Is it all over....?

What's not currently on the box
lovecraft
625 lines
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:39 pm

Is it all over....?

Post by lovecraft »

So, I suppose, what I am asking, is the era of regular issues on DVD of archive TV via Network/Acorn/Simply et al largely over? Hardly any new releases these days, a number of series remain incompletely issued, it seems that boat has sailed. Network seem, inexplicably to me, to see greater profit on issuing very creaky b/w films - would those not have an even smaller fan-base than the rest of SS:TF, or are the licensing costs just minuscule by comparison? Its all a bit disappointing really.

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3298
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Mark »

There is some more ABC material coming soon, according to Network's site, and they do still come up with some gems such as Tommy Cooper's LWT series, a lot of time seems to be taken up with putting together big BBC sets such as "The Goodies" and "Monty Python".

Hopefully there will be some more interesting titles released, just not as frequently as before.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

murphy1961
405 lines
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: NSW Australia

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by murphy1961 »

When you consider how long DVDs have been commercially available now, about 20 years, you do get the feeling that just about everything that’s worthy of release has been released. There will always be things that haven’t been released (and probably won’t be) but there will probably still be the odd release in the future. I’ve pretty much got everything that I’ve wanted on DVD, just a few obscure titles I’d like that haven’t (and probably won’t) be released remain. At present I’m just filling up gaps in my collection, mainly with DVDs from America, that I didn’t purchase years ago. Things like The Rockford Files complete series, which you can buy from Amazon US for about $55. There are still several Network titles I must get around to buying before it’s too late – like the complete Please Sir, for example.

User avatar
Simon36
HD
Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:43 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Simon36 »

I have a feeling we are not going to get any more of the half hour era of The Bill or any more Armchair Theatre or Tempo...

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3298
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Mark »

There are still some mysteries, like...what happened to "The Intruder" release, or "Biggles", and why still no "Me & My Girl".

Also, will we ever see "Target", perhaps one of the last really problematical titles.

There are still a few I'm hoping for, including an "It's A Square World" box set.

With all the clearances for BBC titles, plus the initial contract for BBC material, perhaps it has meant less money available for ITV releases.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

brigham
HD
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by brigham »

Is there more than one 'It's a Square World' left?
I've only seen it offered as a bootleg, and even then it's the same episode every time.

User avatar
Simon36
HD
Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:43 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Simon36 »

I’m surprised not to see To Have and To Hold, Country Matters, Blood Money, Telford’s Change and Candid Camera available. They would be my top five.

ian b
D-MAC
Posts: 659
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:58 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by ian b »

brigham wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:24 am
Is there more than one 'It's a Square World' left?
I've only seen it offered as a bootleg, and even then it's the same episode every time.
There are loads - eleven missing episodes, mostly from the first two series but apart from that.

With a mainly core cast to deal with, (or their estates!), I was surprised Simply didn’t dip into the archive holdings for a release.

User avatar
stearn
Committee
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by stearn »

On a per series basis, unless it is a real biggie and you can offer something new that people will spend money on and double or even, perhaps, triple dip on, it isn't going to be worth the effort. Didn't Network have a blanket deal with ITV meaning that they could release pretty much anything they chose and see how it went. Obviously many long running series didn't make it through to the end as the itch was scratched with a few discs for the majority of people.

I have to admit that I have bought far too many of Networks releases just because and, quite frankly, wish that there had been a lot more junkings in the past. Occasionally I will watch a series that I bought in some sale years ago based on price and find that it is fantastic, but the majority of those coming out of the cellophane wrapper quickly go into a 'watched' box after I struggle through the first episode.

There are certainly series that I would happily watch everything of - Whicker's World being one of them - and I am grateful for Network releasing as much as they have, but I am probably in a minority of the 'archive telly fan' minority, and it won't be cost effective to release physically. It may change for digital downloads, but I am old skool and want to 'own' the recording if I have paid for it, not be tied to a subscription or a device that may play it while the DRM works, but may not if the OS changes.

The bottom line is we have been incredibly lucky and spoilt with what has already been released. When I first started getting into archive TV in the early 90s, part of the fun (?) was the waiting for scheduled releases, even queuing up with other like-minded souls to get it at it came out of the delivery van, and being part of a community that would not just watch a programme but discuss, share, and enjoy it, and also suggest other shows. With releases rationed, there was also the time and tendency to give something you hadn't previously considered a go and broaden horizons. It is far too easy to binge now and quickly move on having ticked that one off the list.

This was the same with collecting circles, the 'thrill of the chase' was an integral part of the hobby. The ease at which someone can now download via torrents or the like, whole libraries of shows (and with Wikipedia, become instant experts!), and the availability of a lot via the various TV and radio channels means the aura of being special has been lost, in the same way that Christmas now starts sometime in August, and fatigue has set in long before the actual day.

The genie is out of the bottle, so a reduction in the number of shows released is unlikely to increase the demand for each - short attention spans will mean the audience just moves on to something else - but there may be scope for revisits of various series for full, special editions, especially while those involved are still around to participate.

Brock
HD
Posts: 1467
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Brock »

You'll have to forgive me, but surely the definition of "archive TV" expands as time goes on? E.g.
stearn wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:21 pm
When I first started getting into archive TV in the early 90s...
One Foot in the Grave wouldn't have been considered archive TV. Now, it is.

User avatar
stearn
Committee
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by stearn »

I didn't realise you had to chose to pigeonhole yourself as interested in contemporary or archive TV as the dividing line is always blurred and moving! I suppose the premise of the thread was covering programmes that you can't just record yourself now.

It is interesting though, that most of the contemporary titles I bought back then are probably still available in some form - Blackadder, Poirot, Red Dwarf, Only Fools, and even One Foot In the Grave. Most of the classic titles I bought like Porridge, Yes Minister/Prime Minister, Steptoe, Hancock, Fawlty Towers etc., also continue to be available in whatever format and one the many channels.

rosalyn
405 lines
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by rosalyn »

Mark wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:01 am

Also, will we ever see "Target", perhaps one of the last really problematical titles.
Are there rights issues with Target? Why is it problematical?

I thought it was a very gritty series for the BBC in its day, and I'm guessing it was made as an attempt to rival The Sweeney. Yet it seems there has never really been any will to promote it or release it.

It almost feels as if the BBC has tried to bury it.

brigham
HD
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by brigham »

Perhaps it's 'hideously white'?

User avatar
Simon36
HD
Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:43 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Simon36 »

It’s hideously awful!

Ian K McL
405 lines
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:41 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Ian K McL »

Really? I find it hard to believe that anything produced by Philip Hinchcliffe could be described as that.

brigham
HD
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by brigham »

It can't have been all bad; Mary W. complained about it.

Cancelled because Alasdair 'Pooh Bear' Milne didn't like it, seemingly.

User avatar
Ian Wegg
625 lines
Posts: 332
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:10 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Ian Wegg »

rosalyn wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:33 pm
I thought it was a very gritty series for the BBC in its day, and I'm guessing it was made as an attempt to rival The Sweeney.
My memory of Target (as far as it can be trusted after four decades) is that it was a poor imitation of Special Branch at a time when ITV had moved on to The Sweeney. I remember thinking that it proved the BBC weren't capable of competing with ITV in that genre, and it seems it wasn't what the typical BBC audience wanted anyway.

That may be a reflection of a pro-ITV bias I had at the time so perhaps if I saw it now I might revise my opinion.

fatcat
D-MAC
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:02 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by fatcat »

I think Target might have been a bit too common for BBC audiences LOL ..use to lardidah chit chat dramas with the writers usually
having some axe to grind or reverting to the 19th Century dead authors when they wanted to get the moths out of the BBC costume dept.

