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Saturday, 07 August 2010 14:18

Beast in Space on DVD

Take the set design of Season 2 of Space: 1999, direction and special effects with the budget of Blake’s 7, and the costumes and dialogue style from “Barbarella” and you are probably getting close to a genetic description of “The Beast In Space”.

Played out in its original Italian language with English subtitles, this is an off-the-peg story of a spaceship landing party finding out the dark secrets of a planet that they would have been better off leaving well alone.  The eye candy for the lads is sufficiently “Charlie’s Angels” in aspect to satiate those of us who loved that style of female coiffure, while the male ‘talent’ is far more patchy.   If ‘Space Odyssey’ is your SF of choice, then best to steer clear, but if ‘Space Opera’ is your bag, then this title is sufficiently cheesy to raise a giggle if screened late-night with an alcoholically steamed audience.

Sunday, 11 April 2010 11:21

Catweazle's 40th Birthday

Forty years since its inception, creation, popularity and success, Network DVD has released Catweazle – 40th Anniversary Edition. This five disc set is out now. This release includes more special features than the previous Catweazle releases, along with all the episodes that were made.

Catweazle for two blocks of thirteen episodes banished the boredom of Sunday afternoons on ITV, with the whimsy of the show making it essential viewing, and the talk of many a playground with its mixture of fish-out-of-water aspect and pure magic. From the moment Geoffrey Bayldon makes his appearance in the first episode, this iconic character actor – famous for having turned down the role of Doctor Who in 1963, makes the wizard a televisual legend.

Thursday, 25 March 2010 18:13

2012 comes to Blu-ray

The end of the world can generate a global box office take of $711 million worldwide. To prove this to be possible, “2012” is out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Acclaimed Director Roland Emmerich, creator of “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Independence Day” is at it again with another vision of apocalypse, but at the same time distracts all attention from the real prophecies that revolve around the date 21 December 2012.

John Cusack (“Con Air”), Amanda Peet (Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip), Woody Harrelson (“Zombieland”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Inside Man”), Oliver Platt (“Frost/Nixon”), Thandie Newton (“Crash”) and Danny Glover (“Saw”) lead an all-star cast in this tale of humans struggling to survive against all adversity.

Thursday, 25 March 2010 15:21

Who: Space Museum/Chase

Starring William Hartnell as the first Doctor, this DVD contains two stories that feature the mysterious Time/Space Visualiser, and is loaded with quite simply fantastic extras. This action-packed pairing also features Peter Purves, who went on to widespread fame as a Blue Peter presenter, as new companion Steven Taylor (and even briefly appearing as a cowboy earlier in “The Chase”). He is joined by fellow companions Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright, William Russell as Ian Chesterton and Maureen O'Brien as Vicki.

“The Space Museum” sees the TARDIS jump a time track arriving on the planet Xeros. The crew discover their future selves displayed as exhibits in a museum built as a monument to the galactic conquests of the warlike Morok invaders who now rule the planet. When time shifts back to the present, they realise that they must do everything they can to try to avert this potential future.

Sunday, 24 January 2010 10:44

Doctor Who Peladon DVDs

Set on the developing planet of Peladon, Doctor Who Peladon Tales includes two adventures featuring the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee – “The Curse of Peladon” and “The Monster of Peladon”, with the adventures set 50 years apart.  In “The Curse of Peladon” from 1972, the Doctor and Jo Grant make an inelegant landing on the planet Peladon whilst on a test flight in the TARDIS. Mistaken for representatives from Earth, the Doctor soon finds himself chairing the committee of alien delegates assessing Peladon’s petition to join the Galactic Federation. When one of the King’s advisers is killed, the High Priest fears the ancients Curse of Aggedor is at work, but the Doctor suspects his old enemies the Ice Warriors are to blame. Can the Doctor and Jo uncover the identity of the saboteurs before a major diplomatic incident plunges them into war?

In “The Monster of Peladon” from 1974, the TARDIS arrives on Peladon half a century after his previous visit. The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith discover a troubled planet ruled by the late King’s daughter. Peladon is at the centre of a war – and the Galactic Federation desperately need a mineral found in the mines. But why is the ghost of Aggedor killing miners, and why can’t anyone be trusted? Queen Thalira needs the Doctor’s help to find out…

Saturday, 09 January 2010 09:29

Being Human returns

Series 2 starts of Being Human starts on Sunday 10 January on BBC3 at 9.30pm. The Cult TV Award-nominated show (Best New Digital Series) stars Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow and Aidan Turner as George, Annie and Mitchell, in which three housemates try to live normal lives despite being a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire.

After the death of vampire leader Herrick at the end of series one, the supernatural friends are hoping that they can now get on with their lives, but an even greater danger is lurking, within the very human world of which they want to be a part. Werewolf George is coming to terms with the fact that he has Herrick's blood on his hands, and a girlfriend who knows his horrific secret.

Tuesday, 05 January 2010 14:11

Daybreakers film review

The year is 2019. Two-time Oscar® nominee Ethan Hawke is genetic researcher Ed Dalton, a valuable commodity in this brave new world, as a virus has transformed the globe's population into vampires. The ordinary humans, just 5% of the population now, are near extinction. They are being harvested for their blood, and much like cod and haddock in 2010, they are almost the victims of genocide. The answer to worldwide shortages may be a blood substitute in development, but heaven help anyone who thinks a cure might be possible. 

Sam Neill plays the creepy Charles Bromley, who a decade previously was diagnosed with cancer, just before the plague began.  It was something of a no-brainer for him to effectively ‘volunteer’ to become a vampire. He is the head of Bromley Marks, a corporate giant that drains human blood for profit as well as having its fingers in all sorts of businesses, including housing and other properties.  He sums up the attitude that has become prevalent in his circle: “It’s never about a cure; it’s about repeat business”.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 10:28

District 9 comes to Blu-ray

Producer Peter Jackson of “King Kong”, “The Lord of the Rings” fame was instrumental in getting “District 9” a high profile. You can see what impressed him as it’s out now on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Director Neill Blomkamp (“Crossing the Line”, “Tempbot”) enlists a cast of relative newcomers and a host of mind-boggling special effects. This is the allegorical story of aliens stranded in South Africa, and is a take on Alien Nation, but taken to an extreme.

The alien mother ship appeared, hovering over South Africa. The passengers are eventually released from their captivity aboard it, only to be openly imprisoned in a slum on the fringes of Johannesburg. The underlying message is that these ‘prawns’ (a none-too respectful slang word they are given due to their appearance) were surplus to requirements on their home planet.

Monday, 23 November 2009 13:11

Big John Little John - DVD

Big John, Little John is another one of those memories just at the edge of your brain. It was broadcast in 1976 on BBC1 in the UK and NBC in its native USA. The show starred Herb Edelman as Big John Martin, a middle High School science teacher who takes a sip from the fountain of youth. At the most inopportune moments, ‘Big John’ becomes a 12-year old version of himself, ‘Little John’, played by Robbie Rist.

Enjoy for the first time ever on DVD all sorts of farcical adventures as ‘Big John’ tries to find a cure he can live a normal life! This was an American Saturday morning sit-com produced by Sherwood Schwartz, and ran for one season of 13 episodes. ‘Big’ and ‘Little’ John were not exactly similar in the looks department - to make the two have even just a passing resemblance, young Rist's blond hair was dyed brown and Edelman wore a wig.

Friday, 02 October 2009 09:32

The Wire - Official Guide

The Wire has been widely hailed by many as the greatest television series of all time – Charlie Brooker of Screenwipe fame is one very high-profile convert. It portrays the war of attrition between the city's hardened police force, and its drug dealers. There is a blurring of good and evil, justice and injustice, right and wrong. Over its five seasons it built up a detailed, rich and layered portrait of Baltimore; from its corner boys touting dope and its dock workers facing extinction, through the strained education system and tainted halls of power, and on to the crumbling media establishment.

In “The Wire: Truth Be Told”, author Rafael Alvarez - a reporter, essayist and staff writer for the show - brings the reader inside this world. This edition should NOT be confused with an earlier version of the book, release some five years ago, which covered just the first three seasons. And you could have had the chance to win one of three unique copies of this book that we had up for grabs, which included a bookplate signed by series creator David Simon, who provides a new 5,000 word introduction to this edition.

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