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Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england)
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The Professionals: Mk I [DVD]
The Professionals: Mk I [DVD]
Dvd ~ Martin Shaw
Price: 26.67

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Network are THE PROFESSIONALS at restoration. First class release., 1 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wow! Network DVD have given their expert techniques to this first series of The Professionals. Network DVD have proved that cult British TV is in good hands under their management many times before so it shouldn't be a surprise that this edition looks better than ever. But actually it is a bit surprising that something can look so good after all these years. It really does look like it was made yesterday, In fact its just fabulously stunning. Network have had help from the BBC with the restoration but it is a Network project and the end result is great.

Honestly, if you have never owned a set of the Professionals this is easily the greatest version. And if you have already had a set before then believe me, it is worth re buying and getting this set because the picture quality is incredible. I had the complete set of the early 2005 editions by Kult TV Contender Entertainment group. That set suggested Digital remastered. and it is clear from its grainy appearance that it was only a digital copy.

This new version by Network is way ahead of that earlier release. We are taken back to the original film stock and there is clear re balance of tone and colour restoration. The picture is sharp, clear, well lit, great clarity and colour. I think the show really does look better than it did back in the 1970s because of the closeness to the original film and restoration as well as modern High definition viewing equipment.
If you can imagine the old contender issues as being mucky windows that made everything seen through them murky and drained of colour. Then this network edition is the clean windows version with sparkling clarity.

The other great thing about this set is that the restoration goes on to put all of the correct episodes on the set for series one. Unlike the Contender issue that had an episode added that was originally screened as a series two episode. This set keeps faithful to the production order for series one. Not transmission order but production order.
The set restores the episodes so that they are uncut and include the original opening titles with the training sequences on the first few episodes and not the re edited and cut more familiar versions from the later episodes that have appeared since original release in the 1970s. The set does include the banned Klansman episode which does look better than ever.

I believe that this is possibly the first time that Network have included Subtitles for the deaf on a DVD set. Its about time. Most companies have been doing it for years. Anyway, better late than never. I know Network have been adding subtitles to some of their Blu ray issues but I don't think they have given enough attention to DVD.

So, like the restoration on previous issues by Network such as The Prisoner, Space 1999 and the Sweeney, this is a truly great release and I look forward to series two, three and four. I hope they don't take too long although Network do seem to take a few years to actually complete the set of series releases.
If you have the contender issues and you want to re buy with this version, I can only recommend that you do so. I would also urge you not to get rid of the contender issue of series one just yet since one episode called rogue will be lost until we can get the Network edition of series two with the correct episode run in production order.

The Professionals is an exciting series from the 1970s. This first series is very good and it is excellently presented.

After the success of the TV series the New Avengers that had been produced by Avengers MK1 productions and London Weekend Television, creators and producers Brian Clemens and Albert Fennell created this new series The Professionals. The show was screened on the ITV network in 1977. The first series had 13 episodes and it was a big hit with viewers.
The series stars Martin Shaw, Lewis Collins and Gordon Jackson as agents of the fictional CI5.
The series was created to make a show that would build on the hard edged and gritty toughness of earlier show The Sweeney as well as making a British series that mirrored the sort of fast action of American series Starskey and Hutch.
Clemens and Fennell were executive producers of the show. They had much experience in British TV producing and writing for many shows including the Avengers during the 1960s and the New Avengers more recently. They also brought in composer Laurie Johnson who had composed music for The Avengers and The New Avengers, to write the music score for this new show. This first series was produced by Sidney Hayers.
Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens and composer Laurie Johnson had worked together in the 1960s and together had created MK1 productions to make the New Avengers. The same team as MK1 productions now produced The Professionals.

Criminal Intelligence 5, or CI5 is a special branch of British Law that deals with crime of a serious nature that go beyond the capability of the police. It is a Unit that is instructed by the Home Secretary.
CI5 is fictitious but it enabled the writers to give our heroes a wide variety of situations to deal with.
It has similar appearance to the real MI5 or CID but being fictitious also gave the show more artistic licence that the portrayal of the Flying Squad in The Sweeney. CI5 deal with espionage, cold war problems, terrorists, civil unrest, and large scale crime.

The head of CI5 is George Cowley, a no nonsense leader that believes in fighting fire with fire. His best agents are Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw), a softer more caring but hot headed ex detective constable who has worked the tough parts of London, and William Bodie (Lewis Collins) who is an ex paratrooper and SAS sergeant with a calmer but tough attitude.
The pair are a solid unit, faithful to each other and prepared to break the rules if it gets the right result.
Both actors Shaw and Collins had played villains on an episode of The New Avengers ('Obsession') together the year before.

This first series has a lot of writing from Brian Clemens and the show has a lot of variety in the plot lines. There is gradual character development and plenty of action. The show is fast paced without a dull moment.
The show was often criticised for its violence even though there is little blood seen. There are scenes of fast chases, car chases, fist fights, shootings, martial arts and asphyxiation however.
One episode here in season one, "Klansmen" was not screened in the UK. After production TV executives withdrew it from transmission for its Race related theme.
The show was also criticised for its "political incorrectness" for use of so called sexist and racist terms.
The controversy and disagreement about its suitability for screening led to the show being blocked for repeating on terrestrial television for over two decades. And the episode Klansmen is always left out.

There are a number of cars featured in the series. Some are from British Leyland in the early series, with some Rover models, some Triumph models, a Leyland Princess and a Dolomite Spirit. Later series feature cars by Ford with the Capri, Granada, Escort and Cortina.

This is a brilliant release both on DVD and Blu Ray and it is really nicely presented in good package where the spine is one and a quarter inch thick. There is an interesting book included.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2014 5:51 PM BST


Love Thy Neighbour [DVD]
Love Thy Neighbour [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack Smethurst
Price: 6.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars just another episode of the TV series nothing special, 28 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love Thy Neighbour [DVD] (DVD)
The TV show really wasn't my favourite comedy of the day in the early 1970s and I didn't see this movie until years later. I wasn't impressed with this either.
Having been less than enthusiastic about modern TV programmes and becoming a fan of retro classic shows I decided it was worth re investigating this sitcom.

I found that the script writers and creators of the programme do have great talent. The episodes are very well written indeed. There are some excellent story ideas that display all of the good and classic comedy ingredients. There is farce, misunderstanding, quick witty lines and interesting situations. There are certainly good comedy ideas and timing and I cannot fault these issues.

This movie really is just another extended episode and follows the same pattern as the TV series with a few changes such as house furniture and sets. But even though this is a big screen movie there is nothing that special about it, It must have been great for fans of the series back in the 70s to go and see the film on the big screen but there is no attempt to make this plot stand out from the series.

The basis for the plot is brave in the face of controversy. Since the series explores the genuine fear of change that was thrust upon the British public without consent through mass immigration. The show looks at the tensions between two sets of neighbours. We have white couple Eddie and Joan Booth neighbours Bill and Barbie Reynolds who are black.

Having looked at the DVD of this movie I have to say that although it does have an excellent script and good comedy moments I don't have the greatest fondness for the it. This is because I don't like the characters. I don't like any of them. I wouldn't want to know anyone like these people in real life. I didn't warm to any character, I am glad I saw the series again, and it is worth watching it. But I just cannot say it is a favourite programme because of my dislike of the characters.

Another factor is that the comedy does rely heavily on the bickering between the two main characters Eddie and Bill who hurl insults at each other. They are both equally as bad as each other on that point but I did find the constant bickering tiresome.
It is also clear that the writers and producers are manipulating the society of the early 1970s and the viewer in any time, by suggesting what we should think, what we should believe, what we should say and how we should behave. I did not need these over laboured and exaggerated pointers and I don't think anybody really does. I was able to make my own mind up. Sadly the series does carry social manipulation messages and although on the face of it issues seem evenly placed with the equal amount of insults, there is also clear bias in character structure which enables many subliminal indicators to all members of society. I just want an entertainment comedy not a coercion pill. Some people may argue that there are people in society that do need these lessons in how to behave. Well if that is true then it should be done else where and not through entertainment so that we are treated like idiots. Admittedly there is plenty of good points to make it worth while watching this film but its just a personal reason why I have voted the star rating down.

There are no subtitles for the hard of hearing,


Sunshine On Leith [DVD]
Sunshine On Leith [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jason Flemyng
Price: 7.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Newspaper critics favourite but over hyped Sunshine on Leith, 27 Feb 2014
This review is from: Sunshine On Leith [DVD] (DVD)
A reasonably good movie with a good script and acting, But not anywhere near as good as its hyped up to be.
Just look at the front cover, The descriptive word Superb is bigger than the actual title of the film. That is hype for you. If they tell you its superb then you either think for yourself and after seeing it decide you like or dislike it, or you just believe its superb anyway. I fear that this is the case here.

