Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
The Professionals MK IV Series 4 and 5 restored 2016 Network DVD is best edition
on 12 August 2011
Update on review from 2011
Amazon have a habit of putting reviews written for old editions of a product onto new editions of a product.
Therefore this review relates firstly to the new edition of The Professionals MK4 by Network that has been restored and released in 2016.
And then Secondly to a review Written by me some years ago for the old edition
By contender. I have added this at the end.
NEW EDITION RESTORED BY NETWORK DVD 2016
At last. Network DVD have released the final set of episodes from the restoration project for the brilliant series The Professionals.
I have watched the set (also available in blu Ray) and just as you would hope, Network have not let us down.
As with the previous editions MK1, MKII, MKIII, this MKIV is excellent. The final episodes look and sound fantastic. There is Incredible Picture quality and attention to detail.
Just like the earlier restored episodes of the professionals this fourth set has been faithfully restored (with help from the BBC) to the usual high standard of Network DVD.
Most important of all it is great to see these episodes looking so fabulous.
. The picture is much more clear and sharp than any other previous release for these further episodes. The re balance of contrast and colour is truly wonderful.
The original film stock may not have been the greatest quality but it doesn't matter because the restoration is a massive improvement on the previous releases. The series easily looks better in HD than it did before, let alone the bad copy re edits that have appeared on DVD or TV ever since. The picture is stunning in comparison.
Network DVD really have treated the cult series with respect. They have put all the episodes in correct production running order. Previous DVD releases by other companies have just been digital copies (calling them digital remastered)
But these Network editions have truly been restored and remastered taking each negative at a time. Picture has been cleaned up and re balanced. A true restoration process
The episodes on this final set are, The Gun, Wild Justice, Black out, Its only a beautiful picture, Blood Sports, Hijack, You’ll be alright, Kickback, Discovered in a graveyard, Foxhole on the roof, The Ojuka situation, Operation Susie, The untouchables, Cry Wolf, A Man called Quinn, Lawson’s last stand, No stone, Spy probe.
When the Professionals was being made, each series was marked by transmission periods. And sources for series information do vary a bit since not all ITV regions transmitted episodes at the same time. Generally it is felt that there are five series.
Network have divided the episodes and series by Production order and Production breaks. Hence Network’s release of the first batch of episodes before a break in production is known as MK1 the second batch MKII and Third batch MKIII rather than SERIES I, II, III.
Then we get to this MIV. All the episodes of that production period are here until they had a production break. However there were only a few episodes in the fourth production period which meant that Network would have to either have a small release for MKIV with just a few episodes in it, and then a bigger set for MKV, or do what they have done and include those final episodes into MKIV. (4) On the box Network DVD acknowledge this by stating that MKIV contains the final episodes from SERIES 4 AND 5.
Original production periods were
13 episodes then a break, making MKI, or series one
13 episodes and another break making MKII, or series two
13 episodes and a break making MKIII. Or series three
8 episodes and a break making MKIV or series four
10 episodes and no more making MKV. Or series five
Network have combined all the remaining episodes after MKIII in this extended set MKIV 18 episodes series four and five.
The DVD release Will be delayed for this series four just like the DVD releases of earlier sets.
The picture quality is excellent in HD on Blu Ray. And the restored picture will look great on DVD anyway. The Blu Ray edition will obviously display the picture in its original square like centre of the screen 4.3 format with black edges but in correct picture proportion. If you cannot afford the Blu Ray edition or prefer to stick with a DVD edition, the restoration will still look better than any previous DVD released for these episodes so it will be worth waiting for. Even if not as good as Blu Ray. The DVD sets look fantastic and easily the best DVD editions ever/
This is easily the best release of series four and five so far. There is the restored picture and sound. The true episodes in production order. There is a booklet that is similar to the one that came with the earlier editions MKI-MKIII. These Andrew Pixley books are really good. They give you so much production information and it shows just how much Network DVD have cared for this cult series. Network are, in my opinion, the best caretakers of cult programmes. There are other extra features including subtitles in English.
It is nicely presented and I love the box design that is in true keeping with the series opening and closing credit colour and design. And DVD set is a bigger box than the previous MKI-MKIII sets.
Just in case you are not familiar with the Professionals what is it all about?
Criminal Intelligence 5, or CI5 is a special branch of British Law that deals with crime of a serious nature that go beyond the capability of the police. It is a Unit that is instructed by the Home Secretary.
CI5 is fictitious but it enabled the writers to give our heroes a wide variety of situations to deal with.
It has similar appearance to the real MI5 or CID but being fictitious also gave the show more artistic licence that the portrayal of the Flying Squad in The Sweeney. CI5 deal with espionage, cold war problems, terrorists, civil unrest, and large scale crime.
The head of CI5 is George Cowley, a no nonsense leader that believes in fighting fire with fire. His best agents are Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw), a softer more caring but hot headed ex detective constable who has worked the tough parts of London, and William Bodie (Lewis Collins) who is an ex paratrooper and SAS sergeant with a calmer but tough attitude.
The pair are a solid unit, faithful to each other and prepared to break the rules if it gets the right result.
Both actors Shaw and Collins had played villains on an episode of The New Avengers ('Obsession') together the year before series one.
The show has a lot of variety in the plot lines and plenty of action. The show is fast paced without a dull moment.
There are a number of cars featured in the series with some Rover models, some Triumph models, a Leyland Princess and a Dolomite Spirit. Later series feature cars by Ford with the Capri, Granada, Escort and Cortina.
If you are a fan of the Professionals this is the best release of the remaining episodes to date. If you already have the restored MKI-MKIII do not hesitate to complete the set. It has been a fabulous project by Network.
OLD EDITION BY CONTENDER DVD
Firstly I recommend you don’t bother with this set, go with the set above known as The Professionals MK IV by Network DVD
Series four of the great show The Professionals continues the now established and successful adventures of CI5 with Cowley, Doyle and Bodie.
The entire fourth series is presented nicely in this DVD set. The Professionals is an exciting series from the 1970s. This fourth series is very good.
The series was produced by Raymond Menmuir. Albert Fennell, Brian Clemens and composer Laurie Johnson had worked together in the 1960s and together had created MK1 productions to make the New Avengers. The same team as MK1 productions now produced The Professionals.
Series four, the final series, sees some interesting plot lines. There is a story that involves a bullion shipment being hijacked. Another story has Bodie and Doyle trying to protect a gang member who has given himself up. Another story sees Doyle get seriously injured and Bodie has to work alone. Then there is another story where there is a sniper at a hospital.
In this series the plot lines are getting more predictable and there are many themes being re used. We get Bodie and Doyle trying to stop a mentally ill ex secret agent who is loose and out for revenge. We also get a story about Bodie and Doyle trying to protect a visiting deposed African dictator. And in the final episode a group is assassinating retired spies and Bodie and Doyle have to try to stop them.
This DVD set contains all of the shows from the fourth series. It is uncut. And has been digitally re mastered. The picture quality is not that great. It is grainy at times. The series is spread over four DVD discs and they are neatly displayed in a good fold out box. It is a great series from a by gone age. It is most enjoyable.