Cult TV Legends

Starring: Patrick McGoohan, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis
Carlton Visual Entertainment
RRP: 9.99
Certificate: PG
Available now

The 1960s... spies and sleuths were everywhere on TV: good ones, disobedient ones, bold ones and sly ones, and every one of them stylish in a sharp suit. But do we really need a 'best of' DVD from Carlton that rounds up some quite familiar-looking ITC material on one disc. The cryptic answer is 'yes' and 'no' - but then what else would you expect from this bunch?

The Prisoner is represented by the highly overexposed Arrival which you'll no doubt already have, while The Persuaders arrives in the form of its first episode Overture, again a firm fave in the households of most cult TV fans. So far, nothing to write home about. But then things get interesting.

Instead of the pilots for Dangerman and The Saint as with the two other shows on the disc, we get something else entirely - stuff you'll want. Koroshi is one of the famed colour Dangerman episodes while House on Dragons Rock pits The Saint against a giant ant... yes, that one. See, now you're interested. While it's safe to say that the latter two episodes are not great, they do represent a pair of major entries on the 'wants list' of many a fan of 1960s TV so someone at Carlton has been paying attention. It's just a shame we couldn't have had four lost gems rather than two.

The sound quality on the disc is good and the prints are rich and colourful. However, some bad encoding reduces much of the action in House on Dragons Rock to a nasty blurry mess and there are distracting MPEG artefacts across all four episodes. On the plus side the fight sequence in Koroshi remains clear, despite some fast camera work and editing - it's also the best thing on the disc by far - and there's not too much dirt or sparkle save for a couple of bad moments which are really too short to be distracting.

So is it worth buying? Again, 'yes' and 'no'... Two overly familiar cult classics and two much sought after but rarely seen gems makes for a mixed disc but overall you'll probably want it.

One last gripe: What happened to the chapter points? Gone, that's what...

Anthony Clark

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