Sunday, October 5, 2008

In my opinionation

The very first TV series that I purchased on DVD was Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which, at the time of its release, had one of the heftiest price tags I’d ever seen on a DVD set. I honestly couldn’t see myself shelling out that much for a show that, for better or worse, had such a pronounced influence on me in my clumsy, awkward adolescent TV-watching years.

I finally bought the set online when some retailer (I’ve forgotten which) marked it down to $99.95…which I suppose was cheap enough to get my attention. Anyway, I’ve never regretted purchasing Circus, but apparently there is some buyers’ remorse because is announcing that A&E Home Entertainment will be releasing Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Collector’s Edition on November 18th.

What’s that, I hear you say? This is just another ploy to get people to buy the same set again by adding a few “documentaries” and extras? I’m shocked…shocked…at the cynicism here. (Mostly due to the fact that it’s true.) Anyway, it’s a tempting offer—but I think I’ll stick with what I have. (I told them: “Thanks, but no thanks…”)

However, there is some encouraging news on the Britcom DVD front. Warner Home Video is announcing the release of the final two series (five and six) of TDOY Britcom fave One Foot in the Grave February 10th. (“I don’t believe it!”) And here’s a real oddity: Morningstar of Canada will roll out Series 1 of the 70s sitcom fave Not on Your Nellie November 18th. I label this an oddity only because Nellie—star Hylda Baker’s follow-up to Nearest and Dearest—is a relatively obscure comedy series and I’m curious as to why it would be released on Region 1 before so many other worthy Britcom candidates. Of course, there is a note in the article at TVShows that mentions Wendy “Are You Being Served?” Richard’s participation in the show, which as good a reason as any to bring the show to DVD, I suppose. Nellie has already been made available to Region 2 DVD consumers from Network; I have the first series but I’m waiting to see a significant price shift in the second release (which combines the second and third series) before completing my collection.

Speaking of Network, they haven’t been idle in planning further DVD releases from their backlog of ITV material; the latest announcements include the complete runs of two classic sketch shows featuring the late, great Ronnie Barker: Hark at Barker and Six Dates with Barker. (Both of these shows are sold separately or are available in a combined set, The Ronnie Barker Collection—street date is October 13th.) also has announcements on the second season release of Simon & Simon and the first and second seasons release of 80s teen icon Blossom. Simon & Simon seemed doomed to “one-and-done” status but it’s been resurrected by Shout! Factory (Shout! is also responsible for the continuation of Adam-12 on DVD)—who are also overseeing the coming-out-disc-party of Blossom as well. Apparently some of the studios are having second thoughts and are toying with jump-starting stalled series on DVD—this blurb at TVShows explains the interest in renewing the DVD futures of Everwood, Night Court and Knots Landing.

Finally, word comes from TVShows that the seventh season of the classic 60s sitcom Bewitched is scheduled out for the first part of 2009 (no official date has been set yet by Sony). This penultimate season contains the famous “Visit to Salem” story arc (eight episodes), so I’m eager to add this to the dusty TDOY archives ASAP. That's "30" for tonight.



Sad news - Wendy Richards is suffering with terminal cancer and is not expected to live more than twelve months.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

That is indeed devastating news to hear, archavist. I'm not the world's biggest Are You Being Served? fan but I will readily attest that she was one of the bright spots of the series.

I also enjoyed her periodic appearances on Dad's Army. It will truly be a sad day when she goes to her greater reward--thanks for passing this along.