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4.7 out of 5 stars95
4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2006
You may not remember this series. I didn't. It's from the days when police were the salt of the earth, everyone hated a bent copper, and villains were precisely that. That said, these programmes aren't simplistic: there's a reason for most criminal behaviour seen in these programmes (perhaps unlike real life) and no criminal is wholly bad. The stories are interesting and above the usual cops and robbers fare.

I like them particularly for the scenes of city life they show, Unlike the Saint, for example, there was no need in Gideon to show exotic locations. As it is, you see London as it was in the 1960s.

One correction to an earlier reviewer (I suspect he is kicking himself anyway): the author of the Gideon series was John Creasey, not Leslie Charteris. Creasey's prose was never a patch on Charteris'.

If you want a generous helping of bygone London, look no further than Gideon's Way.
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on 21 August 2007
What a treat. This really brings back the memories of a Britain long gone.
Policemen walked the streets back then; didn't have personal radio's, police telephone boxes of Tardis fame sufficed for communication. They drove around in black Wolseley cars - equipped with the latest in radiophone technology. Seeing the decor of the houses featured in the series, interior design wasn't even a twinkle in the eye, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen would have had a field day. The location filming is a running documentary on Sixties Britain, shopping, fashion, attitudes, London Docklands before it went up market, cars(Humbers, Zephyrs, Jaguars,et al), London's gangland it's all in the mix.

Apart from the nostalgia the storylines are surprisingly gritty too, with endings that occasionally catch you on the hop with an unexpected twist in the tail. John Gregson is great as Commander George Gideon, warm and sociable with an uncanny knack of apprehending the villain in the very act of committing the dastardly deed. The medley of actors that appear will have your head spinning, from Finlay Currie near the end of his career to an early outing for John Hurt.

I loved this set for all of the above and more, it is British television at it's best.
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on 5 September 2006
This seven dvd set contains twenty six hour long episodes all made in glorious black and white from 1964. The series was filmed alongside the first episodes of the Saint starring Roger Moore, and based on the Gideon books written by Leslie Charteris or his nom de plume J.J. Marric. Script supervisor on the series was Harrry W. Junkin who also wrote on the Saint series
Starring John Gregson as commander George Gideon who had been in many British films including Genevieve and The Lavender Hill Mob.
The episodes contain many gripping plots and are full of familiar faces whose names you may not recall but remind us of the time when almost everyone watched t.v. and most people had a "did you see so and so last night" conversation at work the next day.

I love this set and it brings a smile to the face to see fire engines rushing to a fire with a firemen hanging out of the front window of the fire truck ringing the bell to warn traffic, and to see the old blue police boxes as in Dr. Who with the flashing blue light on top. There seemed to be a policeman on every street corner who ran to answer the phone.

Superb!
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This series was based on the novels by John Creasey. It is an outstanding series that has sadly been largely forgotten about. It is a most enjoyable set of stories. This DVD set brings together all of the episodes of this classic series originally produced by ITC. It was originally transmitted in 1965 to 1966 in the UK.
Gideon's Way is about the CID investigations of Commander George Gideon and his partner, Chief Inspector David Keen. They have both worked their way up through the Police force. They tackle all sorts of crime.
The series was made in Black and White and the Picture and sound are excellent. The directing, acting and production is very good.
This series doesn't rely on exotic locations. Instead we get a slice of life in sixties London. There are many outside location shots which give us a great insight into the real world of the mid sixties. These location shots were rare for a series of this era. Most other series would rely on brief clips taken from stock footage backed up with a few studio street scenes. This series is like a modern day show in that we are actually taken outside into the streets.
The series is also about a variety of crimes including petty crimes and domestic problems. It has an element of the ordinary which makes it stand out from other glamorous ITC shows. And yet the production still has a slick style that makes ordinary life situations seem just as interesting as the other sort of series with international locations.
If you liked other ITC shows you will definitely like this one. It has not been remembered as well as other shows like" The Saint" or "The Prisoner" but I suspect that this is because this show was made in black and white.
A couple of years after this show was made the other ITC shows were all made in colour despite the fact that most people still only had black and white TV sets in the UK. (this was so they could sell the shows abroad) And a few years later most of the British TV output was in colour. ITV were able to repeat those colour shows to help bulk out their new colour schedule. And black and white series such as Gideon's Way were not so favourable for a new colour schedule. Gideon`s way was quickly forgotten about while the colour series gained more popularity through their colour repeats that went on into the seventies. However this series is just as good as those later colour series and when you watch these episodes you soon forget that they are in black and white.
There are some very clever stories that are well written and the whole show has a great atmosphere. It is a first rate classic British show that is highly recommendable.
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on 30 November 2007
John Creasy left a still uncharted ouevre of well over 500 books. Given
that number it's not surprising that some of them are of indifferent
quality. The Gideon series to me were his strongest books: Creasy is
one of the few authors who can write realistic police procedurals from
the point of view of a manager rather than the ordinary copper. Gideon
is not only in charge of solving crime but also encounters leadership
issues and has a lively and large family. This makes the books original
reading. Plus in the Gideon books there is interesting comment on the
state of the nation- hardly surprising when you know that Creasy was
head of a political movement in the 60s. The TV series takes many
elements of the books. Needless to say that the 40/45 minutes format
does not manage to present a variety of cases at a given moment but
rather one case per episode. The interstinmg thing about the series is
that within this format there are hardly any flat characters
particularly amongst the bad guys. Although there is no sympathy there
is a lotof empathy in the complex character sketches: check out the
episodes "White Rat" with a great performance by Ray Mcanally as
psychotic albino gangster or the episode about a former concentration
camp inmate. That's what makes the series so special, this wealth of
character. I think only The Sweeney ever managed to get anywhere near
that. The stories are well paced, well told and there is an amazing
array of really great actors in this series. The other thing is that in view of censorship in the 60s Gideon's Way is quite amazingly open and realistic (particularly compared to US stuff of the time). What really impressed me was the stark contrast of the "new" London of the 1960s and the squalor some people were still living in at the time (Creasy points that out in Gideon's Fire) and the enormous social change going on at the time. My favourite episode is "The thin red line" -not based on a Creasy novel- which is both a fairly touching story but also a scalding satire on the army.
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on 21 November 2006
the one difference you will notice straight away about this series, is its gritty realism and lack of glamour. just what this should be.

