McLeod's Daughters-Series 2 (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (6)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, but comparatively rarely.|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The second season of Posie Graeme-Evans’ award-winning Australian drama series McCleod’s Daughters picks up a few months after the first series ends.
For those of you unfamiliar with this series, it follows the lives of two half-sisters, the country born-and-bred Claire (Lisa Chappell) and her younger half-sibling Tess (Bridie Carter) who has grown to love the country life on the family farm, Drover’s Run. Living with them at Drover’s is the housekeeper Meg (Sonia Todd) and her young daughter Jodi (Rachael Carpani), and farmhand and former bad-girl Beck (Jessica Napier). Down the road a few kilometres at the Kilgarnie farm are the Ryans – the younger son, Alex (Aaron Jeffrey) and father Harry (Marshall Napier), and farmhands Terry (John Jarratt) and Brick (Fletcher Humphrys). In between is the Wilgul farm owned by the younger Ryan son Nick (Myles Pollard). And new in town is the replacement Police Sergeant Frank Da Costa (Stelios Yiakmis).
The episodes themselves carry on in number from the first series and go together something like this:
23. The Drover's Connection (42:28) – Tess’ hemp crop begins creating trouble at Drover’s when people start stealing it believing that it is hash. This invites ridicule from Alex. And Becky tries to help her younger brother when he gets over his head with the wrong people.
24. Through The Looking Glass (42:50) – A romantic evening between Tess and Alex is ruined when a baby is dumped on the front doorstep of Kilgarnie. A rabbit infestation brings back painful memories for Becky. And Claire begins to wonder if Peter really returns her affections for him.
25. Desperate Measures (42:35) – When Becky is knocked off her horse by a not-so-random gunshot, she is stranded on the outskirts of the farm with concussion. Was it poachers after wild horses? Or something personal? And Peter and Claire begin to get serious in their relationship, in more than just the business sense.
26. The Bore War (42:53) – With water running low, Claire has to tap deeper into a bore on the edge of her property shared with Nick, who has begun watering his latest crop. As the source begins running dry, a dispute erupts which requires a water licensing board representative to settle the matter.
27. Hello Stranger (44:12) – Jodi and Meg’s worlds are thrown into chaos with the return of Jodi’s father, Kevin (Richard Healy). Is he the bad person that Meg told everybody he was? Or is there more to his story?
28. A Dry Spell (44:00) – The Gungellan Ball is coming up, and Kevin proposes that the whole family head north for a fresh start in the Whitsundays. Meg accepts, but soon begins having second thoughts.
29. Three's A Crowd (42:54) – With Peter and Claire getting along so well, Tess begins wondering whether she is just getting in the way by remaining at Drover’s. And the escalating conflict between Nick and Harry is brought to the fore when Tess tells Alex the truth behind Nick’s accident.
30. The Bridle Waltz (44:19) – Will Peter marry Claire? Or will Becky bring herself to tell her the terrible secret which Harry has uncovered, and thereby ruin their lives, and the lives of those on Drover’s? And Tess decides to make a go of it in the city.
31. To Have And To Hold (44:47) – Claire confronts the awful truth between her and Peter and struggles to come to terms with her love for him and the situation he is in. Meanwhile, Tess is partying it up in the city and is surprised by a visit from Nick.
32. Home Is Where The Heart Is (44:10) – With Tess away and the relationship with Peter over, Claire slides into a depression, cancelling her training contract with Australian Bloodlines and threatening to sell the farm. Will Tess come back from the city in time to help her sister through this, or will Harry take advantage of the situation?
33. Wildfire (42:42) – Becky’s bad-boy older brother, Mark (Justin Rosniak), is in town trying to stir up trouble with their younger brother Sean (Richard Wilson). When Nick is attacked and the others head out on a search party, Kilgarnie is left open for the taking and Sean must choose between loyalty to his brother and loyalty to those who gave him a chance.
34. Hounded (43:31) – With a fox in the area killing livestock, the crew from Drover’s and Kilgarnie go out on a hunting party. At the same time, Tess looks at non-violent solutions and invests in a pair of alpacas, only to get herself and Terry caught up in an alpaca smuggling ring.
35. Steer Trek (43:25) – With food running low on Drover’s, Claire decides to go cattle droving to keep the cattle fatted up for sale. But when the cattle get a skin disease that requires them to come in out of the sun, Nick gets jealous of the attention Tess pays to the homeowner of the farm where they settle overnight.
36. Brave J (43:11) – Tess convinces Claire to start asking the locals if they are willing to have her train their horses now that Peter is out of the way. But little does Claire know that Peter is planning with Harry to start up with a new trainer
37. You Can Leave Your Hat On (42:53) – A group of male strippers breaks down outside Drover’s and inadvertently get food poisoning. In order for the show to go on, Jodi enlists some of the local boys to put on a full Monty show.
38. Stripped Bare (42:49) – While everybody is out of the house, Jodi and Craig take advantage of the situation to have some time together. But the time alone gives time for thieves to make off with all of Drover’s furniture. When Wilgul is burgled overnight, Tess and Nick start putting the pieces together.
39. Blame It On The Moonlight (43:01) – With a group of shearers at the farm and a family of homestay guests as well, all hell breaks loose when the father of the family accuses one of the shearers of raping his daughter. And Alberto (Ben Mortley) returns from military service in Italy.
