Beauty and The Beast Sn 1

First aired on TV between 1987 and 1988, the first season of Beauty and the Beast finally makes its way to UK DVD. This tragedy-tinged, romantic drama series stars “Terminator” and Chuck hard-case Linda Hamilton and “Hellboy” himself, Ron Perlman. Hamilton is Catherine Chandler, a well-to-do New York lawyer who is savagely assaulted by thugs, and rescued in the nick of time by a mysterious cloaked figure. Catherine’s saviour is Vincent, a bizarre, towering being who is half cat, half man.

He lives in a secret sanctuary deep under the city along with his mentoring father, Jacob (Roy Dotrice – Space: 1999, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) and numerous other folk, all of whom favour the security and tranquillity of their strange subterranean abode rather than the dangerous ‘real world’ above. Scarred and nearly blinded by the attack, Catherine has a chance to become emotionally attached to Vincent before the bandages come off and she finally sees him for the first time.

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Doctor Who: Revisitations 2

They’ve been out on DVD before – “The Seeds of Death”, “Carnival of Monsters” and “Resurrection of the Daleks”, starring Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, and Peter Davison respectively, last hitting shop shelves between 2002 and 2003. That’s a long time ago in technology terms, and there is no denying the continuing appetite for all things Doctor Who.  With little being able to be enhanced by doing Blu-ray releases of such archive stories, it’s new content that is the key to repackaging.

Spruce up as much as can be done by newly remastering the episodes, utilising advances in technology and technique. Find new and interesting angles for the supporting features that will lure in the fans for a ‘double dip’. Price the packages keenly so that you make the purchase worthwhile even if the fans are only buying for the new DVD extras.  Niche marketing to a niche audience.

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Shadows of Fear on DVD

Anthology shows are, in retrospect, remembered entirely because of their plots.  Only having the one story to get familiar with the characters involved, it is the situation they find themselves in that is the key to any lasting memory. This is the reason that many such shows are never recalled – we might have vivid memories of what happened, but it’s another matter entirely trying to recall which series that plot nestled within.

And so it is with Shadows of Fear.  A Thames TV production from the early 1970s, it only ran for 11 episodes. These are all more like stage plays being televised rather than anything developed away from the confines of standing sets. There are some excellent stories here, with fine performances.  However, it has to be said that an overall assessment would have to file this show as ‘patchy’.

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Lexx: Complete Collection

Recent space-faring sci-fi series have tended to be either stuffy or dark, gritty and grown-up. Lexx is different. It is a Canadian-German co-production that lasted four seasons between 1997 and 2002, and features a whole host of psychedelic, risqué, funny and thoroughly eccentric adventures. Widespread gore and sexual references mean it is not for kids, but rather for adults who want to let their hair down.

The Lexx of the title is a living, thinking insectoid spaceship grown by His Shadow, the evil, hooded ruler The Cluster, a league of 20,000 planets. It was supposed to a Death Star-style weapon for destroying entire worlds, but like The Liberator in Blake’s 7, it is stolen by a small band of miscreants searching for a new home and who encounter all manner of weird, wonderful and generally disturbing races and characters.

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Bulman Series 1 on DVD

George Kitchener Bulman begins the series that would mark his final televisual escapades with the release of the first season of Bulman.  The character began in The XYY Man, was refined a little more with Strangers, before becoming one of the quirkiest characters in the detective business that has ever been seen on British television.  Don Henderson became one of our national treasures from breathing life into him.

It’s more by pressure from others that Bulman, just retired from the force, finds himself as an enquiry agent, with the strict limitation that he will not tackle divorce cases.  All he really wants to do is run a ‘clock hospital’, where time pieces of all descriptions can be brought back to life by his delicate touch.  That is until Lucy McGinty (Siobhan Redmond), the daughter of another legendary copper, bails from university and wants to use her interest in criminology to become Bulman’s assistant.

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