ARCHIVED NEWS - 8th - 14th AUGUST 2005


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11th August 2005

Granada Ventures will release the well-received $30m CGI animated version of Captain Scarlet (or, to give it its official title, Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet), on October the 17th.

The series will be available as a four-disc box set, including all thirteen episodes. There will also be four individual-disc releases, with the first four episodes making up Volume One released on the same day.

Extras for the series will include "audio commentary by creator Gerry Anderson, additional episode commentary by David Lane and Wayne Forester, a behind-the-scenes documentary narrated by Captain Scarlet, Motion capture featurette, CITV idents, series 1 trailer and character and craft stills gallery".

The discs will be presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

RRP for the box set will be £29.99. RRP for Volume 1 is £7.99. Here are the sleeve images - scanned from a colour photocopy, so apologies for the duff quality...


The psychological thriller Class of '76, which stars Robert Carlyle as a detective investigating an apparent suicide. The film, which co-stars Daniel Mays and Claire Skinner, was directed by Ashley Pearce. (Oddly enough, I can't find this film listed under any of these participants at the IMDb). No technical details or details of any bonus features (if there are any) were released. The RRP is £15.99.

Class of '76 joins the following Class of... films, according to the IMDb


Class of '06

Class of '61

Class of '63

Class of '74 (a.k.a. Gabriella)

Class of '74 (known as Class of '75 in tardy territories!)

Class of 83

Class of 1984

Class of '86

Class of '91

Class of '92

Class of '96 (1993)

Class of '96 (1995)

Class of 1999

and, of course, Class of 1999 II

An odd new Peter Kay DVD, Driven To Distraction, will be released by Granada Ventures on October the 3rd.

The disc will include the "comic strip drama" Two Minutes, one of Kay's earliest roles, in which he plays a getaway driver (hence the title of the disc). Two Minutes also stars Matthew Dunster and Pearce Quiggley.

The disc will also include footage of Kay in his recent role in Coronation Street.  The RRP is £5.99.


10th August 2005

Revelation Films will release the 1990s version of The Tomorrow People on DVD on September the 12th.

The five-disc set will feature the entire series (five complete stories, spread over twenty-five episodes), plus the series' unaired pilot episode. Other bonus features include previously-unseen behind-the-scenes footage; cast biographies; character analysis; A Geek's Guide; Episode Guide and Trivia; Photo' Gallery; Homo Novus - A New Beginning (Background Series Analysis); New Series Locations; and Hidden Footage.

The series, which starred Kristian Schmid, Christian Tessier and 28 Days Later's Naomie Harris, also featured a wealth of notable guest stars, including Jean Marsh, Roger Sloman, Christopher Benjamin, Christopher Lee, Elizabeth Spriggs, Robert Lang, Danny John-Jules, Sharon Duce, Clive Merrison and Patricia Hayes.

The set will be exclusively available from Virgin Mega Stores, with an RRP of £34.99. A Roobarb's DVD Forum thread about this release can be found here. Here's a look at the sleeve artwork...

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the quirky political drama The Edukators on September the 26th. I wish I could tell you more about the disc, and its contents, but Fox's press release was designed to look like a ransom demand, and it didn't contain any substantial info.

Universal will release a three-disc version of Sir Ridley Scott's box office smash hit Gladiator on September the 12th, featuring a version of the film that's seventeen minutes longer than the original theatrical cut.

The set will feature a new commentary track, by Scott and, making his commentary track debut, Russell Crowe. The set will also feature a feature-length documentary, Strength and Honor: Creating The World of Gladiator (sic). The set will come with an especially-created illustrated booklet, featuring excerpts and images from Scott's Gladiator companion book How It All Started.

The main disc will feature the extended version of the film, with an introduction by Scott; the new commentary track; and Are You Not Entertained? trivia subtitles.

The second disc will feature the Strength and Honor documentary, which is broken down into seven sections: Tales of the Scribes: Story Development ("Exploring the story’s origins in ancient history and its challenging journey from script to screen"); The Tools of War: Weapons ("An informative featurette on the design and construction of the battle-hardened vehicles and weapons seen in Gladiator"); Attire of the Realm: Costume Design ("A fascinating look at how the film’s Oscar-winning costumes were designed and created"); The Heat of Battle: Production Journals ("A series of three immersive featurettes taking the viewer on-set and deeper into the world of Gladiator than ever before, including detailed segments on Germania, Zucchabar and Rome"); The Glory of Rome: Visual Effects ("A detailed overview of Gladiator’s Oscar-winning visual effects and how the filmmakers recreated ancient Rome"); Shadows and Dust: Resurrecting Proximo ("With the untimely passing of actor Oliver Reed, the filmmakers had to scramble to digitally salvage his unforgettable (yet incomplete) final performance. Here’s how.") and Echoes in Eternity: Release and Impact ("A look back at the film’s phenomenal release and reaction, including its resurrection of the historical epic and a hint of things to come").

The third disc will focus on Image and Design ("This section details the preparatory elements needed to bring the story to life including storyboard segments that show the entire layout for the action–filled sequences, plus an impressive selection of original illustrations and production stills, costume designs and more"), and is broken down into twelve sections:

Production Design Primer: Arthur Max
Production Designer Arthur Max gives viewers an overview of the challenges and responsibilities in creating the look for a massive, realistic epic such as Gladiator.

Production Design Gallery
Conceptual art, set designs, location photos and other support material.

Storyboard Demonstration: Sylvain Despretz
Conceptual Artist Sylvain Despretz discusses the importance of storyboarding and demonstrates his craft by drawing and inking two all-new Gladiator boards on-camera exclusively for this DVD release.

Storyboard Gallery
A comprehensive collection of the film’s beautifully rendered storyboard art.

Storyboard-to-Film Comparisons
Multi-angle comparisons with optional audio commentary will give viewers insight into how the shot design for the following sequences were conceived:
 Germania Battlefront
 Chain Fight
 The Battle of Carthage

A sampling of Sir Ridley Scott’s own storyboards from the film.

Costume Design Gallery
An in-depth section dedicated to Oscar winner Janty Yates’ celebrated costume illustrations.

Photo Galleries
 Behind The Scenes
 Special Shoot: Promotional Portraits

Supplemental Archive
A collection of rare footage and abandoned sequences.

Abandoned Sequences and Deleted Scenes
 Alternate Title Design (Featurette & Final Sequence)
 Blood Vision (Storyboards & Outtakes, with Optional Commentary)
 Rhino Fight (Storyboards & CG Test, with Optional Commentary)
 Choose Your Weapon (Newly-Discovered Deleted Scene)

VFX Expolations: Germania and Rome
A “nuts & bolts” breakdown of the computer generated work that went into creating the world of Gladiator.

Trailers and TV Spots
Trailers and other creative materials developed for the film’s original theatrical release.

The film will be presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Note that this version will not feature a DTS track. Fans of the format will want to hang on to their existing copies.

The set has an RRP of £19.99, which seems quite reasonable, considering that the old two-disc edition can be picked up for peanuts.

Here's the very impressive box art...


Several forthcoming 2 Entertain / Cinema Club dates have changed:

Drop The Dead Donkey - Season 2 - was 24/10, now 10/10/05

Lost Highway - was 7/11, now 2006

Ruth Rendell Box Set - was 7/11, now 24/10/05

Ballykissangel - Season 2 - was 7/11, now 10/10/05

Hamish McBeth - Season 2 - was 5/12, now 2006

Are You Being Served - Season 3 - was 5/12, now 2006

Chef - Season 3 - was 5/12, now 2006

On The Up - Season 3 - was 5/12, now 2006

The Twilight Zone - Season 3 - was 26/12, now 12/12/05

The fourth season of Smallville will be released on DVD on October the 10th.

The six-disc set will include twenty-two episodes, including those that introduce Lois Lane to the series, and those that feature guest stars V's Michael Ironside and Superman: The Movie's Margot Kidder.

As usual, the episodes will be presented in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Special features include featurettes Inside The Writer's Room and Being Lois Lane; a selection of commentary tracks; and "a host" of additional scenes. The set has an RRP of £54.99.

8th August 2005

Let's start the week with a new CD review. It's of BBC Audio's release of The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which features four episodes from the series of pastiche radio plays, starring Clive Merrison as Sherlock Holmes. The second volume in the series has been available on CD for over a year, and now it's finally been joined by the first. Click here, or on the sleeve image, left, to go to the review page.

The Incoming page has been updated by Ceri, who has added lots of new titles, and other bits and pieces of information scavenged from various unofficial and semi-official sources. New listings include Gerry Anderson's Lavender Castle, the latest Network announcements and information (including Bless This House and the superb children's series The Feathered Serpent), a string of new Ronnie Barker BBC titles, more Seinfeld, and a limited edition Blackadder - Complete Collection box set.

There are no new competitions today, mainly because there's hardly anything interesting coming out this week (and the few interesting titles that are being released today, including the new Public Eye DVD set, and a new batch of BBC comedy titles, including more Dad's Army, are being released by companies who don't actively support the site). The current competitions will run for another week.

I have some bad news for UK Twilight Zone fans who were expecting that Cinema Club's forthcoming DVD box set would be a facsimile of the US set.

I've been sent a set of the discs, and several of the bonus features that were listed in the accompanying press release are missing: none of the episodes have isolated music tracks (a blow for film music fans, who could have listened to scores by Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann, amongst others); the "Original Unaired Pilot Version of Where Is Everybody with Rod Serling's Network Pitch" is missing, and there are no "Rod Serling Promo's for Next Week's Show". This is in addition to the bonus features that are on the Region 1 version, but were never announced as being on the R2 version (the radio adaptations that recently aired on BBC7, for example).

Cinema Club have confirmed that these features won't be on the UK discs, apologising for sending "the old press release" (not to mention an email confirming that the discs would have isolated scores).

Speaking of disappointing DVD releases, the Hancock's Half Hour disc that's being released today has been blighted by the inclusion of a heavily-edited version of one of the episodes, The New Nose.

The version on the disc is one that was apparently originally prepared for a repeat broadcast in the mid-80s.

Nowadays the consumer base for archive television material is more discriminating, and generally prefers things left in their original format (this includes things like retaining advert bumpers, on ITV shows). Sadly, the re-appearance of the edited version of The New Nose is somewhat indicative of the lack of care that the BBC puts into some of their classic comedy releases (which any other company might regard as their crown jewels). The Hancock discs are especially disappointing in this regard. They could be immeasurably improved by the addition of VidFire processing (as some of the early Dad's Army episodes were), and they certainly deserve to be prepared by someone who knows enough about the series to spot an episode that's missing a minute-and-a-half of footage. A Roobarb's DVD Forum thread containing details of the cuts can be found here.

The Conviction DVD announced on Friday is being released by a company called inD DVD (their marketing department is apparently run by someone called SanDeE*).

The same company (which, in order to annoy them, I will henceforth refer to as inD DVD) is releasing the acclaimed Danish marionette movie Strings, on September the 5th.

This Dark Crystal-style epic fantasy film features the voices of James McAvoy, Derek Jacobi, Samantha Bond and Julian Glover.

The disc will feature an exclusive never-before-seen documentary, The World of Strings; a statement from director Anders Ronnow-Klarlund; a stills gallery; a trailer; and cast biographies. The film will have an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. There's no indication that the disc will feature the original Danish audio track (or English subtitles). No other technical details were announced. There's a good website for the film here. The RRP is £15.99.

Blue Dolphin will release the two compendium films Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet and Ten Minutes Older: The Cello on September the 12th. The two films feature fifteen ten-minute films about the nature of time, directed by luminaries like Mike Figgis, Michael Radford, Claire Dennis, Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki, Spike Jones, Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog.

No technical details were announced. Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet and The Cello has an RRP of £17.99.

An "official bootleg" DVD of the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit gig A Night of Legendary Comedy, titled Alan Partridge Presents The Cream of British Comedy, will be released by Sanctuary Visual Entertainment on September the 26th.

The event was held at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2004, and helped to raise £750,000 for the charity, which has Roger Daltrey CBE as its patron.

Hosted by Steve Coogan in his Alan Partridge guise, the event also featured Ricky Gervais, Simon Pegg, Rob Brydon, Rich Hall, Noel Fielding and "guest stars".

The disc will feature an exclusive fifteen minute Alan Partridge Radio Norwich interview with Roger Daltrey; a twelve-minute Teenage Cancer Trust promotional video; and five two-minute Alan's Top Teen Toons VH1 interstitials. The RRP is £19.99.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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