Where's my DVD?!

Back when the blog was young, I asked the DVD gods to "supersize" certain movies - I really wanted Special Editions to sink my teeth into. In the 8 intervening years, I got my wish re: Blade Runner, but not everything on the list. This time around, I don't even care about the extras, I just want the following series and films to come out on Region 1 DVD, I mean, AT ALL. After all, the 60s Batman series finally came out; we live in an Age of Miracles.

Seven Days (1998-2001)
I've long wanted to revisit this UPN time travel series because, well, I'm a sucker for time travel stories! Seven Days' premise is pretty cool, with Roswell technology used to send a single roguish agent (Jonathan LaPaglia) back in time a week to prevent catastrophic events (terrorism, assassinations, and the like). In the process, he keep rewriting his supporting cast's last week, including whatever headway he might have made romance-wise with the project's sexy Russian scientist. LaPaglia isn't the strongest actor - he feels like a poor man's SOMEone - but the show also features Nick Searcy (Justified), Alan Scarfe (Lethal Weapon 3) and Norman Lloyd (St. Elsewhere). It lasted three seasons and there are still NO plans to release it on DVD. What gives?

Blake's 7 (1978-1981)
Here's IMDB's synopsis: "A group of convicts and outcasts fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from a highly advanced alien spaceship." Despite being a major Brittanophile and science-fiction fan, I didn't even know THAT about what is unquestionably a seminal UK SF show. Why? Because it's still not out in Region 1 format! And I keep getting requests to cover it in one of my runs of daily reviews (so you needn't send another one, Snell). Yes, I realize I own a crappy Region-free DVD player, but it's noisy and it's not very good at showing subtitles. I just know the minute I order all four series of Region 2 Blake's 7, they'll come out with a North American version. But how much longer can I wait?

G vs E (1999-2000)
Though it ran for two 11-episode seasons (the first on USA, the second on Sci-Fi), I never see anyone talk about this sly satirical take on the war between Heaven and Hell. The battleground is Hollywood where way too many people sell their souls, and the recently dead cops who make up the heavenly "Corps" take on the demonic "Morlocks" the rich and famous have become. Tons of stars cheekily playing themselves, and a 70s blaxploitation retro vibe to give the show it's own look, it may have been ahead of its time. Look at how much of what I've already said about it has made in into other shows since. I remember I had to watch G vs E on some Canadian cable station where it ran past midnight, and I always stayed up for it. So yeah, print those discs already!

Traders (1996-2000)
A little Canadian content here... Traders is one of those work place dramas that takes itself seriously and immerses you in a world you don't know, letting you catch up at your own pace because, really, it's the characters that matter. The West Wing, ER, that kind of thing. Traders takes place in a Bay Street investment house (that's Toronto's Wall Street), and while I've never really liked its shaky cam documentary look and am not in any way interested in finance, I love this show. Sonja Smits, a Canadian must, headlines, but all the actors and characters bring something to the table, including the great Bruce Gray as the patriarchal bastard, Patrick McKenna (Red Green Show) as the energetic douchebag trader, and David Hewlett (Cube) as the idiot savant derivatives expert. The crime: Only the first of four seasons has been released on DVD and that's already out of print. In other words, it probably didn't sell well enough for the rest of the series to ever come out.

Prospero's Books (1991)
I just realized I only put TV series on here, so how about a film? Well, at the top of my list is Peter Greenaway's adaptation of The Tempest, Prospero's Books, which has yet to hit the racks on any format better than VHS. It's not the only "missing" Greenaway movie either (in print, anyway). Some of his films - The Draughtsman's Contract, A Zed & Two Noughts - have recently come out in handsome editions, so there's hope (I have a couple others in cheap, even the ghastly Full Screen editions) they'll all get the treatment. As a Shakespeare fans, Prospero's Books is of course of particular interest, especially given John Gielgud's subtle and vulnerable performance in the title role. I swear, I don't want this because of the rampant nudity! It's just such a beautiful film, a real piece of art.

What films or TV series are taking too long to get to DVD (or Blu-ray) in YOUR opinion?


Toby'c said...

"LaPaglia isn't the strongest actor - he feels like a poor man's SOMEone "
Anthony, I would assume. He's been good in a couple of local miniseries in the last few years, though.

Madeley said...

I've never heard of G vs E before but it sounds freaking amazing.

Re. workplace dramas etc., I can highly recommend Borgen, which is basically the Danish West Wing. I'm not sure what its Region 1 status is, but it's been out this side of the pond for a couple of years as part of a fairly popular wave of Scandinavian dramas. And it's brilliant.

Siskoid said...

Toby: I didn't want to set brother against brother, that's just not cool.

Madeley: I'll keep it in mind, though I figure that's all Region 2 awesomeness Region 1 will never aspire to.

snell said...

There was supposedly a Blakes 7 remake in the works a couple of years ago when Microsoft was planning it's own X-Box based TV service (Martin Campbell was supposedly attached to direct!), which had me hopeful for a tie-in original series DVD release. But then Microsoft killed the whole network idea, and nary a word has been spoken since.

It is mystifying why the BBC won't sell the TV rights to someone on our side of the pond (Hello, Netflix? Amazon? SyFy? BS stations again?) to generate a little interest...

googum said...

Blake's 7 is so due a Battlestar: Galactica style revamp. It started in a grimmer place than BSG to boot. The original isn't a perfect show, but I'd argue the way the last episode worked out (or didn't!) makes the series more worth watching.

LiamKav said...

"It is mystifying why the BBC won't sell the TV rights to someone on our side of the pond (Hello, Netflix? Amazon? SyFy? BS stations again?) to generate a little interest..."

Maybe it's a Terry Nation Estate issue, rather than a BBC issue. You know what they're like...

Randal said...

I want to rewatch G vs E so badly...I remember staring at the tv saying, "Is that...Deacon Jones? Playing...himself?"

"My life has been plagued by quarterbacks and Morlocks, not necessarily in that order."

Jeff R. said...

Absolutely yes on Blake's 7. I'd also add seasons 4 and 5 of the Muppet show and the HBO seasons of the Paper Chase to the list here.

De said...

Taking entirely too long to come out is Human Target Season 2. Season 1 was released rather promptly, but Season 2 is nowhere to be found. Sure, it's not nearly as good as Season 1, but I'd like to complete the series.

Siskoid said...

I'd like that too, De!

abc said...

Last week, a friend and I were discussing the new 12 Monkeys series, and he started to talk about this "old tv show with a pretty cool time travel premise", thinking I'd never heard of it...but that intro was enough to know exactly what he was referring to -- Seven Days! There were so many things wrong with the show, but I still have a soft spot for it. When I discovered torrent downloading, Seven Days was one of the first series I got hold of, and I would definitely pick it up on dvd. Good call.

Also: still waiting for the third season of Parker Lewis Can't Lose.

abc said...

I also noted they're doing a new release of the complete original "The Fugitive". What I'd like to see on dvd is the one and only season of the remake that came after the Harrison Ford movie. With, um...what's his face from Wings. Tim Daly.
It was one of my first forays into the realm of "I really like this show, but nobody else is watching it so now it's cancelled"-dom.

Siskoid said...

I watched that Fugitive too!


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