Although I’m an unabashed fan of the 2003 film adaptation of S.W.A.T., I had never seen the original series until receiving this new boxset from Mill Creek Entertainment. It sure was timely, considering I’ve been on a bit of a binge of 70’s and early 80’s cinema as of late – absorbing the grainy goodness of films like Death Wish.
Starting the pilot of S.W.A.T. for the first time, I was very impressed. First, the quality of the transfer was utterly gorgeous. Mill Creek did an excellent job keeping the quality high on this DVD set. (Also, I was quite surprised that it was in a widescreen format as opposed to 4:3, considering the decade the show originally aired.)
Second, I was shocked at the quality of the show itself. It is immensely cinematic, and feels at home with the films of the time. It’s surprisingly well-acted, shot in gorgeous wides, and is actually pretty violent. I was startled to see a gunman snort cocaine off a knife in the first episode before popping-off at a few cops. I can imagine how much more startling it was for viewers of the time who were coming off fare like Adam-12 and Emergency!.
The characters are developed well and by the second or third episode you feel right at home with the team. It’s also pretty fun seeing a variety of guest performers appear who would go on to be major stars. Familiar faces include Annette O’Toole, Carl Weathers, Farrah Fawcett, and Tom Skerritt.
And, man, don’t get me started on that incredible theme song.
The series is packaged well in a nicely designed DVD case with organized discs and easy to navigate menu. If I could make one complaint, it’s that there are no special features whatsoever, but for the price and age of the show, it’s understandable. Overall, it’s a great value for fans and newcomers alike!
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Credits: S.W.A.T. is property of Mill Creek Entertainment and Sony. We do not own nor claim any rights. Thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment for making this post possible. To pick up a copy of S.W.A.T.: Complete Series for yourself, click here.