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BBC British TV, PBS Mystery, Masterpiece Theatre on DVD & Blu-Ray

September 23rd, 2010 · 7 Comments

“Outrageously Entertaining” – NPR “Absolutely addictive” – The New York Times “One of the finest series ever made” –San Francisco Chronicle Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Murder on the Orient Express, a sumptuous new adaptation of Christie’s most famous novel.  By Tom Wright HOLLYWOOD,CA(Hollywood Today)9/23/2010–Acorn Media continues to release the best of British TV on DVD, including many series available for the first time to U.S. audiences with their DVD releases, including The Queen, a new, provocative, and groundbreaking five-part miniseries featuring performances from five top British actresses each playing the queen in a different decade; as well as more from Welsh cop drama A Mind to Kill; the world’s longest continually running police drama series Taggart; and Acorn’s best-selling series Midsomer Murders. Universally acclaimed series, Slings & Arrows: The Complete Collection, with three all-new, exclusive episode commentaries — “Outrageously Entertaining” – NPR; slings and arrows blu ray complete productOn_the_Road_3_productQueen_product Cadfael Collection_2010_product THE QUEEN Elizabeth Windsor rose to the throne in 1952 and has been Queen of the United Kingdom ever since. She has reigned over turbulent times. Social upheavals, cash problems, civil unrest, and family woes have challenged her spirit, her principles, and her resolve. This five-part British series blends dramatized scenes behind palace doors with documentary footage and new interviews with royal insiders, including biographers, journalists, government officials, palace staff, and a former Archbishop of Canterbury. Episode 1: Sisters Head of the church as well as the state, the young queen (Emilia Fox) is torn. Her sister, Princess Margaret, is in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend, a dashing, divorced royal servant. The queen wants her sister to be happy, but she knows her duty. Episode 2: Us and Them The royal family’s popularity is at an all-time low. Nearly half of England wants to do away with the monarchy altogether. The queen (Samantha Bond) must ask for a pay raise, the IRA makes threats, and Princess Anne is nearly kidnapped. Episode 3: The Rivals In 1986, the Commonwealth has its first female prime minister, and the queen (Susan Jameson) is not amused. Mrs. Thatcher opposes Her Majesty on almost everything, especially sanctions against apartheid in South Africa. Episode 4: The Enemy Within Andrew and Fergie split, and Charles and Diana’s mounting troubles are tabloid fodder. In November, Windsor Castle is badly damaged by fire. For the queen (Barbara Flynn), 1992 is the worst year of her life—her annus horribilis. Episode 5: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Camilla? The queen (Diana Quick) is in no hurry to welcome Camilla Parker Bowles into the royal family. For Prince Charles, being with the woman he really loves is nonnegotiable. The ultimate survivor and pragmatist, the queen finally accepts the marriage. Additionally, we have several DVD debuts, including the conclusion to the beloved Masterpiece Theatre classic and must-see costume drama, Poldark Series 2; more uplifting stories from the beloved Emmy®-winning series, On the Road with Charles Kuralt Set  3, with a fascinating, exclusive 55-minute interview with Kuralt’s longtime cameraman; as well as The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, Set 2 and Mr. Palfrey of Westminster Complete Collection. Cadfael: The Complete Collection (re-issue), legendary Emmy®-winning actor Derek Jacobi stars in the hit 1990s PBS Mystery! series ($99.99, 16¼ hours); Midsomer Murders: Village Cases Files, third value-priced collector’s set of the beloved British mystery series includes 16 feature-length, stand-alone mysteries ($149.99, 26½ hours); Agatha Christie’s Marple-The Gerald McEwan Collection, featuring 12-feature-length adaptations; and The Red Green Show: The Toddlin’ Years (Seasons 4–6), available for the first time on DVD. “Acorn Media, chief curators of the best Brit TV” –TIME Magazine Mr. Palfrey of Westminster Complete Collection (DVD debut) – In the vein of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Callan, this stylish drama follows a mild-mannered British civil servant who’s secretly a counterspy. Starring Alec McCowen (Gangs of New York, The Age of Innocence). Taggart, Set 3 (U.S. Debut) – Featuring eight contemporary episodes, the smash hit series follows a team of Glasgow detectives taking on the city’s worst cases. Witty scripts and black humor round out this gritty police procedural, lending it universal appeal and helping it become the world’s longest continually running police drama series. Available to U.S. audiences for the first time with