40. Made To Be Broken (43:39) – The truth behind an altercation between Alex and a former local begins costing Claire and Alex clients for their horse training business. Alex and Tess spend the day together stranded on the roadside.
41. Best Of Enemies (41:43) – Claire’s old childhood foe, Sandra Kinsela, shows up at a cattle auction and Claire’s cattle are mysteriously disqualified from sale for the following day. When untagged calves go missing from a paddock at Drover’s, Claire suspects Sandra and sets a plan in motion when the law won’t help her. And when things aren’t working out so well for Jodi in town, Alberto suggests they throw a party.
42. Wind Change (42:57) – Although things between Tess and Nick look like they are hotting up, Tess’ commitment issues have her drawing back. A dinner with Nick’s parents to sort out issues of organic farming casts more doubt in her mind.
43. No More Mr Nice Guy (43:09) – With the Gungellan show on, Claire is shocked to discover that Australian Bloodlines is threatening to foreclose on Drover’s as security for breach of contract. And worse still, a fortuneteller prompts her to confirm a shocking suspicion. Tess finds that she has a rival for Nick’s affections. And Becky eagerly awaits Brick’s return.
44. Future Perfect (43:37) – Peter agrees to sort things out with Australian Bloodlines if Claire agrees to marry him. Becky goes in search of Brick when he disappears. And Jodi struggles with what a long term future with Alberto might really mean.
While this second season is not as good as the first in many respects, most notably the scripting, it does still have its charms, and makes you kind of nostalgic for the outback and all those rolling hills. There are certainly several good plotlines and plot elements, although the irrational jumping to conclusions gets a bit tiresome in places. Nevertheless, on the whole it makes for fairly engrossing TV drama, and beats the hell out of Home And Away, which only works if you turn the sound down and put your own smutty dialogue over the acting (it’s very easy - try it some time). The big difference, though, between this show and so many other drama series is the acting, with each role very well cast and every actor making the most of the material at their disposal.
All that aside, fans of the show will be very pleased with this full season release, and it’s certainly worth the layout. And for those of you who just want some quality Australian drama, this is a definite winner. Take a look.
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, with a 16x9 enhanced image, Columbia TriStar have done an excellent job of bringing this series to us in the way it should be seen. This is a vast improvement on the transfer for Season 1, with very few complaints to be made.
The picture is very crisp and nicely transferred with the textures on polo-fleece jackets and the wrinkles on the characters’ skin clearly visible in close up shots. There is the faintest of film graininess that only becomes really noticeable in shots with a lower light level, but even then it is not very distracting. This is likely a product of the film stock itself, not of the transfer, and is not really a fault.
Colour is exceptionally well rendered and balanced, with immaculate sunsets, the yellow grass of summer and the rolling green fields of spring. Skin tones were right on, and you could tell when people were wearing make up and when they weren’t.
Shadow detail was no real problem at all, although night shots are generally artificially lit somehow.
There is one peculiar MPEG glitch at 1:31 during Steer Trek. It presented itself even after I cleaned the disc, and the exact same fault cropped up again when I was provided with another review disc. Considering that it lasted for a second and was the only one spread across six discs, this isn't too bad. Still, it is noticeable and distracting despite its brevity.
Other than a very occasional fleck of dirt, there were no real film artefacts.
Oddly enough, there are no subtitles.
The dual-layer pause is concealed in between the episodes, with two episodes per layer.
Presented in a remixed English 5.1 Dolby Digital, the sound is nicely balanced and well mastered.
The dialogue is very nicely done, always clear and crisp, with only some very minor audio sync problems which were source material faults, not transfer faults – this is, after all, TV, and there isn’t always time to get things perfect. Most of the sync issues are with hard to do outdoor scenes where the dialogue has been overdubbed afterwards.
The is surround information aplenty here, with lots of ambient noises such as farm animals, insects, birds, and people passing back and forth and around from behind. There are not a lot of aggressive directional cues from the rear, but there are plenty of subtle noises that are used to good effect to create a surround envelope. There was lots of left-right information across the front of the field, though, and this was played to good effect.
The score is very nicely rendered, with its mix of original music composed by Alastair Ford and popular songs.
The subwoofer was used lightly in spaces to give depth to horse hooves thundering by and farming machinery close up, but there was little call for aggressive use.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has some clips playing in an oval window on the right hand side of the screen and the theme music playing in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.
Each disc comes with a single still frame plot synopsis. However, unless you have watched this series already, be warned that the synopses usually gives away most of the surprises and so if you are watching this for the first time, don’t read the synopsis first.
There is biographical information for the main cast here that is as far as I can tell identical to that which was used on Season 1. These biographies are on every disc.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Currently, this series is only available in Australia.
McCleod’s Daughters – Season 2 is quality Australian drama. This is not quite as good as the latter half of the first season, but it has its moments, and everything supposedly picks up for Season 3.
The video is a touch grainy, but on the whole excellent, and definitely better than Season 1. Thankfully it has been preserved in its original 16x9 enhanced format.
The sound mix is nicely enveloping, and while it lacks real cinematic presence, it certainly does create an engrossing experience.
Sadly, we’ve come up a bit short on extras this time, with plenty of space left over on the last disc for some documentaries.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output|
|Display||Beko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Energy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer|