Category Archives: Cult TV News
Today sees the launch of Arrow’s new premium streaming site for exclusive film premieres, curated cult and arthouse classics, and critically-acclaimed TV from all over the world. OMG! This is going to be great as it includes all their labels – Arrow Video, Arrow Academy and Arrow TV – alongside a host of other premium content including a season of films from director Lars Von Trier this month.
Start your 30-day free trial with ARROW now: CLICK HERE
January 2021 marks 60 years since the first episode of The Avengers aired on British TV. To mark the occasion, Studiocanal will be hosting a virtual event at 8pm (GMT) on 29 January in which fans can enjoy three classic episodes in the company of some very special guests.
The event kicks off with an introduction from director Sam Clemens (pre-recorded) and Dick Fiddy (archive TV Consultant at The BFI) and a screening of the 20th-episode of the first series, Tunnel of Fear, starring Ian Hendry as medical doctor David Keel, Patrick Macnee as John Steed and Ingrid Hefner as nurse Carol Wilson. Lost for 55 years, this episode was only re-discovered in a private film collection in 2016.
This will be followed by an interview with superfan Paul O’Grady and Janet Clemens (wife of producer Brian), and a screening of the fourth episode from the third series, The Nutshell, starring Honor Blackman as the leather-clad Cathy Gale.
Next up will be the first episode of the sixth series, The Forget-Me-Knot, in which Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel bowed out and Linda Thorson’s Tara King made her entrance. Introducing the episode will be Raymond Austin, the stunt coordinator on 50 episodes the show. The event ends with an interview with the series’ writer Richard Harris and a farewell from Sam.
As Steed would say, ‘How absolutely splendid!’
2019 marks the 60th anniversary celebration of Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone TV series and on 15 April, Mediumrare Entertainment is releasing an exclusive limited edition Blu-ray box set in the UK, which will include all 156 episodes of the original classic cult TV series, which was first broadcast on 2 October 1959 and ran for five seasons.
Included in the box set are a host of goodies, including an 80-page companion book written by Marc Scott Zicree, a 60-page episode guide, two reproduction Gold Key Comics, two post cards.
There’s also a host of extras (including audio commentaries, interviews, vintage radio dramas and the unaired pilots), plus a bonus disc which includes a new biography of the show’s creator, American Masters Presents: Rod Serling Submitted for Your Approval, and a new documentary, Timeless As Infinity: Entering the Twilight Zone, featuring interviews from Serling’s family, as well as interviews from the likes of Wes Craven and Joe Dante.
The fifth dimension has never been better than with this bumper box set on one of the most unique and inventive television shows ever created.
To pre-order the exclusive limited edition 60th Anniversary Blu-ray box set, which is priced at £149.99, and is not available from any other stockists, head over to: www.thetwilightzone.co.uk
If you’re a classic Doctor Who fan, then Koch Media’s series of Myth Makers compilations are a must-see, offering candid memories from the actors and crew members who worked on the cult BBC sci-fi series. The latest release, The Doctors: Villains!, is a two-disc DVD collection of interviews with five fan-favourite actors whose screen villain performances have become as iconic as the show itself, plus there’s poignant tribute to one of my childhood heroes, Roger Delgado.
Recorded between 2006 and 2018, these interviews are vital historical record about what went on behind-the-scenes, and feature personal testimonies and life stories that will be of huge interest to fans of the show.
Following a new from Nicholas Briggs and Keith Barnfather, the first feature on the disc one is a 1997 tribute to Roger Delgado (1 March 1918-18 June 1973), who was the original Master (and, in my view, the definitive one). Between 1971 and 1973, the East London-born character actor featured as the primary nemesis to Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor, a fellow renegade Time Lord whose nefarious schemes spanned eight adventures and 37 episodes.
However, his untimely death – in a terrible car accident in Turkey, while filming the fourth episode of a Franco/German TV series (La Cloche tibétaine) – meant his character’s final story (which was planned to end with a big bang) had to be scrapped and resulted in Jon Pertwee’s decision to bow out of the series.
