emerging from school to pursue his passion for amateur dramatics, Owen soon secured his first professional position as an Assistant Stage Manager at Dundee Repertory Theatre. After a brief time spent working in Scotland, he ventured south to London to become a founding member of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre. He remained there between 1956 and 1960, and whilst he enjoyed the theatre work, he made his first (and perhaps most notable) foray into a career in television in the short-lived ITV series Calling Nurse Roberts in 1957, a six-week gap-filler which was later transformed into the hugely successful soap-serial Emergency – Ward 10. Owen portrayed Doctor Parick O’Meara, and combined his popularity on screen with the selection of a wide variety of stage roles, performing in Gwyn Owen’s The Keep, John Osborne’s Plays For England and Luther, and London Assurance (in New York) in the early 1960s.

Such was the success of his tenure on Emergency – Ward 10 that Owen enjoyed a handful of smaller roles on television before securing the role of Richard Hurst in the popular Rediffusion series The Rat Catchers in 1966, a programme concerning itself with the British Secret Service spanning two seasons and attracting healthy audience figures. Owen’s portrayal of Hurst would prove to be the first of a wide variety of memorable guest and starring appearances between 1959 and 1996; in a career which effortlessly traversed the wasteland between BBC and ITV, Owen appeared in Interpol Calling, Top Secret, Out Of This World, Catch Hand, Suspense, The Saint, Thorndyke, Danger Man, The Troubleshooters (a particularly memorable turn in the episode Doctor Liebling, I Presume – alongside legendary Australian export Charles “Bud” Tingwell) , Doomwatch, The Revenue Men, Doctor Finlay’s Casebook, All Creatures Great And Small, The Professionals, Dixon of Dock Green, Paul Temple, Detective, Blake’s 7, Doctor Who (the gun-seller Rohm-Dutt in The Power of Kroll), The Sweeney, Juliet Bravo, Heartbeat, The Enigma Files, Ennal’s Point, Oil Strike North and an unforgettably moving performance in Carlton Television’s Peak Practice as Doctor Philip Ramsden, a practitioner faced with his own deteriorating health.

However, his association with producer Gerard Glaister perhaps contributed to him securing roles which have firmly consolidated his presence in two of the most memorable BBC Television serials of the last thirty-five years. Having crossed paths with Glaister whilst appearing in Doctor Finlay’s Casebook and The Revenue Men, Owen ultimately proved the ideal choice for the role of Edward Hammond, thrust into the driving seat at haulage firm Hammond Transport Services after the death of his father, but forced to share the levers of power with his two brothers in a boardroom-and-bedroom power struggle. He was introduced to viewers in the Radio Times periodical as follows:

"See actor Glyn Owen for the first time in The Brothers, the new BBC-1 drama serial that starts on Friday, and you could be forgiven for thinking of him as just as though as the haulage contractor he plays. But there’s not much violence about him; the only fight he can remember being in was when he and Richard Burton were roughed up on the way home from an England versus Wales soccer international. “I’m so kind and sympathetic,” he protests. “Remember me in Emergency – Ward Ten?”. In The Brothers, Owen plays Edward Hammond, the eldest of a haulage contractor’s three sons; at the beginning of the story their father dies, and Edward, who has helped his father build up the business, naturally expects to take over its running. Like his father, Edward is a bit of a rough diamond: “Nothing like me. I dislike his streak of violence,” adds Owen. Although he sees Edward as a three-dimensional character, he admits he was puzzled by his lack of interest in women. “I’m hoping for a sequel where Edward swans around with the birds on the Cote d’Azur”. (Radio Times, March 2, 1972 – Article by Madeleine Kingsley).

Although he only appeared in the ten episodes which featured in the first series of The Brothers in 1972 (later replaced by Patrick O’Connell for the subsequent six series), Owen remained at the forefront of Glaister’s mind when he devised and created another enormously popular serial for BBC Television (along with Allan Prior) in the mid-1980s, provisionally entitled The Boatbuilders and later renamed Howards’ Way. Glaister readily cast Owen as Jack Rolfe, the heavy-drinking and heavy-smoking proprietor of the Mermaid Yard boatyard in the fictional south coast township of Tarrant. A rough diamond with a heart of gold, Jack Rolfe and Glyn Owen would become inseparable between 1985 and 1990 as audiences readily identified the character with the actor both during the series, and long after its conclusion.

Owen’s capacity to combine comedy and drama with an important sense of timing was the key to his performances (both in Howards’ Way and beyond), the majority of which struck a chord with audiences as he had the ability to portray an average man in the street with consummate ease and believability. Owen is survived by two children, Cathy (36) and Lloyd (38), the latter of whom has risen to stardom in BBC Scotland and Ecosse Films’ Monarch of the Glen, and condolences must be conveyed to his wife Carrie, who has acknowledged his passion for his profession in a variety of obituaries appearing in the popular press. Owen’s passing has left a void which cannot be filled, as another fine character actor and performer in his own right leaves our screens for the last time. His appearances in over six-hundred British Television programmes is a testament to his enduring popularity with audiences.


Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.


Van Helsing - Released October the 11th.



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