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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2010
UPDATE: I notice Amazon has attributed this (and the reviews of many others) to the Region 1 'Shout Factory' release of Kojak Season 2 - please note, my comments aren't in relation to their set. My comments are in relation to the European release via 'Mediumrare Entertainment'. I paid the extra for the Shout Factory release and can confirm that their set is remastered to a very high standard and deserves a 5 outta 5 rating.

The disclaimer at the start of each DVD did, I must admit, give me cause for concern - "Please note that whilst every care has been taken to ensure the quality of the programme, due to the age of the original materials the technical quality of the programme may be slightly impaired in places" Translation, "Due to us being lazy and wanting to maximise profits, we simply couldn't be bothered to spend any money on remastering any of the episodes of this classic series" - sorry, call me cynical but "the age of the original materials" - erm... this season is only 36 years old..! I'd expect to see such a disclaimer on material from the 1930s but not on a show from 1974! Sorry, as a fan of classic television, i.e. Perry Mason; Hawaii Five-0; Mannix and the like, I expect to see better!
Given the history of Kojak on DVD (a 5 year hiatus between the release of series 1 on disc and this season); I'd have expected them to be spending that time on cleaning up the episode prints for this release.
So, a word on the `quality', the episodes are simply washed out - they have the appearance of something you would have taped on VHS back in the days when the show was being re-run. Print wise, the episodes are watchable, but they lack any vibrancy and, in the main, appear washed out. Colours are dull and the images lack any crispness. I mentioned `Perry Mason' earlier and I should point out that season 2 of that particular show was from 1958 and the print transfers of those episodes are superb - as are the other shows I mention and all of which began before Kojak!
I'm not sure if there have been any edits of the episodes themselves, but at an average of 48:30 per show, these episodes are a couple of minutes shorter in length than any of the other programmes from that era for which I'm familiar i.e. 5-0; Perry Mason and Mannix
I believe a review on here should be a balance between the show itself and the actual product. This season of Kojak, i.e. the show itself, merits 5 stars; the DVD release merits only 1.
Not sure why such an excellent series is given such a poor run when it comes to being released on DVD, but I must say, this release has made me appreciate remastering on other classic shows even more.
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on 17 October 2011
I Have just recived this DVD from the US (SHOUT factory)and its so very cool compaird to the MEDIUM-rare. UK,release, the colour is rich & dos not bleed and picture Quality is far superior, so folks DON`T BUY the UK Release of SEASON 2 or 3 But 4 & 5 are very good, check my reviews, its very anoying that we have to buy these boxsets AGAIN when they have been very BADLY PRODUCD, but Ho Hmm, if your a fan of such a GREAT SHOW AS KOJAK then.......,UNIVERSAL should have just remaster all the seasons when season one came it must come down to lazyness and GREED, so if your a KOJAK fan then you won`t be dissapointed with this some of the customers on AMAZON.COM have rated the SHOUT factory so CROCHER go get me one.... MEOW BABY you`ll love it?
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on 12 October 2013
just bought this kojak season 2 and yes i did read the review of others who had bought it and was a bit sketchy but took the plunge anyway- what a bozo i am or anyone who buys this item from this point on
the picture looks like a cross between a poor car boot bootleg and a home movie or like its been watched through two milkbottles held up as bincoulars, it must be a basic NTSC video transfer -why is it season 1 looks great yet this look rubbish- i didnt even get past the title sequence without fast forwarding to see if i was believing what i was looking at!!!

i had bought with this season streets of san fransisco ( made earlier ) and looks like bluray quality
i know you need to see it to believe me how terible this quality is but its better on the tv reruns on ITV4 rather than this dvd boxset

my nan had cataracts and now i see what she went through- all i need to know is how can i get my money back ?
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Note - This review is specific to the excellent Region 1 Shout Factory release, and NOT the terrible Region 2 Mediumrare effort.

Lt. Theo Kojak - probably one of the coolest telly detectives of them all. Played with infinite charm by Telly Savalas, Kojak is a tough New York policeman who is about as straight as you can get, doing his best to keep the innocent citizenry safe. A character with wit and intelligence, a heart, and a no-nonsense approach which allows the rules to be bent if it means bringing a villain to justice. Savalas is perfect in the role, his imposing physical presence filling the screen and his magnetic charm keeping you glued to the set. With his nattily dressed style, deep reassuring voice and well chosen naturalistic sounding `street' dialogue, Kojak is an impressive and believable construct, almost a living being rather than a work of fiction.

The joy of the series for me is that while it has a strong central character in the form of Kojak, it also has a very strong supporting cast, especially Dan Frazer as Kojak's Captain, and Kevin Dobson as Crocker, Kojak's number two. Kojak might have the brain that fits the pieces together, but the detective work shown here relies on a team, all doing the boring stuff of checking files and making endless phonecalls in order to find the clues Kojak needs. It's as much about the team as it is about the main character. That the script writers managed to make mundane policework look so interesting is a testament to their abilities. There is also quite a bit of comic interplay between Kojak and Stavros, played by Savalas' real life brother George (here credited as Demosthenes), which never feels too jokey or out of place - it comes across as tough men doing a tough job letting off a bit of steam, another credit to writers and performers.

This set contains all 25 episodes from series 2, on 6 discs in three slimline cases in a card slipcase. The first two episodes (the China Town murders) have been edited into one longer episode.

Beautifully remastered and with great sound, these look and sound fantastic. As far as I can tell the episodes are uncut. The quality of the release is superb, far superior to the poor Region 2 effort that we have had for a few years now. The European release had faded colours, interference, colour leaking and blurriness in picture and sound. The American release is taken from a much better source, and the picture and sound are both pin sharp with a real vibrancy to the colours. I will definitely be waiting for Shout Factory to release Series Three rather than buy the European release. I have hopes that this will be soon, as Shout Factory have just released a complete Kojak films set, including the Marcus Nelson Murders inexplicably omitted from Universal's release of series 1 a few years ago, and they look set to release the rest of the Kojak catalogue.

An excellent set, a real gem in my DVD collection. 5 stars, no hesitation.
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on 8 May 2010
I ordered Season 2..and..3..PLUS a region free DVD player, in order to watch one of my favorite series...KUDOS to MEDIUMRARE for their release of these 2 sets...FIRST of all, these 2 sets are FAR SUPERIOR to anything available in the STATES..( that 31 disc set is PURE garabge )...Sure, they are not RE-MASTERED..BUT..The episodes are FULL LENGTH.. VERY CRISP PICUTRE..and..the SOUND is also great.. SO a SPECIAL REQUEST to MEDIUMRARE, PLEASE FOLLOW THRU with Seasons 4..and..5...
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on 20 April 2013
ok lets get the picture quality issues out of the way, its not great, but.. if youre looking at the pic quality when you watching these then find something else to do, these are rivetting tv. they make you wonder where good tv went and why are we now watching cooking programmes , reality tv and all the rest of it. once upon a time we could pull our chairs closer to the fire and enjoy towering performances from the likes of telly savalas as tv,s quick fire detective theo kojak. the stories are good the supporting cast is good and savalas fills the screen like almost no one before or since has ever done. the unsung hero of these is 1970s new york, dirty, noisy, fast paced and wonderfully sleazy. enjoy and wonder where all this type of tv went to in these pc times.
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on 13 August 2010
Seasons 2 and 3 are not available in the states but are now available in Europe. These DVDs do not appear to have been remastered so if Film quality is critical, you may be disappointed. The DVDs are very watchable, but lesser quality of old TV shows that have been remastered. These old Kojak episodes are better than anything new being offered on American TV today, in my opinion anyway. You will need an "all region" DVD player to watch this in the US.
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on 12 May 2014
Watched this first time round in the seventies. It is OK. Clearly they had spent more money on location shots in New York as the series became an earner. It was actually filmed in L A. Really enjoyed it the second time around recently.
The reality that sticks in my mind though was that in the seventies I had a neighbour whose Brother had immigrated to New York decades earlier and most of his working life had been spent working as a cop in the New York City Police. So the reality of life in the NYPD does not compare with the fictional Kojak. Most NYPD cops were apalled by Kojak.
Apparently the closest to reality that a fictional tv cop series comes is "Barney Miller". So voted American Cops in a survey some years back.
Nevertheless if you watched it first time round and enjoyed it watch it again.
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on 11 November 2014
I'm a big fan of 70s detective shows, so I'm familiar with the quality one can expect. It's not lightly that I say the following: this is one of the worst DVD releases I've ever seen. Blurred picture quality, muffled sound (made worse since there's no subtitles), bleached colours, dirt and scratch artifacts on the picture, and in at least one instance honest to goodness missing frames like you're watching an old Buster Keaton movie.

After season 1 this was a major disappointment. Season 1 had clear sound, crisp colours, and an image quality so high you could see the film grain. I understand the Region 1 import of season 2 is far better, so perhaps consider getting that instead. I enjoy Kojak, but I found myself skipping episodes on these DVDs because the quality made them barely watchable.
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on 27 December 2013
Its such a shame that the transfer quality of this set is so poor. I found it to be almost unwatchable and have susequently returned the item. The colour is completetly washed out and the sound dreadful, hence one star !!
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