its DVD release. The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries Set 2 – Hailed by critics as one of the finest mystery series ever filmed. “Eternally appealing” —NPR’s Fresh Air from WHYY “Realized superbly” —The New York Times “The mystery series that began it all” —British Heritage Based on the novels by beloved crime writer Dorothy L. Sayers, the late Ian Carmichael stars as the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey in these wittily scripted and lavishly produced BBC adaptations. The mysteries ranked with Upstairs, Downstairs as the most successful series on Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s, and the mysteries were so popular they inspired PBS’s spin-off series Mystery!. Set 2 includes the final three feature-length mysteries: Murder Must Advertise, Five Red Herrings, and The Nine Tailors. Midsomer Murders Set 16 (U.S. debut) – Four contemporary, stand-alone mysteries from Acorn’s top-selling series. The feature-length mysteries in Set 16 have not aired in the U.S. and are available to U.S. audiences for the first time. DVD includes an episode commentary by star John Nettles. Continually reaching new heights of popularity, Midsomer Murders counts Johnny Depp and even the Queen among its ardent fans. Midsomer combines quirky characters and surprising mysteries with postcard-perfect English village settings and the ever-charming Nettles as the unflappable DCI Barnaby. Midsomer Murders is “Spectacularly entertaining as always” Paper Magazine “Superbly acted and filmed, and a great joy to watch” British Heritage The Queen (U.S. debut) – New, groundbreaking five-part miniseries on one of the world’s most powerful women features performances from five top British actresses each playing the queen in a different decade. Available to U.S. audiences for the first time with its DVD release, the miniseries features dramatizations mixed with documentary footage and interviews to reveal Queen Elizabeth II as never seen before. At pivotal moments in her reign from 1955 to 2005, the queen is portrayed by: Emilia Fox (Silent Witness), Samantha Bond (GoldenEye), Susan Jameson (New Tricks), Barbara Flynn (Cracker), and Diana Quick (Brideshead Revisited). Aired on the UK’s Channel 4 in 2009 and has yet to air in the U.S. A Mind to Kill, Series 2 (U.S. Debut) – More episodes of the Welsh cop drama acclaimed for its gritty realism and no-holds-barred storytelling akin to Cracker. Acclaimed actor Philip Madoc (The Last of the Mohicans, Doctor Who, The Avengers) delivers a powerhouse performance as DCI Noel Bain, a decent man combating the worst aspects of human nature. Aired in U.K in the mid-1990s, but its available to U.S. audiences for the first time. Slings & Arrows: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray) – Universally acclaimed series debuts on Blu-ray with three all-new, exclusive episode commentaries. “Outrageously Entertaining” – NPR “Absolutely addictive” – The New York Times “One of the finest series ever made” –San Francisco Chronicle The hit Canadian series stars Paul Gross (Due South), Don McKellar (Childstar), Martha Burns (Screening), and Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall) with season-long guest stars Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) in Season 1, Colm Feore (Chicago) in Season 2, and indie sensation Sarah Polley (The Sweet Hereafter) in Season 3. Winner of eight Geminis for the first two seasons, Slings & Arrows final season swept the major 2007 awards, winning Best Dramatic Series, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Writing, and Best Supporting Actor. The 6-disc set features all 18 episodes, plus commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, etc. Dramatizing the backstage trials and tribulations of a Shakespearean theatre troupe, Slings & Arrows features intelligent writing, masterful acting, and a stellar ensemble cast. Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Murder on the Orient Express (Blu-ray) – Acorn Media debuts its first British TV Blu-ray with an iconic Agatha Christie mystery, plus bonus program. This sumptuous new adaptation of Christie’s most famous and acclaimed novel features fan-favorite David Suchet as Hercule Poirot – the Belgian sleuth of unsurpassed deductive powers and peerless viewer appeal– as he searches for a killer on a snowbound train. The Blu-ray single includes a behind-the-scenes documentary about the history of the Orient Express, hosted by Suchet. Since Murder on the Orient Express is the only one of the three recent mysteries to be filmed in HD, the other two are not part of this Blu-ray release. Poldark Series 2 (DVD Debut) – Conclusion to the beloved Masterpiece Theatre classic and must-see costume drama debuts on DVD. The Emmy® and BAFTA-nominated miniseries, based on the beloved novels by Winston Graham, tells the story of a gallant English army officer who finds the trials and travails at home every bit as perilous as what he faced in war. Set in 18th century Cornwall, Poldark, Series 2 concludes the sensational saga of two rival families caught in a cross of fates and fortune. Hailed as a British Gone with the Wind, the classic miniseries debuted on PBS in May 1977, was featured on “The Best of Masterpiece Theatre” special, and voted one of the 10 most popular shows in the series’ history in a 2007 PBS poll. On the Road Set 3 (DVD Debut) – More uplifting stories from the beloved Emmy®-winning series, plus a fascinating, exclusive 55-minute interview with Kuralt’s longtime cameraman. “Must-see viewing for two decades… endlessly watchable” Los Angeles Times “It is hard to imagine a better traveling companion than Mr. Kuralt.”—The New York Times “Eminently gift-worthy…TV they really, truly don’t make anymore” —NPR’s Fresh Air from WHYY “An endless parade of feel-good vignettes”—Slate “Watching it is a treat” —The New York Times Showcasing more homespun vignettes of everyday life, award-winning journalist Charles Kuralt and his small CBS television crew traversed America’s byways by motor home in search of the unusual and overlooked stories of ordinary people from the nation’s back roads. The resulting segments serve as a reminder of simpler times and of the forgotten elements that make American life worth celebrating. November 2 (Limited copies available): Cadfael: The Complete Collection (re-issue) – Legendary Emmy®-winning actor Derek Jacobi stars in the hit 1990s PBS Mystery! series in a value-priced Collector’s Edition re-released on DVD. Jacobi (I, Claudius; Gosford Park; Hamlet) plays Brother Cadfael, a warrior turned monk who solves crimes in war-torn medieval England. Guest stars include Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies), and Stephen Moyer (True Blood). Acorn Media previously released this collection in Jan. 2005 but is re-issuing the series with new packaging and at a $50 discount. ($99.99, 16¼ hours). Midsomer Murders: Village Cases Files – Third value-priced collector’s set of the beloved British mystery series includes 16 feature-length, stand-alone mysteries. Celebrated for its inventive crimes, charming scenery, and subtle humor, the series counts Johnny Depp and the Queen among its legion of fans. Village Case Files includes the episodes from Series 8 and 9 (2004-2006), previously released on DVD as Sets 9 through 12. ($149.99, 26½ hours) Agatha Christie’s Marple-The Gerald McEwan Collection – Collector’s edition of the PBS Mystery! favorite featuring 12-feature-length, Emmy®-nominated adaptations. A hit with fans and critics alike, distinguished actress Geraldine McEwan (Vanity Fair; The Magdalene Sisters) effortlessly captures the sly wit and keen observations of Agatha Christie’s beloved tweed-clad, spinster sleuth. This value-priced 12-disc Collector’s Edition features the three complete series starring McEwan as Miss Marple and includes a bonus hour-long backstage feature with the cast and crew ($99.99, 19 hours plus bonus). Guest stars include: Jane Seymour, Joanna Lumley, Derek Jacobi, Zoë Wanamaker, Eileen Atkins Timothy Dalton, John Hannah, Francesca Annis, and Juliet Stevenson. The Red Green Show: The Toddlin’ Years (DVD Debut) – Available for the first time on DVD, the collected Seasons 4–6 (1994-1996) of the Canadian comedy and longstanding PBS hit. “Remember, you may have to grow old, but you don’t have to mature.” “When the going gets tough, switch to power tools.” “There’s only two things that excite a man: expensive toys and real expensive toys.” – Red Green (master of all things Canadian, manly, and duct taped) “The funniest thing to hit public television since Monty Python’s Flying Circus” –Milwaukee Journal Creator and star Steve Smith is a mastermind of north-of-the-border handyman humor with widespread appeal. Akin to Home Improvement, which also debuted in 1991, The Red Green Show amassed a devout fan base during the show’s 15-year run for Red Green and his Possum Lodge friends’ adventurous antics, off-kilter advice, preposterous inventions and power tool artillery. ($99.99, 29 hours)

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marge Fredrickson // Sep 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    My husband and I can hardly wait for the next season of Doc Martin. The last program we saw was the one when the baby was born. We receive TV from Seattle WA. When will the series be aired again?

  • 2 Terry Sigler // Sep 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I don’t know, but I was thinking the same thing….
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  • 3 jamie // Nov 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    what is the name of the bbc tv show about the woman prime minister that came on pbs

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