Medici: Masters of Florence is the ‘historical drama that has recently aired on Netflix aimed at those who don’t like historical dramas’ said the producer of the new series charting Italy’s most powerful and influential family and banking dynasty.
Hollywood giant Dustin Hoffman stars as the head of the Bank of Medici, Giovanni, alongside Game of Thrones favourite Richard Madden as his son, Cosimo. Although the Medici’s are the most powerful Florentine family and bankers to the Pope, the House of Medici is in turmoil as when Giovanni is mysteriously poisoned, Cosimo becomes the head of the dynasty and must take control to protect his family, and the business and influence it has worked so hard to attain. The question is, should he carry on in the mould of his father, or step out of the shadow.
The locations and costumes are both sumptuous and the pace is gripping so it is difficult to fight the urge to pull the curtains, take the phone off the hook, and just binge watch.
All 8 episodes of the first season will be released on DVD by Acorn Media International tomorrow (11th December) as a two-disc DVD set prices £24.99. With a running time of approximately 430 minutes and special features including a making of, set designing, a look at the century and a picture gallery, there is enough to see you through Christmas or to keep you occupied during the frenzy that is the run-up to Christmas day.
:: The Brokenwood Mysteries – Series 3, 4 and complete 1-4
The Brokenwood Mysteries returns with the third and fourth series, both recently aired on UKTV Drama, available digitally, and now coming to DVD courtesy of Acorn Media.
The seemingly sleepy farming town Brokenwood appears idyllic, but look closer and its murder rate is going through the barn roof.
Despite relishing the leisurely ways and quaint charms of country life, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neill Rea) knows all is not well in the picturesque but murder-ridden town of Brokenwood. Together with his methodical partner, Detective Kristin Sims (Fern Sutherland), and eager young DC Sam Breen (Nic Sampson), Shepherd must confront the violent impulses and roiling passions that can mar even the most serene locales.
Series three comprised four feature-length mysteries, where the detectives face down poisonous spiders, a real life Cluedo board game gone wrong, the death of a classic-car enthusiast and someone killing the Christmas spirit.
Released on DVD on 20 November 2017, the two disc set features interviews with key cast and writer Tim Balm and is priced £19.99. A box set of series 1-3 is released at the same time (6 discs) priced £39.99.
In Season Four a skydiving accident turns out to be not so accidental; death by arrow leads to an investigation of a Victorian-style historic town complete with blacksmith, missionary and local postmaster; a poisoned crop debate points towards a poisonous murder; and an old people’s home becomes the focal point of a murder investigation when a neighbour is found in his swimming pool… with a samurai sword in his back.
The fourth series will be released on the 18th December on two discs, priced £19.99, with the 8 disc, series 1-4 box set coming out the same day priced £49.99.
:: DOC MARTIN – Series 8 and Complete 1-8
Martin Clunes returns as Britain's favourite curmudgeonly medic in a brand new, hugely anticipated series of the immensely popular, long running hit drama Doc Martin. Following its run on ITV, Doc Martin Complete Series Eight is set for its UK DVD release alongside a bumper binge-worthy box set of Doc Martin Series One - Eight, thanks to Acorn Media International.
In the same way that millions tuned into Heartbeat for the countryside, the hugely popular drama owes as much to the coastal views of the idyllic, sleepy hamlet of Portwenn in Cornwall, as it does to the town's sole GP with a brusque bedside manner and a phobia of blood, Dr. Martin Ellingham.
Returning for eight new episodes of the ratings winning drama, Doc Martin continues to challenge the community, his wife and even their dog Buddy.
SPOILER ALERT: Martin and Louisa are finally on an even keel, in spite of, rather than because of their couples’ therapy and are living together again at the surgery with their son James. The village is abuzz with the excitement of the pending nuptials of Penhale and Janice, but when the groom is taken ill suddenly there’s a chance he might not make it down the aisle and on top of that there’s a mystery outbreak with guests collapsing left right and centre. Can the doc save the day?
On top of the myriad of illnesses amongst the locals, there’s upheaval on the home front; when Louisa starts to consider a career change its unwelcome news to the doc, who doesn’t like change of any kind – even if it could be for the better. Finding new day care arrangements for James is also proving difficult with Martin upsetting a nursery manager and the baby’s teething is driving everyone to distraction with the lack of sleep, but a suggested cure leads to an unwelcome outcome.
When the Doctor’s blood phobia, causes him to pass out during a procedure, his patient makes a formal complaint, could it mean the end of his career?
Doc Martin Complete Series Eight arrives on DVD as a two-disc set tomorrow (13th November), complete with more than 80 minutes of special features including: It’s Always Sunny in Portwenn, Martin and Louisa, Martin Clunes & Caroline Quentin, Dame Eileen Atkins, Selina Cadell & Sigourney Weaver, Bert & Al, Script to Screen, Filming & Editing, Production Design & Sets, The Fans, and Dog Martin.
Series 8 runs to 360 minutes, with 80 minutes of special features, and has an RRP of £24.99 for the two-disc set. With Christmas coming, you might want to consider the complete series 1-8 box set running to close on 3000 minutes (including features) over 16 discs, and priced £99.99.
Also included above is the link to the Amazon exclusive, The Edge.
:: THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
This award winning TV movie adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic tale The Canterville Ghost features an all star cast lead by Patrick Stewart alongside Neve Campbell, Joan Sims, Donald Sinden and Cherie Lunghi and makes its UK Blu-ray debut and DVD release thanks to Second Sight Films on Monday (30th October).
Fearing a life of boredom when her family relocates from America to a sprawling English stately home, teenager Ginny Otis (Campbell) is in for quite a surprise. Strange goings-on are soon explained when she encounters the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville (Stewart), who can only be seen by Ginny and her brothers. An understandably grouchy ghost at first, Ginny learns his sorrowful tale and vows to help him lift the curse that will keep him haunting the corridors of Canterville Hall forever.
With Christmas coming, this in entertainment for the family
Special features include new interviews with director Syd Macartney and producer Robert Benedetti.
Released by Second Sight on Monday, the Canterville Ghost runs to just over 90 minutes and is priced at £15.99 for DVD and £19.99 for Blu-Ray.
:: THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
This was the last novel by Charles Dickens’, but his death left it unfinished and has created a mystery of a mystery – no-one can really be totally sure what Dickens’ intended, and although there are many indications from private correspondence and clues from what was already written, there is plenty of scope to buck the trend and come up with something that surprises.
This BBC adaptation by Gwyneth Hughes, from 2012, is a darkly gothic production – just what is needed now the clock’s have gone back and the nights are dark – and features an all star cast including Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Freddie Fox (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) and Tamzin Merchant (Jane Eyre).
Fuelled by hatred and opium addiction, choirmaster John Jasper has visions of strangling his debauched nephew Edwin Drood and being with the object of his desire and obsession, Drood’s beautiful fiancé Rosa Bud. As events unfold Jasper’s sanity is pushed to the limit and when Drood disappears all may not be what it seems in this highly atmospheric gothic mystery.
This is released on DVD on the 6th November by Second Sight priced £15.99. Originally aired in two parts, this runs to approximately 2 hours.
:: Cardinal - Season 1
When you think of Canada, gripping crime drama isn't the first thing to come to mind. Maple syrup, yes, log cabins and grizzly bears, yes, but TV? Cardinal breaks the mould here as this is really gripping TV set in the cold and gloom of Northern Ontario - so no surprises that it is mentioned alongside the many Scandi-noir thrillers that have hit the screens.
John Cardinal is a troubled man. He couldn't let go of a hunch he had about a missing 13 year old girl and it nearly led to him losing his job, but when the body of the girl turns up and his hunch was right, he is brought back into the homiicde team. Cardinal is not a team player, and you wonder how he even managed to get the job in the first place as he is happy to throw out the rule book to follow hunches. His private life is complicated, and his work life is made more complicated by his new partner who he beleives has a secret agenda.
When another body is found, Cardinal is sure it is the work of a serial killer and the game of cat and mouse begins.
This IS a gripping crime thriller. It is also macabre, and some of the scenes are not for the squeamish (I was half watching behind hands, wanting to reach for the remote to turn it off, but not wanting to move my hands).
Broadcast on BBC4 earlier this year, the whole of the first season is available on DVD from 2nd October, courtesy of eOne priced £19.99. The two disc set runs to nearly 250 minutes and has special features including Inside the Locations, Adapting Cardinal to the screen and Who is John Cardinal?