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The UFO Blu-ray set from Germany is now out! I have posted some photos of the packaging and screen grabs here on Facebook. Some things to note:
Here is a recent BBC4 radio interview with Gabrielle Drake, regarding her brother Nick Drake.
The Amazon.de page for the upcoming German UFO Blu-ray has now been updated with the correct cover artwork.
In Germany, Epix Media will be releasing UFO on Blu-ray disc on November 28. The discs will be region B encoded (not playable on USA Blu-ray players), and will have options for English audio, German audio, and German subtitles. The aspect ratio will be 4:3, although I understand it will still have the same one-minute lapse into 16:9 in the middle or ORDEAL that the Japanese set has. The audio tracks will both be mono (it will not include the English 5.1 track from the Japanese release). The video quality should be about the same as the Japanese set, except that the flashbacks in THE LONG SLEEP will actually be sepia-toned instead of black&white. As for special features, the first 1000 units will have a coated slipcase, a booklet and a SHADO patch. All 26 episodes will be presented on 6 Blu-ray discs.
Here is a link to this set on Amazon.de (the current cover artwork shown is for the older DVD set).
This Saturday (September 20), there will be two UFO guests at Autographica in Birmingham UK - Ayshea Brough and Georgina Moon!
Longtime readers might recall a documentary that was being made in the late 1990's, called "The Future Was Fantastic", narrated by Ed Bishop. This was never finished or released to the public -- until now. A limited number of copies are available on eBay -- get one while you can!
Ayshea Brough will be at an autograph signing in Barking (east of London) on August 23!
On eBay, there is currently an auction for a single paddle from an original UFO model. Starting bid? £950! (that's around 1,600 US dollars)
In Germany, Epix Media is currently working on a new UFO Blu-ray disc set, based on the same HD video masters that were previously used for the Japanese UFO Blu-ray disc set (and now streaming on Hulu.com). There is no official release date for this as of yet, but it possibly may be released before the end of this year. Stay tuned...
In Germany, the UFO compliation movie "80.000 Meilen durch den Weltraum" is being released on DVD and Blu-ray disc by Cinema Treasures! This "movie" is a compilation of the UFO episodes THE CAT WITH TEN LIVES, THE PSYCHOBOMS, and TIMELASH.
Following up on the recently discovered SHADO jeep, this did end up getting saved, and will be shipped to the UK for restoration.
Also, there are 2 events in the UK next month of interest to UFO fans. On May 11 at the Royal Air Force Museum in London there is Model Futures, featuring UFO effects designer Mike Trim, and UFO modelmaker Alan Shubrook. And on May 17-18 at the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, there is Cosford Flights of Fantasy, featuring UFO co-creator Sylvia Anderson, UFO director Alan Perry, and UFO modelmaker Alan Shubrook.
Amazingly, someone has found a SHADO jeep in a scrap yard on Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands! Here is an article with photos.
All 26 episodes of UFO are now available on Amazon instant video! Unlike Hulu, Amazon is using the film-to-video transfers that were used for the DVD releases, and these are in standard definition (480p).
For those of you in the United States, Hulu now has all 26 UFO episodes available for viewing! These are free in standard definition (480p), and people with Hulu Plus subscriptions can watch these in high definition (720p). These use the same source video that was used for last year's Japanese UFO Blu-ray discs, but Hulu's streaming bitrate/resolution/quality isn't as good as the Blu-ray discs. However, the Blu-ray aspect ratio error on ORDEAL has been fixed here.
In CAST & CREW, I've added an audio interview with Ken Holt, who was a special effects production manager on UFO!
The Moonbase Central blog has a recent entry featuring an anecdote from UFO production manager Ken Holt, plus a nice photo of his secretary with the UFO Moonbase set!
The new issue of ANDERSONIC magazine features a look at the UFO episode CONFLICT, plus features interviews with Gerry Haylock (UFO comic strip artist) and Tony Stacey (UFO projectionist)!
Sixteen 12 (formerly Product Enterprise) have a 27" UFO Interceptor prop replica coming soon, limited to 50 units, and selling for a whopping 1200 pounds sterling!
