Nimoy is Baffled on DVD

Who dares to walk the line between life and death? In 1972, Pinewood Studios was the home of this intriguing production. Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy and British treasure Susan Hampshire starred in this eerie story of revenge and murder from beyond the grave. Baffled is an ITC pilot for a never-commissioned series, is directed by Phillip Leacock – an established film and TV regular, with credits that include Gunsmoke and The Wild Wild West.  As it was executive-produced by Norman Felton as an Arena Production for ITC, it means it had the same pedigree as the earlier cult series Strange Report.

Tom Kovack is a hard-nosed devil-may-care racing driver, until a sudden supernatural vision during the Pennsylvania 500 Mile Special race causes him to lose control of his car as he hurtles off-track at 140 miles per hour. Michele Brent is the woman who convinces Tom that his apparitions are significant. When she leads him to the manor house of his vision, he meets glamorous film star Andrea Glenn and her daughter, Jennifer, whose screaming image was the last thing he saw before his near-fatal crash.

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Avengers Series 4 DVDs

You can win Diana Rigg’s debut season of The Avengers, retailing at £59.99, for nominating in this year’s Cult TV Awards. We have three copies to give away to the trio pulled out of our electronic hat, and this is one hell of an incentive to get your ‘thinking cap’ on! The Avengers Series 4 hit UK audiences in 1965-6, with some major changes from what had gone before.

More than 80 actresses auditioned for the role before Rigg was discovered.  Her screen test with Macnee showed the two immediately worked well together, and a new era in Avengers history began.  It was also this series, the first to be on film, but the last to be in black and white, which was sold to US television for the then unheard of sum of $2 million. This made it one of the first British series to be aired on prime-time American Television.

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Hot Metal - Series 2 DVD

TV icon Robert Hardy is back in his dual role in Andrew Marshall and David Renwick’s razor-sharp satire of the ongoing shenanigans of the day-to-day running of a tabloid newspaper. Co-starring Richard Wilson (Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave) as former TV presenter Dicky Lipton – the latest dupe employed to clean up the Daily Crucible – Hot Metal was a cult success on its initial transmission and remains an outstandingly clever and wickedly funny comedy 22 years on.

Twiggy Rathbone (Hardy), newspaper tycoon and owner of Rathouse International, has relaunched his Crucible newspaper, once a broadsheet ‘paper of integrity’ as a downmarket, sex and sleaze-centric tabloid. To aid him in this crusade he brought in South African newspaper editor Russell Spam (also Hardy), whose job is to deflect the complaints of the ‘old guard’ and re-employ bottom-of-the-barrel sacked reporters such as Greg Kettle, who in the first season used a medium to ‘interview’ victims of capital punishment.

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Sentimental Agent on DVD

For those of you who thought the idea of the spin-off series is a fairly recent phenomenon, let me introduce you to The Sentimental Agent. This short-lived ITC series had its origins in an episode of Man Of The World, and featured Argentinean actor Carlos Thompson as the import-export agent Carlos Varela. Widely travelled, he was cast to be the sort of romantic lead popular at the time in both film and movies. The character fronts warehouse-based operation Mercury International, and enjoys making money dealing in all sorts of merchandise, as well as assisting those in trouble.

Carlos has a ‘Girl Friday’ in the shape of his secretary Suzy Carter, played by Clemence Brittany - the perfect combination of good looks and cool efficiency, with the sort of secret service connections any PA will thrive on! And who else but Burt Kwouk could play Chin, the oriental helping hand to Varela, whose only weakness is a passion for gambling.

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Curry & Chips comes to DVD

Written by Johnny Speight, creator of Till Death Us Do Part, and based on an idea by Spike Milligan, Curry & Chips proved to be one of the most controversial situation comedies ever made. Originally screened in 1969, the series featured Milligan as Kevin O’Grady, a man of mixed Asian and Irish descent who has just started his new job at Lillicrap Ltd, manufacturer of cheap novelty items and seaside souvenirs.

Inevitably, he soon becomes the butt of jokes from his resoundingly intolerant workmates. Speight’s determined attempt at confronting racism with its own conventions polarised critical opinion, although it was extremely popular with the viewing public and ended up in the ITV Top Ten. The character of O’Grady actually made his first appearance in an episode of Till Death Us Do Part.

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