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33
4.5 out of 5 stars
Turtle's Progress - The Complete Series [DVD]
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2011
Anyone of a certain age has fond memories of TV shows that on re-watching don't quite live up to expectations. This is an exception. The contrasting characters of Turtle and 'Razor' Eddie, one a scheming coward, the other a laconic hardman, gell perfectly. Attwell as Eddie is perfect. A polite charmer who at the moment it's required oozes menace. The big surprise is John Landrey as Turtle. Bags of energy in his performance. It's a shame that he seemed to disappear of the acting map.
Presentation is surprisingly good. Well done to Network DVD for sourcing this supposedly long lost item. Worth every penny.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2012
I can remember the original broadcast of this series and my disappointment when it was pulled after the second series.
When I found it to have been transferred to DVD I had to have it, as with this type of thing, I expected that it would fall short of my expectation, I was pleasantly surprised, the transfer is excellent and every episode is a delight, if you remember this series and are in two minds whether to shell out the not inconsiderable cost, take my advise and go for it, you will not be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
First, the cost ...

At the time of writing this review, you're being asked to pay around £30 which is way out of line ... but that will be because the re-release of this old series was limited in terms of both timescale and numbers of DVD's issued. Presumably it has yet to have a major re-release.

Now for the series ...

On the surface it would seem to be a no-hoper: The acting when actors have to affect accents such as American or Corsican are truly awful. Some of the incidental characters are also acted pretty poorly - and as for extras in 'The Robin' (Turtle and Eddie's pub) they're a collection of every thug-like bit-part actor you ever saw in films and TV series made in the 60's or early 70's.

BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS - in fact, they enhance the humour, even though that was probably never the intention.

The repartee and one-liners shared between the major characters, especially Turtle, Eddie, Inspector Rafferty and George are truly funny - and become funnier as the series and characters bedded themselves in and were continually developed by Edmund Ward, the writer of every episode. Of especial merit is the non-acting of Ruby Head whose impassive expression is a perfect foil for the strings of one-liners, put-downs. anecdotes and niggles that she forever spouts.

Perhaps the style that best describes the delivery of all the humour is the way that none of the actors make much of it. They almost throw away their lines and never dwell on anything as if trying to raise laughs.

Being such an old series, events are not continually swamped with background music or canned laughter - everything is played dead straight and the whole series is an absolute gem.

As for my original niggle - the cost ... I DID pay an arm and a leg for my set but even though it felt like a rip-off at first, I've since watched the entire series three times which comes out so far at £10 per viewing. Which isn't bad. Also, each time I watch it, I see and hear something I'd missed before. if ever I need cheering up, this is one of the DVD sets that I reach for.

All-in-all, for me, this is one of the best light-hearted drama series I've ever seen.

And as for how Michael Attwell as Razor Eddie avoided putting on weight after troughing all the pies and breakfasts that he gets through --- it's a mystery. But his acting, alongside that of the brilliant John Landry, has to be commended as a masterclass in the art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2013
Seeing this again after 30 years plus was worth the wait, I had forgotten the series name until saw the cover and recognised "razor Eddie"
Great story's, characters that Minder seemed to have borrowed, from aunt Ethel to the police chief and the gin swigging ten year old Jason.
Iam sure one day a remake may happen, but like Randall and hopkirk the original is the best.
As another reviewer wrote lots of violence, but never seen, great direction.
As far as 70s comedy drama go this is my favourite and the DVD transfer quality is excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved this series first time around.
I was really looking forward to watching it again but must confess I am a little disappointed.
This show has not stood the test of time well.
The idea of the show, about a small time crook who manages to accidentally steal a haul of stolen safety deposit boxes robbed from a bank by another criminal gang is quite clever.
But Turtle's Progress is very dated, more so than other seventies programs in my opinion.
I still enjoyed watching it again, but it lost a little second time, 30 years later.
Still its a decent trip down memory lane.
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on 1 September 2012
I saw this series when I was living in the UK in 1979. What a gem. Of course, anyone who has seen it knows that it's worth the money just for the theme song.

So here's the gist: Turtle and Razor Eddie, a couple of Cockney thieves, find themselves with the safe deposit boxes of dozens of wealthy and sinister folks. Each week, they open a new box and deal with the various complications thereof, such as extorting money for the return of the contents and avoiding being killed by their owner. What would you do if you had your hands on the secrets (and secret assets) of so many nefarious people? At the same time, more than a few dangerous people have been tracking down the perpetrators of the theft to get their boxes back. Turtle and Razor Eddit race to try to stay ahead of their trackers, who would happily kill to preserve their secrets and punish those who might have found out what those secrets are.

John Landry as Turtle and Michael Atwell as Razor Eddie shine as a couple of amiable thieves who find themselves in far more trouble than they imagined.

If nothing else, this boxed set is a real jewel. For decades since 1980 there have been stories about how all the original tapes had been destroyed or had deteriorated and were past saving; essentially, the show had passed into legend. I think it's one of the best shows of all time. Do yourself a favor and give Turtle and Razor Eddie a try.
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on 11 June 2013
Edmund Ward's grasp of comic incident and dialogue is as firm here in Turtle's Progress as his flair for nail biting gritty drama is in The Hanged Man (the series in which the two characters originally appeared) and the film 'Kings and Desperate Men' which starred Patrick Mcgoohan. For one writer to be equally adept at comedy and drama is unusual and noteworthy.
Some of the other reviewers have commented on the price. I think I paid about £25 - £30 for my copy and it's worth every penny just for razor Eddie's laconic asides, especially when he has just dealt with some unfortunate thug off screen - 'Never try for a drop kick in an enclosed space. Your head's too close to the wall.' Michael Attwell as Razor Eddie is simply superb - the coolest character that ever swaggered across the small screen. And John Landry as Turtle gives an energetically comic performance, all nervous ticks and uneasy smiles - a joy to watch. Also, because Ward has packed the writing so densely with comic asides you can watch each episode several times without tiring - there's always some gem you missed on first viewing.
Terrific value at almost any price.
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I remembered this from back in the late 70s and had always enjoyed it then. I was worried that I'd find it hadn't stood the test of time but I needn't have been bothered.
Yes it looks dated: hardly surprising considering it was shown in 1977. In fact it was on the TV just before the very first series of Minder hit the screens. The similarity in style is obvious but Turtle's progress is of a different concept.
Each episode revolves around Turtle and his oppo Razor Eddie opening one of a load of safety deposit boxes which were in the back of a van stolen by Eddie. The boxes were a haul of loot nicked by some villains who got collared in the act. It was while they were getting lifted by the old Bill that Eddie nicked the van. Now the villains and the owners of the stolen deposit boxes are all trying to track them down before the police do since every box holds one, if not more, piece of incriminating evidence against the good, the bad and high up.

If you saw it originally then definitely worth a revisit.
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on 23 September 2013
I must admit: I liked this series when it was first broadcast.

All those years ago.

I waited patiently for repeats... which never happened...
(Why don't they ever repeat the good stuff?)

Long after I gave up hoping, these DVDs were finally released.

And they are truly great. Every bit as good as I remember.

Such a shame that the series didn't get a better following back in the day.
It was "Minder" before "Minder" - only much better.

And such a shame that Michael Attwell isn't around to hear us say how much we enjoyed it.

So, for the benefit of John F. Landry (if perhaps he'll ever read this) and the ghost of the Mr. Attwell, let me say: "Good job guys: both lovely characters, beautifully played. If you ever need to store a safety deposit box in an attic, just let me know."
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on 20 November 2012
I have a fading memory of the original series which has stuck with me all these years. When the series became available it was a must-have. From the first episode introducing Razor Eddie and Turtle once more I recalled why I remembered this so fondly. There are echoes of Minder but it is different. Eddie is more calculating in his willingness to occasionally flex his muscles to protect Turtle and his investment. Turtle is more inept than Arthur daley - more a wheeler and dealer wannabee than the real deal. However, he does have a crafty brain as well as a streak of cowardice. The faithful reproduction of the original tv episodes has 'end of part 1' and 'part 2' etc coming up on screen. I found myself wishing to see the adverts just for nostalgia sake. Nonetheless, this is a cracking watch and deserves to be re-discovered (not re-made).
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