The truth is that this is a good afternoon TV film for the family. It is not superb. It is not great. And the fact that they had to dominate the front cover of the DVD with all these glowing quotes from newspaper critics to hype it up proves they didn't have that much confidence in selling it as a DVD, These newspaper critics are no one special but they all suffer from the same disease, British itis. that is to say that if it is a British film it must be Superb. Well no that is not true because Britain makes good and bad films.

the critics also compare this to the film Mamma Mia. And if that quote has semi sold you this DVD already think again, because its not much like Mamma Mia. Yes it has a story and some of the characters break into song sometimes and there is a bit of dancing at the end, But it is more like a budget rip off. The critics claim its funny. Well it is mildly amusing true but a comedy it isn't. Instead of a sunny exotic location we get some nice shots of Edinburgh. Instead of the very well known cast we get a less familiar bunch of actors. Instead of songs that most people will already know we get less well known tracks. So No its not this years Mamma Mia.

If you like the music of the Proclaimers then you will like this film. If you like musicals then you will like it too. If you like British films you will like it. If you are a fan of Scotland you will like it. If you like films that are generally light weight and emotive with a bit of a love story you will like it.
I thought it was a good movie and it is worth seeing. I am just warning you that it is not as brilliant as it is made out to be.
There is an alternative ending which is only slightly different and the film does have Subtitles for the deaf.


Behind the Candelabra [DVD]
Behind the Candelabra [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Douglas
Price: 5.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great., 26 Feb 2014
This review is from: Behind the Candelabra [DVD] (DVD)
Lets get one thing clear, this film is not a biography of Liberace. So many people are praising this film and getting the idea that it is about Liberace. But it isn't. Instead we get a film about Scott Thorson, a man younger than Liberace who had a ten year affair with Liberace. The whole story is just his opinion of what happened while he was with Liberace.
The film has had much praise and I admit that it does make a reasonably good film. There is a great story for an original film and there is excellent direction and editing. However I have much to moan about.
Michael Douglas plays Liberace. He has been praised highly for his performance. And yes he is ok in a difficult role. But anyone old enough to remember Liberace knows that Douglas doesn't actually carry the same charisma as Liberace. He doesn't look much like Liberace either. In fact apart from the costumes, wigs and over exaggerated impression, he is nothing like Liberace at all. If you have seen the movie already and don't agree then maybe you could go and look at some old clips of the real Liberace on Youtube and see what I mean. Actually if you haven't seen the film why not compare clips of Douglas and Liberace. It is hard to see why Liberace was so well liked via the interpretation by Douglas. Like it or not, Liberace had unique trademarks that earned him the title Mr Show business. Liberace had a great talent as a piano player and was more than just sex mad gay bad guy.

Secondly the story relies on how close Thorson was to Liberace in his gay relationship with him. This is essential to show how Thorson felt after being in a relationship then controlled and abandoned by Liberace However this leaves us concentrating attention on not only the fact that Liberace was gay but that his whole life was just one explicit and sordid gay sex existence.

So I would have to say that if you just want to see a film about Thorson's time with Liberace and how he felt hurt then this is fine.
But if you are more interested in the life of Liberace don't bother with this film.

Liberace was gay, so what? Maybe he did some of the negative things to Thorson as he claims. We only have his word for it. And if it is true then I have empathy. The constant swearing and explicit reminders that Liberace was gay and kept it secret from the public (even though everyone suspected it anyway) became tiresome after ten minutes into the movie. Thorson and Liberace had a gay relationship.....yeah yeah......Liberace was gay........yeah yeah.....Liberace had a gay affair with other men apart from Thorson......Yeah got that......Liberace tried to make Thorson to look like his son so he could keep the fact he was gay a secret.....yeah got that too. (yes I know it is about Thorson and his bad experience but the fact they were both gay and the issues of Liberace negatives were over laboured)
If you are a fan of Liberace you will find little of the good points or greatness in this film. My point is that obviously it is a bit one sided. I would have preferred a bit more balance.

The film is worth a look but not as great as it is made out to be.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2014 9:07 PM GMT


Love Thy Neighbour - The Complete Collection (Not Complete Series) [DVD]
Love Thy Neighbour - The Complete Collection (Not Complete Series) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack Smethurst
Price: 12.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting early 70s comedy programme, 19 Feb 2014
When I saw this series when it was first transmitted back in the early 1970s I wasn't very impressed. Admittedly I didn't get to see all the episodes and I was only a young teenager. But the show really wasn't my favourite comedy of the day.
Having been less than enthusiastic about modern TV programmes and becoming a fan of retro classic shows I decided it was worth re investigating this sitcom.

This box set that claims to be a complete collection is actually not complete at all. There are episodes missing but the set is reasonably presented here.

