BBC September titles
The BBC have kindly sent through the details on their September 2003 Region 2 DVD line up...
1st September 2003: Attenborough Classics on DVD - Three groundbreaking series from Britain’s best-known natural history filmmaker, Sir David Attenborough, will be available this autumn for the very first time on DVD. If possible, Life On Earth, The Living Planet and the Private Life of Plants look even more stunning than ever on this digital format and include various special features giving an insight into how such epic programmes were made.
Life on Earth - First broadcast in 1979, Life on Earth began a new era in television, looking at the incredible variety of the world’s wildlife and its evolution. David Attenborough and his talented team of cameramen, producers and scientific advisers bring to the screen some quite remarkable images, which have a lasting impact on any audience. This series was the biggest ever undertaken by the Natural History Unit at the time, using over a million feet of film and 100 locations. It traces the dramatic history of life on earth from its very beginnings, some 3.5 billion years ago, to the final emergence of man and the array of animals that share the world with us today.
Life on Earth established David Attenborough and the award-winning Natural History Unit at the forefront of wildlife documentary filmmaking.
The DVD special features include a 30-minute ‘making of…’ programme called Wild Track filmed in 1979, which is presented by Tony Soper.
The Living Planet - Filmed on five continents The Living Planet examines one by one each of the earth’s environments, seeing how living organisms survive and thrive in conditions ranging from the Arctic to the tropical. Also revealed is how creatures in similar habitats thousands of miles apart, have adopted intriguingly similar solutions to their common problems.
The series begins at the beginning… how huge forces formed the earth, how continents move and how the planet has become so varied. The next 10 episodes concentrate on different environments: the frozen Poles, the northern forests, jungles, grasslands, deserts, skies, rivers and lakes, tidal shores, islands and oceans. Finally The Living Planet looks at how human beings have changed the earth’s habitats, destroying but also creating new ones and also looks at what the future may hold for the whole community on our amazing planet.
This special DVD also features a 40-minute ‘making of…’ documentary
The Private Life of Plants - Crawling, flying, exploding, thieving, fighting, killing… David Attenborough reveals plants as you have never seen them before- on the move and dangerously devious!
Filmed in various locations around the globe, the multi-award winning The Private Life of Plants was three years in the making and was enormously popular- attracting in excess of 7 million viewers when first transmitted in 1985. Using computer animations, fibre-optics and unique high-speed and time-lapse photography, we discover how plants have managed to colonise every part of the globe. They can live longer, grow bigger and even come back from the dead.
This brand new DVD edition includes an interview with David Attenborough taken from Blue Peter and excerpts from Hot Shots a ‘making of…’ documentary.
All three of these classic David Attenborough nature series will be available to buy on DVD individually (£34.99 each for Life on Earth and The Living Planet, and £19.99 for The Private Life of Plants), or together in a beautifully packaged gift box set retailing at £74.99.
8th September 2003: Doctor Who and Happiness Series 2
Doctor Who: The Two Doctors - £12.99 - Colin Baker’s incarnation of the Doctor faces old enemies the Sontarans in this September 8th release. An alien scientist allied with the warlike Sontarans kidnaps the second Doctor (played by Patrick Troughton) in order to obtain the secret of time travel, which is found in a Time Lord’s genes. This two disc set was originally transmitted in February 1985.
Special Features include:
- 3 x 45 minute episodes
- Commentary by stars Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines, Jacqueline Pearce and director Peter Moffatt
- Isolated music soundtrack
- Production Notes.
- 'A Fix with Sontarans' - a short mini-episode from 'Jim'll Fix It'. (approx 10 mins)
- Easter Egg
- Behind the Sofa - Robert Holmes & Doctor Who - a featurette about the work of the acclaimed Doctor Who writer and script editor. (approx 45 mins)
- Beneath the Lights - in studio during recording of part of episode one. (approx 25 mins)
- Beneath the Sun - VHS-sourced raw takes from the location filming in Spain. (Approx 35 mins.)
- Adventures in Time and Spain - Production Manager Gary Downie talks about the trials and tribulations of working in a foreign location. (Approx 30 mins)
- Wavelength - a radio production from 1984 following the cast and crew as they record the story. (Approx 29 mins)
- Photo Gallery (approx 8 mins)
Happiness Series 2 - £19.99 - Paul Whitehouse returns in the second series of Happiness as the misanthropic Danny Spencer, creator of an animated bear who is more famous and more successful than he is. Danny is still trying to find happiness, or at least a cure for baldness, and spend his life bemoaning his lot to his small group of friends.
On the face of it, Danny is a successful, popular individual who should have happiness at his fingertips – so why does he feel that it’s always just out of his reach? Although his friends are well intentioned, their efforts to support Danny through his crises in life often fall a little wide of the mark. But through a series of exploits and experiments, Danny and his friends try to track a way through his burgeoning mid-life crisis.
