‘Space: 1999 — The Complete Series’ Is A “Universal” Hit For Science Fiction Fans Everywhere

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is resurrecting the cult classic sci-fi series Space: 1999.  Due out July 16 on DVD and Blu-ray, the upcoming re-issue marks the first time that the series has received a full domestic release.  It was released most recently released in a full set overseas via Network in 2017.  Spread across 13 discs on DVD and Blu-ray, the collection is a must have for the most devout fans of the short-lived British import.  That is due in part to the set’s packaging, which will be addressed shortly.  The bonus content, which is expansive to say the least, is another key addition to the collection.  The companion booklet that is also featured with the set, rounds out the set’s most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Space: 1999The Complete Series.  All things considered, they make this first-ever domestic home release of the series one that will be difficult to top for any future re-issues domestic or otherwise.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming domestic release of Space: 1999The Complete Series is a collection that the cult classic series’ most devoted fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the set’s packaging.  The series’ 48-episode run is spread across 13 discs in two separate Blu-ray boxes.  The discs are placed on either side of a series of plates inside each box.  While the series’ two seasons are separated out into boxes, the packaging manner for the discs actually minimizes the bulk of each box.  Even with the main bonus features being placed on their own disc inside its own third case, the set’s overall Blu-ray box size is conservative on its size because of how the discs are packaged within the cases and because Blbu-ray boxes are themselves smaller than DVD boxes.

The actual packaging of the discs is just one key item to note in examining the overall packaging of Space: 1999’s Blu-ray set.  Audiences will note that on the back of each of the collection’s main two cases is an episode listing for that season.  The episodes are specifically aligned with their respective discs.  This might not seem overly important on the surface, but in reality it is very important.  Having the episodes listed specifically on their discs saves time for viewers in deciding which disc and episode to watch.  Of course, this is nothing new for Shout! Factory’s home releases, but it is still worth noting since it is another example of that continued effort by the people at Shout! Factory to give viewers the best experience possible with each of its multi-disc sets.  While the episode summaries are not included inside or outside the cases, Shout! Factory’s people did not forget those, either.  They will be discussed a little later.  Moving on, the packaging of Space: 1999The Complete Series is just one part of what makes the collection stand out for the series’ fans.  The bonus content featured throughout the set adds even more to the set’s presentation.

The bonus content featured in this first-ever domestic release of Space: 1999The Complete Series is spread across the set’s 13-discs with the main discs featuring picture galleries from each episode.  The main bonus content is a series of featurettes and a mix of old and new interview segments.  Star Barbara Bain’s interview features her talking about her draw to the series despite not being a science fiction fan at the time that she tried out for a role on the series, but coming to enjoy her time on the show.  Bain also mentions in her interview, her interest in the show’s premise and its set.  There is also an entertaining anecdote shared by Bain here, about working with Christopher Lee in one episode of Season One.  She joked about his height and how the show’s creative heads wanted to make him even taller than his natural 6-foot 4-inch height.  That is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg here.  The discussions on the series’ concept and creation features discussions with the series’ creator Gerry Anderson – who also created other classic series, such as Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90 – as well as other members of the series’ creative team discussion the series’ creation.  Anderson discusses the role that ITC had in the importing of the series to the United States while others discuss the things that went on behind the scenes.  Perhaps one of the most intriguing discussions is that of show runner Fred Freiberger, who came into the show near the end of its first season.  Anderson’s wife Sylvia speaks one way of Freiberger – essentially saying he did not understand the difference between British television and American – while cast member Nick Tate spoke a little more warmly of Freiberger.  As if all of that is not enough for viewers, there is also a look into the models that were used   That look is key because it reminds people about how groundbreaking Anderson’s series were then and are now in hindsight.  As another interviewee noted in another segment, shows of this series’ caliber can only be made in this era using CG.  Between these discussions, so many others featured in the bonus content, the bonus picture galleries and the audio commentaries also featured throughout the set, audiences get here a full and fully immersive viewing experience.  It takes the foundation formed by the set’s packaging and strengthens it even more than one could even imagine.  That foundation is strengthened more still through the companion booklet that is also featured as part of the collection’s whole.

The companion booklet that is featured with Space: 1999The Complete Series opens with a brief but concise look at the history of Space: 1999 by pop culture historian and Shout! Factory Associate Producer Russell Dyball.  The history is also an appreciation for the series, with Dyball discussing the series’ theme music, its stylistic approach, which was far different from that of Star Trek – but common for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s series – and the expansive merchandising associated with the show.  From there, the booklet features a full rundown of the series’ episodes with brief, but concise summaries of each episode.  There is even a note ahead of the episode summaries stating that the lineup is based on the series’ episode production order, the most commonly accepted episode order.  Considering that there was not enough space inside and outside the series’ cases for episode summaries, the people at Shout! Factory are to be commended for taking the time to make sure even that element was still included in one way or another with the set.  Audiences will likely end up using this episode guide even more than the episode guides printed on the backs of the cases.  It’s just one more positive to an already positive presentation that the most devoted fans of this classic series will appreciate.  When it is considered along with the previously noted positives – the packaging and the bonus content – the set in whole becomes a presentation that every Space: 1999 fan will want to add to their home library.

Shout! Factory and itv’s upcoming domestic release of Space: 1999The Complete Series is a presentation that the most devoted fans of the series and the most devoted science fiction fans will appreciate.  That is due in part to the set’s packaging.  Once again, Shout! Factory has set the bar for multi-disc packaging with this Blu-ray set.  The bonus content featured with the set adds even more interest to its whole, as it includes audio commentaries, interviews, retrospectives and picture galleries throughout the set’s 13 discs.  The companion booklet that is also featured with the set rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the set.  All things considered, they make this collection a “universal” hit among science fiction audiences, not just fans of this series.  More information on this and other titles is available online now at:

 

 

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MPI Media Group’s New Gerry Anderson Collection Is Imperfect But Entertaining

Courtesy: mpi media group/MPI Home Video

MPI Home Video this week unearthed a special new collection of material from Gerry Anderson, one of the legendary names from television’s early eras when it released the new two-disc collection The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson.  The collection presents to audiences what was essentially the evolution of Anderson’s work from supermarionation to live action.  The presentation of that evolution is the set’s most critical element.  As important as that collection proves to be, the set in whole sadly is not perfect.  It lacks any physical content guide in its packaging, leaving audiences to essentially have to memorize the material included in each disc.  That is a con that cannot be ignored here. Getting back to the set’s overall material, while a pro, it is both a pro and a con (but more pro than con).  That will be discussed later.  Each element is key in its own way to this collection’s whole.  All things considered, The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson proves to be a collection that while enjoyable, comes up just short in its first outing.

MPI Home Video’s brand new release of The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson is a relatively enjoyable first outing for this collection of Anderson rarities, but one that leaves room for improvement should it ever get another release.  The set’s main positive is its primary content.  Audiences get to see in the set’s main body, another attempt at a supermarionation series in the form of The Investigator alongside the live action series The Day After Tomorrow and Space Police.  There is also an attempt at an adult-oriented claymation presentation in the form of Dick Spanner, P.I.  There is even a very old almost Howdy Doody type presentation in Kandy, which is basically a show about a foolish koala.  Though some of the set’s presented material makes clearly obvious why it did not survive, other material such as Space Police leaves one wondering why it didn’t last.  The juxtaposition of the live action and animatronic material presented in the series’ pilot episode is exactly the kind of presentation that would go on to be used for decades by Japan’s Super Sentai series.  It would also end up being used in the Americanized version of that franchise, the famed Power Rangers franchise.  Keeping that in mind, such a show – even in just one episode – shows how far ahead of its time it was.  Simply put, it shows how ground breaking and innovative Anderson was even as he moved away from puppets to live action.

As if the live action and other material is not enough for audiences, there is even a documentary style presentation in the form of Blue Skies Ahead.  This short presentation takes audiences on a jaunt across Europe, showing its key locations while also advertising for Blue Cars bus lines.  It is very much in the same vein as the old color newsreels that audiences might see today on Turner Classic Movies, showing Anderson’s ability to make legitimate nonfiction programming just as much as his abilities in the fiction realm.  Considering this along with the discussion on the featured fiction material included in the set, it becomes clear why the set’s material is so critical to the set’s overall presentation.  It is not the set’s only critical element, though.  The lack of a physical content guide is a negative that cannot and should not be ignored.

