NEWS ARCHIVE - 8th to 14th NOVEMBER 2004




UK release - 22nd October


11th November 2004

Here's some good news for Zeta Minor's numerous Sherlock Holmes fans.

Optimum Releasing will be issuing a DVD box set of all fourteen Basil Rathbone / Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies, taken from painstakingly-restored source materials. (The various releases currently available in the UK are taken from public domain prints, and the companies profiteering from these should be ashamed of themselves - they've even got the nerve to charge full price for them! Scum!)

The set, which is expected early next year, will closely resemble the various sets available in the States from MPI.

The set's special features will include:

Featurette with Robert Gitt, Head Preservation Officer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, who discusses the multi-million dollar film restoration project for the series. (5 minutes)

Audio commentary with Sherlock Holmes expert Richard Valley (author and publisher of Scarlet Street magazine, who currently penning a book on Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes) on the first film in the series, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Audio commentaries with Sherlock Holmes expert David Stuart Davies (author, publisher of numerous books on Holmes and Rathbone) on the following films: The Scarlet Claw, The Woman In Green, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death and The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The discs will also feature extensive production notes by Richard Valley for all fourteen films, and a photo / original movie posters gallery for each film.

More details as they become available.

Warner Home Video has formerly announced the release of the first season of the snazzy BBC / Kudos series Hustle (which is about a team of con artists, led by The Protectors' Robert Vaughn).

The set will include a featurette, Assembling The Team, interviews with writer Tony Jordan, the producers and cast members, and an Easter Egg [click and drag here if you want to know what it is! It's called Marc Warren Card Trick.] The six-episode, two-disc set will be released on February the 21st, with an RRP of £29.99. The second series of Hustle will be shown by BBC1 in the New Year.

8th November 2004

After last week's bumper crop of news and reviews, there's not much for me to report today... later this week there'll be a couple of new reviews, and, presumably, some news, too!

There are three new competitions starting today, offering you the chance to win a bundle of great prizes. First up is the latest release from Network, who are releasing the BBC science-fiction series Star Cops on DVD this week. You can also win a great collection of eight classic Ealing comedies, and a set of American TV series, courtesy of Warner Home Video. Click on the banners, above, or here for the Warner Home Video TV Classics competition, here for the Star Cops competition, or here for the Ealing Comedy DVD Collection competition.

So, without further ado, here's the very welcome return of Ceri, with his roundup of the week's news and new bargains...


Hi everyone, I’m finally back…

Apologies for the intermittent nature of the updates of late, you know how it is - life has tendency of getting in the way of things! It should become a lot calmer in a few weeks and, as Julian hinted last week, we are having discussions about how to carry the Incoming and Offers pages into their second year, making them better than before…

But first this week’s update, and without doubt this is the most joyous summary I’ve had to write so far in terms of the titles I’m reporting – some of which I never expected to report! A lot of the information that I’ve collated broke during the past couple of weeks so if you regularly frequent Roobarb’s DVD Forum or some of the other forums you will already know about. Those of you that don’t – you’re in for a treat!

TV to begin with, but where to start, um…. Network I think…

Over on The Mausoleum Club forum an announcement was made about a major deal Network has brokered with Granada to provide access to all the archives it holds – which, as well as it’s own, includes those of London Weekend Television, Yorkshire, ATV, ITC, Anglia, Tyne Tees and HTV as well, as the Rank, Romulus and Rohauer film collections. Hundreds of titles will be available to Network within the five year deal, paving the way for lots of major and obscure titles to make their way onto DVD, causing us hardened DVD collectors to look at our bank accounts even more despairingly! The Fanderson website has also reported the deal, with specific reference to some Gerry Anderson programmes that are on the cards, but also listing more titles that are involved in the agreement. Now it was to be stressed these are all subject to usual clearances, so could be delayed or scuppered completely (as we have seen in the past), but compiling the titles from all the available sources gives us this list....deep breath!...

Catweazle (which has been on/off Network’s schedule for the last year or two), Crossroads, Coronation Street, London’s Burning, Nigel Kneale’s horror anthology series Beasts, Dempsey and Makepeace, Budgie, The Owl Service, Richard Carpenter’s The Ghosts of Motley Hall, William Tell, The Army Game, Nearest and Dearest, The Buccaneers The Baron, The Adventurer, The Zoo Gang, Gideon's Way, Interpol Calling, Man Of The World, The Four Just Men, Ghost Squad, Court Martial, Shirley's World, Arthur Of The Britons, Follyfoot, The Sandbaggers, Two's Company, Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, Whoops, Apocalypse!, The XYY Man, Orson Welles' Great Mysteries, and New Scotland Yard.

