Ten great drama series that you can purchase on DVD


The first ITC series to be made in colour, The Baron (Steve Forrest) is another of the exciting, cult television classics produced by the company throughout the 1960s. Antiques dealer John Mannering (known as The Baron), along with his glamorous, sexy assistant Cordelia (Sue Lloyd), works in an informal capacity for the head of the British Diplomatic Intelligence – an informal agreement which invariably puts the jet-setting playboy in dangerous, life-or-death situations. Global espionage, bank robberies, murder – it’s all in a day’s work for The Baron! Based on the best-selling novels by John Creasey, The Baron is a rarely-seen series cut from the same cloth as other quality ITC productions such as The Saint and Danger Man and features guest stars of the calibre of Bernard Lee, Peter Wyngarde, Sylvia Sims, Robert Hardy, Philip Madoc, Edward Woodward and Jeremy Brett throughout all thirty episodes.
The Baron - The Complete Series [DVD] [1966]


Edward Woodward gives an electrifying performance as a reluctant professional killer working for British Intelligence. Callan became a national phenomenon in the late 1960s, making Woodward one of the highest profile actors on television and paving the way to his eventual career in America on shows like The Equalizer. Created by James Mitchell (When the Boat Comes In) and exploring the dingy, twilight world of the professional spy, Callan was the antithesis of James Bond (back in the days of Connery and Moore) and presented, until that point, television's most realistic portrayal of government espionage. This set contains the original Armchair Theatre pilot play, A Magnum for Schneider, along with all the remaining black and white episodes from series one and two - unseen in nearly forty years and available on any format for the first time.
Callan - The Monochrome Years [DVD] [1976] [1967]


“Every government has its secret service branch: America, CIA; France, Deuxieme Bureau; England, MI5. NATO also has its own. A messy job? Well that’s when they usually call on me, or someone like me. Oh yes, my name is Drake, John Drake.” An early success for action-adventure company ITC, Danger Man’s first series consisted of the 39 half-hour stories contained in this set. The programme charts the exploits of John Drake - an exemplary agent for British Intelligence who is sent into situations too tricky or dangerous for normal spies to undertake. Patrick McGoohan’s simmering, compelling performance catapulted him into movies and paved the way for his undeniable tour de force - The Prisoner. Showcasing Edwin Astley’s memorable music, Danger Man features intriguing storylines from top writers Brian Clemens, Ian Stuart Black, Michael Pertwee and Ralph Smart, with key performances from guest stars Donald Pleasence, Patrick Wymark, Robert Shaw, Patrick Troughton, Warren Mitchell and Honor Blackman. One episode - The Vacation - is an early directorial credit for series star McGoohan.
Danger Man - Series 1 [DVD] [1959]


Pre-dating television favourites Casualty and Holby City by decades, Emergency - Ward 10 was Britain's first medical soap opera. Initially thought of (much like Coronation Street) as a filler programme, the twice-weekly serial rapidly became a favourite with the nation's viewing public. Between 1957 and 1967 it regularly pulled in audiences in excess of 15 million and spawned two spin-off programmes and a feature-film adaptation. Set in the fictitious Oxbridge General Hospital, Emergency - Ward 10 concentrated as much on the private lives of the staff as it did on their jobs, setting the template for today's modern medical soaps. It also introduced the viewers to medical procedures, earning praise from the British Medical Council for helping to allay the public’s fears of hospitals. High in dramatic content, the series had a low mortality rate (patient deaths were strictly limited to five per year) and made stars out of the doctors, nurses and indeed patients who walked the wards. This series, in common with many from the 1950s and '60s, no longer exists in its entirety; included in this set are 24 of the earliest surviving episodes from 1959 and 1960 - Other volumes are available.
Emergency Ward 10 Volume 2 [DVD]


This dynamic and tightly scripted drama centres on the search for the perpetrators of a multi-million-pound gold bullion robbery; Peter Vaughan stars as the C.I.D. officer doggedly tracking down all those who hold clues to the identity of the mastermind behind the raid. Vaughan’s strong performance is supported by some of the key dramatic actors of the late ‘60s, including Joss Ackland, Alfred Lynch, George Cole, Bernard Hepton, George Innes, Roy Dotrice and Peter Bowles. Arthur Butler, the former Scotland Yard officer who had worked on the investigation into the Great Train Robbery, acted as technical adviser on the series, and it earned acclaimed producer and screenwriter John Hawkesworth (Upstairs, Downstairs) a BAFTA nomination for Best Drama Series; among a celebrated team of writers were former Z Cars contributors Alan Prior and Eric Coltart. The Gold Robbers originally aired in 1969 and all thirteen episodes of this much sought-after drama, as well as the feature-length repeat edit of the final two episodes, are included in this set.
The Gold Robbers: The Complete Series


