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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Acorn’s new DVDs – Foyle’s War, Power of Myth 25th Anniv., Jessica Chastain, Hugh Bonneville, Kelly Reilly

“Acorn Media, chief curators of the best Brit TV” –TIME Magazine


Acorn (British TV) and Athena (Documentaries) DVD Release Calendar

Jan. 29

Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime: The Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries – “A delightfully old-fashioned crime caper” (The Guardian) - Agatha Christie’s beloved crime-fighting couple returns to DVD. Packed with period atmosphere and playful banter, Partners in Crime follows Tommy (James Warwick, Lillie) and Tuppence (Francesca Annis, Cranford, Reckless) Beresford as they mix marriage and mystery solving. Broadcast on PBS's Mystery! (11 mysteries, DVD 3-Disc Set)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot & Marple Fan Favorites Collection – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple have delighted PBS viewers for years with their quick wits and uncanny knack for solving thorny cases. This collection brings together the detectives’ 11 most popular mysteries, as voted by Agatha Christie’s fans. Broadcast on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery!, the series star David Suchet as Poirot, and Geraldine McEwan and Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple. Guest stars include Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Jessica Chastain (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty), Eileen Atkins (Doc Martin), Barbara Hershey (Black Swan), and Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius). (DVD 6-Disc Boxed Set)

Wodehouse Playhouse Complete (re-issue) – “Polished, joyous foolishness” (The Guardian) - All three series of the uproarious BBC comedy seen on PBS. P.G. Wodehouse has delighted fans with his razor-sharp wit and marvelously madcap plots for over a century. This sparkling BBC series brings 20 of his hilarious tales to life with Oscar® nominee Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine) and real-life husband John Alderton (Upstairs, Downstairs) playing Wodehouse’s riotous eccentrics. Wodehouse himself loved the series and appears in Series One to offer introductions to each episode. (DVD 6-Disc Boxed Set)

Feb. 5

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers – 25th Anniversary Edition of the beloved PBS series on world mythology with new and expanded bonus features, including Moyers initial interviews with Campbell that were the precursor to the iconic series; expanded selections with George Lucas, who credits Campbell with helping to inspire his creation of Star Wars; and new introductions for each episode from Moyers. Twenty-five years ago, renowned scholar Joseph Campbell sat down with veteran journalist Bill Moyers for a series of interviews that became one of the most enduringly popular programs ever aired on PBS. (DVD 3-disc set)

Above Suspicion Set 2 (U.S. debut) – “The best UK police drama in years” (The Times) – Starring Kelly Reilly (Flight alongside Denzel Washington) and Ciarán Hinds and from the creator of Prime Suspect, the riveting detective series returns. This hit British police drama is a “younger, sassier successor to Prime Suspect” (The Telegraph). Rising star Kelly Reilly stars as a detective trying to prove herself while Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter) co-stars as her hard-boiled, flawed, and charismatic boss. Set 2 includes the three-part program Deadly Intent (Series 3, 2011) with guest star Julian Sands (A Room with a View). (DVD Single)

Testimony of Two Men (DVD Debut) – Emmy®-nominated historical miniseries based on Taylor Caldwell’s Post-Civil War era novel debuts on DVD. The series stars David Birney (St. Elsewhere), Barbara Parkins (Peyton Place), and Steve Forrest (Mommie Dearest) with co-stars William Shatner (Star Trek, The Kent Chronicles), Linda Purl (The Office), Ralph Bellamy (Rosemary’s Baby), Tom Bosley (Happy Days), and Joan Van Ark (Knots Landing). In post-Civil War Pennsylvania, young surgeon Jonathan Ferrier relentlessly campaigns to improve the antiquated medical practices in his hometown. He faces vehement opposition from the town’s old guard, who will stop at nothing to destroy his career. Broadcast on Operation Prime Time in the late 1970s. (DVD 3-disc set)

She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens (DVD debut) – “Captivating twists and shocking betrayals” (Radio Times) – Captivating, new BBC documentary explores the lives of seven English queens. Hosted and based on the book by Cambridge historian Dr. Helen Castor, this series explores the lives of seven English queens who challenged male rule, the fierce and fiery reactions they provoked, and whether, in fact, much has changed. She-Wolves debuted on BBC Four in March 2012 and is currently airing on select public television stations. (DVD Single)

Feb. 19

Missions That Changed the War: The Doolittle Raid (DVD Debut) – Narrated by Oscar®-nominee and Emmy®-winning actor Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, CSI: NY), this gripping documentary recounts one of WWII’s most daring missions. Broadcast on the Military Channel in 2011, the series traces the plan for an airstrike on Japan led by famed aviator Jimmy Doolittle. Through historical footage, maps, expert commentary, and interviews with four crewmen who took part, it recounts a mission that not only raised the spirits of a nation but also changed the outcome of World War II. The DVD 2-vol. boxed set includes four episodes, plus a bonus interview with Doolittle Raider Edward Saylor (21 min.)

