Honey West (Anne Francis), sensual and glamorous private eye, was something of a trendsetter in 1965 and ’66 — one of television’s first liberated females. In an era when actresses were frequently restrained to sedate housewives and girlfriend roles, this series marked an exceptional and original departure. And now it’s coming to DVD, via VCI Entertainment.
Producer Aaron Spelling spun the title character off a spring episode of Burke’s Law, “Who Killed the Jackpot?,” in which, true to form, Honey outwitted the suave detective played by Gene Barry. Later in the year, Honey West appeared as the first dramatic TV show with a female star in what might be classified as an action-adventure role. In the show, Honey inherited her spying business from her late father, a top private eye. As part of the deal, she also got his partner, rough and handsome Sam Bolt (John Ericson). There was a strong attraction and chemistry between the partners, but Honey’s only true love was the thrill of adventure and her pet ocelot, Bruce.
In addition to being TV’s first modern, independent, self-sufficient woman, Honey frequently engaged in fight scenes and shoot-outs. An expert at judo and a black-belt in karate, she was the first character on the American small screen, male or female, to use martial arts as self-defense. A la James Bond, Honey also owned an arsenal of special weapons and gadgets, including an exploding compact, a garter belt gas mask (!), teargas-emitting earrings and a lipstick microphone. Although short-lived, this series broke the mold and paved the way for future female action heroines, including Wonder Woman and the ladies from The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., The Bionic Woman and Alias.
Spread out over four region-free DVDs and housed in a regular Amray case, Honey West‘s 30 black-and-white episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full screen, with a Dolby digital mono sound mix. Bonus features include an Anne Francis photo gallery, vintage commercials and a separate behind-the-scenes photo gallery. To purchase the set on DVD via Amazon, click here.