Arguably the finest series ever put out in the 1960s by Lew Grade's ITC stable, MAN IN A SUITCASE features Richard Bradford as McGill, a discredited ex-CIA agent who is reduced to working for hire as a private investigator. Travelling the world, McGill works as a 'gun for hire', often coming into conflict with his employers due to his strong sense of personal integrity and zero tolerance for shady dealings. Bradford - a method actor and contemporary of Brando's (they starred together in THE CHASE) gives an astounding performances as McGill - the coolest private eye that ever graced a television screen. Critically acclaimed and highly popular (it even got a network transmission in the States), Man In A Suitcase is presented here with all thirty episodes complete and uncut, with each episode being digitally remastered - it has never looked better.
Man in a Suitcase - Complete Series [DVD] [1967]


The Power Game - ATV's famous boardroom drama from the 1960s stars Patrick Wymark as John Wilder, the ruthless and power-hungry executive whom everybody loves to hate. His adversarial relationship with his wife and colleagues in his fight for political power and one-upmanship set the template for many boardroom dramas to come. Wymark revelled in his role as the despicable Wilder, his strong and compelling characterisation encouraging equally high-calibre performances from co-stars Peter Barkworth, Clifford Evans, Barbara Murray, Jack Watling and Michael Jayston. Comprising of all three complete series, this box set will appeal to fans of high-quality drama and archive television. With both the second and third series unseen since their original transmission, the majority of episodes have been transferred from film elements especially for this set.
The Power Game - Series 1-3 - Complete [DVD]


Over a period of ten years between January 1965 to April 1975, the ABC/Thames drama series Public Eye, and its world-weary, ageing, but essentially honest central character of downtrodden private enquiry agent, Frank Marker, successfully walked the all important transitional path between the gloss and glamour of the ITC adventure series of the 60's and the grittily violent action of emerging new shows, such as The Sweeney, which would go on to dominate the television screens of the 70's. Originally beginning life in black and white, the series introduced us to Marker, (a subtle and perfectly judged portrayal by the consistently excellent Alfred Burke), unmarried, a loner, barely making a living working as an independent freelance enquiry agent in London. The great crime here is that so much of the series early triumphs are lost to television posterity. However, the episodes that do survive can now be widely and comprehensively enjoyed by a modern audience.
Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] [1965]


John Barrie is Sergeant Cork, one of the early members of London’s Metropolitan Police C.I.D. - plain-clothes detectives tasked with maintaining law and order in the seething metropolis of Victorian London. Assisted by Bob Marriott (William Gaunt) from his attic office at Old Scotland Yard, Cork has to contend with the heavy crimewave created by the massive population boom, industrial expansion and an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor. Created by Ted Willis (Dixon of Dock Green) and produced by Jack Williams (Within These Walls, New Scotland Yard), Sergeant Cork features inventive scripts from Willis, Richard Harris (Man in a Suitcase), Julian Bond (The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes) and Bruce Stewart (Timeslip), among others. Unseen since the sixties, this set contains all thirteen episodes of the first series.
Sergeant Cork - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] [1963]


First broadcast on ITV in 1969, Special Branch ushered in an entirely new kind of police drama. As well as introducing a new type of character to British viewers – the trendy copper – Special Branch presented storylines reflecting the complexities of the modern world: from government security leaks, people trafficking and terrorism to street crime and corruption. Undergoing changes in style and cast, in 1973 Special Branch would be the first production by Thames’ Euston Films division - later to produce The Sweeney, for which this landmark series is considered the blueprint. Derren Nesbitt stars as the cool, no-nonsense Det. Chief Insp. Jordan (a forerunner to The Sweeney’s Jack Regan), supported by Fulton Mackay as Det. Supt. Inman. The filmed series saw George Sewell and Patrick Mower taking on the lead police roles with Paul Eddington’s imperious MI5 officer, Strand, being introduced in 1974. This complete set presents all four series of Special Branch, transmitted between 1969 and 1974.
Special Branch - Series 1-4 - Complete [DVD]

About Reminisce This Contributions Contact
Return to Top of Page
If you have any comment on these TV shows why not leave comment on the RT Forum or alternatively contribute to this page by clicking Email to drop us a line...we'd love to hear from you.
Page Design: Laurence Marcus 2011

All articles are copyright © Reminisce This or their individual authors where stated
and may not be reproduced without permission.