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Colin Smith (England)

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Quincy M.E: Series 3 [DVD]
Quincy M.E: Series 3 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jack Klugman
Price: £37.72

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still very entertaining, 13 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Quincy M.E: Series 3 [DVD] (DVD)
The picture and sound quality on this Acorn Media Region 2 release is good, with English subtitles. The extras are a Jack Klugman filmography and a photo gallery. The six discs are stored in a single-size DVD case.

Although a list of the episodes with synopsis can be found on the IMDb, I was slightly disappointed to discover there was no list of the titles on either the case or the disc labels themselves. Instead, the stories are listed numerically, for example, disc 3 is labelled "episodes 8-11" which can be a bit of a bind when searching for a particular story. Only by selecting an episode on the disc's menu do you find out the name of the story. After writing a list of the episodes for reference, I copied it out below...

1. No Deadly Secret.
2. A Blow To the Head... A Blow To the Heart.
3. A Dead Man's Truth.

4. A Question of Time.
5. Death Casts A Vote.
6. Tissue of Truth.
7. Holding Pattern.

8. Main Man.
9. The Hero Syndrome.
10. Touch of Death.
11. The Deadly Connection.

12. Last of the Dinosaurs.
13. Accomplice To Murder.
14. Matters of Life and Death.

15. Passing.
16. Crib Job.
17. Ashes To Ashes.

18. Gone But Not Forgotten.
19. Double Death.
20. Requiem For the Living.

"Quincy"... With the countless repeats on TV down the years, is there anyone left out there who doesn't know him?... Running from 1976-83, QUINCY remains very entertaining early pre-CSI fare from producer Glen A. Larson (Knight Rider), blending meticulous forensic investigation & well-paced police procedure. The 46-minute (approx) episodes are a varied collection of engagingly written crime dramas.

The titular character was Jack Klugman's career defining role, as the hyperactive L.A. coroner who when he gets his teeth into a case, never lets go. Often with a mischievous disregard for regulations, Quincy frequently finds himself at loggerheads with his boss, Dr Robert Asten (John S. Ragin) and often takes the lead in the police investigations headed by the LAPD's Lieutenant Frank Monahan (Garry Walberg) while always backed to the hilt by his lab assistant & good friend, Sam Fujiyama (Robert Ito).

With many cases appearing "open & shut", the determined Dr Quincy chips away until finally revealing the truth. With an occasional dash of humour, sometimes the dialogue errs on the side of cheesy but this only gives the show an extra warmth & all the performances are good. Even without the nostalgia angle, the series still looks and feels good - a great trip down memory lane!

Energizer Ultra Plus AA Batteries (Pack of 18)
Energizer Ultra Plus AA Batteries (Pack of 18)
Offered by PoundMax
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good value AA batteries, 10 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I use this brand regularly and they are good. When combining the current low asking price and delivery charge, this is still a bargain that beats all the supermarket offers I've come across so far. The product picture differs from what I received - instead of 18 batteries in one package, I received five packs of 4 so a nice little bonus! Either way still good value with an impressive shelf life (mine were over four years) and delivered in good time.

Get Some In - The Complete Series [DVD] [1975]
Get Some In - The Complete Series [DVD] [1975]
Dvd ~ Robert Lindsay
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £12.70

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even better second time around, 4 Sept. 2013
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The picture & sound quality on this Network release is generally OK. There are no extras or subtitles. The 5 discs are stored in a single-size DVD case, so nice & compact.

Long before the PC brigade made us too scared to laugh at anything, along came the likes of the Thames production GET SOME IN!... Broadcast from 1975/78, the series actually didn't appeal much to my teen tastes at the time, but seeing the current asking price (under £15) I thought "why not". I sat through the whole series and found it very amusing, then started watching again and found it even more enjoyable the second time around, and here's why....

Writers John Esmonde & Bob Larbey (Please Sir! The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles) obviously had a talent for placing disparate characters together and writing funny situations around them. Set in 1955 (the opening credits never fail to remind us) the humour is sometimes very un-PC but never descends to gratuitous swearing. Forget the low-budget feel of the production, the real pleasure to be derived here is through the feel for the period, along with the well-sketched 'human' characters who are easy to take to & you find yourself really caring about them.

Facing their two years of National Service at the fictional RAF Skelton, we have brash Jack-the-lad teddy boy, Jakey "Smiff" Smith (Robert Lindsay, to be replaced in the final series by Karl Howman)... Impeccably mannered & well-spoken ex-public schoolboy, Ken Richardson (David Janson)... The sceptical & quietly spoken Scot, Bruce Leckie (Brian Pettifer)... And the deeply religious (wouldn't say "blimey") Matthew Lilley (Gerard Ryder).

Awaiting the latest influx of "erks" to be whipped into shape is the monstrous Corporal Percy Marsh (Tony Selby)... A terrifying pig-headed bully with a sneaky, fibbing streak who takes great pleasure from laying into his charges with some decidedly un-PC flak, yet becomes a timid little mouse in the presence of his shrewish no-nonsense wife, Alice (played by Lori Wells)... Marsh does occasionally get his comeuppance however (and you can't help liking him!) The series also features a good line-up of guest stars including Angela Thorne, George Baker and Roy Kinnear.

The absence of Robert Lindsay in the final series is keenly felt. Nothing wrong with Karl Howman but things would never be quite the same again. Overall a good series with good performances & well worth buying.

Edgar Wallace Presents: Crossroads to Crime [DVD]
Edgar Wallace Presents: Crossroads to Crime [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Oliver
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £6.05

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Low budget with 'no strings' attached!, 29 Aug. 2013
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Well, Network are to be applauded for sticking their proverbial necks out (yet again) after digging out and dusting down yet another obscure, largely forgotten B-movie for release. In this skid-row budget production from 1960, Anthony Oliver stars as PC Don Ross who suspects that a lorry hijacking operation is running behind the scenes of a transport café which is owned by Miriam Karlin. After deciding to go it alone, Ross infiltrates the gang headed by Miles and Diamond (Ferdy Mayne and George Murcell) in an attempt to break up the nefarious activities.

Directed by "Supermarionation King" Gerry Anderson, this is an unremarkable crime yarn with a lightweight script. This relatively short running second feature has some scenes shot on location, and does at least boast a good cast which includes familiar character performers Victor Maddern and Harry Towb as a couple of lorry drivers. In between the clichéd dialogue, in scenes that would turn a modern-day public health inspector's hair white, ciggie smokin' Miriam Karlin almost disappears in a haze of smoke behind her café counter (ah, memories!)

Although a very routine crime drama with performances on autopilot, this AP production possesses a cosy, rather quaint quality, and is essentially aimed at collectors of vintage black & white B-movies, a pleasant & inoffensive way to pass 50-odd minutes on a rainy day. This Network release has very good B/W picture & sound quality. There are no subtitles. The extras include the alternative movie titles, as well as the theatrical trailer. The 10-minute feature 'Crossroads To Crime Remembered' is a hoot, with Gerry & Sylvia Anderson, editor David Elliott and cast member David Graham all reminiscing while having a playful poke at the movie, with David Elliott at a loss as to why the movie was being given a release on DVD (answer: because anoraks like myself have a big soft spot for the genre, David!)

The lorry hijacking theme was improved upon in another B-movie "The Hi-Jackers" a couple of years later, which starred Anthony Booth as a lorry driver on the wrong end of a case of highway robbery. Hi-Jackers / Smokescreen [DVD]

Mister Ed: Season One [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Mister Ed: Season One [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by Newtownvideo_EU
Price: £19.12

5.0 out of 5 stars "Its been a long time since I was a pony", 19 Aug. 2013
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Shout Factory's Region 1 release of the first season has good black & white picture and sound quality, although the sound level is uneven in a couple of the early episodes. There are no subtitles. The collection comes with an 11-page leaflet with episode synopsis and trivia.

*"A Horse Tale"... A 32-minute look back at the making of Mr Ed, with Alan Young and Connie Hines.
*Audio Commentary on pilot episode with Alan Young and Connie Hines.
*Studebaker car commercial.

MISTER ED is classic family entertainment from the 1960s, which has stood the test of time extremely well - good clean fun. I honestly can't find fault with it anywhere - witty scripts, great casting, funny characters. The palomino star of the show, Mr Ed (real name Bamboo Harvester) simply oozes charisma - intelligent, with a lovely disposition, which when coupled with the rich vocal tones of actor Allan Lane who provides the talking horse's 'voice' it turns into the perfect marriage, with Lane's superb delivery of so many witty wisecracks and comments.

Architect, Wilbur Post (Alan Young) has such an appealing wide-eyed innocence, and a genuine affection for his equine co-star (which is reciprocated) while his wife, Carol (Connie Hines) possesses a sweet girl-next-door persona. Next-door neighbours, Roger & Kay Addison (Larry Keating and Edna Skinner) love to playfully bicker. Kay enjoys teasing her grumpy hubby, while he continually fears another expensive shopping trip by his wife - I love these characters. The death of Mr Keating midway through the third season in 1963 was a great blow, the loss of such an important and much-loved character was something from which the series would never fully recover, such was his impact on the show.

The series opens with young couple, Wilbur & Carol Post moving into their first home, then while taking a look around the barn in the back yard they come across the four-legged star of the show, who's been left behind by the previous occupants. Wilbur takes an instant shine to him and wants to keep him (to his wife disapproval). With Wilbur and Ed eventually left alone in the barn together, something magical happens - Mr Ed speaks to Wilbur for the first time!.... Only problem is - Ed will only speak to Wilbur, and never in front of anyone else, so its the cue for some hilariously embarrassing situations for the bemused Wilbur, who often finds himself outsmarted by his new best pal, and henceforth spends much of his working & spare time with Ed while often neglecting his wife. Next-door neighbour, Roger Addison believes that Wilbur "seems to lose what little intelligence he ever had" when around the horse.

If you're looking for a vintage TV comedy series where the cast share a great on-screen chemistry, with funny scripts minus any crudity or smut, then this might just tick all the right boxes. Classic stuff!

Originally broadcast from January 5, 1961 to July 2, 1961, here is a list of all twenty-six, 1st season episodes....

*The First Meeting.
*The Ventriloquist.
*Busy Wife.
*Kiddy Park.
*Stable For Three.
*Sorority House.
*Ed The Lover.
*The Pageant Show.

*The Aunt.
*The Missing Statue.
*Ed The Witness.
*Ed's Mother.
*Ed The Tout.
*Ed The Songwriter.
*Ed The Stoolpigeon.
*Psychoanalyst Show.

*A Man For Velma.
*Ed's New Shoes.
*Little Boy.
*Ed Agrees To Talk.
*The Mustache.
*The Other Woman.
*Ed Cries Wolf.
*The Contest.

*Pine Lake Lodge.
*Wilbur Sells Ed.

Wild Women of Wongo (DVD) (1959) (All Regions) (NTSC) (US Import)
Wild Women of Wongo (DVD) (1959) (All Regions) (NTSC) (US Import)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So bad it's dreadful, 13 Aug. 2013
This is truly awful. You've heard the oft-used clichéd term: "It's so bad it's great"...well this is so bad it's....bad! No saving grace anywhere - no script, terrible performances, embarrassingly daft dialogue, zero production values, even completists will struggle to stay awake through this one. Before watching I was reliably informed that the story revolves around a clan of beautiful women living on an island paradise known as Wongo (Florida). The lovesick Amazonians are on the prowl for a group of gormless men living on the other side of the island, but find themselves under the radar of a horde of lonely ape men who plan to take them as mates. Having now sat through it I'm still none the wiser.

