Author Topic: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release  (Read 1193 times)

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
"Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« on: February 11, 2015, 05:30:17 PM »
Just got to the end of this, having got it for xmas and binged over the past fortnight. Quite surprised there wasn't a thread already, it's been out since about last September.

Anyway, it's all bloody ace. That's all I'm going to say for now, I'll come back with a bit more detail later. There are at least 5 episodes in here that are amongst the greatest TV SF ever.

BlodwynPig

  • Throwing two dogs at a goblin
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 06:48:13 PM »
Never heard of this...will try and check it out

biggytitbo

  • WHAT ABOUT THE GODDAM JAFFA CAKES ASSWIPE
    • theunredacted
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2015, 08:35:56 PM »
I obtained a few of these years ago off box or uknova. Loved them. Will have to check out the box set.

Bingo Fury

  • Only qualified to work on sailors
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 02:48:14 AM »
Like you, I got this for Christmas but have only got around to watching disc one and the first story on disc two.  The one about the young guy who could control people's actions seemed the best-realised of the stories I've watched. The one about earning the right to commit a murder by serving time beforehand was a brilliant idea but dragged a bit, and the Asimov one was fine until [spoiler]it got to the end and everyone just stood around helplessly going, Oh, you've mailed the plans to someone. Well, the secret's out and there's nothing we can do - which would make perfect sense nowadays, with the Internet, but, really, the authorities just needed to get on the phone and send the boys round pronto to silence/kill one or two people, didn't they?[/spoiler]

Anyway, it's promising so far, with glimmers of excellence, but still feels like a programme that's finding its feet. Does it get more assured as it goes on?

Incidentally, one of the essays in the booklet solved a lifelong mystery for me when it mentioned an episode about a haunted motorcycle. I remember seeing that when I was a kid and I could recount the entire plot to you now, as well as describe a couple of visual images that were seared into my brain. It's one of those childhood memories I've been telling people about for years. I now know that it was part of the Out Of The Unknown series. And what's more, it was written by Nigel Kneale! No wonder it stayed with me. And yet I didn't remember, or possibly even realise at the time, that Patrick Troughton was playing the part of the mechanic. Sadly, it's one of the lost episodes, unlikely to be seen again. Shame, as I'm dying to know how well the pictures in my head match up to the actual broadcast.

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 09:19:01 AM »
Level Seven is brilliant, if only for seeing Anthony Bate (the top civil servant in the Smiley series) in uniform and barking orders. And it's a port-apocalyptic story with Michell Dotrice.

Tunnel Under The World, The Body Is Mine, Welcome Home(with Anthony Ainley) and The Man In My Head are all THE aces. There is a definite shift in subject matter in the 4th series, with its different credit sequence. Some of these plots have become genre cliches since then, but they are executed brilliantly in this version.

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 09:22:06 AM »
I really don't get why there are more surviving episodes from series 1 than the later colour series. Is this explained in the books? I had an idea it was only 60s stuff that was at risk, because there's comparatively little missing material from the Pertwee era of DW.

Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 09:38:18 AM »
Do you think you could break down what's on the discs and where the best episodes are, please? I'd like to rent this (can't afford it) and lovefilm gives absolutely no information...

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 12:01:36 PM »
Do you think you could break down what's on the discs and where the best episodes are, please? I'd like to rent this (can't afford it) and lovefilm gives absolutely no information...

Here's a general thing, which includes episodes not on the release:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/out-unknown-sci-fi-60s

Disc1:
No Place Like Earth
The Counterfeit Man
Stranger In The Family
The Dead Past

Disc2:
Time In Advance
Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come...?
Sucker Bait

Disc3:
Some Lapse Of Time
Thirteen To Centaurus
The Midas Plague

Disc4:
The Machine Stops
Lambda 1
Level Seven
Tunnel Under The World

Disc5:
The Last Lonely Man
Beach Head [recon.]
The Naked Sun [recon.]
The Little Black Bag [missing the first 20 minutes]
Interview with James Cellan-Jones

Disc6:
The Yellow Pill [recon.]
To Lay A Ghost
This Body Is Mine
Deathday
Deathday:film insert

Disc7:
Welcome Home
The Man In My Head
The Uninvited [recon. using the shooting script - an effort to watch, but the story is intriguing]
Return of the Unknown [interviews]

Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 01:31:11 PM »
I bought this a few weeks back, as it was only £35 on Zavvi. I'd seen some of the variably ropey copies of episodes that had been going about for years, but seeing the quality of the set is like seeing the series afresh.

I'm less interested in the straight science fiction stuff than I am in the more horror tinged episodes of series four, but even so, I'm really enjoying a lot of the earlier science fiction stuff too, though from the first two discs I've mainly enjoyed the contemporary set ones, 'Stranger in the Family' and 'Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come..?'

