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'Streets of San Francisco: Complete Fifth Season'
(Karl Malden, Richard Hatch, Michael Douglas, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2012 / Paramount Pictures)

Overview: Twenty year veteran Detective Lt. Mike Stone is now partnered with Det. Dan Robbins, a man with secrets and his own way of doing things on the Streets of San Francisco.

DVD Verdict: 'The Streets of San Francisco' was one of those TV shows that kept you watching from start to finish of every episode - because you just wanted to see the known-by-then baddy get his just rewards in the massive hands of Karl Malden! The 1970s TV cop drama filmed on location in San Francisco, CA, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, was a massive success from start to finish.

Primarily, it featured Karl Malden and Michael Douglas as two detectives in the San Francisco Bay Area. The show ran for five seasons (1972-1977) on ABC and actually started with a pilot movie of the same title (based on the detective novel Poor, Poor Ophelia by Carolyn Weston) earlier in 1972.

But, being that this was the final season, and they knew it going in, sure the scripts were still solid, the capers still in touch with reality, but Michael Douglas departed after episode two for the big screen. This split the renowned partnership in half, and even the arrival of Richard Hatch as Det. Dan Robbins couldn't save it. In truth, the show just didn't have the same feel, same bounce without Douglas. His long-standing partnership with Karl Malden was legendary on TV by that juncture and so as much as Hatch did his best, he was just a stand-in on a sinking ship.

But, that all said, it was still an enjoyable season to watch. The season opener THE THRILL KILLERS: PART 1 and PART 2 gave us four terrorists who seized a busload of jurors involved in the trial of two additional terrorists. In the process Keller is badly wounded and Mike Stone's new aid, Inspector Dan Robbins, must step in. In the second part, Stone and Robbins track down the gang that kidnapped jurors. Come the end of the episode, Keller decides to leave the SFPD.

Another favorite few episodes of mine are: NO MINOR VICES, where a 16-year-old prostitute learns her father is killing her customers; HOT DOG, where Mike and Dan must go after a biker gang; A GOOD COP...BUT, where a policeman and an informer are the only witnesses to a cop-killer's crime; and both DEAD LIFT, where a body builder is dangerously thin-skinned, and the series finale THE CANINE COLLAR, where a smuggler hides diamonds in a dog collar, and now must find it.

As always, the show brought us some serious guest star power which included: Patty Duke, Susan Dey, Norman Fell, Jim McMullan, James Shigeta, Dick Van Patten, Ron Glass, Marion Ross, Barry Sullivan, Tom Bosley, Lisa Eilbacher, Dabney Coleman, Parker Stevenson, Eugene Roche, Maureen McCormick, James Olson, Desi Arnez Jr., Don Johnson, Gerald McRaney, Pat Hingle, Pat Crowley, Lee Purcell, Bob Hastings, Gary Lockwood, Francine York, Archie Hahn, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Hamill, Johnny Weissmuller Jr. and many more! These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

www.paramount.com/homeentertainment





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