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"Armchair Theatre" is a British television drama anthology series of single plays that ran on the ITV network from 1956 to 1974. It was originally produced by Associated British Corporation, and later by Thames Television from mid-1968.
Harry H. Corbett,
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For anyone interested in Scotland Yard, London of the 60's and a veritable conveyor belt of some of the best British character actors, this box set is a must have. Starring the ever likable John Gregson as Commander George Gideon (who never monopolises the story lines) and the handsome Alexander Davion as Det. Inspector David Keen this takes you back to the era of run down streets, policemen still visible on those streets, old cars, motor scooters, pork pie hats and ersatz Rock 'n Roll. Amongst those appearing are George Cole, Ray Barratt, Harry Fowler, George Sewell, Justine Lord, Victor Maddern, Sydney Tafler, Ray Brooks, Jack Hedley, Angela Douglas, Patrick Allen, Eric Barker, Alfie Bass, Bryan Pringle, Ann Lynn and an extremely young looking John Hurt and a rarity for the time, just one token American in Donald Sutherland. A mention also for the magnificent Derren Nesbitt who turns up in the first episode 'The Tin God', I've never seen an actor use such exaggerated hand movements as he did in every appearance he ever made on celluloid. Worth the price of the box set alone to watch his performance!
I gave it 9 instead of 10 stars due to two things; the so called 'special features' are quite laughable, i.e. The opening credits without the theme tune, plus the fade to adverts being considered as worthy of inclusion when they are of a length of a minute if that. The booklet included cannot be read unless you possess the vision of Superman, bifocals or a magnifying glass, plus why show photographs in colour when the series is black and white? Having said that it is well worth buying; maybe it doesn't contain the stark realism of 'Z Cars' or the tough 'up and at 'em' style of 'The Sweeney' but nevertheless it is a series to cherish and while away those long winter's nights with.
*Although I derided the 'special features' on the first disc there is in fact, a very long stills gallery from the series on the second disk showing many of the actors and actresses plus scenes from the series plus a soundtrack of different music heard in the programme. If you love Scotland Yard type police series then this is the one for you; you'll be transported back to a world and London of the mid 60's.
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