Yet to see anything from discs 3 & 4, or the reconstructions on the later discs, but 'The Last Lonely Man' from Series 3 and pretty much all of Series 4 are great (dodgy late 60s/early 70s sexual politics of 'To Lay a Ghost' aside). I'm holding off on the reconstruction of 'The Uninvited', which, apart from the Kneale episode, is the one I'm most gutted about not being able to see properly, as I loved the 'Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense' remake, and the original was reputed to be even better.

The documentary on the last disc, which collects some clips from otherwise missing episodes, is also great.

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West

Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2015, 09:48:11 AM »
Thanks all for this information - I actually know what I'm looking for now. It looks like the more supernatural/ghostly stuff might have more appeal, though I'll dig into some of the SF material too.

Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2015, 10:53:27 AM »
Quite surprised there wasn't a thread already, it's been out since about last September.

Bah! This is what I wrote in my thread which sank down the front page like a stone *muffled sob*

----------------------------
I've seen a few of the stories before; Level Seven was shown at the BFI as part of an afternoon of work by Rudolph Cartier, The Machine Stops was on Youtube in terrible quality, and Thirteen To Centaurus cropped up on BBC4 as part of a night about J.G.Ballard and proved to be a right little cure for insomnia.

Two things finally convinced me to get the DVD. I hadn't realised that some of the Isaac Asimov episodes still exist, The Dead Past and Sucker Bait. Also the set contains a version of The Tunnel Under The World, which is a short story I first read as a kid and has kind of obsessed me ever since.

So far I've worked my way through the first couple of discs and seen No Place Like Earth, The Counterfeit Man, Stranger in the Family, The Dead Past, Time In Advance, and Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come...?

Time In Advance has been the best story so far, but is let down by some hideous set design. It's a very Tomb Of The Cybermen vision of the future; all shiny walls and perspex. It was also great to see Edward Judd in another role. He's in one of my favourite films The Day The Earth Caught Fire. The Dead Past was interesting, it's a fairly straight adaptation of the Isaac Asimov story but although the Out Of The Unknown version has a great visual ending it doesn't translate to television as well as I'd hoped.
-------------------------

Since writing that I've stalled on the colour episodes. The last one I watched was the controversial story To Lay A Ghost.

Bingo Fury

  • Only qualified to work on sailors
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2015, 12:52:33 AM »
Just watched "Come Buttercup, Come Daisy, Come ...?", and enjoyed it, but the line "You can't go out to buy kippers without getting raped!" came as a bit of a shocker.

Nice to see Patsy Rowlands, Bernard Kay, Eric Thompson and Jack Wild in there, with names like Paddy Russell and Bernard Wilkie in the credits too, and even "dog trained by Barbara Woodhouse". Looking forward to "Sucker Bait" now. And stories by John Brunner, J.G. Ballard and Fred Pohl on the next disc! Yeah, it's getting into its stride.

Sony Walkman Prophecies

  • Chatto & Windus
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 09:09:24 AM »
Anywhere selling this DVD for under £49.00?


Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2015, 09:28:12 AM »

Watched "To Lay a Ghost" and could barely keep my jaw off the floor. That has some of the most gobsmacking and repugnant sexual politics of anything I've ever seen. I can't believe anyone signed off on that, even in the 1970s.


Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2015, 06:47:29 PM »
Watched "To Lay a Ghost" and could barely keep my jaw off the floor. That has some of the most gobsmacking and repugnant sexual politics of anything I've ever seen. I can't believe anyone signed off on that, even in the 1970s.

But the ghost photography bits were really spooky.

Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2015, 01:54:39 PM »
Got this for Xmas but haven't watched any yet. It annoys me that, seemingly without exception, the ones I'm that sound the most interesting  from the descriptions are the ones that don't exist anymore: I'm talking Andover and the Android, Satisfaction Guaranteed, The Prophet, Liar!, Get Off Of My Cloud. (in fact most of season 3).

Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2015, 02:10:10 PM »
I really don't get why there are more surviving episodes from series 1 than the later colour series. Is this explained in the books? I had an idea it was only 60s stuff that was at risk, because there's comparatively little missing material from the Pertwee era of DW.

Archive wise, all bets are off with the existence of anything up to about 1978 (when the BBC archives started being taken stock of) and even after that some stuff was still junked. The fact that all the Dr Who Pertwee serials still exist is very much more the exception than the rule for BBC stuff from the early 70s, many of which are as decimated as any 60s series; as an example, no episodes of Z Cars from between Oct 1970 and June 1972 (well over 100 installments) exist at all.

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
Re: "Out Of The Unknown" 7-disc BFI DVD release
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2015, 09:34:14 PM »
Bastards.

I know it's not as big a thing as Yewtree, but is there any way we can bring the men responsible to account for their actions?