Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Telefilm > British TV > Literature > Detective > Crime > Drama > Urban > Thriller > Police > Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series Four (1992/Acorn Blu-ray)/Kojak: Season Four (1976 – 1977/Shout! Factory DVD Set)

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series Four (1992/Acorn Blu-ray)/Kojak: Season Four (1976 – 1977/Shout! Factory DVD Set)


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



Two of TV’s favorite detectives (and one of the most famous in literature, of course) are back with some of their most popular releases.


Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series Four (1992) is a new three-mystery Blu-ray version of tales previously issued on DVD.  The adaptations are as follows, including the year each mystery was originally issued as a Christie novel:


1)     The ABC Murders (1936)

2)     Death In The Clouds (1935)

3)     One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940)



Originally issued as single DVDs and in the Classic Collections 2 box set (a thick DigiPak booklet), this is where the series was starting to loose what did work for it and the problems I had with its set-up started to affect the overall feel of the show.  David Suchet is good, but still not my favorite Poirot and despite good budgets and still good production values and designs, these adaptations do not stay with me as much as the earlier ones.  Still, this is the best way to see them and for this set, there are no extras.



Kojak: Season Four (1976 – 1977) continues the winning ways of the hit Telly Savalas show we have covered for the most part (save the First Season issued about a decade ago) and you can read more about those releases starting at this link:




We get 25 more hour-long shows over 6 DVDs including the famous Grim Reaper serial killer storyline and Kojak’s own niece getting kidnapped.  Guest stars for this season include Richard Gere, Sharon Gless, Marco St. John, Roxie Roker, Bruce Glover, Lara Parker, Dan Hedaya, Paul Mantee, Sally Kirkland, Charles Kimbrough, Rosie Greer, Swoosie Kurtz, Danny Aiello, Simon Oakland, Rosalind Cash, F. Murray Abraham, Haywood Nelson, Hector Elizondo, David Selby, Dorian Harewood, Susan Sullivan, Joe Turkel, Eric Braeden, Maud Adams, Irene Cara, Ken Kercheval, Lynn Redgrave, Morgan Fairchild, Geraldine Page, Blair Brown, Brian Dennehy, William Hurt, Judith Light, Albert Paulsen, Carol Lynley, Christopher Walken, George Maharis, Jeffrey Tambor, Joan Van Ark, Holland Taylor, Murray Hamilton, Caroline McWilliams, Gloria Grahame and Season Hubley.


That is a strong group and the show had surprisingly not fallen victim to the weekly TV grind, which is now more apparent watching the series in these seasonal sets.  Universal and CBS had not stopped the show from being a success and these hold up surprisingly well overall.  Makes you miss TV that took its audience seriously and with intelligence as this one did, but I was glad to see this one and Savalas was as strong as ever in the title role.  There are sadly no extras this time.



The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Poirot is once again very impressive and a nice jump from the previous DVD issues, with much improved color, detail and depth allowing the viewer to really see the hard work that went into each show.  Originating on 16mm film, it is a very noticeable improvement over all previous versions of these three tales and fans will be especially happy.  The 1.33 X 1 image on all the episode of Kojak look as good as they did in the previous sets and except for minor print flaws.  The look and locales of New York really helped to make this show.  In both cases, there are shots with a little more definition and depth than previous season sets since the film stocks improved.


The PCM 2.0 Stereo on Poirot is a welcome upgrade over the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on the older DVD editions, while lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the Kojak episodes are as good as they are going to get on DVD and as well-recorded and mixed for mono as was usual for Universal TV productions of the time.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com