BBC in May

BBC Worldwide have sent through details on their May 2004 Region 2 DVD release slate which includes the latest Doctor Who story to receive the special edition treatment and 3 new Dennis Potter dramas...

10th May 2004:

Doctor Who: The Green Death - £19.99 - Starring Jon Pertwee as the third Doctor and Katy Manning as his assistant Jo, The Green Death was voted by readers of Doctor Who magazine as one of the Top 40 Doctor Who stories ever!

Features on the disc include:

  • Commentary with actress Katy Manning, producer Barry Letts, and script editor Terrance Dicks
  • Global Conspiracy? - A spoof investigative report about the strange happenings in the village of Llanfairfach, written by and starring The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss
  • Visual Effects - an interview with the story's visual effects designer, Colin Mapson, including a demonstration of how to build a giant maggot
  • Robert Sloman - an interview with the story's writer
  • Stewart Bevan - an interview with the actor who player Professor Clifford Jones
  • Picture Gallery
  • Production Notes
17th May 2004:

Four new additions to the Comedy Greats DVD Collection offer you the very best of Spike Milligan, Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson on individual DVDs featuring a compilation of the most popular sketches and clips taken from the vast archives of each comedian's life work for the retail price of £9.99 each.

24th May 2004:

Only Fools and Horses - Mother Nature's Son - £15.99 – The Trotter family becomes environmentally aware and uses an unexpected inheritance to enhance its fortunes… They bottle and sell Peckham water.

This special feature length Christmas episode was originally transmitted on 25th December 1992.

In Search of the Trojan War - £19.99 - Filmed in Greece, Turkey and Berlin, charismatic historian Michael Wood attempts to discover whether there was any truth in Homer's epic poems. Is Hissalik the site of the mighty Troy? Did Helen, Achilles and Agamemnon ever exist? What was the significance of the famous wooden horse? Prepare for dramatic new twists to the tale.

Special features include: Interview with Michael Wood

The Nazis: A Warning from History - £19.99 - This documentary series exposes the popular myths surrounding the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Exploring how they came to power, how they ruled, how they treated their occupied territories and, above all, how a cultured nation could be responsible for such acts of inhumanity.

Through compelling interviews and archive film and records, the series paints an astonishing and often unpalatable picture of the Nazi rule. Contemporaries recall the true extent of Hitler's power; eye-witnesses describe the horrors perpetrated on the Eastern Front; specially shot film in Lithuania reveals the development of the 'Final Solution' and ordinary Germans shed new light on the relationship between the party and the people.

This year, leading up to the 60th anniversary of D-Day, there will be significant interest in World War II. This two disc DVD is the definitive television history of the rise and fall of the Nazis and was first shown on BBC Two in 1997 to an audience of 4.2 million viewers.

D-Day - The dramatic story of ordinary people in extraordinary times is released on DVD on 7th June 2004 priced at £15.99.

31st May 2004:

To commemorate the ten-year anniversary of Dennis Potter's death, BBC Worldwide are releasing a number of Dennis Potter dramas onto DVD for the very first time.

Pennies from Heaven - £29.99 - Set in England during the 1930s depression era, Pennies from Heaven stars Bob Hoskins as Arthur Parker, a cockney song sheet salesman, who is frustrated by his frigid wife Joan (Gemma Craven) and the lack of appreciation from shopkeepers for the beauty of the songs he sells. Desperate for romance and understanding, Arthur falls for an innocent young schoolteacher called Eileen (Cheryl Campbell), with harrowing results.

Throughout the drama, the disturbing realities of the narrative, which extend beyond extreme poverty to rape, murder and prostitution, are counter-balanced by the naive optimism of Arthur expressed through the sentimental love songs of the period.

First shown as a six-part serial in 1978, Pennies from Heaven received immense popular and critical acclaim, including the BAFTA Award for Outstanding Drama. Potter's ironic handling of music and dance was a landmark in British television and his own career.

Pennies from Heaven comes to DVD as an impressive three-disc set and features a commentary on episodes one and six with Director Piers Haggard and Producer Kenith Trodd, as well as a picture gallery.

Brimstone and Treacle - £15.99 - Filmed in 1976, Brimstone and Treacle proved so controversial with the censors, the BBC chose to ban the drama for 11 years before finally screening it in 1987. Starring Denholm Elliot and Michael Kitchen, Brimstone and Treacle is a black-morality play, challenging established concepts of good and evil by tackling an almost unthinkable subject.

A middle-aged couple (Elliot and Patricia Lawrence) are struggling to look after their daughter Pattie (Michelle Newell), who was left severely brain-damaged after what was thought to be a freak car accident. One typically fraught evening, the strained couple are visited by an overbearingly polite young man named Martin (Kitchen), who claims to be a friend of Pattie's. The mother is thoroughly charmed by the stranger and, whilst much less convinced by him, the father is initially pleased to have a respite from the round-the-clock attention their daughter requires. They allow Martin to stay with them, with deeply disturbing consequences of satanic proportions...

Casanova - £19.99 - Starring Frank Finlay and Norman Rossington, Casanova tells the story of the Italian adventurer and libertine Giovanni Jacopo Casanova (Finlay), who lived from 1725 to 1798. In this six-part series, first screened in 1971, Potter attempted to find a contemporary relevance through the central themes of sex and religion.

Casanova was imprisoned in Venice in 1755, and Potter centres the drama around this event, inter-cutting to contrast Casanova's many colourful, romantic escapades with his oppressive solitary confinement in the gloomy prison cell.

Casanova is presented on DVD as a two-disc set

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