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By Matt Kamen
July 20, 2007
The Hogwarts Trinity face peril again in the final Harry Potter book.
© Bloomsbury, 2007
More of a check in than anything else this week, as I prepare for Japan EX, undoubtedly the biggest cult event in the UK this week.
Well, except for the highly anticipated release of a certain book. There might be a few more people interested in that. The impact of the Harry Potter books on the popular consciousness is nothing short of unbelievable and the anticipatory fever the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has generated is astounding. And those of us in the UK are getting the final instalment, the most heavily pre-ordered book in history according to Reuters, before America – neener, neener, neener!
Ahem. Fine, it's only a few hours before America, but it's a lead nonetheless.
Anything further I could blather on about here regarding the resolution of plots, fates of characters or possible continuations has almost certainly been discussed ad infinitum, in more-or-less every public forum imaginable, so I'll spare us all. However, American Potter-heads envious of the UK's head-start in the tale of Harry's final battle with He Who Must Not Be Named may want to head to Bloomsbury's website at 0:01am UK time on Saturday. The website will be hosting a streamed reading of excerpts from the novel by author J.K. Rowling, direct from the Natural History Museum in London.
Of course, if you miss that, there are the countless launch parties at bookstores around the country and, indeed, the English-speaking world to look forward to.
Megasuperultra popular show Heroes is about to make a real splash on UK shores at it jumps to terrestrial broadcast on BBC2 next Wednesday, 25th July. Despite earning the UK Sci-Fi Channel its highest viewing figures ever (a respectable 467,000 people, roughly 3.2% of the audience for it's time slot – not bad for a niche satellite and cable only channel), a prime time 9pm slot on one of the nation's 'main' TV channels will increase its exposure far beyond what its debut network could offer. If you've not already been hooked by the series, now's your chance.
New UK DVD Picks for 23/07/2007
The 4400 Season Three
Not so much a recommendation here as a warning – import the US release. The UK releases of the show that did Heroes before Heroes have been stripped of special features, harking back to the bad old days when any region outside of North America got vanilla discs devoid of any bonus content. While the series is eminently enjoyable, being charged twice the price for half the content (£40 instead of $40) just can't be justified.
Tenchi Muyo Ryo Ohki Box Set
The third Tenchi OVA (Original Video Animation) series makes its appearance in the UK, bypassing messy single disc releases and jumping straight to a complete collection. Admittedly, if you're not already well versed in the sci-fi comedy antics of Tenchi and friends this isn't the place to start, even with the first episode primarily acting as a recap of the first two OVAs. For existing fans, this set continues the 'official' Tenchi story arc after a decade-plus absence. Well worth picking up!
.hack//Roots: Vol.1 Artbox (DVD and CD)
Another high quality release from Beez here, as the newest .Hack series begins its UK release. Pleasingly, we're getting a release that's on par with the American one – your hard-earned and easily frittered away cash gets you a soundtrack CD, key ring and an artbox to hold the series. Oh, and the first DVD volume, containing the first four episodes. Not bad at all.
That’s it for this week. Thoughts? Comments? Hatemail? Contact me at email@example.com.