Four nostalgic BBC favourites on DVD this month

Posted by Simply HE on

Remember The Demon Headmaster? Or the nightmare inducing The Mad Death?

These are just two of the celebrated TV Shows that made a big impression with audiences when first broadcast years ago. Now they’re back, by popular demand, this time on DVD! Scroll down for our full list of this month’s classic TV releases from the BBC archives.


The Mad Death: The Complete Miniseries (1983)

It traumatised audiences when first broadcast, and is regarded as one of the most disturbing dramas ever attempted by the BBC!

A French woman refuses to leave her Siamese cat behind when she heads to Scotland for a holiday. But she has no idea that her precious pet was bitten by a rabid fox, and risks spreading the virus.

A kindly American (Ed Bishop) takes in a stray fox which has been in contact with the infected cat, and ends up in hospital after he is bitten. Doctors and politicians soon realise that an outbreak of rabies now threatens the entire nation.

Michael Hillard (Richard Heffer) and Ann Maitland (Barbara Kellerman) must join forces to combat the mad death. But is it too little too late?


The Demon Headmaster: Complete Series (1996 – 1998)

Whilst family-friendly The Demon Headmaster also delivered a shiver when it first aired on CBBC between 1996-1998. The popular series was adapted from Gillian Cross’ bestseller, new editions of which were released last year.

Terrence Hardiman stars as the Demon Headmaster, an evil man with a sinister plan to take over the world! It’s good versus evil at St Champions school where he plans to use his otherworldly hypnotic powers to control the children.

He didn’t, however, count on the resistance of a small group of unruly pupils who form SPLAT (The Society for the Protection of our Lives Against Them) with the aim to resist his powers. But who will come out on top? The future of St Champions School and the universe is at stake!


Screen One: A Foreign Field (1993)


An all-star cast features in this bittersweet comedy drama including Alec Guinness, Leo McKern, Edward Herrmann, Geraldine Chaplin, John Randolph and Lauren Bacall.

Written by Roy Clarke, best known for writing some of Britain’s most popular shows including Keeping Up Appearances, Last of the Summer Wine and Open All Hours, A Foreign Field was made for BBC’s Screen One. This acclaimed TV anthology series showcased numerous acclaimed films and provided a platform from some of Britain’s top acting talent.

Cyril (McKern) and Amos (Guinness), two British war veterans, return to Normandy for the first time in 50 years to visit the grave of their fallen comrade for the D-Day anniversary. Staying at the same hotel is an American Waldo (Randolph), along with his family, who are also visiting the graves.

Whilst reminiscing about their old wartime days Cyril and Waldo are reminded of Angelique, a French woman who befriended the Allied soldiers in 1944. Cyril decides to set off to find her. But walking in the same direction, with the same aim, is Waldo. Turns out both men were rivals for Angel’s affections during the war – and still are!


The Grass Arena (1992)

Mark Rylance leads the cast in The Grass Arena, a film adaptation, originally made for BBC’s Screen Two, of the bestselling autobiography of the extraordinary life, addictions and redemption of chess player John Healy.

As a youth Healy was a talented boxer. But his promising career was destroyed by his alcoholism, largely caused by his deprived upbringing and abusive father.

Healy’s life spirals downwards and he becomes homeless, entering  “the grass arena”, a savage community of drug addicts and alcoholics – all who will do anything to quench their thirst.

Turning to crime Healy hit rock-bottom and faces certain death from his addictions. In prison a fellow inmate teaches him how to play chess. Healy proves to be a natural, and one addiction is about to replace another.


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