DVD Review: The Rockford Files season five.

With any popular show, there is always some concern that the new season might not be as good as the last. Fans of The Rockford Files will find those fears unfounded in regards to season five. It is as strong as ever, with almost all of the regulars (more on that later) back for another go round with one of the finest P.I.s In the history of television.

Jim Rockford, for those of you that are unfamiliar with him and the show, is an ex-con (wrongfully imprisioned, but evenutally pardoned) turned P.I. Jim is not the slick, well-dressed P.I. that many might think of, he is a blue-collar guy that busts his butt to keep his head above water.

Jim was frequently assisted by his father (Noah Berry, Jr), Rocky, a retired truck driver, and regularly called in favors to his cop buddy Sgt. Dennis Becker (Joe Santos). Unfortunately for him (And fortunately for us), Jim often found himself dragged into troubled waters by his former cellmate con-artist “Angel” Martin (Stuart Margolin).

After the fourth season, the show lost a valuable member of the supporting cast: Beth Davenport (Gretchen Corbett). Davenport was Jim’s attorney and love interest. When her management demanded too much money, she was written out of the show. While the show was still uniformed good, the loss is a tough one, as her relationship with Jim was something special.

Season five also saw the appearance of private eye Lance White, a dashing and somewhat stupid fellow that seemed to be almost the opposite of Jim Rockford. White was played by a young Tom Selleck. Not surprisingly, Jim was more than a little resentful (and envious) of White.

Selleck, of course, went on to play private investigator Thomas Magnum.

Season five was the last of the full-length seasons for the show. While there are 19 episodes, 3 of them are longer than usual. Those three suffered in syndication with two being given extra (unnecessary) scenes to make them long enough to two parts, while the other was actually shortened to fit into one hour. This set presents them in their original format for the first time since their original airing.
There are no extras on this set.
Overall, TRF was stands the test of time and truly is one of the best P.I. series ever made. This five is as good as any of them and is worth owning and watching again and again.

Jeremy Lynch

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.