The Streets of San Francisco: Season 2, Volume 2
Directed by Seymour Robbie et al
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 621 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
MSRP: $ 42.99
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Review Date: October 29, 2008
The second season of Quinn Martin’s The Streets of San Francisco was the watershed year for the series. Not only did the ratings leap appreciably, but the series was recognized by three primary Emmy nominations: Best Dramatic Series, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. Though it didn’t win in any of those categories, the show really seemed to have found its audience during this second season and was turning out very involving, highly watchable episodes.
The series is actually a fairly standard crime drama. There are only two real mysteries among the twelve episodes represented on this three disc set with shows from the second half of season two, both of them fairly routine and easily solved. However, all of the plots feature solid police work by thorough professionals who are less flashy than some other prime time police detectives but who get the job done and often with some welcome joviality. The team is led by twenty year veteran of the force Lieutenant Mike Stone (Karl Malden) with college educated Steve Keller (Michael Douglas) as his eager-to-please partner. Together the two men investigate cases ranging from runaways from an abusive uncle involved in a homicide to Stone‘s being framed for murdering an undercover cop.
Producer Quinn Martin always kept a steady stream of top notch Hollywood talent employed in guest roles in his shows. Among the guest stars in season 2’s second half of episodes are Jeanette Nolan, Barry Livingstone, Larry Wilcox, Kent Smith, Ruth McDevitt, Denver Pyle, Burt Mustin, William Smith, Denny Miller, Tyne Daly, Ida Lupino, Jock Mahoney, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith, Celeste Holm, Nick Nolte, Claude Akins, Lola Falana, Barry Sullivan, Glenn Corbett, Sam Elliott, Jim Davis, Noah Beery, Robert Hooks, Harold Gould, Greg Mullavey, and Rosemary Murphy.
As usual with Quinn Martin productions, the episodes fall into a very traditional pattern: four acts and an epilog. Here is the rundown of the twelve episodes from this second half of season two:
1 - The Runaways
2 - Winterkill
3 - Most Feared in the Jungle
4 - Commitment
5 - Chapel of the Damned
6 - Blockade
7 - Crossfire
8 - A String of Puppets
9 - Inferno
10 - The Hard Breed
11 - Rampage
12 - Death and the Favored Few
The show’s original 1.33:1 aspect ratio is faithfully delivered in these DVD transfers. Though there are random white specks and an occasional bit of debris, most of the episodes feature a warm color palette with excellent flesh tones and very good sharpness. The lack of anamorphic enhancement results in some mild aliasing in a couple of episodes, but it’s never intrusive. Each episode has been divided into 7 chapters.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is decoded by Dolby Prologic into the center channel. Though dialog is clear, occasionally high pitched voices and other sound effects do exhibit some distortion. There were a couple of instances of flutter in the track, too. In all, a fairly typical audio track for its era.
Apart from previews of other Paramount TV releases such as Perry Mason - 50th Anniversary Edition, Mannix, Cannon, and Jake & the Fat Man, there are no bonuses with the set.
The second half of Season 2 of Quinn Martin’s The Streets of San Francisco is every bit as entertaining as the first half. It’s an above average police drama that fans will enjoy seeing again looking very nice indeed for a show of its age.