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The Omega Factor: The Complete Series (3DVD) (1979)

James Hazeldine , Louise Jameson , Eric Davidson , Fiona Cumming  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Hazeldine, Louise Jameson, Cyril Luckham, John Carlisle
  • Directors: Eric Davidson, Fiona Cumming, Gerald Blake (II), Ken Grieve, Kenny McBain
  • Format: Box set, Color, Content/Copy-Protected CD, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2006
  • Run Time: 510 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EMGF30
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,704 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Omega Factor: The Complete Series (3DVD)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary on the episode "Powers of Darkness"
  • "Inside the Omega Factor" featurette
  • 16 page booklet with notes on the series

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

"The Omega Factor" refers to the limitless potential of the human mind, which is explored in often-terrifying detail in this short-lived cult BBC series from 1979. The late James Hazeldine stars as a journalist who discovers that he possesses extraordinary psychic gifts; his talents bring him in contact with Department 7, a shadowy government bureau that investigates paranormal phenomena. Over the course of the series' ten-episode run, Hazeldine, his friend and fellow Department 7 member Anne (Louise Jameson, Leela from the Tom Baker-era Doctor Who), and his somewhat sinister superior Dr. Martindale (John Carlisle) encounter haunted houses ("Visitations"), secret military experiments ("Night Games"), cases of apparent possession ("Powers of Darkness"), and all manner of psychic abilities, as well as a secret organization called Omega that plans world domination through mind control. Deftly handled by a host of TV veterans (many of whom also worked on Doctor Who, including producer George Gallaccio, director Paddy Russell, and writer Anthony Read, who also wrote the acclaimed U.K. sci-fi series Chocky and its sequels, which starred Hazeldine), The Omega Factor tackles its supernatural/conspiracy subject matter in a serious manner without sacrificing its inherent creepiness, much as The X-Files would 30 years later (the pleasing chemistry between Hazeldine and Jameson is also a forerunner to the Mulder-Scully relationship). Unfortunately, hysterical controversy from watchdog groups led to its early demise and enduring cult status. The three-DVD set includes the entire series, as well as a featurette of interviews with Gallaccio, Read, and co-producer/creator Jack Gershon; all three are featured on a commentary for the infamous "Powers of Darkness" episode (which garnered much of the public outcry during the series' broadcast), for which they're joined by director Eric Davidson. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

Department 7 is a secret branch of British government dedicated to investigating the supernatural. Its team of experts, led by Roy Martindale and Dr. Anne Reynolds, find themselves teamed with journalist Tom Crane, who is investigating similar cases for his newspaper.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
27 years for US fans, as it was released a year ago in a UK/Region 2 set, and now finally gets a Region 1 release. As a Dr. Who fan, I would always read and hear about this very obscure Scottish show dealing with the paranormal and starring Louise Jameson (Leela in Doctor Who) and involving several others behind the scenes who also worked on Who over it's long run (George Gallaccio, Anthony Read, Peter Grimwade, Anthony Read, Paddy Russell, Norman Stewart, Kenny McBain).

Unlike the 26 straight years that Doctor Who ran, The Omega Factor only ran one season. Due to budget constraints of this sci-fi show, the normal run of 13 episodes had to be chopped down to only 10, futher adding to the cult status of this very short lived program. The other factor that adds to the mystique of the show was that it had never been re-run, and never released on video until now. I attempted to track down bootleg copies of the show, but the mystery was still upheld when I would try to play the dreadful quality, multi generation copy in my VCR and found that it was virtually unwatchable. The only way bootleg tapes were floating around was that someone in 1979 must have had a VCR and taped it, and so started the poor generation copies that floated around through the years.

Even this DVD release shows signs of poor quality orginals, especially evidence in episode 1, with lots of artifacts, grain, and all sorts of weird interference showing up on screen. After episode 1, the clarity is better and remains a decent quality throughout the other episodes.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So many years of obscurity at an end May 10, 2006
The hero is a journalist who writes stories about the paranormal who may have certain abilities himself. Tragic events in the first episode bring him in contact with Louise Jameson (of Dr. Who fame) and a government agency which also investigates the paranormal.

As the first reviewer, I must give a little of the history of this negleted treasure. This is from my own memory, so bare with me.

