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Join us for the latest on the best in extraordinary fictional television and film from the past, present and future, and analysis on its cultural impacts.

Find out about the amazing facts in fiction, and discover the truth about what's really going on in the World around us...

Alex G

Alex G

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 23:00

Thunderbirds Are Go/TB6 on Blu-ray

Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbirds 6 - out now on UK Blu-rayWith a new reboot on ITV, it wouldn’t be long before the Blu-ray versions of the big screen movies from the 1960s of Thunderbirds would finally make their way to the UK. We’re talking about “Thunderbirds are Go” (1966) and “Thunderbird 6” (1968). Mostly forgotten, even at the time, due to very lacklustre box office returns, they are far more than being double-length TV episodes, filmed entirely in an extreme cinematic aspect ratio, with no carriage over of footage from the small screen adventures. And you had the chance to win one of three copies of both releases which we had up for grabs in our prize competition.

Gerry Anderson often told the story that Lew Grade confided in him that he couldn’t make his mind up whether the first of the movies would out-perform James Bond at the Box Office or not. The problem was that even the sales line that this was your chance to see International Rescue in glorious colour, something not afforded the monochrome television audiences of the time, did not make the case for the cinema audience to buy their tickets. Perhaps they were too dumb to realise these were all-new adventures, with everything illustrated on a much bigger canvas?

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 23:00

Jean-Pierre Dorléac's Naked Truth

The Naked Truth - out nowHave you ever wondered what the role of a costume designer entails? Or indeed how it differs from other clothing-specific titles and job descriptions within the TV and movies business? Jean-Pierre Dorléac, well-known to attendees of the Cult TV Festival, tackles the demarcation at the same time as pulling back the curtain on this aspect of Hollywood, in his book “The Naked Truth”. Covering the years from 1973 to 1985, the choice of timeframe is very deliberate. This was the era when the classic glamour creators of Tinseltown were almost totally side-lined, replaced by pushy wannabes with no background or knowledge in their craft. All brought about by bean counters who put the bottom line ahead of quality.

This is the story of what Jean-Pierre needed to do to make ends meet, while establishing his name so as to be thought of when relevant projects neared production. As many a media person will tell you, networking is essential. It really is a case that what you know is not nearly as important as who you know. Connections beget contracts. So whether it was work for the theatre, television, film, couture, burlesque, ballet, or stars who wanted to make an impact when they were seen out-and-about, Jean-Pierre was civil to everyone, as he sorted the wheat from the chaff.

Monday, 18 May 2015 23:00

Andromeda Strain mini-series DVD

The Andromeda Strain mini-series on DVDBased on the 1969 best-selling novel by Michael Crichton (he of “Jurassic Park” fame), a mysterious virus is brought to Earth by a returning US military satellite. This problem with Project Scoop is the cue for Wildfire, an elite team of scientists, to convene in a secure complex to attempt to stop the ever-mutating life form, before it ends life on Earth. And YOU had the chance to win one of three copies we had up for grabs in our prize competition.

This version of “The Andromeda Strain” was nominated for six Primetime Emmys – Best Miniseries, and within that description’s categories, cinematography, picture editing, sound editing, makeup, and sound mixing. Where the 1971 movie didn’t define what exactly the ‘Andromeda’ virus was, in this adaption we have a suitably 21st Century investigation, with wormholes and alien races being considered before a solution a lot closer to home is discovered.

Monday, 27 April 2015 23:00

The Professionals Mk III on Blu-ray

The Professionals - the third production block of episodes out on Blu-rayCI5. The Professionals. Here we have the latest instalment in the overhaul of episodes, bringing a sheen and quality which cannot be ignored. Lewis Collins (abrasive Bodie), Martin Shaw (cultured Doyle), and Gordon Jackson (boss Cowley) are the stars, and this set contains 13 more of the 57 episodes. Once again, the stories are all forensically restored from the original negatives. It has been said many times before about these releases from Network, but you could put these prints on in primetime right now, and the audience would never know they were watching something from the cusp between the 1970s and 1980s.

Many armchair pundits suggest that there is some sort of subsiding variation in the quality of these episodes from earlier stories. Most viewers will probably be dumbstruck at this conclusion, as there are plenty of attempts here to play with the conventions of the format established for the show. Characterisations are put into place to make our trio of stars more human, and there are plenty of moral dilemmas for the actors to pull at in their performances.

Monday, 16 March 2015 17:06

Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs DVD

The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs - out now on DVDIn the gap between the pilot for Open All Hours in 1973, and it finally going to series in 1976, David Jason was seen as a future star, and Producer Humphrey Barclay and London Weekend Television took it upon themselves to try and find the perfect format for him. To come was Lucky Feller (1975-6), but the first attempt was 1974’s The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs. Producer Barclay likes to take credit for discovering Jason, on Bournemouth pier entertaining at a theatre. He gave Jason his initial break with the sketch show Do Not Adjust Your Set (1967-9).

In this venture, Jason starred as espionage agent Edgar Briggs, with a theme tune whose opening bars more than suggest 007. With a character that had a hint of live-action Danger Mouse to it, Briggs transferred to the Secret Intelligence Service due to an administrative error, or ‘cock up’ as most would call it. Much to the bemusement of his staff, no wrong turn doesn’t get taken, every clue misconstrued, and with the most sublime of luck whichever route he takes Briggs always solves the mystery or crime under his scattergun gaze. There must have been a fair degree of faith in the format, as the show was commissioned, straight off the bat, for 13 episodes.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 00:00

The Equalizer - Blood & Wine DVD

The Equalizer - Blood and Wine - Out on DVDEdward Woodward is the original and best Robert McCall. The character is a retired covert intelligence officer, wanting to make amends for his sins of the past by offering his services, free of charge, as a troubleshooter, protector and investigator. Aided by a group of former associates who he knows from his undercover days, he protects the streets of New York City, offering his own form of justice to those who reply to his newspaper classifieds advert: “Odds Against You? Need Help? Call The Equalizer. 212-555-4200.”

To coincide with the DVD and Blu-ray release of the hit Sony Columbia movie “The Equalizer” starring Denzel Washington this week, Fabulous Films are putting out a feature- length made for television episode of the original series. “Blood and Wine” guest stars Telly Savalas of Kojak fame, and it’s no small wonder that one of the most well thought-of stories is there as a taster for the four seasons of The Equalizer that are already out on DVD. There should be a huge amount of interest from those who have no memory of Edward Woodward’s defining version of the character, as the Washington movie grossed nearly $200 million worldwide at the box office. And now, thanks to Fabulous Films and Cult TV, you could have had the chance to win one of three copies of “Blood and Wine” up for grabs in our prize competition.

Monday, 05 January 2015 00:00

Cult TV Award Winners 2014

The Cult TV Awards winners for 2014 have just been announced. Appreciators from the UK of extraordinary fictional television are given the chance every year (since 1994) to nominate and vote for their favourites in a couple of dozen categories, including an expansive ‘Hall of Fame’ as well as a trio of gongs in the infamous ‘Hall of Shame’. It provides an excellent litmus test of where mainstream views cross over, and differ, from those in the fan communities.

Voting in the Cult TV Awards 2014 gave you a chance to win some top prizes

This year gauged from September 2013 to August 2014 inclusive, next year will see the Cult TV Awards Ceremony return as a live event, which everyone can attend.  Part of the Cult TV Festival’s 21st Birthday Party, a one day-and-night convention will share a weekend with “Doomwatch Live” – a similar style of event for extraordinary happenings in the real world. The weekend to mark in your diaries is 6-9 November 2015 at the Park Inn Telford, Shropshire. Full details and booking information can be found at www.culttv.biz

Monday, 08 December 2014 00:00

Voting Closed in CTV Awards 2014

Voting has just concluded for this year's Cult TV Awards, following the nominations phase where we asked you who should go in each of the five pigeonholes to be in with a chance to win each of the coveted gongs.

It was up to YOU to once again to decide who the lucky recipients will be, and thanks to our good friends at Network Releasing, we again had a trio of superb prizes as an incentive for you to take the time to tell us who should win.  Remember - if you didn't vote, you can't then complain about who wins!

Prizes up for grabs for voting in the Cult TV Awards 2014 - with thanks to Network Releasing

First Prize was The Professionals on Blu-ray - the Box Sets of MkI (i.e., Season One) and MkII (Season Two), released this year, and digitally restored so that the episodes look better than ever - the winner was Colin Taylor of Swanscombe, Kent.  Second Prize features the debut release of the Season Two double episode of Space: 1999 - "The Bringers of Wonder" - out this month on a Blu-ray edition limited to just 1,999 copies - and with it our winner will get the whole of Season One of Space: 1999 in the Blu-ray box set (which also features the first episdode of Season Two, "The Metamorph" featuring the debut of Catherine Schell's character, Maya) - the winner was Masih Malik of Epsom Downs, Surrey. The Third Prize is the recently released, and seldom-seen David Jason bittersweet comedy Lucky Feller - featuring all 13 episodes from 1976, as well as the unscreened pilot featuring different cast members from the previous year - the winner was Hazel Kohler of Feltham, Middlesex.

All you had to do to be in with a chance of being a winner was make your selections on our voting form. For those of you new to this, there were NO premium rate phone lines to call, or even stamps to buy to put your votes on record! With the process being online, and with each form being individually verified to ensure that block votes were discounted, this is the best system going to ensure that we genuinely take the pulse of the UK’s Cult TV appreciators. Keep checking back to find out who the winners were.

Friday, 14 November 2014 15:43

Space:1999 Series 2 on Blu-ray

Space:1999 - The Bringers of Wonder from Series 2 comes to Blu-rayThe wait is nearly over for fans of Space: 1999. The Complete Second Series, digitally restored in High Definition, on Blu-ray and DVD is scheduled to finally be released into the wild in Autumn 2015.

But, there’s time for a little taster beforehand, with a stocking filler for fans this festive season. Network Distributing will be bringing out a special edition Blu-ray release of the two-part episode “The Bringers Of Wonder” - featuring a pair of episodes which were originally conceived to be a big screen feature for some territories. It will be available exclusively through networkonair.com from 8 December 2014 – and available on pre-order right now! The RRP is £13.00, and limited to just 1,999 copies, so get yours reserved now.

Sunday, 28 September 2014 23:00

Professionals MkII out on Blu-ray

The Professionals - MkII gets a substantial overhaulAnd so, out on the streets now, released in another example of immaculate restoration is The Professionals: MkII from Network. Available for the first time in Blu-ray format, and via iTunes if you really insist, is the second shooting block of episodes. Sort of. Stick with us to find out why that all becomes a little fuzzy!

As with the MkI release which appeared in March 2014, here we have brand new transfers from original film elements, all presented here in a previously never realised supreme quality. And when we say that, we mean even better than when it was first broadcast - 13 episodes from transmissions first made 1978 and 1979. Martin Shaw as Doyle, Lewis Collins as Bodie, the affable brace of special agents from law enforcement department CI5, with Gordon Jackson as their cantankerous boss George Cowley.

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