Love Thy Neighbour-Complete Series 1 (1972)

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Released 15-May-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Pilot Episode
Gallery-Photo
Biographies-Cast
Trailer-Man About The House Series 1; George & Mildred Series 1
Trailer-Bless This House; Kenny Everett-The Complete Naughty Bits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 199:33
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Stuart Allen
Ronnie Baxter
Anthony Parker
William G. Stewart
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Jack Smethurst
Rudolph Walker
Nina Baden-Semper
Kate Williams
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Roger Webb
Stuart Allen


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This show was probably the pinnacle of bigotry being used as humour. It is incomprehensible to think that such a show would even get a screening to the studio bosses, let own being released to viewers in our modern world. It seems we have expanded as humans a great deal and can handle seeing and hearing things our grandparents would have cringed at, but it is also due to this growth that these episodes seem a little tamer than on their first screening. Luckily, this does not detract from the amusing antics of the two featured neighbours.

    The series concentrates on Eddie Booth (Jack Smethurst) and his very patient wife Joan (Kate Williams). Eddie is harmless enough but he has very strong views and only his opinion counts regardless of the topic of conversation. Things are running well for Eddie until new neighbours move in who coincidentally happen to be West Indian and do not fit with Eddie's racist ideals. The neighbours, Bill Reynolds (Rudolph Walker) and his wife Barbie (Nina Baden-Semper), try several attempts to make peace, but what fun would that be? The remainder of the series sees Bill and Eddie exploring different avenues of hatred while the wives strike up a strong friendship.

    Whilst the writers' intention was hopefully to break down the racist barriers of the time, history has shown, and the writers Vince Powell and Harry Driver admitted at one stage, that it did nothing to assist in this area. It is hard to say if the show's immense success was a good or bad thing based on the topic and tone of the show.

    Regardless, I enjoyed seeing it again and found the light-hearted humour a pleasant change from the over-dramatic and boring modern offerings. My favourite sections are always the Lion & Lamb pub scenes with the boys where the conversation really gets going. It is also a place where the "Honky" and "Ning-nong" are closest to being equal. And who could forget good old Arthur and Jacko, who I think never had a full beer but instead always squealed out "I'll 'ave a 'alf ".

    The Complete Series 1 contains these episodes:

Episode 1 (24:26) - Eddie Booth's trade union world is brought to its knees when a West Indian couple move in next door.

Episode 2 (24:53) - Eddie and Bill differ over their dancing abilities when it comes to the Limbo. A competition between the two looks to be inevitable at next Saturday's dance at the Lion & Lamb.

Episode 3 (25:16) - Eddie starts a petition to remove Bill from the neighbourhood only to see it backfire.

Episode 4 (24:26) - Bill and Eddie go on strike over a fight at work. Joan and Barbie decide to teach the boys a lesson by starting a labour strike in their own homes.

Episode 5 (24:55) - Joan and Barbie get two of their female friends to chat up Eddie and Bill to test their loyalty.

Episode 6 (24:46) - Eddie goes undercover at a London Club to prove there is no such thing as discrimination.

Episode 7 (24:51) - Eddie is furious when he sees Joan and Bill arm in arm on HIS couch!

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is soft and clearly shows its video roots. Shadow detail is acceptable and never really poses a problem with good lighting keeping plenty of detail visible. There is mild low level noise.

    The colours have a muted or smoky appearance and look just like the video version of the episode, so therefore this is not a transfer issue. There are no instances of bright colour as a result. There is mild but frequent colour bleeding and some overmodulation on occasion, particularly when the camera pans across the room. To top it off, there is also occasional mosquito noise as well.

    There was an odd MPEG-like artefact seen in almost every episode, with a small black and white block showing up in the last few minutes in the top right hand corner of the screen. On an 80cm screen, it came up about the size of a 10c piece and was very distracting. Check Episode 3 from 17:15 - 17:39 and again at 23:58 - 25:07 where it has the most appearances per episode.

    Episode 4 contains tape tracking errors from the start to 0:50, and incidentally, Fast Forward and Reverse don't work for this episode either. Aliasing was not evident during any episode. Film artefacts are only visible during a scene where old file footage is used in Episode 4 from 22:55 to 23:00.

    There are no subtitles available.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change not being detected at all. I can only assume that it has been authored so that the change is between episodes and therefore does not show up.

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

Audio

    There is only the one audio track on this DVD in the form of an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    The dialogue was relatively clear and easy to understand. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer.

    The music is limited to the little ditties between scenes and is typical of the era. Therefore, it does not drown out the dialogue at any point.

    The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack.

    The subwoofer is also not used by the soundtrack, nor is its presence required for such a show.

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

Extras

     A good selection of extras are present.

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the show with animated clips displaying in a small window and looping every 47 seconds. It features Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Pilot Episode (26:00)

    This is a rare chance to see the episode that was shot as a pilot by Thames before commissioning the full series. The differences are actress Gwendolyn Watts plays the role of Joan and Eddie's haircut is considerably shorter. There are also film sequences that were not used when this episode was re-shot as Episode 1. This is of a comparable quality to the other features and contains the same audio.

Photo Gallery

    A total of seven photos taken from different episodes. None contain behind the scene images or anything that you won't see by watching the episodes anyway.

Bios

    A brief bio and film history complete with a small photo is shown for the four main cast members.

Umbrella Propaganda

    This is a common menu option on Umbrella discs, where they usually show images and a small amount of text about some other movies. In this case we get four trailers for the following programs:

    All are of poor visual quality and contain frequent film artefacts.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc appears to be the same as the Region 2 release with the addition of the Umbrella Propaganda Extra for our Region 4 market.

Summary

    Overall, Love Thy Neighbour was quite funny and it was good to see it again, although now that I have relived the past it will be a long time before this disc will get another playing.

    The video transfer is full of problems and the sometimes worse than video appearance could be attributed to trying to fit too much content onto only 1 disc.

    The audio quality is acceptable for this type of show.

    The extras are satisfactory, but with the exception of the pilot they could have all been left off in order to bump up the transfer quality of the series overall.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Friday, December 05, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

Other Reviews NONE
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