The Vice-The Complete First Series (1999)

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Released 5-Dec-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 300
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Roger Gartland
Jon East
Douglas Mackinnon
Justin Chadwick
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI ? Music Peter Salem

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    There have been many British cop shows over the years but this one, The Vice eluded my attention until the release of this DVD set. It ran for five seasons starting in 1999 on ITV in the UK. I presume it was shown here but have no recollection of it. This two disc set contains the first season of the show from 1999 consisting of three two-part stories, with each individual episode running approximately 50 minutes.

    The setting for this particular drama is the London Metropolitan Police Vice Squad, headed up by DI Pat Chappel (Ken Stott). Pat tries to do the best he can to help the prostitutes and other victims whilst also trying to hunt down the people who live off them. His boss and the other police tend to see them as lesser cops. Pat is supported in this endeavour by his team, DI Joe Robinson (David Harewood), PC Cheryl Hutchins (Caroline Catz) and new member of the squad PC Dougie Raymond (Marc Warren). Dougie is young and inexperienced and quickly starts getting himself into trouble. They investigate cases involving murdered prostitutes, S&M film makers and drug traffickers (who have a sideline in prostitutes).

    This is a gritty series with quite a bit of sexuality and violence. It is somewhat similar to Prime Suspect but without the quality of that show. The acting is good here generally, although the writing leaves something to be desired. The episodes are quite slow at times seemingly spread over two hours rather than really written for it.

    A decent but not great police drama focused on the vice squad.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good for the age and source of the material.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, although was affected by some grain and blocking during fast motion.

    The colour was bright but affected by chroma noise.

    There was some aliasing and shimmer which was quite regular.

    There are no subtitles.

    There is no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is good.

    This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to hear and understand although subtitles would certainly have proved useful.

    The music is pretty minor with the exception of the Portishead theme tune.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No Extras


    The menu included music.

R4 vs R1

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

    This show is available in the same format in the UK and US, although the US version seems to have some video challenges. Region 4 is the choice.


    A decent 1990s police show from the UK.

    The video quality is good for the age and source of the material.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, February 07, 2013
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 amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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