The Black Arrow – The Complete Series (1972 – 1975/VCI DVD Set)
C Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: C
The Black Arrow is one of Robert Louis
Stevenson’s lesser-known creations and has been produced in live action
versions on and off since 1911, with Louis Hayward the best-known actor to play
the character in a 1948. However, the
longest-running version is a British children’s show from the early 1970s and
it has arrived on DVD in a Complete
Series set from VCI Entertainment.
has the role here, along with his secret identity as Richard Shelton. This version lasted three seasons, consisted
of half-hour shows and ran out of material from the book by the second set of
shows. Filmed in what was likely 16mm
film with a slowly increasing use of PAL analog videotape, the shows are not
bad for a young audience, but are limited in their story range since they are
supposed to be simple adventures.
the few shows from the Southern Network (now part of ITV), most of the actors are
unknowns, though Nigel Havers turns up in a few of the later shows as does
William Squire (Callan). I think it is a good show for a young
audience what might be really interested, but I was otherwise bored by what I
saw as repetition and the makers are lucky they got so many seasons and 20
shows out of all of this.
X 1 image is a little soft throughout, no matter the shooting format with some
flaws and even strained shots, but this is likely just the condition of the
material that survived. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Mono is better, as clean and clear as can be expected for a
production of its age. There are no
extras save trailers for other VCI releases.