Feb. 26

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Long-awaited DVD Debut) – Geraldine McEwan (Agatha Christie’s Marple, The Magdalene Sisters) stars in the classic adaptation of Muriel Spark’s beloved novel. In the 1978 PBS series, McEwan gives an indelible performance that Spark herself considered the quintessential portrayal of the iconic character. She stars as imperious, unorthodox teacher Jean Brodie in this tale of an educator’s impact on impressionable ladies at a school in 1930s Scotland. (DVD 3-disc set)

Garrow’s Law: The Complete Collection – “One of the best historical dramas…in years” (Scripps Howard News Service) – All three series of the highly entertaining legal drama ripped from the pages of history and seen on BBC and PBS stations. Pairing sharp scripts and compelling performances with authentic historical detail, the riveting BBC courtroom drama arrives in a value-priced collection. Andrew Buchan (The Sinking of the Laconia, Cranford) stars as William Garrow, a revolutionary legal mind determined to defend the downtrodden in 18th-century England. Based on a true story, these three complete series follow Garrow as he advocates for prisoners’ rights and pioneers the idea of innocent until proven guilty, aided by his mentor (Alun Armstrong, Little Dorrit, New Tricks) and the lovely Lady Sarah (Lyndsey Marshal, Rome, Being Human, The Hours) as well as challenged by Rupert Graves (Sherlock, The Forsyte Saga). (DVD 6-disc boxed set)

Maigret Complete Collection – Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The Singing Detective) stars in the acclaimed adaptations of Georges Simenon’s classic detective novels. Broadcast on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery! in the early 1990s, the series follows Jules Maigret, the “wonderfully entertaining sleuth” (Austin American-Statesman), equipped with rigorous logic, uncanny judgment of character, and, of course, his signature pipe and fedora. This complete collection features a strong cast of familiar faces, including Brenda Blethyn (Vera, Pride & Prejudice), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting), Barbara Flynn (Cranford), Jane Wymark (Midsomer Murders), Edward Petherbridge (A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery), and Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon). (DVD 4-disc boxed set)

Mar 5

Murdoch Mysteries Collection: Seasons 1-4 (Blu-ray and DVD) – “Smart, fast-paced fun” (The Globe and Mail) – The charming hit mystery series features forensic sleuthing in the Age of Invention. The series combines the period appeal of Sherlock Holmes with the forensic fascination of CSI. Based on the characters from award-winning author Maureen Jennings, the acclaimed Canadian series has garnered 25 Gemini® nominations to its credit. Set in Victorian-era Toronto, this series stars Yannick Bisson as Detective Murdoch, a brilliant detective with a knack for inventing new crime-solving technologies as he investigates the city’s most challenging cases and encounters the famous figures of his day. (16-disc DVD boxed set and 12-disc Blu-ray set with 52 episodes)

Murdoch Mysteries, Season 5 (U.S. Debut, Blu-ray, DVD) – Fifth season is available to U.S. audiences for the first time. In Season 5, Murdoch helps a woman accused of murder; investigates an Egyptian curse; experiments with time travel; and crosses paths with Jack London, Henry Ford, and his idol, Alexander Graham Bell. Season 5 debuted in Canada in 2012, and its sixth season is currently airing there only. (DVD 4-disc boxed set and Blu-ray 3-disc set, 13 episodes)

Murdoch Mysteries, Season 2 (Blu-ray debut) – Season 2 makes it Blu-ray debut. Acorn debuted Season 2 on DVD in May 2010. (Blu-ray, 3-disc boxed set)

Mar 12

Foyle’s War: The Home Front Files, Sets 1-6 - Value-priced collection of the acclaimed British mystery returning in September 2013. Michael Kitchen (Out of Africa) stars as Christopher Foyle, the laconic detective chief superintendent of a coastal English town, investigating crimes on the home front as World War II rages. The 22 mysteries in this collection follow the course of the war and its aftermath from 1940 to 1945. One of the most highly acclaimed and popular programs on PBS, the series co-stars Honeysuckle Weeks and Anthony Howell with guest stars Julian Ovenden, Corin Redgrave, Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, and James McAvoy. (22-disc set, $149.99, same price as previous collection which only included Sets 1-5)

Coming in late March/Early April:

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 1, No Job for a Lady: The Complete Collection, Chance in a Million Complete Collection, A Mind to Kill Complete Collection, Midsomer Murders: Tom Barnaby’s Last Cases, and Dirk Gently (U.S. Debut) starring Episodes Stephen Mangan


Earlier 2013 Releases Still Available

From Acorn: Doctor Zhivago starring Keira Knightley (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement), Hans Matheson (The Tudors) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park); Trial & Retribution, Set 6 (U.S. Debut), the final episodes of the gripping crime series from Lynda La Plante; Lillie starring Francesca Annis (Reckless, Cranford, Madame Bovary; and Midsomer Murders Set 21 (U.S. Debut, Blu-ray and DVD), Acorn’s top-selling series returns with a new top cop.

From Athena Documentaries:

The Story of Math Collection makes the most complex concepts accessible and engaging in these three fun BBC documentaries; and Bill Moyers: Becoming American, the four-time Emmy®-nominated 2003 PBS documentary tracing the history of Chinese Americans

An RLJ Entertainment, Inc. company, Acorn Media Group is headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C. Its Acorn line specializes in the best of British television on DVD and Blu-ray. 2012 releases included I, Claudius: 35th Anniversary Edition, Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Early Cases Collection, The Crimson Petal and the White, and Damian Lewis in The Forsyte Saga Collection. 2013 releases include: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Doctor Zhivago, Dirk Gently, and more episodes from Foyle’s War, Case Histories, New Tricks, Murdoch Mysteries, Midsomer Murders, Above Suspicion, George Gently, Vexed and Vera.

Acorn’s and Athena’s DVD sets are available from select retailers, catalog companies, and direct from Acorn Media at (888) 870-8047 or and


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