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Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD)

Jack Hedley , Neil McCarthy , William Slater    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
Price: 17.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD) + The Lotus Eaters - Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Jack Hedley, Neil McCarthy
  • Directors: William Slater
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Feb 2012
  • Run Time: 393 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,099 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description


Jack Hedley stars as Alan Haldane an ex-soldier who returns to Crete, thirty years after fighting alongside the local resistance during the Second World War.

Alan is wanting to take stock of his life following the sale of his boat-building business. He wants to look for his beloved Melina, from whom he has heard nothing from in his years away from the island.

When he arrives in Crete he finds the ghosts of the past waiting for him, along with those who wish to do him harm. The shadows of his past interrupt and threaten his present happiness.

When an old friend tells him Melina passed away and left a daughter, his daughter, Alan decides to stay on the island to be close to his new family. When he meets Annika (Betty Arvaniti), Melina's sister he falls in love with her. However, he does not take into account the hatred of the elderly Katerina (Patience Collier) who breathes new life into an old feud, and puts his life at serious risk. Torn between fear and desire Alan is slowly but surely separated from the past.

According to Greek mythology, when you die Charon, the ferryman, takes you over the River Styx to the realm of the dead, Hades, for this he must be paid.

The plot of the series reaches the unbearable pitch of a genuine Greek tragedy by the stunning final episode. The question is: who will die?

Who Pays The Ferryman? was originally transmitted by the BBC in 1977. The programme was a major success, watched by millions, the theme tune made the top ten and Michael J. Bird (The Lotus Eaters) established himself as one of the leading screenwriters of the time. This long requested series is exclusively restored and presented here for the first time in the UK, released as a 3-disc DVD set.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Pays The BBC? 5 Feb 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Who Pays The Ferryman" is coming over as well as I remember it all those years ago. Some way to go so no plot spoilers here I'm afraid. The picture is quite good if a little soft and with an off-white tint here and there, something common amongst programmes of this vintage which remains on these programmes without much evidence of a digital clean-up budget being available. But that should not deter from watching this strongly-plotted storyline one jot, neither should menu navigation to turn off the Dutch subtitles which is easy. Location filming added so much and must have cost a bit for the BBC at the time so while I'm glad I have obtained this I'm also staggered that such a well-remembered major drama serial such as this still has not been given any official British release on DVD. This fate is affecting many classic top-quality BBC shows of contemporary vintage which lie forgotten in the vaults in preference to the Corporations' pushing out of more recent popular shows (i.e. bigger sales from recent memories), some of which I'm find mundane now, let alone what I'll think of them in ten years time. For the moment though, step back in time and enjoy seeing Crete in a now-historical perspective, before the hordes of invading tourists. And don't forget the specially-composed, atmospheric music courtesy of Yannis Markopoulos.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Choose The Version You Buy Carefully 18 April 2013
By HK Nick
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember watching this series with my father during November and December 1977 and we both enjoyed it immensely. However, we never managed to watch the final episode as we had to attend a function in the evening - we both tried to wriggle out of that but there was no escaping for either of us! And, at the time of writing, I still have not seen that final episode, but will get there soon ... at last!

