The New Statesman-Series 4 (1992)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (6:51)||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, incl drugs|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Rik Mayall plays the lead character in this English political satire. He is Alan B'stard, now an ex-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 is nearly as evil as he is.
This disc is the last 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 ago 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. The review of Series 3 can be found here. This final series makes the move to the European Parliament, after Alan's return from the Russian Prison Camp where he ended up at the end of Series 3. This disc also includes a special Who Shot Alan B'stard? which actually fits between Series 2 & 3. Unfortunately, this series is not as good as the excellent Series 3, but there are still excellent moments and some great laughs. This series is probably the dirtiest in terms of jokes about sex, which is saying something for this series. This was the final series.
The episodes included here are:
So, a weaker season than Series 3, but with the added benefit of the 60 minute special.
The video quality is reasonable but fairly grainy.
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, and significant grain, sometimes quite bad, such as in the special at 47:40. The shadow detail was ordinary.
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.
Artefacts were certainly noticeable but not too distracting. They included minor aliasing and some edge enhancement. There were also some minor tape tracking issues and various specks and lines. Strangely, there was also a small spiral symbol in the top right hand corner of the screen during the special at approximately 16:00 for about 10 minutes.
There are no subtitles.
The layer change occurs at 6:51 in episode 5, causing a slight pause.
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.
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 were used for occasional atmosphere when played using ProLogicII
The subwoofer was not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included the ability to select individual episodes.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
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)|