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Prisoner: Cell Block H R4 sets Australian Release 10/9/06


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#1 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted September 06 2006 - 05:26 PM

While searching http://www.ezydvd.co...item.zml/789307 for the Bionic Woman R4 release, I typed in Prisoner: Cell Block H and discovered that it will be released in volume sets starting Oct. 9, 2006! Now I'm seriously thinking about ordering these because its been 25 years since I first saw these and it might be years before they are released in U.S. I'll just have to buy a dvd player that plays multi-region. Volume 1 contains episodes 1-16, and volume 2 covers 17-32. I then went to http://www.prisoner-...uk/dvdinfo.html a website devoted to Prisoner: Cell block H for more info and here's what they say:


Shock DVD recently announced their plans to release the whole series of Prisoner on DVD as a collection of 4-disc volumes (16 episodes) with the first two releases available in October.

The releases will initially be available throughout Australia in the usual outlets and also by way of membership of the Val Lehman "Top Dog Club". Val spear-headed the campaign with the support of fans and it is expected that the whole series will be available to members of the club - even if it is not on sale in stores. All club members will receive a signed photo of 'Bea Smith' with their first volume.

A full 692 episode box set is expected to be released in 2007.

UK & EUROPEAN FANS: At present the DVDs will only be available to buy from Australia, as per the methods mentioned above. We have heard a rumour that a UK release is being talked about - but nothing has been confirmed at the time of writing.

US & CANADIAN FANS: The format of the release is such that they will NOT work on a standard US DVD player so please do not order unless your machine can play 'multi-region'.



The exact format of the latest release is still unconfirmed. To keep costs down and to ensure that this is a 'budget' release, the actual sleeves may be simply a cardboard wallet. No artwork has been released as of yet but we have found a 'to be confirmed' design on a number of websites. An example of how the artwork may look is shown to the right.

We at OTI, who were not asked to be involved with this release, find it interesting that the release is titled "Prisoner Cell Block H" when being on sale in Australia where it was simply known as "Prisoner". Perhaps this is to allow for the overseas sales - again we don't know why this is.

The physical format and design of the box set is unknown and we don't expect to hear any news on this until closer to the release date next year.



Episodes will be full and uncut as originally broadcast on Australian TV, according to the information received by us. This means that those of you who haven't seen the infamous 'Edna Pearson Episodes' will be treated to them in all their glory.

There will be no extra features.
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#2 of 29 Bob Hug

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Posted September 06 2006 - 11:16 PM

Ron, don't know if you are aware of it, but there was a "best of" collection of a dozen episodes released by A&E on Region 1 discs a while back . . .

http://store.aetv.co....tid=&subcatid=


The set is being offered by several discounters, including Hamiltonbook.com, which offers the set for $12.95:

http://www.hamiltonb....oducts/5263093

#3 of 29 AndyMcKinney

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Posted September 07 2006 - 12:46 AM

Shouldn't this be in the regional section, as it's an R4 release?

#4 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted September 07 2006 - 09:33 AM

Hi Bob, I do have the "Best of" collection. There are 12 episodes on it. The earliest episode is #166, so they practically skip over the first season which is the one I remember watching when the show was syndicated in the states. Some of the other episodes are from the latter years weren't even shown in Amercia, so it was hard for me to become involved with those stoylines and characters. I do remember watching #166 originally, though. Great story! It deals with the inmates attempting to escape through an underground tunnel. But, I want to watch the whole storyline again--not just a "excerpt". While I'm happy to own the Best of collection, I also consider it a big tease because this is a soap opera and none of the loose ends are neatly tied up by the end of the episode. It left me craving more. I wonder if it sold well here in the states since its now being discounted so heavily. Doesn't look good for future releases.

As for whether this should be in the regional section or not, I put this topic in the tv show section because it is a tv show, and I also think its sort of monumental in a way because I think its the only other soap opera besides Dark Shadows that's been put on dvd in its entirity. I did put R4 in the title so some people wouldn't waste their time clicking on it if they didn't want to read about an R4 release and be disappointed. I've seen plenty of posts on here where people are complaining about their favorites being released overseas. Bewitched was first released in Japan a few years before the US and now The Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man in UK.
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#5 of 29 Bob Hug

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Posted September 08 2006 - 01:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Lee Green
I wonder if it sold well here in the states since its now being discounted so heavily. Doesn't look good for future releases.

Ron, I can't imagine that we'll ever see the full series on Region 1 discs ala "Dark Shadows." I have no idea how well (or poorly) the set from A&E sold, but I do think it's possible that we might see another "best of" collection or two either from A&E or some other releasing company (depending on licensing). I think that the Region 4 set is going to be as good as it gets for those who want all of the episodes. On a related note, I'm not a fan of "Dark Shadows," but you really have to give credit to MPI for having the conviction to release the entire series. I can't think of any show that comes even remotely close to "Dark Shadows," in terms of the sheer number of episodes released. It has to be some sort of TV-on-DVD record!

#6 of 29 AndyMcKinney

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Posted September 08 2006 - 06:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Lee Green
I also think its sort of monumental in a way because I think its the only other soap opera besides Dark Shadows that's been put on dvd in its entirity.

Well, I guess that remains to be seen, though. If it sells poorly, I wouldn't count on the releasing company to stick with it.

Speaking of Aussie soaps, there's a pretty interesting thread about them on Roobarb's DVD forum at Zeta Minor. The "adult-oriented" soap Number 96 sounds intriguing. Almost tempted to pick up the "Best of + movie" R4 set. It's been said that episodic releases (of what still exists) are being considered.

#7 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted September 08 2006 - 12:33 PM

That's true. I should have said "if" they release the whole series. I also agree that there is little chance that it will be released here in the states because I don't think its as popular here. I think I'll go ahead an order the first 2 volumes from the Aussie site while its at a low preorder price and buy a Region Free DVD Player with built in PAL to NTSC Converter at Walmart when it arrives. Its not going to be released until next month and it might take another month just to get to me in the mail. I'll let you know when it arrives.
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#8 of 29 Batmanfan66

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Posted September 15 2006 - 04:44 AM

Will these DVD's play on DIVIX players?

Danny~

#9 of 29 Jace_A

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Posted September 15 2006 - 10:19 AM

Unless the DIVX player is capable of viewing PAL movies and is mult-region, then no. The DVDs are not encoded in the DIVX format.

#10 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted September 28 2006 - 09:20 AM

I have some more information about this upcoming set. The date has been changed from Oct. 9 to Oct. 23 for online retailers. Here's the new cover art.

Posted ImagePosted Image

The dvds are also being offered exclusively to members of a fan club for one of the actresses' of the show, Val Lehman, who played Bea Smith. They will be able to get their dvds first and get autographed copies. (But I ordered mine from an online retailer because it is cheaper-- $28.44 US dollars per set at dvdcrave.com)

Here's what Val Lehman's website says:
Finally, the entire series will be available on DVD from Episode 1 all the way through to Episode 692 with initial episodes available from October 21st 2006.
The series will be available in two different formats.

43 Volumes comprised of 4 DVDs each (the final volume will contain 5 DVDs). The DVDs will be housed in a standard DVD case with a slick. There will be no booklet in any of the volumes. Each DVD will feature 4 episodes in numerical order. The Volumes will be released over a period of time with the first two scheduled for release on October 21st 2006. Volume 1 will feature episodes 1 to 16 and Volume 2 will feature episodes 17 to 32. Bonus features include an audio commentary from Prisoner producer Ian Bradley on Episode One, a gallery of episode photos from the Grundy archives, interactive games and more.

A Box Set comprising all 692 episodes of “Prisoner Cell Block H” will be released in mid 2007. Contents of the box are yet to be finalised but as well as the DVDs there will be a glossy booklet. As soon as final details on the contents and packaging of the box are available they will be posted here
The content of DVDs contained in the Volumes and Box Set will be identical.
http://fulfillment.c...oner/index.html
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#11 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted October 31 2006 - 08:21 PM

Got my sets in the mail yesterday (Tuesday). Very happy! Earlier, I had did some research on the internet and found a list of Region Free DVD Players with built in PAL to NTSC Converters--and the codes to unlock them. As soon as I got the email with delivery confirmation, I went to Best Buy and purchased one of the dvd players (a Toshiba) for $50 bucks. Before I set the code, I popped one of the discs into the player, just for the helluva it. Since its a PAL disc, I fully expected nothing to happen--and to my surprise it played automatically! No code needed!!! I then tried it on my HP dvd player on my computer and it also played! I thought: What's going on!? I then tried it on my Panasonic dvd recorder, but it said cannot read. I also tried it on an older Toshiba I have and it said: Not NTSC. So at least I know I'm not going out of mind.

Now for the discs themselves: Each set comes packaged in a Amray case that holds 4 discs. The case is clear plastic, so the inside back cover shows through and contains an episode list with summaries.


I only watched the first episode so far--but what an episode it is! SPOILER ALERT: 2 new inmates are admitted to Wentworth Detention Center: Karen Travers and Lynn Warner: both pretty and young. Through flashbacks, we see that Karen - in a fit of rage- stabbed her husband in the shower after she caught him making love to another woman after he made her have a botched abortion. Former nanny Lynn was falsely accused of burying a little boy alive, but we learn it was actually his own mother who did and framed Lynn. Nevertheless, the inmates give Lynn a hard time and Top Dog Bea Smith (Queen Bea) burns Lynn's hand with the laundry room's huge steam iron. Another inmate hangs herself. Karen is strip-searched. Butch Frankie makes a pass at Karen. Frankie has a temper tantrum and trashes the rec room. An new electrician ends up having sex with one of the girls in a crawl space, etc.
This episode also has commentary with the producer, so I'll have to watch it again!

Great to see these episodes again after 25 years!
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#12 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted December 04 2006 - 03:08 AM

A&E is going to release another "Best Of" set. I got the following info from the Prisoner: Cell Block H website, http://www.prisoner-cellblockh.co.uk/


4 DECEMBER 2006 : NEW U.S. DVD RELEASE [US NEWS]

Thanks to one of our regular Recroom members, we've just found out that Volume 2 of Prisoner Cell Block H is due to be released in the US before Christmas!

In a surprising move, A&E Home Video have decided to continue on from their '25th Anniversary' release (which was of course the Australian Volume 1 release from some time ago), and this 2nd release contains the following:

Volume 1: Episodes 1-4
Volume 2: Episodes 20, 165, 471 and 598
Volume 3: Episodes 247, 248, 586 and 667
Stills galleries
Interactive games

This release appears to be identical to the Australian "Prisoner Volume 2" release but the advantage is that it will work on US DVD players.

Meanwhile, I just received sets 3 & 4 in the mail last week. Perfect timing because I'm almost finished with set 2.
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#13 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted December 04 2006 - 03:18 AM

Did a quick check at amazon.com and found it up for pre-order! * DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006

The List Price: $49.95 Amazon Price: $37.49 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. Details You Save: $12.46 (25%)

That's more than what I'm paying for the Australian releases ( approx. $29 for 16 episodes per set), so I might pass on this and wait until next year when it shows up in the discount bin at Ross.




Here's their Product Description
This long-awaited DVD collection distills the 692 original episodes of this beloved prison drama down to the dozen that perfectly capture the magnitude, the intensity and the outlandishness of the legendary program.

A worldwide television phenomenon, PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H is the cult classic from Down Under, set behind the bars of the all-female Wentworth Detention Centre. Indulge in the drama and scandal that unfold in this celebrated Australian soap opera: notorious and treasured for its hysterically wobbly sets, unattractive actresses, and absurd plots. Beyond the kitsch and camp, though, PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H dealt with tough issues like drug abuse, domestic violence, and lesbianism before any other television program dared. This uncensored, comprehensive collection is essential viewing for hard-core fans and newcomers alike.