This affectionate feature includes archive interviews from fellow actors Nicholas Courtney (aka Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (aka Sgt John Benton) and Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates), producer Barry Letts, director Paul Bernard, head of serials Shaun Sutton, and writer Terrance Dicks, and well as two interviews with Pertwee. There’s also some behind-the-scenes footage from the location shoot in Aldbourne, Wiltshire from The Daemons which I’ve never seen before (very exciting).
Next up is with Ian Collier (25 January 1943-1 October 2008), who played Omega (MK2) in the 1983 Peter Davison serial Arc of Infinity, and later in the Big Finish Productions audio drama Omega. Recorded in 2006, Collier, who also appeared in the 1972 Jon Pertwee adventure The Time Monster, looks back over his life and career and talks candidly about his HIV diagnosis and its negative effect on his career (and thanks Big Finish for saving it). Collier, who ends the interview with a lovely message: ‘being content and at peace with who you are is close to the secret of happiness’, passed away two years after this interview was recorded, aged 65.
Disc one concludes with an interview – recorded at an Ipswich Who convention in 2006 – with Bernard Archard (20 August 1916-1 May 2008), who had two notable roles in Doctor Who: the now missing Patrick Troughton serial The Power of the Daleks, and (one of my all-time fave episodes) as the possessed Marcus Scarman in the Tom Baker story Pyramids of Mars. This wonderful character actor, who appeared in lots of other classic British TV series and features (like 1961’s Village of the Damned), died in 2008 at the ripe age of 91.
Disc two’s first feature is on David Gooderson (b. 24 February 1941), who was the second actor to play Davros in the 1979 Tom Baker adventure Destiny of the Daleks. Beginning with a quick visit to Winspit Quarry (one of the locations used in Destiny of the Daleks, Gooderson who chats with interviewer Richard Dick about growing up in India, his memories of becoming an actor and writer (and working with the future Monty Python team), and his time on Doctor Who. Check out David’s website here: http://david-gooderson.co.uk/
Up next is an interview from 2005 with actor Peter Miles (29 August 1928-26 February 2018), who appeared in three serials, The Silurians (1970), Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) and Genesis of the Daleks (1975), in which he famlusly played Davros’ henchman, Nyder. He has a neat story about working with Brian Blessed, but did you know he was also an accomplished jazz and soul singer, and a childhood friend of Dusty Springfield?
Finally we have the esteemed Julian Glover (b 27 March 1935), who played Richard the Lionheart in the 1965 William Hartnell serial The Crusade and ended up in the City of Death in the 1979 Tom Baker adventure. He’s been in everything from The Avengers to Game of Thrones, and a luminary of the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond and Harry Potter franchises.
If, like me, you enjoy listening to the personal memories of actors who have given us so such enjoyment playing some our favourite villainous roles, then this latest release from Koch Media is a must-have.
From the golden age of TV sci-fi comes Irwin Allen’s The Time Tunnel, starring James Darren and Robert Colbert in sparkling HD
‘Two American scientists are lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages, during the first experiments on America’s greatest and most secret project, the Time Tunnel. Tony Newman and Doug Phillips now tumble helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure, somewhere along the infinite corridors of time…’
The control of time is potentially the most valuable treasure that man will ever find. Or so believe the scientists of Project Tic-Toc. Located deep beneath the Arizona desert, the 10-year project’s focus is the feasibility of time travel.
But when the government reconsiders the project, the scientists, led by Lt General Heywood Kirk (Whit Bissell), have only 24 hours to prove their untested Time Tunnel will actually work. Determined to save the project, Dr Tony Newman (James Darren) and Dr Doug Phillips (Robert Colbert) go through the tunnel – and quickly find themselves catapulted from one historical event to another (from the sinking of the Titantic to the attack on Pearl Habor), barely escaping with their lives as their colleagues race to figure out a way to bring them back home in one piece…
The BBC only showed 13 episodes of Irwin Allen’s third sci-fi series in 1968 as broadcasts were stopped to make way of the Olympics (held between 12-27 October 1968), and the show never returned to the BBC. Some ITV regions picked up the series in subsequent years, but other areas only got to see the full series when it was broadcast in the early 1990’s on ITV.
