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on 27 October 2007
Dick Spanner = Awesome
This DVD = Abysmal

Dick Spanner has always been a favourite of mine; the show is brilliant in every aspect. However this DVD release is just a mess. Like another reviewer mentioned the audio has been re-done, so half the sound effects are completely changed from what they originally were, and in some case are taken out completely and in the process completely ruining some jokes in the feature. The music is poor too because one of the things that stuck in my head most about Dick Spanner for all these years was the catchy, addictive theme music used throughout, now its totally gone and replaced by jazz music.

The transfer quality from whatever master tapes they used to make this DVD is really bad too, you can see the scan lines from the VHS it came from and at times they slow the animation right down so the audio can catch up with it. It looks horrible.

The extras are a joke too, a music video from a nobody band featuring Dick Spanner in a song that has no relevance to Dick Spanner whatsoever. It's so pointless. And the Gerry Anderson interview is plagued by a strange blue border because the quality of the video it was filmed on was so bad they made the screen smaller so the resolution didn't look so bad. So we're left with 40% of the screen a blue box. It's very poor.

All in all this DVD is god awful, I would give Dick Spanner (the actual show) 5 stars because it really is that good, but this DVD would get 0 stars. I'm only giving it 3 stars because of what's left of this butchered edit of the show.

I would recommend any fans of Dick Spanner to avoid this like the plague and get yourself one of the versions floating around eBay instead; it's a perfect representation of the original. I'm so disappointed in this.
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on 12 January 2010
I still have this on VHS from years ago and the quality is superior to this DVD version, large portions of the audio track are missing to the extent where characters are having a conversation or replying to another character but you don't hear both parts of the conversation.

It has been presented on this DVD in episodic format which I believe is similar to how it was when originally aired but sadly I never saw them first time around. The VHS version was presented in a full length movie type format and it flowed much better.

Gone is the original theme tune to be replaced by some awful Jazz track

To sum up, by a VHS player if you don't have one and buy the VHS version of this classic
Had this just been a DVD format of the old VHS version the video quality would have been better, the audio would have been better, more of the jokes would have remained, and this would be a 5 star review
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on 20 October 2007
I have been a huge fan of Dick Spanner ever since it was originally on television back in the 80's. I even spent years tracking it down on video. The advent of the internet made my search significantly easier and I procured a copy, early in 2006.

Obviously, when I heard that it was coming out on DVD I was rather excited. However, when I finally got it (the release date was continuously put back for some reason) I was utterly perplexed: The picture quality was, for the most part, on a par with my VHS copy. I presumed that the master tape had simply deteriorated so there was not scope to produce sharper visuals. There are some moments, however, where the picture slows and stutters, I presume to cover up glitches in the original tape.

The thing that was really strange to me though, was the fact that the sound had been altered quite drastically. The original series was made to a tight budget and the music was all done on a synthesiser. This version, however, has got a lounge jazz band playing through the whole thing. The original music has been stripped out completely, I assume to prevent the series being dated by the electronica of the original.

Now, I don't want to sound like a purist, but the original music was far more quirky and less generic than the new soundtrack and it gave a much better atmosphere to the whole thing (I miss the original “10 Finger Rag” piano piece, too). It also appears that when they stripped out the music, they seemed to lose some of the original sound effects, some of which were crucial to getting certain jokes (The one that stood out was the recurring joke about the unseen man trying to machine gun the cockerel that sounded in the mornings – The man shouting and his machine gun are present, but not the cockerel... So the whole thing made no sense if you'd not seen it before!).

What I did appreciate was the fact that they had returned the format to its original episodes, rather than the video version which threw each of the two series together into single features. Along with this, a few scenes have been replaced that were absent from the video recording.

The extras are, well, not great. The interview showed that the interviewer had done very limited research and this evidently frustrated Gerry Anderson. The music video is just tripe.

However, now that I have finished my rant I would like to point out that this is possibly the funniest and sharpest animation projects I've ever seen. It's incredibly funny and has it's tongue wedged firmly in its cheek and I still have to whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone.

All in all, it's still a wonderful example of grown up animation – I just wish it had been left alone more.
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A bit of cult tv from the 1980's comes to DVD. Back in that long lost decade Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson co produced Dick Spanner. A stop motion animation about a private detective in classic film noir style. Well, he is, but the world around him isn't. Being full of sight gags and with lots of wordplay - something his previous series Terrahawks had occasionally thrown in - and quick fire gags galore.

There were two Dick Spanner stories, each running for eleven episodes of five minutes each.

