BBC in July

BBC Worldwide have sent through details on their July 2004 UK Region 2 line-up...


50 Years of BBC News
5th July 2004, £9.99 RRP

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of BBC NEWS on television, the BBC have produced a fascinating series of programmes that look back on the past five decades of BBC News. Incorporating groundbreaking stories with hard hitting visuals, the BBC archives have been mined for the most entertaining, emotional and evocative moments in the history of BBC News. 50 Years of BBC NEWS is available to buy on DVD from BBC Worldwide on July 5 1h 2004, 50 years to the day after the very first BBC News broadcast was televised.

Each programme is a 30 minute segment covering a decade, beginning with the 1950s. Providing an even greater insight into how BBC NEWS is reported, each segment is narrated by one of the following key news figures: Charles Wheeler, Michael Buerk, Kate Adie, John Simpson and Jeremy Bowen.

From the very first BBC NEWS television broadcast by Richard Baker in July 1954, the programmes feature a enormous range of key stories and footage that has made history around the world, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the famine in Ethiopia, the release of Nelson Mandela and the dramatic events of September 11th.

The DVD comes complete with all five programmes, and also offers viewers the rare chance to see how broadcasting styles and techniques have radically changed since 1954 with three extra programmes about how news is made. The first was made in 1953, the second in 1963 (presented by Michael Aspel) and, to contrast, the third is a modern 2004 "Day in the Life of a Newsroom" feature, presented by Huw Edwards.


Only Fools and Horses: Fatal Extraction
12th July 2004, £15.99 RRP

It's Christmas time at Nelson Mandela House but life for the Trotters is far from festive. Everything is on the verge of erupting... Del's teeth, Raquel and even the estate! Only Fools and Horses: Fatal Extraction is a feature length episode, first screened on Christmas Day in 1993. The DVI) is available to buy on July 12th 2004 from BBC Worldwide.

Recently voted Britain's Best Sitcom out of 100 comedy shows, Only Fools and Horses continues to please millions of fans, and Fatal Extraction is a classic example why. Whilst Rodney and Cassandra's marriage is going so well they start planning a baby, Del's couldn't be going worse. His enthusiasm for fatherhood and domesticity having waned, he's spending all his time down the 121 Club gambling and drinking. But despite behaving badly, Del is incensed when Raquel finally walks out, and takes revenge by setting up a date with his dental receptionist Beverly!

As Rodney struggles with Cassie's punishing demands on his manhood, Del goes on another bender and manages to incite a full scale riot on the estate. It's a good thing he recently did a deal on some Russian ex military night vision camcorders!

Only Fools and Horses: Fatal Extraction was watched by a staggering 19.6 million when first screened and has already sold over 154,000 copies on VHS. Starring David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Buster Merryfield, Tessa Peake Jones and Gwyneth Strong, Only Fools and Horses: Fatal Extraction was written by John Sullivan, directed by Tony Dow and produced by Gareth Gwenlan.


House of Cards Trilogy
Including
House of Cards, To Play The King, The Final Cut

12th July 2004, £34.99 RRP

lan Richardson, in his brilliant portrayal of Francis Urquhart Chief Whip turned Prime Minister stalks the corridors of power once again in one of the most talked about political dramas ever made, now available for the first time on DVD.

House of Cards is a delicious tale of greed, corruption and burning ambition. At its heart is a black hearted villain with a smiling face, who shares his sardonic humour and innermost thoughts with the viewers.

Winner of several awards, including a BAFTA, an Emmy and Royal Television Society award, Andrew Davies' adaptation of Michael Dobbs' bestselling novel tells the story of Machiavellian monster Frances Urquhart as he schemes his way into 10 Downing Street by systematically demolishing all rivals, including the Prime Minster.

Urquhart is innocently aided by eager young journalist Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker) as he uses her to leak damaging stories to undermine anyone who stands in his way to the top. To Mattie, Urquhart is her "Daddy", a lover and a father figure who is helping her in her career. A Daddy who has too much to lose if she ever stumbles across the truth.

With venomous charm, Urquhart invites viewers in on the plot to destroy each of his political rivals with the same deadly ease with which he shoots grouse on his ancestral estate. This tale of back stabbing, skulduggery and corruption in high places has shades of a Shakespearean tragedy.

The DVD also features a commentary with lan Richardson, Andrew Davies and Ken Riddington (Producer) on one episode from each series.


Doctor Who: The Leisure Hive
5th July 2004, £19.99 RRP

Tom Baker stars in this, one of the most visually splendid Doctor Who stories, now due for release on DVD in July. The Leisure Hive re launched Doctor Who in the Eighties with new music, a new title sequence and high production values and features a memorable opening panoramic shot of a cold, wet and windy Brighton Beach.

