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Adam-12 - Season Four



DVD Release Date: February 23, 2010 (Shout! Factory)
MSRP: $34.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 600 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: None


Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you? OK, so it isn’t Cops, but that is actually a good thing, because this is even better. Season Four of Adam-12 is the series that was a hit for NBC in the ‘70s about the Los Angeles Police Department, specifically two patrol officers, Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord). The series was created by Jack Webb (who also created and even starred in the series Dragnet), and even though it was a made-for-TV drama series, each and every story in the series was based on a true story from the case files of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Adam-12 was a series all about police officers who did their job, and did their job the right way. Malloy and Reed never engaged in any form of corruption that we sometimes see on police dramas and always had a deep concern for doing the right thing. Of course, the criminals that they pursued did not always necessarily have the same concern, and they had to do their best with what they had. Usually, Malloy and Reed would prevail, one way or another.

Season Four contains all 24 episodes from the 1971-72 season of the series in a four disc DVD set. The series didn’t change much in this season, although it did include a new production staff member this season: a guy by the name of Stephen J. Cannell joins the series as head writer and story editor. Although relatively unknown in the TV world at the time, he would later go on to be one of the most prolific TV producers in TV history, with later hit series such as The A-Team and Hunter.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Reed and Malloy keep responding to the same scene when some anti-Semitic criminals are terrorizing some Jewish business owners in “Extortion.” Can a millionaire civilian do better than Reed and Malloy? He sure thinks so in “Million Dollar Buff.” Malloy’s car radio stops working at the wrong time when he is injured in “The Search.” In “Truant,” Reed begins to suspect a rash of daytime burglaries are linked to truant students. Reed becomes a hostage in “Ambush.” It doesn’t get much better for Reed when he is the target of assassins in “Assassination.”

Malloy and Reed are on the search for a rapist in “Pick-Up.” In “The Princess and the Pig,” Reed goes undercover as a folksinger’s boyfriend to bring down a narcotics ring. Malloy tries to keep a young parolee from using drugs in “The Parole Violator.” The officers deal with a black market adoption in “Adoption.” An actor kidnaps a stewardess in an attempt to get attention in “Sub-Station.” An officer is accused of reckless driving in “Back Up 1L-20,” although Malloy is vouching for him. Malloy and Reed are involved in a car chase with armed robbery suspects in “Eyewitness.”


The packaging is very simple, but also professional and aesthetically pleasing. The cover art has a shot of Reed and Malloy with an orange background, and the back of the box has three snapshots from the episodes along with the basic series information. Inside the outer case, there are two slim cases, each containing two discs. The front of the slim case for Discs 1 and 2 has a picture of Malloy and the slim case for Discs 3 and 4 has a picture of Reed. On the back of each slim case, there is a listing of each episode, along with original airdates and episode descriptions. The disc artwork is relatively simple, with the series logo and black and white snapshots from the series on each disc. Each disc contains exactly six episodes.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are once again the same as the previous sets released by Shout! Factory, with the main menu containing the opening theme music and a menu that looks like a police radio. You can select options of Play All and Episodes from the main menu. The Episodes menu lists all of the episodes on another radio, with more background music playing. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed within each episode.

Video and Audio Quality:

There are no major video and audio quality issues on the set, and it appears that a nice job was done cleaning up these episodes. The only issue that I could see, and it is of minor relevance, is a little bit of grain here and there. The audio levels are somewhat inconsistent from episode to episode, but the audio is generally pretty clear. The episodes are all closed-captioned.

As far as I can tell, the episodes are all unedited. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
“Extortion” (25:19)
“Million Dollar Buff” (25:23)
“The Grandmother” (25:20)
“The Radical” (25:18)
“The Search” (25:17)
“The Ferret” (25:17)

Disc 2:
“Truant” (25:23)
“Ambush” (25:21)
“Anniversary” (25:14)
“Day Watch” (25:21)
“Assassination” (25:21)
“The Dinosaur” (25:15)

Disc 3:
“Pick-Up” (25:23)
“Citizens All” (25:23)
“The Princess and the Pig” (25:24)
“The Tip” (25:17)
“The Parole Violator” (25:21)
“Adoption” (25:23)

Disc 4:
“Mary Hong Loves Tommy Chen” (25:22)
“Sub-Station” (25:21)
“Back Up, 1L-20” (25:18)
“Who Won? (25:21)
“Eyewitness” (25:19)
“The Wednesday Warrior” (25:19)

Special Features:

The set doesn’t contain any special features. They should include some more special features similar to the one that they included in the Season Two set, where the content of one episode had factoids pop up on screen regarding the content of the episode and how it was based upon the United States Constitution and laws in Los Angeles. I found that to be very interesting.

Final Comments:

Despite the lack of special features, this is a pretty good DVD set. It is nice to see that we are finally over halfway through this series on DVD, with only three more seasons to go. I only wish that Shout! Factory would also finish up Dragnet, the series that Adam-12 was a spinoff from. Universal released the first season of Dragnet several years ago, and so far, there has been no follow-up to that. Fans of police dramas are going to love this series, as it was the original police drama, and doesn’t dwell on one issue the entire episode. Well, I have to go now... it seems that there is a 211 in progress!

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

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

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 02/16/10

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