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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Magnum PI - The Complete Collection now available on UK Blu-rayTom Selleck will forever be known as Magnum PI, a Vietnam veteran who leaves the Navy to take up position as a private eye and security adviser to famous author Robin Masters, never seen but heard on occasion and voiced in the main by the iconic Orson Welles. Set in the picture postcard region of Oahu, Hawaii, with adventures first broadcast between 1980 and 1988, he lives the high life in Master’s beachfront mansion, driving his Ferrari, and taking private detective cases. AND YOU COULD HAVE WON A COPY OF THE COMPLETE COLLECTION OF THE SERIES ON BLU-RAY IN OUR PRIZE COMPETITION, fully restored and in high definition!

In charge of the Robin Masters estate is Jonathan Quayle Higgins III (John Hillerman), a British ex-Army Sergeant Major, with two Doberman Pinschers, Zeus and Apollo, known as ‘the lads’ helping keep order. There’s a buddy-feel to it all, with two fellow veterans also being ever-presents in the series - Theodore ‘TC’ Calvin (Roger E Mosley), who runs the ‘Island Hoppers’ helicopter charter service, and Orville Wilbur Richard ‘Rick’ Wright (Larry Manetti – the only one of the four leads without a moustache), who owns ‘Rick’s Place’, a local bar, the name inspired by movie “Casablanca”.

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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Miami Vice - The Complete Collection - out now on UK Blu-rayMiami Vice is a 1980s cop show featuring one of the most charismatic detective duos ever – James ‘Sonny’ Crocket and Ricardo Tubbs. Crockett (Don Johnson – “Django Unchained”, Nash Bridges) is an eagle-eyed Southerner with immaculately coiffured hair, linen suits and a sleek Ferrari. Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas – “Sparkle”, Lance Vance in “GTA: Vice City”) is a streetwise, medallion-wearing New Yorker driven to Miami by vengeance.

Created by Anthony Yerkovich (a writer on Hill Street Blues) and executively produced by Michael Mann (“Heat”, “Manhunter”), the show ran for five seasons and saw early guest performances from the likes of Bruce Willis, Michael Madsen, Viggo Mortensen, Laurence Fishburne and Wesley Snipes. Iconic for both cool and alarming 80s fashionwear, brilliant tunes and flashy vehicles, the show now gets a new lease of life in remastered high-def.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Incredible Hilk - The Complete Collection out now on UK Blu-rayThe Incredible Hulk - The Complete Collection consists of all 82 original episodes from the five seasons of the show (two of them feature-length) and a wave of bonus material which puts the adventures into context. Indeed, creator Kenneth Johnson’s audio commentaries are some of the best single-person narratives that you will ever hear. He describes how he took the comic book out of the comic character, bringing forth a series which appealed as much to women as men. The episode prints are fully restored and high definition in this 16-disc Blu-ray set.

After being exposed to gamma radiation, mild-mannered research scientist David Banner (Bill Bixby) finds extreme anger or stress transforms him into the terrifying and enraged Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). This format draws inspiration from a trio of works from classic literature. Original creator Stan Lee notes the transformed Hulk was inspired by Frankenstein’s monster, while the alter ego of Dr Banner came from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Kenneth Johnson added the element of news hack Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) pursuing the creature. It chimed with iconic 1960s series The Fugitive with its stories of a man forever on the run.

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Ironside - Season 3 on UK DVD - Season 4 also now availableIn August 2015, the first two seasons of Ironside were releases in the UK by Fabulous Films. You can read our review of that release by CLICKING HERE. Now, 15 months later, we get Seasons Three and Four to savour. Our wheelchair-bound former Chief of Police, Robert T Ironside (Raymond Burr) is back with more insightful detective work, and these seasons mark the final ones for one of the quartet of key players – the female lead Barbara Anderson as Eve Whitfield, finishing her 105 of the 199 total episodes, landing an Emmy for her role in 1968.

We get 26 episodes on each season box set this time out, season three having originally aired Stateside from September 1969 to April 1970, and season four from September 1970 to April 1971. Again there are plenty of guest stars to look out for, whose faces will be familiar to many a Cult TV appreciator. The victim of a failed assassination attempt, Ironside was left paralysed from the waist down. He became the head of his own special police unit, aided by a crack team of investigators on the streets of San Francisco, including Sergeant Ed Brown (Don Galloway), and ex-con-turned-assistant Mark Sanger (Don Mitchell).

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Tim Vine - new Tim Timinee DVD now availableIf one-line puns machine-gunned at you are your thing, then time to make an appointment to watch as award-winning British comedian Tim Vine, in a new show where he emerges from a chimney to take the roof off (it says here…). If Dick van Dyke was a stand-up, and from this side of the Atlantic, well, it’s nothing like that at all!  “Tim Timinee Tim Timinee Tim Tim to You” is the latest mix-and-mirth from a man who breaks up the unyielding procession of off-the-wall corner-turning rat-a-tat spiel with silly songs, and one prop after another with a slick and simple pay-off.

