Blake's Seven availability

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Charles_Y, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Charles_Y

    Charles_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone know if the Brit SF show "Blake's Seven" will ever be sold here in the US? I think there have been Region 2 versions available in the UK for some time now. I doubt this will ever see the light of day here. The BBC will take their own sweet time getting to it, if ever. Though, I would much prefer them doing so. I think their Dr. Who editions very good and have a number of them already.

    I'm not one for bootlegging but if a title, particularly one produced in another country is not likely to be available in the foreseeable future domestically, I have no qualms about purchasing it from overseas.

    My question, where does one go to purchase it? I'm told there is a Amazon.uk Is this a viable option? How does one go about it and what about exchange rates? I fear my only option may be to look for Reg 2 eBay sales/auctions but I have my issues with purchasing there.

    I have never seen this issue broached on these forums and perhaps I've erred badly. If so please be gentle.

    I have a region free (or one made so) player and would love to get this series. I remember when my local PBS had some respect for UK SF and aired Dr. Who, Blake's Seven and others, but that is long gone sadly.
     
  2. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Charles,

    I've purchased approximately ten boxed sets of different series from Amazon.co.uk. I may have stated this before, but I actually find the service to be remarkably quick, and (most importantly for me) I have yet to receive a set that is nothing short of excellent (condition-wise). I am quite grateful for that. I also use Amazon.de (German Amazon.com); I've had much success with the U.K. and German versions of Amazon.com over the past two years.

    As far as the exchange rates are concerned, you can probably Google it quite easily. I usually figure on the British sets to be a little more than twice what I would pay for them in the States.

    But yes, it will be somewhat pricey. For Trek, I have paid upwards of $150 per box in some cases. However, I have also paid around $105 for two seasons of VOY. I guess it depends on the series. I believe in some cases, the availability of the boxed sets from [whatever] series can drive the price upward somewhat. Since I have never had to return a boxed set that I have ordered from either England or Germany, I don't know too much about the logistics of the shipment of replacement copies. But they send along quite a lengthy Email on how to go about doing this if need be.
     
  3. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    Curious, Scott: why did you import Trek, which (with the exception of TOS) was all mastered to NTSC to begin with? I realize the UK packaging was far superior, but to buy something that was converted to PAL only to have it converted back on your end...
     
  4. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Jay,

    Hello. For me, the conversion (NTSC / PAL) doesn't figure into my equation as to why I do it. (Incidentally, I'm still working on completing VOY, which I will have completed soon.)

    You've hit the nail on the head with half of the reasons why, though--the packaging is far superior in many cases. With DS9, I was tired of receiving cheaply made boxed sets that either arrived cracked or became cracked after a few usings.

    Secondly, the special features for both DS9 and VOY are greater (meaning there are more of them) than there are with the North American releases of the same series. I don't import ENT, TOS, or TNG, since 1) I already own those entire series; and 2) I don't believe the special features in the U.K. for those sets are augmented.

    Some examples: I was very disappointed when I learned that one of the North American DS9 sets did not include the wonderful special feature on the Defiant (which is included on the U.K. release). Another example: the special features for the first season of VOY are augmented substantially; one of these includes the British sets containing two(!) episodes from TOS on the final disc. I say bravo to that! [​IMG]
     
  5. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Supporting Actor

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    The Blake's Seven releases are I believe held up in the USA over rights issues to do with Blake's Seven Enterprises who were going to do a remake. It may never release in r1. The easy option is to buy in in r2.

    It's very easy to buy this from Amazon.co.uk

    Your Amazon account works on any Amazon (except Japan). So your account and payment details will all be the same. The only difference will be that you will be charged in British Pounds. Your credit card provider will convert this to US Dollars on your credit card bill. At the moment, very roughly speaking two dollars will buy you one pound. However, the rate used by your card company will not be quite as good, because they usually charge for foreign currency conversions, they do this by making the exchange rate a bit less favourable than the ones you will see posted on business websites etc. It's normally a couple of percent extra depending on which card you're with.

    You will of course have to pay a little extra for international shipping. Surface mail is perfectly fine, although it can take from ten days to six weeks (usually ten days). Airmail is a bit faster but more expensive.

    There should be no difficulty in exchanging faulty goods: Amazon will deal with it as they would with a domestic order, obviously you'd have to return the stuff to their UK address.

    The only complication that can arise is Customs. If your import is above a certain value (called a personal import allowance), you can get charged import duties and taxes. I believe that the limit for the USA is $100 (ours in the UK is much less generous, only about $35! After which we get charged import duty, a purchase tax, and have to pay a fee to the carrier for the extra handling!).

    My advice would be to order the sets one or two at a time, to make sure you don't go over the limit.