..Not that I am against some BBC lardidah chit chat dramas but its just a matter of horses for courses.
Doomwatch Vendetta and Adam Adament were wasted at the BBC IMHO

Department S only had a ten bob budget but it would have done a far better job with the competent cast and clever story Doomwatch:The Plastic eaters than that shoddy looking BBC effort.

drmih
625 lines
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by drmih »

I'm not sure of the source, but the Target series I have, and I assume are readily available, look as good as dvd rips, and I wouldn't dip for a commercial release unless there were some amazing extras.

rosalyn
405 lines
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by rosalyn »

I have rarely seen Target since it was originally on, but I do remember enjoying it and I liked Patrick Mower. It was all shot on film for one thing, and not a lot of other BBC produced content was. So it stood out from all the other cheaper looking VT programmes. It was also unusual because it was one of the very first BBC programmes I can remember having a teaser sequence at the start before the main titles. There might have been something about complaints of excessive violence during the run of the first series. Whether it was the Mary Whitehouse brigade, I am not sure, but I was conscious that the second series was toned down and calmer than the first. They even got Brendan Price to shave off his beard. I also believe, without researching it, that only the second series was repeated on BBC1. The repeats would have been around 1980, as I had a VCR by then and I remember I recorded just one episode - which guest starred Max Wall - on tape.

With Shoestring and Bergerac (again filmed drama series, and by some of the same team) having been out on DVD for a while, I'd have thought Target would have at least been in the sights of one of the DVD studios for a possible release by now. I for one would welcome it, and I am sure a few others would too.

:-)

User avatar
Simon36
HD
Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:43 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Simon36 »

fatcat wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:51 pm
I think Target might have been a bit too common for BBC audiences LOL ..use to lardidah chit chat dramas
Because that’s all the BBC made until Target. And we all thought Loach and Garnett were the trailblazers!

Cole
625 lines
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:08 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Cole »

Probably not particularly relevant, but two episodes of Target were part of the initial 'BBC Tasties' VHS releases (although, I've never seen a copy). Kind of indicates that there was some sort of perceived interest from audiences at some point.

Left Field
405 lines
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:03 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Left Field »

The two shows that i would really like to see Network continue are Crown Court and General Hospital - in the case of the former there are still many more stories unreleased and in the case of the latter the hour-long episodes haven't emerged. A second volume for General Hospital did seem to be scheduled many years ago but was pulled for some reason and seems unlikely to reappear. Maybe though - as stearn suggested - many buyers are content with the episodes that have already been released and Network feel there isn't enough demand for further volumes. It's certainly not easy with very long-running series to release every episode and I'm not what the longest-running series is that Network have released complete. Everyone will have shows that interest me that have been or could be on Network's radar which haven't yet appeared or have been only partially released. Perhaps we have been spoiled by the amount of material that has been issued in the past 15-20 years and maybe the market is sated but I hope there may still be more in the future.

User avatar
Simon36
HD
Posts: 1087
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:43 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Simon36 »

It would be nice if Network would interact a bit more; would be nice to find out what the lay of the land is on this.

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3298
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Mark »

rosalyn wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:33 pm
Mark wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:01 am

Also, will we ever see "Target", perhaps one of the last really problematical titles.
Are there rights issues with Target? Why is it problematical?

I thought it was a very gritty series for the BBC in its day, and I'm guessing it was made as an attempt to rival The Sweeney. Yet it seems there has never really been any will to promote it or release it.

It almost feels as if the BBC has tried to bury it.
As previously mentioned, there was a VHS release, and BSB screened some episodes, but that was it, there have been several attempts to release it on DVD, but there are some rights issues, possibly for the whole series seemingly getting in the way, Katy Manning was tweeting a while back that it was coming out, but nothing since.

I liked it, thought it was very good, more violent than "The Sweeney", and I liked the cast too.

There was an article about the series in The Mausoleum Club Gazette, or Compendium, I'll have to dig it out and have a read again, It mentions the opening episode's controversial scene of a Woman's head being shoved in a sink full of scolding hot water...don't think Mary Whitehouse was too pleased with that one! ( or indeed the rest).
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3298
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by Mark »

One of the extras on the upcoming "Power Of The Daleks" new special edition DVD, is the surviving episode of "Robin Hood" with Patrick Troughton from 1953.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

brigham
HD
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by brigham »

Mark wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:14 am
One of the extras on the upcoming "Power Of The Daleks" new special edition DVD, is the surviving episode of "Robin Hood" with Patrick Troughton from 1953.
All eight minutes of it?