Opening up the set’s standard-sized case audiences will note that there is no sign of a content guide anywhere inside or outside the case.  On the surface, this might not seem overly important.  On a deeper level though, it is very important.  There might be those out there who are at least somewhat familiar with the material, but maybe haven’t seen it in decades.  They would be nearly on the same level as those who have not yet seen these presentations.  Keeping that in mind, having a content guide would have made for a solid introduction (or re-introduction) for audiences to that material before they play either of the set’s discs.  Not having that introduction makes for a somewhat uneasy introduction, and in turn detracts from the set’s presentation to a point.  Thankfully, it is the set’s only truly impacting negative.  The Space Police test footage, while perhaps a bit too extensive, presents its own positive to the set’s presentation.

The Space Police test footage included in The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson is for all intents and purposes little more than bonus material.  It takes audiences behind the scenes of the featured episode “Star Laws.”  Throughout the course of the footage, audiences see that the scenario presented in the final product was not the only considered scenario.  Nor were the actors in that final product the only actors who had test screenings.  The comparison of the two scenarios and the actors is key because it adds to the appreciation for the final product.  The scenarios presented in the test footage show that that material was just too campy even despite some impressive animatronic and prosthetics work with the aliens.  Even the lead actors presented in the test footage were a bit over the top cheesy in their presentation.  Keeping that in mind, the presentation used in the final product proves to be much more fitting for the show, even being a cop drama.

At the same time that the show’s test footage proves integral to this set’s presentation, it also is somewhat disappointing in just how much test footage is shown.  So much of the material takes place in an alleyway scene, and shows time and again the actors handling the same scenario.  There is also a bevy of in-car test footage with the lead actors that honestly gets boring after a while.  All of this material honestly could have (in this critic’s eye) been cut back, and should have for that matter.  Considering this, the intrinsic value of the test footage shows the importance of Space Police to Anderson’s career, and its place within its genre.  However, it is too much of a good thing even in its use of comparing scenarios and actors.  With this in mind, the test footage included in this set is both a positive and a negative.  When it is set alongside the set’s primary material, the whole of that material becomes a presentation that is enjoyable, but honestly leaves something to be desired in the end.  That is not to say that it is a total loss, but there is room to grow if this set is ever re-issued or if it is ever included in another Anderson collection.

The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson is an interesting new collection of rarities from the famed figure’s career.  It shows a part of his career that has rarely if ever been seen thanks to the primary material presented in its lead disc.  The lack of a content guide of any sort is a detractor for this collection, though.  It takes away from the overall presentation and viewing experience, but does not make the presentation a total loss.  The bonus Space Police test footage adds back what is taken away by the lack of a content guide thanks to the insight that it adds to that one episode.  At the same time, there is such an abundance of that test footage that it really feels like overkill and should have been shaved back.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to this set’s whole.  All things considered, they make the set a collection that while not a total loss, one that leaves room for growth in the next Gerry Anderson collection.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from mpi media group and MPI Home Video is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitewww.mpimedia.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/MPIMediaGroup

 

 

 

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MPI Media Group To Release Gerry Anderson Rarities Collection Next Month

Courtesy: mpi media group/MPI Home Video

Fans of Gerry Anderson are going to get an early Christmas present next month courtesy of mpi Media Group.

The World of Gerry Anderson is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 14 on DVD.  The new release is a collection of rare classic Gerry Anderson films and other features including his never-before-seen early puppet film Here Comes Kandy, the final segment of the 1980s stop-motion comedy series Dick Spanner, P.I., The Investigator and The Day After Tomorrow, which has no connection to the 2004 big screen blockbuster.

Along with the noted titles, the new two-disc collection of rarities will also feature the pilot Space Police, which would go on to be the template for Space Precinct.

The World of Gerry Anderson will retail for MSRP of $24.98.  Its total run time is 354 minutes.  More information on this and other titles from mpi Media Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.mpimedia.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mpimediagrp

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MPIMediaGroup

 

 

 

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TMG’s Thunderbirds Re-Issue Is One Of 2015’s Best New Box Sets For Kids, Famlies

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Gerry Anderson’s classic sci-fi/action series Thunderbirds is not the only series that he created during his life.  Though, it is safe to say that of the series that he created it is the best . That is both the personal opinion of this critic and apparently that of audiences in general.  The fact that Thunderbirds has been re-imagined so many times since its original run on television from 1964 – 1965 proves that true.  It has been made into a variety of TV series and even an absolutely horrid teen-centric big screen adaptation in 2004.  There is also a whole new reboot of the original series in the works set to air this year on British television.  It goes to show the longevity of the series.  Now thanks to Timeless Media Group, this classic series has finally been resurrected once more.  While not the first time that the series has been released in full—it was last released by A&E Home Video in 2008 in a twelve-disc DVD box set—it proves to be just as welcome in any classic TV lover’s library this time out as in its previous release if not even more welcome.  The very fact that it has been presented both on DVD and Blu-ray this time is one clear reason that it is such a welcome return.  The writing behind the series should be noted whether audiences are seeing the series for the first time or for the first time again.  The writing behind Thunderbirds makes it stand out from any of Anderson’s other series.  Last and hardly least worth noting of TMG’s newly re-issued full series Thunderbirds set is its look and sound.  It looks and sounds just as good as ever if not better.  That is especially the case for the series’ Blu-ray presentation.  That impressive look and sound in the series’ new re-issue rounds out the ways in which it shows itself to be a completely welcome return both for the series’ original fans and for a whole new generation of fans.  Considering all of this it can also be said that TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is a completely welcome return both for the series’ original fans and for the current generation of fans.  Considering the amount of work that went in to resurrecting the series and doing it right for that matter, it is also one of the best new box sets for children and families.  It shows this to be true in a number of ways, the main way being its overall presentation.  TMG’s release of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is not the first time that the series has ever seen the light of day.  It was previously released in 2008 in a twelve-disc box set by A&E Home Video.  It was only available on DVD at the time, too.  TMG’s new re-issue offers the series on both DVD and Blu-ray.  Whereas A&E Home Video’s box set was composed of twelve discs and was quite bulky to say the least, TMG has presented audiences with a DVD and Blu-ray box set that are both much more streamlined.  The DVD box is composed of eight discs and the Blu-ray set six discs.  Even if either set had to add an extra disc to house the bonus features included in A&E Home Video’s box set, both sets released by TMG would still be more ergonomic than that of A&E Home Video.  To that extent the series’ packaging both on DVD and Blu-ray in its new release plays a big part in why fans of all ages will enjoy it.  The only down side to the packaging and overall presentation here is that it is lacking an episode guide of any sort.  Given it would be nice to have had that.  But even without it, neither set suffers so much that it isn’t worth the purchase.  It’s just a minor detail.  The fact that fans of the series are presented with two ways to watch the series and in cases that are much more ergonomic than that of its previous release more than makes up for that one negative aspect of the packaging.  That being the case, the overall presentation of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series in its new re-issue presents a sound foundation for both sets.

TMG’s presentation of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series on both DVD and Blu-ray is within itself a great positive for the series in its return.  The fact that both the DVD and Blu-ray set are more ergonomic than that of A&E Home Video’s previous twelve-disc DVD presentation makes both sets even more worth of a welcome return for fans of all ages.  Both elements together form a solid foundation for both the series’ new DVD and Blu-ray sets.  That means that there is still much more to be examined here including the series’ very concept and the related work of its writers.  The concept behind Thunderbirds is completely apart from anything that Gerry Anderson developed for any of his other series.  Instead of going out into space as in Fireball XL5, beneath the waves as in Stingray or even using super brain power to fight the forces of evil.  The closes that Thunderbirds comes to any of Gerry Anderson’s other series by comparison is to Supercar.  And even that comparison is loose at best.  It could actually be argued to a point that Thunderbirds is so enjoyable because it built on the concept behind Supercar and made it more relatable to young viewers than Supercar or even any of Anderson’s other series.  Here, in Thunderbirds, is a covert team of operatives that uses cool, high-tech gadgets and vehicles to save the world.  It just happens to be that they are all brothers and are led by their father.  That within itself is an entirely original concept that has seemingly gone on to be the model for a number of other action series that have come along since then.   The brothers don’t save the world from aliens from another world (Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons) or from other sources in their missions.  Rather the bad guys and situations in general are more real and in turn more believable.  The series’ premiere episode is proof of that as International Rescue has to save a jet that has been strapped with a bomb that would not only destroy the plane but would also lead to a massive spread of radioactive material in the jet’s explosion.    Another episode later in the series’ run sees the team having to save one of its own from a group of villains.  There’s even a point in the series’ run in which the Tracy brothers have to aid the U.S. Army in recovering a new vehicle not from villains but from a fiery pit once used by the army to dispose of its own old equipment.  Simply put, the concept and writing behind Thunderbirds presents concepts and adventures that are more tangible than those presented in Anderson’s other series for lack of better wording.  In being more believable the series also becomes more accessible and in turn enjoyable, which is why even some five decades since it first premiered it remains just as enjoyable as any children’s series on television today if not more so.  It’s one more reason that the series, now in its latest re-issue, is a completely welcome addition to any classic TV lover’s library.

