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Featured TV on DVD Review: Cannon: Season Two: Volume Two

February 14th, 2010

Cannon: Season Two: Volume Two - Buy from Amazon

William Conrad first rose to fame playing Marshal Matt Dillon on the Radio Drama Gunsmoke. When that program was adapted for TV, the producers decided he was too... rotund is the polite term. That's not to say he wasn't seen on TV, or at least heard. (He was the narrator for both The Fugitive and Rocky and Bullwinkle. How awesome is that?) But for most people, they were first able to put a face to the voice when Cannon debuted in 1971. I reviewed the first DVD release back in 2008. Since then two more DVDs have been released, while this Tuesday has the release of Season Two: Volume Two. So how does it stack up to the previous releases, as well as other Private Eye shows from the era?

There are only 12 episodes in the second volume of season two, starting with Nobody Beats the House, in which Frank Cannon helps a gambler in debt to a mob boss who Cannon has tangled with in the past. This is a good episode with Tom Skerritt as the client. Another early strong episode was The Dead Samaritan, which had a plot so complicated that I'm not sure even the writers were entirely sure what was going on. A strong performance by Sondra Locke as a woman with a past history of mental illness lifts Death of a Stone Seahorse.

Moving Target is another strong episode; it was "inspired" by the same real life events that were the basis for The Hoax, and stars Gordon Pinsent as the author / conman. Murder for Murder has Dick Van Patten looking for revenge after his daughter is murdered. In Prisoners, a family contacts Cannon after their son is jailed in Turkey... (Turkish prison? Oh boy.) However, it's not as simple as it first seems.

Disc three starts with back-to-back Serial Killer episodes with Catch Me If You Can being the better of the two. (It's one of a few episodes on this DVD that I remember seeing on TV, which is remarkable, as I haven't seen the show on TV in nearly a decade). In Press Pass to the Slammer, an old friend of Frank Cannon, a reporter is forced to choose between giving up her source in the death of a "former" mob boss or going to jail, so she asks Cannon to look for more evidence to give to the cops so she can protect her source. Another old friend is in trouble when her abandoned son comes back and demands money; however, you just know it won't be as simple as that.

The only extras on the DVD are episode promos, which I don't consider real extras. Additionally, there are no subtitles, but there are play all buttons and proper chapter placements.

The Verdict

Overall it's another solid outing for Cannon and all twelve episodes on Season Two, Volume Two are worth checking out. There are a good variety of cases and solutions that, for the most, balance the mystery and the plausibility. The lack of extras and the price per minute are problems, which leaves the DVD in the rental category for most, unless you can grab it on sale.

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