Due to recent changes at Yahoo Groups, the SHADO Yahoo Group has shut down and has now moved to shado-forum.com.This is the oldest of the online UFO discussion groups, which started out on a LISTSERV way back in 1994!
An upcoming Gerry Anderson convention has been announced for April 2014 in London England -- Andercon 2014! So far there doesn't seem to be much of interest for fans of UFO, although the folks who are making a replica of Straker's car are hoping to have that car finished to show it at this event.
And a reminder, I've been slowly adding photos to this site's publicity photos page (these photos are also being posted on Facebook).
The Italian Section of SHADO has updated their website with photos from their latest event -- a weekend with UFO special effects technician Ian Wingrove!
Derren Nesbitt will be interviewed at the Cinema Museum in London on Saturday May 25th!
The Italian Section of SHADO website has been updated recently, with news of their next UFO event featuring guest Ian Wingrove (special effects), plus their Q&A with Mike Trim (designer) has been expanded!
On YouTube, I've uploaded a video of my interview with Antonia Ellis (Lt Joan Harrington) from the 2004 San Diego Comic Con!
Here is a nice overview/update on the Staker's car replica!
This UFO movie trailer was posted today on YouTube!
Issue 15 of Andersonic is now available, and this issue includes interviews with UFO special effects assistant Tony Harding and sound editor Tony Roper, plus has an in-depth look at the UFO episode "The Responsibility Seat"!
Here is an article about Dolores Mantez, who passed away a couple of months ago.
According to this page, the long-delayed UFO film will begin production in the first quarter of 2013!
More sad news this month - UFO co-creator and producer Gerry Anderson has passed away at age 83.
Since the release of the Japanese UFO Blu-ray discs, I've been updating this page with additional details and frame capture comparisons with the old UK DVD release. For the most part, I think the Blu-ray is an improvement with it's increased detail. However, as the frame captures demonstrate, there are some areas where Blu-rays are not as good as they should be -- the most glaring example of this is when the aspect ratio suddenly changes from 4:3 to 16:9 in the middle of ORDEAL!
Some sad news -- according to Fanderson, Dolores Mantez (Lt. Nina Barry on UFO) has passed away at age 74.
The Japanese UFO Blu-ray discs have been released! For now, I have posted some photos here on Facebook (shouldn't require a Facebook account to view). Note that the discs turned out to be region-free, so they will play on any Blu-ray player around the world! So far, I've only sampled bits and pieces, and I must admit that I'm a bit dissapointed in the video transfer -- I think we were all spoiled by the restoration work that was done for the previous DVD release, and this HD version was not done by the same people. Now don't get me wrong -- certainly there is a lot here that looks great, but it's not very consistent, and I swear there are some parts that look worse on these Blu-rays than they did on DVD. I'll be posting some comparisons in the near future.
On this site, I've merged the "Character Photos", "Hardware Photos", and "Behind-the-Scenes Photos" pages into a single Publicity Photos page, which now has a search engine to help you find what you are looking for. New photos will appear at the top of the gallery (I've added one new photo of Joanna played by Shakira Baksh). Also, for those of you on Facebook, I will also add any new UFO publicity photos to this UFO page -- if you "Like" that page, the photos will automatically appear on your Facebook wall when they are added.
During the weekend of November 25 and 26, the RAF museum near Birmingham England will be hosting Cosford Flights of Fantasy, and will be featuring a display of models, costumes, and sets from Gerry Anderson's Space:1999 and UFO! UPDATE: The new replica of Straker's car based on castings of the original will not be on display at this event, as it will not be ready by then.
I've added a page that contains what's currently known about the upcoming Japanese UFO Blu-ray discs.
From today's The Digital Bits: "Finally, we've got a couple title updates for you. First, we've learned that Network doesn't currently have the U.K. release rights to Gerry Andersons' UFO and Thunderbirds so they can't release Blu-ray versions there. A&E does have the U.S. rights to both series and is considering releasing them on BD. However it's very early in the process so there's nothing concrete to report yet."
(my comment: ITV most likely has the UK release rights to UFO and Thunderbirds, and it doesn't appear that "The Digital Bits" checked with them)
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