The largely original concept behind Thunderbirds and its fun, entirely believable stories make it just as enjoyable as any children’s series on television today if not more so.  That within itself makes the series’ new re-issue a completely welcome return for audiences of all ages both on DVD and Blu-ray.  The fact that TMG has presented the series in separate, streamlined DVD and Blu-ray boxes makes its new release even more welcome in any classic TV lover’s library.  Both elements together give audiences more than enough reason for audiences of all ages to own Thunderbirds: The Complete Series in its new presentation whether on DVD or Blu-ray.  One would be remiss to ignore the overall quality of the episodes in their new re-issue, having noted the series’ packaging and writing.  The series looks and sounds just as impressive as it did in its original run five decades ago.  This is especially the case with the series’ Blu-ray presentation.  The video is crystal clear.  Yet at the same time, the static that was there in the show’s original run is there, too.  It has just been cleaned up to the point that the picture isn’t hindered.  So, retro TV fans won’t have to worry there.  It still maintains its original look.  That look has just been tweaked a little.  Just as impressive is that the Blu-ray presentation presents the video in its original 4:3 aspect ratio.  It hasn’t been stretched out or distorted to accommodate wide screen televisions.  It is a big statement that the people at TMG would make sure to maintain this aspect of the show.  Added to the fact that it still boasts its original static (albeit cleaned static), the look of the series proves to be its own huge bonus for audiences regardless of their familiarity with the series. The sound is just as interesting to note. Audiences will find themselves by and large holding their remotes, constantly adjusting the volume as they watch. That isn’t the fault of those that re-mastered the show. That is actually how the sound was presented in the show’s original run. While it is somewhat irritating, keeping in mind that this is exactly how the audio was originally presented makes the inconsistency bearable. It might even create even more of a sense of nostalgia among audiences. That sense of nostalgia will keep audiences fully engaged in every episode. Being fully engaged, audiences will in turn see for themselves the importance of the series’ concept and its writing. That appreciation coupled with an appreciation for TMG’s dual, ergonomic presentation of the series will lead finally to the agreement that TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is a completely welcome return. It is in fact one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.

TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. It shows this in so many ways including its packaging, its production values, and of course its concept and writing from one episode to the next. That is not to discount other factors such as the work of those that controlled the marionettes. They were the real stars of the show. The bonus material makes the set even more of a hit. That is because one of the bonus features allows audiences to print out classic brochures promoting the series. There is also an in-depth documentary that discusses how Thunderbirds came to be along with other topics. Whether for these elements, for those that were more directly cited, or for any other element not noted here, any classic TV fan will agree that TMG has impressed greatly with its newly released re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series. It is a series that was well worth the wait, especially for those that perhaps didn’t already own the series on DVD or even VHS. It is one that is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from TMG via Shout! Factory’s online store on either platform at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/thunderbirds-the-complete-series. More information on Thunderbirds: The Complete Series and other titles from TMG and Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

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Anderson’s Original Supermarionation Series Is A Must Have For Any Classic TV Lover

