HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bonus-packed "Upstairs, Downstairs" 40th Anniv. DVD; BBC docs' "The Genius of Design" and "Cosmos" on DVD March 29


Iconic British series seen on PBS and A&E;

Featuring more than 25 hours of never-before-seen bonus material;

New BBC revival begins April 10th on PBS Masterpiece

“Great fun and marvelous television” —New York Times
“One of the brightest gems ever to come over the ocean from the British”—Washington Post

Silver Spring, MD — The most popular and successful British drama series in television history, Upstairs, Downstairs Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Edition arrives on DVD from Acorn Media on March 29, 2011, featuring more than 25 hours of never-before-seen extras and collectible packaging with gold foil. Winner of seven Emmy® Awards, two BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody, Upstairs, Downstairs tells the epic saga of life in Edwardian England. The series inspired the recent ITV hit Downton Abbey and the highly-anticipated BBC revival starring Jean Marsh in her original role begins on PBS’ Masterpiece on April 10th. The beloved ITV Studios’ drama series captivated viewers for five heart-tugging, humorous and satisfying seasons from 1971 to 1975 and has been seen by a billion people in 40 countries worldwide. The 21-disc collection contains all five series, in addition to a 5-part behind-the-scenes documentary, 24 episode commentaries, 25th anniversary retrospective, interviews with the stars and creators, subtitles, and much more ($199.99;

Upstairs: the wealthy, aristocratic Bellamys. Downstairs: their loyal and lively servants. For nearly 30 years, they share a fashionable townhouse at 165 Eaton Place in London’s posh Belgravia neighborhood, surviving social change, political upheaval, scandals, and the horrors of the First World War.

The ensemble cast of top British actors includes Jean Marsh (Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse), Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine), David Langton (The Spoils of War), Gordon Jackson (The Professionals), Simon Williams (Sword of Honour), and Lesley-Anne Down (North and South, The Bold and the Beautiful).

Bonus Features: 5-part documentary, The Making of Upstairs, Downstairs; 24 episode commentaries; 25th anniversary retrospective, Upstairs, Downstairs Remembered; interviews with the stars, composer, and editor; alternate pilot episode; essay by star and co-creator Jean Marsh; and more

Acorn Media will concurrently release Upstairs, Downstairs, Series 1 and 2 as 4-Disc standalone sets ($49.99). Series 3 (4-Disc, $49.99), Series 4 (4-Disc, $49.99), and Series 5 (5-Disc, $49.99) will be released later in 2011.

Street Date: March 29, 2011                                          SRP: $199.99
DVD 21-Disc Set: 68 episodes on 20 discs, plus bonus disc – Approx. 57 hrs., plus bonus – SDH subtitles

THE GENIUS OF DESIGN--Debuts on DVD from Athena March 29, 2011

New, in-depth BBC documentary explores the creativity behind everyday design; As seen on the Smithsonian Channel

“Elegant history of design” —The Daily Telegraph
“Fascinating” —The Times
“Brilliant, insightful” —The Guardian

Silver Spring, MD — Fun, fast-paced and always informative, The Genius of Design debuts on DVD from Athena on March 29, 2011, exploring the personalities and technology that shape our modern life. From the creators of the award-winning series The Genius of Photography and broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel in fall 2010, this in-depth BBC documentary series celebrates the discipline that shapes the world’s environment, economy, and culture and traces the history of design from the Industrial Revolution to the present. With spotlights on industrial design giants, such as Braun electronics, Ford, and Apple, this fascinating five-part documentary examines the art and science of design and the stuff it shapes –- from computer chips to cityscapes and everything in between (DVD 2-vol., 5 episodes, $49.99,

For industrial designers, the world is never enough. They give shape and texture to the world to make it livable—indeed, beautiful—for the rest of us.  See the evolution from artisans’ workshops to industrial mass production, and the profound changes it has wrought in our economy, society, and environment. Meet historians, critics, and legendary contemporary designers, including Dieter Rams (Braun electronics), J Mays (Ford), and Jonathan Ive (Apple), who reveal the thinking behind iconic products such as the VW Beetle, the Eames chair, and the computer desktop. Along the way, discover how design has influenced even the outcome of war.

Episode 1: Ghosts in the Machine
Episode 2: Designs for Living
Episode 3: Blueprints for War
Episode 4: Better Living Through Chemistry
Episode 5: Objects of Desire


• 12-page viewer’s guide with articles on the parties at the Bauhaus, changing American road signs, Ford’s eco-friendly factor, and a gallery of famous design flops
• Biographical sketches of influential designers, plus discussion questions and more designer biographies and famous flops at 

Street Date: March 29, 2011                                    SRP: $49.99  
DVD 2-Vol. Boxed Set – 5 Episodes - Approx. 242 minutes - SDH Subtitles

THE COSMOS: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE--Debuts on DVD from Athena March 29, 2011

Captivating BBC documentary series explores the mysteries of our universe

“Weighty stuff, presented with a light touch” —Daily Mail
“Lucid, informative, and personable” —The Times

Silver Spring, MD — Revealing revolutionary discoveries about the universe’s composition, history and origin, The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide debuts on DVD from Athena on March 29, 2011. Affable presenter Adam Hart-Davis explores how technology is shaping our understanding of the universe, while making these findings accessible and fun with compelling presenters and superb 3-D recreations.  Seen on the BBC in 2007 and available to U.S. audiences for the first time with its DVD release, this eye-opening, six-part series shows how leading scientists are using ingenious tools to achieve breakthroughs in understanding the stars, planets, and our place among them (DVD 2-vol., 6 episodes, $39.99,

Where did the universe come from? Where is it headed? Does it harbor intelligent life elsewhere? Today, sophisticated technology is bringing scientists closer and closer to answering those big questions. Join veteran science educator Adam Hart-Davis and his colleagues as they meet investigators probing the very nature of the cosmos—at the edges of space, as well as right here on Earth. Go far beneath Geneva as a supercollider attempts to unlock the secrets of the Big Bang. Follow humankind’s deepest space probe as it travels beyond our solar system. And see the spectacular, often violent events revealed by new-generation telescopes and sensors.

Episode 1: Life in the Cosmos
Episode 2: Building the Universe
Episode 3: Seeing the Universe
Episode 4: Space Exploration
Episode 5: Violent Universe
Episode 6: Other Worlds

Author, broadcaster, and educator Adam Hart-Davis holds a doctoral degree from York University. In addition to presenting numerous television and radio documentaries, he has written more than two dozen books, mostly on popular science.


•       12-page viewer’s guide with the life cycle of a star and articles on the European Space Agency, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, communicating with aliens and the search for Earth-like exoplanets 
•       Gallery of Apollo astronauts, plus discussion questions and a timeline of space exploration milestones at

Street Date: March 29, 2011                                    SRP: $39.99  
DVD 2-Vol. Boxed Set – 6 Episodes - Approx. 169 minutes - SDH Subtitles


No comments: