ACTION TV ONLINE DVD REVIEW
DVD REVIEWS INDEX
THINGS TO COME: SPECIAL EDITION
Network DVD
REVIEW BY ANDREW SCREEN

Britain's most ambitious ever science fiction film has been given an equally enterprising two-disc special edition by Network. Unparalleled before or since in the UK film industry Things To Come is a sprawling, epic and stunning classic if you can overcome the somewhat dated style of acting. With a story spanning a world war that leaves mankind reverted to a feudal society of warlords to a rebuilt technocratric civilisation on the cusp of space exploration the film reflects many of H G Wells beliefs and fears who had a direct hand in the scripting of the film. This was Britain's answer to Metropolis and an equally important milestone in both mainstream and genre cinema that would only be surpassed over thirty years later by Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey.

EXTRAS: The 1936 film has an intriguing and complex history that is treated respectively and in great detail by the presentation and extras on this release. Top marks to Network for sourcing the longest running existing version of the film and given it an excellent digital transfer and restoration from the original film elements that blows away previously available commercial releases. Also featured is a virtual extended edition that strives to provide a glimpse of what the film could have looked like if it contained long-lost missing and scripted, but unfilmed, scenes. Film and TV historian Nick Cooper provides an authorative, if subdued, commentary as well as meticulously researched viewing notes in the form of a twenty-four booklet. The set of extras are expanded further with a comprehensive image gallery containing a myriad of film and merchandise stills, a vintage 1975 interview with actor Ralph Richardson conducted by Russell Harty, 1971 documentary On Reflection: Brian Aldiss on H G Wells and The Wandering Sickness, a vintage audio treat of 78rpm recording. Oh, and there's a trailer as well!

A solid, faultless and comprehensive release essential for any serious film buff.

FILM: 5/5
EXTRAS: 5/5