The Strange World Of Gurney Slade – The Complete
Series (1960/Network U.K. Region
2/R2/Import PAL DVD)
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Episodes: B-
PLEASE NOTE: This DVD is only available in
the U.K. from our friends at
and can be ordered from them at the website address links provided below at the
end of the review or
at finer retailers. This is a Region
Two/2 DVD, so you must have a machine that can handle that format.
television that dares to be unique or challenging and the sad fact is that many
shows that only had a few episodes that tried to be groundbreaking get lost in
the shuffle too much. Home Video has
allowed some of these shows to come back (though we have a longer list than you
might imagine of those not out or out in all markets), but a more obscure
series designed to last only six episodes was The Strange World Of Gurney Slade (1960) in which Anthony Newley
plays the title character.
first scene, he is making a TV show and we see him on the set, but he cannot
take the phoniness anymore and simply walks off the stage and into the “real
world” except that everything (including many inanimate objects) start talking
addition, we hear his thoughts, speculations and ideas throughout as the show
slowly expands into other areas, places and ideas. It may sound like an original Twilight Zone episode or two, but it is
much different in several respects and has other comical approaches that make
it a different kind of piece when all is said and done.
by ATV, it was first broadcast in 1960 before the huge onslaught of British TV
classics ATV and ITC would produce, but shows the growing spirit of the
then-new television medium to try new things.
Newley was a big singer/songwriter even up to this point, starting as a
child star, so this work came naturally to him by this point and its
shows. He really shines here.
Sidney Green and Richard Hills wrote the teleplays with Newley and as a duo
later wrote on hits like Morecambe &
Wise and Flip Wilson’s variety show Flip
certainly show they had talent and ideas long before. The supporting cast across the shows includes
Anneke Wills, Bernie Winters, Dilys Laye and Edwin Richfield. Each show runs about a half hour and MUST be watched in order for the
show to work. This is a gem worth going
out of your way for and deserves a wide new audience, though older viewers
lucky to see it to begin with will likely be impressed to see how well it holds
X 1 image was shot on 35mm black and white film and looks as good as it is
going to in this format, though I can see a few softer shots and slight print
issues throughout, but a Blu-ray would likely override that (and go great with
all five seasons of the original Twilight
Zone now out on Blu-ray and reviewed elsewhere on this site). As for the look of the show, it is one of
nice shots, depth and other detailed shots with limited styling in the outdoor
footage, but the interiors tend to be more stylized and sometimes even surreal. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is lossy and good
for its age, though I wonder if some of the fidelity is being held back. Extras include a stills set and the
interesting promotional campaign to launch the show.
new interview with co-star Anneke Wills, go to this link:
And as noted above, you can order this DVD import
exclusively from Network U.K.
- Nicholas Sheffo