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Randall and Hopkirk lives!!
on 11 July 2007
I was never going to give this collection anything other than 5 stars for the content of the series alone. For me, Randall and Hopkirk and the Persuaders are the best of ITC's incredible output of TV film series of the sixties and seventies. No coincidence that both shows feature totally engaging double acts in the leads.
However, as much as I love the Persuaders, it was always Randall and Hopkirk that I held most dearly to my heart. Maybe, and quite bizzarly, I think it was the more accessable characters in Randall and Hopkirk that won the day. Kenneth Cope and Mike Pratt's character's, albeit one of them a ghost, were much more regular, everyday, likable chaps, whereas Wilde and Sinclair were from a more glamorous lifestyle - as well as being played by two superstars of the day - and that made them seem a little less real perhaps, whilst still being, for me, one of the best and most natural double acts to grace the small screen. So, whilst both programmes were the two stand out quality productions of ITC, it's Randall and Hopkirk by a whisker.
I missed the previous DVD release of the show, and have eagerly awaited this special edition. I haven't had time to watch all the episodes yet, but have been pleased with the presentation quality of the episodes I have seen. The extras too are great, with an informative documentary on the programme featuring stars and production crew, an affectionate look at the life of Mike Pratt (not a bad word about him, which, as a fan is exactly how I liked it) and more that I will be delving into in the near future. There are a couple of booklets in the package that look very painstaking - Andrew Pixley isn't my first choice writer for these sort of things, but you know you're going to get a lot of detail and enthusiasm if not the most engaging of prose (though I know there are many that would prefer the more no nonsense approach).
All in all, just having all the episodes on DVD in a good quality presentation at an affordable opening price is reason enough to give this five stars, but given the extras I personally find it irrisistible, and the highlight release of the last few years.