Friday, September 24, 2010

Wilmer's SPEC, ILLU, and DEVI

So these three episodes are the first side of a double-sided DVD. (The set is two discs, and 11 episodes total.) I'm still disappointed that the BBC didn't have a clearer source tape for SPEC, but at least all the rest of the episodes looked much better. I wish they had filmed it in color too, but they didn't make that change until the next year when Peter Cushing replaced Douglas Wilmer.

One pleasant surprise in this 1964 series is that we see a few actors who later went on to do Doctor Who. There's Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, and Roger Delgado, the first Master. Additionally, Jennie Linden, who plays Violet de Merville, was the Doctor's companion Barbara in the film starring Peter Cushing. It's cool to see how much overlap there is of British TV actors.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Douglas Wilmer as Holmes

I've got the newly released DVDs of the 1964 BBC Holmes series starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock. They're all in black in white, unlike the series the next year featuring Peter Cushing in Wilmer's place.

There are two double-sided discs, and the first one comes with a long advertisement for other BBC Mystery shows. The pilot episode is SPEC, but unfortunately it seems to be in poorer condition than the later episodes. At first I thought it was just that my widescreen TV was stretching the picture, but even when I changed the aspect ratio to 4:3, the picture still looked poor. The later episodes look clearer and sharper though, so it's not a complete loss. Still, I thought that SPEC would look a little cleaned up from the version that's on Hulu. I guess they couldn't find a better source tape.

So far I've watched the first disc, featuring SPEC, ILLU, DEVI, COPP, REDH, and SIXN. I'll probably write up reviews of the episodes later, but maybe I'll wait until I've seen both discs.