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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Pays The BBC?
"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...
Published on 5 Feb 2011 by Adie Barrett

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Choose The Version You Buy Carefully
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...
Published 19 months ago by HK Nick


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Pays The BBC?, 5 Feb 2011
By 
Adie Barrett (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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"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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Choose The Version You Buy Carefully, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD) (DVD)
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. At first I thought this might be due to my BluRay player making a hash of the upscaling process, but I think not as I have now tried it on two different BluRay players and also on my Pioneer DV989 DVD player, which was highly rated at the time of its release.

Thus, by all means buy this wonderful series but I recommend you stick to the Dutch DVD, albeit with it's scratches, spots and all - once immersed in the story you'll unlikely notice these anyway!

Rating - Eureka Entertainment version: I have marked this down only because of the quality of the "restoration" and in the hopes that my review and thus caution will be read by those about to buy.
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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
By 
Amazon Customer (Buckinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Pays the Ferryman was a delight to watch again after all these years., 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD) (DVD)
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
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic of the 70s TV, 26 July 2014
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD) (DVD)
Another great production from the late M J Bird, dealing with Crete and in this case a central character who returns to the island decades after WW2. While the main theme deals with him and his experiences, there are episodes with a sub story of their own.
The transfer to DVD is not bad and I consider quite good. There is some 'bleaching' but rarely nothing to spoil its entertainment value.

Unless I am wrong there are two versions of this series out on DVD, one Dutch and other from Eureka. I personally think the Dutch version is the better of the two in terms quality of picture, otherwise the series on both are one in in the same.

The price paid was more than reasonable. Well worth investing your time and money. A real Classic TV, unlike some rubbish that gets on TV today. Enjoy!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every bit as good as I remember it, 16 Jan 2010
By 
C. A. Wilson (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
For some strange reason the BBC did not release this in Britain, so you have to buy the Dutch version. The case title and the menus are in Dutch, and it defaults to sub-titles on, but none of these are a problem. Sub-titles turn off from the main menu and the sound track is English.

This is a Michael J. Bird story - you can buy the book, too, if you can find it - and has all the magic that he brings. It's atmospheric, his characters are so well drawn that you feel you know them, and you can't wait for the next episode. As far as I know, The Lotus Eaters is the only one of his series/serials that has been released in England, but if you can get your hands on any of his work, buy it. You'll love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping, 25 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD) (DVD)
althoug this series made a long time ago, its gripping to watch with a sting in the tail ending, one that will stay in my collections for a long time to be revisited.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten treasure, 19 Jan 2013
I actually paid full whack for this - 39.99 at the BBC shop in Brighton. So all those people with the Dutch version (what's the Netherlands connection here?)are getting a fab deal. But no complaints, because this minor masterpiece is worth every penny. Yes, it is dated, and occasionally I did wish that Jack Hedley would button up his shirt and ditch the white shoes. Along with the green crimplene trousers (or were they polyester?). That's a bit like complaining about crinoline skirts and breeches in period drama, I suppose. The script (pithy lines and ingenious though believable plots), great acting (with one very glaring exception)and the authentic settings conspire to make this modern Greek tragedy absolutely compelling. Trim, taut and terrific. The story (that ending!) and the music are haunting me still. The Beeb could make a lot of money from treasures like this that they are hoarding in their coffers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last!!, 2 Nov 2013
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Hooray,I have been looking for this for ages,forgetting in between and looking again.I loved this the first time around and it is still good.The acting etc is a bit wooden but who cares,the story is there and that is all that matters.I just wish that I knew how to turn off the Dutch subtitles.Suse
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Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD)
Who Pays the Ferryman? (1977) (DVD) by William Slater (DVD - 2012)
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