Germany December 2004+
Released in 4 box sets, each containing 4 discs/12 episodes. The DVDs are region 2 PAL. Soundtracks are German (mono) and English (mono). There are subtitles in German and English.
The packaging is unusual: instead of a card box, there is an outer clear plastic sleeve (with the Landau/Bain photos and a red banner showing the episode numbers), and an inner card sleeve (showing the silver logo and launching rescue Eagle; the top is cut along the slope of the Eagle). The top of the individual box cases is seen over the Eagle.
The shrink wrap also has two round stickers: a year 2 triangle badge ("Coming Next: Box 2 17.02.05") and a planet ("Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Catherine Schell").
The individual discs are each in slim versions of standard Amaray cases (the total width is the same as a digipack). The top of the cover has a red banner ("The cult sci-fi series from the 70s"), over a picture of the Black Sun over Alpha, and below is a logo with character photo (which changes on each disc). Nick Tate has equal billing with Landau and Bain; Barry Morse's name is in smaller type with Zienia Merton.
Inside is a single page "Boardcard" (178 x 118mm) which lists chapters on one side, and release dates for the rest of the set on the other.
Box set 4 has a 16 page booklet with biographies of the characters and nice photos.
Episodes are the same prints as the Carlton releases (with English captions, and uncut). Because all episodes had been cut (the packaging notes the original German version running times, generally 8-10 minutes shorter), and 18 episodes have never been shown in Germany, the original voice cast recorded new German dialogue tracks. On disc 4, there is a short film showing the dubbing sessions.
The order is mostly production order (the same as Carlton), but there are some changes in Year 2 where the order seems to reflect the days since leaving Earth orbit (this is not consistent).
The disc opens with CGI Eagles and planets zooming towards screen. The main menu shows the logo, an Eagle and the Moon. On selecting each episode, the submenu shows an Eagle flying across, lowering its pod, to reveal a screen where a clip from the episode plays. Options from this submenu include scene selection (a submenu showing the Main Mission Big Screen with clips, much like other releases), extras (static screen with small Eagles), and soundtrack (static screen showing a distorted Eagle end-on). Top level menus also link to a page with trailers of other (non-science fiction) DVD releases.
Extras are under the individual episode menus. The original German opening and closing titles are included for each non-DVD episode (each total 50 seconds). They include the Rückkehr Der Toten titles with the infamous Meco Star Wars disco track. They also all have a text page describing the principal cuts in the original German version. Principal and guest cast have text-only biographies (Landau's is a comprehensive 22 pages) by Nicolas Hainzl. The photo galleries are self-advancing, against a non-descript background, mixing merchandise and episode shots from both seasons. There are also other text features, and selected other features from the Carlton releases. Three of the six August 1976 cast and crew interviews are included.
There are also DVD trailers, created for the German DVD release which are otherwise much like the original ITC trailers with German dialogue (the year 2 one has the One Moment Of Humanity dance music as the soundtrack). There are interviews with two of the German dubbing actors, and footage of the dubbing studio as the new German DVD soundtracks are created. There is also an original interview with Catherine Schell from 1993.
Copyright Martin Willey
packaging and screen images copyright EMS