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Alex G

Alex G

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 00:00

The Professionals MKIII winners

The Professional MkIII - now available on DVD and Blu-rayWhat was your favourite DVD or Blu-ray release of 2015? We’re going to find out soon when the results of this year’s Cult TV Awards, voted for by YOU, are made public. Meanwhile, Network Distributing asked our very own Alex J Geairns to pick which of their releases this year was his favourite.

Just recently made available on DVD are the remastered versions of the episodes that make up The Professionals MkIII – the third batch of episodes from the classic action series which starred Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson (in a big change from his role in the original Upstairs Downstairs). It’s this title that makes it to the top of Alex’s chart, and to celebrate we had three copies (you could choose whether you wanted a DVD or Blu-ray version) available to give away in a prize competition. It also comes with a hefty book specifically about the production of these stories from renowned archive excavator Andrew Pixley. This was definitely something to help cheer up your festive season!

Monday, 09 November 2015 00:00

The Man from the Future on UK DVD

Man from the Future - out now on UK DVDReleased in its native Brazil as “O Homem do Futuro”, the plot of this neat little tale follows Zero (Wagner Moura), a madcap scientist, whose life changed 20 years ago (in 1991) when he was publicly humiliated by being covered in honey and feathers and hoisted above the 'prom night' audience at his college. He believes the stunt was masterminded by Helena (Alinne Moraes), a then-first-year physics student, who he considered up until that point to be the love of his life. In the present day 2011, he is a top boffin, currently using a very expensive particle converter to try and create a revolutionary free energy source.

In order to prove his theories, and the equipment, he decides to put himself at the centre of the experiment event to show it is safe. However, things don’t go according to plan, and inexplicably he finds himself travelling back in time to the worst day of his life. The dilemma for him is whether he should change the course of history, and indeed his destiny, in order to get a happier life and end up with Helena. However, the result is not what he had hoped for, and in some ways he has made things worse. Against all odds, this ends up as a feel-good foreign language slice of SF which is a credit to Brazilian cinema.

Monday, 09 November 2015 00:00

Warship - Series 2 comes to DVD

Warship - Series 2 comes to DVDIt is with some sense of relief that I can report that Warship is back on DVD with its second series. The first series came out in September 2014, and I have to say I actually pre-ordered my copy of that title, such was my anticipation for seeing the show again. There are certain fictions that stay with you, and the cobwebs of time do nothing to blur your vision of what it was actually like to watch a show. Storylines and characters might fade in your memory, but the feeling of being a viewer of such a format endures. Such is the case with this series, and from viewing that initial release, the memory hadn’t cheated. This was good stuff, well made.

The fictional HMS Hero, F42, featured across all four seasons, clocking up 45 episodes in its run between 1973 and 1977. With some studio-based scenes intermingled with footage filmed in various locations including Gibraltar, Malta, Hong Kong, Singapore and Norway, this was a show that painted on a wide canvas. The episodes were written to reflect the then-contemporary real life in the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines. There is no doubt that this was one work of fiction which did no harm at all to military recruitment in its era.

Monday, 09 November 2015 00:00

Dr Terror's House of Horrors Blu-ray

Dr Terror's House of Horrors - out now as a limited edition Blu-ray SteelbookIt soon becomes a crowded train carriage in the opening scene of this anthology movie. First we have well-known DJ Alan Freeman sorting himself out, before Neil McCallum joins him. Then Roy Castle (a late substitution for what would have been Acker Bilk), followed by Christopher Lee, and Donald Sutherland. Finalising those in there is Peter Cushing, complete with Doctor’s bag carrying the initials ‘WRS’. He drops it, and it spills open, spreading a deck of Tarot cards across the floor. Not something his fellow passengers are familiar with, but this is Dr Schreck, who offers to foretell the futures of the five other passengers.

This is a 1965 British horror classic from Amicus Productions, who would go on to spearhead the two Dalek movies of the 1960s, both of which followed this one. In charge was Milton Subotsky, and here we have a digitally restored release on Blu-ray from Odeon Entertainment, with a smattering of superior special features to give the full flavour and importance to this star-laden movie. It’s a positive joy to watch, and the ‘star spotting’ on offer here is prolific, even beyond the half a dozen names already mentioned.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:00

Alfred Hitchock Presents - DVDs 1-7

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Seasons 1 to 7 - out now on UK DVDWhile his cinematic work is well known, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS was a half-hour TV anthology series which demonstrated he was also a master of small screen tales. All seven seasons are out now as a box set containing 35 DVDs, and thanks to Fabulous Films we had a copy up for grabs, as well as a couple of sets of Season One for runners-up (961 mins over six DVDs). All you had to do to be in with a chance was to VOTE in this year’s Cult TV Awards.

Between October 1955 and July 1965, Hitchcock used the simple words “Good evening…” to introduce 268 timeless stories of horror, mystery and intrigue, 17 of which Hitchcock himself directed. Screening on CBS and NBC, the show received three Emmy awards as well as a Golden Globe for Television Achievement, and set the gold standard for all television mystery series to come. In the words of Alfred Hitchcock himself, it “brought murder back into the home - where it belongs”.

Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

Tower of Evil - UK Blu-ray release

Tower of Evil - out now on UK Blu-ray and DVDA deserted lighthouse on the fog-shrouded Snape Island sets the scene, where two fishermen (George Coulouris and Jack Watson) moor their boat and begin to explore. They chance upon three naked, dead bodies before they find themselves attacked by Penny Read (Candace Glendenning – Rashel in Blake’s 7 “Weapon”), a crazed woman. When she is taken back to the mainland, she reveals little due to her mind having switched off from the terror she has endured. However, an ancient artefact found with her may provide a clue as to what happened. An expedition is quickly organised to try and solve the series of violent and sexual murders.

From horror producer Richard Gordon (“Devil Doll”, “Horror Hospital” and "Inseminoid") 1972’s “Tower Of Evil” is known Stateside as “Horror On Snape Island”, and also found itself released almost a decade later as “Beyond The Fog”, suggesting (wrongly) that it was a sequel to John Carpenter’s movie. With a selection of engaging extras, Odeon Entertainment’s Blu-ray release gives the production another boost for a modern audience.

Monday, 26 October 2015 00:00

ITV 60 DVD Set - Classic TV primer

ITV60 - celebrating 60 years of ITV on 12 DVDs - out nowStuck for a Christmas gift for someone who has just got into television history, and wants a perfect primer? Then consider the brand new boxset “ITV60” from Network. This 12-DVD set includes 60 episodes, features a mix of both classics and rarities from the archives, including some programmes thought lost forever.

This set contains previously unreleased episodes of Crossroads, Rainbow, Tiswas, Coronation Street, World in Action, The Bill and Whicker's World – together with some exceptionally rare items from the Associated Rediffusion archive, namely No Hiding Place, Mystery Bag, Crane and Our Man at St Mark’s. With each disc themed to provide an ‘evening's entertainment’, this dip into the archives provides a trip down Memory Lane as well as a timely reminder of some of the best television of the last sixty years.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:00

Voting CLOSED in CTV Awards 2015

Vote in the Cult TV Awards 2015 and you could win Alfred Hitchcock Presents - The Complete CollectionVoting has just concluded for the Cult TV Awards 2015, with a trio of incentives up for grabs, and the First Prize was the entire seven seasons, over 35 DVDs, of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS in a superb box set, with a RRP of £149.99! Following the nominations phase of the Awards, where we asked you who should go in each of the five pigeonholes to be in with a chance to win each of the coveted gongs, it was up to YOU to decide who the lucky winners would be, Thanks to our good friends at Fabulous Films, we have huge incentives for you to take the time to tell us who should win.  Remember - if you didn’t vote, you can't now complain about who has won!

Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an anthology series which features guest stars such as Steve McQueen, Vincent Price, Jessica Tandy, William Shatner, Roger Moore, Walther Matthau, Burt Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, Charles Bronson, Diana Dors, Sydney Pollock, Leslie Neilsen, Bette Davis and Robert Redford. Who could possibly resist a running time of 6,679 mins approx, which accounts for ALL the episodes, including the 1962 story “The Sorcerer's Apprentice” which was not broadcast by NBC (they felt the ending, involving the “sawing a woman in half” trick was too gruesome)? Second and third prizes were Season One on its own, with a RRP of £29.99 per set, 961 mins over six DVDs!

Sunday, 18 October 2015 23:00

80,000 Suspects - Blu-ray and DVD

80000 Suspects - out now on Blu-ray and DVDOne of BAFTA-winning director Val Guest's most memorable films, “80,000 Suspects” is now available in a brand-new High Definition transfer from the original film elements. It’s also in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio on this new Blu-ray and DVD release from Network. Hitting screens in the UK in 1963, with the tale of a crisis which begins one New Year’s Eve, Richard Johnson (Hugh Drummond in “Deadlier than the Male” and “Some Girls Do”) and Claire Bloom (a BAFTA winner for “Shadowlands”) star as marriage-on-the-rocks couple Dr Steven and Julie Monk. The duo would go on to star in Robert Wise’s “The Haunting”, but here they are at the centre of a smallpox epidemic in the city of Bath.

Dr Monk suspects there’s a very serious problem when he is asked to examine a patient with unusual symptoms, after the good Doctor pops by the hospital following a party which has been uncomfortable at best – and he’d only gone in to pick up a camera! The results come back from ‘the lab’, and it is indeed his worst nightmare. Alongside all this, there are complications of a soap opera variety, which entwine with the medical plot as a love triangle plays out alongside the traumatic events.

Monday, 05 October 2015 23:00

The Avengers Series 6 on Blu-ray

The Avengers Series 6 out on Blu-ray nowThe Avengers – The Complete Series 6 on Blu-ray, with a RRP of £79.99, was the incentive prize for nominating your favourites in the Cult TV Awards 2015. Thanks to Studiocanal we had three sets to give away, with the winners chosen from all those who gave us their nominations, thus helping continue to make our Awards truly representative of UK television fandom.

This was the final season of the original series of stories featuring John Steed. It begins with the departure of Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel, who hands over to Linda Thorson’s Tara King. Production difficulties meant these episodes were of varying quality, but when it gets it right we can view some of the best episodes of The Avengers EVER! The troubled beginning to this mega-season of 33 episodes, rescued by the return of producers Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell, followed Cathy-Gale-era producer John Bryce taking the helm for just three episodes. 

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