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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ki fizeti a révészt?" )

 

directed by Michael J. Bird (creator), William Slater (director)
UK/Greece 1977

 

After the board of his boat-building company outvotes him on a buyout from another company, Alan Haldane (Jack Hedley, NEW YORK RIPPER) retires and decides to visit Crete in search of Melina, the woman he loved while stationed there during WWII. Alan's war buddy, Babis (Neil McCarthy, WHERE EAGLES DARE) receives him coldly and informs him that Melina died four years before. Alan reveals that he wrote to Melina, but Babis tells her that she never received any letters from him. Babis reveals to Alan that Melina was pregnant with Alan's child and that he helped her write a letter to him, but Alan swears he never received it. Babis tells Alan that another fellow soldier guessed Melina's dilemma and took responsibility with her parents and married her (only to be killed in combat a few years later). Although Babis is reluctant to tell him any more, Alan wants to meet his daughter Elena even if he can't reveal his true identity to her. Alan also meets alluring and headstrong Annika Zeferis (Betty Arvaniti) with which he forms an immediate connection (much to the annoyance of Annika's pining business foreman Matheos [Takis Emmanuel, ZORBA THE GREEK]). When Matheos tells Annika's mother Katerina (Patience Collier, THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN) of Annika's interest in Alan, she plots from behind the scenes to drive Alan from Crete since she was the one who intercepted the letters between Alan and Melina to protect her family name. Throughout the series Alan finds both allies and enemies in unexpected places.

In "Return to Yesterday" Alan heads to the village of Elounda to find Elena (Mairi Sokali) running the taverna inherited from her mother. He learns that her marital strife with husband Nikos (Nikos Verlekis) stems from their disagreement over whether to sell the taverna to a company that wants to develop the beach-front property into a resort. Babis warns Alan not to get involved because it is a "family affair," but that is exactly why Alan decides to sell off his interests in England and intervene in Elena's life. Alan is then shocked to discover that Annika is Elena's aunt, In the second episode, "Some Talk of Alexander" Hebden (Jack Watson, SCHIZO) - accompanied by his daughter Jo (Lalla Ward, TV's DOCTOR WHO) - returns to Crete to relive his glory days; however, an old man named Pavil is on his way to town to kill Hebden because he believes the man betrayed his son and other Cretan rebels to the Germans. The police captain (Stefan Gryff, WHITE NIGHTS) approaches Alan to convince fellow countryman Hebden to leave town. Meanwhile, Annika is confused by Alan's distance and her mother's insistence that she not see Alan. In "The Long Shadow" a snooping Matheos discovers a letter from an old flame (Ann Lynn, I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT'S'IS NAME) of Alan's and arranges for her to come to Greece to complicate matters between Alan and Annika. Katerina also calls her son Petros (Steve Plytas, INTERLUDE) back from Athens to wage a vendetta against Alan. In "A Dead Man to Carry My Cross" an even older family vendetta threatens to drive a wedge between Alan and Annika when Katerina uses her influence to prevent Australian visitor Anthony Vigilis (Gareth Thomas, JUGGERNAUT) from burying his grandfather - whose family wronged the family of Katerina's husband - in the village of Dhafnai. In "Receive the Light" Katerina turns to Matheos to carry out the vendetta against Alan, and offers him the family legacy in place of Petros who has forfeited his inheritance by opposing her. Meanwhile, a fisherman (Nikos Kouros, ULYSSES' GAZE) challenges Alan to a sailing race. In "The Well" Alan and Annika meet Duncan (Patrick Magee, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE), an Englishman attempting to build a well for a draught-ridden mountain village; however, the man's secrets put Alan at odds with the police. In "A River to Cross" Matheos sabotages Alan's car, but someone else pays the price to Charon (the ferryman of dead souls), leading to the tragic final episode "Daughters of Themes."

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 7 November 1977 to 26 December 1977 (UK)

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DVD Review: Eureka Video - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Eureka Video

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 6:35:04
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.16 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE:
• Episode 1: Return to Yesterday (49:48)
• Episode 2: Some Talk of Alexander (49:32)
• Episode 3: The Long Shadow (49:46)
• DISC TWO:
• Episode 4: A Dead Man to Carry My Cross (49:50)
• Episode 5: Receive the Light (48:22)
• Episode 6: The Well (50:06)
• DISC THREE:
• Episode 7: A River to Cross (47:56)
• Episode 8: The Daughter of Themis (49:42)

DVD Release Date: February 20th, 2012
Amaray

Chapters 32

 

Comments

The eight episode, six-and-a-half hour miniseries is split across three discs (two dual-layer and one single layer). Although press materials mention make vague reference to restoration, the 1" mastered video probably looks as good as the videotaped 1970's production can (clipped highlights and streaking of candle and lighter flames during the video sequences were always there), while detail in the filmed inserts is subject to the low resolution of the original video mastering. Each discs selection of episodes is authored as a single titleset with an average bitrate of 5.16. The mono audio is clean and the theme music comes through boldly. The optional English subtitles are helpful. Sadly, no extras are included; which is regrettable since the series is well-regarded.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Eureka Video

Region 2 - PAL

 




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