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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Acorn’s Star-Studded Fall DVDs Include Gillian Anderson, Foyle’s War 7, Guy Pearce, Laura Linney and Helen Mirren--Latest Release Calendar

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

The upcoming, star-studded DVDs/Blu-rays from Best British TV specialist Acorn feature several highly-entertaining new shows, including new mysteries from the universally acclaimed FOYLE’S WAR (“A triumph from start to finish”), hit BBC thriller THE FALL starring Gillian Anderson (“the closest that television has come to capturing the taut alchemy of Prime Suspect”); and new Aussie crime drama JACK IRISH starring Guy Pearce (“intelligent, hard-boiled thriller”).

Additionally, Acorn has the influential miniseries TALES OF THE CITY: 20th Anniversary Edition starring Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney, Paul Gross, Billy Campbell, and Thomas Gibson; as well as the U.S. debuts of P.G. Wodehouse’s BLANDINGS, Series 1, a new witty BBC series starring Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous); and WAR AND PEACE, a sumptuous international production of Tolstoy’s masterpiece starring Clémence Poésy, Malcolm McDowell and Brenda Blethyn.

Acorn also has the Blu-ray debuts of Helen Mirren’s iconic series PRIME SUSPECT: The Complete Collection and Agatha Christie’s POIROT, Series 7 & 8; as well as two value-priced collections of Britain’s highest-rated TV drama, NEW TRICKS COLLECTION: Season 1-5, and the addictive 1970s PBS series THE PALLISERS: 40th Anniversary Edition.

To watch the trailers for Tales of the City, Foyle’s War, The Fall, and more, please visit the “Recent Uploads” section on Acorn’s You Tube page here.

Documentary specialist Athena has several fascinating releases, including the U.S. debuts of David Starkey’s MUSIC & MONARCHY, a “magnificent” 2013 documentary, and the “first-rate” THE DARK AGES: An Age of Light; as well as “One of the most interesting, refreshing and thought-provoking series you can find anywhere” with the star-studded documentary BRAINWAVE.

For more info on these releases, please see the detailed Aug 27 – Oct. 15, 2013 release calendar below.

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

August 27:

Tales of the City: 20th Anniversary Collection – “One of the 10 best miniseries” (Entertainment Weekly) and “Uncommonly fine television” (The New York Times) – The influential PBS miniseries returns with SDH subtitles, exclusive footage, and more. Deftly chronicling the quest for love and connection across a spectrum of sexual experiences, the Peabody Award-winning miniseries features a star-studded cast including Oscar® winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck), Oscar® nominee Laura Linney (The Big C, John Adams, The Savages), Gemini winner Paul Gross (Slings & Arrows), Billy Campbell (Once and Again), and Thomas Gibson (Dharma & Greg). Based on the groundbreaking novel by Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City follows a colorful cast of characters living at 28 Barbary Lane in anything-goes 1970s San Francisco. The series received universal acclaim when it debuted in 1994, hailed as “a brilliant evocation of a time and place” (Los Angeles Times), and remains a television landmark. (DVD 2-disc set)

Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection (Blu-ray Debut) – “A perfect marriage of astoundingly talented actress and brilliantly conceived character” (USA Today) – Blu-ray debut of the iconic, universally acclaimed police drama starring Oscar® winner Helen Mirren in her iconic, Emmy®-winning role. Mirren stars as Detective Jane Tennison, “one of the great character creations of our time” (The Washington Post), in this revolutionary police drama broadcast on PBS to universal acclaim and more than 20 major international awards, including seven Emmys® (three-time winner of "Outstanding Miniseries"), eight BAFTAs, and a Peabody. Guest stars include: Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton), and Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary). The Blu-ray 7-Disc set includes nine feature-length mysteries in high-definition as well as a 50-minute behind-the-scenes special, featurette, and more.