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group/Shout! Factory

Famed TV producer Gerry Anderson changed the face and direction of television when he brought his first-ever “supermarionation” series Supercar to audiences in 1961. Much like most of Anderson’s “supermarionation” series, this series is one about which likely few American audiences know much. Thanks to Timeless Media Group though, a whole new generation of audiences has been given the chance to see for itself just what makes it such an important piece of television history in the form of Supercar: The Complete Series. One of the series’ key elements that makes it so important is its writing. The stories crafted in the series’ thirty-nine total episodes were in themselves great works that mixed elements of pure sci-fi and fantasy with the world’s political climate of the day. Looking at the technology of the supercar and the stories, the first thing that comes to mind is Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. Yet despite such a comparison, there is an obvious separation between the two in terms of their writing, thus solidifying once again the role of the series’ writing in making Supercar such an important series. As integral as Supercar’s writing proves to be to the series, the series’ look is just as key. Being that it was Anderson’s first attempt at the “supermarionation” format, the look of the series (marionettes included) is very raw. It’s not the more honed look of say Joe 90 or even Thunderbirds. That’s not a bad thing. Rather in the bigger picture of Anderson’s creations it shows how far Anderson’s work progressed with each new series in comparisons to where he started. So that shows yet again why the look of Supercar was (and is) just as important to the whole of the series in making the series itself important as its writing. Last but hardly least worth the note in regards to Supercar’s importance in television history is the work of those that literally pulled the strings. If not for the work of those that brought the marionettes to life so to speak, the writing and the show’s look would be all for naught. Luckily though, it is thanks to the work of those real actors that even today, audiences will find it easy to suspend their disbelief and let themselves escape for a little while. In being able to suspend their disbelief and escape, audiences that purchase Supercar: The Complete Series will hopefully see the interest in the series’ writing and it’s look. Having that extra insight, those that do purchase the recently released set will also hopefully agree that when taken into consideration together, they make Supercar: The Complete Series one more piece that any lover of classic television should have in their own home DVD libraries.

Supercar: The Complete Series is a piece that any lover of classic television should have in their own home DVD libraries. The main reason that classic TV buffs will want to add the first Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series is its writing. While the writing behind this series was at its heart a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, there was also an obvious influence on the series from the real world. While it ran for only two years, Supercar ran right in the heart of the Cold War. And that was reflected in a number of the series’ episodes, too as Mike Mercury and company had to deal with the evil Master Spy and his henchman. Given Master Spy’s accent is not exactly the best, but it is good enough to let audiences know that he and his henchman are supposed to be Russian. Mercury and company don’t face off against Master Spy in every episode. But there are enough episodes that center on his misdeeds that the impacts of global politics obviously had an impact on this series. Those wanting something a little different and less linked to the real world will enjoy “Atomic Witch Hunt” in which Mike Mercury and company hunt down a group of bad guys set on starting a nuclear war. The revelation of the plan’s mastermind is what is really interesting. There’s also a high seas adventure of sorts as Mike and his friends hunt down a group of pirates (yes, pirates) in “Pirate Plunder.” The series’ premiere episode even boasts its own value as the development of Supercar at that time is something well ahead of its time. The car’s V-TOL capabilities wouldn’t become reality for another six years at the very least. And it wouldn’t come about in a car, either. Rather, it appeared in the very first incarnation of the Harrier jump jet. The ability of the car to work underwater is still the stuff of science fiction. But no doubt, some scientist(s) out there is/are working on it to this day. Keeping all of this in mind, it is clear exactly why the writing behind Supercar makes the series’ so well worth the watch.

The work of Supercar’s writers lies at the center of the series’ enjoyment and success. That goes without saying. It is a show that at the time of its original broadcast was well ahead of its time yet also reflective of its time at the same time. It’s just one part of what makes this series well worth the watch. The look of the series adds to the series’ interest, too. This includes both the marionettes and the sets used throughout the series. The look of the series is raw to say the least. The marionettes used look little more than the marionettes that were allegedly used by gypsies as they made their way across Europe. Their mouths barely move in comparison to the marionettes used in Anderson’s later series. The sets themselves were relatively basic. That is exemplified as Supercar “goes underwater.” Being that the marionettes were controled by strings, the car couldn’t have a top. So that makes it obvious that the underwater scenes were shot either in front of an aquarium or similar setting. Even in its flying scenes, the strings are obvious both with the characters and with the car. The thing of it is that this is not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it’s campy. But it’s a great camp. In comparison to the constant over-the-top explosions, car chase scenes and other overly used elements of today’s TV shows (and all of the equally annoying anime out there, too), seeing how the cast and crew of Supercar utilized the sets and the marionettes even as simple as each element was, there’s something about that simplicity that makes it all believable and fun, too. The mix of that simplicity in the series’ look coupled with the cast and crew’s use of the sets and related elements makes for even more reason that audiences will want to see this classic series.

