The Persuaders
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Episodes listed in ITC production order


















The Morning After - Network DVD set review


The Gold Napoleon (Carlton)

The Gold Napoleon (Network)

Take Seven (Carlton)

Take Seven (Network)

Network's main menu screen

Documentary interviews

Pan's People TOTP film

Roger Moore chats about Yorkshire cloth!

Tony Curtis on The Russell Harty Show

Latest News: (updated 11th September 2006)

The Persuaders!, The Complete Series Special Edition DVD set (released on 18th September).

Note: This review is based on 8 of the 9 test discs in the new Network release. Disc 1 containing the episodes Overture, Angie... Angie, To the Death, Baby and Five Miles to Midnight was missing from the set we received. As with all test discs there is no on-disc label art, and we can't comment on the booklet design and contents.

We've been hoping for a new release of The Persuaders! by Network for a couple of years now, so it was very pleasing to see them announce it for 18th September 2006 (almost 35 years to the day since the series was first broadcast in the UK).

The previous UK release by Carlton saw 18 of the 24 episodes receive stunning restoration and remastering by BBC resources so the anticipation of seeing the outstanding 6 episodes (Overture, Angie... Angie, Five Miles to Midnight, The Gold Napoleon, Take Seven and Greensleeves) has had the online DVD forums buzzing for some time. Not having the first disc in the set means I can't shed any more light on three of the episodes but I'm pleased to report that The Gold Napoleon, Take Seven and Greensleeves are all new improved prints (so we're assuming Overture, Angie... Angie and Five Miles to Midnight will also have had the restoration treatment). I've also noticed that the image area is slightly bigger than the previous Carlton editions which will prove to be great fun for all those trying to spot the odd boom mic here and there (ala Five Miles to Midnight). Clicking the images will open a larger window to view the episode screengrabs. I haven't watched all of the episodes throughout - just dipped in here and there and from what I've seen so far they look great. We'll update this in the next few days once we've had a chance to watch a few more.

Carlton's special features looked promising on a couple of discs but they dropped them quickly and followed on with vanilla editions. Network have had the advantage of seeing a particularly good release by TF1 in France a few years back and have managed to include all the film based extras included on the French release. The highlights of these being the 1971 Dutch documentary AVROskoop (located by TMA member Remco Admiraal) and the 5 foreign promotional spots including the now legendary "I hate the f*cking Germans!" promo.

Network have also gone to town making a brand new documentary on the series featuring Roger Moore (Lord Brett Sinclair), Tony Curtis (Danny Wilde) and crew members: Robert S Baker (producer), Johnny Goodman (executive in charge of production), Malcolm Christopher (production manager), Ken Baker (assistant director), Brian Clemens (writer), Roy Ward Baker (director) and Tony Spratling (director of photography). The documentary flows along nicely and contains some very honest opinions from Tony Curtis about the series. In return some of the crew members also open up to how they viewed the American actor. In places the language gets blue and Curtis does not fair well on a personal level although all agree he was a brilliant actor. My only criticism of the documentary is that there were too many clips and some of the background about the series was not covered but these are only minor quibbles.

Not having disc 1 meant I couldn't listen to the 2 audio commentaries for Overture but disc 6 contains an unmoderated commentary for A Death in the Family by Roger Moore, Robert S Baker, Johnny Goodman, Malcolm Christopher and Ken Baker. Roger Moore recorded his voice-over separately and has been edited into the dialogue. Some of what is said is repeated from the documentary and it's frustrating that it wasn't moderated as the participants spend quite a long time trying to recall the name of the art director (Harry Pottle). A good moderator would have been able to address this situation and give the commentary a little more direction as it is sadly lacking it in places, however, Network should be praised for recording the commentary.

The Pan's People Top of the Pops film to accompany John Barry's memorable theme is hilarious! It's so bad that it's almost a work of comic genius. Some of the other film footage is slightly peculiar - the 30 second clip of Tony Curtis buying an Aston Martin seems an odd addition and the clip of Roger Moore talking about Yorkshire cloth shows the actor sporting the moustache he grew for the film The Man Who Haunted Himself. The Russell Harty Show interview with Tony Curtis sees the camp host trying his best to talk to the exuberant star. The 14 minute interview is interesting but it's a shame that there's no mention of the series.

The five trailers for The Persuaders! 'feature films' were included on the previous Carlton release but the films themselves are released on DVD for the first time here. It doesn't look like any of the four that were theatrically released, London Conspiracy, Mission: Monte Carlo, Sporting Chance or The Switch have been remastered but there would be little point anyway as these are really only included for completists. The fifth movie, The Persuaders (note no !) was not completed although Network have unearthed the opening couple of minutes for the die-hard fans. They've also found a new variation on the advert bumper and included the two previous released versions that appeared on the Carlton discs.

As with TF1's release they've included The Saint episode The Ex-King of Diamonds that acted as a dry-run for the premise of The Persuaders!. Included here is an audio commentary featuring Roger Moore, Bob Baker. Johnny Goodman and Alvin Rakoff; again this unmoderated but moves along quite nicely.

Spread across all the discs are a number of stills gallery. On discs 2 to 6 these add up to an impressive 464 images. With probably at least 100 on discs 1 the total should amount to well over 500. The generic stills gallery on the extras disc repeats most of the images seen on discs 1 to 6.

The complete list of special features is as follows:
The Morning After – Remembering THE PERSUADERS - Documentary featuring Roger Moore (Lord Brett Sinclair), Tony Curtis (Danny Wilde) and crew members: Robert S Baker (producer), Johnny Goodman (executive in charge of production), Malcolm Christopher (production manager), Ken Baker (assistant director), Brian Clemens (writer), Roy Ward Baker (director) and Tony Spratling (director of photography) and others.
Commentaries on three episodes featuring contributions from Sir Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, Robert S Baker, Johnny Goodman, Roy Ward Baker, Brian Clemens, Malcolm Christopher, Ken Baker and others…
• Interview with Tony Curtis on Russell Harty Show (1974)
Mute news footage of Tony Curtis ordering a Lagonda from Aston Martin (1974)
News footage of Roger Moore and his design consultancy for
a Bradford clothing manufacturer (1970)
• Dutch AVROskoop documentary, made during filming of
The Persuaders!

Top of the Pops promotional film for John Barry’s single of The Persuaders! featuring Pan’s People
All four feature-film versions and trailers
Stills gallery containing over 500 images
Ad bumpers
The SaintThe Ex-King of Diamonds (with commentary)
10 promotional spots – 5 foreign, 5 mute UK
• Trailer and opening sequence for unreleased feature version
of The Persuaders! film
Mute textless main and end titles.

Overall this is a very good release, there are a few things missing but generally fans of the series will be very pleased.




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