On the Buses-The Best of Series 3 & 4-Volume 4 (1970)
|Year Of Production||1970|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The final volume in the set of On The Buses: The Best of Series 3 and 4 contains the first four episodes from series 4, initially screened in November and December 1970. Given that all episodes to date have been released on DVD, I would expect that the remainder of the episodes from series 4, 5, 6 and 7 will appear in the not too distant future. Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that the humour is lowbrow and the scripting unsophisticated, the series retains a freshness that many later TV comedies have lost. It is not all funny, but enough of it is to make watching these episodes again worthwhile. Series 4 seems to be slightly smuttier than series 3, probably a reflection of the change in British film and television culture that began in the late 1960s.
It was reported recently that Mike Myers had acquired the rights to On The Buses, with a view to producing a new TV series or feature film with himself as Stan Butler. Hmmm.
This disc contains:
Nowhere To Go (23:48)
Stan and Jack plan to bring two clippies home when Stan's family are away at Aunt Maude's, but Arthur's motorbike will not start.
The Canteen Girl (24:23)
Blakey is romancing the canteen girl, but when they plan to marry and move to the country, and Blakey's replacement turns out to be a martinet, Stan and Jack need to act fast.
Dangerous Living (24:43)
A newspaper article suggests that bus drivers have shorter lives. Stan tries to exercise more and eat less. Blakey shows him the fine art of skipping without a rope.
The Other Woman (24:13)
Arthur tries to chat up one of the clippies, leading to a marital confrontation.
The video is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
As was the usual practice in British television until relatively recently, the indoor scenes were shot on video and the outdoor scenes on 16mm film. The result of this is that the outdoor scenes look a little fuzzy in comparison, and the colour differs between the two. The colour is adequate although mostly drab. You would not expect TV of this vintage to be sharp, and this series is no exception. Shadow detail is adequate, and there are no issues with murky lighting or loss of detail due to dark areas of the image.
The first two episodes on this disc look worse than the other two, with the image being very fuzzy and showing signs of pixelization.
While the incidence of tracking errors is less frequent on this disc, there is a very brief loss of image due to a major tracking error at 38:31. There are also some interference lines at 83:06.
No subtitles are provided on this single-layered disc.
The sole Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio track is adequate for the task. The audio transfer faithfully recreates the TV listening experience, which is clear dialogue, cheesy music and a loud laugh-track. The best that one can ask for with such material is that you do not notice any problems with the audio, and this is exactly what is delivered.
I have been unable to turn up any information about the theme music for this series. There is no credit listed for this on any of the episodes, and a search of the Internet has failed to solve this mystery. The music is fairly banal, which suits the material.
There is no surround nor subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
Not even an animated menu.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is no Region 1 release. The Region 4 is a clone of the Region 2, so I will call this a draw.
More of the same from this highly popular TV series.
The video is adequate.
The audio is satisfactory.
The extras have missed the bus.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Yamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains|
|Speakers||Main: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175|