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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Red Hand Gang
The Complete Series


Starring: Matthew Laborteaux, J.R. Miller Jolie Newman Johnny Brogna James Bond III
Fabulous Films
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: PG
Available 29 September 2008

Join the Red Hand Gang - leader Frankie, troublemaker JR, tomboy Joanne, brainy Doc, Frankie’s younger brother Lil’ Bill and, of course, Boomer the dog - as the entire series is release on DVD...

The Red Hand Gang first aired on BBC 1 in September 1977 and was later repeated during the summers of 1980 and 1982. The Red Hand Gang were a group of five inner-city pre-teens who unwittingly found themselves foiling heists, robberies and kidnaps.

What's really bizarre is how I could remember quite a lot about this show from it's original transmission. But while the basic stories had an air of familiarity, it was the music that I really remembered from all those years ago.

This DVD collection features all 12 episodes which made up the three individual adventures. The first story (which consists of five episodes) sees the Red Hand Gang attempting to foil the kidnapping of a young boy. The second story (four episodes) follows the gang as they try to stop a gang of jewel thieves who have also replaced a famous American Football star with a man who has had surgery to look like the celebrity. And the final adventure (three episodes) sees the gang on the tail of a couple of crooks who are attempting to steal a priceless museum artefact by using a trained monkey... er... I mean chimpanzee.

None of the child actors went on to have a bigger and better acting career other than Matthew Laborteaux, who would later appear in Little House on the Prairie. This is not really overly surprising as to be honest only Laborteaux and James Bond III could actually act. James Bond III would later write and direct Def by Temptation (1990) which starred Samuel L. Jackson. Anthony Zerbe (Licence to Kill, Star Trek: Insurrection) makes an appearance as one of the kidnappers in the first story.

Extras include text based Series and Episode Synopsis; Photo Gallery and Original American Commercial Break Card (4 sec).

While the picture quality isn't pin sharp and the extras are nothing to write home about, what do you expect for a TV show from the '70s? Personally I'm just glad this exists in any form at all. This is one nostalgic trip that's well worth revisiting.


Nick Smithson

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