Tour of Duty Seaon 1 on DVD

Tour of Duty is a thrilling and thought-provoking American TV series along the lines of Band of Brothers and The Pacific. It concerns a fictional army company’s year-long stretch in the Vietnam War. The year is 1967, and Bravo Company is sent on an assortment of deadly missions to try to overcome the Viet Cong (VC), North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and allied Communist forces, who in turn are trying to defeat the government in South Vietnam.

Bravo Company is led by the inexperienced Lieutenant Goldman (Stephen Caffrey), under whom is Sergeant Zeke Anderson (Terence Knox – St Elsewhere), a rugged veteran with three tours already under his belt. The rest of the company is made up of seven or eight ‘cherries’, regular cast members with guest stars joining them on individual episodes. Their CO is Captain Wallace (Kevin Conroy – the voice of animated Batman since the early ‘90s). Over the course of 21 episodes in this, the first of three seasons, the soldiers are really put through the grinder, testing their physical and mental abilities to the very limit.

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Pathfinders/City Beneath Sea

Between 1960 and 1963, ABC produced the Pathfinders in Space Trilogy and City Beneath the Sea Duology, a couple of ground-breaking children’s SF serials that pre-empted Doctor Who and took young viewers on incredible journeys into the furthest reaches of space and the murky, unexplored depths of the sea. Links to Who include Sydney Newman as producer and writers Malcolm Hulke (Pathfinders) and John Lucarotti (City). Pathfinders was also co-written by Eric Paice (The Avengers, Star Maidens).

The central concept of both black and white serials concerns a small but intrepid crew of adults and children venturing into the unknown and encountering all manner of technological, environmental and espionage-related disasters but somehow always managing to pull together, keep a positive attitude and survive. Prolific TV actor Gerald Flood (Kamelion in Peter Davison era Doctor Who) headlines in both serials, though as two slightly different characters.

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Two Of A Kind Series 1 DVD

There has been some, shall we say, ‘historical revisionism’ concerning Morecambe & Wise. Many forget that their first TV series was actually with the BBC, a disastrous format called Running Wild in 1954, which failed to build on their established live variety act, instead giving them material that simply just wasn’t them. They’d been a duo since 1941, and it took until 1962 for impresario Bernard Delfont to realise it was time to give them another chance on the telly.

Selling the idea to his brother Lew Grade, Delfont got the show made by ATV with the title Two of a Kind. Writers Dick Hills and Sid Green were brought in, fresh from having broken the mould with their work with Anthony Newley on The Strange World of Gurney Slade. The quartet hit it off, the writers even joining in with some of the sketches, and the portents of things to come were established in their first series, out now on DVD.

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Danger Mouse: 30th Birthday

In his mind, he is the greatest secret agent the world has ever known. He’s certainly one of Britain’s best loved animated characters is immortalised in Danger Mouse – The Complete Collection 30th Anniversary Edition, a 10-disc DVD set featuring every single episode and, for the first time ever, in the correct screening order. The collection also comes with a brand new extra feature exclusive to this release, the never-seen-before “Danger Mouse And Friends”.

First broadcast on 28th September 1981, David Jason voiced the intrepid hero. Terry Scott was his faithful but bumbling assistant Penfold. The series was an instant hit with children and adults alike, and has since become a national institution. Indeed, Danger Mouse joined the Hall of Fame Animated Character pantheon way back in the Cult TV Awards back in 2001. The show’s popularity was confirmed when it ranked third in Channel 4’s poll of the “100 Greatest Kids’ TV Shows”.

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Sergeant Cork: Series 2 DVD

We are transported back to 1890s London, where Sergeant Cork (John Barrie) works for Scotland Yard’s recently formed Criminal Investigation Department. Astute and years ahead of his time, he enthusiastically employs the pioneering techniques of modern forensic science to investigate crimes born of poverty and deprivation, passion, vengeance and greed, ably assisted by the youthful and equally dedicated Detective Bob Marriott (William Gaunt).

Devised by Ted Willis, also the creator of Dixon of Dock Green, it’s something of a miracle to see this entire second series made available on DVD.  For years, four of these eight episodes were believed to not exist, but it seems to be that they have been unearthed from somewhere. There’s certainly a change in quality from the known-of 16mm Telerecordings that were listed in the vaults, but it’s a delight to see all of them present and correct!

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