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Old 08-04-2022, 01:51 PM   #1
James78 James78 is offline
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United Kingdom BBC Ghost Stories for Christmas


Broadcast in the dying hours of Christmas Eve, the BBC’s A Ghost Story for Christmas series was a fixture of the seasonal schedules throughout the 1970s and spawned a long tradition of chilling tales, which terrified yuletide viewers for decades to come. This much-requested release gives four landmarks of the series their Blu-ray debut, having been newly remastered by the BFI from original film materials. All based on classic short stories by acclaimed writer MR James, his atmospheric settings and creeping unease are eerily realised in these seminal dramas that unleash evil spirits that will haunt and unnerve.
  • Newly remastered by the BFI and presented in High Definition (Limited Edition)
  • Newly recorded audio commentaries for Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) and A Warning to the Curious by TV historian Jon Dear
  • Newly recorded audio commentaries for The Stalls of Barchester and Lost Hearts by Kim Newman and Sean Hogan
  • Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010, 52 mins): John Hurt stars in this 2010 interpretation of MR James’s chilling tale
  • Jonathan Miller and Christopher Frayling interview (2012, 3 mins)
  • Neil Brand reads MR James’s original story (2001, 42 mins, audio only)
  • Ramsey Campbell on MR James (2001, 16 mins)
  • Ramsey Campbell reads The Guide (2001, 27 mins)
  • Introductions by Lawrence Gordon Clark (2012, 33 mins total): the director of seven of the BBC’s classic A Ghost Story For Christmas episodes discusses his part in the first three instalments he directed
  • Ghost Stories For Christmas with Christopher Lee (2000, 60 mins total): BBC Scotland’s ‘talking-head horror’ series starring the iconic actor as an MR James-like raconteur of fireside Christmas ghost stories. Included on this release are The Stalls of Barchester and A Warning to the Curious

Last edited by James78; 12-03-2022 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 08-04-2022, 01:58 PM   #2
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Just looked at the cover art on the BFI site, bottom of it says ,"Volume 1"!
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:09 PM   #3
CrockettandTubbs CrockettandTubbs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldmonkey View Post
Just looked at the cover art on the BFI site, bottom of it says ,"Volume 1"!
Vol 2 I assume will have The Treasure of Abbot Thomas, The Ice House, The Signalman (and others).

There's more than enough for Volume 3 as well!

Vol 1 also has the John Hurt version of Whistle (nowhere near as good as the Hordern one, though).

Last edited by CrockettandTubbs; 08-04-2022 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:11 PM   #4
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This is honestly something I didn't expect. I have communicated twice with BFI's Ben Stoddart over the years about a possible Blu-ray release and he said the film elements didn't exist, so this is a really exciting announcement.
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:38 PM   #5
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Incredible news, never thought these would make it to Blu-ray.

My DVD set is well worn now, I thought original materials were lost for these, maybe newly discovered?

Hopefully we cover all the originals in future volumes and the more recent stories too, A View From A Hill, The Mezzotint and The Tractate Middoth etc.,
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Old 08-04-2022, 02:46 PM   #6
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One would hope that Volume 2 will just complete the 70s cycle, since a number are quite short:

The Treasure of Abbot Thomas (37m)
The Ash Tree (32m)
The Signalman (38m)
Stigma (30m)
The Ice House (35m)

You could easily fit those on a couple of discs with extras. Speaking of which, it'd be great if they could finally clear Christopher Lee's reading of The Ash Tree for release.

If they do a Volume 3, it would include the revival run - Room with a View, Number 13, and the 4 Mark Gatiss ones to date. Doubt I'd bother with that though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickieduvet View Post
Incredible news, never thought these would make it to Blu-ray.

My DVD set is well worn now, I thought original materials were lost for these, maybe newly discovered?

Hopefully we cover all the originals in future volumes and the more recent stories too, A View From A Hill, The Mezzotint and The Tractate Middoth etc.,
I've posted elsewhere about this, but other than some curious comments from Ben Stoddart there is nothing to suggest the original 16mm film elements were ever lost. Perhaps he was trying to play down expectations?
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:16 PM   #7
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Oh wow!!!!

That's my year completed!!!
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:18 PM   #8
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Great news!

My first thought was maybe I should get my DVD set on eBay but it might be worth keeping in case not everything carries over...
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chap Of Steel View Post
Great news!

My first thought was maybe I should get my DVD set on eBay but it might be worth keeping in case not everything carries over...
I'll hang on to my DVD set until all the episodes have been released on Blu.
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Old 08-04-2022, 03:36 PM   #10
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I thought DVD would be the end of the road for these; certainly, that's what we've been led to believe over the years.

Very cool. Wonder if all the contents of the DVD box set will be covered in time, or if I'll have an excuse to keep it.
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:33 PM   #11
pnaschy pnaschy is offline
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Thanks for the link James, I have just ordered this. I wonder when volume 2 will be out as Treasure of Abbot Thomas is one of my favourites.
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:00 PM   #12
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I'm thinking the 70s ones split over 2 volumes, and a 3rd with the ones from 2006 to present (Whistle 2010 excluded, as that's on vol 1).

If so, the 3rd volume will have 2 upscales (shot on video I believe), but the rest should be true HD. IIRC Whistle 2010 was also made in HD.

I wonder if it'll be 1 a year? I think that's maybe likely but I'd hope to be wrong and get a quicker release schedule. Depends how well vol 1 does I suppose.
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:24 PM   #13
Kieran Seymour Kieran Seymour is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddbox83 View Post
I'm thinking the 70s ones split over 2 volumes, and a 3rd with the ones from 2006 to present (Whistle 2010 excluded, as that's on vol 1).

If so, the 3rd volume will have 2 upscales (shot on video I believe), but the rest should be true HD. IIRC Whistle 2010 was also made in HD.
Just the one - 2005's A View from a Hill.

Number 13 the following year was an HD production.
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran Seymour View Post
Just the one - 2005's A View from a Hill.

Number 13 the following year was an HD production.
It was? Oh that's even better.
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:16 PM   #15
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A bit late to the party, but what a fantastic and unexpected announcement, especially after reading negative comments on this site regarding a possible upgrade to Blu-ray in the past.

A Warning To The Curious should look great in HD.
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Old 08-04-2022, 10:19 PM   #16
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were all the 1970's episodes shot on 16mm?
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Old 08-05-2022, 07:44 AM   #17
GaryCouzens GaryCouzens is offline
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Quote:
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were all the 1970's episodes shot on 16mm?
They were.
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Old 08-05-2022, 08:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James78 View Post
Is the subsequent volume already announced in terms of content or is that site user speculation?
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Old 08-05-2022, 09:05 AM   #19
James78 James78 is offline
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I put a placeholder for Volume 2 on the website, and made an educated guess about the content.
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Old 08-05-2022, 11:18 AM   #20
Mr. Thomsen Mr. Thomsen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James78 View Post
This is honestly something I didn't expect. I have communicated twice with BFI's Ben Stoddart over the years about a possible Blu-ray release and he said the film elements didn't exist, so this is a really exciting announcement.
Yes, I have also seen it asked numerous times over the years, but the answer has always been that it was never going to happen.

I am not going to hold it against Ben Stoddart, though. I am thrilled they have found the money to make new transfers and restore these.

This is instantly in my top five of the best releases of the year!
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