Missions that Changed the War: German’s Last Ace (Athena, DVD Debut) – Narrated by Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, CSI: NY), the compelling documentary explores the downfall of Nazi Germany. Through original footage, expert military analyses, and never-before-seen interviews with the participants, the riveting documentary series tells the story of three fighter pilots who played decisive roles in the aerial battles over Germany. Seen on the Military Channel (DVD 2-disc set)

Sept. 3:

Blandings, Series 1 (U.S. debut) – “An absolute delight” (Daily Mail) – The hilarious new adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse’s celebrated stories stars Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous). This 2013 BBC series follows the foibles of an eccentric aristocrat, his peculiar family, and the ramshackle ancestral home they share. The series marks the first television adaptation of the beloved Blandings Castle stories since the 1960s. Wodehouse, a perennially bestselling author and creator of the beloved Jeeves and Wooster, continues to gain new fans. (DVD 2-Disc set, 6 episodes)

Sept. 17:

Brainwave (Athena, DVD Debut) – “One of the most interesting, refreshing and thought-provoking series you can find anywhere” (The Huffington Post) – Artists and scientists discuss the mysteries of the human mind in this engaging and illuminating series. Launched by the Rubin Museum of Art in 2008 and now in its sixth edition, Brainwave pairs celebrities from many walks of life with leading neuroscientists and other experts to explore how the human mind works. The series has not aired on television, and this collection features some of the most interesting participants, including superstar chef Mario Batali, author R.L. Stine (Goosebumps series), Oscar® nominee Debra Winger, comedian Lewis Black, and influential punk rocker Henry Rollins. (DVD 3-disc set, 10 episodes)

Sept. 24:

Foyle’s War, Set 7 (DVD and Blu-ray) – “Like a gift from the gods” (The New York Times) and “A triumph from start to finish” (The Wall Street Journal) – The universally acclaimed hit series returns with three new mysteries available on television, streaming, and home video. One of PBS’s most popular and highly acclaimed programs, Foyle’s War premieres its new season on MASTERPIECE Mystery! on PBS on Sept. 15, 22, and 29. RLJ Entertainment’s proprietary digital channel Acorn TV, the first British TV focused streaming service in North America at www.Acorn.TV, will offer each new episode the day after it airs on PBS, as well as all previous episodes for catch-up viewing. Additionally, the new episodes debut on DVD and, for the first time, Blu-ray from Acorn on Sept. 24; featuring the complete U.K. broadcast edition and nearly two hours of bonus features. Watch the trailer. As the series returns, World War II is over, but the Cold War simmers in 1946 London. DCS Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) has retired from police work when Britain’s secret intelligence service compels him to join its ranks. Reunited with his former colleague, newlywed Sam Wainwright (Honeysuckle Weeks), Foyle faces new—but no less deadly—threats in the world of spies and counterintelligence. (Blu-ray 2-Disc Set, 3-DVD Boxed Set)

War and Peace (U.S. Debut) – “A lavish adaptation of the Tolstoy classic” (The Guardian) – A must-see for costume drama fans, this lavish adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic features a stellar ensemble cast, including Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter series, October’s Last Love opposite Michael Caine), two-time Oscar®-nominee Brenda Blethyn (Vera), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) and Ken Duken (Inglourious Basterds, The Sinking of the Laconia). The gripping tale of passion and politics brings the timeless epic to life as it follows a circle of aristocrats who find their glittering world crumbling as war threatens imperial Russia. Filled with exquisite costumes, beautiful sets, and outstanding production values, the program debuted internationally in 2007 but was never available in the U.S. until debuting on Acorn TV in July 2013 (DVD 2-disc set, 4 episodes).

New Tricks Collection: Seasons 1-5 – The first five seasons of one of Britain’s highest-rated TV dramas features additional footage not seen on public television. Featuring brilliant casts, top guest stars, deft writing, and an irresistible blend of compelling drama and dry humor, this long-running, award-winning British series follows a motley crew of semi-retired detectives as they investigate cold cases. The BBC recently premiered its tenth season, and New Tricks has enjoyed ongoing broadcast exposure in North America on select public television stations. The series stars Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong, and James Bolam (DVD 15-Disc Collector’s Edition, 39 episodes).

Oct. 1:

Jack Irish Set 1 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) – “Intelligent, hard-boiled thriller” (The Wall Street Journal) and “Enormously engaging” (The Washington Post) – Emmy®-winning actor Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech, Memento, Iron Man 3) stars as the brooding antihero of Australian writer Peter Temple’s award-winning crime novels. In these two feature-length movies, Jack is reeling in the wake of his wife’s murder. The former lawyer has reinvented himself as a part-time private investigator and debt collector with a knack for getting into trouble. Broadcast in Australia on ABC1 in Oct. 2012, the series made its North American debut in July on Acorn TV. This combo set includes the DVD and Blu-ray formats of the first two mysteries: Bad Debts and Black Tide. Called “a terrific writer; sharp, funny and ambitious” by NPR’s Fresh Air from WHYY, crime writer Peter Temple has won numerous awards for his novels. (Blu-ray/DVD 2-Disc Combo Set)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot Series 7 & 8 (DVD, Blu-ray) – The fan favorite returns with four feature-length mysteries which are newly remastered and in original U.K. broadcast order. David Suchet stars as Agatha Christie’s mustachioed mystery-solver alongside Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings, Philip Jackson (Little Voice) as Chief Inspector Japp, and Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon. Brimming with opulent 1930s period details and pitch-perfect performances, these lavish adaptations look better than ever in this remastered edition. ITV Studios’ Poirot has aired on ITV1 in the U.K. since 1989 and on PBS and A&E in the U.S. The episodes from series 7 and 8 debuted in 2000-02. The Mysteries: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Lord Edgware Dies, Murder in Mesopotamia, and Evil Under the Sun. (2-disc Blu-ray, 2-disc DVD)

