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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Space: 1999 Season One - Highly Recommended

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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 22 2010 - 03:26 PM



#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted December 22 2010 - 06:00 PM

Cool! Great review. I like how you characterize this series, as dream like. I'm still on disc one and about to see one of my favorite episodes, Earthbound. I never heard it described as ghoulish! :) I can see why you'd call it that! I'm very curious to know, when you get the UK set, whether they have the same transfers. I have to believe that they are!

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Michael Rogers

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Posted December 23 2010 - 10:48 AM

It's been fun hearing the surround mixes on these shows. However, I wonder if others have noticed that some of them have a certain "harshness" where even some of the dialog has a somewhat distracting higher pitched effect that can grate a bit on your ears. I don't know if that's exactly how to describe it but I wonder if others have noticed this.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 24 2010 - 04:34 AM

I hadn't noticed that - but I have noticed that whenever Barbara Bain screams, that comes in at a REALLY high pitch. I'm not sure if this sort of thing has anything to do with much of the show being shot at 25 fps due to the video monitors all over the base, but the sound being recorded at 24 fps and then slightly sped up.  (I may be getting the technical part of that backwards, I admit)

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 25 2010 - 05:57 AM

I have now updated the review to reflect that I have received and evaluated the UK edition of the Blu-ray set. For the record, I now have Limited Edition 0204, which shows a very colorful planet I don't remember the Alphans visiting... The UK edition holds the same transfers as the US edition - the bitrates are identical, and the only variances I can see, which are truly minute, could be attributable to the different Region encoding, in my opinion.  The US edition is encoded for Region A, and the UK edition, despite notes on the packaging of being Region B coded, is actually not encoded for any Region. I note that the US edition contains everything on each Blu-ray disc held on the UK edition, including the identical menus, transfers and features.  The difference is that when you spin up a UK Blu-ray, you initially get a British "Copyright Proprietor" warning before the Network logo appears to Barry Gray's music.  On the US edition, you get the A&E logo up front instead, and then the Network logo with the Barry Gray scoring.  On the two SD discs, the menus are again identical, except that there are the two additional extras (both very brief) on the UK PAL discs, and the PDFs on the 7th UK disc. So I think we can lay the issue to rest here - US customers have truly been given about as close of an identical release to the UK Blu-rays as was possible, and it's a wonderful gift for the fans of the show.  I'd like to think that the delay in the release date may have been to insure that this was the case - that by waiting a little longer to clear everything, A&E was able to include pretty much everything from the UK set. 

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Nelson Au

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Posted December 25 2010 - 06:37 AM

Excellent news regarding the UK BD set being identical to the US set! Thanks Kevin. On the sound issue, I had wondered if it might be related to the speed variance between the UK PAL and US NTSC spec. Though I have not noticed the shrill sound yet. One thing I am noticing, because I had not watched this series in a while so closely, is how goofy the actors look when walking in the surface of the Moon trying to depict the lower gravity during Ring Around the Moon. They did it as well while walking around inside the alien ship on Earthbound when there was a vacuum inside still. But Keonig did ask Paul to somehow add atmosphere and gravity to the ship while it was still where it first landed out there on the lunar surface!

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted December 31 2010 - 12:19 PM

I found these alternate opening sequences for Season Two on YouTube. Never knew they existed. Have a look:



#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 31 2010 - 01:26 PM

Shawn, those are fun pieces.  The music comes from Derek Wadsworth's soundtrack CD set from the UK group Fanderson, which included alternate takes on the opening and closing themes.  When the music was condensed down to 1 CD for release by Silva Screen, they dropped these alternate takes from the group.  Pity.    (I must admit to having purchased the Fanderson CDs for both Series One and Series Two, for different reasons.  The music itself is a nice document of the show, and a clear indication of the changes between the first and second years.)

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted December 31 2010 - 02:17 PM

More stuff I didn't know. I like the visual collage of the second alternate opening, now, all you have to do is fuse that with the music that made the cut and, I think, I'd almost prefer that opening to the one the show eventually got. By the way, I just got around to reading your assessment of the blu-ray, and, man, did they load that mother with extras. More importantly it looks like the colors on these new transfers pop, and the clarity?! Christ! And that they actually added a smidge of extra picture to all sides?! Jesus, Kevin! I gotta remember this set when I get a blu-ray player next Christmas. Though, I still think I'm gonna have to also, at some point, get that mega-set for those select season 2 eps I'll wanna keep, like the two-part, "BRINGERS OF WONDER".


And, for that special features DVD.


I'll admit I'm still a little peeved they couldn't crank out a standard DVD collection, but . . . oh, well. Would be pointless at this point anyway, since I'm only a year off from going blu.



