The BBC October line-up

The BBC have kindly sent through the details on their UK Region 2 October schedule that looks a little something like this...

6th October 2003:

Doctor Who: Curse of Fenric - Sylvester McCoy stars as the seventh doctor in this atmospheric story, reminiscent of John Carpenter's 1979 chiller, The Fog. The TARDIS arrives at a Second World War naval base, where Dr. Judson had designed a code-breaking machine. He uses the machine to translate some ancient runes from a nearby crypt. This leads to the release of Fenric, an evil entity from the dawn of time. Originally transmitted in October 1989, Nicholas Parsons guest stars as a vicar.

Generally thought to be one of the best Sylvester McCoy stories, it is described by Doctor Who - The Television Companion as "at once entertaining and frightening. It is stimulating and nerve-wracking. It is intellectual and a smashing adventure yarn."

Special features on the DVD include:

Disc One

  • 4x25minute episodes with Stereo audio
  • Commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Nicholas Parsons
  • Isolated Music soundtrack
  • Nebula 90 (cast and crew in a discussion panel at the 1990 Nebula convention)
  • Take Two (BBC1 children's programme goes behind the scenes)
  • Modelling the Dead (from BSB's Doctor Who Weekend in 1990)
  • Claws & Effect (behind the scenes)
  • Easter Egg
  • Title Sequences
  • Photo Gallery
Disc Two
  • Special Edition version of the story, with Dolby Digital 5.1 Soundtrack
  • Shattering the Chains - writer Ian Biggs talks about the background to his story
  • Costume Design - Ken Trew talks about the costume and monster designs for the story
  • Recutting the Runes - Mark Ayres explains the background to the SE version and the changes being made
  • Easter Egg
Retail is £19.99.

13th October 2003:

The Old Grey Whistle Test Volume 2 - The Old Grey Whistle Test was one of the UK's most influential live music shows. Launched in September 1971, it hosted performances from the world's foremost bands and performers including The Who, Roxy Music, Joan Armatrading, The Pet Shop Boys, Daryl Hall and John Oates, and many others.

Following on from the enormous success of the first volume of The Old Grey Whistle Test on DVD, BBC Worldwide is releasing a second volume featuring more seminal performances spanning the entire series, from 'Head Hands & Feet' in 1971 through to 'The Pogues' in 1986. The DVD takes us through the 70's with the likes of Roxy Music, Kevin Ayers, The Who, Bruce Johnston, Joan Armatrading, The Adverts, and into the 80's with performances from Aztec Camera, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Style Council, Suzanne Vega, Prefab Sprout and The Pet Shop Boys.

The DVD includes original interviews with Kevin Ayers, Roger Daltrey, Nick Lowe, Rick Wakeman, Bill Nelson, T.V. Smith, Jools Holland and Roddy Frame. It also features newly filmed interviews with presenter Bob Harris, Roger Daltrey, Hamish Stuart, Roddy Frame, Rick Wakeman, Bill Nelson, Kevin Ayers, Nick Lowe, Edwyn Collins, Jools Holland and founding producer Mike Appleton.

Two of the shows original presenters, Mark Ellen and David Hepworth, recall some of the programmes finest moments on an audio commentary on the DVD.

Throughout its seventeen-year run, The Old Grey Whistle Test pioneered live music television shows, unafraid of broadcasting some of the more raw, cutting edge performances and interviews and introducing the nation to new bands who were later to become world-famous music legends.

A third volume of The Old Grey Whistle Test on DVD is due for release in Spring 2004.

Retail is £19.99.

Look Around You - Did you know MATHS actually stands for Mathematical Anti-Telharsic Harfatum Septomin? That ghosts can't whistle? That gems originally came from Germany? Or that ants can be trained to build igloos?

Amazing but true, and now everyone has the chance to find out more surprising scientific facts with the DVD release of the BAFTA nominated cult comedy Look Around You, available to buy on October 13th 2003 from BBC Worldwide.

Written, produced and starring Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz, the show is a uniquely entertaining comedy that spoofs late 70s educational science programmes, with such careful attention to detail that even the original 'synthesized' music is spot on. Each episode takes a particular subject (such as ghosts, water and sulphur) and through a series of unusual experiments sets out to reveal unexpected facts and phenomenon!

