Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries-Murder Under the Mistletoe (2013)

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Released 2-Apr-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Featurette-Behind The Scenes-1
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 53:12 (Case: 55)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tony Tilse
Studio
Distributor
ABC
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Essie Davis
Nathan Page
Ashleigh Cummings
Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
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 576i (PAL)
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

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Plot Synopsis

     Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries was a successful show for the ABC over the last couple of years with two seasons having been produced to date. The 2013 season also included a Christmas special which was not included in the Season 2 DVD releases. That special has now been released as a one off release.

     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).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 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 first series their attraction grew 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, Dr Mac (Tammy Macintosh) a female doctor and friend of Phyrne and Aunt Prudence (Miriam Margolyes), Phryne's well-to-do Aunt.

     This particular episode is set during a Christmas in July celebration where Phyrne, Dr Mac, Dot and Aunt Prudence travel to a remote mountain chalet, so Phryne and Dr Mac can do some skiing and Aunt Prudence can finalise the sale of a mine which was owned by her late husband. There was a disaster at the mine some years before which took the life of a number of miners and a young child. Upon arrival, they find out that one of the other guests, Len Fowler has been electrocuted while putting up Christmas lights. Phyrne quickly realises it was a murder and Jack and Hugh are called in by Dot. Soon the chalet is snowed in and the body count starts to rise.

     Compared to the rest of the first two seasons this episode is a bit of a disappointment with a plot that is very reminiscent of a number of other murder mystery shows. The writing is a bit weak comparatively and there is some serious overacting. It is enjoyable for fans of the series but certainly one of the weaker episodes.

     I would also have preferred to see this packaged with the Season 2 set as it is less than 1 hour.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good for DVD.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout and the shadow detail was very good.

     The colour was very good with no issues to report.

     There are no obvious artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English which were clear and easy to read.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is good.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was quite clear and easy to understand but the subtitles were useful at times.

     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

    One very short extra.

Menu

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

Christmas (2:08)

    Short featurette about the episode touching on story and shooting.

R4 vs R1

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

    The show is only locally available at this point.

Summary

    A disappointing Christmas Special from Miss Fisher.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    There is one very minor extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 05, 2014
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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