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5th January 2005

Several Network titles due later this month have been officially announced.

The first is a general release for the George and The Dragon box set, which is currently available exclusively from Choices Direct. The four-disc set will have an RRP of £49.99. We reviewed the set when it was originally released: click here for the details.

The fourth and final season of The Adventures of Robin Hood will be released on January the 24th. The three-disc set features all twenty-six half-hour episodes, and has an RRP of £24.99. (Previous seasons were £39.99, but they were substantially longer, with thirty-nine episodes each). As before, there are no bonus features. A review of the Season 3 set can be found here.

Also due on the 24th is Shillingbury Tales, a two-disc set featuring ATV's charming 1981 series about life in a small village. Details are a bit sketchy: the press release doesn't specifically mention that the set features the pilot film, The Shilllingbury Blowers, but it is one of the episodes recently certified by the BBFC, and the press release's quoted running time (385m) seems to confirm it will be. The series features Robin Nedwell and Diane Keen. The set, which has an RRP of £19.99, will also feature a photo' gallery.

Other titles due from Network in January include 3rd Rock From The Sun Season 5 and a re-issue of 3rd Rock From The Sun Season 6, Cloppa Castle Series 2, Charley Says 2, and the Charley Says Limited Edition set (which bundles the new title with the first volume), all due on the 24th. A week later there's Hazell Series 2, Press Gang Series 4 and Soldier Soldier Series 3. There'll be no official press release for any of these titles, so you're pretty much on your own, I'm afraid!

The BBC's Doctor Who website has revealed the cover for the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, which is undergoing a design change in preparation for the new series. More information here. Trailers for the new series are now beginning to appear, so keep 'em peeled!

Universal is lining up a number of classic movies for release in March, including: Billy Wilder's definitive film noir Double Indemnity, and Preston Sturges' great comedies The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels.

Buena Vista has a package of movies lined up for release in February, beginning with Yimou Zhang's beautiful Hero, about warring factions in feudal China. The disc will feature three bonus items, as per the R1 edition: Inside The Action: A Conversation with Quentin Tarantino and Jet Li (13m); a featurette, Hero Defined (25m) and storyboards for four sequences: Golden Forest, Library, Ring of Iron and Lake. (Timings for these are taken from the US version, which was presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 format, with a choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 or Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks). The film's been out in other regions for ages, including a pretty decent two-disc edition with a second disc of bonus materials, from Edko Films, Hong Kong.

The following week, on the 28th, Buena Vista will release Miracle, Gavin O'Connor's film about the Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team for their battle against the seemingly-invincible Russians. The film stars Kurt Russell and Patricia Clarkson. The disc will feature two bonus items: The Making of Miracle (18m) and Outtakes (5m).

The British-made horror flick LD-50, which features Mulholland Drive's Katherine Towne and former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, is also due on February 28th, as is Marcus Adams' stylish-but-odd thriller Octane, which stars Madeleine Stowe, Mischa Barton and Bijou Phillips. Octane was released on DVD as Pulse in the US, with an anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 transfer.

Buena Vista's press releases don't mention the RRP or technical spec's.

Here are details about the next Kaleidoscope archive television event:

Saturday 12th March 2005, 12:00 - 7:00 pm

Amblecote Room, Stourbridge Town Hall, Stourbridge, West Midlands, UK

Free Admission


12:00    Enemy at the Door - "By Order of the Fuhrer" – first episode of the celebrated drama set in the Channel Islands under German occupation. Written by Michael Chapman and starring Alfred Burke (in a favourite role), Simon Cadell, Anthony Head and Bernard Horsfall.

Enemy At The Door episode guide.

13:00    Pardon the Expression - Sailor Home from the Sea - Arthur Lowe is Mr Swindley in this sixties sitcom

13:30    Noggin the Nog - Noggin and the Omruds, episode one

13:45    On The Beat - The Careers of Michael Chapman and Peter Cregeen - special presentation including footage from The Bill, The Sandbaggers, Undermind, Out of the Unknown and The Protectors

14:00    Guest Panel - Michael Chapman and Peter Cregeen discuss their long and illustrious careers. The panel includes a showing of the only surviving footage from Frontier, ABC's last drama series about life on the North Western Frontier

16:00    The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town starring Ronnie Barker

16:30    Michael Chapman introduces Mr Palfrey of Westminster -The Honeypot and the Bees. Superb espionage series with a touch of class

17:30    Tex Tucker is Sheriff of Four Feather Falls

17:45    The Richard Down Archive - an extract from a missing edition of The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop found in Richard's archive

17:55    Telethon Detectives - Sherlock Holmes investigates The Four Oaks Mystery, part one

18:05    Dennis Potter's Shaggy Dog - a newly rediscovered work from the master playwright

19:00    Close


12:00    Out In the Open - Roy Marsden stars in this 1983 play

13:00    The Bill - Free Wheel - an excellently scripted P. J. Hammond episode, produced by Peter Cregeen and starring Lizzy McInnerny and Liz Gebhardt

13:30    Thirty Minute Theatre - Scarborough

14:00    Joe Orton's play Funeral Games from 1968

15:00    Two Per Cent - 1983 play by Alma Cullen

16:00    The Houseman's Word - Glenn Chandler's first play, said to have inspired Taggart

16:30    A Touch of the Casanovas - comic play starring Frankie Howerd, in the style of Up Pompeii!

17:30    The Bill - The Short Straw. The highest rated episode of the series under the helm of Michael Chapman

18:00    Detective - Patrick Troughton is Jasper Shrig

19:00    Close                                       

All material at Kaleidoscope events is screened with the permission of the copyright holders

Programmes and timings may be subject to change before the day

Guests appear subject to professional and personal commitments

In 2005, Kaleidoscope is supporting the Royal National Lifeboat Institution once again

3rd January 2005

A very Happy New Year to you all!

Can you believe it's now ten years since Voyager was first broadcast?

2005 is going to be a very interesting - and expensive - year for loyal Star Trek fans. There are only a couple more Voyager sets to release now (due in March and April). By the end of the year Paramount will have released all four seasons of Enterprise on DVD (including episodes that haven't even aired in the US yet), which will bring them right up to date. There are three more movie Special Editions to go (First Contact is due in April, Insurrection in June and Nemesis in November), which will only leave the generally un-loved animated series unreleased. Paramount is going to have to come up with something very special if it wants to keep control of fans' wallets in 2006!

And now...


Hello, and welcome to the first update of 2005.

First off this week is news of a complete series release of The Darling Buds of May from Granada on the 7th of February. Priced at £39.99 RRP this is being advertised as a Special Edition, though what extras it will feature aren’t yet known.

The same week sees the release of two more Midsomer Murders from Acorn (Ring Out Your Dead and Worm in the Bud) at £16.99 RRP each. Also that week we have the complete Water Margin box set out from Fremantle at £99.99 RRP.

Sadly, The Power Game: Series 1 from Network seems to have slipped by a couple of weeks to the 14th of February. However, that week does have Lynda Le Plante’s The Commander box set from Contender, at £34.99 RRP. Also on the 14th comes the two-disc set of Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense - Volume 1 from DD Video at £24.99.

The following week has the fifth series of Lovejoy finally released as a box set from Delta at £39.99 RRP. Whatever caused the delay in releasing this (and the forthcoming sixth and final series) has seemingly been resolved. There’s no word yet as to the complete six-series box set, which was rapidly withdrawn from sale last year. Watch this space…

The 14th of February also has an Amazon exclusive release of CSI Miami - Complete Season 1 from Momentum at £59.99 RRP, and the 5 disc Wire in the Blood - The Complete 1st & 2nd Series box set from Revelation at £29.99 RRP. If tales of rape and murder don’t tickle your fancey on Valentine’s Day, Touchstone’s The English Patient – Special Edition should do the trick, even though it carries a surprisingly high RRP of £22.99 (That’s only two pounds less than Warner Home Video’s four-disc, completely-restored Gone With The Wind set, due on February the 7th).

On to the 7th of March, and the third series of Butterflies is released by Acorn, at £24.99 (the fourth series is due for release on the 11th of April). That week also sees two more Acorn releases of Foyle's War (The French Drop / Enemy Fire and They Fought in the Fields / War of Nerves), both at £24.99 each. We also see a special edition release of the animation Pocahontas from Disney at £21.99 RRP.

The fourth series Cheers will be released by Paramount on the 28th of March at £34.99 RRP,  alongside the BBC’s I Am Not an Animal at £15.99. Extras on the set include Behind the scenes; Improvisation footage; Early design of characters; Test animation sequence and Rehearsal footage.

The 4th of April has Stargate Atlantis - Volume 2 out from MGM at £19.99 RRP.

A week later the Special Edition two-disc release of The Amityville Horror comes out, with a raft of extras including Dr Hans Holzer’s Introduction to the Audio Commentary; For God’s Sake Get Out; History’s Mysteries – Amityville: The Haunting; History’s Mysteries – Amityville: Horror or Hoax; Theatrical Trailer; Radio Spot – The First Night; Radio Spot – The Fifth Night; Radio Spot – The Tenth Night; Radio Spot – The Fifteenth Night; Radio Spot – You’ll Never Forget; Radio Spot – The Last Night and Radio Spot – Running for their Lives.

The 11th of April promises a complete series release of Paradise Postponed (from Acorn?) at £59.99 RRP. There is also a Part One release on the same day at £19.99 RRP. Two further Acorn releases of Midsomer Murders are out that day, too: Murder on St Malley's Day and A Talent for Life, at £16.99 RRP each.

A month later, on the 9th of May, Acorn will release a complete three-series box set release of the 1970s BBC production Wodehouse Playhouse (starring John Alderton and Pauline Collins ), with an RRP of £59.99. In common with many of Acorn’s box set releases, each of the series will be on sale separately on a monthly basis, with Series 1 available on the same date, at £19.99 RRP.

Again from Acorn (lots of news from them this week!) is word that the classic series The Pallisers is due for release in a complete three-series box set (provisionally set for the 7th of March – price TBA).

Now onto a summary of the week’s new bargains, and they are numerous. All the major online retailers have New Year sales taking place, with some of the more obvious current price reductions flagged-up over on the Offers page.

Here are a few of the good ‘uns…

Amazon have all the Star Trek TNG and DS9 box sets on offer at £32.97 each, The Complete Band of Brothers at £27.97 (£32.02 off), the Indiana Trilogy box set at £23.97 (thanks to nebiroth for posting about that one), and the thirty-one-disc monster set of Poirot for only £104.97 (£95.02 off!). Amazon also have The Power Game Series 1 from Network up for pre-order at £29.99 (£10.00 off). Caution is advised when considering the Poirot box set, though: could Granada be lining up a re-mastered set, like they’re doing with the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series?

Benson’s World has the complete Good Life box set from Acorn up for pre-order for £59.95 (£20.04 off).

Streets Online have a few good offers: Doctor Who - Ghost Light has been reduced further, and is now only £6.00 (£13.99 off); Coupling Series 4 is £6.99 (£13.00 off); Night of the Big Heat is £4.99 (£11 off); the Daredevil Special Edition is £4.99 (£18.00 off) and the feature-packed Once Upon A Time In The West is £5.99 (£14.00 off).

CD Wow! are continuing with their ‘cheapest R2 Voyager offer’ with Star Trek: Voyager – Season 5 now available for only £49.99 (£35.00 off).

Choices Direct is offering the complete Michael Palin Collection at £59.99 (£20.00 off) and The Waltons: Season 1 at £29.99 (£10.00 off).

Play are currently offering Bugs – The Complete Series box set for only £29.99 (£10.00 off -thanks to Richard Spurr for letting us know about that); the Hellraiser: Lament Configuration box set at £14.99 (£20.00 off) and The Parent Trap at £7.99 (£8.00 off).

That’s it for now, so a happy and prosperous 2005 to you all. Till next time, ciao.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

Due on January 3rd.

Unless explicitly stated, DVD screen captures used in the reviews are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to be accurate representations of the DVD image.   While screen captures are generally in their correct aspect ratio, there will often have been changes made to the resolution, contrast, hue and sharpness, to optimise them for web display.

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