127 of 132 people found the following review helpful
Finally after a long wait and a lot of campaigning,
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This review is from: Colditz - The Complete BBC Collection (with 5 Limited Edition Art Cards & Collector's Booklet) [DVD]  (DVD)
Like most people who have seen this series I am so pleased to see it finally get an official release. Like many I have been stuck with poor copies made from multiple generation VHS recordings that it will be a joy to see it in reasonable quality. I do hope it has been cleaned up a bit and that the BBC haven't cut anything (they seem to have a habit of carving up series for 'copyright reasons').
This is a fantastic series with most escapes and attempts based on real events (though all the names have been changed). The acting and scripts are fantastic with a great balance of emotions from fear and boredom to occasional hilarity. The final episodes are especially moving (even more so if you have seen the Channel 4 series "Escape from Coldtiz" Episode 3, currently available on the channel 4 on demand website, with the glider reconstruction a few years ago and seeing how well it flew with some of those prisoners involved watching ). Tweedle Dum has to be one of the real standout episodes though.
It is also interesting to see how the German guards and commandant are portrayed in a mostly positive manner. Too often drama forgets that many people on all sides of the conflict didn't really agree with what was going on but were caught up as career officers or conscription. The balance of frustrated conscripts, strict discipline, humanity and genuine admiration of the prisoners' ingenuity is very well captured.
UPDATE 15/11/10: Just got the set and watched the first episode. Quality looks pretty clean to me and very good for a 70s production. There is a sticker saying 'remastered' on the outside. Inside there is a glossy booklet and a few black and white cards. The DVDs seem to be subtitled (English only though). All in all looks good.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Mar 2012 18:45:13 GMT
I'm a huge Secret army fan and ive been umming and arring about purchasing Colditz as well so tell me should i bite the barbed wire and get it? I need an impartial opinion.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2012 18:42:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Mar 2012 18:42:55 GMT
I remember Secret Army fondly but not as well so not sure how impartial that makes me. I think you won't be disappointed in Colditz if you factor in the era in which it was made. The production values aren't high here although that seems to add to the sense of claustrophobia that it creates. Essentially we have a series of short plays, based on fact though with considerable dramatic licence. There is a core group of 6 actors who carry it, the scripts are sound and the acting generally very good, although a couple of the guests who appear let it down in this respect by going completely over the top, and I don't mean the wire. Several different writers are credited over the 29 episodes and this may account for some of the lapses. Overall 5 stars-go for it.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2012 19:25:13 GMT
Carol Haynes says:
Absolutley - brilliant programme. Not like Secret Army but just as well done - scrptwritng and acting are both excellent and Stirling Castle makes a sufficiently forbidding location doubling for Colditz - it is also remarkably similar externally!
Posted on 26 Mar 2012 11:12:38 BDT
Hello Carol. In your update of 15th November 2010 (yes, I've only JUST found out it has FINALLY been released on DVD! Hoorah! :)) you said, "I do hope ... that the BBC haven't cut anything (they seem to have a habit of carving up series for 'copyright reasons')." yet you didn't say whether or not it had? As you rightly pointed out, for some time I've had a 'bootleg' copy recorded off the television onto VHS (not so well done) then onto DVD and to get a proper digitised copy would be great. I can't see they would have cut content considering it was for a general audience when it was first shown (and subsequent showings of course) but as you say, they do have a habit of it. I assume the fact you haven't mentioned it either means they haven't or you haven't noticed anything. Anyway just a thought if you get time now it's March 2012. :) Thank you.
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Mar 2012 13:51:46 BDT
Carol Haynes says:
Not noticed any cuts at all. Cuts in most BBC DVDs seem to be related to digital rights issues with music but there really isn't any music in the series so it probably wasn't an issue.
Posted on 29 Jun 2012 01:00:10 BDT
I have to agree about the 'Tweedle Dum' episode which I think is the greatest tv drama episode I've ever seen! Everything about it is just perfect and the emotional manipulation of the viewer could almost be considered criminal! Just unbelievable.
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