Two late and great vehicles from the Alec Guinness pantheon of roles, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979) and Smiley's People (1982) have been released via Acorn, an entity that for a number of years has been the major purveyor of some of the finest broadcast productions from the UK.
Much of the early material was shot, edited and broadcast on videotape, and today, far too much has either been lost or is only available in problematic dubs of original 2" quads.
In many cases, productions shot on film (generally 16mm) have their own problems, especially as some haven't been scanned on the most modern of equipment.
Tinker, Tailor, was to my eye, problematic.
Smiley's People, far less so, and on the whole, an acceptable viewing experience.
Shot on 16, and with the requisite 16 grain structure, I'm wondering if what I'm seeing here is more video noise than grain. But, regardless, sit back a decent distance from the screen, especially in projection, and the rewards to be found here, as we witness the continuing exploits of retired spy George Smiley, are well worth the price of admission.
Now if we could get Sir Alec's incomparable Ealing work out on Blu-ray from the current rightsholder...
Image - 3
Audio - 4
Note: As full disclosure, I am a stockholder in Acorn's parent company, RLJ, which also controls Image Entertainment. My comments in regard to their products remain strangely untainted.