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DVD Review

DVD cover

Season Three


Starring: Telly Savalas
Mediumrare Entertainment
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 April 2010

Running from September 14, 1975 to March 7, 1976 Season three of Kojak was no doubt the high point of the show's existence before interest fell off ending in the show's cancellation in 1978, by which time it had clocked up one hundred and eighteen episodes plus the pilot. The height of the show's power is reflected in the fact that in 1976 Joe Gores, already a well known crime writer, was awarded an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Episode in a TV Series Teleplay for the season three story No Immunity for Murder.

The undoubted star of the show was Telly Savalas as Lt. Theo Kojak, the lollypop sucking police Lieutenant, a motif put in the show in response to the growing resistance to showing smoking on television.

Based out of the New York City Police Department's Thirteenth Precinct, Manhattan South Patrol Borough, Kojak was an unusual cop in that he had an unmoveable moral centre when it came to crime or the taking of bribes. He was ably helped by his long suffering boss Capt. Frank McNeil (Dan Frazer) and his two regular sidekicks Detectives Bobby Crocker (Kevin Dobson) and Stavros (played by Savalas’s real-life brother George Savalas).

Being a police procedural show the Kojak generally, but not always, followed a well worn formula, with the audience following Kojak, usually, solving crimes with a small amount of violence and an unrealistic degree of ease. The thing which held the whole thing together was the charismatic performance by Savalas, without whom the show would have felt a lot more generic.

Season three has been released spread across a massive six discs and include

Disc one: A Question of Answers (parts 1 & 2), My Brother, My Enemy and Sweeter Than Life.

Disc Two: Be Careful What You Pray For, Secret Snow, Deadly Snow, Life, Liberation and the Pursuit Of Death and Out of the Frying Pan.

Disc Three: Over the Water, The Nicest Guys on the Block, No Immunity For Murder and A Long Way From Times Square.

Disc Four: Money Back Guarantee, A house Of Prayer, a Den of Thieves, How Cruel the Frost, How Bright the Star and The Forgotten Room.

Disc Five: On The Edge, A Wind From Corsica, Bad Dude and The Frame.

Disc Six: Deadly Innocence, Justice Deferred, Both Sides Of The Law and A Grave Too Soon. Disc six also contains a self running photo gallery (2 min, 42 sec).

Both the sound - a little muddy - and the picture are showing their age which is acknowledged in a warning at the start of each of the discs. The show is presented in its original aspect ratio.

Individually the shows are well written and well acted, though given the passage of time there are now some unintentional funny moments. The power of the show is reflected in the fact that season three has a very impressive guest list, from well known movie and television stars.

Fans will love this and forgive the fact that the shows haven’t had any work done on them, its just a shame that the extras are almost nonexistent.


Charles Packer

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