#10 of 16 OFFLINE   AndyMcKinney

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Posted December 31 2010 - 04:13 PM



Originally Posted by SWFF 

More stuff I didn't know. I like the visual collage of the second alternate opening, now, all you have to do is fuse that with the music that made the cut and, I think, I'd almost prefer that opening to the one the show eventually got.

And, for that special features DVD.


I'll admit I'm still a little peeved they couldn't crank out a standard DVD collection, but . . . oh, well. Would be pointless at this point anyway, since I'm only a year off from going blu.



After looking at those "alternate" opening graphics, they look like something fan-made with modern technology to me, not a product of 1976. No way are those real. Part of the give-away (to me), besides the "too-smooth" moving text on the opening, but the smoothly rotating blueprint and, perhaps most-tellingly, the clips from middle-run episodes like Beta Cloud. Unlike year one, when all 24 were in the can , they were running really close on deadlines in year two. They were still shooting episodes while the second season was being transmitted.


Beta Cloud wasn't filmed until the last ween of July through 6th August of '76 (with additional sequences filmed in September). Film prints of the first few episodes will have likely been distributed to local TV stations beginning in late August. For that to have happened, the opening sequence would have had to be 'nailed down' before that and it would have been extremely unlikely they'd have had some creature footage from that episode to include in the main titles. If this is being passed off as a genuine "vintage" sequence, I call hoax.



Originally Posted by SWFF 

I'll admit I'm still a little peeved they couldn't crank out a standard DVD collection, but . . . oh, well. Would be pointless at this point anyway, since I'm only a year off from going blu.



Might not have happened here, but in the UK, Network re-released the remastered DVD set of year one, so there's a decent chance they might do a DVD set of year two.


If you're interested in a R2 PAL set of year one, let me know!



#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 31 2010 - 11:46 PM

I don't know about the video for the stuff on YouTube, but the music is genuinely alternate takes by Derek Wadsworth of the music he was writing for Series Two. As for Network releasing Series Two on either SD DVD or Blu-ray, I believe they've confirmed that they do not intend to do so.  They had announced an SD special edition of the second year for 2007 when they released their 2005 set of the first year, but this set never materialized.  When they were asked this year about it, my recollection is that they stated there would be no such set.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   SWFF

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Posted January 01 2011 - 03:16 AM

I was referring to Year One, when I mentioned I was peeved about it not getting a remastered standard release for region 1. I don't own a regionless player, yet, so . . . Anyhow, did I get had on those videos I posted, or what? Them sonsabitches!

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   JoshuaB.

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Posted January 01 2011 - 10:42 AM

After watching several episodes from the S1 blu-ray set (fantastic set, excellent AV quality, not unlike The Prisoner blu-ray set), I went back and watched some of the S2 episodes from the A&E sets (hard to believe many of us paid nearly $50 for 6 episodes a set). I still prefer the S1 episodes, but I enjoyed many of the episodes. The DVDs still look good on my 42" HDTV, but I'm now more inclined to buy a blu-ray set if one were to be released in the future by A&E. Yes, I think the show loses some of its uniqueness by reverting to an action-oriented Star Trek style, sans social commentary (and the Derek Wadsworth music is a steep decline compared to Barry Gray's scores), but there's still fun to be had (except for the episodes with the talking trees and living rocks, ugh)--Martin Landau does get a chance to lighten up ever-so-slightly (his acting in both seasons is still one of 1999's biggest weaknesses). If sales of S1 are good, here's hoping A&E spends the money on HD transfers for S2.

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 13 2011 - 05:11 AM

FYI Amazon has Space 1999 Season One (Blu-ray) on sale for $41.99 if you haven't picked it up yet.



#15 of 16 OFFLINE   spacefan

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Posted April 01 2011 - 07:09 AM

There is quite a lot of talk about Season 2 coming to Blu-ray, but I'm not sure what the source is. If true Network and A&E will hopefully make official announcements soon.

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted April 02 2011 - 06:45 PM

I've also read the updates about Series Two coming to Blu-ray.  I'll be curious to see what exactly is involved, and when they think it would be ready. I have a feeling that Network may have completed interview materials to cover both years when they did their 2005 set, but then never released the Series Two material since that DVD set never happened.  They could do so now.  I would also be curious to hear any commentaries, if any are possible for these episodes... The sad thing is that so many of the principal people involved are no longer with us  (Johnny Byrne, Charles Crichton, Barry Morse, Tony Anholt, Fred Freiberger, etc).  I suppose that Gerry Anderson could do new commentaries about one or two Series Two episodes, like "The Metamorph" or "The Dorcons", to discuss what they were thinking at the time or how they were thinking of continuing the series before it was ended.  But it's a lot more likely that the set will only include HD transfers of the episodes with no additional material.





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