With everything else going on in 2017, I never got around to posting about the new DVDs and Blu-rays that I purchased during the year. So in this post and video, I want to give a quick update on the newest titles in my collection. And then, during 2018, I want to try and get into the habit of doing a monthly favourites post, about things I’ve bought and seen in general.
So I hope you enjoy this update and that there are things in here you enjoy too. And if there’s other stuff you think I should check out, feel free to let me know!
- Electric Light Orchestra (Jeff Lynne’s ELO) – Wembley Or Bust
This is an amazing live show by Jeff Lynne and his band from June 2017, with all the big hits, and you get 2 CDs and a DVD of the show in this set. Every track on the CD does fade out the applause at the end, which feels a bit odd for a live album, and the show on the DVD is occasionally interrupted by short interview segments. But they’re not major annoyances. The music is what matters, and it’s superb, because there are plenty of musicians on stage to cover every part of every song. There are no half measures taken here, it really does sound great. And visually the show looks beautiful on the DVD as well.
- The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers, Live At The Fonda Theatre 2015
This is the latest concert to be released as part of their From The Vault series, and a relatively recent one for a change too. Here the band perform their Sticky Fingers album in its entirety, the first time they’ve ever done so live on stage. And it’s a great performance, of which you get a CD and DVD version in this set.
- The Rolling Stones – Olé! Olé! Olé! – A Trip Across Latin America
This is a comprehensive documentary about their tour of Latin American in 2016, during which they try to arrange their first ever show in Cuba, and that’s a big challenge. It’s really interesting and beautifully filmed, looking great on Blu-ray, with footage of them performing as well of course. There are a few complete song performances from the tour as extra features too, which is good. But it would be nice to see an entire concert from the tour released as well one day, especially the Cuba one given its significance.
- Def Leppard – And There Will Be A Next Time…
This is a great live show recorded in 2016 to promote the band’s most recent self-titled album, Def Leppard. So, as I haven’t got that album yet (something I intend to rectify very soon), a number of the songs on here were new to me. And they’re great, the band have still got their iconic sound. The live show includes many of their classic, well-known hits as well, of course, so it’s a really good mixture of new and old material. And there are a few music videos as extras as well, again relating to songs from the new album, using impressive CGI as well as footage of the band themselves.
- The Who – Tommy – Live At The Royal Albert Hall
This was a charity show in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, filmed in April 2017, where the band perform their rock opera Tommy in its absolute entirety for the first time ever. In the past they’ve done most of it on stage, but there’s always been a track or two cut out. But here they do the whole thing, and it’s great. Plus they do an encore with classic tracks from I Can’t Explain to Won’t Get Fooled Again. So you get a really decent length show here. The extra features consist of some backstage footage, and the animations that were shown on the big screens during a couple of the songs.
Stand Up Comedy
Some comedians have decided to release live shows online now, instead of on DVD. For instance, Ross Noble’s Brain Dump can be downloaded from his own site, and on Netflix I’ve enjoyed Russell Howard – Recalibrate and Jack Whitehall – At Large. But I still think it’s nice to have DVDs of such shows to keep as well, as you never know how long streaming services will keep material for. And thankfully I’ve still been able to buy a few by some of my favourite stand up comedians this year.
- Adam Hills – Clown Heart
I love Adam on The Last Leg of course, and have had a previous stand-up DVD of his too. And this is another brilliant show, very funny and with a few surprises as well. He also has a lady doing sign language on the stage, who he has a bit of fun with sometimes, which is a really nice addition. You even have the option of watching the show with the signer on screen constantly, which is great. You get subtitles as well, which many (though not all) DVDs have these days. But to have a sign language option like this is really cool too.
- Micky Flanagan – An’ Another Fing…
This is a very funny show recorded by Micky at the O2 Arena in London. If you’re familiar with his previous shows, then you’ll like this one as well. There’s also a fun outtake from the set that he’s included as an extra feature, where he mixes up his words and then has to try and get back on track again, which doesn’t prove too easy!
- Sean Lock – Keep It Light
This is another good show. If you know Sean Lock’s humour from shows like 8 Out Of 10 Cats, then you’ll know what you’re in for here. It’s not a particularly long show, and there aren’t any extras, but it’s still funny.
- The Big Bang Theory – Season 10
How the time has flown, ten seasons already. And I still love the show, it’s consistently good. You get all 24 episodes, and there are a few extra features on here as usual, including behind the scenes footage and a gag reel.
- Red Dwarf XII – Series 12
It’s great having the boys back, I’m very glad that Dave have kept the show going. And this year’s season was another great one. There are plenty of extra features on here as well, including documentary material, deleted scenes and smeg ups.
- Still Open All Hours – Series 3
While naturally not quite as good as the original Open All Hours series with Ronnie Barker at the helm, this new revival with David Jason’s character Granville in charge of the shop is still very good. It’s just a lovely, gentle, harmless comedy, and on this set you get the complete third series, including the 2016 Christmas special that started it off. And now season 4 has just started on the TV, which is great.
- The Simpsons – Season 18
This was a pleasant surprise when I saw it had been released. The show’s producers had stopped releasing the DVD sets, claiming that there wasn’t sufficient demand and that people could now download the shows instead. But the outcry from passionate fans wanting to complete their collections has changed their minds, and now they’re back. And you get all the usual features with this – great box artwork, audio commentaries on all the episodes, sketches and animatics, deleted scenes, etc, and even a few hidden easter eggs apparently, which I’ll have to look for when I go through the set. So I’m really glad these are coming out again. Let’s hope season 18 sells well so they continue to release the subsequent ones.
- Family Guy – Season 17
Yes, this show is crude and silly, and not at its very best like it used to be, but it’s still fun. You get another 20 episodes in this set, along with some deleted scenes, and tributes to Carrie Fisher and Adam West. So it’s nice to keep the collection going with this.
- Doctor Who – Series 10
Peter Capaldi’s final series has been great, I’ve loved his tenure as The Doctor. So I’ve bought the steelbook set of the series, as I always like the artwork they do on those. It doesn’t include the most recent Christmas special where he regenerates, so that’ll kick off the series 11 boxset. You get a few special postcards with this set, which you can move to change the image on, switching between Missy and The Master, and Bill with her new Cyberman self. And there are lots of extra features, including mini documentaries, behind the scenes footage, the episode Knock Knock with binaurual sound, and the Doctor Who Fan Shows that were uploaded on Youtube after each episode. So there’s plenty to get through, and I want to try and do so before the next series starts, which I’m really looking forward to.
- Doctor Who – Series 1 & 2 Blu-ray Steelbooks
As well as getting the latest series on Blu-ray, I’ve also bought the re-releases of the first 2 series (with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant respectively). I already had them on DVD of course – and I’ll keep them, because I like their packaging, especially the Tardis shaped box for series 1. But I thought it would be a good opportunity to upgrade to higher definition versions of the shows, and I do like the steelbook artwork. You get all the original extra features from the DVD releases as well, including Doctor Who Confidential, which is great.
- Sherlock – Series 4
Another steelbook Blu-ray release for another great show. I loved watching this last year, and on Blu-ray it’s going to look amazing. And there are extra features on here as well, including behind the scenes stuff and video diaries. So there’s plenty to enjoy in this set.
- Blue Planet 2
This was the TV highlight of the year I think. The 4-years it took to make this show about life in our oceans really paid off, because it looks stunning. And David Attenborough’s narration always works perfectly. It was fascinating to learn about so many different creatures, many of which had never been seen before. And even those we’re already aware of are still full of surprises. So it was a superb series, very highly recommended even if you don’t normally watch programmes about the natural world.
- British Museum Presents Hokusai
I bought this from the museum shop after I went on an audio described tour of the Hokusai exhibition in 2017. I had never properly explored an art gallery before, but because we were able to have a handling session, looking at various objects used to create the artworks, and then had a tour of the exhibition with both an describer and an exhibition curator, it felt really engaging and interesting. So I wanted to pick up something as a souvenir, and this DVD is ideal, because it contains a documentary about the artist and his work, and shows you around some of the exhibition in the museum as well. So it’s a lovely way to remember my visit, and to refresh my memory about what a great artist Hokusai was.
- QI – Seasons 1 to 13 (A to M)
QI is a great educational comedy panel show, that’s both funny and fascinating in equal measure. Each series focuses on subjects beginning with a particular letter of the alphabet, hence each series is referred to in that way. But in the past, only the first 3 seasons (A to C) had ever been released. And they were great DVD sets too, with various bonus features. But we didn’t get any ore. However, Stephen Fry stepped down as host at the end of season 13 more recently, when they got halfway through the alphabet (with Sandi Toksvig taking over). And so they’ve now released all 13 seasons that Stephen presented, in very quick succession, across 4 boxsets (A to D, E to G, H to J and K to M). So you get every single episode – including the extended 45-minute XL versions from the time they started producing those – along with some unseen material and other extra features. And the cases are designed to look like old style encyclopedias, so it looks like you have a row of books on your DVD shelf. So I’m delighted they’ve released everything, even if it’ll take ages to get through it all!
And that’s it. Some of those things I’ve already watched, especially the music and stand-up comedy ones, while others are things I’ve seen on TV but haven’t yet watched the DVD sets for. So I just need to crack on and getting watching them, bit by bit!
So thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed that list. Now that I’m properly settled into London, I’ll try and keep you updated more regularly when I buy things this year!