You can also look forward to new issues of titles already available from VCI, Granada or Carlton: Upstairs, Downstairs, Please Sir!, Danger Man, The Saint, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Space:1999, The Persuaders!,  The Prisoner (finally!) and The Champions.

The Fanderson information specifically highlights the Anderson series: Torchy The Battery Boy (for February 2005), Supercar (February/March 2005), The Secret Service (May) and Four Feather Falls (June). All dates are, of course, provisional.

Well, there are plenty of titles in that list to all of us smile! Particularly of interest to me are the mentions of Budgie and The XYY Man (and hopefully all the other Bulman related series), but there is more than enough there to make everybody happy! Obviously this is a major deal and a lot of work, so Network will be making changes to their organisation and stepping up their output to accommodate the number of titles. Network has established themselves over the past few years as one of the leading labels of Archive TV releases. They’ve worked hard to develop a fantastic reputation for their product. This deal is a reflection of that hard work and is well deserved, and one that we can certainly reap the benefit of! We wish them great success with it!

The Mausoleum Club forum also had news about another Network title. In preparation for release next month (yes, next month!) is the next Public Eye set (blimey!) The 1971 series finds Frank Marker leaving Brighton (where he was recuperating, after a spell in prison), and relocating his inquiry service in Windsor. The Complete 1971 Series features a mixture of thirteen colour and black & white videotaped episodes (it was hit by the ITV technician’s strike over the use of colour, which affected many programmes at the time), which have, as before, been digitally restored. Special features for the release include Don't Forget Your Mine – an ABC episode from the second series, restored and VidFired; the audio soundtrack of missing episode Twenty Pounds of Heart and Muscle (the penultimate episode of the second series), unearthed by Kaleidoscope and cleaned-up by our friends Alys and Alan Hayes; an ATV Midlands interview with Alfred Burke from 1966; a Photo gallery for the 1971 series; a photo gallery; and two PDF’s: one of ABC’s Series Two promotional literature; and one of the script to the 1971 series episode Who Wants To Be Told Bad News?

Public Eye – The Complete 1971 Series has not appeared on any of the retailers yet, but when it does we’ll let you know!

There’s also been some clarification about what’s happening with the George and the Dragon – The Complete Series box set, which is due on the 18th of November. It is actually a Choices Direct exclusive, so if you see it listed anywhere else for that date it’s erroneous – you can only order it from Choices Direct if you want it. The box set will get a wider release next year.

Now the other good news (as if all the above wasn’t good enough!). Appearing on some of the retailers (the news of which was posted by Roobarb’s DVD Forum member Nathan a week or so ago), is range from BBC Worldwide titled Cult Classics. They're currently scheduled to be released during February of next year, but that seems a little optimistic. Some of the older titles require a lot of restoration work and, if they're to receive the attention they deserve, I wouldn't expect them until the middle of the year.

Firstly, there’s the already-listed The Nightmare Man, and, from the fact that it’s being connected with these titles, I presume its delay from earlier in the year was because plans were changed to form this range with the other titles. So what else is included?

Well, there’s a complete box set of Gerald Harper’s Victorian adventurer out of time in swinging Sixties London – Adam Adamant Lives! That’s “complete” as in all the extant episodes, which comprises of fifteen episodes (almost all) from the first series and unfortunately only two from the second – spread over five discs. The box set has an RRP of £39.99 (which isn’t bad for seventeen fifty-odd minute episodes),

Barry Letts’ six-part Classic Serial adaptation of The Invisible Man, originally broadcast in 1984, is also being lined up for release, with an RRP of £12.99. This adaptation, which stars Pip Donaghy as Griffin, is another title that’s never been commercially released, and it's long overdue.

Then there are the two Dominick Hyde Play for Today’s from 1980 and 1982, starring Spooks’ Peter Firth: The Flipside of Dominick Hyde and its follow-up, Another Flip for Dominick. The RRP is £12.99.

And, finally, there are two titles that are probably the most highly anticipated releases the BBC have left in their archives: the 1981 Douglas Livingstone adaptation of The Day of the Triffids. starring John Duttine, which has an RRP of £12.99, and a complete Quatermass three-disc box set, comprising the two extant episodes of The Quatermass Experiment and the six episodes each of Quatermass II and Quatermass and the Pit, retailing for £29.99. Nice.

Well, that’s another quite jaw-dropping list of titles isn’t it!?! They’re provisionally being listed by the retailers for the 21st, but don’t be too surprised if they’re delayed.

That’s not all for BBC Worldwide, either.

The next two Doctor Who releases are starting to appear – Tom Baker’s Horror of Fang Rock, for January the 10th, and Patrick Troughton’s The Mind Robber, for March the 7th. Last week we listed the material that the BBFC has cleared for the Horror of Fang Rock release: Horror of Fang Rock (1m57s); Storyboard (1m28s); The Antique Doctor Who Show (4m46s); Terrance Dicks Fact & Fiction (36m3s); Basil Brush - The Himalayas (10m23s).

Terrance Dicks Fact & Fiction is an overview of the Fang Rock writer’s immense contribution to the series as a whole and The Antique Doctor Who Show was one of the series of shorts that preceded each episode of the 30th Anniversary screening of Planet of the Daleks, in 1993. They were used to add to the episodes to fill a half-hour times slot.

There’s a complete three disc box set of Alan Bennett’s fantastic Talking Heads monologues being listed for March the 7th. Its RRP is £24.99.

The 1975 adaptation of The Secret Garden has started to appear again for next year, after it was withdrawn a few months ago, apparently as it became a Readers Digest exclusive. Its new date is the 21st of March and the RRP remains the same - £14.99.

A release of the BBC’s new version of Sherlock Holmes, which stars Rupert Everett, is showing also for the 21st of March. Entitled The Debutant Killer it has an RRP of £15.99.

The first series of the BBC’s crime drama about a group of detectives brought out of retirement to investigate unsolved crimes from the past, New Tricks, has a date of the 14th of March. The series, which stars Amanda Redmond, Alun Armstrong, James Bolam and Dennis Waterman, has an RRP of £19.99.

The next Red Dwarf release, Series 6, has appeared with a date of March the 14th and an RRP of £19.99. The usual pattern is for the release to be in February, so don’t be surprised if this settles to a month earlier.

There’s another Only Fools and Horses release due on February the 14th – the special Rodney Come Home. £15.99 is its RRP.

Finally, for BBC Worldwide, are two reissues of old VHS compilations – Victoria Wood’s Acorn Antiques on the 7th of February and Dennis Pennis – Ultimate Pennis on the 29th of March. The obnoxious American celebrity mock interviewer, Pennis, was the creation of Paul Kaye, who has since found fame as an actor most notably in the BBC’s Two Thousand Acres of Sky. The Pennis character originally appeared in taped inserts for the BBC’s live The Sunday Show during the mid 90s, before gaining a few of specials of this own. This compilation was culled from the inserts and the specials

Right, just a quick note that unfortunately DD Video has hit some clearance issues with their release of Nineteen Eighty-Four, which has delayed it. It should hopefully appear next year once they’ve sorted the problems.

John Williams Productions have their next Rab C. Nesbitt release lined up for November the 29th. Rab C. Nesbitt’s Season’s Greet was the Christmas special for the character from Naked Video which eventually spawned a full series for him. It has an RRP of £9.99.

Acorn has Series 2 of A Family at War in preparation for the first four months of next year. The complete box set and Part 1 has a date of January the 10th. It’s a series which longer than the usual standard of thirteen episodes – running to nineteen in total – some of which were also hit by the ITV technician’s strike, meaning they are in black and white. The rest of the releases follow at monthly intervals – Part 2 on February the 7th, Part 3 on March the 14th and Part 4 on April the 11th. The individual parts have the usual RRP of £19.99 and the larger-than-usual box set an RRP of £79.99.

Right, let’s have a look at some of the American TV titles that have appeared recently.

Anchor Bay has two releases lined up for the 17th of January.

Sledge Hammer – Season 1 has an RRP of £24.99 and also features audio commentaries from creator Alan Spencer; Unaired pilot episode; Sledge Hammer: Go Ahead, Make Me Laugh! An all-new documentary featuring interviews with creator / producer Alan Spencer and actors David Rasche, Anne-Marie Martin & Harrison Page (32 mins); Alan Spencer's message to critics; HBO pilot episode script; ABC pilot episode script; Electronic press kit (EPK); Stills and memorabilia gallery; TV spots; Original TV bumper; Sledge Files with colour photos and liner notes.

The other release is a box set of the first season of 21 Jump Street, there are no details of any special features, but it has an RRP of £19.99.

Thanks to Analogueman for posting that Play are listing Seasons 1-4 of Star Trek: Enterprise for April through to October of next year. Season 1 has a date of April the 9th, Season 2 is June the 6th, Season 3 is August the 1st and Season 4 is October the 3rd. They all have RRPs of £84.99.

Continuing on their M-lock repackaging mission, Twentieth Century Fox has reissues of Seasons 1-3 of Ally McBeal showing for January the 24th. They’re at £19.99 each.

Warner Home Video has Season 3 of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm listed for the 31st of January for £29.99 and Season 1 of the sitcom Everyone Loves Raymond for a few weeks earlier of the 17th of January with an RRP of £39.99.

The 1960s cartoon series Astro Boy, which was a US repackaging of a Japanese Anime programme called Tetsuwan Atom, is having a couple of releases to tie-in with a new big screen adaptation due next year. Columbia Tri-Star has Volume 1, featuring episodes 1-4, and Volume 2, featuring episodes 5-8, showing for the 31st of January. There is some confusion at the moment on the retailers whether there with be a single Volume 1 and Volume 2 collected release at £12.99 or two individual volume releases, both also at £12.99. So, there does need to be a shakedown of this information.

That’s it for the TV titles. Take a moment, catch yer breath…

Now onto the Film releases…

Twentieth Century Fox have had some clearances at the BBFC for Alien vs. Predator. These include Branching Footage: ADI Workshop (7m0s); Branching Video: Miniature Whaling Station (6m51s); The Making of Alien vs. Predator (59m10s); Alternate Opening (3m47s); and Easter Egg: Tom – The Alien Actor (9m4s). So, far a release isn’t being listed by the retailers.

A release of Zorba the Greek is also being prepared by Twentieth Century Fox. Two items have been cleared: Biography: Anthony Quinn – A Lust for Life (44m14s) and Alternate Intro (3m54s). Again a release so far isn’t being listed.

Warner Home Video has a mammoth four-disc special edition set of Gone With The Wind stuffed to the gills with special features lined-up for the 7th of February. Here’s the breakdown:

Disc 1 & 2: The Film; Commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer.

Disc 3: The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind the acclaimed 1989 documentary made by Selznick's sons and narrated by Christopher Plummer [125 Minutes, Never-before-available on DVD]; Restoring a Legend - An in-depth look at the restoration and Ultra-Resolution process utilized by Warner Bros. for this new DVD presentation; Footage from 1939 Atlanta and 1961 Civil War Centennial Atlanta premieres (Dixie Hails Gone With the Wind [1939 premiere newsreel] & Atlanta Civil War Centennial [1961 premiere newsreel]); The Old South - Fred Zinnemann directed this historical 1940 theatrical short, which was shown by MGM in theatres prior to the release of Gone With the Wind; International prologue; Foreign-language version sample scenes; Trailer gallery.

Disc 4: Melanie Remembers: Olivia de Havilland Recalls Gone with the Wind - All-new documentary produced especially for this new DVD set, features Ms. de Havilland's personal recollections on the film; Clark Gable: A King Remembered - A portrait of the legendary actor's long and distinguished career as MGM's most famous leading man; Vivien Leigh: Scarlet and Beyond hosted by Jessica Lange, this is an insightful look at Leigh's short and troubled life; Mini documentaries covering lives and careers of most prominent cast members.

Not bad for the RRP of £24.99.

WHV has also had some clearances at the BBFC for a release Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. These are UCLA Archive / MGM 30th Anniversary (2m5s); UCLA Archive/ Radio City Premiere (1m52s); MGM Jubilee Overture: Musicals (9m41s); and Sobbin Women – The Making of Seven Brides (42m9s). Again the release isn’t being listed as yet.

Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and its recent follow-up Before Sunset are having a double pack release on the 7th of February from WHV, which has an RRP of £29.99. There’s also an individual release of Before Sunrise showing for the same date with an RRP of £15.99. There’s no individual release of Before Sunset listed, but it might just be a little sluggish in appearing. At the BBFC there’s a been a clearance for On the set of Before Sunset (9m48s).

Michael Mann and Tom Cruise’s thriller Collateral has appeared as a two-disc set for January the 17th from Paramount. Special feature are listed as a deleted scene with audio commentary from director Michael Mann; City of Night: The Making of Collateral featurette; Special Delivery featurette; Shooting on Location in Annie's Office featurette; Visual Effects: MTA Train featurette; Rare footage of target practice and combat training with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx; and an Easter Egg. Its RRP is £24.99.

Currently doing the rounds at multiplexes up and down the country, the British movie Layer Cake has appeared for the 7th of January. No word on the special features yet, but the release, from Columbia Tri-Star, has an RRP of £22.99.

A special edition of Disney’s Mary Poppins has also appeared for March the 21st from Buena Vista. Its RRP is £19.99.

