Series DVDs you had to import from another country

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bob Hug, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I live in the U.S. Here's my overseas/PAL list:

    Bionic Woman S1 UK R2 Digipak
    Bionic Woman S2 AU R2/4
    HOLOCAUST MINISERIES ITALIAN (ENGLISH AUDIO) R2
    HONEY WEST COMPLETE SERIES UK R2
    RICH MAN POOR MAN BOOK 1 MINISERIES UK R2
    SAINT COMPLETE B/W SERIES UK R2
    SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN S2 AU R2/4

    I can't detect any PAL speed-up issues with these. All play perfect on my code-free PAL/NTSC Pioneer DV-578A player. They also play the same at a friend's home on a JVC code-free unit. It's interesting that it seems to be a highly-individualized thing with the speed-up detection. I've played some of these sets for others and none have been able to detect it either. The PAL/NTSC technical differences (as well as the ability of what they claim is a small percentage of the population's ability to detect the difference in a 45-50 min DVD) makes for an interesting read at the online Wiki Encylopedia.
     
  2. Will_C

    Will_C Second Unit

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    I live in the US and have gotten the following DVD sets from Amazon Canada: Adventures of Sinbad S1, Street Justice S1 and Cobra Complete Series. In January, I was starting to think about ordering Mile High Ss1&2, Hex Ss1&2 and No Angels Ss1-3 from Amazon.co.uk, then I found out that Mile High S1 was coming out here in March. Now we have word on MH S2 and Hex S1 coming out in June, hopefully Hex S2 and all of No Angels will be making an appearance soon after. Getting all those sets from the UK would have been a major expense. Thank the Lord for BBC America.
     
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Don't send up your praises yet: I've heard from Hex fans that the episodes shown on BBC America not only suffered editing, but major music substitution: not just the title track, but incidental music, too!

    Looking at the press release for the R1 "season one" set, it looks like they're issuing 10 episodes. The real first season was only five episodes (well, one double-length and four standard-length). It appears they're issuing them in the same configuration as the BBC America "seasons". I would be very skeptical of the R1 sets being 100% intact. Even if the censorship cuts were reinstated, I'd be wary of them using all the original music.

    Besides, the prices have dropped on the R2 sets anyway. I think you'd be far better off importing those: you can have all the episodes now and you can be assured they're 100% complete and unmessed-with.

    As for No Angels: if this is coming out from the same company releasing Footballers Wives in R1, you might want to do some investigation first: the R1 sets of FW have piss-poor extras compared to the R2s (first three seasons, anyway) and work out to be more expensive (at least, in my case they did). Also, you can't get seasons 4-5 in the US yet, let alone any of Extra Time.
     
  4. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    TV shows I've imported? Far too many to count!

    Some highlights:

    R1 Canada
    Bizarre (John Byner)

    R2 United Kingdom
    Doc Martin
    Look Around You
    Steptoe and Son
    Till Death Us Do Part (second colour season)
    The Goodies
    Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
    Footballers Wives (better extras, and cheaper, or no more expensive than, the R1s)
    Hex
    Have I Got News For You
    Armstrong and Miller
    Funland
    Day of the Triffids
    Up Pompeii
    Then Churchill Said to Me
    Six Million Dollar Man (the single discs)
    Bionic Woman (the single discs)
    Lexx Seasons 1 and 2 (better extras than R1 sets)

    R4 Australia
    Doc Martin (the two SKY TV movies that preceeded the ITV series)
    Man About the House
    George and Mildred
    Sapphire and Steel (only worldwide version with adcaps intact)
    The Graham Norton Effect (R2 version is only highlights. This one is complete episodes)
    Hammer House of Horror (better pic quality than R1, better price than R1 or identical R2)

    There's probably more, but that's all I can think of at the moment!
     
  5. PattyFraser

    PattyFraser Second Unit

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    Yes, Andy, I also got Day of the Triffids (British version) from Amazon.co.uk, and my sister got Tenko. These excellent British shows should be released here, but they probably never will be.
     
  6. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Great thread topic, Bob.

    Man in a Suitcase R4
    The Baron R4
    Honey West R2

    The R4 sets from Umbrella Entertainment in Australia are the two most comprehensive sets I own, loaded with extras on every disc and packaged in thick, sturdy slipcases. "The Baron" is not nearly as well known as "Suitcase" but is a wonderful series in its own right with antiques art dealer John Mannering (Steve Forrest) as a Simon Templar type who takes on cases involving theft, blackmail and subterfuge where international art treasures are concerned.




    Permit me:

    http://itc-classics.com/
     
  7. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    Well, I started importing Doctor Who from the UK way back when it looked like the US would never get them, and I never switched over when the R1 releases came. The UK is quicker, often about the same price, and I like the consistant covers. That and there's an episode that will never see release stateside.