I found that the script writers and creators of the programme do have great talent. The episodes are very well written indeed. There are some excellent story ideas that display all of the good and classic comedy ingredients. There is farce, misunderstanding, quick witty lines and interesting situations. There are certainly good comedy ideas and timing and I cannot fault these issues.

The basis for the plot is brave in the face of controversy. Since the series explores the genuine fear of change that was thrust upon the British public without consent through mass immigration. The show looks at the tensions between two sets of neighbours. We have white couple Eddie and Joan Booth who suddenly get new neighbours Bill and Barbie Reynolds who are black.

Having looked at the DVD set I have to say that although the series does have excellent script ideas and good comedy moments I don't have the greatest fondness for the series. This is because I don't like the characters. I don't like any of them. I wouldn't want to know anyone like these people in real life. I didn't warm to any character, I am glad I saw the series again, and it is worth watching it. But I just cannot say it is a favourite programme because of my dislike of the characters.

Another factor is that the comedy does rely heavily on the bickering between the two main characters Eddie and Bill who hurl insults at each other. They are both equally as bad as each other on that point but I did find the constant bickering tiresome after a few episodes.
It is also clear that the writers and producers are manipulating the society of the early 1970s and the viewer in any time, by suggesting what we should think, what we should believe, what we should say and how we should behave. I did not need these over laboured and exaggerated pointers and I don't think anybody really does. I was able to make my own mind up. Sadly the series does carry social manipulation messages and although on the face of it issues seem evenly placed with the equal amount of insults, there is also clear bias in character structure which enables many subliminal indicators to all members of society. I just want an entertainment comedy not a coercion pill. Some people may argue that there are people in society that do need these lessons in how to behave. Well if that is true then it should be done else where and not through entertainment so that we are treated like idiots. Admittedly there is plenty of good points to make it worth while watching these episodes still but its just a personal reason why I have voted the star rating down.

Generally this is a series that is entertaining. It is very well written and there are some creative stories and comedy. It is worth looking at and it is interesting. I only give it low star rating because it is not a favourite that I want to see again.

Also note that the box is not correct when it suggests it is the complete collection. It is not. Also the box claims that the sound is in stereo. This is not accurate since the sound on the actual programmes is mono. However there are subtitles for the hard of hearing and there is a lot to see for the money.


A Victorian Christmas
A Victorian Christmas
Price: 13.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS, 12 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Victorian Christmas (Audio CD)
Blast from the Past are a small group of musicians that are gaining strong popularity through their Christmas shows and their music being featured on Radio.
The group had much success from 2011 onwards with their live appearances and this wonderful album A Victorian Christmas from 2012.

Blast From The Past specialise in historical music Played on a variety of period instruments, they give us a fresh look at age old music from the past in a way that is appealing today. Blast from the past have visited historic buildings, village halls and theatres dressed in appropriate costumes.

On this fabulous album the group offer us a Folk style Victorian Christmas and there are popular Christmas tunes performed with a great flair and colourful style. And the album has even more texture with brief bits of Poetry and verse such as an extract from Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens that sets the scene for the Victorian atmosphere,
I first heard tracks from this album on Radio and this exciting new Folk interpretation of Christmas is really interesting.

The sound is rich and the music is excellently played and performed.
The rich texture of sound and arrangement is very professional and engaging. It really does have strong atmosphere and the vocal style is on top form too.

There is also a great selection of medieval Christmas music performed on this disc and I highly recommend it. Also of interest is the new album by Blast from the Past called A Medieval Christmas,A Medieval Christmas


A Medieval Christmas
A Medieval Christmas
Price: 14.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS, 12 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Medieval Christmas (Audio CD)
Blast from the Past are a small group of musicians that are gaining strong popularity through their Christmas shows and their music being featured on Radio.
The group had much success from 2011 onwards with their live appearances and the wonderful album A Victorian Christmas from 2012.A Victorian Christmas
Blast From The Past specialise in historical music Played on a variety of period instruments, they give us a fresh look at age old music from the past in a way that is appealing today. Blast from the past have visited historic buildings, village halls and theatres dressed in appropriate costumes.

