Feb 21, 2008

Random Intelligence Dispatches For Feb. 22, 2008

Rare Patrick McGoohan Series Coming To DVD At Last!

DVDActive reveals the titles in the latest wave of Disney Treasures DVDs, set for release November 8, 2008... and it includes the long-awaited Patrick McGoohan mini-series Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow! Best of all, the release will include both the original, three-part TV version (aired as The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh), and the edited theatrical feature. If previous Treasures releases are anything to go by, it should contain other extra features as well. (The ubiquitous Leonard Maltin introductions are a given, but dare we hope for the reclusive Prisoner star to break his silence and participate in some of the special features?) Disney has teased McGoohan fans in the past by announcing The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh and then withdrawing it from its schedule, but presumably that was in order to prep this more elaborate edition. Meanwhile, Universal released Hammer's (quite good) version of the same legend, Captain Clegg, starring Peter Cushing, as Night Creatures in their Hammer Horror Franchise Collection a few years ago.

Dr. Syn tells the tale of a former pirate turned quiet English vicar who transforms himself into a horriffic vigilante outlaw dressed as a scarecrow to fight injustices perpetrated by the Crown. A Robin Hoodish figure, he fights the King's dragoons to protect the townspeople (mostly smugglers) from exorbitant taxation and impressment.

New Bond Toys On The Way

MI6 has the rundown on a whole wave of new James Bond toys on the way... and they don't look nearly as fun as their Sixties counterparts! In addition to the fantastic-looking action figures they'll be releasing later this year, Corgi will also issue a line of play gadgets. Proving just how mundane and commonplace gadgets have become since 007's inception, these new toys include a lot of faux cell phones, good for "sending messages between the devices" and "sending MP3 audio tracks." Yawn! The 21st Century version of Bond's classic attache case contains a "removable LED flashlight" and "secure compartment with whiteboard message board." Consider that the Sixties equivalent, produced by Gilbert and modeled on the From Russia With Love film version, included a toy version of Bond's collapsible sniper rifle, spring-loaded knives and trick locks, among other gimmicks! We have not progressed. Luckily, some things never change, and the new product line does include some spy toy classics, like invisible ink pens and various decoders.

Want To Pay $100 For A Dead Format?
Trying desperately to cash in on the death throes of a losing format, Paramount will release The Jack Ryan Collection on HD DVD next month for $99.99, according to DVDActive. The set includes The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears. All four films are the same bare-bones versions currently available on regular DVD in various configurations, with no added bells or whistles.


Bruce said...

I'm not holding my breath for Dr Syn DVD to finally make it out on DVD. I mean wasn't it supposed to come out when they first started the Treasures line.

Tanner said...

It's been a long road, for sure. If I recall correctly, it was originally supposed to come out before they started the Treasures, when they released their other McGoohan movie, Lives of Thomasina. Then it was cancelled, supposedly to be done as a Treasure, then it didn't turn up in the first few waves of Treasures. But it's never been officially announced as a Treasure release before, only rumored. So I'm pretty confident that this time we'll actually see it! The rest of this wave is good too, with Destino and the final Donald Duck volume.