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Cold War TV Series

(For the CNN Cold War documentary series and best Cold War documentaries, click here.

For the best Cold War movies, go here. For Cold War books visit here.)

the americals season 1Secrets can be deadly in The Americans, a suspenseful thriller about undercover Russian spies in 1980s Washington, D.C. Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) seem to be a typical suburban couple, but they’re actually lethal KGB agents plotting to bring down America. As the Cold War escalates, Philip and Elizabeth must take extreme measures to continue their mission and keep their true identities hidden. But when an FBI agent moves in across the street, they become ensnared in a pulse-pounding game of cat and mouse

Mission impossibleWith its combination of Cold War villains and James Bond-like techno-gadgets, Mission: Impossible was an instant hit when it premiered on September 17, 1966. Airing Saturday nights at 9:00 on CBS, the series was the brainchild of creator/producer Bruce Geller, whose formula for seven successful seasons included a well-chosen ensemble cast, noteworthy guest stars, and a flexible premise that inspired clever plots twists and a constant variety of “international” locations (mostly filmed on a studio backlot). This seven-disc set includes all 28 episodes of season 1, the only season to feature Steven Hill as Dan Briggs, leader of the top-secret counterintelligence team known as Impossible Missions Force (IMF). As the no-nonsense Briggs, Hill (better known for his later role on Law & Order from 1990 to 2000) began each episode by sneakily retrieving the dossier and recorded instructions (voiced throughout the entire series by uncredited actor Bob Johnson) for the IMF’s latest assignment. “Your mission, should you decide to accept it” and “this recording will self-destruct in five seconds” quickly became pop-cultural catch-phrases, as Briggs routinely selected his preferred teammates based on their mastery of practical skills. With “special appearance” billing for M:I’s first three seasons, Martin Landau played master-of-disguise Rollin Hand; his off-screen wife, Barbara Bain, played top-model and undercover seductress Cinnamon Carter; Greg Morris brought hip coolness (and racial diversity) to his role as electronics expert Barney Collier; and Peter Lupus played handsome hunk Willy Armitage, adding IMF muscle to Briggs’ brainy strategies.

The prisonerSince its CBS debut in the summer of 1968, the masterful British TV series The Prisoner has captivated American audiences. Now A&E presents a definitive aficionado s edition of the cult classic which is considered one of the most innovative TV series ever filmed, for the first time in breathtaking Blu-Ray. Fully restored from the original film elements with newly remixed 5.1 surround sound and featuring hours of bonus material never released in North America, this Blu-Ray edition is a fitting tribute to the creative vision of the late Executive Producer and Star Patrick McGoohan.

After resigning from a top-secret position, a man (McGoohan) is abducted and spirited from his London home to a mysterious place known only as The Village. Village Residents, known only by numbers, are held captive because each possesses valuable knowledge. The Prisoner, now known as Number Six, battles to protect his mind and his humanity while struggling to discover the identity of Number One and escape captivity.

the best of the originalWho better to select 6 of most sensational Avengers episodes than suave superagent John Steed–a.k.a. actor Patrick Macnee–himself. Hard-core fans and newcomers alike adore the crackling dialogue and brazen derring-do of Steed and his delectable partners. Macnee introduces each episode with candid comments about the three lovelies–Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, and Linda Thorsen–who donned the legendary leather catsuit during the show’s five-year run.

Secret agent aka
Every government has its secret service branch. America, CIA; France,Deuxième Bureau; England, MI5. NATO also has its own. A messy job? Well that’s when they usually call on me or someone like me. Oh yes, my name is Drake, John Drake.Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner) stars as John Drake in Secret Agent, the popular television series from the Golden Age of Spy Thrillers, the 1960s. Travelling the world to capture international criminals, John Drake rarely solved problems with a gun, preferring to use charm and wit over violence to bring in the bad guys.Encompassing all 86 episodes from its successful broadcast run, Secret Agent (known in the United Kingdom as Danger Man) is an essential addition to the collection of any fan of the spy game. B&W and Color
Magmum PI

Hewaii five

I spyMore great Cold War TV series, including some such as Magnum PI and Hawaii Five-0 that included many episodes with Cold War themes and communist villains:

the third man blu raySimply the finest of the Cold War movies from the Cold War, The Third Man “is a British cinematic icon: from director Carol Reed, author Graham Greene and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli and Orson Welles. Set in post-war Vienna, the film noir features some of cinema’s most memorable set pieces — the chase through the sewers, the enormous ferris wheel, the elm-lined cemetery…and Anton Karas’ zither score, a worldwide phenomenon in itself.”

Produced in the early days of the Cold War in a city divided between the West and Soviets, this Cold War movie established the noir atmosphere of those that followed and launched some enduring Cold War film themes, such as the innocence (or hubris) of American characters and the cynicism of the Europeans.