ITC shows coming out in England

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Michael Alden, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

    Jun 5, 2005
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    Don't know if people are aware of this but Granada TV, after buying Carlton, who owned the ITC library, has been on a massive release campaign. They have already put out complete runs of the following shows:
    Robin Hood (all 4 seasons)
    The Buccaneers
    William Tell
    Sir Francis Drake
    Sir Lancelot
    Gideon C.I.D.
    Man in a Suitcase
    The Baron
    Strange Report

    As all of you know, I'm sure, these shows all played here commonly in the 1950s and 1960s, many of them on the networks in prime time. Apparently Granada has plans to release most if not all of their library, including even the most obscure shows. This is great news as most DVD players here either play all regions or can easily be hacked to do so. It's just too bad the American companies can't be as aggressive in making use of their archives.
  2. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

    May 14, 2004
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    Oh they're aggressive here alright when it comes to the post-1970s tv properties but with the older, (generally) black-and-white, bona fide tv classics then that's something else entirely.

    I've seen some of those titles listed in the U.K. tv publications and the most recent batch of THE BUCCANEERS, WILLIAM TELL, SIR LANCELOT and SIR FRANCIS DRAKE are reputed to be taken from inferior, low grade source elements from the sound of things.

    Not wanting to take anything away from these great (and well remembered) syndicated television series but is this true?

    I've always wondered about the quality of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (CBS 1955-60) starring the late Richard Greene complete season DVD box sets.

    Just what is the quality of the disc pressings for this 1950s tv classic?

    Thanks for alerting us to all these wonderful, (now) vintage U.K. tv collection releases!

    Jeff T.
  3. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

    Mar 12, 2004
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    If you'll pardon the French - utter bollocks. Network, the independent company who have licensed basically everything in the ITV library, go to great pains to use the best elements for their releases. A lot unfortunately depends on the master materials provided to them by Granada Ventures, the licensing arm of ITVplc, the owners of the ITV library.

    This talk of inferior source elements might arise from stories about where some of the episodes had been recovered from. It's an unfortunate fact that much vintage British television has been piled... er... stored in outbuildings, sheds and former underground stations rather than in temperature-controlled vaults attended by dedicated archivists and renovators. The ITV library has also been through a number of owners, some less sensitive than others. The library is now looked after properly by ITVplc, who are currently making efforts to ensure their legacy material is preserved for the future and available for exploitation on platforms such as DVD, VOD, etc. This means making digital transfers and renovation where needed (which is frequently handled by BBC resources). Some shows have been sourced from new prints stuck from o-negs, some shows are transfers of good quality prints from the time of the original broadcast. One or two, strangely, are foreign sales prints which are the best quality image, but of course have the wrong sound. These episodes have had their original soundtrack replaced, but include the FS titles - and this is where the inferior sources idea comes from. One episode of Sir Lancelot could not be transferred economically because of the cost of striking an interpositive from the three-strip Technicolor o-neg that was the only element of the show in the archive, so that had to stay on the shelf.

    I've seen a lot of the Network releases, both colour and monochrome, and they are in superb quality, in spite of Network not having the resources of a major movie studio to back it up. Network obviously care for their market because they include all kinds of extras on their releases - such as the inclusion of textless versions of title sequences for foreign markets to make up their own titles.

    It's not just filmed series that ITV are exploiting, they're doing masses of videotape shows as well. And in a nod to archive television nuts here in the UK, they include the original tx clocks as lead-ins on the shows (these are hidden from normal view by the DVD authoring - you have to rewind past the start of the show to see them).

    If you like whimsical fantasy, I'd recommend two magical series aimed at kids from the 1970s and in wonderful editions from Network - The Ghosts Of Motley Hall (about a group of spirits and their adventures), and Catweazle (starring Geoffrey Bayldon - about an 11th Century wizard who transports himself to the 20th Century to get away from marauding Normans).
  4. stephen^wilson

    stephen^wilson Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 16, 2002
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    So all these shows have been released in england?I wonder when scotland,wales and ireland will get them!(sorry,just couldn't help myself with that comment there)

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