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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Adventure > Espionage > British TV > Mini-Series > Cold War > The Glory Boys (1984)/The Contract (1988/Gerald Seymour Cold War Spy Collection/British TV Mini-Series/Acorn Media DVD Set)

The Glory Boys (1984)/The Contract (1988/Gerald Seymour Cold War Spy Collection/British TV Mini-Series/Acorn Media DVD Set)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Episodes: C+



Gerald Seymour is a writer of spy thrillers and especially found his work being adapted for television during the Cold War.We were impressed, for instance, by this out-of-print DVD for The Waiting Time back in 1999 with John Thaw:





Now, Acorn Media has issued a set of DVDs of two earlier adaptations of his work as British TV mini-series.Though good and ambitious, they are not as good as the Thaw project, but interesting enough to revisit.


The Glory Boys has Rod Steiger as an Israeli nuclear expert targeted by an unusual alliance of the PLO and IRA.A duo of protectors led by Anthony Perkins is out to prevent this, but this will not be easy.Despite the Cold War being over, the groups involved still exist of course and this has not dated as badly, but it also has a slower pace than needed and is more about the characters than plotting and action.However, this undercuts the pace and goes on too long.That is odd since it is directed by Michael Ferguson, a Producer and Director on the underrated spy classic The Sandbaggers (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and Seymour did the teleplay adaptation from his own book.Alfred Burke (Public Eye) and great Joanna Lumley (New Avengers, Sapphire & Steel) also star.


The Contract is a tale of defection as a British agent is asked to help the USSRís top missile designer escape the Iron Curtain.When families and an unexpected trip through a then-divided Germany come into play, things get complicated.Kevin McNally, Bernard Hepton, James Faulkner, Hans Caninenberg and Brigitte Karner co-star in this decent adaptation again with Seymour adapting his book for television.The Director Ian Toynton moved on to direct a Saint telefilm in 1989 and episodes of Relic Hunter, Providence, Crossing Jordan, 24 and two shows he also serves as producer on: The O.C. and Bones.This has dated more than Glory, but is also worth a look.


The 1.33 X 1 image was shot on film in both cases, but these transfers are very soft and seem to be from an older analog NTSC source.Too bad, because the effort was made for these to look good and some money was definitely spent on each of them to be event projects.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono fares better, not sounding as dated and making viewing easier.Extras include text bios of the casts and Seymour.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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