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on 11 June 2017
Really brilliant. The stories are engrossing, the cast is great and the production is very good. Trevor Eve's performance is outstanding and completing engaging. The creator and main writer, Robert Banks Stewart, went on to create Bergerac when Trevor Eve decided not to stop playing Shoestring after 2 series. The series gets better as it goes along. There are lots of good cameos from famous actors early in their career, including Toyah before she started appearing in the music charts. Highly recommended. Unfortunately for music rights reasons, Series 2 is yet to be released on DVD but it appears on satellite TV sometimes.
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on 28 April 2017
Gentle storey lines with none of todays violence, etc.
Good to see shots of Bristol in the 80s before the planners got to it.
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on 30 November 2015
It's in Christmas wrapping paper so don't hold yer breath. I remember it from yonks ago and can only say it was the best thing on the box then.
Look forward to escaping back to the eighties - well 1979, and 23 hours of my favourite gumshoe...
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on 13 October 2014
A great series from the late 70s, still good to watch today
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on 18 July 2017
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on 22 April 2012
I enjoyed this when a student in Bristol, and I am enjoying it again now, over thirty years later. A recommended slice of nostalgia1
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on 10 January 2012
I wrote episode 11 on the DVD ("I'm a believer"). It's very pleasing that so many people have posted such positive comments about the series.

After that episode was shown I had a huge number of letters from people whose children had been more or less abducted by sects like the Moonies, and somehow seeing it in a drama context helped them to feel that they were right in trying to prise their loved ones out of the grip of some nasty mind-controlling people.

If what I was told at the time is true, there were no more series because Trevor Eve didn't want to become type-cast in the role. Similar things happened with "Hazell", which I also wrote for.

I'm sure I can say on behalf of all the writers and Bob Banks-Stewart, who created produced it, that we did our best to make something good. We also wish that TV was as adventurous now as it was then. So thanks for watching. You're probably not aware that I haven't seen it since it was first broadcast! The fact that the episodes exist at all is a miracle - the BBC threw some very significant plays into a skip.

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on 17 October 2011
Having been a huge Shoestring fan since childhood, and being well aware of the past difficulties in releasing this programme to DVD, I thought I was dreaming when I found out that 2entertain was releasing Series One to DVD. As if this was not a surprise enough, it was widely reported that, apart from one minor music replacement, this entire first series is being transferred uncut. I have many different recordings of both Series One and Series Two, recorded via many different broadcasts, and, apart from my 2008 BBC Four broadcast of 'Mocking Bird' (Series Two, Episode Three), none of these broadcasts are uncut. I also have the past VHS release of `Private Ear/Find the Lady', which has also been slightly edited. As an interesting side-note, I also have a `Compact Cassette' (remember those!) audio recording of the original uncut 1980 broadcast of the final episode of Series Two `The Dangerous Game', which I made when I was 11, with a microphone placed to the TV speaker! (I had to stifle any coughs!).

I can confirm that this DVD release of Series One is uncut, apart from one minor music replacement. It occurs in Episode 1 `Private Ear', about 23 minutes into the episode, during Eddie's conversation with Don Satchley on the boat. The music playing in the background was originally Lene Lovich's "Lucky Number", and has been replaced with Blondie's "Heart of Glass". Unless you knew of this music replacement, you would not notice anything has been changed. All dialogue is intact and completely unaffected and it does not alter the episode's running time, as all visual footage also remains intact. Ditch your old UKTV Drama/Alibi recordings, and the 2002 BBC1 afternoon repeats of Series One - this 2entertain release is THE definitive collection of Series One episodes!

The transfer is relatively noise-free. The audio and visual quality of Shoestring does vary from episode-to-episode, and, as such, there is film dirt here-and-there, the occasional washed out picture and some slight aliasing in places, but I have never seen Shoestring look as good as this. The mono audio does have occasional partial dropout, but nothing serious. I understand that, because there did not seem to be any masters of the Series One episodes in existence which were uncut, 2entertain made fresh telecine transfers from the original film materials in order to ensure that all episodes were, indeed, the uncut episodes. They then made this one minor audio replacement in Episode 1 and then transferred them all to DVD. 2entertain should be applauded for taking this trouble and they have certainly done an excellent job in transferring this 16mm material to DVD.

For anyone who is interested, the running times of all episodes in this DVD release are as follows:

Ep.1 `Private Ear' 55'04"
Ep.2 `Knock for Knock' 50'00"
Ep.3 `Higher Ground' 48'04"
Ep.4 `An Uncertain Circle' 50'31"
Ep.5 `Listen to Me' 48'34"
Ep.6 `Nine Tenths of the Law' 48'42"
Ep.7 `The Link-Up' 53'22"
Ep.8 `Stamp Duty' 51'12"
Ep.9 `Find the Lady' 49'50"
Ep.10 `The Partnership' 53'27"
Ep.11 `I'm a Believer' 50'02"

As a final point, it is interesting, looking at the uncut episode running times just how irregular they are. This often happened with programmes of this age - look at the irregular running times of `Fawlty Towers', for instance.

This 2entertain DVD release is worth every penny, and I urge all Shoestring fans to buy this. I have been reliably informed that there are no plans - at present - to release Series Two, so, the more people who buy this DVD release of Series One, the more chance there is of 2entertain releasing Series Two, hopefully also uncut. Here's hoping !!!

I would appreciate any comments.
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on 11 May 2012
After recently adding this to my Amazon Wish List I was fortunate enough to then be given the DVD as a birthday gift.

I was hoping that the series was as good as I remembered the first time around in 1979. After eagerly watching all the episodes across a period of a few weeks I am pleased to report that it is even better than I remembered. Shoestring is some of the very best best television viewing I have enjoyed in recent years. The DVD has been put together very nicely and for 30 year old films, the picture quality is, in the main, very good indeed. I am extremely pleased.

If you haven't bought Shoestring series one yet, then buy it now. I'm sure you wont be disappointed!

I immediately wanted to purchase Shoestring Series 2, however I discovered that it has not yet been released. I contacted the bbcshop and they directed me to 2Entertain who acquire and market many BBC television programmes, including series one of Shoestring.

2Entertain replied advising that they have no immediate plans to release series 2, but they said if they received enough interest the release of series two may be considered: "....as each quarter we review public enquiries and often revisit titles which are frequently requested."

If you're eagerly anticipating being able to buy Shoestring series 2 it may be a great idea to send 2Entertain a note expressing your interest!

Contact 2Entertain at - DVDenquiryline@2entertain.co.uk
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on 2 July 2012
This is a great series to have on DVD, a must-have for anyone into '70s cop shows. Some wonderful memories of Sunday evenings in autumn of 1979, a more innocent, less complicated age. I wish there were more series like this.

Eddie was always one of my heroes. I love the fact that everyone from villains to schoolkids listens to Radio West (there are no other radio stations) but despite this almost no one has heard of Eddie Shoestring and react to his name with contempt or derision (he gets called "Bootlace", "Shoetree", etc). I also love the fact that Eddie manages to be both polite and rude at the same time to authority figures he doesn't like including his boss Don Satchley. I wish I had that ability. And I loved Eddie's scruffy-casual dress sense, be it a white linen jacket with baggy dark brown cords and hush puppies or a tweed suit with striped pajama jacket shirt and that all-important loosely undone knitted tie. I remember buying similar ties when I was in the sixth form that year.

Now the episodes are (finally) presented unedited the re-inserted scenes give some of the stories a different flavour. For example The Partnership is suddenly much more about receptionist Sonia whose friend is in trouble. The Alibi version cuts out a whole 3 minute scene when Sonia is in a pub which supplies Eddie with valuable information he needs for his investigation. Also the quality of the episode Stamp Duty is greatly improved on the broadcast version with the projector lines on the early scenes removed.

An interesting coincidence is that the plot of episode 7 (The Link Up) about a round the world yachtsman who loses his nerve and is in hiding while his wife and sponsor pretend he is continuing with the trip is similar to the 1951 Francis Durbridge film The Teckman Mystery. Here a top test pilot has lost his nerve and goes into hiding while his sister covers up for him. Michael Medwin played the pilot in the film and of course was Eddie's boss (Don Satchley) in Shoestring.
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