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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2010
Say's the un-pc Detective Sergeant Bullman (Don Henderson) on the surface an old time hardman rozzer, but is in fact a renaissance man improving himself through the Open University. Along with his "OPO" (opposite number, an old army term) Derek Willis (Dennis Blanch) moves from the Metropolitan Police on secondment to Greater Manchester Police as "Strangers" under cover police unknown to local crooks and police.
This Box set comprises all five series along with many extras such as episodes of one off dramas and singular episodes of series featuring Don Henderson such as "Crown Court" and "Crossroads".
The writing is a somewhat ropey in the first series (along with the audio quality) but once Murray Smith takes the helm it improves in leaps and bounds the characters becoming fuller and the story lines less parochial.
Series three see's the ad hoc team from Manchester moved back to "The Met" and expanded into the "Inter City Squad" under the leadership of Superintendent Jack Lambie (played by Mark McManus) a character similar to Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart he played a year after Strangers last aired in 1982 in the Taggart Pilot episode.

A quality series presented in a well put together box set. Well worth the money and a must for those lovers of classic 1970's British TV.
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on 2 May 2011
This is possibly the best cop show that ever was. Don Henderson - now sadly no more- was the most engaging copper of them all and I cannot think that his equal will be found easily. Murray Smith's scripts were almost 100% perfect: amusing, intelligent and worthwhile. Do not think about this: just order it, watch it and enjoy it.
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Popular in its day (Strangers was originally transmitted between 1978 and 1982), today it seems to be largely forgotten. Perhaps this isn't particularly surprising as the last repeats were on ITV daytime in the mid 1980's. It never seemed to feature on the likes of UK Gold, so kudos to Network for getting the series back in circulation.

Series 1 finds our heroes, Bulman (Don Henderson) and Willis (Dennis Blanch) relocated from the Met to a force up North. The plan is that since they are unknown to the local villains, they'll be able to move around more freely in certain areas.

Series 1 is a bit of an oddity. It plays like a conventional police series, with none of the eccentricities that will emerge later. This is due to the fact that Murray Smith, who would shape the later series in his own image only wrote 1 episode of the first series, whereas he would script 19 of the 25 episodes that make up series 2 - 5.

Series 2 sees the introduction of Fiona Mollison as DC Vanessa Bennett, and the style of the series begins to emerge. In series 3, the first to be shot all on film, the team return to London to join the Inter City squad, headed by dour Scot Jack Lambie (Mark McManus) and the classic team is complete.

Strangers is a strange mix. Some episodes are character based, with many exhibiting Murray Smith's traits of strong (if eccentric) dialogue. Others have a level of gunplay and action that wouldn't be out of place in The Sweeney. Although Bulman himself always claimed to detest guns, he does use them on occasion, such as the Series 3 episode "Armed and Dangerous" where he sets out to avenge the murder of a colleague.

Just as Strangers spun off from a previous series, The XYY Man it would later spawn a spin off series itself - Bulman . All three are very good, but Strangers is the best and most consistent, thanks to the good scripting of Murray Smith amongst others and the consistant performances of Don Henderson, Dennis Blanch, Fiona Mollison and Mark McManus.
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on 5 June 2011
Great entertainment and I rank this slightly ahead of The Sweeney which I also loved. Nothing much to fault and the other reviewers have just about said it all so don't hesitate to buy it if you like a good old fashioned British cop classic.
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on 26 July 2010
I am lucky to have every single episode of this superb crime thriller series which was created by the legendary Murray Smith, an ex-soldier and policeman himself. He changed tough detective George Bulman from a rule-bending grouch into a loveably eccentric, classical literature-quoting hero who was always quick on his wits. Dennis Blanch was equally good as his bemused sidekick Derek Willis and so too were Frances Tomelty and Fiona Mollison as their female colleagues. John Ronane was reliable as Insp. Singer, but Mark McManus really added something to the show as DCS Jack Lambie with his no-nonsense presence, dark humour and unrelenting charisma.

If you liked Special Branch and The Sweeney, you'll love this.
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on 27 June 2010
I bought this to continue watching the career of Mark McManus. I loved his work in Taggart. As an American, I had not known about it, found it by accident and became addicted. I find Strangers and discover the group of actors playing Willis and Bulman are incredible. I cannot say enough about Henderson. He was amazing! I have since ordered "Paradise" but cannot find "Bulman." Help! Help!
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on 22 November 2015
A Police Series made in the late 70s/early 80s which first introduced the idea of a Police Squad called Inter-City, based at New Scotland Yard but whose powers are valid for anywhere in the UK. It is very intelligently done with a lot of the series scripted by the excellent Murray Smith who worked on a lot of the Police/Spy dramas of that era. It introduces us to the quirky Det. Sergeant Bulman played by an equally eccentric Don Henderson and his team of officers, who could hardly be mistaken for Beat Officers, even if they wore uniforms. The acting is superb with one or two episodes crossing the line between plausible adventure and borderline lunacy. It features a lot of future British acting talent with Coronation Street's Bill Tarmey managing to have bit parts as both a gangster in Manchester and a detective in London. It also stars the craggy faced Mark McManus playing the squad's no nonsense boss Chief Superintendent Jack Lambie, before fame re-invented him again as Taggart on Scottish Television.
The title comes from the fact that County Constabularies like to jealously guard their individual territories and see no need for outsiders to come in to conduct investigations where they are not wanted. Such officers who are brought in from outside forces are seen as interfering strangers who are expected to fail as they are unfamiliar with local people or local practices.

Good for fans who are looking for something more than an ordinary run-of-the-mill police drama

The series takes its title from the fact that the Inter-City squad are outsiders and local police up to the rank of Chief Constable jealously guard
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on 30 March 2014
Having seen the first two series set in MANCHESTER,I was full of hope series 3 through 5 in LONDON would be of equal quality but in fact every episode is different class! THE STORY'S ARE ALWAYS ORIGINAL WITH ONE OR TWO SHOCKS ALONG THE WAY.MARK McMANUS AND FIONA MOLLISON WITH DENNIS BLANCH AND THE ONE AND ONLY DON HENDERSON.ALONG WITH A CAST OF GREATS THAT KEEP YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ONE WITH RELISH!!!!I WAS SO SAD TO REACH THE END,AND WILL MOVE ON TO FOLLOW THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BULLMAN....FOR FANS OF LATE 70S EARLY 80S LIFE THAT LOOKS SO FAR AWAY NOW.BUT FOR ME A GREAT ESCAPE.THE COMPLETE SERIES OF STRANGERS FROM AMAZON .U.K.
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on 10 December 2013
Was lucky enough to meet the Late Don Henderson a couple of times, great actor and a true gentleman. The box set is excellent value for money and as good now as it was in it's day, bit of a ground breaker like the old Sweeney series. Many old faces when they were a lot younger, Colm Meaney, Derek Fowlds, Patrick Mower, Kenneth Cranham, Gabriel Byrne and a very young Roy Cropper amongst many other household names. Seriously recommended.
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on 18 February 2014
Its great to get a series that portrays the seventies as it was, harsh, grubby and depressing. Seeing Kevin Whatley with a posh accent was most entertaining. The lack of technology that the police had was an eye opener compared to now. If you're looking for an old school series this is it.
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