Jan 25, 2011

New Spy DVDs Out Last Week: The Piglet Files: The Complete Series 1

There are so many new spy DVDs out this week that it will take me a while to get that post together.  In the meantime, here's last week's belated post.  The only major spy release of last week comes from the other side of the pond, where Network unleashed the early Nineties British spy-com The Piglet Files. In the tradition of Get Smart (but with a distinctly Britcom sensibility), The Piglet Files follows reluctant spy Peter Chapman (Nicholas Lyndhurst), who's sacked from his University teaching post so that he can be pressed into service for MI5... which he quickly discovers is staffed by incompetents and nincompoops. As the only one with any discernible brains to speak of, electronics expert Chapman becomes their de facto Q, supplying the agents with gadgets but often going into the field himself as well. All the while, he must keep his new double life a secret from his wife, Sarah. While it bends frequently to sitcom conventions, The Piglet Files is quite funny. Today it's also an interesting time capsule from that short period after the Cold War thawed when people briefly believed spies were no longer necessary. (That's one of the main humorous conceits of the show: the obsolescence of MI5!) While The Piglet Files has been available on Region 1 DVD before from BFS (it's currently out of print), Network's release of the first season marks its debut in the format in its native Britain. Network's Region 2 PAL DVD includes all seven first season episodes on one disc, with no special features. SRP is £13.27, but the disc can currently ordered from Network's website for just £8.16 and from Amazon.co.uk for just £7.99.

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