    Lastly, this all assumes that you have a multi-region DVD player that will play Region-2 discs!
     
  6. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    I've been buying imports from a company called Sendit.com for 10 years now. They've got great customer service, good prices and Blake's 7 occasionaly goes on sale for half price every so often there. (I got all 4 seasons for about a hundred bucks through one of their sales).

    Since you've waited this long, might as well spend a bit more time and see if you cant save some money, huh?
     
  7. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    I just wanted to add a small bit to what Nebiroth said here. I don't have a credit card, as I don't use them. But I do use a debit card (used in conjunction with monies from my own bank account), and have found that these work just as well. Other than shipping, I don't believe that extra charges -- such as could be incurred with a credit card -- will apply if a debit card is used. I may be wrong about rates for debit cards, however, as in all honesty I do not look beyond the shipping charges when I order overseas.
     
  8. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I might also add, this would also assume that your DVD player is capable of converting the disc's PAL signal into an NTSC one. Most (but not all) DVD players are NTSC/PAL capable out-of-the-box. If I remember correctly, Panasonic is one of those brands that sometimes makes "NTSC-only" versions of players (though those are usually hard to make region-free anyway).

    As for Amazon UK: yes, you can pretty much figure on doubling the costs (i.e. 20 pounds equals about 40 dollars). However, unlike most other mail-order sites, Amazon will deduct VAT at the checkout stage. VAT is about 17-18% of the price, so you will have that deducted when you get ready to check out.

    The removal of VAT usually means for me that AmazonUK is typically the cheapest option.

    Incidentally, Blakes 7 is also available in Australia, but the prices work out to be higher, in general, there (about $100 per season).
     
  9. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Supporting Actor

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    Yes, you can use a debit card as well, although personally speaking I always use a credit card because it is much easier to do things like chargebacks if things go very wrong (this is extremely unlikely in the case of Amazon of course!)

    Most cards, credit and debit, do levy a charge for a transaction in a foreign currency. However, it will not be listed as a separate charge: it will be buried in the exchange rate the card company uses. On the bill, they will show the dollar/pound conversion rate they used, and it will be a little less than the business rate, so for example instead of $2=£1, you would see something like $2=£0.975. The difference goes to the card company to pay for the foreign currency transaction.

    It is usually a couple of % and, unless you are buying very expensive items, is pretty much negligable!
     
  10. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Supporting Actor

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    Or alternatively, you have a DVD player that has a pure RGB output and a TV that can accept RGB which does away with the conversion problem.

    But as you say, most players will convert on the fly.
     
  11. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Are you talking something like SCART, or a PC monitor-type port? SCART is non-existent Stateside and monitor-type ports (on TV sets) are rare, too.

    Unfortunately, there's not much demand (or not much perceived demand) for multi-system functionality over here. Plus, the MPAA probably wouldn't like it to be as widely/easily available as you have it in Europe.

    Still, most players capable of region hacking are also capable of standards conversion (just not 100% of them).

    If the OP's DVD player is already hacked, it should be easy enough to check the setup menus and see if there's a "TV Type", "output" or "Colour System" menu selection where you can pick NTSC as the option.
     
  12. Charles_Y

    Charles_Y Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe I should be ok. I have an Oppo HD981 which was made region free with a simple software fix. I'll have to check to see if it can handle PAL material. Here's hoping.
     
  13. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I have Region 2 of it; my wife got it for me as a gift. Having said that, though, I have to wonder if a Region 1 release will finally make its way out to tie in with the upcoming remake, which surely will be shown in the States as well as in the U.K.

    I mean, I'm guessing that this indicates the rights issues are pretty much cleared up. Then again, who knows?
     
  14. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Supporting Actor

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    Yes, but we've been all over the "remake" ground before. It didn't come to anything.

    This new effort may or may not. Also, the makers may wish to disassociate themselves with the original series with it's attendant "budget limitations".
     
  15. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    If you read the story closely, though, Sky have only been given the go-ahead to develop two scripts, not to shoot a pilot or anything.

    I'd like to believe a remake can happen, but as has been said before, there have been several stalled attempts before. Also, the fact that it's being attempted by Sky is not a positive sign (remember how abruptly Hex ended?).
     
  16. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    If it were 2005, I might agree with that - but having a show in the seventies with creeky effects and production values isnt as much as scarlet letter as it used to be. Four years on and nobody ever makes fun of Doctor Who for the bad effects and "How can you be scared of Daleks when they cant climb stairs" anymore.
     
  17. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Funny, I'm watching Hex for the first time ever right now! [​IMG]

    Can't say I'm liking it too much. The lesbian ghost is the only really interesting character to me. If you're wondering where I'm at, she just got her new change of clothes for the first time.
     

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