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:: Get Smart - Seasons 1 & 2

It gives me great pleasure to review the first official DVD release of the famous television series Get Smart. It seems to have taken an eternity, but the brilliant show is now officially available on DVD in Australia. There will be a staggered release of the full five seasons through Time Life Australia.

Seasons 1 and 2, which comprise 60 episodes and bonus features, have just been released, and it is no ordinary DVD release. It comes in a special Collectors Edition package.

There has been a great deal of time that has gone into the releases. The original episodes are shown - uncut and beautifully re-mastered. It's a release no fan of Maxwell Smart can miss! The famous Control Agent was in his element as this show signified the Cold War days of the mid-1960s and the spoofs and gadgetry were ahead of their time.

The classic episodes are all there, from the very first episode “Mr Big”, through some of the classics, which shocase some of the charismatic villains like Siegfried, Starker, The Craw, Dr Drego, and many more. The good guys include Hymie, Larabee, Harry Hoo, and the various other Control agents. Of course, 99 and the Chief joined Max in being an integral part of the show.

As far as the special features are concerned, much effort went into providing interviews and previously unseen footage. Barbara Feldon (who played 99) provides introductions to the episodes. There are interviews with the creative team Mel Brooks, Buck Henry, Bruce Bilson, and Leonard Stern, together with some of the actors who played famous characters in the show, including Bernie Kopell, Don Rickles, James Caan, and Bill Dana.

Featurettes include “The Secret History of Get Smart”.

In the episodes that I have seen so far, Don Adams (Maxwell Smart) made television appearances on the Bill Dana Show and the Andy Williams Show. Don was very sought after in that 1965/1966 period as the Emmy Award-winning show made its mark around the English-speaking world. There are snippets of the Emmy Awards broadcast in 1967 when Get Smart won awards.

Also, you can see some of the Bloopers that haven't been seen before. There is so much material available that has thankfully been made available for the first time, including a profile on 99, a 2003 Reunion Seminar, and an interesting commentary by Leonard Stern on the three-part “A Man Called Smart” episode, which was supposed to be a film through Columbia Pictures.

One of the highlights of the whole package of extras is the footage from Don Adams' 75th birthday at the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner was a great friend of Don's and hosted a roast-like evening. The tributes were great, and Don Rickles made an especially memorable tribute to Don that had everyone laughing hysterically.

Overall, the Get Smart DVD collection of Seasons 1 & 2 is undeniably one of the finest television releases I've ever seen. The shows look and sound as they should and included with them are many hours of extras. Thanks to Time Life, Get Smart can now continue to entertain viewers for many years to come in a way that few shows are ever able to; in it's entirety.

For purchasing information about the Get Smart DVD release you can order online

Time Life Australia has a special price for Seasons 1 & 2 at $Aust 299.00.

DVD Extras

Audio introduction on every episode by Barbara Feldon

Interviews with Buck Henry, Leonard Stern, Barbara Feldon

Don Adams TV appearances - Bill Dana Show in 1964 and Andy Williams Show in 1965

interactive features - Chief's office, 99's purse

2003 Get Smart Reunion Seminar

The Secret History of Get Smart featurette

Bloopers

1967 Emmy Award broadcast snippets

Barbara Feldon: From Real Model to Role Model featurette

Don Adams' 75th birthday celebration at the Playboy Mansion - guests included Don Rickles and James Caan

For more information, visit

www.timelife.com.au