Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries-Complete Series 1 (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 7-Jun-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-4
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time ?
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tony Tilse
David Caesar
Kate Dennis
Emma Freeman
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Essie Davis
Nathan Page
Ashleigh Cummings
Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Case ?
RPI ? Music Greg Walker


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     It is great to see the ABC starting to produce quality drama again after a few lean years. Recent shows like The Slap, The Straits & this show, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries show that the ABC drama department is back on track.

     This show is something a bit different for a local Australian production, more in the style of English period mystery series like Poirot or even more like Marple (although much sexier). This 13 episode series aired on ABC1 recently and was well received by critics and the public. The series is based on the books of Australian author, Kerry Greenwood, who created the main character, Phyrne Fisher (Essie Davis). Miss Fisher is an independently wealthy lady, who returns from Europe to Melbourne in 1928. She is suave, sophisticated, saucy, witty, independent and hedonistic. She has returned to investigate the murder of her sister and to live and enjoy life in 1920s Melbourne. In each episode she investigates and tends to solve a murder mystery much to the chagrin of Det. Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page). Over the series their attraction to each other grows and the sexual tension between them drives some of the plot.

     The other main characters are Miss Fisher's housemaid, Dot Williams (Ashleigh Cummings) a devout Catholic girl who also assists in the investigations and Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) who assists Det. Robinson. They also start a relationship although theirs is much more tentative than that of Miss Fisher and Detective Robinson. Other recurring characters include two cab drivers who help Miss Fisher, Cec & Bert and a young girl who becomes Miss Fisher's ward, Jane.

     This is an enjoyable light mystery series which should be enjoyed by those who like the murder mystery style of show such as those mentioned above. The period detail in sets, costumes, cars, trains, locations and other detail is very well done and creates an atmosphere that is believably 1920s Melbourne. The various stories are intriguing and make for a very worthwhile series for genre fans. Those after a grittier style of television mystery such as Taggart or Cracker should probably look elsewhere. The cast are good in their roles with Essie Davis and Nathan Page working together well. I have not read the books but I believe some fans of the book were disappointed by some plot changes, however, the author was heavily involved and even appears in a cameo in one episode.

     This Blu-ray edition is packaged as a two disc set, whereas the DVD set is split into two volumes.

     Recommended for murder mystery fans.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is good but not up to the best of Blu-ray.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout and the shadow detail was quite good. I think these were affected by what is quite a low bitrate for Blu-ray, generally hovering around the 12-15 mbps level, which is significantly lower than the limit of the format.

     The colour was good but not as vibrant as some Blu-rays.

    There is some minor shimmer to be seen on a fairly regular basis.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired. They were clear and easy to read and in multiple colours. I noticed some errors in words, for example, the spoken word found was shown as phoned in the subtitles.

    There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is good but only in a standard definition format.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Other than the clearer dialogue there was little to distinguish this track from a DVD.

     The music such as the jazz theme sounded good on this transfer.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are a collection of featurettes on disc 2. They are all standard definition.

Menu

     The menu included music and motion in the style of the opening credits.

The Look of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (26:52)

     Quite a comprehensive making of which covers the extras, costumes, cinematography, hair and makeup, locations, visual effects used to recreate the 1920s, production design, approach to shooting, the author and the art department's set design. Well worth watching.

Meet the Creators (4:47)

     Short interview segments with the author, producers and director.

Vehicles of the Series (2:04)

    Short featurette about Miss Fisher's car the Hispano Suiza and its owner/restorer.

Steam Train Experts (1:28)

     Short featurette about the steam train used and its crew of enthusiasts.

Cast Interviews (8:36)

     Interviews with the four main cast members mostly focused on their characters. Not bad.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Blu-ray is only locally available at this point.

Summary

     A fun and light period murder mystery series from Australia.

     The video quality is good. The audio quality is good.

     The extras are decent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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