The Doctor has mis set the TARDIS co ordinates once again and instead of a promised visit to the opening of Brighton's Grand Pavilion, he and his companions Romana (Lalla Ward) and K9 (the voice of John Leeson) have arrived off season and opt instead to visit one of the burgeoning selection of leisure planets. They decide on Argolis, a planet blasted decades ago by nuclear war and rebuilt as an unlikely holiday resort where The Leisure Hive attracts visitors from all over the galaxy. However, instead of rest and relaxation, murder and intrigue follow the time travellers as they become embroiled in a lunatic's plan to restore the Argolin's proud warrior past.

Written by David Fisher, directed by Lovett Bickford and featuring guest appearances by Laurence Payne, Martin Fisk and David Allister, The Leisure Hive represents Doctor Who at its glossy best and was the first story produced by John Nathan Turner, who went on to stay with the show for the next ten years.

Extras include:
  • Audio Commentary by Lalla Ward, director Lovett Bickford and script editor Christopher H. Bidmead
  • A New Beginning documentary on John Nathan Tumer's production style
  • From Avalon to Argolis writing The Leisure Hive
  • Costume Designer June Hudson's Leisure Wear
  • Synthesizing Starfields feature on the new opening title sequence and theme music
  • Blue Peter feature from Doctor Who Longleat exhibition
  • Newly remixed Dolby Digital 5,1 soundtrack
  • Photo Gallery
  • Easter Egg
  • Production subtitles

Posh and Beck's Big Impression
12th July 2004, £9.99 RRP

Impressionist duo Alistair MeGowan and Ronni Ancona chart the uber couple's transfer from Beckingham Palace to Madrid.

After waving Adios! to sunny Manchester, the world's most photographed couple say Hola! to Spain. But all is not well in the Beckham camp will the designer boutiques of Madrid be posh enough to satisfy an ex Spice Girl with a wallet the size of the Costa del Sol?

David's popularity on and off the football pitch is at its peak but Victoria's pop career is struggling and she is feeling restless and homesick. In a desperate bid to win over her husband's army of Spanish fans she decides to tackle the world of bullfighting as ‘Victoriador' this is short lived (red is not her colour) and its not long before she's back in the arms of her old Spice Girls manager, the Machiavellian Simon Fuller (played by Damian Lewis).

Fuller, however, is not all he seems and secretly plots to take over the world with Posh and Becks at the helm. But will his evil plans come between the golden couple?

An impressive bunch of 'celebrities' are at hand to give their opinion on the subject including Jonathan Ross, Ruby Wax and fellow footballers David Seaman and Steve McManaman, together with Hollywood contributions from Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas, David Schwimmer and Courteney Cox Arquette.


Four Wildlife Specials on individual DVD's
Tiger: Leopard: Serpent: Eagle
26th July 2004, £7.99 RRP each

Available for the first time on DVD, these amazing Wildlife Specials are masterpieces of expertise and innovation, each narrated by David Attenborough. Award winning cameramen use revolutionary filming techniques, backed by the latest scientific research, and each DVD features one of nature's superstars, revealing aspects of its life that have never been seen before.

Close up and startling photography brings these animals closer to us than ever before their private worlds captured on film in greater detail and more vividly.

TIGER

Dangerous, powerful but above all breathtakingly beautiful, tigers have for centuries sparked awe and admiration. Yet it is their very uniqueness that has made them a prized object for hunters. This film could be the last complete portrait of tigers in the wild as there is a real chance they could be extinct within the next decade.

Their elusive lifestyle has been caught on camera as these amazing big cats were filmed by day and night. The result shows the majesty of these fascinating animals and the importance of saving them from extinction.

LEOPARD

The leopard is the least known of all Africa's big cats. They are most active at night and until now their nocturnal lives have remained hidden from us. For the very first time, we reveal the night time secrets of the cat that walks on his own as this Special follows the lives of two leopards in Zambia's Luangwa Valley.

Leopards move and hunt with perfect ease in this dark world where eyesight no longer counts. Using darkness, sound and psychological warfare to help them hunt, these solitary animals play a truly deadly game.

SERPENT

Snakes are traditionally thought of as predictably scaly, slithery, primitive and an enemy of man. But the truth is they have a range of behaviour more bizarre and astonishing than almost any other group of animals. One of the most successful species on earth, it is also one of the least documented.

Miniaturised cameras reveal the snakes' world for the first time from their point of view. Head mounted cameras capture gripping images of the world's most dangerous snakes hunting and overcoming their prey. Using high speed photography, x ray imaging and state of the art computer graphics, this is the most ambitious look at snakes attempted in television.

EAGLE

Few birds have captured the human imagination as deeply as the eagle. Throughout the centuries this majestic bird of prey has been the symbol of strength and courage, such is the perfection of its natural design.

There are 60 different kinds of eagle throughout the world each type having adapted spectacularly to hunting different forms of prey. This Special embarks on a grand tour through 12 countries and encounters 15 of the world's species. Remarkable aerial photography captures the dramatic life of eagles as never before.

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