Full of clever animation and great gags visual and otherwise, with excellent voice work from Shane Rimmer [one time Scott Tracy] in the lead, the show was used as filler on a channel four magazine show. The DVD certificate is a 12 so there may be some moments not entirely suitable for young children, but there's nothing at all extreme about any of it.

Dick Spanner was released on video back in the 1980's, but it was never repeated on tv.

This dvd release dates from a few years back. To go by the interview with Gerry Anderson on it, a new producer had picked up the rights to the show and was trying to relaunch it thinking it would be a great success in these days of viewing it on your mobiles and online, and might pick up new fans there.

Which doesn't seem to have happened, but so it goes.

Thus the show has been somewhat altered, with different sound and music to what it had before.

This you won't notice if you've never seen it before. But those who want the original exactly as it was are possibly better off sticking to the VHS versions, which are still available quite cheaply online.

The dvd does claim to be digitially remastered but the picture quality doesn't really look any different. Some will find it perfectly watchable. But again others may not.

Each of the two discs here has one of the stories each. You can watch an individual episode or watch them all in a row.

There are no subtitles.

Each disc contains a version of a video to go with a pop song seemingly designed to tie in with that relaunch of the character. On the first disc you can hear the song whilst watching visuals from the show and the band playing it.

The second disc has it without the visuals of the band, just the visuals of the show and the music.

There's a long and pretty good interview with Gerry Anderson here as well. It's spread over the two discs, the two halves being twenty five and thirty one mins each in length. The second does include a fascinating look at his memorabilia collection. But again the picture quality for the whole thing may divide opinion.

So here's the new lease of Dick Spanner that never quite was. It may not entirely please some of his older fans, but it might just gain him some new ones.
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on 9 November 2007
People - we are entering Hallowed ground here when we talk of the works of Gerry Anderson (an English Walt Disney)
I have viewed the Dick Spanner DVD and was present when Gerry presented the company that produced it at Pinewood Studios at a Fanderson Special Sunday preview of Capt Scarlet / UFO - Hi Def screening.
Gerry loves the new treatment - he is on record saying so and he reiterated it at the screening a couple of months ago - he found the original music tired (a tired harmonic he called it) and irritating, hense allowing the guys at One Media to bring in members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) to play to a cleverly written piece of cool jazz composed by Evan Jolly (music scores inc. Cirque Du Soleil - I believe Gerry mentioned) so move with the times here people Gerry does and he is nearly 80! - The pop video is great - the words when you listen Hangmanic are completly in tune with Spanner even saying "am i a spanner in the works" I love the the little guy being featured in a kicking song and certainly no expense in editing there!
The interview is relaxed and I check out Alex Stranger she is a BBC 4 newscaster on the trendy 60 seconds News show and she is on record as a real Anderson fan albeit not as 'old' as some
I love the episodes and i reckon this is a great collection - the colour defination on my VHS version (channel 5) is washed out compared to this colour corrected dvd version - and as for the sound it is brill -
Do i have any critical comments - Yes - Packaging by Pickwick is a bit dull and I would have thought they could have streatched to giving us a printed sheet or two on the inside to tell us what i have had to Google! but never the less well done guys -
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on 1 May 2014
Believe it or not, but this show ran on a Danish network when I was little. For nostalgia i wanted this DVD set for my shelf. Reading other reviews I realize that some changes have been made to the sound/music and that the picture quality was actually better on the old VHS.

But if you, like me, think that VHS is obsolete and don't feel like installing a VCR again, I think that this will do nicely. As I didn't remember much of the show I did not know if I would still like it. But I was happy to find that I actually still liked the show and that it is indeed a little clever stop-motion show with a pretty funny humor.
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on 9 November 2007
It's great to see this released again. The humour is still cut's it after all these years.

I can remember watching this with my farther in the 80's and have just made my own kids (8,10 and 12) watch it; they loved it.
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on 2 January 2008
let's for a moment forget that the transfer looks like a homebrew vhs tape to dvd, just having this completes the gerry anderson catalogue of broadcast series. the dvd's are quite watchable, just don't panic when their is silence at the beginning logo. the sight gags are truly hysterical as they interact with the wisecracking comments by our supermarination noir hero. i found myself rewinding the disc to catch some of the slight nuances, pay attention to the signs in the background!!!! until a print from a better source is discoverd....get this set.
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on 14 August 2015
Pure nostalgia.I missed most of the pun-laden episodes while I spent evenings working on my two scratch-built glassfibre cars.I just love the idea of a wheel-mounted P.I.
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on 14 June 2015
This was a nostalgic buy. Not quite as good as i remembered. still good.
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