Peter Cook & Dudley Moore-The Best of

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Released 3-Dec-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 99:45 (Case: 98)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dudley Moore
Peter Cook
Barry Humphries
David Bird
Madge Brindley
Bob Godfrey
Joe Melia
Bill Wallis
Sheila Steafel
John Wells
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music The Dudley Moore Trio


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Despite the view today that Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were a comedy team, it wasn't always that way. Not Only...But Also was originally conceived as a starring vehicle for Moore, with Cook in a supporting role. Soon after it commenced though, Cook was established as co-star. Three series of this seminal comedy were produced by BBC-TV: the first two in 1965/6 and the last, in colour, in 1970. Sadly, the BBC wiped most of the tapes of Not Only...But Also, much as they did with Doctor Who, Dad's Army and many of the TV series they had produced. By considerable effort involving TV stations around the world, the BBC was able to put together about three hours of material, from which the selections on this disc were taken.

    Dudley Moore was not only a gifted comedian and actor, he was a talented pianist as well, as you will see from the Bo Dudley segment. Peter Cook was also well known as a satirist, from a long association with the satirical magazine Private Eye. Having watched repeats of this series in the mid-1970s, I find it hard to believe that they are both no longer with us.

    There are 17 sketches on this disc. As is the way with sketch comedy, it is a hit and miss affair, with some sketches not being particularly funny. But skits like Pete and Dud at the Zoo and the parody of Gerry Anderson's sci-fi puppetry, Superthunderstingraycar, had me in stitches. The opening segment seems to have been recorded much later, in about 1990 for a twentieth anniversary special.

    The content of this disc seems to be the same as the VHS tape The Best of...What's Left Of...Not Only...But Also.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Being taken from material more than 30 years old, you would expect the quality to not be as good as more recent video recordings. However I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how good this looked. It is by no means perfect, but it is difficult to see how it could be improved upon.

    All of the material is presented in the original full frame 1.33:1 format and is thus not 16x9 enhanced.

    While the video is not very sharp, it is perfectly acceptable. There is a small amount of grain in the filmed segments, but this is not distracting. Shadow detail is satisfactory for material of this age. The colour segments filmed in 1970, with the exception of the Ludwig van Beethoven segment, look better than might be expected, with some rich colours at times.

    The filmed material has some very small flecks and scratches, but is in good condition nonetheless. The only other noticeable artefacts were what looks like interference on the original recording, possibly dirty video heads, from 87:40 and an instance of microphony at 55:28, and some mild aliasing at 79:29.

    English subtitles are available and are quite accurate to the spoken word.

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

Audio

    The audio is clear, and although the dynamic range is restricted, the dialogue is easy to understand.

    There is only one audio track, in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    The only noticeable problems were during the Ludwig van Beethoven sketch, where the audio seemed slightly distorted. Otherwise, the audio is as good as can be expected from video material of this vintage.

    Music is by the Dudley Moore Trio with some assistance from Ludwig van Beethoven.

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

Extras

    Sadly, there are no extras. You would think that some additional sketches could have been included, although this would have necessitated adding an extra layer to the disc.

R4 vs R1

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

     This disc is identical to the Region 2 release. There is no Region 1 release as yet, so there is no reason not to buy the Region 4 disc.

Summary

    This is a well put-together disc containing some hilarious sketches from the duo of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

    The video quality is quite good considering the age of the source material.

    The audio quality is quite good.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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