The three-disc special edition reissue of Memento from Pathe for December the 27th has some clarification as to its content. The special features (some of which appeared on the previous issue) listed are:

Disc One: Commentary with 3 alternative endings. Disc Two: Interview with Christopher Nolan (24 mins); Interview with Guy Pearce (13 mins); Anatomy of a Scene (26 mins); Biographies; Reverse version of feature Easter egg. Disc Three: Shooting Script split screen (109 mins); Memento Mori (34 mins); Galleries; Website; International trailer. It has £24.99 as its RRP.

There are two box sets due from Anchor Bay. Next week on November the 15th is a Norman Warren Collection, which has an RRP of £29.99 and features:

Satan's Slave: Commentary by Norman J Warren; Original theatrical trailer; Making of (40 mins); Devilish Music featurette on the score (15 mins); Deleted scenes; All You Need Is Blood - documentary from the time of filming. Prey: Commentary by Norman J Warren; Making of (35 mins); Film 77 location report narrated by Barry Norman. Terror: Commentary by Norman J Warren; Making of (35 mins); Deleted footage; Radio spots. Inseminoid: Commentary by Norman J Warren; Theatrical trailers; Making of (40 mins); Electronic Approach featurette on musical score (12 mins). Bonus disc: Norman J Warren biography illustrated with clips, photographs and documents; 8 other biographies; Short Norman J Warren film Fragment; Original posters gallery.

On the 17th of January there will be a Tigon Box Set, which will include The Body Stealers, The Beast in the Cellar, The Haunted House of Horrors, Virgin Witch, Witchfinder General, and Blood on Satan's Claw. It also has an RRP of £29.99.

A proper version of Heathers is also in preparation for the 17th of January, which practically replicates the version available in the US. Special features include audio commentary from director Michael Lehmann, producer Denise Di Novi and writer Daniel Waters; Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads: a documentary featuring interviews with stars Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, director Michael Lehmann, writer Daniel Waters, producer Denise Di Novi, director of photography Francis Kenny and editor Norman Hollyn (27 mins); Screenplay excerpt: original ending; Talent biographies; and the Theatrical trailer. £16.99 is its RRP.

Tartan has some more additions to their Bergman Collection due on the 6th of December. These are A Lesson In Love, Port of Call, The Rite and Torment. All have an RRP of £19.99.

A special edition of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 is due from Contender on January the 17th, with an RRP of £16.99. No word on the content as yet, but it’s likely that it will be similar to the US edition, released by Image eighteen months ago.

Optimum’s release of Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence has reappeared on the retailers after it was pulled earlier in the year. An Interview with Jeremy Thomas (16m57s) was previously cleared for the release at the BBFC. Its new date is the 24th of January and its RRP remains the same at £19.99.

Mike Hodges’ comedy Morons From Outer Space is now being listed for the 24th of January. MGM’s release has an RRP of £12.99.

There are two new titles from VCI during February: Walter Salles’ film based on the journals of Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries, is due on the 7th and Micheal Winterbottom’s 2003 science fiction film starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton, Code 46, is due on the 28th. Both have RRPs of £19.99.

And finally, for Incoming, there are two new titles from Cinema Club scheduled for the 7th of February: Honky Tonk Freeway, and Terrance Young’s 1971 film starring Charles Bronson, Alain Delon, Toshiro Mifune, Capucine and Ursula Andress, Soleil Rouge. Both are set at £9.99.

Right, were on the home straight now! Let’s round things off with a look at the update to the Offers page…

Thank-you to Lissa for posting that Choices Direct has The Ultimate Matrix Collection (the standard version, not the one with the statuette) at £36.99!

There is also been some major additions to Play’s sales.

Thanks to Chris Pearson for posting that the first series of A Very Peculiar Practice - Series 1 is available at £9.99. Thanks to another Chris for posting that Patrick McGoohan’s 1959 BBC play Brand is at £7.99; the three Peter Cushing BBC Sherlock Holmes releases: A Study In Scarlet / The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Sign Of Four / The Blue Carbuncle and The Hound of the Baskervilles are all at £6.99 each.

Other titles added to Play’s BBC sale include: The Singing Detective at £12.99;

Third Rock From The Sun - Complete Seasons 1 & 2 at £13.99 each, and Season 6 at £9.99; Till Death Us Do Part - The First Colour Series at £7.99 and the 1967 adaptation of Vanity Fair (1967) at £13.99.

Finally, thanks to Analogueman for posting that Play are repeating the Futurama / The Simpsons and Family Guy box set promotions. The former are at £14.99 each and the latter at £9.99 each.

That’s yer lot from me – I hope you’ll agree it’s been a good ‘un!

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

Released 8th November




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