Worries about getting old are confronted by booking a face-lift. He attends an ‘interpersonal relationship counselling’ session. And he attempts to rekindle lost youth at a karate session.
With a brilliant cast – Paul Whitehouse, Johnny Vegas, Clive Russell, Fiona Allen, Mark Heap – and packed full of guest celebrities – Ricky Gervais, Tony Parsons, Sir Bob Geldof, Dawn French, Charlie Higson – together with animation from Aardman Animations, Happiness is about one man’s attempt to get his life into shape as he takes steps to make more of the good things and dwell less on the bad bits.
15th September 2003:
Wild West Series 1 - £19.99 - A quirky comedy set in the small, picturesque yet rather odd coastal village of St. Gweep, Wild West stars one of our greatest comedienne’s of all time … Dawn French as Mary.
Mary Tregwednack lives above her Post Office in the Cornish village of St. Gweep with her neurotic partner Angela (Catherine Tate). Mary and Angela enjoy the cosy security of life in a tight knit coastal community but their chances of finding suitable men are more remote than the village itself.
The two women find themselves thrown together in an unlikely yet happy relationship, which is put to the test on occasions, particularly if a healthy hunk of testosterone visits the village.
Mary always says what she thinks and is not averse to stocking the shop she runs with stolen goods, while Angela’s prim exterior masks an unhealthy obsession with some frilly frocks and strange phobias. What’s more, the other village locals are every bit as eccentric as the distinctively ‘odd couple’ in this charming and original series.
Written by Simon Nye (“Men Behaving Badly”), Wild West takes a darkly comic look beyond the local bobby, traditional fisherman and the village pub expected of a fictional Cornish village.
22nd September 2003:
Absolutely Fabulous: Gay - £15.99 - Edina and Patsy are back! And while Patsy has embarked on a new career as Creative Director and Buyer for Jeremy’s, a new concept fashion store, Eddie is becoming increasingly bored by Saffy and Bubble’s company.
After taking London Fashion Week by storm, Patsy has a new taste for flash photography, frocks and male models and sets her sights Stateside…
In the mean time, Eddie discovers that her long lost son, Serge is living somewhere in New York and despite Saffy’s efforts to keep his exact whereabouts a secret, she also decides to descend on the Big Apple. Edina is particularly excited about tracking down her son when she discovers that he is gay. But will Serge turn out to be the Queen of camp that she has always longed for? Or will he be a square disappointment like Saffy?
Along the way, special guest stars join Edina and Patsy including, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Harry, Graham Norton and some very familiar faces from the world of fashion.
Only Fools & Horses Series 6 DVD - £19.99 - Trotters Independent Traders, the most infamous wheeler-dealer team to ever come out of Peckham are back! Here we see them in Only Fools and Horses- The Complete Series 6 with all six classic episodes available together for the first time ever on DVD.
Series six contained some landmark moments for Only Fools and Horses. Not only did it introduce Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong), as Rodney’s wife-to-be, but it also features one of the most memorable moments in British comedy - Del-Boy falling through the bar!
There are loads more comical moments as Del-Boy and Rodney’s antics include embracing 80’s yuppiedom, investing in a batch of exploding blow-up dolls, and the surprisingly touching final episode, where Rodney and Cassandra finally tie the knot.
The series drew an average of 16.7 million viewers when it was first broadcast in 1989 and sold a massive 157,000 units on VHS.
Written by John Sullivan, The Complete Only Fools and Horses - Series Six stars David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and the late, great Buster Merryfield as Uncle Albert.
Look out for more luvvly jubbly video and DVD titles in November, when we release last year’s hilarious Christmas special: Only Fools and Horses: Strangers on the Shore.
Around the World in 80 Days (Michael Palin) - £19.99 - The series that established Monty Python comedian Michael Palin as the world’s favourite travelling companion arrives on DVD. First shown to overwhelming delight in 1989, fans can now experience the joy of Michael’s entertaining adventures with enhanced visual quality and magnificent sound.
Taking on the famous challenge to circumnavigate the globe in less than 80 days, Michael Palin follows in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg, Jules Verne’s fictional hero, using the same routes and transport wherever possible, and not allowed the use of air travel. In the modern world, however, air travel has destroyed the scheduled passenger steamer, and decimated the global rail links. Gradually Michael realises that things can only go from good to bad, to impossible…
Racing across continents and against the clock, Michael’s route takes him to some of the most exciting and exotic places in the world including Paris, Bombay, Shanghai and Tokyo. With transport options ranging from the Simplon-Orient Express, to balloon and even camel, Michael’s eye is always on the clock. Encountering a host of interesting characters from a variety of cultures, Michael’s infectious good humour carries him through the multitude of ups and downs along the way… just about.
