The Persuaders
home | episode guide | cast & crew | interviews | memorabilia | dvd/video | locations | cars
ITC news | TMA details | TMA events | TMA honourary members | links

Episodes listed in ITC production order


















The Morning After - Network blu-ray set review

Retro-Action volume 1

Above:Chain of Events Carlton DVD grab

Above: Chain of Events Network Blu-ray grab

Latest News: (updated 23th February 2011)

Retro-Action - Volume 1 blu-ray.

Review from pre-production check disc.
Thanks to Frank at for the blu-ray grabs

The Persuaders!: Chain Of Events
Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased): When Did You Start To Stop Seeing Things?
Department S: A Small War Of Nerves
The Champions: The Invisible Man
Strange Report: Report 2493. Kidnap. Whose Pretty Girl Are You?

Many of the visitors to this site are very familiar with the five ITC series featured on this disc, so I am not going to go into detail about the series themselves or the individual episode plots. I anticipate people want to read about the audio and visual quality of this disc and in the simplest way possible, all I can say is that you will not be disappointed!

The first series on the disc is The Persuaders!, my personal favourite and Network have selected a great episode in Chain of Events to highlight the HD transfer. Chain of Events features a lot of location footage and is particularly good for action featuring Tony Curtis (the chase and fight sequence with George Baker is cleverly shot and edited under the supreme eye of Peter Hunt) - this now looks simply stunning!

At the beginning of the episode we can see that the blanket Tony Curtis sleeps under is now a vibrant red - it looked a rather sad and muted on previous releases. There’s also the tiniest of jump cuts that I hadn’t really noticed until seeing it again in HD. The picture quality is so good here that in close up you can see Suzanna Leigh’s small mole above her right eyebrow and a small spot on her left cheek, very near to her nose that has been partially hidden with make up. Check out the difference between the old Carlton DVD and the new Network blu-ray in the grabs by clicking the images on the left.

Next up is the Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) episode, When Did You Start To Stop Seeing Things? I think this episode probably shows the biggest difference between its previous release on DVD and the new transfer - it now looks glorious! It’s SO good that you can now read the previously dingy names above shops, road signs and advertising posters. it’s a real journey back to a time when the London air was filled with smog from the likes of Battersea Power Station rather than that of Chelsea tractors! The fight sequence at the end is now so pin sharp you can really see how funny the stunt doubling is and I mean this in an affectionate way. One of the biggest surprises I noticed was in the previously mentioned fight scene - the accompanying music is John Barry’s Beat For Beatniks, I’d never noticed that before and checking the end credits I see there is no mention of it.

Department S, A Small War of Nerves is a rather good choice of episode as it showcases the talents of Anthony Hopkins - he’s throughly convincing as the deranged scientist Halliday and with the new transfer you’ll be wanting to mop the sweat from his brow! Again this new print brings out great details in sets and makes some of the matte painting jump out, not that this spoils the viewing experience, it’s another one of those things that makes these series so enjoyable and fun to watch. Location footage now reveals the names of hotels, number plates, street signs. etc. It’s quite amazing to see how much eye make-up Peter Wyngarde is wearing in the episode, this has gone unnoticed before but is now revealed in HD.

Peter Wyngarde is also the guest star in The Champions episode, The Invisible Man and his show stealing performance must have been noted by producer Monty Berman when it came to the casting of Jason King. The Champions is one of the ITC series that is often criticized for being mostly studio bound and relying too much on poorly matched stock footage. This new transfer has addressed that issue in an amazing way - for example the the stock footage of Rotterdam now retains rich colours and so much detail that you can read the date (1951) on one of the statues seen. Many small details are now crystal clear,
no attempt was made to make Stuart Damon’s stunt double have the same colour hair when he falls from the truck at the wharf, the ladder in the Elstree water tank is there for all to see and most surprising of all is when the film is flipped to give the impression that William Gaunt is driving his VW Karmann Ghia on the right hand side of the road (around 42 minutes) and the car’s number plate is obviously reversed. That was impossible to see prior to this disc being released.

There’s a lot less action in the Strange Report story Kidnap than in the other series on this disc but in terms of restoration it doesn’t let the side down. Again there’s quite a bit of location filming and this comes to life in HD, looking particularly sunny and showing the English countryside at it’s green and beautiful best. In terms of the guest cast, Caroline Blakiston’s multi-coloured coat is technicolour-tastic, and Sally Geeson’s late 60s hippy-chick fashions are fabulous.

This might seem an odd way to review this disc but I’m sure that we’re all familiar with the series and episodes so hence this rather different approach. I don’t want to write too much as I want buyers to revel in these new transfers for themselves.

These episodes look stunningly beautiful in HD and sound crisp and clear in their original mono sound (I’m so please they weren’t made into faux 5.1). The fact that you can now see such details as the woven textures in the men’s suits, how well the sets are dressed, easily pick out matte paintings, read number plates, street signs, clearly see stunt doubles, camera reflections, etc all enhance them. All this minutia will be lapped up by ITC fans who have over the years put up with rather tired looking prints on a lot of these series... Bring on the complete box sets please - ASAP!



Chairman/TMA Designer and Editor - | site re-styling idea: Ruud Rozemeyer