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Department S The Complete Series



Released by Umbrella and The AV Channel

Definitely a prime candidate for DVD release of the year and one of the best put together packages I’ve seen. This 7 disc box set from The AV Channel and Umbrella Entertainment is simply a must, bringing together as it does, all 28 episodes of the 1968 cult ITC classic Department S.
Department S, a secret wing of Interpol and based in Paris, featured a trio of agents, each with their own special skills, tackling the kind of cases that leave most people baffled. Created by Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner and filmed concurrently with that other ITC classic Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Department S starred Peter Wyngarde as novelist Jason King who would use his literary brain to try and crack the case, then there was the American Joel Fabiani as the straightish Stewart Sullivan and thirdly there was Rosemary Nichols as computer expert Annabelle Hurst. All three answered to the African Sir Curtis Seretse (played by Dennis Alaba Peters) but their cases took them all over the world (although due to budget constraints most of these locations look suspiciously like ITC’s favourite pre-filmed backdrops).

In a somewhat similar format to The Champions the cases that Department S undertook were generally of the fantastic variety such as episode one’s Six Days where a plane and its passengers disappear for six days but have no memory of it and The Pied Piper of Hambledown where an entire village goes missing. All of the 28 stories are very quirky and very great fun.

You get a real nostalgia glow from watching the episodes here, Peter Wyngarde as Jason King fairly eats up the screen whenever he appears, so popular was he in fact that he soon gained a spin-off show – the self titled Jason King. The great thing too about all of the ITC shows is their glossiness, all shot on high (Lew 🙂 Grade 35mm film they just look fantastic, this release proves it too, choc a block full of extras and boasting great audio and digitally remastered prints. Not to be missed.

Well where do we begin – this 7 disc set is packed to the rafter with great bonus material, starting off with the reproduction ITC publicity booklet included as an insert in disc one. There are audio commentaries, isolated musical tracks, massive amounts of production detail and much more. With each disc containing something different the easiest this to do is list each disc separately.

1. DISC ONE – Pick of this disc is the audio commentary on the episode Pied Piper of Hambledown from Mr King himself Peter Wyngarde where he sheds some very interesting light not just on the series but his own life too. There is also a reproduction of the original ITC press kit (running to almost 70 pages). there is an excellent photo gallery, very extensive production notes as well as a fun bio of Jason King (taken from the jacket blurb on one of his supposed novels), as well as biogs of prominent guest stars.

2. DISC TWO – Original UK/USA ITC publicity. more production notes. bio of Stewart Sullivan, more photos and more guest cast info.

3. DISC THREE – Another major highlight is isolated music tracks on the first two episodes of the this disc (The Double Death of Charlie Crippen and The Treasure of the Costa Del Sol.) Very groovy listening too, there are also some very extensive notes on musical director Edwin Astley. A Department S trailer. A biog of Annabelle Hurst, more photos and more guest cast info.

4. DISC FOUR – Fun with Department S collectables, a look at the trio’s cars, a Curtis Seretse bio, more guest cast info and more photos. Incidentally all of the photos featured are very high quality production stills not the usual screen grabs you often get these days.

5. DISC FIVE – Stand out extra on this disc is the text feature looking at Peter Wyngarde in Australia (his early 1970’s appearances down under saw him achieve idol status), there are also more guest cast bios and more quality photos.

6. DISC SIX – In the early 1970’s Peter Wyngarde recorded a high concept pop album and the feature on this disc takes an indepth look at it. There is also a fun look at Department S locations, more guest cast bios and more photos.

7. DISC SEVEN – There is no let up even for this last disc as there is another fab Peter Wyngarde commentary on the episode A Small War of Nerves, there is also info on the sequel Jason King too as well as a trailer for that show plus more guest cast info and a final photo gallery.

Also featured on every disc are trailers for forthcoming ITC attractions from the AV Channel and Umbrella and these include such classics as Man in a Suitcase, The Protectors, UFO, Strange Report, The Secret Service, Fireball XL5 and many more. Also worth mentioning is the great sleeve notes put together by Grant Taylor. All in a all a fantastic package.

Format: PAL All Region Total Running Time: 28×50 minutes Certificate: M15+



Dave Saint Show, The (UK Play 2000, John Thomson, Alexander Kirk)




UK Play Logo

The Dave Saint Show was a comedy about a useless heavy metal DJ on a local radio station. As was usual with with shows on extra terrestrial channel UK Play music videos were interspersed throughout the show.

production details
UK / UK Play – Channel X / x30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2000

Writers: Alexander Kirk, Simon Messingham / Script Consultant: Stacy Herbert / Music: Steve Cripps, Dan Mendford / Costumes: Pookie Russell / Producer: Jim Reid / Director: Mark Mylod

JOHN THOMSON as Dave Saint

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Game of Thrones Season Six Opener reviews from around and about




Assorted reviews from the interweb of the season six opener for Game Of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is back, with a premiere full of shocks, bloody acts and creepy reveals – but no definite answer about the fate of Jon Snow.

Season six is the first time the TV series has moved ahead of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, so even dedicated readers have no idea what will happen. Reviewers say the first episode, The Red Woman, resolved some of the cliffhangers from the last series, but also has a few shocks in store, including one very creepy reveal involving a leading lady.

“The tension was incredible,” says Ed Power in the Daily Telegraph.

Season six opened with the camera swooping low over Castle Black and pausing on noble Jon Snow after his bloody run-in with the traitorous Night’s Watch.

“Alas, the Bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) was, for the time being at least, staying very dead indeed,” says Power. This was confirmed by “a haunting close-up of his waxy visage and the pool of scarlet arranged like a skewed halo”.

Short of spelling out: “He’s dead!” in huge flaming letters, the writers couldn’t have driven the point home harder, adds the critic, who asks whether this was “a sadistic riposte to fans” who have waited a year to see if their heart-throb will return or “a sleight-of-hand intended to make his eventual reappearance all the more dramatically satisfying”.

Christopher Hooton in The Independent writes: “The last season of Game of Thrones didn’t so much end on a cliff-hanger as a splat on the beach below. Jon Snow is unequivocally dead,” or so we’ve been repeatedly told over the past few months.

However, he adds, the sheer amount of screen time given to his body “suggested more than just a ‘funeral then we all move on with our lives’ narrative”.

With the “obligatory Jon Snow death check” out of the way, this episode was mostly about setting up the playing field for the rest of the season, continues the critic.

Indeed, it was “a sombre, sturdy opening”, says Matt Fowler on IGN. While “not a high watermark for the show”, the series’ opener resolved some cliff-hangers and included “a big creepy reveal regarding Melisandre right at the end”.

It also set up the pieces on the chessboard and managed to touch upon just about every character in the ensemble, says the journalist, a much easier task these days, “now that the herd is so thin”.

Yes, it was a “table-setting episode”, says Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter, as premieres are supposed to be. The episode did what it needed, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track.

Being Game of Thrones, however, there were a few shockers, including some gory violence and nudity that is “more shocking in its narrative ramifications than its gratuity or titillation”. And while the answer to Snow’s wellbeing comes quickly, says Fienberg, “it needn’t necessarily be permanent, because what things are?”

Source: The Week

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Columbo Series Three Region 1 DVD Review




Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment

Certificate: Not Rated | 11 Hours and 24 minutes
Available to buy

Extras: Yes

Peter Falk, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper

The Columbo releases from Universal are now upto the third season and of course by now it is full steam ahead as Columbo really hits its stride, of course the basic premise of the show dictates that we know who the killer is right from the get go but by the third season the audience was lapping up the way the Superlative Peter Falk as Lt Columbo doggedly pursued

his villain who were always lulled into a false sense of security by Columbo’s grubby mac, battered old car and down at heel demeanour, all tactics designed to throw the suspect off guard before he lets them know that he knows they did it.

Spread over two double sided discs this nicely put together set features all 8 feature length season three episodes, Columbo’s cases include the mysterious death of a well known author, a country singer who is prime suspect in a murder case, he also finds time to uncover police corruption and political skullduggery. Columbo also always managed to attract a high level of guest and this series includes the legendary Johnny Cash in the episode Swan Song as well as the likes of

Jose Ferrier, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, Dana Elcar and Robert Culp. A classy slice of 1970’s Tec TV Heaven, Columbo always entertains and should be on any Classic TV fans must have list.

There’s a great bonus episode from the series Mrs Columbo (which many have claimed isn’t a spin off from Columbo but having now seen an episode it clearly is) this is called Murder Is A Parlour Game (from 1979) and features Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo, journalist on a small local paper and married to a never seen Lt Columbo, she investigates when a suicide case appears to be murder, the excellent Donald Pleasance guest stars, this is great fun and is hopefully a precursor to the whole series getting a release.

Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.

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