The first series to have a handicapped person as a main character, "Ironside" starred Raymond Burr as Robert T. Ironside, who is paralyzed due to a sniper's bullet. Formerly the city's Chief of Detectives, Ironside now works as a consultant, teamed with a series of officers - policewoman Eve Whitfield (Barbara Anderson), Detective Sergeant Ed Brown (Don Galloway), and ex-con and assistant Mark Sanger (Don Mitchell) - who assist him in solving cases.
Despite Ironside's condition, the series was still exciting, with occasional moments of action and Burr's stellar portrayal of a man who does very well using his brains to solve cases that ranged from racetrack robberies to a pro footballer who tries to save his brother from prison to a wealthy hippie car theft gang to potentially corrupt cops. Galloway, Anderson and Mitchell also provided a great team and their performances compliment Burr's gruff, engaging performance quite well.
The DVD set includes the entire first season, as well as the 90-minute pilot movie.
This boxed set includes all of the first season episodes including: The Pilot; Message from Beyond; The Leaf in the Forest; Dead Man's Tale; Eat, Drink and Be Buried; The Taker; An Inside Job; Tagged for Murder; Let My Brother Go; Light at the End of the Journey; The Monster of Comus Towers; The Man Who Believed; A Very Cool Hot Car; The Past Is Prologue; Girl in the Night; The Fourtenth Runner; Force of Arms; Memory of an Ice Cream Stick; To Kill a Cop; The Lonely Hostage; The Challenge; All in a Day's Work; Something for Nothing; Barbara Who?; Perfect Crime; Officer Bobby; Trip to Hashbury; Due Process of the Law and Return of the Hero.
VIDEO: "Ironside" is presented by Shout Factory in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The presentation is quite impressive, as while the series isn't without some noticable moments of wear, print flaws are pretty minor, considering the age of the series. Sharpness and detail aren't bad, as the series looked rather surprisingly crisp and clear, especially considering the age of the show. No edge enhancement or artifacting was noticed. Colors remained a little on the subdued side, but otherwise appeared natural.
SOUND: The mono soundtrack remained clear (although a bit flat, which isn't surprising, considering the recording limitations of the age) and no distortion was noticed.
EXTRAS: None, which is too bad, as a retrospective featurette would have been a nice touch.
Final Thoughts: Burr offers a fierce, compelling performance as the paralyzed Ironside, and he's joined by a superb cast. The storylines are familiar, but the dialogue is well-written and the performances carry the episodes. The DVD presentation offers very good audio/video quality, but no extras. Recommended.