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Not as good as I remember
on 12 April 2006
I was about 13 when this series first came on the telly and I used to really enjoy it.
The plots are much simpler than I remember, but as Roald Dhal explains, there's not much scope to pad the plot out in a 30 minute show. The acting is generally good (I think acting as a skill has sadly gone downhill over time rather than improved), and there are some well known names in most episodes looking very young indeed.
The other surprise was how low-budget the original production was. The sets are really quite ropey, with the characteristic deadly silence (no ambient noise) of cheap productions of that era. The episodes are all shot on videotape with the associated lens-flare and streaking along with unrealistic lighting requirements of videotape in those days. Don't expect technical quality anywhere near the same league as The Professionals or The Sweeney (which are excellent), this is definitely a low budget regional telly series more akin to the quality of Crossroads.
DVD Quality: This is just a straight transfer from the original tapes, and although the picture quality is acceptable (see videotape comments above), the sound isn't that great.
Worth 15 quid? Not really. I got bored after two or three episodes, as once the nostagia has worn off, you realise it is just a cheap production from the 70's that should be left as a fond memory. Wait until it's on sale for £4.99 or buy the other DVD with 4 episodes for £7 if you need a nostalgia hit.