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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy / Smiley's People Double Pack [DVD] 
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Double bill of BBC espionage drama mini-series based on the novels by John Le Carré and starring Alec Guinness as master spy George Smiley. In 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' (1979), Smiley has been in 'retirement' for some time, some say owing to his mishandling of the Czech scandal. However, the retiring superspy finds himself summoned back to the 'Circus' (British secret service) when it transpires that an enemy infiltrator is at work in the department. Smiley returns once again to his old department in 'Smiley's People' (1982) following the murder of his friend, General Vladimir, a Russian who once worked for British Intelligence. When it transpires that Vladimir was in fact a double agent, Smiley becomes engaged in a battle of wills with his old adversaries at the Moscow Centre.
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As other reviewers have noted, however, this "box set" is simply the BBC's existing DVD releases from 2003/2004 put in a new carboard box. The sound and picture quality really are a bit mediocre at times. Given that this is one of the jewels in the crown of the BBC's output, and there's interest from the film version, you'd think one of the suits at BBC Enterprises would see fit to have this material remastered. The sound could definately benefit from a clean-up with modern techniques... the picture was all shot on 16 mm film, so it's not capable of being "high definition" resolution, but other releases have shown that nonetheless, the superior compression codecs on BluRay make 16 mm film look considerably better than MPEG munging imparted by DVD (particularly if the original film negatives are still available...?)
Considering the BBC regular undertake this kind of remastering work for dodgy old episodes of Doctor Who, you'd think they'd make the effort for this!
So - 5 stars for the content, but only 3 for this repackaging, which smacks of the BBC trying to just flog a few quid out of their back catalogue without giving it the artistic respect it deserves.
The most relevant feature of this DVD is, the marvellous, glorious acting of Sir Alec Guiness - he brings John Le Carre's character of George Smiley to life. If these programme are new to you, or you weren't born in the 1970/1980's you are best advised to watch them especially for the very fine dramatic acting of Sir Alec Guiness, and the other associated great actors of this time period. If like me you like Espionage type thrillers (with very complex/convulted plots) this is the film for you. Its very dated time period is its key element - capturing a time of our pasts who great relevance to the contemporary world - because don't forget Spies work for goverments.
Good films to me are about showing you an alternative time periods - because the past is important. If spies and government plots interest you, then this is the DVD for you, because DVD's can be watched over-and-over again - without being boring. In my opinion this DVD is 20 out of 10 - truly magnificent. Seemleesly superb great acting - always watchable, and always engaging. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy & Smiley's People - brilliant, exciting, interesting and enticing - buy this DVD now!Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People Double Pack [DVD] 
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For me, as I suspect for many people, Alec Guinness IS George Smiley. Faultless performances, gained from a lifetime of acting experience - and a pretty good cast list to support... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Not a huge fan of the author's other work, but perhaps Sir Alec brought that "something" to the role of George Smiley that made him such a great character . Love it!Published 1 month ago by Ww Mcilroy
The complete omnibus-edition of the 2 Le Carre dramas starring the late, great Sir Alec Guinness. Classic drama with superb acting and locations. Highly recommended.Published 1 month ago by Paul Fellows
2 classic series from the cold war, well worth having in your collection.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer