Posted 17th of March 2004

DVD 1 Review by Joyce Bowen

My season one Blake's 7 DVDs (region 2) arrived today (March 6, 2004 ) from The cost with postage to California is approximately 40 pounds. And I have spent a lot of the afternoon playing and enjoying them. All thirteen fifty minute episodes as well as some extras are put on five discs which are packaged into a box set. The packaging is serviceable. It's nothing special but I frankly am not into pretty packaging. I am far more interested in content.

And I am happy to say that my DVD player has no trouble at all with Space Fall which some people have reported having trouble with. I have an altered Sampo DVE-611 that cost me $140 with postage from the man who altered it. So it's not expensive and it seems to do the job fine. It just automatically reads the disk.

The picture and sound quality are definitely superior to the NTSC pro Canadian video tapes. I have a small thirteen inch LCD TV so the picture is really crisp. I have no idea how crisp the picture would be on a larger TV at all. I would suppose that someone with a huge screen would get a slightly blurrier picture?

I enjoyed all the extras on disc 5, although I have no idea why they called them episode synopses since they are just introductions to each of the shows. A synopsis is supposed to be an outline--which implies doing the entire work. But that's a small quibble.

I would have definitely preferred to have heard and SEEN all the actors in the special features but the only one you see is Stephen Greif/Travis 1. I know they interviewed Gareth Thomas and some others so I guess these parts will be in later releases.

However, I did have two slight problems--neither one of them of consequence. I listened to the commentaries of Space Fall, Seek-Locate-Destroy, and Project Avalon. I'll never listen to them again because they really didn't add much. But I had some problems getting the subtitles and commentaries to work. Sometimes it would take five tries to get it right. And I never did get the subtitles on Seek-Locate-Destroy to work at all. It shouldn't be that hard to do. And I did notice on the two shows that I did get subtitles on that they were not 100 per cent accurate.

And my other problem concerned the Easter Eggs. I could only get three of the four. I got Servalan and Travis in the tunnel, the views of the Dome, and the views of some model ships on disks 2, 3, and 4 respectively. I was told there was a second Easter Egg on disc 3, but I couldn't get it. If anyone would like to tell me what the fourth Easter Egg is and how to get it, I would appreciate it. And, by the way, I couldn't get these via the method which Richard of Anorak Zone used. I had to use another method. And Richard only got three hidden extras as well, so we both missed out on the fourth one.

If you missed Richard's review of the DVDs, it is at : Anorakzone.

I agree with most of his review, though I differ a little on some parts. This is my review--such as it is. I really enjoyed the trailer for series two. And I also enjoyed all the character descriptions. It's just too bad that they didn't add the actors playing the parts and have brief interviews with them all about their characters. That seems to me to have been a very logical extra to have added.

And all the actors in season one have been involved with the show and with fans over the decades and are always quite cooperative at cons and appearances so I have no clue why this wasn't done. Except perhaps this is what is going to be done for part of the season 2 extras? As I said before, the only actor we actually saw was Greif/Travis 1.

And what a handsome man he (Greif) is today. He has hardly aged in the past twenty-five years at all. It's amazing how great he looks.

I didn't bother to time how long the extras were on disc five. It seemed to me that they didn't even take an hour to view, though I could be wrong. But I really didn't buy these DVDs for the extras.

The main thing for me is the fact the thirteen season one episodes were remastered and that for us in America these region 2 discs are vastly superior in picture quality. I really think all serious non-UK Blake's 7 fans should definitely invest in a DVD player that plays region 2. Of course, the Australians can play these on their DVD players because they are also region 4. But for the rest of us, we have to buy special DVD players or alter the region 1 players that we have.

I definitely recommend the B7 season one DVDs. And I am really hoping that the rest of the seasons don't take forever to show up. I plan on buying the entire series.

Joyce Bowen

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