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Network's new INVASION: UFO Blu-ray started shipping on Monday, and arriving in people's homes today (Wednesday). It has now been confirmed that the discs are indeed restricted to Zone B (it is not an all-zone release). Also that the HD version of the film is presented at 24 frames per second (not 25), with a total runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes.
Note that Network's new high definition release of INVASION: UFO on Blu-ray has some differences from the original -- it is missing all the library music that was added (except for the title sequence), and it is missing the added sound effects. Also it is in widescreen, so the top and bottom of the picture is missing. However, the original version of the movie is included in standard definition. It's not clear if any of this will be in Network's upcoming UFO Blu-ray release, or if the disc is actually region restricted (the advertising says Region B only).
Here are some links related to this release:
A bit of a surprise for today, Network now has INVASION: UFO available on Blu-ray disc, in high definition and widescreen, available now!
The "Complete Book of Gerry Anderson's UFO" is now available for pre-order in the USA, from Amazon.com!
Chris Bentley's long out-of-print "The Complete Book of Gerry Anderson's UFO" is being re-released on November 1, 2016, this time by Signum Books. And it's not just a reprint, either -- the book is being completely redesigned, will now be in full color, will include never-before-published photos, new sections will be added, and the remaining text updated! Here is a pre-order link on Amazon.co.uk
Here is an update from Network, posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages:
"Just a little update on UFO...
We have made every effort to ensure these new versions are substantially improved on anything you've seen before and will supersede any previous versions in circulation. We have assessed all the materials available to us and invested what is necessary to bring them up to a standard that is on a par with our other restorations given the state of the materials. The previous transfers were perfectly useable but we have re-treated every scene in every episode from scratch.
Packaging for this set is still being designed, and will be revealed at a later date: we can promise you it will be something very special!"
Network has posted a YouTube video with some new information about their upcoming UFO Blu-ray set. While this looks like it will be better than the German and Japanese UFO Blu-ray sets, they are no longer saying it will be an all-new HD restoration as they said in December. Now it's merely a fixup job on the existing HD video masters, which is unfortunate, as some of the issues with the existing HD video masters can't really be fixed digitally (and would require finding better film elements and scanning them).
Unstoppable Cards now have their UFO trading cards available for pre-order! Purchasing a box guarantees that you will get a complete base set, plus some extras (autograph cards, sketch cards).
Actor Douglas Wilmer, who played Dr. Brunner in the UFO episode E.S.P., has passed away at age 96.
Actress Adrienne Corri, who played Liz Newton in the UFO episode THE SQUARE TRIANGLE, has passed away at age 84.
Some sad news... UFO co-creator Sylvia Anderson has passed away at age 88.
In the UK, Network has just announced that they will be releasing UFO on Blu-ray disc in 2016! The video on their website says that this will be a new HD restoration, and with new special features!
Here is a new fan short film, based on the UFO episode EXPOSED!
The December issue of the Ed Straker Herald is now online!
Rose Tobias Shaw, the casting director for UFO, passed away in October at age 96.
In the spring of 2016, Unstoppable cards will be releasing a UFO trading card set! Facebook announcement
If you haven't checked lately, the publicity photos section has had a few new UFO publicity photos added to it in recent months (the first ones on the page are the newest)
After a long hiatus, the Ed Straker Herald is up and running again!
The interviews on CD mentioned last week with Ed Bishop, Gerry Anderson, and Sylvia Anderson are now available on eBay!
"Blast from the Past" is offering rare interviews on CD with Ed Bishop, Gerry Anderson, and Sylvia Anderson, and the first two discs are now available for pre-order!
A new Skydiver model is being released in Japan this summer! This is from the WAVE corporation, the company that once released a Skydiver kit.
ANDERSONIC Issue 19 is now available, and features an interview with UFO special effects production manager Ken Holt, and also takes a look at the UFO episode THE CAT WITH TEN LIVES!
The Prop Gallery has a new article about the miniature models used in UFO!
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!
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