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THE FORSYTE SAGA Among Upcoming DVD/Blu-ray Releases From Acorn Media

Leading British specialist Acorn Media announces upcoming DVDs/Blu-rays including several must-see, brand new series as well as the first complete collection of Masterpiece Theatre favorite and addictive costume drama THE FORSYTE SAGA starring Damian Lewis (Homeland).

New series include the DVD debut of INJUSTICE, a psychological thriller from the creator of Foyle’s War and starring James Purefoy (Rome); the DVD debut of the critically-acclaimed Monty Python-inspired film HOLY FLYING CIRCUS; the Australian miniseries CLOUDSTREET based on Tim Winton’s best-selling novel; and the star-studded WWII miniseries THE SINKING OF THE LACONIA; as well as required viewing for any fan of British television, THE STORY OF THE COSTUME DRAMA (U.S. Debut), a five-part, star-studded behind-the-scenes documentary available as a 2-disc set or as part of THE COSTUME DRAMA CLASSIC COLLECTION, a value priced set with four celebrated Masterpiece Theatre series plus the documentary.

Additionally, Acorn has the DVD debut of Revolutionary War-era romp THE KENT CHRONICLES starring William Shatner, Kim Cattrall, and Don Johnson; M.R. James’s classic tale CASTING THE RUNES; the U.S. Debut of a YOUNG JAMES HERRIOT; the final episodes of GARROW’S LAW; and Series 6 of Agatha Christie’s POIROT guest starring Damian Lewis in his second acting role.

Documentary specialist Athena features the U.S. debuts of James May’S 20th CENTURY and MEGACITIES, as well as the DVD debuts of CRISIS AT THE CASTLE and BILL MOYERS ON ADDICTION: CLOSE TO HOME.

Acorn Media (British TV) and Athena (Best Documentaries) DVD Release Calendar:

July 17th: James May’S 20th CENTURY (U.S. debut), the Top Gear host explores the innovations that made the modern era; M.R. James’s CASTING THE RUNES (DVD Debut), offers a classic tale of mystery and the supernatural from the father of the modern ghost story; and BILL MOYERS ON ADDICTION: CLOSE TO HOME, called “TV’s most comprehensive look ever at addiction and recovery” (San Francisco Chronicle).

July 31:
THE STORY OF THE COSTUME DRAMA (U.S. Debut) – Required viewing for any fan of British television, this captivating new documentary tells the stories behind iconic productions with stars and scenes from Brideshead Revisited; I, Claudius; Upstairs, Downstairs; Pride and Prejudice; The Jewel in the Crown; Poldark; Doctor Zhivago; and many more. The first episode aired on PBS stations in spring 2012; however, Acorn is releasing the complete five-episode series on DVD. Narrated by star Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes; Upstairs Downstairs), these five episodes give an inside look beyond the ornate clothing, sprawling manors, and addictive story lines that have riveted millions of television viewers for decades.

THE COSTUME DRAMA CLASSIC COLLECTION – Representing the finest of the captivating costume drama genre with sumptuous costumes, lavish sets, and addictive plots, this set features four celebrated, star-studded Masterpiece Theatre period dramas PLUS The Story of the Costume Drama documentary listed above. The value-priced 15-disc collection includes more than 36 hours of star-studded programming, including Doctor Zhivago, the 2002 adaptation starring Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Atonement); Lillie, the BAFTA-winning 1978 drama with Francesca Annis (Wives and Daughters, Cranford); Lost Empires, starring Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) in a coming-of-age story from 1986; and Upstairs, Downstairs, Series 1, the iconic British drama’s original 1971-1972 series. (15-disc, $99.99)

THE KENT CHRONICLES (DVD Debut) – Three historical miniseries (The Bastard, The Rebels, and The Seekers) featuring William Shatner, Kim Cattrall, Don Johnson, Patricia Neal, George Hamilton, Delta Burke, and Tom Bosley. Chronicling the saga of the Kent family in early America, the star-studded Revolution-era romp is based on the bestselling novels by John Jakes (North and South), the “godfather of the historical novel.” The miniseries follow the fortunes of a young Frenchman (Andrew Stevens, Dallas) as he immigrates to America during the Revolutionary War and crosses paths with historical heavyweights including Paul Revere (William Shatner), Benjamin Franklin (Tom Bosley, Happy Days), Samuel Adams (William Daniels, St. Elsewhere), and George Washington (Peter Graves, Mission: Impossible). Nominated for two Emmys® and a Golden Globe®. Broadcast in the late 1970s.

August 7:
THE SINKING OF THE LACONIA (DVD Debut) – “The best bit of drama on the BBC in 20 years”(The Independent) – New, gripping WWII tale with an outstanding cast offers a harrowing true story of heroism, heartbreak, and unexpected humanity during the midst of World War II. Seen on Ovation Network’s “The Best You’ve Never Seen” premieres in spring of 2012, the miniseries features Ken Duken (Inglourious Basterds), Andrew Buchan (Garrow’s Law), Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity, Run Lola Run), Lindsay Duncan (Rome) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy). In September 1942 at the height of the battle for the Atlantic, a German U-boat torpedoed the RMS Laconia, sinking the British ship without knowing that it carried more than 2,000 passengers, many of them civilians. BONUS: Documentary featurette, “The Sinking of the Laconia: Survivors’ Stories” (29 min.)

GARROW’S LAW, SERIES 3 (U.S. Debut) – “BBC period drama at its very best” (British Heritage) – Conclusion of the acclaimed British legal drama ripped from the pages of history. Seen on BBC and PBS. Award-winning series stars Andrew Buchan (The Sinking of the Laconia, Cranford) as virtuous barrister William Garrow, a man unafraid to confront the injustices of the 18th century English legal system. Series also stars Alun Armstrong (Little Dorrit, New Tricks), Rupert Graves (Sherlock, The Forsyte Saga) and Lyndsey Marshal (Rome, Being Human, The Hours).

August 14:
THE FORSYTE SAGA COLLECTION – “Stunning any way you look at it” (Vanity Fair) - Damian Lewis (Homeland, Band of Brothers, Life), Gina McKee (Notting Hill, The Borgias), Rupert Graves (Sherlock, Garrow’s Law), Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower, Ringer), Julian Ovenden (Foyle’s War), and Corin Redgrave (Trial & Retribution) star in acclaimed literary adaptation. Value-priced complete collection includes footage not seen in the hit PBS broadcast. The two complete miniseries tell the story of a family bitterly divided by ambition, adultery, and revenge. Based on John Galsworthy’s epic Forsyte novels, the sumptuously addictive adaptations impressed critics and fans alike when they aired on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre from 2003-2004 and were voted #2 on the list of viewers’ favorite programs of all time. The DVD 5-dics boxed set includes the complete unedited U.K. broadcast edition, featuring more than 20 minutes of Series 1 footage not included in the edited U.S. broadcast; as well as a bonus 20-minute making-of featurette.

August 21:
MEGACITIES (Athena, U.S. Debut) – “A must-see” (The Times) – Fascinating new BBC documentary looks at the future of urbanization and human habitation through five of the globe’s most populous cities. Filmed on location in five of the world’s largest cities in everything from sleek high-rises to swarming slums, and hosted by BAFTA-winning journalist Andrew Marr, Megacities explores how these metropolitan hubs define every aspect of their inhabitants’ daily lives. The documentary includes segments on London, U.K.; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico; and Shanghai, China. Available to U.S. audiences for the first time, Megacities aired on BBC One in June 2011 but has not aired on U.S. television.

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