Jan 15, 2010

Last Day To Save In Network's Massive 40-50% Off DVD Sale

This story is another victim of my illness.  I started this post a week ago to announce the start of this sale, but now I'm only getting it up in time for the conclusion.  Luckily, I can help you speed-shop and save quickly by telling you exactly what spy fans are likely to want out of this sale! 

UK spy factory Network (the people behind such recent releases of interest as Whiplash and Zodiac, and such spy classics as Danger Man and The Saint) is having another 40% off sale, as they did last January!  Unfortunately, there are a few new restrictions this time around that make the deals less appealing to American customers.  But for those lucky UK spy fans, there are many, many wonderful bargains to be had!  The fine print is this:  In order to get the 40% off (with the coupon code SALE100), you have to spend £100.  For big spenders, there's even more savings to be had if you spend £200: a whopping fifty percent.  And it's honestly not hard at all to find £200 worth of appealing spy products on the Network website.  Here's the unfortunate kicker for U.S. customers, though: when you buy £100 worth of merchandise, that means (by just any configuration I can come up with, anyway) that the weight of your order goes over 1 kilo, which triggers a "large order" shipping surcharge of a whopping £66!  On £100 orders, that's obviously enough to negate your savings, and it significantly diminishes them on even the £200 orders.  So, unfortunately, the deals this year seem relegated to UK buyers.  Which make me jealous, but, man, is there a lot to be had for those lucky Brits! 

The DVDs, of course, are PAL and mostly Region 2, so if you're not in Europe, you'd also have to be sure that you have the capabilities to play them. (Most people with a DVD drive on their computer and some free software do these days.) 

Also on sale, in addition to the countless DVDs, are the company's many multi-disc ITC soundtrack sets like The Prisoner (and this three disc set is almost entirely different music from the tracks available on Silva Screen's three individual CDs), Department S, Man In A Suitcase , The Champions, The ProtectorsJason King and two volumes of Danger Man. These are all exhaustive, multi-disc sets containing nearly all the surviving tracks for these series.  They're all collectors' dreams, but at £20 - £35 a pop (pre-discount, that is), perhaps overkill for more casual fans.  For them, the easy soludion is Network's budget range of affordable, single-disc highlight CDs, most just £8.99 pre-discount.  These are: The Prisoner: Original Soundtrack Highlights, Department S: Original Soundtrack Highlights, Man In A Suitcase: Original Soundtrack Highlights and Danger Man: Original Soundtrack Highlights.  At least the highlights disc, if not both full sets, is absolutely essential in any complete library of spy music.  Perhaps best of all these sets is the two-disc compendium The Music of ITC.  This fantastic volume includes selections from all of those shows plus terrific non-spy cues like Randall & Hopkirk, Deceased and Gideon's Way and, most amazingly, the only tracks ever released anywhere from certain crucial ITC programs like The Persuaders!, The Zoo Gang (which boasts a theme by Paul McCartney), Return of the Saint and The Baron.  This set contains all known existing cues from the latter two.  I'll talk more about this release when I finally get around to doing my Best of 2009 post (man, this illness has set me back so far this year!), but if you could buy just one thing in this sale, I would recommend that it be The Music of ITC.  Unfortunately, thanks to the price limits, you can't buy just one thing.  So why not also consider some DVDs! 

Mission: Impossible fans who just can't get enough Peter Graves should consider his pre-Mission ITC Outback Western, Whiplash.  (Read my review here.)  Avengers fans curious to see what Roger Marshall did with a very similar concept will discover a long-buried treasure with Zodiac (review here).  That one's a real bargain, since it's only £16.99 before the discount!

Among the many other spy-related bargains are:

The Prisoner: The Complete Series on Blu-ray, totally remastered and loaded with extra features

Man of the World, one of ITC's first adventure series, setting the template for much of their Sixties output

Mister Jerico starring Patrick Macnee (review here) for only

The Bulldog Drummond Double Bill featuring both the sublime Deadlier Than the Male (review here)and its (somewhat lesser) sequel Some Girls Do plus special features. (Needless to say, I consider this absolutely essential stuff for any self-respecting spy fan.)

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, featuring some great Victorian espionage as well as terrific Holmsian mysteries (Review here)
Michael Powell's episodes of Espionage on a single disc, or Espionage: The Complete Series on many

The Ipcress File Special Edition (the two-disc one that comes with the Len Deighton book and the John Barry soundtrack CD as well as loads of special features)

The (unintentionally?) side-splitting adventures of the world's smarmiest spy, Gene Bradley, in The Adventurer

The Sandbaggers: The Complete Series (perhaps the greatest "serious" spy show of all time, featuring a few extras not available on the US versions), also available as individual seasons

The Baron

Return of the Saint (the most feature-laden version of this hard-to-find series in the world)

The Persuaders! (bursting at the seams with mouthwatering extras)

Danger Man

Department S

Jason King

The Champions

The Saint sets (The Complete Monochrome Series and The Complete Colour Series) Although The Saint is available in sets of varying quality in most countries, Network's is again the one with by far the most special features.

Finally, the company have also made available some of their wonderful documentaries from these ITC Complete Series sets as standalone discs.  This is very handy for international viewers who might own, say, The Saint in its entirety from A&E or Umbrella, but still crave the excellent feature-length making of, The Saint Steps In... To Television (review here).  Also available is the equally wonderful Prisoner documentary, Don't Knock Yourself Out (now also available on A&E's American Blu-ray release of the series) and In Character: Richard Bradford from Network's Man In A Suitcase complete series.

Also on sale, in addition to DVDs, are the company's many multi-disc ITC soundtrack sets (including The Prisoner, Department S, Man In A Suitcase and two volumes of Danger Man), most ranging from £10 to £15!

So UK readers, let the bargain-hunting commence!  But hurry, because the sale ends tomorrow, January 16! And for everyone else, it really doesn't hurt to have a yearly Buyer's Guide to Network's spy products.  They are many and they come fast and furious.  Already scheduled for 2010, we have Danger Man: The Complete Series 1 and the long-awaited Callan: The Monochrome Years.  Network is probably the most consistant company in the world for quality spy TV releases, and that tradition looks to continue. 


Jonathan Melville said...

This is a brilliant round-up of deals, I might have to invest in The Prisoner music set, though I have the Silva Screen one.

I do have to take issue with your comment on Zodiac. I'd say it's very much an "only buy it after most of the others" kind of release, with not much actually happening in the episodes. Anton Rodgers is fine but apart from that it's no classic.

Get well soon and have a fantastic, spy filled, 2010!

Tanner said...

Thanks, Jonathan! Glad you liked the round-up. I know it's a minority opinion, but I have to stand by my assessment of Zodiac. I was really quite pleasantly surprised by the series! I thought both Rodgers and Anouska Hempel were a joy to watch, and when I finished I wished there were more. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying this is any kind of Important Television or anything, but I found it to be a very entertaining distraction!