Technically, this DVD is amazing.It looks better than it when originally aired on TV in the 70s.The writing was good and acting well above par.I like the DVD of show as I am very tired of the current crop of crime drama on the air. Or as I call it the autopsy of the week shows.
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Kudos to CBS for a) releasing this series on DVD (hopefully they'll put all seasons out, but don't hold your breath), and b) for doing such a superb job at remastering it. The image quality is crisp and clear, colors are bright; looks like this could have been filmed last year (see "Hawaii 5-0"). This is in stark contrast to that other Quinn Martin production, Cannon, which seems to have gotten the low-ball treatment from CBS, in terms of being remastered. The Cannon footage looks like it was transferred from 16mm film - dark, grainy, faded colors (to use the word "color" might be going to far). Perhaps they couldn't locate the original masters? Anyway, interestingly enough, the pilot episode on this set is actually a crossover from Cannon. I was a bit disappointed with this episode - the writing seemed weak, Ebsen appears uncomfortable in the role, and his acting is very stiff; fortunately, things improve with subsequent episodes. I haven't watched them all, but so far, so good; if you like 70's detective shows, don't hesitate in picking this one up. There is also a roster of interesting guest stars, some familiar, some not so familiar.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Not a Millionaire Anymore, a Private Detective!Nov. 19 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
For the first time, fan favorite Barnaby Jones is coming to DVD in a boxed set collecting the first season of the Classic TV detective series.
After years of fans wanting and waiting, our patience has finally been rewarded! This 662-minute DVD set brings all 13 the episodes as originally broadcast, in full screen video and English mono sound. They are also closed captioned. It's being released by CBS/Paramount, and while I've not yet seen the set, it's reportedly been carefully remastered, and contains all of the original musical cues.
Buddy "Beverly Hillbillies" Ebsen plays the tile role, while Lee "Batman, Time Tunnel" Meriwether portrays his daughter-in-law, Betty Jones. Barnaby heads his LA firm, while Betty provides him with invaluable assistance.
The Classic TV detective series aired on CBS from Jan. 28, 1973, to April 3, 1980. It premiered as a midseason replacement show, shaking up the CBS lineup by taking the timeslot of the Iconic Classic TV detective series Mannix, pushing it back to air one hour before the new kid on the block. Because of that, there were fewer episodes produced in its first season.
The Barnaby Jones character was introduced in 1973 in an episode in the third-season of the Classic TV detective series, Cannon, entitled, "The Deadly Conspiracy." The two-part episode began on Cannon and concluded on the premiere of Barnaby Jones with "Requiem for a Son."
An aging Barnaby had decided to retire and had left the private investigation business to his son, Hal. The now-grieving Barnaby decides to take the advice of his friend, Frank Cannon (William Conrad, in the cross-over from the show Cannon), to come out of retirement and solve the case in the pilot episode, "Requiem for a Son." His widowed daughter-in-law, Betty, joined forces with him to solve the case of her husband's murder.
At the conclusion of the case, the pair decided that they had worked together so well that they would continue to keep the detective agency open.
Until the cancellation of Cannon, the characters of both series moved back and forth between the two shows, an unique arrangement and a first for TV
Jones was also unusual, ordering milk in restaurants and bars, countering the stereotypical hard drinking detective. (Ironically, Ebsen was to disclose that he had struggled with alcoholism for decades.)
In 1976, the character of J. R. Jones, portrayed by Mark Shera, was introduced. J.R. was Barnaby's cousin. He had come to LA to try to solve the murder of his father, but stayed to help Barnaby and Betty, while also attending law school.
Barnaby was quite astute, noticing clues most other P.I.'s or the police had missed. Because of his age, Jones knew he would be bested in a fistfight with the criminals he pursued, so he used other means to protect himself, like slamming a door on the hand of a gun-carrying thug!
First season episodes collected here are: Requiem for a Son; To Catch a Dead Man; Sunday: Doomsday; The Murdering Class; Perchance to Kill; The Loose Connection; Murder in the Doll's House; Sing a Song of Murder; See Some Evil, Do Some Evil; Murder-Go-Round; To Denise, with Love and Murder; Little Glory, a Little Death; and Twenty Million Alibis.
Guest stars during the series were a virtual who's who of the acting talent of the day, including: Conlan Carter, Gary Lockwood, Stefanie Powers, Wayne Rogers, William Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, Richard Anderson, Claude Akins, Carl Betz, Meredith Baxter Birney, Bill Bixby, Jack Cassidy, Geraldine Brooks, Richard Bull, Dabney Coleman, Jackie Coogan, Glenn Corbett, Cathy Lee Crosby, Meg Foster, Anne Francis, Lynda Day George, Richard Hatch, James Hong, Claudia Jennings, Margot Kidder, Geoffrey Lewis, Ida Lupino, Roddy McDowell, George Maharis, Nick Nolte, Jessica Walter, Lynn Hamilton, Jon Cedar, Paul Sorenson, Roddy McDowall, and Gary Owens.
Let's hope the remaining seasons are promptly released!
70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Another TV classic...April 10 2010
Mark A. O'Neill
- Published on Amazon.com
Take away the jerky camera movements, the MTV style pacing, the overt sexuality and the special effects that not only show a person getting shot, but follow the bullet through the body, and what do today's detective shows have? Nothing. Shows like Barnaby Jones had stories, and the people who made the shows knew how to tell the story. When I was a kid, shows like Barnaby Jones were the grown up shows you loved to be able to stay up to watch. Now, grown up shows border on the perverse. In the 70's, my sainted mom and dad took us to visit Cooperstown, New York. It was a treat to be able to stay up late and watch a show like Barnaby Jones, while nibbling on Chicken in a Bisquet crackers (back then, that was one of the unusual crackers. Now, there's a million varieties). Now that my wife bought me the DVD from Amazon, I intend to watch Barnaby Jones, savoring not just the nostalgia, but the quality. I already have a box of Chicken in a Bisquet crackers to nibble on during the show, and I'm counting on my mom and dad to be looking down and watching with me, from Heaven.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
older is better--tv shows-UPDATE 3-30-15Nov. 9 2010
Neil L. Hudson
- Published on Amazon.com
about 5 yrs ago my wife and i--we are 70 yrs old now--decided to look for the old shows-shows we grew up with-to replace the crap on tv today--we built a library=all seasons releases= columbo-matlock-mc millan and wife-honey west-hart to hart-jake and the fatman-the untouchables- scarecrow and mrs king-mc cloud-gunsmoke-mannix-the big valley- voyage to the bottom of the sea- sea hunt-ellery queen-cannon-have gun will travel-murder she wrote-rocky king detective-combat-wanted dead or alive-mission impossible tv-diagnosis murder-perry mason-streets of san fran-bonanza--hawaii five 0-monk-ironside-etc and many more- plus comedys=my little margie- cheers-our miss brooks-mary tyler moore show-good times-bob newhart-jack benny shows-make room for daddy-johnny carson heeres johnny dvd collection and the tonight show dvd collection-jack benny--sid cesar-you bet your life with groucho- the life of riley-one day at a time-newhart-love boat-sanford and son-all in the family-fantasy island-love that bob-gale storm show--peticoat junction- red skelton-etc--to name just a few--MANY more--NOW--we ENJOY tv --as it WAS--and each night we go back in time--to a time when tv was entertainment-expensive?its 5 yrs later2-20-2015--glad I got the dupes from ioffer--seems they are not going to release other seasons what a ripoff!!!get the complete season dupes--or you wont live to see season 8 released lol yes-but its the BEST investment we ever made!no commercials-try it-you will LOVE it--you cant take it(cost) with you to the grave -TV when TV WAS tv--so glad we did!and all these shows given time-are rewatchable-JOIN the club!!if youre over 60--its tv as you remember it -pure clean fun--entertaining!-ENJOY watching these shows on your tv tonight-rather than be offended by whats on tv and passes for comedy or drama today-plus it gives you a little of your youth back--nice memories--like a time machine--go to=ioffer.com and get the complete series(100 episodes) for 30 bucks--off tv but watchable-certainly not pristine but like i said=watchable---THIS way or NO way--have fun
44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
a role model for senior citizens . . . Barnaby Jones just can't miss . . .Dec 17 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Buddy Ebsen played Jed Clampett for nine seasons on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962 through 1971). Anyone familiar with the series' theme song, The Ballad of Jed Clampett, is probably aware that Jed struck oil on his property while out hunting, became a millionaire, and moved with his family to Beverly Hills. Ebsen, who up to this time, was mostly known for his dancing skills, played the grizzled, humble, and down to Earth mountain man, who was completely clueless, and out of his element in the big city. While Jed was ignorant about some things, he was wise in others, honest as the day was long, and also one hell of a shot with a gun. As the Clampett clan's moral conscience, Jed taught life lessons, and tried to show that doing what was right and fair, was the way to go.