The simplicity of the sets and related aspects of Supercar and the manner in which they were handled goes a long way toward making this classic series a joy for any classic TV lover to watch. The mix of sci-fi elements and real life influences on the series’ writing added to the mix makes Supercar even more enjoyable. in fact they collectively make Supercar a must see for any classic TV fan. For all of the importance of the series’ writing, its sets and related elements, and their related use, they would be useless without the work of those that literally pulled the show’s strings. Just as with Anderson’s later series, it is thanks to the real stars of Supercar that the series works as well as it does. Even as rough as the marionettes look, the work of their voice actors makes them really come to life. They made the marionettes believable. In turn, the stories themselves become believable and fully watchable. It brings everything full circle proving once and for all exactly why every lover of classic television will want to see this series now that it has been properly re-issued courtesy of Timeless Media Group.

Whether one takes into consideration the writing behind Supercar: The Complete Series, the sets and other related elements and their usage, or for the work of the series’ real live actors, there is plenty to say to the positive in regards to TMG’s latest addition to every Gerry Anderson fan’s collection. Supercar: The Complete Series is available now on DVD in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct from Timeless Media Group via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-animation/supercar-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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Thunderbirds Are Go This June!

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

It’s official. Thunderbirds are go!

Timeless Media Group has announced that it will release Thunderbirds: The Complete Series next month. Perhaps the most well-known and beloved of Gerry Anderson’s “supermarionation” series, the complete thirty-two episode series will be released on Tuesday, June 9th. It will be released both on an eight-disc DVD box set and six-disc Blu-ray box set. Along with its complete complement of re-mastered episodes, Thunderbirds: The Complete Series will also include the documentary “Launching Thunderbirds,” which includes yet another never-before-seen interview with Gerry Anderson, and a vintage publicity brochure.

Thunderbirds is set in the year 2065. It follows the operations of the top secret organization known as International Rescue. The island-based organization is led by Jeff Tracy. He is joined by his sons Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon, and Adam. The group travels the world in its specialized vehicles in a variety of humanitarian missions. The DVD set will retail for MSRP of $49.97 and the Blu-ray for $69.97. Both can be pre-ordered now online via TMG’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/thunderbirds-the-complete-series. The DVD can be pre-ordered online at a discounted price of $42.97 and the Blu-ray for $55.97. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

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Joe 90: The Complete Series Is One Of Gerry Anderson’s Classic Supermarionation Series

Courtesy:  Timeless Media Group

Courtesy: Timeless Media Group

Timeless Media and Shout! Factory have done it yet again. The two companies have proven once again today why they are collectively the absolute leader in home entertainment. How have they done this? They have done so by re-issuing yet another of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series, this time in the form of Joe 90. This release, much as with the companies’ other re-issued series, was originally released on DVD by A&E Home Video some twelve years ago in 2003. While Anderson’s series Thunderbirds leads the way among his many works, Joe 90 is deserving of its own credit, too. One could actually argue that among the many series that Anderson created throughout his life, this series actually stands right on par with Thunderbirds. Perhaps part of the reason for its success is its writing. One could argue that unlike Anderson’s other series, Joe 90 follows more purely the classic action model. Those other series were more sci-fi and fantasy-based by comparison. It is more akin to Thunderbirds than those series when placing them side by side. On a related note, there is something about the overall look of the series, too. There is something about the detail of the marionettes and the way that they move, coupled with the acting of those pulling the marionettes’ strings that makes this series look more realistic than any of Anderson’s other series. Simply put, seeing is believing. The bonus material included in this set rounds out the reasons that it performs so well. There is another archived interview with Gerry Anderson in which he discusses the roots of his work in even more depth, and commentary with specific episodes just as with Timeless Media Group’s other Gerry Anderson sets. The bonus features, the look of the series, and the writing are each important to the enjoyment and success of Joe 90 in their own right. When all three elements are assembled together, they show clearly why Joe 90: The Complete Series is another welcome addition to any classic TV buff’s collection. They also show collectively why Timeless Media Group and Shout! Factory together are the single leading entity in the world of home entertainment.