Oct. 15:

The Fall Series 1 (DVD Debut) – “A Silence of the Lambs-style game of wits.” (Mail) and “Addictive and provocative...the closest that television has come to capturing the taut alchemy of Prime Suspect” (The Daily Beast) – Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, Bleak House, The Crimson Petal and the White) stars in the new BBC thriller. Written by Allan Cubitt (Murphy’s Law, Prime Suspect 2), the series follows DSI Stella Gibson, a steely detective on the trail of a serial killer stalking the streets of Belfast. When it debuted on the BBC in May 2013, The Fall was the highest-rated drama premiere in eight years for BBC Two. Gillian Anderson smolders as a British detective summoned to Belfast to solve a high-profile murder. She quickly recognizes the signs of a serial killer, but the culprit (Jamie Dornan, Once Upon a Time, Marie Antoinette) has already targeted his next victim. Over five engrossing episodes, this psychological thriller follows both the hunter and the hunted as they attempt to outmaneuver each other in “an intriguing game of cat and mouse” (The Sunday Times). (DVD 2-Disc set, 5 episodes)

The Pallisers: 40th Anniversary Edition – “In the grand tradition of The Forsyte Saga and Upstairs, Downstairs…Powerfully addictive”(TIME) – Set in the palatial country houses and grand Mayfair salons of mid-Victorian England, the classic 1970s PBS series has captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Featuring all 26 episodes of the addictive British drama, the sprawling BBC saga of wealth, passion, and power chronicles 20 years in the life of an aristocratic dynasty moving through high society in the heyday of Queen Victoria’s reign. Based on Anthony Trollope’s six "political" novels—called the finest sequence of fiction ever written about British Parliamentary life—this adaptation by contemporary British novelist Simon Raven (Alms for Oblivion), stars Emmy®-winner Susan Hampshire (The Forsyte Saga, The First Churchills) and Philip Latham (Number 10), with an outstanding supporting cast. The outstanding cast also features Jeremy Irons (The Borgias), Derek Jacobi (Cadfael, The King’s Speech), and Anthony Andrews (Brideshead Revisited). (DVD 8-Disc Set)

David Starkey’s Music & Monarchy (U.S. Debut) – “Magnificent” (The Telegraph) – Cambridge-educated historian Dr. David Starkey (Monarchy), a foremost authority on the British Crown, explores the impact of the British monarchy on renowned composers throughout the centuries, from the reigns of Henry V through Elizabeth II. Broadcast on BBC Two in July 2013, the four episodes are available to U.S. audiences for the first time. Each episode is lavishly scored, from famous melodies to forgotten treasures and works of public pageantry to songs composed for private enjoyment. Over 40 live recordings include music by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Henry Purcell, George Frideric Handel, Edward Elgar, and William Walton. All are performed in the spectacular locations where the monarchs first heard them: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the chapel of King’s College at Cambridge, and more. (DVD 2-disc set)

The Dark Ages: An Age of Light (U.S. Debut) – “Enlightening and entertaining” (The Sunday Times) – British art critic Waldemar Januszczak (Every Picture Tells a Story) hosts this four-part documentary tracing the development of art and architecture during the early medieval period, demonstrating that the “Dark Ages” produced masterpieces around the world. Broadcast on BBC4 in Nov. 2012, the DVD 2-disc set features four episodes available to U.S. audiences for the first time. (DVD 2-Disc Set)

Coming up in late Oct and Nov:

Line of Duty Series 1, Masters of Money, House of Eliott Complete Collection, Agatha Christie’s Poirot Series 9 and 10, Murdoch Mysteries Season 6, and Photo: A History From Behind the Lens


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  Select series are streaming at Acorn TV, the first British TV-focused streaming service, at

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