Ebsen was 62, when The Beverly Hillbillies ended, but he was far from ready to hang it up. Crime shows were very popular, and in 1973 Ebsen made his debut as investigator Barnaby Jones on Quinn Martin's private eye series Cannon, before quickly launching the character into his own series. When his son Hal, a private investigator, is murdered, Barnaby decides to look into the case, aided by daughter-in-law Betty Jones, played by the lovely Lee Meriwether (Time Tunnel). After solving the case, Barnaby decides to continue as a private investigator.
Because of his age, fights, chases, and physically demanding stunts were mostly out, and Jones usually relied on his intelligence, experience, persistence, and forensic skills, to solve cases. There seems to be a lot of Jed Clampett in Barnaby Jones. Soft spoken, possessing a similar sage wisdom, and strong moral fiber, the tall and affable Jones, carried himself with great dignity. While not a drinker of anything stronger than milk, his eyes would blaze with fire when annoyed. Some of Clampett's shooting skills appear to have rubbed off, as Barnaby Jones was probably one of the greatest shots in the history of television detectives. In one episode, he hit the mark even though he had temporarily lost his sight. As a midseason replacement, there are only thirteen episodes in the first season. The premium price for what is essentially half a season's worth of content, results in a one star deduct.
With a super cool theme composed by the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, Barnaby Jones ran for eight seasons, and the total of 178 episodes, is one of the highest for a private detective drama. Being the lead in a series, Buddy Ebsen was an inspiration. An example that seniors were capable of a lot more than just sitting around in a rocking chair. When the Barnaby Jones was cancelled in 1980, Buddy was 71.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Better than I even remember....MORE MORE MOREFeb. 17 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I remembered watching this as a kid and loved it, remembered the characters and style and song but you really never know until you watch it now, if it's as good as you remember, or just fond memories of a simpler time. I love it!! I agree with everyone who says it....too much money for 13 eps...but at least it's not a half season!
I really loved watching it at bedtime, it's a great mystery/crime show...and loved that that Cannon was a cross over in the first episode.
NOW I'M DEPRESSED! IT'S OVER, WATCHED THEM ALL, NOW I'M LEFT FLOUNDERING IN THE "WILL THERE BE MORE" ZONE WHICH AS ALL FANS OF ALL SHOWS KNOW, IS THE SECOND WORST PLACE TO BE (WORST OF COURSE IS, THERE'S NO MORE FOR SURE). IT WON'T LIKELY TAKE LONG TO ENTER THE "FRUSTRATED" ZONE WHERE I START REMINISCING ABOUT ALL THE GREAT DVD RELEASES THAT NEVER RELEASED A SECOND SEASON - OR WE WAITED 4 YEARS FOR A 2ND SEASON AND THEN THEY GAVE UP BEFORE WE COULD GET THE REST OF THE SERIES...
I can only hope Barnaby Jones goes the way of Vega$, only a few months later we were notified of the second set release date - as opposed to Quincy which took years and years, and Taxi, years and years for the final season, or Charlie's Angels, or worst of all Family where we never got anymore after the first set, or Knots Landing where they tested a second set years later and then almost immediately announced they weren't planning any more, American Dreams (never watched it live but fell in love with the dvd set right out of my mother's childhood), no word after the first release....etc... But on a higher note at least it's not still in the same boat as Trapper John MD (sitting in a giant vault buried in the desert somewhere, no word on any release ever).
Yes, I enjoyed Barnaby Jones more now than as a kid, and I sure wish there was more..now...not next year, not 3 years away, tonight, at bedtime, I want more episodes!