This was a sell-out show which took Tim around the country and beyond. Take a deep breath everyone, because there’s a lot to get through. Stand by for a large number of stupid jokes, (and platypuses on poles, plus an interloper). Packed with a range of extras, this is the full-on exposure of the concept, and a breathless experience – if you don’t like one particular joke, another will be along before you have chance to blink, let alone frown.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Spike Milligan - episode of Q series finally come to DVD completeThere’s a reason that Spike Milligan’s TV shows from the late 1960s onwards have faded away from memory. On one level it can be put down to a lack of repeats, but the truth is based on their effective ‘blacklisting’, all down to one social factor which has scared people into silence. Political correctness. Seeing the shows Q5, Q6 and Q7 finally getting a DVD release is symptomatic of the fightback going on across the world at the moment. People are sick to death of being told what views they cannot hold, what language they can and cannot use, and instead being expected to go along with social restrictions which make it nigh-on illegal to have targets for humour.

Milligan adopts equal opportunities on many such targets for his off-the-wall stream-of-consciousness humour. Every religion, race, and political allegiance is verbally machine-gunned. The stupidity of belief systems and cultural actions are exposed to the spotlights which reveal the nature of divide-and-rule that such codes of conduct allow to grow. But the Social Justice Warriors will just focus in on the use of terms which, in this day and age, have been abolished. In effect, in the 21st Century the Q series has suddenly become the tool of revolution. And so it is that this new release from Simply Media allows us to take a snapshot of how sensibilities have changed from those of 1969, 1975 and 1978 respectively.

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Monday, 14 November 2016

The day has finally arrived, and those who have pre-ordered UFO, the first live-action television series from the creators of Thunderbirds, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, are beginning to find the first UK Blu-ray release of the entire run of episodes popping through their letterboxes. The popularity of the show has even caught out Network Distributing as the first print run has sold out, and more are being rushed through to production as we speak. Network’s attention to detail has certainly been a key reason for this – a landmark series in so many ways, the restoration work on UFO is absolutely awe-inspiring, and new for this UK release. Not a film scratch in sight, not a blemish to make you twitch. In these days of Netflix, you can guarantee those who have purchased will be seduced into ‘binge viewing’ like never before.

UFO arrives on UK Blu-ray - and demand is huge

The sensibilities of the series rightly receives a ‘12’ certificate from the BBFC. At the time of first broadcast back in 1970, the ITV network was bemused that the puppet makers had come up with such an adult series. Watching the show now definitely benefits from original production order (for the majority of the run), as we see the characters and situations progress and evolve. Some faces might not stay with us for long, but it makes the show more credible for doing so. What we have here is pure television gold, serious in aspect but bright and colourful in terms of the world view we witness. And all this with the option of listening with a brand new and house-quaking 5.1 surround sound audio track!

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Maid Marian and her Merry Men - Complete Series 1-4 out as a Limited Edition DVD setRe-released as a limited edition DVD box-set (just 3,000 copies), Maid Marian and Her Merry Men is a brilliantly funny, BAFTA-winning re-imagining of the Robin Hood story from Tony Robinson, of Blackadder and Time Team fame. In this version, Maid Marian is the brains behind the band of outlaws who rob from the rich and giving to the poor; Robin by contrast is a dim-witted and rather cowardly tailor with terrible archery skills. AND YOU COULD HAVE WON A COPY OF THE LIMITED EDITION SEASON 1-4 BOX SET IN OUR PRIZE COMPETITION.

Marian is played with gleeful bravado by Kate Lonergan (The Hello Girls, The Bill), with Adam Morris (Genie in the House, Backup) as the bumbling Robin. Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise) is Barrington and he also lends his vocal talents on many of the songs that open the episodes. The final two members of the crew are Rabies (Howard Lew Lewis – Brush Strokes, Chelmsford 123) and Little Ron (Mike Edmonds – “Time Bandits”, Ewok Logray in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”).

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Monday, 07 November 2016

Knight Rider - The Complete Collection now available on Blu-rayTV supremo Glen A Larson followed up hits such as the original Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century with one of his most fondly-remembered smashes: Knight Rider. On the surface, this tale of a man and his car defending the innocent and vulnerable against evil tycoons and corrupt officials might sound a little corny, but not when your star is David Hasselhoff and this is certainly no ordinary car!

Hasselhoff (Baywatch, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”) plays Michael Knight, an ex-cop rescued from near-death and given a new identity under the auspices of a private foundation. His somewhat unorthodox partner is KITT (voiced by William Daniels), aka the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a souped-up Pontiac Firebird Trans Am sporting self-aware and very sarcastic AI, a nearly indestructible shell and a large array of gadgets to help get Michael out of almost any scrape.

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Monday, 07 November 2016

Kes - out now on Blu-rayDavid Bradley (“Hummingbird”, “All Quiet on the Western Front”) stars as Billy Casper, a scruffy young teenager living in a broken, working-class home, and who struggles at school thanks to apathy for education and widespread bullying. Billy finds his calling, however, when he catches sight of some fledgling kestrels and decides to catch one and train it. Having studied falconry, the lad slowly and patiently builds a rapport with his wonderful bird of prey.

Directed by Ken Loach (“The Wind That Shakes the Barley”, “Sweet Sixteen”), the film is shot in a very realistic, natural style that often feels more like a fly-on-the-wall documentary than a work of fiction. The story is based on a novel by Barry Hines (“Threads”, “Looks and Smiles”), and the production won two acting BAFTAs for Bradley and Colin Welland, who plays a teacher sympathetic to Billy’s plight.

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