The PRISONER: CELL BLOCK H COLLECTION 2 includes:

* Volume 1 DVD: THE BEGINNING - Episodes 1-4. Follow the women of Wentworth through their induction to prison and its brutally harsh regime.
* Volume 2 DVD: GREAT ESCAPES - Episodes 20, 165, 471 and 598. Dig in as the girls try to sneak, shovel, scratch, shimmy, and jump their way out of jail.
* Volume 3 DVD: NOT SO QUIET RIOT - Episodes 247, 248, 586 and 667. Wentworth is a time bomb just waiting to go off at the slightest rumble, and the inmates never miss a chance to rock the big house to its knees.
* Bonus features include stills galleries and interactive games.
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#14 of 29 topdog1

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Posted February 07 2010 - 11:45 PM

Wish they would bring out more,butI'm thinking of going the same route and buting a muti region dvd player and ordering them overseas.

#15 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted February 08 2010 - 04:19 AM

I had forgotten that I started this thread three years ago. Glad to see another Prisoner fan on the board.
To update, I now have all 40 volumes. I'm up to volume 16 right now. I usually watch 3 episodes a week. The show is really addictive, and a camp lovers dream! I'm glad I didn't wait for a U.S. release.  I personally don't think there is a strong enough fan base in the U.S. for them to release the complete series, but I hope I'm proven wrong.
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#16 of 29 Bob Hug

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Posted February 08 2010 - 04:54 AM

The two sets from A&E are selling for just $7.95 each plus shipping at HamiltonBook.com.

#17 of 29 clemenza0709

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Posted February 10 2011 - 04:59 PM

Dear Ms. Green:


Just happened to catch this thread concerning Prisoner Cell Block H.  My former wife (deceased) and I looked forward every night at 10pm to watch this drama tensed show night after night.  It was shown on Chicago TV station WGN.  However from the buzz that I understood around the TV station because of it's sometimes sexual content, amongst the women at Wentworth Prison it was pulled with no reason given.  I am a huge fan of "Bea Smith", because she reminded me so much of my mother.  I'm not kidding you.  I am now disabled and do nothing but sit and watch television, especially my oldies, from the 60's, 70's and 80's and if to my liking sometimes the 50's.  My question here is this.  Where would I be able to purchase the complete  series here in the states, and if you would know, what region DVD would I need.  I am on a fixed income and if a used set were available I would too be interested in them.  Loved reading the ajoining threads and what a following this has become.



#18 of 29 Ron Lee Green

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Posted February 14 2011 - 12:44 AM



Originally Posted by clemenza0709 
 My question here is this.  Where would I be able to purchase the complete  series here in the states, and if you would know, what region DVD would I need.  I am on a fixed income and if a used set were available I would too be interested in them. 

Unfortunately, the complete series hasn't been released here in the states. There are 2 "Best of" Compilation DVD sets. I recommend the second set if you can find a cheap used one because it includes the first four episodes in order.


I purchased the complete series from a retailer in Australia. The discs are region-free, but they are PAL format, so I had to buy a DVD player that is able to play PAL discs. It turned out to be easier than I thought. There are websites on the internet that list DVD players that can play PAL format. Your dvd player might already play PAL discs. You have to check it out. Just enter the make and model. I also have a portable DVD player that plays PAL discs.


I don't regret buying the series at all as I've been enjoying them immensely. I'm currently on volume 32 (out of 40).


Another option: The series is also being released in the U.K. so you could order them from Amazon.co.u.k.

Volume one contains the first 32 episodes and is currently £11.93 which is approximately $19.00 in US dollars.

http://www.amazon.co...91503607&sr=1-1


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#19 of 29 WaveCrest

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Posted February 14 2011 - 08:31 AM

Volume 6 (episodes 161-192) is being released in the UK on Monday 21st February. Last week the BBFC passed some of the episodes for the next volume after that (Volume 7, containing episodes 193-224).



#20 of 29 WaveCrest

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Posted July 26 2011 - 10:48 AM

Volume 7 was released in the UK on Monday 18th April, and Volume 8 a month ago (on Monday 27th June).


Volume 8 contained episodes 225-256. Volume 9 will be released on Monday 29th August and contains episodes 257-288. Volume 10 (episodes 289-320) has a UK release date of Monday 31st October.







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