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Adam-12 - Season Three



DVD Release Date: August 11, 2009 (Shout! Factory)
MSRP: $34.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 26
Running Time: Approx. 600 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: None


Long before the TV series Cops could bring reality into our living rooms by taping men and women of law enforcement “live on the scene,” reality was reenacted, in a more dramatic sense. Jack Webb was a pioneer of bringing these true stories into the spotlight, and Adam-12 was one of the series that he produced to reenact these stories. And now, the third season of Adam-12 is available on DVD.

In Adam-12, Officers Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord) are two street cops who cruise the streets of Los Angeles in pursuit of the bad guys and those needing assistance. Adam-12 was about the street cops involved in tracking the criminals, and not about the glorified (although in reality, not much higher ranking) detectives or prosecutors. Much like Dragnet (a series which was also created by Adam-12 series creator Jack Webb; Webb also starred in Dragnet), each of the stories on the series were true, and as the old saying goes, “the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

Season Three is the second release of the series by Shout! Factory, as they began to release the series beginning with the second season (Universal, who owns the rights to the series, released the first season before licensing subsequent seasons to Shout! Factory). The four-disc set contains all 26 episodes from the 1970-1971 season of the series.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The season begins with “Loan Sharks,” where Reed and Malloy uncover a loan shark operation and plan to bust it--that is, if the loan sharks don’t prevent a witness from testifying. As if a DUI isn’t bad enough, Reed and Malloy deal with a drunk driver that happens to be driving in the nude in “Easy, Bare Rider.” Reed and Malloy deal with a teenage purse snatcher in “Purse Snatcher.” In “Cigarettes, Cars and Wild, Wild, Women,” Reed and Malloy see firsthand that sex appeal not only sells, but it helps people steal as well. Jodie Foster guest stars in “Missing Child.”

In “Have a Nice Weekend,” Butch Patrick guest stars. Malloy recalls the life of an officer who died in the line of duty in “Elegy for a Pig.” Fires are being set everywhere in the Rampart district in “Arson.” Crime doesn’t celebrate Christmas, as we see in “Piligrimage,” where a sidewalk Santa is robbed. Reed and Malloy have to search a boy for contraband (specifically drugs) in “Sign of the Twins.” It’s a case of home repair scams in “Con Artists.”

A priest wants help in preventing a gang war in “Gang War.” In “I.A.D.,” Malloy and Reed seek a witness to clear an officer’s name in an Internal Affairs Department investigation, but does he really deserve to be cleared? A girl is found in the trunk of a car in “The Vandals.” Reed’s belief in the good-nature of people is ridiculed by a fellow officer in “Man Between.” In “Once a Cop,” a former officer is accused of shooting an unarmed man, so what will happen to him?

In “Militants,” Reed has a friend connected to a militant group, and finds it difficult to connect to that friend after a member of the group is killed after ambushing two officers. Domestic abuse can affect children, as is seen in “Child in Danger.” Malloy fails to renew his driver’s license in “Vice Versa,” so Reed is forced to drive the cruiser--will this shake up the entire series? A retiree refuses to leave his apartment (which is set to be demolished) in “Post Time.” The season ends with “Safe Job,” where a safecracker is so good that he leaves behind no evidence.


As was the case with Season Two, the packaging on this set looks very professional and classy--this was not the case with the cheap Season One packaging. Still, it is very basic artwork, with Reed and Malloy on the cover (in front of their car) and snapshots from episodes on the back of the outer case. Inside, we have two slim cases, each containing two discs. The case for Discs 1 and 2 has a picture of Malloy and the case for Discs 3 and 4 has a picture of Reed. On the back of each case, there is a listing of all of the episodes on the discs, with original airdates and descriptions. The disc artwork has black and white photos of Reed and Malloy (the same ones seen on the back of the outer case) on a grid background. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-13, Disc 3 contains episodes 14-19, and Disc 4 contains episodes 20-26.

Luckily, we have packaging that looks like a real company put this show on DVD, nothing like that almost public domain looking thing that Universal put out for Season One. We have a box that contains two slim cases. We have Reed and Malloy on the box cover and inside, we have two slim cases, each containing two discs. Officer Malloy is on the cover of the case holding Discs 1 and 2, while Officer Reed is on the case holding Discs 3 and 4. On the back of each case, there are episode descriptions and original airdates. The disc artwork is very nice, with black and white photos of Reed and Malloy on a blue grid background. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-14, Disc 3 contains episodes 14-19, and Disc 4 contains episodes 20-26

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are exactly the same as the menus on Season Two. On the main menu, we see video clips and hear the opening music, and the menu options are designed as knobs on a police scanner radio. One knob has the option of Play All and the other has the option of Episodes. When you select Episodes, you get another menu with another radio that lists all of the episodes on the disc. There is music playing in the background here as well. While there are no scene selection menus, chapters are placed within each episode.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality on the set is superb. The series was shot on film, and it appears that somebody did a very nice job cleaning up the episodes to near perfection. They certainly look much better than the episodes currently airing on Retro TV affiliates. There are a few bits of grain here and there, but it is very minimal. The audio is generally loud and clear, but as was the case with Season Two, the audio levels tend to bounce around from a higher volume to a lower volume between episodes. Each episode on the set is closed-captioned.

I am fairly confident that the episodes contained on the set are unedited. The series really didn’t have any music issues, as the series never used music aside from generic music. Each episode runs at a nearly perfect 25 minutes and 5 seconds, at least though episode 13. After that, they get a little longer, generally running about 30 seconds longer. Exact runtimes are as follows.

1. “Loan Sharks” (25:07)
2. “Easy, Bare Rider” (25:04)
3. “Purse Snatcher” (25:05)
4. “Bright Boy” (25:05)
5. “Cigarettes, Cars and Wild, Wild, Women” (25:07)
6. “Missing Child” (25:04)

Disc 2:
7. “Have a Nice Weekend” (25:04)
8. “Elegy for a Pig” (24:59)
9. “Indians” (25:06)
10. “Arson” (25:08)
11. “Pilgrimage” (25:06)
12. “Sign of the Twins” (25:08)
13. “Con Artists” (25:37)

Disc 3:
14. “Gang War” (25:33)
15. “L.E.M.R.A.S.” (25:08)
16. “I.A.D.” (25:33)
17. “The Vandals” (25:32)
18. “Man Between” (25:36)
19. “Once a Cop” (25:35)

Disc 4:
20. “Militants” (25:35)
21. “The Poachers” (25:38)
22. “Child in Danger” (25:31)
23. “Vice Versa” (25:37)
24. “Post Time” (25:38)
25. “Reason to Run” (25:32)
26. “Safe Job” (25:39)

Special Features:

This set does not have a single special feature, at all. I really enjoyed the “Ride Along” feature which was on one of the Season Two episodes (where we had “pop up trivia” for one of the episodes), but we don’t have anything like that on this set. Instead, we just have a barebones set.

Final Comments:

This is another great Adam-12 set, although special features would have been nice. It is so nice to see that Shout! Factory is going ahead with releases on the series after Universal made a feeble and disappointing attempt to release Season One. It would really be nice to see Shout! Factory release Dragnet as well. There really isn’t anything to complain about this set, and fans of the series, as well as fans of police dramas, are certain to enjoy this series. Now the only question is whether or not we will see the remaining four seasons on DVD. But for now, you should know that the review which you have just read is true. Only the opinions have been given to inform the viewer.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 07/28/09

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