murphy1961
405 lines
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: NSW Australia

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by murphy1961 »

stearn wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:23 pm
I didn't realise you had to chose to pigeonhole yourself as interested in contemporary or archive TV as the dividing line is always blurred and moving! I suppose the premise of the thread was covering programmes that you can't just record yourself now.
‘Archive’ or not, my line in the sand never moves, it’s pretty much 1990. Anything before that is ‘old’ and anything after is ‘recent’. For example, Series One to Six of Only Fools and Horses (1981-1989) are ‘old’ or archival if you like, and Keeping Up Appearances (1990-1995) is ‘recent’.

I've been watching a few episodes of the latter recently and it still seems like it was made only a few years ago, particularly with the location scenes shot on video, it has this 'modern' (or recent) feel about it, despite it being made 25 to 30 years ago.

murphy1961
405 lines
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: NSW Australia

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by murphy1961 »

stearn wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:21 pm
The bottom line is we have been incredibly lucky and spoilt with what has already been released. When I first started getting into archive TV in the early 90s, part of the fun (?) was the waiting for scheduled releases, even queuing up with other like-minded souls to get it at it came out of the delivery van, and being part of a community that would not just watch a programme but discuss, share, and enjoy it, and also suggest other shows. With releases rationed, there was also the time and tendency to give something you hadn't previously considered a go and broaden horizons. It is far too easy to binge now and quickly move on having ticked that one off the list.
It seems a tad whimsical, even a bit childish, but yes, the ‘thrill’ of waiting for the next new DVD release had a touch of excitement about it. Especially when you were only halfway through a full series release, like a Dad’s Army, or an Only Fools, or whatever, you knew there were more to come, or should be more to come. It’s probably an exaggeration, like many memories of the past, but it seemed years ago (around 2000-2010) that there was at least one new and interesting release every month, often more than one. That 'era' is certainly over, or all but over.

User avatar
doubleM
625 lines
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Re: Is it all over....?

Post by doubleM »

As far as Network specifically is concerned, it was at the point they signed deals and started knocking out 'The British Film' c2012 that regular releases of archive television (ITV and Fremantle) basically fell off the cliff, almost overnight. Before that, if memory serves, there were about 3 to 4 batches of maybe 7 or 8 or even more archive TV sets released per year. Afterwards, it seemed to become one or two titles every few months - at best.

It was frustrating to me when the emphasis became 'really ancient' b-movies that were already being well served by the likes of Odeon and several other labels. Intrinsically there's obviously more profit on a single disk release of one film, especially without restoration, than even a 6 x 25 min series and the 'third party rights' to movies have always appeared 'simpler' (i.e. cheaper) than the stricter agreements in place for broadcast material. I guess even if fewer people were buying ancient b-movies that 60s-80s TV, the lower costs meant better profits. The other factor seems to have been when Network were no longer part of the Virgin Group. Economics changed.

Now the emphasis is on re-releases of material of 'higher profile' that have already seen sometimes multiple releases, with restoration and/or in HD. Personally very little of this interests me, I've basically given up buying things for the third or fourth time. Yes nearly all the big hitters have now seen the light of day - at least partially. Yet, if Network could find a way of releasing e.g. some archive drama of the 70s that remains in the archives ... 'Tales of Unease', 'Crime of Passion', etc. etc. or, as mentioned, further 'Crown Court' or 'General Hospital', then I would be spending. At the moment I basically am not!

I don't live in hope about Network being open about their plans. Apart from possible commercial confidentiality, it's never been their strength - over the years there's been a tendency to 'play about' with their customer base as to their actual plans - just look at this rather silly 'something coming from ABC' caper that seems to be current. Too often, such schemes have only resulted in let-downs in any case.

Never mind, life goes on and undoubtedly as regards the sheer amount of archive TV material released by them c 2005-2012, it's never been equaled or likely to be. For that above everything, archive fans have so much to be thankful.
.. ah yes, well worn carpets and the pungent smell of over-boiled vegetables!

Post Reply