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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Drama > Police > TV > Kojak – Season Two (1974 – 75/Shout! Factory DVD Set)

Kojak – Season Two (1974 – 75/Shout! Factory DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B



Many great TV shows that were significant hits and that arrived on DVD that you would think would have been big hits and all their seasons would have quickly followed.  Classics like Maude, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Welcome Back Kotter, One Day At A Time and others got stuck, while some other huge hits (Alice and Eight Is Enough) have not seen any season releases.  Kojak did see a Season One release many years ago, but it was not the hit it was expected to be, was awkwardly promoted and then it was haphazardly tied into a revival series with the likable Ving Rhames in the title role that made no sense and was quickly axed.


Now, many years later, we have Kojak – Season Two arriving, but it is Shout! Factory picking it up and it may just be a record between the releases of the first and second season of any show (longer than say, Barney Miller).  By this time, the show was a red hot hit and Telly Savalas made the transition from tough guy character actor to the internationally successful New York police detective after a long run of critical and box office success.  The show was a huge hit.


All 24 episodes (all one hour, save the season opener, which is an even longer telefilm) are here over six DVDs and the fine writing and thought out crime scenarios continued.  I had not seen some of these shows for decades, but I was impressed how well they held up and how good Savalas really was here.  Guest stars and familiar faces (even if you can’t name all of them) for this season include Abe Vigoda, Michael Constantine, Sheree North, Tige Andrews, Milton Selzer, Robert Ito, Val Bisoglio, John Randolph, Paul Anka, Ja’net DuBois, Andrea Marcovicci, Ruth Gordon, Mark Stevens, Kathleen Quinlan, Carmen Zapata, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Julie Gregg, Paul Benedict, Francine York, Gordon Jump, Harrison Page, Roger E. Mosley, Margaret Avery, Martin Balsam, Richard Eastham, Daniel J. Travanti, Victor Campos, David Doyle, Normann Burton, Leslie Nielsen, Antonio Fargas, Alex Rocco, Richard X. Slattery, Erik Estrada, Eugene Roche, Bruno Kirby, Thaao Penghlis, Thayer David, Elaine Joyce, Stephen Elliott, John Glover, Jack Ging, Brad Dexter, Robert Loggia, Dick O’Neill, Rose Marie, Carmine Caridi, Michael C. Gwynne, Liam Dunn, Cynthia Harris, Dick Balduzzi, Helen Page Camp, Tracy Reed, Richard Carlyle and Andrew Robinson.


Joining Kojak zipping around the Big Apple in his brown Buick when it was a more exciting car are Kevin Dobson, Dan Frazier, Mark Russell, Vince Conti and George Savalas, often identified in the credits simply by his middle name: Demosthenes.


The 1.33 X 1 image transfers are better than they might first appear.  The show was shot on location in New York and this included interior and nighttime shooting that was far less common in the show’s time.  As a result, you will get more grain and noise than most TV of the time, yet it would also be similar to may crime dramas hitting movie theaters at the time.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also good for its age, especially considering the location recording, all very professional for the time, so they have done a good job on these discs.  There are unfortunately no extras, but maybe next set.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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