This is a 14-DVD set from A&E with selections from four "cult TV" Brit spy/adventure shows: The Prisoner, The Persuaders!, The Champions, and The Protectors. OK, The Prisoner isn't exactly a spy show, but then, what is it, anyway? The problem is, the box doesn't tell you what's included. It just says that it includes "debut episodes" from each of the four series, contains 14 DVDs, and runs for approximately 38 hours and 30 minutes. I contacted A&E and asked them exactly what the contents were, but they couldn't tell me -- but they could and did ask me if I wanted to buy it for $199!
Dec. 2008 Update: The product is now listed on Amazon.com, complete with a full list of contents. A&E has also provided a full description of contents. Based on contents, I would upgrade my rating to ****. As is usual with A&E offerings, don't expect subtitles.
This megaset contains:
* The first 13 episodes of The Persuaders!, which equals "Set 1", a $36 value (as of Dec. 2008). If you love Roger Moore in the Saint, you will like him in The Persuaders!. Series features the world's largest telephone answering machine. Near the end of the series, see a cameo appearance of Mr. Moore's young daughter. An enthusiastic glove-wearing Tony Curtis crosses the pond as the improbably named Danny Wilde. He runs circles around Roger Moore who, by the end of the series, had Bond, James Bond, on his mind.
* The first 15 episodes of The Champions, which equals "Set 1", a $72 value (as of Dec. 2008). A bit more zing than The Persuaders!, this set will help you get in touch with your heightened super-powers. Darth Vader, or, at least, the actor who played him, makes a guest-appearance. A bit like the Avengers.
* The first 26 episodes of The Protectors, which equals "Season One", an $80 value (as of Dec. 2008). Robert Vaughn escapades his way across Europe in these 30-minute slightly out-of-focus episodes.
* 3 episodes of The Prisoner -- a great way of sampling this series, but you really need to buy the complete set so you can join the rest of us in being upset with the final episode.
The megaset is a good deal and a sensible buy, because, if you like what you see, you can complete your sets by buying the second set in each of the three respective series (The Prisoner excepted).
One final problem: it is called "The Spy Collection" on the box, but is listed as "The Spy Collection Megaset" at Amazon and as "Cult TV Spy Collection" at A&E.