26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sharp Mind Indeed!
Although made in the late 1960s/early 1970s, mainly in black & white, this series is well worth watching. Too many people insist on widescreen colour and so miss these gems from the past and much lamented golden age of television. I find that the black and white picture (which is of generally good quality)actually adds to the period atmosphere and nostalgia. The stories,...
Published on 11 Oct 2010 by What the Butler Saw
5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars R.I.P.Mr Reeder.
There is a tendency to view the classic TV series of yesteryear through Rose Coloured Spectacles. Van Der Valk, Public Eye, Secret Army and The Sweeney still work for me. Unfortunately "The Mind of Mr.J.G.Reeder" which was required viewing in my house first time around and which I loved simply fails to recapture it's former magic for me some forty years on.
Published on 26 Aug 2010 by alsmuse
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sharp Mind Indeed!,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Although made in the late 1960s/early 1970s, mainly in black & white, this series is well worth watching. Too many people insist on widescreen colour and so miss these gems from the past and much lamented golden age of television. I find that the black and white picture (which is of generally good quality)actually adds to the period atmosphere and nostalgia. The stories, which are set in the 1920s, are absorbing and Hugh Burden is a fine actor. Mr Reeder may seem mild mannered and unassuming but is anything but and can show a tough side when needed. He always gets his man, although his corpulent & monocoled boss, Sir Jason Toovey, invariably claims the credit. There are also many well known faces, for example John Le Mesurier (Dad's Army's Sergeant Wilson)as a rather sinister character! And a catchy signature tune too! I recommend this series wholeheartedly. Buy it.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable viewing experience,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Broadcast from 1969-71, I had never seen this drama series before, I was pleasantly surprised when settling down to watch it. Based on the short stories of Edgar Wallace, each episode runs for around fifty minutes, and are directed at a pace which allows the individual characters to shine through.
JG Reeder (Hugh Burden) is an innocuous looking fellow, who works as a civil servant at the department of public prosecutions in the 1920's, his mild, quitely spoken personality is deceptive, as Reeder has a unique talent for solving the most difficult of crimes, a talent well known to the London underworld, with crimes including murder, robbery and fraud.
Watching over Reeder is the imposing figure of his overbearing boss, Sir Jason Toovey (played by Willoughby Goddard). A gentle humour permeates through the series, with the theme tune and incidental music all adding to the charming atmosphere. All in all I found this collection to be a pleasant and relaxing way to unwind.
Apart from the first episode, overall picture and sound quality are good, no subtitles. the special features are image galleries on each of the four discs. Two of the sixteen episodes in this complete series are in colour, while a brief synopsis of each episode is featured on the inside of the single-size DVD case, which holds the 4 discs.
Here is a list of the episodes:
THE TREASURE HUNT - Reeder's boss Sir Jason Toovey receives an anonymous poison pen letter.
THE STEALER OF MARBLE - A managing director disappears with a substantial amount of money.
THE GREEN MAMBA - The Department is under pressure to put Mo Liski, the King of the underworld behind bars.
SHEER MELODRAMA - Reeder finds a notorious forger of banknotes one step ahead of him.
THE STRANGE CASE - Lord Sellington runs a refugee fund, and disapproves of his son's marriage to a commoner, when a forged letter requests money for the fund, the son falls under suspicion.
THE POETICAL POLICEMAN - Following a robbery at a bank, the branch manager Mr Green is under suspicion, as he has a previous conviction for embezzlement.
THE TROUPE - Mr Reeder sets out to trap a confidence trickster.
THE INVESTORS - A businessman walks into a shop to buy something for a friend - a coffin!
THE DUKE - A notorious Chicago gangster arrives in England to inherit a country estate from a long-lost cousin, on arriving a shot is fired at him.
MAN WITH A STRANGE TATTOO (COLOUR EPISODE) - When Lady Rothbard shoots and kills an intruder, Reeder investigates and suspects that the Lady has not told the truth.