Written by Michael Palin, Devised and Produced by Clem Vallance and Directed by Roger Mills, Around the World in 80 Days was watched by millions, with an astonishing 12.7 million people tuning in to the final episode. The programme received widespread acclaim, won three major awards, and spawned a number of equally popular BBC travel adventures for Michael. The DVD comes with an exclusive interview with Michael Palin, recorded especially for the DVD release.
29th September 2003: 5 Classic Comedies and Human Remains
Yes Minister Series 3 - Anyone who has ever fallen foul of officialdom, red tape or vote-seeking politicians will love this satirical comedy. A worldwide favourite seen in over 80 countries, during its heyday, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to ask the BBC for a video whenever she missed an episode.
Government ministers come and go, but Civil Servants are in the Ministry forever. Therefore it is the job of every responsible Government bureaucrat to ensure that meddling politicians do not rock the boat. Few politicians ever realise that the staff they employ regard them as the enemy.
Porridge Series 3 - Now a classic comedy, Porridge is a timeless show with strong dialogue and characters. In the mid 1970’s it was one of Britain’s most popular series, especially in prisons where erring inmates were punished by withdrawal of viewing rights.
Series 3 includes all six brilliant episodes - A Storm In A Teacup; Poetic Justice; Rough Justice; Pardon Me; A test Of Character; Final Stretch - and features the hugely talented Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale.
Open All Hours Series 2 - Brown-coated, stuttering, penny-pinching Arkwright keeps his corner-shop open for as long as the law will permit. But he still finds time for his passions - parting unsuspecting customers from their hard-earned cash, keeping his day-dreaming nephew Granville in line and tirelessly pursuing buxom nurse Gladys Emmanuel.
Open All Hours shows Ronnie Barker’s acting skills at their finest and paired with a young, fresh-faced David Jason and Lynda Baron, all seven episodes of this series are all-time favourites.
The Best of The Two Ronnies Vol. 2 - After the huge success of The Best of The Two Ronnies Vol. 1, there has been high demand for another DVD featuring some more of their best loved and funniest sketches. Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett dressed up in drag, sang comic duets and mimicked stereotyped British characters between 1971 and 1987 to delight their fans.
Sketches on this DVD include ‘Bank of Toyland’, Il Travatore’, ‘Ministry for sex equality’, News at Ten’, ‘Jaws’, Ronnie Corbett monologue, ‘Love Me Love My Dog’, plus many more.
The Best of Cook and Moore - Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were a major part of the new comedy era in the ‘60s and ‘70s. When the pair wrote and conceived Not Only But Also a great partnership developed. Not Only But Also gave rise to the famous Dagenham Dialogues of Pete and Dud and included other gems such as One Leg Too Few and Sir Arthur Streeb Greebling.
There were three series of this brilliant programme, which ran between 1965 - 1970 and half the charm of the show is the ad-libs from Cook and Moore’s reaction to the scripts … while trying to hold the laughter back.
Retail is £12.99 each.
Human Remains - £15.99 - Using a spoof documentary style in each of these six self-contained stories, Human Remains hones in on a different odd couple in each episode, who gradually and unwittingly expose their unhinged, dysfunctional relationships to the naked eye of the camera.
From a bald neurotic to a male chauvinist fiancé, the characters conduct open, honest and shocking interviews as the series sets new boundaries for extraordinary relationships in a seemingly ordinary world. Human Remains takes a documentary-style look at the lighter side of unconventional couples, as each episode develops into something funny and touching and deeply absorbing.
Fresh from his award-winning triumph in ‘Marion And Geoff ‘, Rob Brydon demonstrates his stunning versatility, this time assuming one half of some compulsively bizarre couples in these darkly comic ‘mockumentaries’. The brilliant actress, comedienne and writer, Julia Davis (‘Big Train’, ‘People Like Us’, ‘Jam’) unreservedly plays his admirably mismatched foil.
Human Remains has already collected many awards after just one series - Winner of a Banff Rockie for Comedy, RTS Best Performance Award 2001 (Julia Davis) and Best Comedy Actor (Rob Brydon) at the British Comedy Awards 2001.
A Baby Cow Production, the series was written by Julia Davis and Rob Brydon, produced by Alison Macphail and directed by Matt Lipsey. The Executive Producers are Henry Normal and Steve Coogan.
This two disc DVD set includes the following extras: Commentary with Rob Brydon and Julia Davis; Fonte Bund Band Live - following Fonte and Barne on tour; Multi-Angle Option to view original character improvisations; deleted scenes; out-takes; Les’ songs; make up test; three BBC trailers; photo gallery; scene selection.