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DVD recommendations

Below you will find our DVD reviews for February 2023.


The Outer Limits Complete Original Series

(Medium Rare)

One of the most influential and enduring science-fiction TV series ever made, The Outer Limits was first screened in the United States in 1963, and, with its ‘monster of the week’ format tapped into the still-pervasive paranoia of the time. Beautifully shot in black and white, each episode was like a self-contained sci-fi film, and the monsters gave the newly launched Doctor Who a run for its money. Psycho writer Joseph Stefano and esteemed sci-fi author Harlan Ellison were among those contributing to the show, and although the anthology format invited easy comparisons with Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, overall the quality of the Outer Limits scripts and production were on a whole other level.

Although screened on the ITV network in the Sixties it was not until 1981 that the show was given a full run over here, in a late Friday night BBC2 slot, although Sixties children may recall a much-coveted set of trading cards featuring stills from the show.

This eleven-disc DVD and Blu-ray set includes all the episodes from the show’s original run, from 1963 to 1965, as well as numerous extras, including features, interviews and alternate cuts.


Detectorists: Movie Special

(Acorn Media International)

When Mackenzie Crook’s charming comedy series apparently came to an end five years ago it was with a near-perfect finale that, it seemed, made any sequels superfluous. Reviving the show for this one-off special, screened on Boxing Day, was always, then, going to be fraught with danger and, by its own very high standards, it proved to be a – very minor – disappointment. Don’t get me wrong; it was still the best thing on over the festive period by a country mile, but too many threads were left hanging, not least the relationship between main character Andy (played by the show’s creator Mackenzie Crook) and his wife Becky (the wonderful Rachael Stirling), the 75-minute format having obviously led to a certain amount of plot compression. The storyline did, however, neatly refer back to a sequence from the show’s very first episode, and also left open the possibility of future developments. Another full series, please.

Released as a stand-alone DVD, the movie special is also available as part of a Complete Collection DVD box set.


Doc Martin Series 1-10

(Acorn Media International)

After nearly 20 years, ten seasons and 79 episodes the much-loved Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes as the curmudgeonly Cornish-based medic, came to a close over Christmas with the special, Last Christmas in Portwenn. It was a suitably moving finale to a series that has been much loved, and much copied, ever since it was first broadcast, as a spin-off from the 2000 comedy film Saving Grace, in 2004. The show’s mix of light comedy, memorable characters and gorgeous locations (it was filmed in the picturesque Cornish village of Port Isaac) made for perfect Sunday-night viewing and you can relive it all with the release of this DVD box set, which also includes Last Christmas in Portwenn and a special documentary, Farewell Doc Martin. Last Christmas in Portwenn and Farewell Doc Martin are also available on a stand-alone DVD. 

Also released this month:


The Juniper Tree (BFI, Blu-ray) Pop star Bjork stars in this eerie 1990 Icelandic medieval fantasy, based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.


Mystery Road: Origin (Acorn Media International, DVD) The prequel to the acclaimed Australian outback detective series, recently shown on BBC4, is now available as a stand-alone DVD and as part of a box set that also features series one and two of the show.


Oscar Peterson: Black + White (Dazzler Media, DVD) An inspiring feature documentary, exploring the seven-decade career of the jazz pianist: from his days as a child prodigy in Montreal to the development of his signature sound on recordings with his trio.


The Battle at Water Gate Bridge (Trinity CineAsia, Blu-ray and DVD) A crucial clash during the Korean War is the subject of this spectacular epic from director Dante Lam.


The Banshees of Inisherin (Vantiva, Blu-ray and DVD) This unlikely Oscar contender features outstanding performances from Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in a powerful, visceral study of male friendship gone wrong.

Plebs DVD

Plebs: Soldiers of Rome (Acorn Media International, DVD) This feature-length special marks the end of the Roman-set comedy series. There’s also a box set featuring all five series and the special.


Simon Evans

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