Genuine joy at this one - I may have mentioned them once or twice:
The BFI will make all 12 of the classic BBC films from A Ghost Story for Christmas series available on DVD this year, with the first two volumes – each containing a double bill of chilling tales – released on 20 August.
The first release features Jonathan Miller’s Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968), with Sir Michael Hordern, paired with the 2010 adaptation of the same chilling tale, starring John Hurt and directed by Andy de Emmony. Released alongside it is a pairing of The Stalls of Barchester (1971), starring Robert Hardy and receiving its DVD premiere, and A Warning to the Curious (1972), with Peter Vaughan, both directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark. Each set comes with numerous special features and illustrated booklets.
As a Christmas treat during the 1970s, the BBC screened adaptations of the classic ghost stories of MR James, the Cambridge academic and author of some of the most spine-tingling tales in the English language. Most of the installments, which were broadcast to terrified viewers in the dead of winter, were directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, who has been interviewed for new introductions on these BFI releases. With only three of the 12 tales previously released on DVD (by the BFI in 2002, and long since deleted), the films in this brilliant series have been high on many film and TV fans' 'most wanted' DVD lists. With a subtlety and style all of their own, they have been a major influence on recent British horror films, such as The Woman in Black, and have inspired screenwriters and filmmakers such as Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock).
The release of the first two Ghost Stories volumes is timed to mark the 150th anniversary of MR James’ birth on 1 August 1862.
Two more volumes, the first containing Lost Hearts, The Treasure of Abbot Thomas and The Ash Tree, and the second containing The Signalman (Andrew Davies’ adaptation of the Charles Dickens story), Stigma (written by Clive Exton) and The Ice House (written by John Bowen), will follow in September, while the fifth and final volume, containing the more recent installments View from a Hill and Number 13, as well as a complete Ghost Stories for Christmas box set, will be released in October.