The story and acting all get full marks from me but a word of caution is required. Soon after ordering the Dutch DVD of the series, I noticed a newly restored version had been issued in the UK by Eureka Entertainment. I ordered that too, expecting to receive an improved copy over the Dutch version - perhaps not a restoration along the lines of that carried out for 'Lawrence of Arabia' or 'The Bridge Over The River Kwai' but something better than what I already had! I am sad to say that, in my opinion, the quality of the Eureka version is dreadful. Many, but certainly not all, of the scratches and spots evident in the Dutch DVD (and I certainly do not blame them for those - at least they issued the series which surprisingly the BBC didn't) have gone but there has been no attempt to balance and restore the faded colours (which in both the Dutch and Eureka versions, strangely seem only evident in clips using natural light as the primary lighting source). But worse still is that the Eureka restoration has introduced a dreadful 'ghosting stutter' (that's not the correct technical term I am afraid) in many instances where the camera or its subject is moving at around walking speed - very odd and terribly distracting.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Pays the Ferryman? 24 Jan 2009
Who pays the ferryman ? - BBC 3 DISC SET - R2 { IMPORT }
I recently purchased this item and have found the 3-disc set as good as I remember when I saw this first time round on BBC. The music is wonderful, the acting is excellent. The titles and the language are in English and I didn't have to bother about turning sub-titles on or off. The only slight problem is that the actual cover on the case and the discs are not in English but it is easy to follow the episodes by pressing the relevant number with your remote control.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This British series, made in Greece - Crete, in 1977, was very populay when it first was broadcast, and it has never been repeated in Australia.
I was delighted to see that a restored version was on three DVD discs, and it was indeed very beautifully presented, and I was happy to have ordered it from Amazon.
Jack Hedley was the leading man, and the lovely Betty Arvaniti, a Greek actress played the role of the woman in the piece, Annika.
I would recommend this romantic story to anyone interested in the history of the British involvement in Crete during the Second World War, when it was invaded by the German paratroopers in May, 1941, which is when the story of Who Pays the Ferryman begins.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Classic 14 Feb 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw 'Who Pays The Ferryman' when it was originally aired in 1977. It was fantastic then, and it's every bit as good now! Jack Hedley is amazing as Alan Haldane, also known on the island of Crete, where 99% of the show is set, as Leandros, which was his code name when, as a young army officer, he worked with the resistance during the second world war. Hedley plays the character perfectly, making you feel genuine liking and sympathy for Leandros, and Neil McCarthy, as his old friend and fellow resistance member Babis, now a well respected solicitor on the island, is also excellent. (And for those who enjoyed 'The Lotus Eaters', Stephan Gryff, who played the police captain, appears here as the Major - also a policeman.) Each episode is a story in itself, but there is also a plot running through it, a story that build and builds, racking up the tension, and it unfolds in a typical Greek tragedy style. I bought the DVD to watch myself, but also for my four children (who are in their late teens) as we had previously watched Colditz, and they'd all been very impressed with Hedley's performance in that - which was what reminded me of 'Who Pays The Ferryman'. When I came to look for it, I could not believe that it was only available as a Dutch export!! What is wrong with this country? Michael J Bird did other great shows - 'The Aphrodite Inheritance', starring Alexandra Bastedo, and 'The Dark Side Of The Sun' starring Peter Egan, were particularly good, and yet you can't get them on DVD. Crazy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... remember it from TV 30++ years ago and I loved it then
Not watched this as yet but I clearly remember it from TV 30++ years ago and I loved it then. All I need now is for the BBC to release Dark Side of the Sun and I will have the... Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Julia M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Who pays the ferryman
A good series - especially enjoyed it again after visiting the film sets etc highly recommended even though old, good
Published 28 days ago by Mrs Bargain
5.0 out of 5 stars who pays the ferry man
these films are classics and have not been aroundfor years great to see them again keep up the good work
Published 2 months ago by alastair macdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars A serie which catches you with such a good story
A serie which you'll never forget once seen it at a teenager, so also a "must" to have it and enjoy it again....
Published 2 months ago by Trudy van Leeuwen
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the Story - Quality could be better
Saw this years ago when it was originally broadcast. The quality of this DVD recording is variable. Described as restored, some of the moving scenes are very blurred which can be a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Colinjam
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD
It was nice to see an old BBC1 series come to life on DVD - well done. Very enjoyable, have seen the first two episodes and have another six to go. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anne Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars review of "Who pays the Ferryman"
I watched this series on tv back in the 70s and thoroughly enjoyed it so thought I'd revive the memories. Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping drama
I had a vague recollection of this series from when it was aired on TV, I received it when I was expecting it and it didn't disappoint had to watch the whole thing in one sitting... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars very good series
Exelent series when first broadcast, and has not dated,but is still exelent viwewing.It is also visually exciting,with lovely scenery afeest for the eyes.
Published 4 months ago by Mary Holton
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD
Delighted someone has refurbished this series. It prompted me to go to Crete over 30 years ago and I still go, this captures the countryside and the people.
Published 6 months ago by Dr. M. Roberts
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