the main character(well played by john gregson), is simply an ordinary police officer from scotland yard faced with the everyday problem of solving crime.

the extensive location footage is a bonus to say the least; not the usual studio-bound stuff that we are used to.

one of the best british t.v programmes ever made and certianly different at the time.
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on 17 June 2008
I bought this great series thanks to the reviews. My wife made me discover the GIDEON novels fifteen years ago. As Marric is not fashionable we were able to buy first editions in London at reasonable price. Of course, I am now a fan. I am also impressed by the lists of Creasey's novels in the 20TH CENTURY CRIME AND MYSTERY WRITERS.
As an old movie buff, I knew the John Ford picture and I was afraid that John Gregson wouldn't measure up to Jack Hawkins who had the build and the talent for the character.
Fortunately, Gregson is a winner; quite convincing. I had admired him since I saw GENEVIEVE in my youth.
Thanks again to all the people who made me buy this great series (with great location shooting)
Olivier COMTE
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on 1 February 2006
Network as done a superb job with this handsomely packaged set. A wealth of important facts on the history of this excellent British series. The episodes are presented in production order and some include the original U.S. openings. The booklet includes a colour still from each segment, a detailed episode guide with complete cast lists plus production information.
Buy It.
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on 27 August 2006
I had never seen this series before (I was born in the year it was made!) but bought it knowing I would get some enjoyment from it anyway. I watched the first episode and was stunned by the quality of the programme! From the acting to the camera work to the dvd restoration, it's all there to make this one of the most treasured dvd's I own. It reminds me of 'The Bill' when it first started (before it was turned into a dull soap opera as it is now).Top class entertainment.
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on 7 March 2012
Back in the 1960s, British television was still developing and many legendary TV shows hadn't even been created. Roger Moore's The Saint arrived on our screens in 1962 and offered the viewer a hero who tackles villainy and saves the day without so much as breaking out in a sweat. This was just the sort of tongue in the cheek escapism that ITC opted for with further shows of the era following suite such as The Baron, The Champions, Department S and Randall & Hopkirk.

The nearset the public got to watching a modern day bobby fighting crime was Jack Warner's George Dixon who graced our screen with a warm smile and a final line to say the streets were safe once more after dealing with an episode of crime fighting. Dixon of Dock Green was a good show in it's own right for the time, however a new series arrived on the scene in 1965 called Gideons Way.

Gideons Way was a raw British police series at it's very best that got under the fingernails of crime fighting. This was a very much a 'darker' series in that unlike many other ITC shows, people died brutal deaths (including innocent victims), people actually bleed on screen and sometimes even the bad guy gets away with the crime! Gideons Way was made a decade before the Sweeney and had very similar qualities. The series was shot on location around the grimey, sooty, slum ridden streets of 1960s London (still when the city was recovering from the destruction of the war twenty years before!). This was long before the days of modern redevelopment, posh office blocks and designer shops.

The location filming was unique for the time in that many shows of this era where shot in a studio or on a sound stage (The Saint for one!). The characters didn't lead lavish lifestyles and didn't always go home to a happy ending either. This was true to life as possible for life in 60s London.

The late John Gregson (who died suddenly in 1975 at the young age of 55) leads this show through 26 enjoyable episodes as the warm but stern Commander George Gideon. His reliable number two is Chief Inspector David Keen (played by Alexander Davion) a young up & coming detective with an eye for the ladies.

The show tackles some strong stories for the era including murder, blackmail, armed robbery, arson, domestic & child abuse to name but a few, which was quite gripping for 60s television. I purchased this box set blind a few years ago and have to say that it is one of the most enjoyable shows I have seen.

The black & white film adds to the atmosphere of the programme and the show is awash with many well known actors making guest appearances some who have gone on to big things (a young John Hurt appears as an escaped prisoner in the first episode). I would say that anyone who is a fan of the Sweeney should invest time to watch Gideons Way as this is solid television from a different era of time when modern life was a daily struggle and the villains where true blaggers and robbers.

Well worth the money!
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