Rake-Series Four (2016)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 13-Jul-2016

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 448
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Duncan
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Richard Roxburgh
Russell Dykstra
Matt Day
Caroline Brazier
Adrienne Pickering
Kate Box
Damien Garvey
John Waters
Rachel Blake
Miriam Margolyes
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Michael Lira
David McCormack
Antony Partos

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

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

Plot Synopsis

    There is certainly some great Australian television being made at the moment. One example of this is the marvellous comedy drama series, Rake. Rake has been running for four seasons now (the fourth is included in this three disc set) and there will hopefully be more, following Cleaver Greene's ongoing adventures. The series was the brainchild of star Richard Roxburgh, writer Peter Duncan and inspiration, lawyer Charles Waterstreet. They are credited as the creators of the concept.

     In this context the word rake refers to a dissolute man in fashionable society, which is an excellent description of the main character, Cleaver Green (Richard Roxburgh). The character is loosely based on the well-known lawyer and man about town Charles Waterstreet. Cleaver is a highly skilled criminal barrister who defends all sorts of people, many of whom are guilty as charged. His life style is a miasma of prostitutes, gambling, associating with criminals, political corruption, drink and drugs. He has loyal friends but also many people who are either annoyed with him, angry with him or want to hurt him. His friends include Barney Meagher (Russell Dykstra), a solicitor who briefs him for a lot of his cases, Wendy (Caroline Brazier), his ex-wife, Missy Partridge (Adrienne Pickering), a former prostitute and now successful author, and his long-suffering secretary, Nicole (Kate Box). Those who are somewhere in the spectrum of enemies include the former NSW Police Minister and Attorney General, Cal McGregor (Damien Garvey), the Opposition Spokesman for many portfolios, 'Harry Sorry' David Potter (Matt Day) plus a variety of others who sometimes switch from one camp to the other. We meet some new enemies for Cleaver in this series including Edgar Thompson (John Waters) a criminal who Cleaver defended in the past. We left Season 3 with Barney in a hot air balloon with Cleaver hanging off the balloon by a rope. This season opens with Cleaver being deposited in the window of a house where lunch is underway and Barney being blown out to sea towards New Zealand. This results in Cleaver going into hiding in the country fearing for his life and Barney being up for a large rescue bill from the government. Other cast members this season include Rachel Blake and Miriam Margolyes.

     Unlike previous seasons the legal cases are reduced in this series with more focus on the lives and loves of the main characters, tragedies, danger, career changes, marriage proposals and more. This series includes 8 episodes, each of just under an hour. One again this season is a masterpiece of television, full of drama, human emotion, comedy, wonderful dialogue and more. It is very engaging and highly entertaining. Roxburgh is marvellous as Cleaver Green, funny, emotional, superbly raffish and shambling from one disaster to the next in his personal life.

     This review is of the DVD version, however, I have also been able to view one disc of the 2 disc Blu-ray version which is a significant improvement over this in both sound and vision.

     This is great Australian television. Highly recommended!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     The video quality is decent.

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

     The picture was fairly soft for a new DVD of a new source. Backgrounds were quite ill-defined at times. The shadow detail was good.

     The colour was good but dull compared to the Blu-ray.

     There was some motion blur but no other noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     The layer changes are not obvious.

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


     The audio quality is good.

     This set contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to hear and understand, although the subtitles were useful at times. The soundtrack displayed some good front separation.

     The music sounds great and is a big part of the show's jaunty atmosphere.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    One extra.


    The menu included music.

Behind the Scenes (5:44)

    A quite interesting but short featurette about the character, the story and the ending of this season (which is awesome).

R4 vs R1

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

    This set does not seem to be available outside of Region 4.


    An excellent fourth season of a great Australian television show.

    The video quality is decent.

    The audio quality is good.

    One extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE