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Television forecast

DVD is giving television back to the viewer, creating archives of the classics and wrongfooting broadcasters

By David Herman   December 2004

If you have been Christmas shopping in HMV, the BBC shop or Tower Records, you may have already noticed one striking development: the rise and rise of the television DVD. There are two kinds: newly reissued classics and the box sets of recent hits, especially new series. Each tells a different story about where television is now heading.

The most welcome development is the reissue of classic dramas and comedy programmes, mainly by the BBC and BFI. The BBC recently brought out some of the best of its 1980s Shakespeare series: Jonathan Miller’s King Lear with Michael Hordern, Hamlet with…

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