Top Gear - Apocalypse

Brand new and never seen on TV, “Top Gear Apocalypse” features the usual vehicular mayhem and hilariously irresponsible antics you would expect from the Top Gear team, minus Jeremy Clarkson and The Stig (presumably cowering somewhere with his tail between his legs!). Richard Hammond and James May take us into the world of motoring after a nuclear war, where petrol is sparse and sensible behaviour non-existent.

Breaking this feature-length episode into half a dozen chunks, Hammond and May take us through topics such as how to commute to work in zero-visibility conditions, MOT tests for the apocalyptic age and which cars they would drive if they had the last barrel of petrol... in the world. Our intrepid duo presents the DVD in traditional dead-pan style from the safety of a nuclear bunker, sporting comedy smutty faces and dishevelled hair.

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Rawhide - First Season DVDs

Rawhide is a television legend, even though some may feel they know little about it. As a starting point, here’s a brief quiz round for you: (1) Name any regular character on Rawhide, except Rowdy Yates. (2) Name any actor who appeared in the series, other than Clint Eastwood. (3) Sing the theme tune. Hopefully many of you will already be off to a flying start!

If you're unfamiliar with Rawhide you could be forgiven for thinking it was merely a star vehicle for Clint Eastwood, where he honed his talents to later portray the Man with No Name (interestingly, research indicates the part was originally offered to Eric Fleming).  The series was, in truth, very much an ensemble piece, with Eastwood's youthful and inexperienced ramrod Rowdy Yates a sidekick to trail boss Gil Favor, played by the aforementioned Eric Fleming.

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Goodies 40th Birthday DVD

There has been nothing quite like The Goodies.  Unfortunately, due to an ages-old bust-up with the BBC, their adventures are falling into the memory hole, with very few of their potential next generation of fans ever having heard of them.  To their credit, Auntie Beeb did mention the intrepid trio’s 40th anniversary on their flagship The One Show, featuring a host of the clips and our heroes in-studio, thankfully being given the chance to promote Network’s DVD celebration of the series.

You can trace back the animosity to a time before they were poached by ITV. Michael Grade became aware of the dissatisfaction in the camp, in the way the nation’s public broadcaster was treating a series that had been on-air and doing great ratings over a decade, since 1970. A Christmas special for 1980 was cancelled, and the gang and their trandem three-seater cycled over to the commercial LWT. However, the new boss was the same as the old boss – they simply didn’t know where to schedule the show.

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Robin of Sherwood Blu-ray

It seems incredible that Robin of Sherwood is now over 25 years old. It certainly has not aged at all, and it’s clear to see why it was regarded as a benchmark of quality television drama in the 1980s. It is arguably the definitive interpretation of the Robin Hood legend. And it’s only right and proper that this BAFTA-winning series now gets a release in High Definition via Blu-ray technology.

Michael Praed stars as Robin of Loxley in Richard Carpenter's influential and highly acclaimed re-working of the classic myth. What I always loved about this series, putting the attractions of Mr Praed on one side, was that Mr Carpenter managed to successfully weave the legend that we all know with a nice bit of magic and mysticism which was perfectly believable. The idea that Robin was the ‘son’ of Herne the Hunter and, armed with Albion, one of the Seven Swords of Wayland - “charged with the powers of light and darkness” - led his not-so-merry band to fight their Norman oppressors was an attractive one.

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Family Guy "Season 9" DVD

Starting in January 1999, Family Guy was three seasons in to its run, when the oligarchs at the American Fox network decided that enough was enough. They cancelled the show.  What they hadn’t allowed for was the success of the series that was to follow upon DVD release. It did incredible sales numbers, and much like Futurama, which would pull a similar trick after it, Family Guy’s demise turned into a three year hiatus, and it’s been on-air ever since.

Like any show that pushes boundaries, the show proves to be a regular headache for network sensors Stateside – indeed, an episode due for the next DVD release, “Partial Terms of Endearment” remains untransmitted, considered as being unsuitable for Family Guy’s “family audience”.  Let’s be quite clear about this, as it’s something that some moronic adults have a problem with: just because this is animation it doesn’t mean it’s for kids.  And this release of “Season 9”, with a ‘15’ certificate, proves that point.

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