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HTFDVD REVIEW: The Streets of San Francisco: Season 2, Volume 1 (1 Viewer)

Matt Hough

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Matt Hough


The Streets of San Francisco: Season 2, Volume 1
Directed by Virgil Vogel et al

Studio: Paramount
Year: 1973
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 570 minutes
Rating: NR
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 mono English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
MSRP: $ 42.99

Release Date: July 1, 2008
Review Date: June 21, 2008


The Series

3.5/5

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 no real mysteries among the 11 episodes represented on this three disc set with shows from the first half of season two. Instead, 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 robberies committed by teens for drug money to a flute-playing pimp who kills his ladies if they cause him any trouble.

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 first half of episodes are Michael Constantine, John Kerr (in two shows), Ina Balin, Martin Sheen, Peter Strauss, James Gregory, Leif Erikson, Marshall Thompson, Ray Danton, Leslie Nielsen, Tom Bosley, Sheree North, Earl Holliman, Jessica Walter, Rick Nelson, Kay Lenz, Darlene Carr, Mark Miller, Vic Morrow, Herb Edelman, Anthony Zerbe, Mariette Hartley, Robert Foxworth, Peter Mark Rickman, and Henry Silva.

As usual with Quinn Martin productions, the episodes fall into a very traditional pattern: four acts and an epilog. Here is the rundown of episodes from this first half of season two:

1 - A Wrongful Death
2 - Betrayed
3 - For the Love of God
4 - Before I Die (unusual retribution drama with a twist I didn’t see coming)
5 - Going Home
6 - The Stamp of Death
7 - Harem
8 - No Badge for Benjy (one of the more poignant episodes in the set)
9 - The Twenty-Four Karat Plague
10 - Shield of Honor
11 - The Victims


Video Quality

4/5

The program’s original 1.33:1 aspect ratio is delivered faithfully in these transfers. Sharpness and color accuracy are striking in these films despite some age related white specks that are present in many episodes. Due to a lack of anamorphic enhancement, there is some minor aliasing now and again, and some coat patterns flash just a bit. Still, these programs look amazingly good for their age. Each episode has been divided into 7 chapters.

Audio Quality

3/5

The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is decoded by Dolby Prologic into the center channel. The music, sound effects, and dialog are mixed into a very standard audio mix typical of the era when the shows were made. There are no age related problems like hiss or crackle, but there isn’t much dynamic sound here either.

Special Features

0/5

There are no bonus features at all in this three disc set.


In Conclusion

3.5/5 (not an average)

The Streets of San Francisco is a well crafted Quinn Martin production very representative of its time. It’s great to see it looking so good in these transfers even if there are no bonuses to bring a little added value to the package.


Matt Hough
Charlotte, NC
 

Jeff*H

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Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
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Location
Denver, CO
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Jeff
I did a blind buy on season 1 based on the reviews, and loved every minute of it. Therefore, I am very much looking forward to this next volume, even though I wish there were more than 11 episodes in the set.
 

Aryn Leroux

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 19, 2001
Messages
1,514
It is my understanding Season 2 is one of the weaker seasons of the show along with Season 5. But i am sure it is still good. After spending a good chunk of change @ the DDD sale, I am not sure if i will manage to get this on the actual street date in a couple weeks. But i will definately be getting it at some point. I look forward to S3 which i hear is the best year of this show!! S1 was fantastic!

BTW.. Thanks for the Review!
 

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