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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > TV > Persuaders - Set Two (A&E DVD Set)

The Persuaders! – Set Two (A&E Region One/NTSC DVD Set)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: B-



PLEASE NOTE: This series has been issued on Blu-ray in 2011 and upgraded DVD sets in the U.K., we reviewed the Blu-ray set at this link:





Now the original review…



Roger Moore and Tony Curtis were back for what turned out to be the conclusion of The Persuaders, a show Lord Lew Grade and the creators of the show expected would be a long-running hit.  Although we know him much better now, this was really the first time Moore got to be comically outrageous.  We already knew Curtis’ abilities in this respect.  The concluding Set Two offers a show that became more comic as it went on.  The idea was to do an all-male Avengers, with two rich guys being trouble-shooters instead of one, but with more humor than that show’s Police Surgeon predecessor.  Refer to the Set One review on this site for more details, as is the link above.


Despite some highlights, the second half of the show was just not as strong as the first and it folded.  It was a hit in many non-U.S. markets and the cult for it makes total sense, but the lack of action, even done amusingly, allows the show to drag more than it should.  The appeal at the time of having two male stars who had been often admired by women sort of hamming it up was supposed to be funny in itself, but ideas about masculinity have changed since, so some may think they are being too goofy without the proper context.  The remaining shows are as follows:



14) The Man In The Middle (written by Donald James, directed by Leslie Norman) – Brett St. Clair (Moore) hatches a plan to catch a traitor spy, only for it to backfire.  Terry-Thomas and Suzy Kendall are welcome, but the story is flat.


15) A Home Of One’s Own (Terry Nation/James Hill) – In one of the most explicit attempts at humor, Danny Wilde (Curtis) buys a formerly great home that condemned and for good reason.  Despite this, it still holds some strange value that certain people are willing to kill over.  The humor fails, as does the show.


16) Five Miles To Midnight (Terry Nation/Val Guest) – The guys attempt to smuggle a gangster in various vehicles leads to all kinds of complications in one of the more amusing shows in this set.  Jean Marsh is here, as is an especially amusing Joan Collins, in one of her lighter and more naturalistic guest star appearances on any TV show.

17) Nuisance Value (David Wolfe & Tony Barwick/Leslie Norman) – Danny’s womanizing takes a new turn when a blind date of his is kidnapped and he seems to be getting framed for it.  The results are mixed.


18) The Morning After (Walter Black/Leslie Norman) – A hung-over Brett wakes up to find he is married to a beautiful woman (Bond girl and future Space: 1999 and Adventurer star Catherine Von Schell), but it is obviously a set up, which is why the show never works.


19) Read & Destroy (Peter Yeldam/Roy Ward Baker) – Another British agent Brett happens to know is getting ready to print his memoirs, but too many people feel that encompasses too many of their own private stories, so he becomes a marked man and he contacts Brett just in time for Brett and Danny to be caught in the crossfire.  This is one of the better shows here, co-starring Joss Ackland, Nigel Green and Kate O’Mara.


20) The Ozerov Inheritance (Harry W. Junkin/Roy Ward Baker) – Brett and Danny try to prove a Russian family are heirs to a fortune, but it looks like there are many who want to keep them poor, if not dead.  Gladys Cooper is the elder royal nomad in one of the stronger episodes the series produced.


21) A Death In The Family (Terry Nation/Sidney Hayers) – Brett’s family is being targeted for murder, so he and Danny have to find the killer’s before Brett is belatedly orphaned.  Diane Cliento (the future Mrs. Sean Connery), Denholm Elliott (the Indiana Jones films) and Ivor Dean (Inspector Teal from all of Moore’s Saint seasons) co-star, though Moore plays many of his relatives and Curtis is equally amusing in the end.  Played more for humor, but is somewhat more effective than usual.


22) To The Death, Baby (Donald James/Basil Dearden) – Brett and Danny bet who can win over an heiress more, but the bet turns out to have deadly strings attached neither was expecting.  Another mixed show.


23) Someone Waiting (Terry Nation/Peter Medak) – Brett goes back to formula racing, only to be tracked down by an obsessed murderer.  Not bad and sometimes truly amusing thanks to Medak.


24) Element Of Risk (Tony Barwick/Gerald Mayer) – This combination of military and gangster escapades is supposed to recall the Bond film Goldfinger (1964) in some slight way, but doing this extended puts some age on it.  The show is saved by two great guest performances by perennial genre character actors Peter Bowles and Shane Rimmer.  Laurence Naismith, whose Judge Fulton character brought them together to begin with, is here but less often in these episodes.  His scaled-back appearances did not unhinder the show as much as expected.



The full frame image still looks good for its age and colorful, often offering sharper detail than expected.  The PAL/NTSC conversion offers slight digital hazing in the details, but cinematographer Tony Spratling continued to offer a rich-looking show that was built to last.  Of course, that infamous ITC rear-projection work is another story, but these look good.  The high 384 kilobits-per-second Dolby Digital 2.0 continues here in the simple stereo remixes of the old monophonic shows and the John Barry theme song just grows on a listener.  Sadly, except for the same bio/filmography text on Moore and Curtis, plus some stills for these episodes on DVD 3, there are no more commentaries or other extras like the previous DVD set.


So the show ended; not the much-needed hit it needed to be in the U.S. and just too expensive to continue producing.  Moore was finally free to do James Bond, while Curtis started having career trouble, as if the torch was passed from one actor to another for commercial success.  Though Moore’s non-Bond outings did not do spectacular business, Bond made him even bigger than he was on The Saint.  Obviously, he met resistance in the role, but both TV series certainly helped him into that direction.  Curtis had a few comebacks in later years as well.  That leaves The Persuaders as one of the most interesting transitional shows in the genre.  Maybe falling between the late 1960s and early 1970s did not help, but with that said, I can think of few other shows that could say goodbye to such a great decade of landmark television in Britain.  It is still that good.


It is no surprise that years after this review posted, it would be one of the first Lord Lew Grade/ITC action shows to hit High Definition and Blu-ray!



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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