The Paul Hogan Show-The Best of (1977)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Additional Footage-Other Funny Stuff, The Thoughts Of Hoges
|Year Of Production||1977|
|Running Time||285:08 (Case: 371)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Peter Faiman|
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One of my enduring memories of childhood was begging my parents to be allowed to watch The Paul Hogan Show and, as I got older, being allowed to. I always loved Leo W***er, the very ordinary stunt man and daredevil played by Hoges (as Paul Hogan was always known at the time). I also enjoyed and remember with fondness other characters like Arthur Dunger, the fitness nut with a huge beer gut, Sgt Donger, the bent policeman and Super Dag. When this DVD set was mooted for release I looked forward to it with great anticipation, and despite the derision of my fellow reviewers, eagerly put my name down to review it.
The Paul Hogan Show ran between the years 1973 and 1982 mostly on the Nine network but sometimes on Seven. During this time Hoges made approximately 50 one-hour shows including various specials. The humour was mostly low-brow, self-deprecating and very, very Australian. There was rampant racism, sexism and homophobia. Despite this (or maybe because of it) the show was also very funny and very popular. Paul Hogan went on to become a major Hollywood star in films like Crocodile Dundee and its sequel. Unfortunately, that success has been followed by some really bad (and sometimes sad) films like Flipper & Lightning Jack. He has recently appeared in the film Strange Bedfellows with Michael Caton which could quite possibly be his least embarrassing film in over a decade.
This DVD set contains as its main feature five television specials made by Paul Hogan between 1977 and 1981, featuring Hoges of course in his many guises, John Cornell as Strop (who also wrote much of the material) and Delvene Delaney as a variety of underdressed and generally dumb female characters. Between these specials, and over 80 minutes of extra material, this two disc set runs to approximately 6 hours of classic Australian television comedy, which is great value. Obviously, many of the great characters and sketches are represented, however, there are also some pieces which are dated and are not as funny as they may have been when first recorded. In detail, the set contains the following five specials......
My only real problem with the set is that there is not enough Leo W***er, my all-time favourite Hoges character. He only appears in the last special and not at all in the extras. It was especially annoying considering that he is prominently displayed on the cover. This would probably not be a big problem for most of you unless, like me, you need a Leo W***er fix. Also, any huge Super Dag fans out there should note that he does not appear at all. It could have been better if they had picked the best sketches from the specials and the shows rather than just reproducing the specials in their entirety.
Overall, if you are a fan of Paul Hogan's television shows, you need this DVD and it is great value due to the overwhelming amount of material on these discs. If you have always wondered what the fuss was about, these discs are also worth checking out.
Lets be realistic here, this is a collection of late 1970s and early 1980s television - you cannot expect it to look like the latest blockbuster on DVD. Taking that into account, I believe that the best possible job has been done transferring this material to DVD. Throughout these two discs, both of which are dual-layered, the bitrate of the transfer is extremely high (virtually every time I looked it was 10 Mbp/s).
The disc is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which would be the original aspect ratio.
The picture was fairly clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Blacks are surprisingly good. Obviously television of this age will not have the sharpness of more modern productions. Grain is present throughout but gets better as the material gets newer. Shadow detail was as good as you could expect.
The colour was fine considering the age of the material, however it was not as vibrant as more modern productions, as you would expect. There was some chroma noise on brighter colours.
Artefacts abound in this presentation but they were mostly related to the source (which I would guess would be analogue magnetic tape) rather than the transfer. For the record nearly every type of expected artefact is present here; tape tracking marks (examples can be seen at 19:00 and 116:45 on Disc 1), edge enhancement can be seen regularly but is not too bad, white dots across the picture at 21:50 on Disc 1, the whole frame jumps at 69:45, there are some issues with changing exposure, microphony occurs when a live audience claps and cheers at 116:45 on Disc 1 and there are specks, flecks and spots on and off throughout. There is also some minor aliasing at 43:40 on Disc 2 and a couple of other places. I realise this sounds like a lot of artefacts but considering the age and type of source material involved, I don't think it was worse than could be reasonably expected.
There are no subtitles.
These are both dual layered discs and the layer change on Disc 1 is well placed and not terribly distracting at 109:49. I believe the layer change was between programs on Disc 2.
The audio quality is not bad, but is mostly mono, even when using ProLogic II.
This DVD contains only one audio option: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at a rather high 256 Kb/s. Obviously, the source would be mono and the sound is mostly mono here. Occasionally, theme tunes would get the front speakers and subwoofer involved such as the theme tune to the game show, Thickhead.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand. There was some crackling at 42:00 on Disc 2. There were no problems with audio sync.
The surround speakers were not used at all.
The subwoofer was used occasionally for theme tunes and other music to add bass.
|Surround Channel Use|
The simple menus were preceded by a one minute promo including excerpts from the shows. This was the same on both discs. The menus themselves allowed for selection of the individual specials, a play all function, the selection of individual extras tracks and viewing of the credits separate to the actual shows.
This extra was split into four separate tracks entitled News, Careers, Culture & Television and featured various skits from the weekly television shows including some very funny stuff like an ad for Mr Virile hairpieces, a funny skit involving a robber trying to break into the various flats in Hoges & Strops block, Nigel the 11 year old punk visiting the library, Hoges & Delvene at an art exhibition and many more. Most of this material was just as strong as the material in the specials.
This extra is a collection of stories and anecdotes told straight to camera by Hoges which was a regular part of his show. There are 8 stories and a skit at the end called The Thoughts of Hoges which features Hoges' favourite sayings. The stories were :
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This set has been released in Region 2 in exactly the same format, so you may as well buy the local one.
The video quality is as good as you could expect considering the age of the source material.
The audio quality is fine but mostly mono.
The disc has over 80 minutes of quality extra material split into extra sketches and extra stories.
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|