The New Statesman-Series 3 (1991)
|Year Of Production||1991|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||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||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||None||Smoking||Yes, and drug taking|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Rik Mayall plays the lead character here, Alan B'stard, a Tory backbencher who is extremely right wing and only in politics for monetary gain and sex. The other regular characters are Piers Fletcher-Dervish (Michael Troughton), a very dim colleague of Alan's who basically does whatever he is told and Alan's wife Sarah (Marsha Fitzalan), who plays a much bigger role in this series.
This disc is the third disc in a newly released 4 disc box set of all 4 seasons of The New Statesman. The first series had previously been released a couple of years and so is not available for repeat review. The review of Series 1 can be found here. The review of Series 2 can be found here. This third series is a significant improvement over the second series. These episodes are much funnier, darker and more political with less silliness and much better plots. It also includes more anarchic humour and violence, moving it closer to The Young Ones. This series was actually made two years after the second series in 1991. In between there was a one off special, Who Shot Alan B'Stard?, which strangely is included on the last disc, with series 4.
The episodes included here are:
A much stronger season than Season 2 with more emphasis on political satire and much better writing all round.
The video quality is reasonable but restricted by its early 1990s TV origins.
The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, although only as good as television of this age ever looks, with no evidence of low level noise. The clarity is occasionally affected by some shimmering on camera pans, especially during the credits. The shadow detail was reasonable. This season is better quality than Season 2, but is still nothing spectacular.
The colour was reasonable, however a little dull as English television of this age tends to be. There were also occasional colour artefacts, mostly taking the form of rainbow style effects especially on clothing and some chroma noise on walls.
Artefacts were certainly noticeable but not too distracting. They included minor shimmering, some comet trails and some edge enhancement. No worse than unrestored television footage of the period is normally when transferred to DVD. Again better than Season 2.
There are no subtitles.
The layer change occurs between episodes.
The audio quality is fine but certainly nothing spectacular.
This DVD contains one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, but it lacks dynamism. It is slightly better than Season 2 but not by much.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.
The music by Alan Hawkshaw is pretty much restricted to the theme tune, which certainly provides a good introduction.
The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu includes the ability to select individual episodes.
This box set is available in Region 2 in exactly the same format. Buy whichever is cheapest.
The video quality is reasonable.
The audio quality is fine but a little lacking in dynamism.
The disc has no extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, 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 amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|