Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Please Release Me!

Harry O

Do you remember Harry O?

I do. He's my all time favourite TV detective. 
Harry O was a classic American crime drama television series that aired for two seasons from 1974 to 1976.

The series starred David Janssen as Harry Orwell, a private detective living on the beach in a cottage near San Diego. He had been a San Diego policeman until he was shot in the back and forced into retirement.


Harry O is probably the best American TV crime drama of the past thirty years and the character Harry O was without a doubt one of the most compelling. It was very likely one of David Janssen’s best performances.


The series had brilliant scripts, written by Howard Rodman who created the series. They were full of humour, wit and often melancholy. The cinematography was unusual and elegant, more typical of film than TV. Harry was a well rounded character, bohemian, complex, vulnerable and memorably portrayed by David Janssen. His voiceovers were a significant part of the early shows where he philosophised about his life. Remember? 

Days happen to you... and sometimes I wish I could go back to when I was 17 again. When I was 17, I once said, “A woman is like a bus -- let her go. There’ll be another one along in five minutes.”  But that was a long time ago...
Take a trip down memory lane, listen to the great theme tune and watch a clip of David Janssen's wonderful portrayal of Harry O in part of an early programme in the first series, Gertrude. The quality isn't brilliant but it's OK.



Oh how I love those voiceovers!

I remember watching this on the BBC on Saturday evenings. It was very popular in the UK possibly because Harry O was more like the kind of TV detective we tend to prefer. Flawed, vulnerable and with a good heart! The locations in San Diego and then later in Los Angeles were a bit different for us too.

Unfortunately the series was axed after only two seasons as the demand for more violent TV programmes increased and Universal Studios who produced it went along with that.

Sadly it has never been released on DVD. Currently Warner Brothers holds the rights and has no plans to do so. There are numerous scam websites taking money for Harry O DVDs that don’t materialise and others that sell low quality materials produced from TV showings, so don't fall for the scams. So many other TV programmes of this genre, yet nowhere near the quality, have been released, but this one has not.

I have to say I'd love to see this series again and so I created a petition to send to Warner Brothers who seem reluctant to release it.

If you remember the series and would like to support this petition please sign it. If you have never seen Harry O, and you prefer more realistic TV crime dramas than the ones we are fed with today, perhaps you’d like to sign too. You would be in for a treat!

If you'd like to help promote the petition please feel free to put it onto your Blog, email to friends or put it onto Facebook. I'd be very grateful.


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