Saturday, 13 February 2010


[19.00 - French Time] Network releases this month Callan - The Monochrome Years. And Frank Collins reviews this DVD on Cathode Ray Tube, his quintessential blog.

In Callan (1967-1972), created by James Mitchell, Edward Woodward was the ultimate incarnation of the realistic, cynical and sometimes melancholic spy with a conscience. Employed by a shadowy government security service, always questioning his superior, David Callan was more close to the job description by John le Carré or Len Deighton than to the image of James Bond - whose popularity was at its peak then.

Woodward's magnificent interpretation of the reluctant hitman brought him stardom and a prestigious BAFTA of Best Actor. Aired on ABC/Thames Television, Callan ended with a three-parter called The Richmond File in 1972 but the character returned later in a 1974 feature film (Callan) and in Wet Job, a 1981 television movie.

This four-disc set contains: the original Armchair Theatre pilot play (A Magnum for Schneider) and the surviving black and white episodes from Series One and Two unseen in nearly forty years and available for the first time in any format. There's also a 1969 episode, The Worst Soldier I Ever Saw, restored in its proper transmission format from a raw studio footage for this DVD release.

No comments: