The Good

This is a very well crafted show that holds up against anything in today's prime-time lineup.

The Bad

I would have loved a commentary track with some of these episodes.

Running for 5 years the tautly scripted police show The Streets of San Francisco featured great stories, smart writing, great dialogue and a lot of chemistry between it's stars Karl Malden (Det. Mike Stone) and Michael Douglas (Inspector Steve Keller). Created by Quinn Martin who put together such shows as The Fugitive and The Untouchables, this show followed these two officers as they worked every lead, followed every hunch, and did their best to rid the City by the Bay of it's criminal element. Sometimes wrong, sometimes right, these two stopped at nothing to get their man.

Opening The Streets of San Francisco: The First Season, Vol. 1 with a feature length "Pilot," Keller and Stone try and find a killer by piecing together the life of one of his victims. Robert Wagner also stars in this episode as the man that these two cops think is responsible. "45 Minutes from Home" is a classic cop device episode in which we see Keller and Stone trying to find the real killer of a hitchhiker, even when they have someone who's confessing to the crime. Finally, "The Year of the Locusts" sees Keller and Stone up against a band of gypsies who move from being scam artists to possibly murderers.


Army Archerd Interview

The most interesting thing about this short interview has almost nothing to do with Army Archerd interviewing Karl Malden or Michael Douglas. This is an old interview and it's basically a puffpiece/lovefest where these actors talk about why they wanted to do this show (Quinn Martin, each other), the long hours that they have to work, shooting on location in San Francisco, and the relationship that Malden has with the Douglas family. The interesting thing is that this interview has been shot on film, on the same sort of stock that the actual show was shot on. So it's weird seeing these two actors, in the police station, dressed like their characters, but not being Keller and Stone.

Pilot Presentation

I haven't seen too many of these on the older shows but this is an EPK for this show. It is narrated and we get to find out what The Streets of San Francisco is about, who the characters are, and how the city is very much a character within this show. There's nothing too awesome here, personally, I thought this played with a lot of the woodenness that many studio featurettes from the past play with, but for purely historical purposes this is worth checking out.


Full Screen Format. Paramount has done a very fine job in compressing these shows and putting them on DVD. They look really sharp and bumped up in quality. There were a lot of muted colors but everything has a real strong look to it. I am assuming that the time period during which they were created probably has something to do with this, but I really liked how well the picture held up over almost 13 hours of content. There was very little dirt on the images and at no time did the exterior shots clash with those in the interior. In fact, I detected no grain on the picture at all.


Dolby Digital: English Mono/Spanish Mono - Spanish Subtitles. I love the soundtrack music to this show. Everything plays with a real hard edge and it works well with the subject matter. In addition to that, these shows are really leveled nicely. There is a lot of dialogue on these discs. There is a back and forth banter that is consistent with each and every episode. With all the information being put across, I never found that I missed anything or that any of what the actor's said was muffled or jumbled.


Karl Malden and Michael Douglas are shown front center on this slipcase cover. Behind them, is a shot of a packed city street during the day. Below them is a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge at night. The back has another image of Douglas and Malden, more shots of them in the show, a very tiny description of what The Streets of San Francisco is about, a Special Features listing, and some minor system specs. There are four discs in this collection, all of which are stored in two slim cases and feature the front cover shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. On the back of each cover the episodes are listed out with their airdates and descriptions. They have splashed different images from this show across the top portion of both of these slim case covers.

Final Word

The Streets of San Francisco is one of those shows that was airing on KDOC (a local station out of Orange County where I live), and just as I was getting into it, just as I was getting a handle on the characters, they yanked the show from the lineup. What I really enjoyed about this show was the banter between Douglas and Malden. No matter what happens, Malden always has some quick remark for Douglas (and Douglas for Malden). These two will argue all day but in the end they respect each other. It is that respect that makes them so good at their jobs. In addition to this, the stories being told are really well done. This is a by the numbers cop show but it's highly interesting and entertaining. In a lot of ways it reminds me The French Connection only sequelized.

It's about time that some of the best police shows to ever be on TV start coming to DVD. I welcome The Streets of San Francisco: The First Season, Vol. 1 with open arms.

The Streets of San Francisco was released .