Bionic reunions on DVD

Earlier this year, Cineology was delighted to see “The Return of The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman” come to DVD.  This was the first of a trio of ‘Bionic Reunions’ of the original series cast members that had been produced over the years.  It is no surprise, therefore, that this threesome of TV movies can now be completed on collector shelves with the release of “Bionic Showdown” and “Bionic Ever After”, available from Mediumrare on 27 September 2010.

In the first movie, made in 1987, we find that our hero Steve Austin (Lee Majors) is now a disenchanted loner, who is persuaded out of his seclusion by his old friends at the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) to help them defeat Fortress, a group of international terrorists. His former heart-throb, Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner) is also co-opted to join in the operation.

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Hadleigh's Gazette on DVD

Gerald Harper had taken TV by storm in Adam Adamant Lives! – but his next venture would bring to life the character he is most associated with: James Hadleigh. The character begins by taking over as proprietor of the ‘Westdale Gazette’, a Yorkshire newspaper owned by his father. Created by Robert Barr and originally screened in 1968, Gazette introduced us to the charming, privileged but conscientious protagonist and his mixed fortunes that would continue to be chronicled in the sequel show Hadleigh. That series became one of Yorkshire Television’s most popular and long-running series, airing between 1969 and 1976.

Right from the first episode, Hadleigh finds that the day-to-day running of the newspaper throws up thorny issues of public allegiances, the right to privacy, and potentially libellous reporting. Plots cover the controversy surrounding hunting, police cover stories, and many delicate dilemmas for Hadleigh and his reporting team to traverse through.

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Codename Kyril on DVD

“Codename: Kyril” comes from an era where espionage menace comes from the deadly silence of its protagonists. This mini-series offers complex characterisations and an intelligent treatment of the theme of trust and betrayal. It’s not from the James Bond crash-bang school of spying, having been adapted by the award-winning John Hopkins – whose previous credits include “Smiley’s People” and Z Cars. One of the Executive Producers is Primetime Emmy Award winner Patrick Dromgoole (Robin of Sherwood). This release presents the complete two-part mini-series (usually only seen in a radically edited ‘TV movie’ form), originally screened in 1988.

Edward Woodward (Callan and The Equalizer) stars opposite Ian Charleson (“Chariots of Fire”) in this taut and skilfully plotted Cold War thriller. Providing star-studded support are the likes of Joss Ackland, Peter Vaughan, Richard E Grant and Denholm Elliott.

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The Four Just Men on DVD

This ITC crime drama series, loosely based on Edgar Wallace’s novel of 1905, assembles quartet of leads who rotate as being the star turn in successive episodes. These are Jack Hawkins (“The Cruel Sea”), Richard Conte (“The Godfather”), plus Oscar nominees Vittorio de Sica (nominated for “A Farewell to Arms” in 1958) and Dan Dailey (nominated for “When My Baby Smiles at Me” in 1949). Regular co-stars include Avengers icon Honor Blackman, as glamorous secretary Nicole, Lisa Gastoni as Giulia, June Thorburn as Vicky, and Andrew Keir (“Quatermass and the Pit”) as Jock.

The Four Just Men garnered rave reviews from critics and proved a major success. Making early TV appearances alongside our quartet of stars are the likes of Judi Dench, Frank Thornton, Alan Bates, Jane Asher, Roger Delgado and Patrick Troughton. Making its debut in 1959, and produced by Sapphire Films Ltd at Walton Studios and on location in Britain, Italy and France, it sets the style for some future ITC productions, with its cosmopolitan flavour and picture postcard settings.

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The Corridor People on DVD

The Corridor People ran for only four one hour episodes in 1966, yet has garnered a considerable underground cult following. Incredibly difficult to pigeonhole, reviewers have mentioned the likes of The Avengers, Twin Peaks and even Monty Python as reference points. However, it is none of these as it carved its own niche, with its mainly-studio recorded monochrome production, a few filmed inserts, and a combination of surreal characters and camera work. Rest assured that once seen it will never be forgotten. 

Phil Scrotty is an American, Bogart-worshipping private detective, and each episode sees him pitched against the cunning schemes of Syrie Van Epp, a beautiful but treacherous Persian millionaire. 

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