It's been a frustrating, confusing task for those trying to obtain a pristine, unedited copy of EDGE OF DARKNESS on video or DVD. Here's the full, complicated story:
The series was initially released on VHS video in the early 1990s in both the UK PAL format market (see image above left) and the US NTSC format market (see image above right).
Both expensive releases compiled the the six part series onto two separate tapes and edited out the various opening and closing credits for each series. Given the dirty nature of the picture quality, which seemed to be covered in dust and dirt, the tapes used for the transfer had not been cared for (they were, after all, only around five years old). No picture restoration work seems to have been done. Unconfirmed reports suggest the US release even had several scenes cut from it.
In 2000 the series was issued in the UK for the first time on DVD (see image above). Ostensibly a PAL UK release, it was (for some odd reason) a Region 0 DVD.
Those who'd bought the original videos were annoyed to find they'd basically purchased the same product yet again. This "Original" DVD release seemed to have been transferred from the same tapes as the video release, complete with all the dirt, scratches and dropouts. There were no extra features.
Even worse, the two part compilation was confusingly spread over two discs in such a complicated way that even viewers who'd seen the series before were confused (it's assumed those approaching it for the first time missed huge chunks of storyline and gave up).
Responding to criticism, ROSS McGINLEY of BBC Worlwide explained: "The video rights were licensed out to a company many years ago, which also includes whatever format video turns into in the future. Theyíre obliged to put the BBC logo on their product, but itís not an in-house job. We could have done a much better job, but then again no-one knew DVD was going to come along eight years ago. Iíd love to get my hands on it. I donít know how long the terms of the license are, probably ten years, so maybe in two or three years. But that's not my call. Thatís up to licensing."
In 2001 the series was issued on DVD in the UK yet again (see image above). This Revelation Films issue (known as the REISSUE VERSION) seems to have been mastered from the same print as the previous releases, but a bit more care seems to have gone into the transfer procedure and it was a slight step up in quality. More effort had also been taken in the great menus, and a few extra features, including some background notes and script excerpts, were a welcome bonus.
Finally, in 2003, the SPECIAL EDITION DVD was finally released!
Click here for details.