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"I Spy" on DVD: is it a good purchase?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   bmasters9

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Posted August 06 2010 - 10:17 AM

I've been seeing the first release of "I Spy," the classic 1965-68 NBC adventure series starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Simpsonville for $15. It looks pretty appealing, but I'm kind of on the fence about getting it. It's five discs, with 6 outings apiece on all but the last one (4 on the last one), and that's what's keeping me on the fence; I think I've heard before that when a disc of an hour series like "I Spy" has 5 or 6 outings on it, that might be pushing it in terms of video quality and compression, and that's why I'm wondering if this release would be a good purchase for me.
"CBS Sports presents...The Prudential College Football Report, sponsored by The Prudential, offering a full range of insurance and other financial services. The Prudential: the Rock...it's strong, it's on the move, it's bigger than life."

(Don Robertson's opening from The Prudential College Football Report in the 1986 season, modified from what it was in 1985, in that "other financial services" was said instead of just "financial services")

 


#2 of 8 OFFLINE   BobO'Link

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Posted August 06 2010 - 01:08 PM

The series it *lots* of fun and one of the best spy drama series ever shown on TV. It features location shooting on all episodes for exteriors and a more realistic tone than many of the other spy series.  Culp and Cosby have a very good chemistry, coming across almost like a buddy film.  The show won several Emmy Awards for the lead actors as well as the program itself.


As far as quality, the opening sequences/credits are a bit rough (because of the original film stock) but the quality of the shows themselves is quite good with good color and sharp images with clear audio (this is a plus as there is *no* closed captioning *or* sub-titles).  Bits rates are fairly good.  My player shows a bar graph for the bit rates - the rates match almost every "big studio" release for classic TV typically falling about the middle of the scale. All episodes appear to be full length and uncut running 51-52 minutes with original music.


If you're a fan of 60's spy shows I highly recommend purchasing the entire 3 season run.  There are 83 episodes for the entire series.


Price wise, you can almost always get this series at better prices than WM:


Amazon:

Season 1 - $11.49

Season 2 - $10.99

Season 3 - $10.99


DeepDiscount is $13.59 each season:

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


These also go on sale for a bit less than that occasionally, but the current Amazon pricing is very good.  Considering you can get all 3 seasons for typically less than just about any other hour length drama series the prices are real bargains.



#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Joe Tor1

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Posted August 06 2010 - 02:02 PM

I'll second Howie's endorsement of I Spy!  I'ts a great sixties-era series.  And inexpensive, too.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   FP62

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Posted August 06 2010 - 03:50 PM

As someone else who has all three seasons, I can also recommend "I Spy". And the late Robert Culp's commentaries on all of the episodes he wrote are very informative and insightful. He was a very talented, thoughtful guy (RIP).

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   bmasters9

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Posted August 06 2010 - 09:58 PM

Thanks for the responses! Based on those, I think that I might get it sometime in the future. I had heard that it was a classic, and I was thinking about seeing how good it was. And, to be honest, I'm pretty much a fan of '60's television, most notably "Hawaii Five-O," but if I get this "I Spy," I might end up becoming a spy fan as well.
"CBS Sports presents...The Prudential College Football Report, sponsored by The Prudential, offering a full range of insurance and other financial services. The Prudential: the Rock...it's strong, it's on the move, it's bigger than life."

(Don Robertson's opening from The Prudential College Football Report in the 1986 season, modified from what it was in 1985, in that "other financial services" was said instead of just "financial services")

 


#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Hollywoodaholic

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Posted August 25 2010 - 06:42 AM

A moment of silence, awe and respect for the passing of actress Ahna Capri, who brought exotic hotness to just about every show she appeared on throughout the 60's including The Invaders, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Adam-12, and I Spy. She was killed in a car crash yesterday in Los Angeles at the age of 65.

 

Here she is in a tennis outfit at about 15:30 minutes in to this Hulu presentation of I Spy, "Will the Real Good Guys Please Stand Up?"

 

http://www.imdb.com/...u/vi1480327961/



#7 of 8 OFFLINE   ToddR2

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Posted August 25 2010 - 11:47 AM

R.I.P., Miss Capri. Ben, I Spy is a great show, but it's more sophisticated than Hawaii Five-O, so if you're looking for similar breezy entertainment, it might not be the show for you.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Hakan Andersson

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Posted August 25 2010 - 07:18 PM

In my opinion, the problem with "I Spy" are the scripts. They are fluffy and unbelievable. Sometimes Culp & Cosby just hang around the place they visit and ends up in some kind of trouble. I thought agents had a mission when sent out in the world? And how many episodes involves a romantic encounter for Robert Culp, with a sloooow moving story when he and the girl are sightseeing, and in the end the girl (or someone behind her) turns out to be an enemy agent? And Culps and Cosbys "cover up" (tennis pro & trainer) is almost never dealt with, how can he be a tennis pro and stay for weeks in one certain town and without playing a single match or at least do some training? As agents the appear very unprofessional in their attitude.   I have seen season 1 & 2, hopefully season 3 is better, but I have little hope. To me, "Hawaii-Five-O" is in a totally other league.




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