- Actors: Edward Woodward
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 6
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Network
- DVD Release Date: 10 May 2010
- Run Time: 1100 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0038409WE
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,781 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Callan - The Colour Years [DVD] 
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All 22 episodes from the third and fourth series of the ITV espionage drama, when the series began to be filmed in colour (from 1970). Edward Woodward stars as David Callan, the reluctant professional killer working for a shadowy branch of the British intelligence services known only as 'The Section'. Episodes are: 'Where Else Could I Go?', 'Summoned to Appear', 'The Same Trick Twice', 'A Village Called G', 'Suddenly - At Home', 'Act of Kindness', 'God Help Your Friends', 'Breakout', 'Amos Green Must Live', 'That'll Be the Day', 'Call Me Sir!', 'First Refusal', 'Rules of the Game', 'If He Can, So Could I', 'None of Your Business', 'Charlie Says It's Goodbye', 'I Never Wanted the Job', 'The Carrier', 'The Contract', 'The Richmond File: Call Me Enemy', 'The Richmond File: Do You Recognise the Woman?' and 'The Richmond File: A Man Like Me'.
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Top customer reviews
Then Callan returned in 1970 in full colour production. The first episode shows Callan survived his ordeal and he soon returns to his role as a undercover agent. The only disappointment was the absence of Toby Meyers, as Anthony Valentine was unavailable for filming during the third series. His role however is filled by newcomer James Cross (played by Emmerdale's Patrick Mower) - a man so arrogant and volatile that he becomes something of a liability to the organisation. In the second episode, Cross causes the death of an innocent man by accidentally pushing him under a train, then to cover up any wrong doing, the organisation tries to prove suicide - much to the disgust of Callan. Another newcomer is William Squire's Hunter (the organisation's boss) and Russell Hunter reprises his role as Lonely.
After a successful third year, Callan returned for a fourth & final series in 1972. This saw the dramatic exit of James Cross and the welcome return of Toby Meyers (who appears to have more of a rapport with Callan this time round). The series climax is an excellent three parter in which Callan has to track down a rogue soviet agent (played by T P McKenna).
This DVD package contains all nine episodes of series three and the thirteen episodes of series four. Despite the theme to the stories, most are all pretty straight forward to follow (not like modern day BBC drama Spooks that leaves you scratching your head sometimes!). The introduction of colour makes Callan more easier to watch and the style of these stories is a marked improvement to the monochrome episodes.
One final point here. There are no extras on these discs that is a shame. When Edward Woodward passed away in 2009 - former Callan co-star Anthony Valentine spoke about his happy memories of him in a TV interview which I thought would have been a nice touch for these DVD sets that were released in 2010. Still we can't have everything! Worth buying all the same.
This release is the whole of series 3 and 4, and takes the series up to it's conclusion (with the exception of a one-off some 9 years later on Channel 4, which sadly is no present here). I can recommend it as one of the most polished and absorbing performances by an actor EVER (one Mr Woodward) and some sparking scripts that really show up modern tv. If I could give it 6 stars I would. Fantastic stuff!
If not the best, then certainly one of the best TV series ever made. It's a tough, slow burn spy drama, so don't expect flash cars, casinos on the French Riviera, or ladies in bikinis swigging vodka martinis. Instead, think lonely men, painting lead toy soldiers, in a grubby London bedsit, before their next adventure into the snub nosed and impersonal world of the spy game.
Often bleak, sometimes brutal and quite regularly moving, funny and clever, this features mostly excellent acting from a small cast and has several returning characters and a basic story arc, linking the (usually) individual episodes. This has had me engrossed for the last few weeks, with it's story lines and plot developments. There are many stand out moments and this comes highly recommended regardless of the fact that you may find yourself saying "But Mr Callan sir, I cant sir.. I'M ON BAIL" every time someone asks you to do something you don't want to. Or is that just me?
The Network release (2010) hasn't a single extra. The prints certainly watchable. Covering the whole of series 3&4 over six discs.
I jumped in with series 3 and was blown away. So much better than current stuff such as Spooks for instance. You have to make allowances for the poor quality of the recordings when compared with modern productions but I soon became so engrossed in the stories that I stopped noticing.
I have since bought all the episodes available, sadly several of the episodes from the black and white days have not survived.
Writing, acting and realism is superb.