This new release, which features all 30 episodes presented in the original broadcast order, is produced from HD digital restoration masters created from the original negatives to ensure the best visual experience available. The seven-disc collector’s Blu-ray edition comes packed with special features and a brand new 5.1 surround sound mix, alongside the original mono audio.
• Original Unaired Pilot Episode (HD Version)
• 2002 Unaired TV Pilot
• Time Travelers TV Movie
• Cast Interviews
• Irwin Allen’s Behind-The-Scenes Home Movies – UK Edit (No Audio)
• Promotional TV & Radio Spots
• Visual Effects
• Camera Test (No Audio)
• Stills Galleries
• New 5.1 surround sound mix and original mono audio
Koch Media/Revelation Films presents The Time Tunnel on seven-disc Blu-ray from 5 November
ORDER HERE: https://amzn.to/2vv8CoV
One of my favourite TV events growing up in the 1970s was Frankenstein: The True Story, the two-part tele-movie in which novelist Christopher Isherwood (and his artist partner Don Barchardy) put their own stamp on Mary Shelley’s Gothic creation. Lavishly shot in the UK, it featured a stunning cast, including James Mason, Jane Seymour, David McCallum and Leonard Whiting. Newcomer Michael Sarrazin played the Creature as we had never seen before – as a beautiful young man who is rejected by his creator when he starts to deteriorate before our very eyes…
When Second Sight brought out the original 176-minute cut on DVD in the UK back in 2014, I wrote a long post about this must-see modern classic – which got its biggest accolade recently when Guillermo del Toro revealed just how inspiring this take on the Frankenstein tale was for him personally.
Last year, however, an entire issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors (No38), guest edited by US producer/director Sam Irvin, covered every single aspect of the production – from conception to release. When I got hold of a copy a couple of months back, I poured over every page and read it about five or six times, taking it wherever I went… I’m now looking to get a second copy as I’ve worn the pages out on this one.
Entitled The Epic Untold Saga Behind Frankenstein: The True Story, this special issue of LSOH is a must-have as it is the last word on the production, as well as a revealing 50,000-word exposé on movie making in the 1970s – it also features a covetable cover from Mark Maddox.
Now, I had never heard of producer Hunt Stromberg Jr before (even though he worked on my favourite TV show, Lost in Space), but after reading Sam’s in-depth feature, I now have enormous respect for the guy who put his heart and soul, and blood, sweat and tears into bringing his creation to life.
Among the other tantalising chapters there’s interviews with many of the actors, including Leonard Whiting, Jane Seymour, David McCallum, Nicola Pagett and Julian Barnes, as well as David Boyce (aka the thug who ended up on the cutting room floor); and a great little piece by James Mason’s grandson, James Duke Mason.
There’s also informative features on Gil Mellé’s score and the various edits, and some interesting interviews with Ian Lewis (Associate Producer) and John Stoneman (First Assistant Director), and director Jack Smith’s son. Reading these recollections is like being put in a time machine and being sent back to the summer of 1971, when the film was being made, and Sam has certainly done his homework on the nitty gritty of the production – and then some.
Having read the Avon novelisation countless times myself, a huge plus was the inclusion of the missing pages (which I have now photocopied and inserted into my copy of the paperback tie-in), while Sam’s analysis of Isherwood and Bachardy’s screenplay sheds revealing light on just how they fused elements of their own selves into the major characters.
Sam’s must-read issue of Little Shoppe of Horrors is up for a Rondo (the Oscars of the Classic Horror community) and I do wish him luck, as well as all the other nominees who have been doing some amazing work within the genre over the past year.
If you’d like to cast your vote, please note it closes Sunday 8 April at 12midnight, so act fast: https://rondoaward.com/rondoaward.com/blog/
UK fans can order a copy of Little Shoppe of Horrors (No38) through…
FAB Press: http://www.fabpress.com/little-shoppe-of-horrors-no-38.html
Hemlock Books: http://www.hemlockbooks.co.uk/Shop/category/4
If you are in the US, you can get it here: http://www.littleshoppeofhorrors.com/
ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) are pleased to announce that the first annual International Thunderbirds Day will take place on 30th September 2017, providing fans all over the world with a date to mark their love of the original Thunderbirds TV series as well as its new-generation revival Thunderbirds Are Go.
The iconic British TV series first aired in the UK on 30th September 1965 and has remained a family favourite for over 50 years; International Thunderbirds Day celebrates the date that Gerry Anderson’s creation first appeared in homes across the UK.
Vue Entertainment will be helping fans across the UK celebrate with a programme of exciting exclusive Thunderbirds Day screenings. This unique event, held at 2.00pm on Saturday 30th September, in 52 venues nationwide (in honour of 52 years of Thunderbirds), will include a never-before nationally screened episode of Thunderbirds in the style of the classic series, filmed in Supermarionation and using audio recordings starring the original cast, followed by two brand new episodes of the hotly anticipated Season 2, Part 2 of Thunderbirds Are Go coming to CITV this Autumn. Suitable for the whole family, fans old and new, or those looking for an introduction to the world of International Rescue, this is a one-off event that is not to be missed.
Fans are encouraged to go dressed as their favourite character (which could be Virgil Tracy, Brains, Parker or Lady Penelope) and post their photos using the hashtag #FAB@Vue to win exclusive prizes!
Tickets are available at https://www.myvue.com/film/thunderbirds-are-fab
The event will be screened in the following cinemas at 2.00pm on Saturday 30th September 2017:
VUE LEEDS KIRKSTALL
VUE BASINGSTOKE FESTIV
VUE LEEDS LIGHT
VUE EDINBURGH OCEAN
VUE STARCITY BIRMINGHAM
VUE FINCHLEY ROAD
VUE MANCHESTER PRINTWORKS
VUE MERTHYR TYDFIL
VUE GLASGOW FORT
VUE CHESHIRE OAKS
VUE CROYDON GRANTS
VUE WEST END
VUE CROYDON PW
Ever since its launch last year, Talking Pictures TV has become a firm favourite here at the Keep as nostalgia reigns supreme, showcasing a treasure trove of British-made features from the vaults of Pinewood, Twickenham and Shepperton Studios, TV gems like Colonel March of Scotland Yard with Boris Karloff, Honey West with Anne Francis, and 1958’s The Invisible Man, plus US TV anthology series and variety shows, exclusive interviews with veteran British stars, and vintage shorts from the BFI archives.
The channel has proven so popular that one of the UK’s leading TV listings magazine, TV&Satellite Week, will feature weekly listings beginning today (after much prodding by yours truly – whose day job is working for the mag). As such, I will be regularly dipping into the schedules to unearth some worthy cult highlights that you may want to tune into.
Watch out for the Vincent Price 1950s chiller House on Haunted Hill on Friday the 13th at 2.05am. while next week there’s a chance to revisit Robert Fuest’s The Final Programme (1973), Lili Palmer in the 1940 spookfest The Door With Seven Locks, the 1970’s surreal Swedish sci-fi The Night Visitor with Max Von Sydow and Jack Wild in David Hemming’s 1970’s drama The 14 (read about it here).
Watch on Freesat 306, Freeview 81, Sky 343, Youview 81.
Check out the schedule here: http://talkingpicturestv.co.uk/schedule/
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, comes this three-disc Blu-ray release featuring previously unseen footage from the show’s production and 12 classic episodes, which is due to land on Monday 5 December 2016.
During the shooting of Star Trek, reels and reels of episodic footage were left on the cutting room floor and later preserved in film canisters by the Roddenberry Estate. These alternate takes, deleted scenes, omitted dialogue, out-takes, and original visual FX elements have now been catalogued, transferred and pieced together to be inserted into the two featurettes and a three-part documentary that are at the core of this box-set from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution.