Nearly 30 years ago, long before X-Files, this series dealt with a secret branch of government investigating paranormal matters. I watched it way back then, and enjoyed it greatly. I would talk to people about it but NOBODY heard of it. It was never released on VHS nor was it rerun. I am so glad they are now available on DVD.

What happened to it was that there was a censorship campaign against it. An influential crusader against controversial shows denoounced Omega and the BBC buckled. A strange claim, since the show is a fairly tame treatment of ghosties, government conspiracies, witches, mind control, cults, and what not. Apparently the crusade worked well, because it was canceled after a season and laid unspoken of in the BBC vaults all these years.

That's the official version anyway. I happen to think the powers that be did not like the undercurrents of government mind control experiments. The third episode features a backstory of sonic devices for crowd control that we use today.

The crew did fairly well with a desperately low budget. Location shooting in spooky Scotland greatly enhanced the shows. They scattered in some interesting background music. Look out for cuts from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and a little bit of the obscure Tangerine Dream albumn, Richochet.

Quality of the DVD is good considering the ill treatment of the source material. There is a commentary track, and a featurette which are nice extras. A good set. Should be a good buy for anyone interested in lesser known works in the genre.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a show that definitely needs to be remade. December 4, 2006
I first saw The Omega Factor on my local PBS station years ago. I missed the first episode, but watched the other nine and I was disappointed that it was never rerun or released on video. I finally bought it on DVD and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the whole series for the first time. I especially liked the twists in the last two stories when Martindale was revealed to be a member of the Omega group, but was willing to defy them when it came to Tom Crane.

Unfortunately, the BBC came up against that self-appointed protector of the morals of the British public Mary Whitehouse and they caved in to her demands (they had done it before when they altered the ending of the third episode of the Doctor Who story "The Deadly Assassin") so a second season of Omega Factor was never made, which is a shame because there were many questions left unanswered. I wish the BBC would remake the series from the beginning and bring it to a conclusion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait! November 10, 2013
Verified Purchase
For a short series produced outside the typical BBC area (Scotland) this series is different on so many levels. Unlike many other British SF titles this is NOT aimed at children, and the murky waters it navigates has more secrets than the X-Files . The stars are fresh, the stories are nothing like anything you've seen before, and the characters are real with prickly emotions and conflicting urges. While it will appear dated because the few effects it offers are anything but special, the experience is a great one. Unless, of course, you are one of those viewers who is looking for a show that is 'more like a fairy tale or nursery rhyme, told the same way, with the same result, over and over.' (That's an inside joke - that's the charge Roy Martindale levels at Tom and Ann when they reject the experimental music he offers).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A cult British series focusing on sci-fi and the supernatural
I remember watching episodes of the short-lived series, The Omega Factor as a kid. It had an interesting premise: A secret British department titled Department 7, set up to head... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Z Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is one of my favorite mystery/science fiction series. It is slightly dated and does not have much hi-tech special effects but the acting is great and the story is also. Read more
Published on August 27, 2010 by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars the undiscovered country indeed!
This is a little seen show, but don't let that obscurity keep you from checking this DVD out. It contains all ten episodes of the series, but also contains a documentary on the... Read more
Published on January 30, 2009 by bOoKwOrM
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting series.
I never saw this before until I purchased the dvd recently. Very interesting, even more so for seeing the combination of Louise Jameson AKA Leela from Doctor Who, teamed up with... Read more
Published on May 16, 2008 by Music Lover.
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent SF show
Sadly, some of the acting and the budgeting constraints limit the show. It never really reached what I would call its true potential. Read more
Published on May 4, 2008 by Jonathan
4.0 out of 5 stars ahead of its time and still intriguing!
this is a really good occult/weird phenomena series. wish there was more. i'd suggest re-creating it for a 2008 audience, but i have a feeling that network execs, writers,... Read more
Published on February 6, 2008 by Darrick Dishaw
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected... Read on
I ordered this DVD-set because I enjoy UK television SF form the Seventies. I just watched the last of the 10 episodes. Read more
Published on August 2, 2007 by Julio Punch
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of like the x files
This show is kind of like the x files but with a low budget.
Published on July 18, 2006 by Frank the BoZ
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