THE SHADOW MAN - Reeder realises that a mastermind is behind a plan to defraud a large number of banks.
DEATH OF AN ANGEL - When a silent film actress is murdered and a man arrested, an unsatisfied Sir Jason sends Reeder to investigate.
THE WILLING VICTIM - After a bomb arrives at his office, and when a car almost runs him over, Reeder suspects that someone is trying to kill him.
THE FATAL ENGAGEMENT - When a female musical comedy star is murdered, it would appear that certain Peers of the Realm are connected, Reeder is then put on the case.
FIND THE LADY (COLOUR EPISODE) - A Debutante disappears just before being presented at Buckingham Palace - a dreadful traffic maybe?
THE TREASURE HOUSE - Someone tries to kill Reeder's friend - a reformed safe-breaker who suspects a love rival possibly? Reeder suspects otherwise, maybe more to do with a gold fortune.
Another very enjoyable release from Network.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugh Burden at his best...,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Hugh Burden was not the most well known actor on television when he was cast in the most befitting role of JG Reeder. As other reviewers have said this was almost compulsory viewing in many homes, ours included. I too, had waited many years for this series to surface and have to say was very surprised when it did.
The 16 shows are made up of 14 black & white and just 2 in colour. The inclusion of the larger than life character actor Willoughby Goddard as Sir Jason Toovey was perfect casting as the two actors work so well together.
The shows are often a mix of film and video and are a reminder of how in the 1970s television was advancing quickly and I do not think the shows come off badly at all. This is certainly a set I am pleased to own and I would certainly say that if you enjoy character led plots then JG Reeder is the man for you.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The music and the magic,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)I bought this series wondering weather I would still love it as much as I did when viewing it avidly forty years ago, I have now watched it theree times in a week and still feel excatly the same, Hugh Burden plays the part of JG Reader with such perfection, his elerquant diction and charming manners, I love the quaintness of it all.
I recall vividly forty years ago how I would stand in front of the television set waiting for that great catchy theme music called The Bango Boy to come on and I would dance around to it before settling down to watch the story unfold.
If you've not already done so buy it now.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About time too!,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Slovenly police officer be danged - the series is set in the Public Prosecutors office, with Reeder played by Hugh Burden under the bullying Willoughby Goddard as Sir Jason Toovey. This has as much in common with the original Wallace book as I have with Sexton Blake! In the book the detective was shabby and nondescript - Reeder in the series to a T - but the eponymous hero was working under the alias of an ex-con Johnny Gray (JG= John Gray Reeder) to uncover a forgery racket.
Hugh Burden plays Reeder as a nondescript civil service type, who sees much because unlike certain flamboyant detectives he just isn't noticed... an earlier British version of Columbo if you like, but without a Police warrant. For trivia buffs, the theme music is from the Chappell library and is called "Banjo Boy"... the BBC used it for the radio series "Parsley Sidings" in '71.
Now I know this is available I'm going to get it and I recommend you do too... (why can't we have stuff this good off the Vine?)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bullied in The Office - Feared in The Underworld,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Where I live this series was aired in the winter of 1972/73. I remember that watching this on Saturday evenings was the highlight of my week. I liked this show because Reeder seemed to me an unlikely protagonist and different from all the rest, after all, the only thing he had in common with Simon Templar was the ability to predict the ways of the ungodly. There was something encouraging in the thought that a mild man who struggled daily with his pen and ink and who was bullied by his superior in the office and by his (well-meaning) housekeeper at home, should also be a man held in great esteem and even feared by every well-informed criminal in England. Watching this dvd 39 years later, I find that this series has lost none of its appeal. The only thing that has changed is that a new layer of period charm (that of the early '70s) has developed on top of the original 1920's. As other reviewers have pointed out, this does not have the production values of, for example, Poirot. But then again, Reeder series could employ persons who had actually lived through the 1920's. Much of the greatness lies in the characterization - Sir Jason and Mrs Houchin border on caricature in their deliciously foolish attempts to put reins to Reeder's mode of investigation. In the end, Reeder's achievements seem even more brilliant because, in addition to catching the criminal, he manages to discreetly cover up the bumblings of others. Reeder, who has the appearance of an absent-minded professor, is obviously not a ladies man. But there is a certain Ms Bellman who seems to appreciate Reeder's wit and discretion, and who also happens to be a romantic (in a very shy and respectable way, of course). An added attraction is the appearance of a new secretary in each episode. I can only join in with the other reviewers in their praise of the actors. So glad to find this series on dvd, I didn't realize how much I had missed its unique atmosphere.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty whodunnit,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)This is one of my favourite series. It has the whodunnit aspect but it is the humour that makes it stand out for me. I bought the DVD on its first release and watch it more often than any other series. It inspired me to buy the books, which it follows meticulously (apart from the initial story about Johnny Gray Reeder) so I could find out what happened to Mr Reeder's romance. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable series,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)We've been collecting a lot of the recent releases (mostly by Network) of 1970's and 80's British television series, and "The Mind of Mr J.G. Reeder" is amongst our favourites. Unlike some of the other reviewers neither I nor my wife saw this series when it was first broadcast, so it has come as a pleasant surprise.
The series is mostly in black and white, with a combination of film and video material, depending on the shooting location. The prints are pretty well preserved, maybe lacking a little crispness, but the black and white tonal range is good and the soundtrack is fine.
The ensemble acting is excellent, and the actors portraying the central characters breathe life into their roles. The stories are strong, well plotted and ingenious - just enough clues so you can usually work out the solution to the crime.
Although there is no particular similarity between J.G. Reeder and Sherlock Holmes, and although the stores are set in the 1920s rather than the Victorian/Edwardian period, I think this series would nevertheless appeal strongly to Sherlock Holmes fans. Edgar Wallace's plot structures and the way the stories have been adapted for television is reminiscent of the Grenada television adaptations of Holmes, featuring Jeremy Brett.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oddball, funny and immensely watchable,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Over the last few years, I have grown increasingly tired of so many flashy, violent, unnecessarily complex and fast-edited TV series which are usually over-hyped with trailers and then prove to be disappointing and rarely worthy of remembering. Fortunately, there has recently been an upsurge in the release of many series from the 60's through to the 80's which, although simpler and made on low budgets (and often with some dodgey acting by bit-part players) are nevertheless immensely watchable and fun. 'The mind of J.G.Reeder, HAS to be one of the quirkiest and most entertaining.
Hugh Burden as the seemingly mild-mannered clerk with the brain and deviousness of a master criminal is a brilliant performance. I am aware of watching the series with a wry smile on my face almost the entire time that he is on screen. It's a surprise that nobody has thought to re-make this series, but if they did, I doubt they could make a better job of it and, for reasons I've outlined, any such venture would probably be a disaappointment.
There is no flashiness here and although there IS a wealth of weak acting by some of the incidental characters, this doesn't matter in the slightest once you enter into the spirit and pure nostalgic joy of this old series. Wonderful.
Do take note of the disclaimer about the first story. The original film was lost but a copy was found which has been included on the DVD even though the quality is not as good as the rest of the programmes.
And as for the music ..... now that IS oddball with a capital 'O'!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars loving series,
This review is from: The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)Made in the 60', black and white story about prosecution service around 1920's London. Hugh Burden appears made for the role of unassuming, sometime shy, precise, human, extremly perspicace civil servant. Episodes in the form of typical crime story. Made with innocence and very few means and budget, the result is lovable. It is funny too. By the time you see the last episode you will be sorry it's the end: you will have, with pleasure to watch it again, since no other have been made of what I consider a little known jewel in british TV series.
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The Mind Of Mr JG Reeder - The Complete Series [DVD] by Hugh Burden (DVD - 2010)