The 12 episodes (selected for their relevance to the vault materials) are from the 1080p High Definition film scans done in 2006 for the re-mastering project, and are presented here in both DTS 7.1 Master Audio and newly-restored original Mono. There are also isolated music tracks on 11 of the episodes, while three contain newly-recorded audio commentaries.
The three documentaries are:
• Inside The Roddenberry Vault: in which Rod Roddenberry introduces viewers to the discovery of his father’s long-lost Star Trek film reels.
• Star Trek: Revisiting A Classic: a look back at the origins of the iconic series, including glimpses of life on the set with new interviews featuring guest stars, directors and production personnel.
• Strange New Worlds: exploring the creation of the classic Star Trek visuals, featuring newly-found original visual effects elements photography.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
• The Corbomite Maneuver
• Space Seed
• This Side of Paradise (plus audio commentary by Dorothy ‘DC’ Fontana and Gabrielle Stanton)
• Inside the Roddenberry Vault (Part 1)
• Star Trek: Revisiting a Classic
• The Devil in the Dark
• The City on the Edge of Forever (plus audio commentary by Roger Lay Jr, Scott Mantz and Mark A Altman)
• Operation – Annihilate!
• Inside the Roddenberry Vault (Part 2)
• Strange New Worlds: Visualising the Fantastic
• Who Mourns for Adonais?
• Mirror, Mirror
• The Trouble with Tribbles (plus audio commentary by David Gerrold and David A Goodman)
• Return to Tomorrow
• Inside the Roddenberry Vault (Part 3)
• Swept Up: Snippets from the Cutting Room Floor
The Roddenberry Vault on Blu-ray is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
UFO: The Complete Series on Blu-ray | Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s cult sci-fi returns in a stunning new HD restoration
After 10 years development in top secrecy beneath a London film studio, Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation (aka SHADO) goes live on 16 September 1980. Its aim – to combat the threat of an alien invasion from a dying race that abducts humans to repair their own decaying bodies. SHADO’s dedicated operatives, headed up by Commander Ed Straker (Ed Bishop), fight a covert war against Earth’s terrifying new menace: on land, sea, air and in space!
The first live-action television series from Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, UFO remains a benchmark sci-fi production, featuring solid storylines, superior special effects and a blast of a cast. Long-awaited on Blu-ray, it’s presented here in a pristine new HD restoration, with all 26 episodes offering original mono or 5.1 soundtracks, alongside the following special features:
• From Earth to the Moon: New feature-length documentary featuring interviews with many of the surviving cast. (Just wait until you hear Wanda Ventham’s views on Star Trek and that famous son of hers, Benedict Cumberbatch – it’s a hoot – as is Ayshea Brough’s memory of the show).
• The Women of UFO: New documentary discussing the improving sexual equality depicted in the series.
• Identified: SHADO New Recruits Briefing: New SHADO briefing film narrated by Matt Zimmerman.
• 600-page collector’s book edited by archive TV historian Andrew Pixley.
• Dolby 5.1 audio mix, as well as existing as-transmitted mono audio.
• Film material, including textless episode title backgrounds, textless end titles, stock footage, TV spots, extra footage for Identified and Exposed, unused footage from Timelash and The Long Sleep, and Italian trailers.
• Audio commentaries: Identified with Gerry Anderson and Sub-Smash with Ed Bishop.
• S.I.D. Computer Voice Session and audio out-takes for these sessions and Kill Straker!
• Archive Ed Bishop audio interview from 1986.
• Tomorrow Today: Future fashions with Sylvia Anderson (be warned, there’s also a disturbing interview with a burns patient).
• Extensive image galleries.
• Ron Embleton-designed poster (at the time of time of writing, the first pressing was sold out and this was only available if you bought the box-set direct from networkonair.com).
• Also available from Amazon (while stocks last)