This time they delve further back in time to the Medieval period. I first heard tracks from this album on Radio and this exciting new Folk interpretation of Christmas is really interesting.
The sound is rich and the music is excellently played and performed.
Here we get instruments such as mandocello, vihuela, virginal, bagpipes, shawms, recorders, cittern, and hurdy gurdy. The rich texture of sound and arrangement is very professional and engaging. It really does have strong atmosphere and the vocal style is on top form too.
There is also a great selection of medieval Christmas music performed on this disc and I highly recommend it. Also I recommend the other album by Blast from the past A Victorian Christmas


M Praetorius: Christmas Music /Westminster Cathederal Choir  Parley of Instruments  Hill
M Praetorius: Christmas Music /Westminster Cathederal Choir Parley of Instruments Hill
Offered by dvdsandgames2008
Price: 11.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praetorius christmas music, 12 Dec 2013
David Hill and the Parley of Instruments with the Westminster Cathedral Choir bring us a wonderfully atmospheric Christmas compilation of music by Michael Praetorius on this CD.
The disc really does offer a fabulous rich sound recording. The performers have given us a totally engaging taste of Italian Baroque flavoured Lutheran Church music for Christmas.
By combining different extracts from various works by Praetorius we get a rich programme full of sound texture and harmony.

The compilation of pieces by Praetorius begins with Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland. This is also connected to track four Peur Natus in Bethlehem, track six Vom Himmel Hoch, and track nine Wie shon leuchtet der Morgenstern, These are all from Polyhymnia (1619)
Then there are pieces from Peuricinium 1621 with tracks two Pueri nostri concinite, track five Quem Patores laudevere and track ten Nun Helft mir gottes Gute schon Preisen.
Track seven Es ist ein Ros entsprungen is from Musae Sioniae 1609. And in between those tracks there is Dances from Terpsichore on tracks three and eight.

Using instruments of the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century, the Parley of Instruments give us a performance in keeping with the times of Praetorius. The period instrument sound is rich with the likes of violin, viola, bandora, lute, theorbo, renaissance harp, organ and drum.
The clear digital sound recorded in Westminster Cathedral is a treat. This release was recorded in the mid 1980s and now it is must have Christmas record.


Christmas Music - Westminster Cathedral Choir, Parley of Instruments (UK Import)
Christmas Music - Westminster Cathedral Choir, Parley of Instruments (UK Import)
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: 21.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praetorius christmas music, 12 Dec 2013
David Hill and the Parley of Instruments with the Westminster Cathedral Choir bring us a wonderfully atmospheric Christmas compilation of music by Michael Praetorius on this CD.
The disc really does offer a fabulous rich sound recording. The performers have given us a totally engaging taste of Italian Baroque flavoured Lutheran Church music for Christmas.
By combining different extracts from various works by Praetorius we get a rich programme full of sound texture and harmony.

The compilation of pieces by Praetorius begins with Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland. This is also connected to track four Peur Natus in Bethlehem, track six Vom Himmel Hoch, and track nine Wie shon leuchtet der Morgenstern, These are all from Polyhymnia (1619)
Then there are pieces from Peuricinium 1621 with tracks two Pueri nostri concinite, track five Quem Patores laudevere and track ten Nun Helft mir gottes Gute schon Preisen.
Track seven Es ist ein Ros entsprungen is from Musae Sioniae 1609. And in between those tracks there is Dances from Terpsichore on tracks three and eight.

Using instruments of the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century, the Parley of Instruments give us a performance in keeping with the times of Praetorius. The period instrument sound is rich with the likes of violin, viola, bandora, lute, theorbo, renaissance harp, organ and drum.
The clear digital sound recorded in Westminster Cathedral is a treat. This release was recorded in the mid 1980s and now it is must have Christmas record.


Praetorius: Christmas Music
Praetorius: Christmas Music
Price: 6.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praetorius christmas music, 12 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
David Hill and the Parley of Instruments with the Westminster Cathedral Choir bring us a wonderfully atmospheric Christmas compilation of music by Michael Praetorius on this CD.
The disc really does offer a fabulous rich sound recording. The performers have given us a totally engaging taste of Italian Baroque flavoured Lutheran Church music for Christmas.
By combining different extracts from various works by Praetorius we get a rich programme full of sound texture and harmony.

The compilation of pieces by Praetorius begins with Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland. This is also connected to track four Peur Natus in Bethlehem, track six Vom Himmel Hoch, and track nine Wie shon leuchtet der Morgenstern, These are all from Polyhymnia (1619)
Then there are pieces from Peuricinium 1621 with tracks two Pueri nostri concinite, track five Quem Patores laudevere and track ten Nun Helft mir gottes Gute schon Preisen.
Track seven Es ist ein Ros entsprungen is from Musae Sioniae 1609. And in between those tracks there is Dances from Terpsichore on tracks three and eight.

Using instruments of the late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century, the Parley of Instruments give us a performance in keeping with the times of Praetorius. The period instrument sound is rich with the likes of violin, viola, bandora, lute, theorbo, renaissance harp, organ and drum.
The clear digital sound recorded in Westminster Cathedral is a treat. This release was recorded in the mid 1980s and now it is must have Christmas record.


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