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CALLAN, SET 2

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Espionage and assassination in Cold War Britain

Golden Globe®- and BAFTA-winning actor Edward Woodward (The Equalizer) delivers a powerful performance as a Cold War assassin caught in a tangled web of duty and deception.

In the long war of nerves between East and West, British agent David Callan has distinguished himself as a valuable asset: a competent killer who understands all the political and psychological angles. But after a stint in Soviet prison, Callan wants out of the game. His coldly calculating superiors, Hunter (William Squire, Anne of the Thousand Days) and Bishop (Geoffrey Chater, Hotel du Lac), have other ideas. Callan soon learns that leaving his profession might be more dangerous than staying in--and that men like him have as much to fear from friends as from enemies. In these final 13 episodes, this taut series elevates the spy thriller to emotionally charged drama.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE audio commentaries with star Edward Woodward for episodes 5 and 11 and Woodward biography.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Woodward, William Squire
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 663 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002UXYCYK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 21, 2009
Callan is a secret agent, spy, assassin, British SIS, nasty with a tinge of conscious. Edward Woodward playing David Callan, also is known as "The Equalizer" but in this set 2 you get the final 13 episodes (51 min. each) of the Callan series of Cold War intelligence games. It was filmed at the height of the real Cold War, done as realistic as those times, so the espionage experiences were within the 1970's period spy-vs-spy era. The sets are perfection, looking truly like a 1970's period thriller drama because that is exactly when they were made. Stories are timeless and excel without the technology gadgetry necessary for success in contemporary spy films. Classic.

There are some story links between episodes beyond just cast.

Meet the regular cast: Spy Callan of Secret Intelligence Service, like his colleagues, has no trustful friends. Lonely (Russell Hunter who adds some comedy) is an ex-con/always-a-con who likes Callan, smells badly like rotted BO, & is mentally 5 bullets shy of a pistol load. He adores naked lady photos taped to his apt. walls. Toby Meres is a SIS spy returning to the section intending to gain the 'boss' position. James Cross, SIS agent with bad 70's hair, has always wanted Callan's place as top dog and assassination is always an option. Liz March is the office sec-to-die-for if you're stagnated in 1970's London.

File color code awareness will assist the viewer: Red=target for death/priority; Yellow=surveillance; Blue=wrong party; White=out of action. You don't want a British SIS file!

Episode details: (by the way, no Subtitles):
1 That'll Be the Day--Callan is in a Russian prison.
2 Call Me Sir!--No retirement but reassignment (a promotion?) for Callan as 'Charlie' or "Hunter".
Read more ›
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Ansell on February 24, 2010
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This is a wonderful boxed set BUT for some time it has been available on the Amazon UK site correctly labelled as Callen Series 4. For some reason, it was decided to market it on the US site as SET 2 which caused me to order it in anticipation of receiving the as yet unissued Callan Series 2. I was appalled to receive a different box but containing the identical product to the set I had already purchased from the UK. I note in passing that the Callan Series 3 which has been sold by Amazon.UK for years is now available in the US as SET 1.
To my mind this isn't good enough from Amazon, particularly with the repackaging which adds to the impression that there is something deliberate being done to cash in on Edward Woodwards recent death. I'm repackaging the Box & returning it to the US and unless I get a refund for my purchase I won't be dealing with them again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol S. Faber on July 22, 2011
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I remember watching this series as a young child. Having grown up during the cold war times, I can connect with this series. Callan was a great show--not so much the set or gadgetry but the acting and atmosphere portrayed at that period in time. Edward Woodward is Callan--his portrayal is riveting (RIP). It's great to now own set 1 (season 3) and set 2 (season 4). I would have liked to have purchased "Callan:The Monochrome Years" (surviving episodes of season 1 and 2) but I need a region-free DVD player which I don't own. For those of you in the same boat, I found a seller on ioffer (seller "yrnamehere") who has copied over the "Monochrome" DVD into the NTSC(US) format plus included the Callan movies. I have watched most of them and I am very pleased with the copies. Now I know how Callan got to be who he is and also what exactly happen before he ended up in the hospital--the episode before Set 1, episode 1 (season 3). Hope it's ok to post this information since Amazon does not sell the DVD in NTSC format. CALLAN LIVES!
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For years I have told people about this television show from Britain. Until relatively recently it has been unavailable in the US and now I am able to view most of it on Acorn TV.

This season has been dissappointing to a certain extent due to some continuity errors especially in the process of Callan getting back to his own self after being recovered from his interrogations in Lubyanka prison and returned to England. His reunification with Toby Myers seems odd after he, Callan, had killed an earlier occupant of the position of Hunter. Finally, the inconsistent behaviour of Callan as he deteriorates before our eyes is difficult to understand especially in comparison with the stalwart Richmond who had undergone such interrogations as Callan but in England and who had a relationship with another Russian agent yet did not end up losing his bottle. Given Callan's prestige as being the top assassin throught the show, it does not stand up to close examination. The relationship between Callan and Lonely is much reduced than in previous shows and one wonders sometimes why Lonely remains in the season.

It also begs the question as to why the ending was written as it was given that even a broken Callan, should there be such a thing, would be eligible for a red file.

Callan led the way as the anti-hero to the Bond movies and deserved a better televison treatment. With this season, I believe the character warranted a better treatment too.
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