TMG and Shout! Factory’s brand new re-issue of Joe 90: The Complete Series is another big win for both companies and for classic TV buffs alike. It is not the first of Gerry Anderson’s classic supermarionation series that the companies have released so far. But it is one of Anderson’s best by comparison. One of the reasons that this series stands out among Anderson’s many series is its writing. Unlike Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons, Stingray, and Fireball XL5–or even Supercar, which is due out next month–Joe 90 is that one series that is perhaps most closely akin to Anderson’s biggest hit, Thunderbirds. The sci-fi elements of those other series are present here. But this series is more characterized by its pure action elements more so than the sci-fi elements. The sci-fi elements incorporate here are more tools to help the episodes advance than the star of the show again unlike those aforementioned series. Audiences that might not be so familiar with Joe 90 will appreciate in this series that as with Anderson’s other series, the main character–Joe 90–goes on all kinds of adventures. But in the case of this series those adventures are all centered on Earth. They don’t take Joe into the depths of space or the sea or any other outrageous backdrops. This makes the stories a little more believable and in turn even more interesting. Speaking of that ability to suspend disbelief, two of the series’ episodes pit Joe 90 against two of the West’s biggest Cold War foes in Russia and China. Presenting two real foes from the time the series ran helped to make the series that much more believable and in turn enjoyable. It made it that much easier for audiences to root for Joe 90. On another note, Joe 90 also boasts its own share of pure action stories. One example comes late in the series’ run in the episode “Trial At Sea.” This episode sees Joe 90 having to stop a madman that wants to sink a ship. Only Joe can stop the bomb from going off and sinking the ship on which he and his father are riding. Even when Joe and his dad try to go on vacation, they can’t get a break as they are pulled into an international incident in which a military organization has taken over one of W.I.N.’s outposts. It’s yet another example of how the stories crafted for Joe 90 make this series stand out from Gerry Anderson’s other series and in turn, what makes it so enjoyable. Whether for the noted episodes or for those not noted, Joe 90 proves itself a fun watch for the whole family. Its stories are more reality based despite their sometimes outrageous settings. One can’t help but think about James Bond at least to some extent in watching this series. And maybe at its heart, this is why the show works. Not only is it similar to Thunderbirds, but it also bears a similarity to James Bond. Regardless, the episodes crafted for Joe 90 are collectively one clear reason why Joe 90 is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages and why it is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s series.

The writing that went into Joe 90 is one of the most important parts of the series’ enjoyment and success in its new re-issue. That is hopefully made clear with the basic outline of the writing noted above. As important as it is to the whole, the look of the series coupled with the work of the people pulling the strings is just as important. The look of Joe 90 is noticeably different from that of Gerry Anderson’s other supermarionation series. The detail on the marionettes makes them look even more human than in any of Anderson’s other series. The work of those pulling the strings adds to that feeling of realism as audiences will see. Maybe it is just the interpretation of this critic. But the motions of the marionettes seems more fluid and real than in any of Anderson’s other series. Those fluid motions from the marionettes and their seemingly more detailed look overall makes them as close as marionettes could come to being human without being human. It makes the ability of viewers to suspend their disbelief all the easier. In turn, it makes the series in whole that much more enjoyable and all the more worth adding to any classic TV buff’s home library.

The surprisingly impressive look of Joe 90 by itself makes for plenty of reason for classic TV buffs to check out this blast from the past. The series’ solid writing taken into consideration along with its look shows just as much why it is so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. They are not the only factors to note in the set’s success, either. The bonus material included with this box set rounds out the package. Audiences are treated to episode-specific commentaries and another archived interview with Gerry Anderson. The commentaries in question add their own insight into the given episodes, just as with TMG’s other Gerry Anderson series. Together with the archived Anderson interview, in which Anderson discusses another star of his series (not just Joe 90), the interview and companion commentaries offer plenty of insight into Joe 90 and the other series that made Gerry Anderson so famous in his day. They also collectively show why this series and his others remain family favorites to this day.

The insight offered via the bonus commentaries and archived interview are few. Even as few commentaries as there are, the amount of insight offered via said commentaries–and the bonus interview with Gerry Anderson–makes for plenty of enjoyment for every classic TV buff. The same can be said of the series’ writing and its equally surprisingly impressive look. All three elements considered together, they show without a doubt that Joe 90 is one of the best of Gerry Anderson’s supermarionation series. It also proves itself to be, again, a piece that any classic TV fan will love to have in his or her own home collection. Joe 90 is available now on DVD in stores and online and can be ordered direct online at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/joe-90-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from TMG is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com/tentpoles/timeless-media-group

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Timeless-Media-Group/358391474233364

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.