Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tyrant King - A Review

Yet another strange piece of history has recently fallen out of the archives. This is a 6 episode children's mystery series. It was shown only once, back in 1968. The soundtrack features music by the Moody Blues, Cream, The Nice, and (of course) Pink Floyd. I have watched a few episodes now & have heard sections of Astronomy Domine, Pow R Toc H, Corporal Clegg, and Jugband Blues. This series was filmed in color, but only broadcast in black & white. Because the creators of the DVD have gone back to the original elements, we have a much improved product. Sadly, however, the sound is still mono. The dialog is often not terribly clear and the volume levels jump up & down fairly often.

This is a dual-layer DVD. The sampling rate for the picture is the highest possible. This would almost certainly have been different here in the USA. Our obscure DVDs are pretty much always issued on single-layer disks at fairly marginal quality. Someone really cared about creating a good product.

The only real problem is that the disk is "locked" to Region 2. If you live outside Region 2 (as I do), you will want to have a solution prepared in advance to avoid frustration. There are multi-region DVD players available. DVD drives on computers have Region codes in their firmware. You can change the code on a drive to Region 2. There is also software that will allow you to emulate a Region 2 drive.

Whatever solution you choose, be sure to give it some thought ahead of time. But, take the time. This is a great disk & it deserves a home in your archives. (especially if you or your children like slightly campy 1960s mysteries!)


Anonymous said...

there is a preview snippet on you tube as well... runs about 3 minutes.... i have a few region 2 dvds like The Comic Strip Presents , and region 0 like BBC Hitchhiker's Guide and comparing the you tube snippet with these , i must hearily agree with Doc as to the visual quality in comparison to likewise release no matter the regional format . They did indeed take great care to make the visual quality superior to average television dvd releases .

Very Hardy Boys - Nancy Drew - Famous 5 oriented so if any of those are up your alley or were when you were younger and don't mind a trip down memory lane then grab a copy.... i do understand it is in release for only a short while if i read the npf article correctly.. so get it while ya can before it's gone for maybe forever .

Anonymous said...

I have the vaguest of vague childlike memories of this when I was a kid. Something to do with the British Museum, obviously the TRex link, or am I just dreaming.

Dr. Forrester said...

Much of the content of these shows is... well, very tourist-like. We get to visit many of the more popular locations in London - various museums & palaces. At one point, we spend several minutes on a boat tour learning about all of the different buildings along the way.

MarcC said...

I can't find a link - is it gone?

Dr. Forrester said...

There is no link. There was no link.