Forbidden Planet is Shakespeare in space, director Fred Wilcox threw The Tempest into the sci-fi genre at a time when the grand masters of science fiction were honing their craft and delivering some of the most influential stories and ideas, shaping the imaginations of filmmakers such as George Lucas, and it is as powerful and vibrant today as it was in 1956.

Its status in the sci-fi pantheon is both assured and well deserved and the iconic design is luminous on this new Blu-ray which is among the finest I’ve ever seen. The picture is sharp and colours rich, it is a feast for the eyes. The electronic score and special effects (in particular the Id Monster) may seem conventional now, but they retain, as does the whole film, a charm and a power to impress fifty four years later.

Following a rescue mission to the remote planet of Altair IV a crew captained by Leslie Nielsen come across Dr Morbius and his daughter Altaria and uncover the strange secrets of the planet in an incredibly fun and visionary sci-fi film, which is a must for all fans of the genre.

What sets this disc apart are the special features, which range from some priceless lost footage and a documentary of the Golden Age of Sci-fi with contributions from some of the filmmakers it inspired including George Lucas, James Cameron and Ridley Scott, to a host of features on Robby the Robot, a character on a par with Metropolis’ Maria and C-3P0.

It’s a must buy for fans of sci-fi, with a phenomenal transfer and a wealth of (truly) special features. Here’s the full list,

  • Deleted Scenes and Lost Footage
  • Two Robby the Robot features: Feature Film ‘The Invisible Boy’ / The Thin man TV Series episode ‘Robot Client’
  • TCM Original documentary ‘Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950’s and us’
  • Amazing! Exploding the far reaches of Forbidden Planet
  • Robby the Robot – Engineering a Sci-Fi Icon
  • Theatrical trailers of Forbidden Planet and The Invisible Boy

The Blu-ray of Forbidden Planet is out today, and it’s at a ridiculously low price at the usual internet haunts, and well worth checking out.