Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Harry O Returns

The David Janssen private eye series from 1974-76, Harry O, is now available (at least, the first season is) on Manufactured-On-Demand DVD from Warner Archive. Highly regarded as one of the best - and best-written - private eye shows of its era, Harry O was an unusually melancholy and realistic crime show, with Janssen's Harry Orwell pretty much defining the term, "weather-beaten detective."

I was too young to care much about it when it originally aired, but in the 80s, when I was really getting into P.I. fiction - especially authors like Ed Gorman, Bill Pronzini, Robert J. Randisi, and Rob Kantner - I managed to catch the pilot film, Smile Jenny, You're Dead one afternoon on TBS and loved it. Somewhere around the same time one of the cable channels (maybe A&E) ran the series, and I watched it whenever I could. I like The Rockford Files better, but Harry O is probably the more sophisticated show.

The new DVDs from Warner Archive are admittedly pricey - as burned-to-order discs almost always are - but I'm going to try and find some way to add the set to my library eventually. According to the website, this first season set includes the first pilot film, Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On, which had some significant differences from the subsequent series. What's less clear is whether or not the set includes the second TV movie pilot, Smile Jenny, You're Dead - as Warner Archive has already released that title separately. I hope it's included; otherwise it'll cost another twenty-five bucks to complete the set....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris. Just discovered this, your 'other' blog, after following 'Space 1970' for ages. Great work as usual. Looking forward to seeing 'Harry O' too; an underrated show. 'Smile Jenny...' was the one with Jodie Foster, wasn't it?