of the Ice Box- Review by Richard Smith
So, after the 6-part scene setter in the form of
'The Wrong End of Time', Timeslip finally kicks into gear with
'The Time of the Ice Box', a futuristic tale that sets the dark
tone for the rest of the series.
Our accidental travellers, Liz and Simon, find themselves in
the Ice Box, which is carrying out secret longevity and cloning
experiments. Considering this was made for kids in 1970 - a quaint
yet naive era - this was heady stuff. Highlights include family
conflicts between Liz, her mother (both present and future) and
Beth (her cold future self - one of many story twists. Each actress
seems to enjoy the verbal fencing. This is Cheryl Burfield's shining
performance in the same way that as The Year of the Burn Up' would
become Spencer Banks's. Robert Oates, who plays Larry, could easily
have carved out a great career as everybody's favourite cheeky
chappie! The other great performance comes from the whirring computers
in the background - supplied from the sets of Gerry Anderson's
As for the disc itself, there are several plusses and a few questions.
Considering the state of the surviving black and white film recordings,
the people at Carlton have done a superb remastering job (particularly
when compared with the previous VHS releases). The sound and picture
are as clear as one can expect and each episode is complete -
right down to the commercial break captions. The biggest plus
is the inclusion of the only surviving colour segment - part six.
However, the completists among us may ask "Why no "ATV'"
ident at the start"? Also, might this rare treasure have
been better classed as an extra? Seeing brightly coloured costumes
in the middle of a series of monochrome episodes jar the eyes
severely. This reviewer only has one main gripe. The design of
the disc's menus lack imagination - the episode index would benefit
from a choice of screen grabs to choose from, while the stills
of Liz and Simon have come from another story entirely. The Year
of the Burn Up, to be precise.
The extras on the disc are limited to subtitles and a specially
commissioned location map. Unfortunately, the size of the average
TV screen makes most of the text on it illegible, and it could
have included relevant freeze frames from the show. Still, it
looks colourful. As a whole, the disc satisfies, and Carlton are
to be congratulated for releasing a little-known but fondly remembered
series into the general marketplace.
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