    (I also picked up Blackadder and Red Dwarf both for the same reasons)

    Other R2 exports that would never see the light of day here:
    A-Team
    Knight Rider
    The Hulk
    The Bionic Woman/T6M$M

    The up side is that I've had to replace 3 of those 4 with full seasons. Much happyness!

    I had the R2 Blakes 7, but returned it because of a mastering defect on season 1, and I just haven't gotten around to getting them all again.

    I picked up Due South from Canada for a friend long before it was in the US (and on the crappy discs, too).

    I got Lupin the III from Japan in one HUGE boxed set. (I also picked up Space Cruiser Yamato on Japanese Laserdisc 10 years ago. I'll leave that as a excercise to the reader if those count or not).

    I'm thinking of getting On The Buses from Canada - but I'm not sure if I'll like the series as much as I did back in the 80's when I watched it right before Doctor Who on my PBS station. I also might give consideration to Doctor in the House if that came out in R2. I seem to recall really liking that show back ages ago.
     
  8. Kenneth V

    Kenneth V Stunt Coordinator

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    The A-Team and Knight Rider are already released here.
     
  9. progrocktv

    progrocktv Stunt Coordinator

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    I live in the States and actually have a PAL TV & DVD player (the multi-standard TV was only $50 more so I went ahead and got it since I have lots of PAL DVDs)

    As far as DVD's go I have quite a few Region 2 discs. My main rule of thimb is I usually buy in the country of origin (like Doctor Who from the UK and Saturday Night Live from the US) I've done many comparisons and to me there are so many quality issues introduced during the studio's PAL to NTSC standard conversion. (I'll show people an episode of classic Doctor Who in PAL and they're immediately sold) Colours look more amazing and vibrant (contrast is a bit high) but the NTSC looks too washed-out and pale on the NTSC transfer) Films and filmed episodes I'm usually more forgiving but some characteristics might persuade me to go R2 or R1. For example I bought the Region 2 James Bond set in the atache case because it was so darned cool and came out about $50 cheaper than of I bought the R1 version. There is the issue of audio speed up but the atache case and quality of the transfer more than made up for it.

    Some other Region 2 stuff I got:
    The Saint (colour and monochrome) the R1 A&E sets are HORRIBLE!
    Department S (probably will never see a R1 release)
    Jason King (same reason)
    Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (might be released here, but got my set for $15)
    Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em (some episodes released in Canada)
    The Champions
    Blake's 7
    All the Gerry Anderson shows

    Yea if you can get a good enough bargain to go full multi-standard I say go for it (though many plasmas are now both PAL and NTSC [​IMG]
     
  10. progrocktv

    progrocktv Stunt Coordinator

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    Yea, I LOVE the ITC stuff! Just got Department S, Jason King and all of the Saints. Since A&E did such a hack job with Saint over here (and stopped releasing the B&W series ) the Network releases were the way to go!

    Speaking of regions though, the R1 Mission Impossible 1st season is INCREDIBLE!
     
  11. progrocktv

    progrocktv Stunt Coordinator

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  12. progrocktv

    progrocktv Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a word of warning, the PAL to NTSC transferrs are HORRIBLE (lots of stuttering, especially on the final episode) I should have gone with the R2 release on that one[​IMG]
     
  13. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  14. Demis G

    Demis G Second Unit

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    I imported CHARMED season sets from Australia.
    with the price of the R1 release and the material (subtitles/extra language tracks etc) of the R2!
     
  15. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Stunt Coordinator

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    Whoa! Thanks for the heads-up, Bob! Haven't seen this series (or DEPARTMENT S) but am intrigued...I understand the first series is better, but what's your opinion of JASON KING? How does it stack up against other ITC shows?
     
  16. progrocktv

    progrocktv Stunt Coordinator

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    AMAZING! I would have throught Department S would have been released here since it actually aired in Syndication in the 70's (I remember it was replaced with Space 1999 on Saturdays at 6:00)
     
  17. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    When the first two seasons of Due South first came out on the market, the only sets were from a Canadian company. The sets were later available from a U.S. company, but I have read they were poorer quality.
     
  18. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    To be honest, Jeff, I can't ever recall seeing a single episode of "Jason King," though I vaguely remember seeing "Department S." But, generally speaking, I like ITC's television series, so this is a distinct possibility. I'll probably wait 'til it's released and a few reviews are in.
     
  19. Graham Dean

    Graham Dean Auditioning

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    Great news about Jason King! My only exposure to the show is an episode on the ITC 50 DVD sampler set (highly recommended if you want a broader introduction to ITC's many shows), which was a terrific romp. Star Peter Wyngarde appears in several eps across the disks & I always found his performances fascinating to watch -- even when sharing the screen with heavyweights like Anthony Hopkins & Patrick McGoohan. Check out the Wikipedia entry for Wyngarde & the show for more details on the influence this character has had on popular culture. This one is a must have for me.
     
  20. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    Oooh, thanks for the heads up. Ok, I'll have to go with the (sadly more expensive) R2 sets.
     

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