Heralded by a short, enigmatic video (which seemed to suggest they’d be offering old copies of the Radio Times for sale!) Network have announced that they’ll be releasing some choice archive gems from the BBC archive.
With Network having recently signed long term deals with both ITV PLC and Fremantle, this is another intriguing announcment – although it’s slightly tempered by the fact that a slew of proposed ITV DVDs announced last year have gone back into limbo (possibly this is why they mention that delays may occur with certain titles).
The lack of new archive releases from Network recently has been slightly puzzling, but the BBC deal is encouraging news. Their announcement is reproduced below –
They’re Back! – BBC Announcement
The early days of our fledging label saw us rescuing Robinson Crusoe, crossing borders into Communist-state fairyland and presenting some old public information films to a baffled 21st century audience. It all looked just a bit weird on paper.
These unusual and now almost library-standard releases led us, inevitably, to ask for more of the same but we instead got ’The Goodies’, ‘Ripping Yarns’ and ’Till Death Us Do Part’ for our troubles.
So now we are almost back where we started, having recently concluded an agreement with the BBC to revisit some of our older releases as well as bring a lot of new material to add to our range.
Towards the end of the year and beyond we’ll be releasing complete series box sets of shows that we’d distributed many years ago including ‘The Goodies’, ‘Till Death Us Do Part’ and ‘Sykes’ amongst rarer fare like ‘All Passion Spent’ and ‘Johnny Jarvis’, some Screen Two presentations such as ’The Vision’, bafflingly unreleased classics like ’The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George’ and much more.
We’ll be sharing news on these releases with you as we work through them but you’ll need to be patient. There are substantial technical and clearance issues to attend to but it is underway as we write. The first titles will appear before the end of the year, hopefully sooner.
4 thoughts on “Network announce new BBC deal”
It is excellent news, isn’t it.
The re-releasing is very welcome, as things like their first Till Death… DVD release go for staggeringly high prices on eBay and Amazon. Hopefully this will mean new runs of other shows that have also increased in price due to scarcity, like The Life and Loves of a She Devil.
Even better is the news that new stuff is going to be given the Network treatment as they treat the material with respect, and one can confidently expect a decent standard of picture with appropriate extras. This is very, very welcome as some other labels appear to do nothing (or very little), as I am minded to think every time I watch one of the When The Boat Comes In releases, where the picture quality looks indistinguishable from VHS. Even worse than that, there can be horrible mistakes such as the issuing of series 2 of The Duchess of Duke Street in such a form that means that every three episodes are compiled into a 2.5 hour block, like they would have been on videocassette two decades ago.
I have toyed for some time as to whether to buy the bootleg of …Lloyd George currently on iOffer, and I note that that has sold over 100 copies even in knock-off quality, so there’s clearly still a market for it. Here’s hoping that it’s a success for them.
Yes, generally Network are good when it comes to ensuring that the best/most complete versions make it to DVD (although they sometimes come a cropper – Dempsey and Makepeace, for example).
I have most of Lloyd George on DVD thanks to the BBC Wales repeat a decade ago, although due to a temperamental DVD recorder I missed a couple of episodes. So that’ll be something that it’ll be good to have complete.
Be nice to have some more obscure titles released alongside the big-hitters. One series I’d like to see is Cold Warrior, a somewhat obscure early eighties spy series.
Grrr… I didn’t know about the BBC Wales repeat.
On the subject of Cold Warrior: I absolutely agree, and wonder if it might be more attractive, or financially viable to release it alongside Skorpion and Blood Money, to have a Captain Percival trilogy.
Time will tell with Cold Warrior I guess. But another good thing about Network’s BBC deal is that not only should it compliment what Simply are already doing, it might encourage other companies to also start licencing BBC material. The more the merrier!