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Try this for a deep dark secret:
The great detective Remington Steele... He doesn't exist.

Of 1980’s television series, REMINGTON STEELE was always a personal favorite, although I haven’t seen the show, since its initial network airings more than twenty years ago. The show was a delightful mix of drama, mystery and light romantic comedy- something that harkened back the successful formula that was employed for the popular THIN MAN series of films from the 1930s and 1940s. Of course, REMINGTON STEELE the television added a rather unique premise to the highly successful formula, which greatly enhanced the show’s charm.

The successful Remington Steele detective agency was founded by female gumshoe Laura Holt (Stephanie Zimbalist), who discovered that her own name on the door didn’t inspire a demand for private investigative services. Thus Laura Holt created a bit of fiction- the mysterious Remington Steele for whom the detective agency was named did not exist, but his name on the door, certainly made Laura Holt’s business into a success. Of course, this unique situation takes an interesting turn, when a dashing and mysterious rogue assumes the identity of Remington Steele (Pierce Brosnan), along with all the media attention, while Laura Holt continues all the actual detective work. The season one cast of REMINGTON STEELE also features James Read and Janet DeMay.

REMINGTON STEELE: SEASON ONE ($40) comes to DVD in a four disc set that features the following twenty two episodes broadcast during the show’s freshman year: License To Steele, Tempered Steele, Steele Waters Run Deep, Signed, Steeled And Delivered, Thou Shalt Not Steele, Steele Belted, Etched In Steele, Your Steele The One For Me, In The Steele Of The Night, Steele Trap, Steeling The Show, Steele Flying High, A Good Night's Steele, Hearts Of Steele, To Stop A Steele, Steele Crazy After All These Years, Steele Among The Living, Steele In The News, Vintage Steele, Steele's Gold, Sting Of Steele and Steele In Circulation.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made REMINGTON STEELE: SEASON ONE available on DVD in the proper 4:3 full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. The episodes look pretty darn nice on DVD, producing a fairly crisp and nicely defined image. Sure, the picture is never theatrical quality, but for an early eighties television show, it looks pretty sweet. Colors are a little variable, but fairly pleasing; generally producing a respectable level of saturation and pretty nice flesh tones. Blacks are accurate and the whites appear clean. While contrast is pretty much at the television level, it never appears flat, thanks to an avoidance of sitcom lighting. The film elements from which the episodes have been transferred display some minor blemishes, and a fair amount of grain. Digital compression artifacts are never bothersome.

All of the episodes that constitute REMINGTON STEELE: SEASON ONE feature solid Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks. Fidelity is surprisingly good for a monaural TV show that is over two decades old. Sound effects are reasonably convincing and the musical component is fairly silky. Voices have a good sense of character and the dialogue is always completely understandable. There are no signs of background hiss or other audible anomalies. No other language tracks are provided, but English and Spanish subtitles have been included.

The basic interactive menus provide one with access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as a couple of nice extra features. Series creators Michael Gleason and Robert Butler provide audio commentaries on the following episodes: License To Steele and Tempered Steele. A twelve-minute Making Of Season One featurette that comprised of new interviews with the series creative team, as well as star Pierce Brosnan, has also been included with the set.

REMINGTON STEELE is as delightful a series as I remember it being. The two leads had a wonderful sense of chemistry, which made the show’s romantic and comic elements sing. As for REMINGTON STEELE: SEASON ONE, Fox has done a very good job with the DVD set, providing the episodes with solid presentations that are certain to please fans. Recommended.


Remington Steele Season One (1982)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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