Directed by Tim Kirkby, with narration by Nigel Lambert, Look Around You on DVD features all eight of the original ten minute shows from the critically acclaimed first series, transmitted on BBC Two in October 2002. Special features include the award-winning twenty minute pilot episode "Calcium", a commentary with the writers and key performers, and a three minute music-video of the cult hit "Little Mouse" starring Jack Morgan.

Look Around You has become a huge underground hit, with a massive student following. Fans of the show have visited the dedicated website in droves, and for many the DVD is one of the most anticipated comedy releases of the year!

Retail is £15.99.

20th October 2003:

Top Gear: Back in the Fast Lane - Top Gear is renowned for its supercars, stunts, time trials and road tests, along with the sharp wit of its presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. BBC Worldwide is releasing on DVD Some of the finest and funniest moments from the two most recent series, featuring a variety of the most powerful vehicles ever made.

Who really is the king of supercars? The Pagani Zonda and Lamborghini go head to head like two raging bulls, the Jaguar XC happily goes up to 50mph in first gear whilst the Aston Martin goes from 0-135pmh in 4th gear. The Dragster rocket car sets fire to the caravan behind it whilst revving up to reach 200mph and find out whether Damon Hill rates the Ferrari 575 or the Aston Martin higher.

Everyone saw Eddie Kidd jump over 14 buses but have you seen a double-decker bus attempting to jump over 14 bikes? Or Sadie, an 80 year old granny doing doughnuts in a sports car? And just what speed do you think the TVR needed to do in order not to get snapped by the speed camera?

Have you heard the one about the rabbi, the reverend, the hare krishna and the bishop in the time trial? Or ever seen the Masters of the Universe (a dalek, Darth Vader, a cyberman and a Klingon) trying to get the fastest speed around a race track?

Some of the most entertaining celebrity interviews are also featured, including Jamie Oliver in the back of a van trying to make a salad whilst being driven around a race track by The Stig at enormous speed, Patrick Stewart, Steve Coogan, Jonathan Ross, Jodie Kidd, Jay Kay, plus many more.

The DVD extras include fact files on all the cars featured and biographies of the presenters.

Retail is £15.99.

Knowing Me, Knowing You - After single-handedly redefining the art of sports commentary on television in The Day Today, everyone' favourite pringle wearing buffoon, Alan Partridge, sets about conquering the chat show market as only he can. Combining his unique brand of crass, non-pc banter with general offensiveness, Alan takes no prisoners (at least not intentionally).

Knowing Me, Knowing You on DVD packs in 260-minutes of chat show mayhem in which Alan 'plucks' celebrity pigeons from the world of politics, sport and entertainment, including special guests Roger Moore and Minnie Driver! Starring Steve Coogan, Knowing Me, Knowing You was co-written by Coogan, Patrick Marber and Armando Iannuci.

As a special bonus extra, the DVD also features Alan's Christmas special Knowing Me, Knowing Yule in which Alan welcomes guests to an exact replica of his cosy Norwich home, and says "Ahaaaa" to a host of festive guests, including the Norwich Cathedral bell ringers, Mick Hucknell and of course, Santa Claus! Watch in awe as Alan helps pull the biggest Christmas cracker in the world ("about the length of a small Chinese restaurant") and deftly handles a sensitive interview with a wheelchair-bound golfer struck by lightning.

Knowing Me, Knowing You co-stars Patrick Marber, Rebecca Front, David Schneider and Doon Mackichan, was produced by Armando Iannuci and directed by Dominic Brigstock, as a Talkback production for the BBC.

Retail is £19.99.

27th October 2003:

Wild Down Under - Isolated from the rest of the world for a staggering 45 million years, Australasia is like no other continent on Earth. With a breathtaking array of distinctive species and dramatic landscapes, from the vast, arid interior of Australia to the colourful coastal creatures of the barrier reef, Wild Down Under is a dazzling look at this truly unique place.

Released on October 27th 2003 to accompany a landmark BBC Natural History television series, the DVD features all six episodes (combined running time of 410mins), each presented as a detective story, delving into Australasia’s hidden secrets to explain why its wildlife is so special, and how man has impacted upon this precious land.

Special features include:
  • Wildlife On One Dingoes special
  • Two ten minute making of featurettes
  • Fact files
  • Photo gallery
Retail is £19.99.

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