USA: January 1990
"Special Collectors Edition" "Two Complete, Uncut Episodes!"
This laserdisc contained two episodes (16mm prints). The front cover featured a background photo of the Moon and the horizon of Psychon, top (the Eagle is obscured), and the logo over two large square photos from Force Of Life (Zoref stood in NGA3) and Dragon's Domain (the dragon). The rear cover features four smaller photos under the tag "Escape Into A World Beyond Belief" and episode descriptions.
USA: Released March 26th 1991; $29.95 each
A series of 23 video laser discs, each containing 2 episodes (total 46 episodes: the rights to "Bringers Of Wonder"/"Destination Moonbase Alpha" were held by CBS-Fox who refused to give up their rights to the episodes). CX noise reduction, hi-fidelity digital sound. Released in a batch of 16, then 4 more, then the final 3 discs. There were just 300 sets in total. Very poor sales led to rapid deletion.
The sleeve features the logo and the tag line "Escape into a World Beyond Belief", with Year One or Year Two publicity artwork. The first series artwork is the Charlton comics painting by Gray Morrow.
The back cover features four photos between the episode descriptions and credits. Most of the Year 1 summaries are from the original ITC publicity packs, but the Year 2 summaries seem to be original, and very hit-and-miss with accuracy (and even typos). Often the summaries include the full plot including the ending. The 5 photos between the summaries are uneven in quality, particularly colour control, and are mostly correct for the episodes (with a few exceptions). Overall, the errors suggest the jackets were designed in a rush.
The image and sound quality were good compared to VHS, with transfers made from high resolution 35mm prints (although inferior to later DVD image and sound). Some episodes on laserdisc (notably "All That Glisters" and "The Beta Cloud") suffered from darkness and poor colour control. In addition, the poor quality pressings (at the Philips Blackburn plant in the UK) led many copies to suffer from laser rot (oxidation of the aluminium layer) causing speckles on screen and ultimately making the discs unviewable. In addition, a few episodes (Ring Around The Moon, Collision Course and Dorzak) were cut in order to remove scratches. The quality problems (and use of the Philips plant) were imposed on Image by ITC.
Images thanks to James Poll.
The laser disc is a 30cm (12 in) diameter aluminium disc, covered in plastic. It is much larger than the 12cm (4.7 in) diameter discs used for DVD and Blu-ray. CLV (constant linear velocity) discs like this stored 60 minutes per side. The video format is analog, like a vinyl record, although the sound can be digital (CD, DVD and Blu-ray are digital formats).
Defective manufacturing allows the aluminium to oxidise, causing mold-like spots on the disc which can make them unplayable. On laser discs this was called "laser rot"; on CDs, it is called "bronzing". The Philips and Dupont Optical (PDO) plant in Blackburn, UK, was notorious for the poor quality laser discs and CDs produced from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.
||Dragon's Domain||Force Of Life|
||The Black Sun||Collision Course|
||Death's Other Dominion||Alpha Child|
||Guardian Of Piri||Earthbound|
||Mission Of The Darians||End Of Eternity|
||Voyager's Return||Matter Of Life And Death|
||The Infernal Machine||Another Time, Another Place|
||Ring Around The Moon||Missing Link|
||The Last Sunset||The Full Circle|
||Space Brain||The Troubled Spirit|
||The Testament Of Arkadia||The Last Enemy|
||The Metamorph||All That Glisters|
||The Exiles||Journey To Where|
||The Mark Of Archanon||One Moment Of Humanity|
||The Rules Of Luton||The Taybor|
||The Beta Cloud||Brian The Brain|
||The A B Chrysalis||Catacombs Of The Moon|
||The Lambda Factor||The Immunity Syndrome|
||The Seance Spectre||Devil's Planet|
||Seed Of Destruction||Space Warp|
||New Adam, New Eve||A Matter Of Balance|
Copyright Martin Willey