At least the tasty Amazonian totty are pleasing on the eye.... With not a hair out of place, they pounce on their hapless male victims (gulp) before marching them off dog-on-lead style. Please don't knock the squawking-talking parrot - he's the best thing in it. With nothing going for it, the movie needs a lifeline - surely the producers will at least attempt to play it for laughs (which they do) but it's not funny just downright bloody annoying.

I obtained my copy through buying the bumper bargain boxset: Sci Fi Classics [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] which at least gives you another 49 low-budget movies to mull over if this charmless bull droppings from 1958 should fail to please (and the collection also plays on a Region 2 DVD player).

Highway To Heaven - Season Four [UK DVD]
Highway To Heaven - Season Four [UK DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Landon
Offered by Revelation Films Direct
Price: £7.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good release from Revelation, 7 Aug. 2013
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Revelation Films season four release has good picture & sound quality with English subtitles. There are no extras.

Those who have already tasted the previous three series will already know that the late "Little House on the Prairie" co-stars, Michael Landon & Victor French are teamed to good effect, with Landon portraying Jonathan Smith, the angel sent to Earth to offer a guiding hand to those in trouble. Joined by the streetwise ex-policeman Mark Gordon (French) the stories cover a wide range of themes, with more grittier subjects such as drugs, along with various individuals who are helped to see the error of their ways. Often sentimental and warm-hearted with a sprinkling of good humour, the writing is intelligent while also carrying a proverbial message. a solid thought-provoking drama series from the '80s. Highway To Heaven - Season Four [UK DVD]

This 6-disc set contains all 24, fourth series episodes which are as follows...

*Man's Best Friend (Part One).
*Man's Best Friend (Part Two).
*Fight For Your Life.
*The People Next Door.
*I Was a Middle-Aged Werewolf.
*Playing For Keeps.
*Amazing Man.
*All The Colours of The Heart.
*Why Punish The Children?
*A Dream of Wild Horses.
*In With The 'In' Crowd.
*With Love, The Claus.
*A Mother's Love.
*Country Doctor.
*Time In a Bottle.
*Back To Oakland.
*We Have Forever (Part One).
*We Have Forever (Part Two).
*The Correspondent.
*A Dolphin Song For Lee (Part One).
*A Dolphin Song For Lee (Part Two).
*Heaven Nose, Mr Smith.
*The Whole Nine Yards.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 1:28 AM BST

Judge Vista 20cm Saucepan
Judge Vista 20cm Saucepan
Offered by U Stores
Price: £27.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality saucepan, 30 July 2013
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Picking the pan & lid up for the first time, it felt reassuringly weighty (but not too heavy) unlike some of the flimsy types I've come across in the past. The lid fits snugly into the pan & the ventilation hole does it's job very well. Unlike the shiny outer, the inside of the pan has a more duller appearance, with a four-pint measuring guide which I find very useful. The sturdy handle is attached without any protruding rivets on the inside of the pan, which I personally prefer.

I bought my pan to mostly cook potatoes and rice on a gas cooker & I find it settles down very quickly when simmering and the food is cooked evenly. Another great feature for me is the fact that the lid handle stays reasonably cool, so it's a doddle to strain the water away. The long guarantee seems like a statement of confidence in the product & it certainly doesn't feel like it's going to give out in the near future. Possibly the best saucepan I've ever come across, would recommend unreservedly.

Out of the Fog / Radio Cab Murder
Out of the Fog / Radio Cab Murder
Dvd ~ David Summer
Price: £14.30

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good British B-movie double bill, 26 July 2013
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This is an entertaining pair of vintage black & white B-movies with good picture & sound quality, which should please fans of the genre. There are no extras or subtitles.

An Eternal Films production, OUT OF THE FOG (1962) is for me the pick of the two. The movie opens with George Mallon (David Sumner) being released from prison. A brusque with a chip-on-his-shoulder angry young man & two-time loser, Mallon begins his rehabilitation at the hostel/halfway house run by Daniels (James Hayter). Getting a job as a furniture van driver, Mallon quickly becomes the prime suspect in the case of a serial killer who targets blondes when the moon is full (with not a werewolf in sight!) with Supt Chadwick (John Arnatt) and young police officer, June Lock (Susan Travers) setting the baited trap which hopefully will trap the killer.

More a character study than out and out crime tale, the focus stays firmly on Mallon's agitated character, as the movie effectively builds up to a pretty tense and satisfying climax. Good performances all round with solid support coming from the likes of familiar character actors such as Michael Ripper & George Woodbridge. Written & directed by low budget B-movie specialist, Montgomery Tully, this is one of the prolific director's finest hours (68 minutes to be precise!)

Produced at Nettlefold studios in 1954, RADIO CAB MURDER stars Jimmy Hanley as Fred Martin, a reformed criminal turned taxi driver going undercover to help the police catch a gang of safe robbers by offering his talents as a safecracker to the gang. Eventually things start to go wrong, with Martin left high & dry with the gang after a mix-up which sees the police staking out the wrong bank. With his wholesome on-screen image, Hanley does well in his role, with Lana Morris also featuring as Martin's ever-helpful cab dispatcher and love interest. Amongst the nefarious gang, Sonia Helm stands out as a rather cool & calculating femme fatale. Writer/director Vernon Sewell's story is well paced, IMO a notch down on the accompanying movie but still a very entertaining 70-minute crime tale.

The Invisible Man [DVD]
The Invisible Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ David McCalum
Price: £18.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good series, good fun, good picture quality, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: The Invisible Man [DVD] (DVD)
*This review is for the Acorn Media (2013) DVD release*
After getting by with a sub-standard unofficial release of the series for the last few years, I was delighted to discover that this release has good picture & sound quality, along with English subtitles. The extras are filmographies of David McCallum, Melinda Fee, Jackie Cooper and Craig Stevens, along with a 1-minute picture gallery.

Broadcast from 1975/76, THE INVISIBLE MAN was a short-lived sci-fi/crime TV series made up of only twelve, 47 minute episodes (plus the pilot TV movie) which introduces Dr. Daniel Westin (David McCallum) who works for the Klae corporation which is run by Walter Carlin (Jackie Cooper - to be replaced by Craig Stevens in the series) which is involved in scientific research. While experimenting on inanimate objects and animals, Westin manages to make himself invisible, after which the doctor is portrayed as a victim. The subsequent series moves away from the dark tone of the pilot to a more light-hearted and humorous feel, with the invisibility angle sometimes humorously punctuating the more serious aspects of the show.

While often assisted by his lovely wife, Kate (Melinda Fee) Westin faces a variety of crimes, including the likes of political intrigue, kidnap, and a corrupt little town where even a minor violation can land you in big trouble. The series features a respectable line-up of guest stars, including Nehemiah Persoff, Scott Brady, Farley Granger, Loni Anderson, John Vernon and Henry Darrow. All the performances are good, with the regular cast embracing the change of tone from the pilot movie very well. After all these years the special effects still look good. This is solid albeit unspectacular 70s entertainment - good fun. Each episode is a stand-alone story which means the series lacks continuity, and a pity the series was cancelled before we could discover if the afflicted doctor managed to find a cure for his condition. For fans of 70s retro TV I would say this series is well worth a look. The Invisible Man [DVD]

Here is a list of the episodes (an episode synopsis is available on the IMDb)

*Pilot: The Invisible Man (70 minutes).
*The Klae Resource.
*The Fine Art of Diplomacy.
*Man of Influence.
*Eyes Only.
*Barnard Wants Out.
*Go Directly To Jail.
*Stop When Red Light Flashes.
*Pin Money.
*The Klae Dynasty.
*Sight Unseen.
*Power Play.
*An Attempt To Save Face.

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