ARCHIVED NEWS - 22nd - 28th NOVEMBER 2004







24th November 2004

Umbrella has announced details of their six-disc Danger Man box set, which contains all thirty-nine half hour episodes, re-mastered and uncut. The set will also feature exclusive commentaries with writer Brian Clemens and director Peter Graham Scott, rare trailers, memorabilia, production notes, cast profiles, original ITC press information, extensive image galleries, "and more". The set is due for release on February the 23rd. Here's the provisional box artwork, which will be changing...

More details of Optimum's Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence DVD have been announced. The film has been digitally restored and re-mastered, and will be presented in anamorphic widescreen format. The disc will have a stereo 2.0 Dolby Digital audio track, with a "5.1 conversion TBC". Bonus features for the disc include an interview with producer Jeremy Thomas (17m - already certificated at the BBFC), a Making of... documentary, a theatrical trailer and a text interview with director Nagisa Oshima.

Metrodome Distribution are releasing a six-disc box set gathering together a collection of documentaries made by Nick Broomfield on March the 7th. The set, titled Nick Broomfield: Documenting Icons, will feature Chicken Ranch, Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam, Fetishes, Soldier Girls, The Leader His Driver and the Driver's Wife, and Tracking Down Maggie. The set will feature commentaries, additional scenes, special introductions and "much more". The release coincides with a BAFTA celebration of Broomfield's work, on March the 8th, and the publication of book from Faber & Faber, which is published on March 17th. RRP for the DVD set is £49.99.

Optimum's release of Trauma has been delayed - it's now due in June.

Metrodome's Spellbound DVD, which documents a spelling bee competition, is being re-released on November the 29th, to coincide with the BBC screening a similar documentary (H-A-R-D-S-P-E-L-L). The disc will be promoted with a price reduction that will hold until the end of the year: the new RRP is £9.99.

HMV are listing the bonus features for the UK editions of MGM's Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western re-issues (see below):

For a Few Dollars More: Special Edition

Fully Restored Sound and Picture

Audio Commentary

A New Standard - Documentary

Back For More - Clint Eastwood Interview

Tre Voci - Interviews with Sergio Leone

Original American Release Version - Featurette on Alternative Versions

Restoration Notebook

Locations Comparisons

Rare Double Bill Trailer

Collector's Gallery

Radio Spots

Original Theatrical Trailer


Fistful of Dynamite: Special Edition

Fully Restored with Extended Footage

Audio Commentary

Bigger, Louder, Deeper - Documentary on Leone

Sergio Dontai: The Screenwriter Remembers Duck You Sucker

The Autry Exhibition: Sergio Leone Comes to the USA

Visions And Versions: A Visual Analysis of Duck You Sucker

Finding The Original Version: Restoring Duck You Sucker

Locations Comparisons

Radio Spots



A Fistful of Dollars: Special Edition

Fully Restored Version

Audio Commentary

A New Kind of Hero - Documentary

A Few Weeks Off in Spain - Interview with Clint Eastwood

Cinque Voci - Featurette

Not Ready for Primetime - Featurette

Additional Scene - The Network Prologue

Restoration, Italian Style

Double Bill Trailer for A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More Radio Spots

Collector's Gallery

20th November 2004

I'm delighted to welcome Sean to the Zeta Minor team today. You may know him as Analogueman, over at Roobarb's DVD Forum, where he's proved he's got a keen eye for a bargain. Sean will be helping Ceri compile the Offers and Incoming pages, and will be filling in when Ceri's busy (and, presumably, vice versa!)

Sean's already spotted a few great offers, and has dug up some new information about forthcoming releases, so without further ado, here's...


Hello everyone…

While Ceri’s away doing important things I’ll be stepping into the breach from time to time with some updates to the Incoming and Offers pages, so please be gentle with me while I find my feet!

After the stunning announcement of Network’s deal with Granada a fortnight ago, anything following on from that may seem rather pallid by comparison!

So let’s dive straight in…

The Mausoleum Club posted some Press Releases concerning some new releases from Acorn early next year.

First on the cards is a Wartime Stories box set out on 10th January, containing three classic wartime stories: Back Home, Carries War and Goodnight Mister Tom. The three-disc set is priced at £50.99 (RRP).

Next up, on 10th January, is a further helping of Midsomer Murders, this time two stories (Things That Go Bump in the Night and Dead in the Water) at £12.99 each (RRP).

The same date also sees Tom Brown’s Schooldays (this is the newer version starring the inimitable Stephen Fry) out on a single DVD, with an RRP of £16.99.

Also confirmed (and mentioned last week) is the Series 2 release of A Family at War (a personal favourite of mine). Following the same release pattern as Series 1 (and indeed many other Acorn series releases), the series box set is expected to appear on 10th January, with the individual four double disc sets subsequently coming out at monthly intervals. Some of the episodes of this series will be in black and white owing to industrial action which also famously affected other ITV productions of the day (such as Upstairs, Downstairs). The complete Series 2 box set is priced at £79.99 (dearer than the previous release, as Series 2 has more episodes).

Umbrella’s complete thirty-episode eight-disc release of Man in a Suitcase is now due out on 8th December. With numerous cool special features including commentaries and interviews, it’s priced at Au$129.95 (about £55, RRP). Not bad… 

Choices Direct have posted that their (exclusive for now) release of the Sid James / Peggy Mount sitcom George and the Dragon (Network), which was due out last week, has been put back (yet again) until 29th November. It has a RRP £49.99. Because it's exclusive to one retailer, there's no incentive for them to discount it, so expect the price to fall when it's eventually released to the rest of the trade. Any further delays to this one, and we’ll be watching it while chewing on turkey and wearing funny hats…

Carlton are reporting a box set release of new Miss Marple stories on the 7th of February, with an RRP of £25.99. The new series stars Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple. As Ceri reminded me, there appears to be some confusion as to which version this actually is, as the BBC Shop is also advertising a release (at £29.99) around this time - see here. Hmmmm…

Good news for fans of the old favourite Starsky and Hutch. As mentioned on Saturday's News update, the complete Season 3 has been announced by Columbia Tristar as appearing on 28th February (RRP £34.99). The box set doesn’t yet appear to contain any extras, mirroring the previous release, but it’ll still be on my pre-order list.

Play are listing a further Carry On release late next year with two separate volumes of Carry On Christmas TV Specials. List price is £12.99 each, and are currently due out on 3rd October 2005.

There’s a new large Michael Palin box set on the horizon, containing all his acclaimed BBC travel series on sixteen discs; Around the World in 80 Days (1989), Pole to Pole (1992), Great Railway Journeys (1996), Full Circle with Michael Palin (1997), Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (1999), Sahara (2002) and Himalaya with Michael Palin (2004). Out next Monday (the 29th of November) this monster is priced at a reasonable £79.99.

The Elvis Costello video compilation we mentioned a couple of months ago now has a title (The Right Spectacle - The Very Best of Elvis Costello - The Videos), a provisional release date (January the 17th) and a revised track list. Note that a couple of the tracks that were being lined up for the disc have apparently been dropped (the Alright Now performances of Stand Accused and Possessions and ...Chelsea and Watching the Detectives from So It Goes), and a couple of appearances from Dutch and Swedish TV have been added. More details and a sleeve image can be found on the Elvis Costello Home Page.

Release dates for next years Jupiter Moon seem to be somewhat fluid at the moment, with reports of Volume 4 on 24th May, Volume 5 on 22nd August and Volume 6 on 24th October 2005. As ever, we’ll keep an eye on them.

Fans of the original series of Outer Limits will be delighted to see a Region 2 DVD release next year, with the complete Season 1 expected on the 14th of April, from MGM at £34.99. Season 2 is also mooted, with a date TBA.

Due out today from SGS is a complete fourteen-film collection of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films in one seven-disc box set, and is being sold as an HMV exclusive for £59.99. This box set will feature un-restored public domain prints, so is best avoided. Wait for Optimum's box set, which is due early next year.

Also out today is yet another John Wayne box set (John Wayne – The Complete Box Set), this time a thirty-four film behemoth which weighs in at £199.99. Wagons roll, big man… 

A special edition release of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (Contender) is due on the 17th of January. Some retailers are erroneously reporting the 21st of February as the release date. Contender are claiming that the film has been digitally restored and re-mastered, and will feature a trailer, a stills gallery and collector's booklet.

Three timeless spaghetti westerns are being released by MGM in special editions next April. A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More are both priced at £19.99 each, while A Fistful of Dynamite is £14.99. All three are due out on 18th April 2005. I’ll list any extras when I have the details.

Out in time for the Christmas market, on the 29th November, at £17.99 is a re-release of the James Stewart / Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life, this time as a Collector’s Edition. It’s apparently been digitally re-mastered, and has an interview with Frank Capra Jr along with a 23 minute feature ‘The making of It’s a Wonderful Life’ narrated by Tom Bosley. [This sounds suspiciously like the same version being re-packaged, to me - JK]

The BBC shop is now listing some of next years new releases, along with the extras. These extras include:

The Complete Talking Heads (7th March 2005); Alan Bennett Interview, Tellin’ Tales, and Archive Bits.

Day of the Triffids (21st February 2005); Special Edition Collectors Booklet. [Twenty three years and all we get is a freakin' booklet??! - JK]

Ultimate Dennis Pennis (28th March 2005); Paul Kaye Interview, Top of the Pops Dennis Pennis Links, Dennis Pennis CV, Poster, and a Dennis Pennis Kit.

Blakes 7: Series 3 (31st January 2005… stop that laughing at the back!); Stuart’s Stunts, Make-Up Artists, Character Introductions x 2, Trailer for Series 4, Clean Titles, Bloopers, Look North – Behind the scenes, six Easter Eggs, and Casting Tarrant (Screen Tests / Test Scenes).

And for the little ones (huh hum…), following the release two weeks ago of The Complete Series 1 to 5 of Thomas the Tank Engine (£49.99), Series 1 is released standalone on 31st January at £12.99.


On to a few choice bargains… as always, links are on the Offers page.

Star Trek: The Original Series – Season Three is still up for a release on the 6th of December (RRP £69.99). Thanks again to CD Wow, you can get the box set cheaper than anywhere else for only £39.99 (thanks to Martin Bell for posting). Season Two is also still there at the same great price.

Thanks to Chris posting that CDWow are also offering Red Dwarf: Series 5 at £11.99.

Other retailers have now joined Play in offering The Simpsons / Futurama boxsets at cheap promotional prices. Choices Direct are currently offering a ‘two for 26 quid’ deal. You can however take advantage of this promotion with individual box sets at £13.00, too.

If anyone hasn’t yet dipped a gnarled toe into the gritty world of Network’s The Sweeney box set releases this year, then Benson’s World might just persuade you. They currently have the complete Series 1 to 4 mega-box set on offer for only £89.95 (a mere £22 per season!) Go on, treat yourself for Christmas… 

Another good blag this week, this time from, is Starsky and Hutch: Season 1 for just £13.95.

Amazon UK are now offering the first four seasons of The Sopranos (the digipack versions) at only £25.97 each.

Thanks to Ed Parsons for posting that Amazon UK are also showing Bridget Jones’ Diary at £5.75, and both Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Fiddler on the Roof at £7.99 each.

Talking of Amazon UK, I also notice they have a few Doctor Who titles going cheap at the moment. The Leisure Hive is at £11.25, and both The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Seeds of Death (both two disc sets) are at £9.97 a pop! Season 2 of Kung Fu is only £22.49, and thanks to Ceri for posting that the Special Branch: 1974 Series can be nabbed for £21.26 (in the Amazon Marketplace), along with Thriller: Episodes 1 to 10 at £13.75 and Timeslip: The Complete Collection at only £16.09.

Out on the 6th of December is the previously-mentioned four-disc complete series (one hundred episodes) of Batfink, and Play have it listed at just £16.99. are currently listing the Lord of the Rings: The Trilogy box set for only £17.99 (that’s a whopping £32 off!)

Amazon are currently offering for pre-order an exclusive I, Robot - Limited Edition Collectors Tin for only £17.99 (£12.00 off), due out on 3rd December. Thanks to Ceri for spotting that. 

I’ve spotted what might be a mis-price over at DVDPlus. They're offering the John Wayne Ultimate Collection box set from Delta (out on 29th November). At just £5.87 for seventeen [short, creaky and badly-transferred - JK] films, this seems more than a little generous to me… 

And finally thanks to Ceri for posting that The World of Pete and Dud CD is on offer at for only £4.99.

Now, about that Thomas the Tank Engine stuff… 


Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.




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