The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) (NTSC)

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Released 2-Mar-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes Teaser For 1999 Red Nose Day
Featurette-1999 Red Nose Special
Featurette-The Real Vicars Of Dibley
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 158:43 (Case: 230)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gareth Carrivick
John Howard Davies
Dewi Humphreys

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dawn French
Gary Waldhorn
Emma Chambers
James Fleet
John Bluthal
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Trevor Peacock
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis


'We've been playing a fair bit of hide the purple parsnip' Alice Horton nee Tinker

    This is one of the great English comedy series, along with shows like Black Adder, Mr Bean and Fawlty Towers. Leaving aside Fawlty Towers, the others all have something in common besides being English. Richard Curtis was involved with writing all of them. He is definitely one of the greatest comedy writers ever to hail from the British Isles. Besides those mentioned above he also wrote for Not the Nine O'Clock News and Spitting Image and wrote both Bridget Jones films, Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings & a Funeral. What a great set of work!

    The Vicar of Dibley is set in the small village of Dibley in rural England and features the weird and amusing inhabitants of the village. The main character is the village Vicar, Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French), who is 'a babe, with a bob and a magnificent bosom'. In Series 1 she arrived in this small village as their new Vicar, much to the consternation of the villagers, as they were expecting a man. However, over the first two series she was accepted as the vicar and has become a very popular member of the community, especially with some of the menfolk. The other villagers who appear regularly in this series are:

    The show is very, very funny with lots of great one-liners and humorous situations, and like many of the great English comedies they took their time to ensure the produced shows were of the highest possible quality. The same is true of the Four seasons of Black Adder and Fawlty Towers. This series arrived on British television nearly two years after the previous one, at the end of 1999.

    This disc includes all 4 episodes in this series, each of approximately 40 minutes duration, which was longer than the previous series. Each episode includes a joke after the final credits, told by Geraldine and misunderstood by Alice. The episodes are:

  1. Autumn (39:54) - Alice & Hugo return home from their Honeymoon much later than expected. David's brother, Simon is coming to visit and Geraldine is very excited about that prospect. Alice & Hugo announce big news. This is an extremely funny episode and probably the best of this series.
  2. Winter (40:01) - The village are planning their Christmas show but find it difficult to come up with a good idea for it. After they decide, they hold some very amusing auditions. Alice & Hugo play Mary & Joseph but they get a lot more than they bargained for during the play. This is a good episode but the only one of the series which is not excellent.
  3. Spring (39:28) - Geraldine wants to starts a crèche in the vestry. Preparations are underway for (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) the christening of Alice & Hugo's baby. Geraldine reveals her real first name and David begins to have feelings for her. A special guest is in this episode - (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Sean Bean . Another excellent episode and very, very funny.
  4. Summer (39:20) - There is no water supply and none of the villagers can shower or bathe. The decide to build a millennium statue in the village but can't decide who the subject should be. The Water Board want to take a radical solution to the water problem and the villagers protest by chaining themselves to the church. Another classic episode.

    At this stage no further series of The Vicar of Dibley have been made although there have been some more specials made quite recently, so we can keep our fingers crossed.

    One of the great English comedies which should be in the collection of any fan of the genre.

'No, No, No, No, No...Yes'


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is poor.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio. It is very disappointing that this DVD is presented in NTSC format considering that it is a television production originating from a PAL country. All three seasons of this show have been formatted in this way and it seems to be an issue with rights. The discs issued here have been in a similar format to those released in Region 1.

    The picture was not particularly sharp or clear, and the clarity was also badly affected by various artefacts. I did not notice any low level noise. The shadow detail was reasonable.

    The colour was not good and the whole show seemed a little overexposed and some colours, especially bright ones, were oversaturated. Additionally there was significant colour bleeding, especially whites and faces. David's bald head seemed to have a permanent halo.

    Artefacts were also significant, especially edge enhancement such as at 0:50 in Episode 1 and then continuously. Sometimes the edge enhancement partially covered the colour bleeding mentioned above so that you had a black ring of edge enhancement followed by a halo of colour. Additionally there was some grain and aliasing especially noticeable during the credit sequence and a jacket in Episode 3. Last but not least there was significant macro-blocking in large walls or other expanses of colour. This is visible at 26:40 and 28:40 in Episode 1 and many other places.

    There are no subtitles.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is fine.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, which is of course critical in a comedy show.

    The music by Howard Goodall does its job but doesn't stand out. The theme song is sung by a real church choir and was originally written for a hymn.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu included music, dialogue from the show and an intro. It allowed for episode or scene selection or playing all.

Ballykissdibley (11:36)

    This is a special made in 1997 which features the lead character from the show Ballykissangel, Father Peter Clifford, as he visits Dibley on a priest exchange program. Quite funny but too short. Features even worse video quality than the main program.

Behind the Scenes teaser from 1999 Red Nose Day (4:12)

    A short promo for the following special feature, which was obviously shown on the same channel to promote the special.

1999 Red Nose Day Special (13:44)

    Another short special from 1999 made for charity. A film company wants to film in Dibley and when Geraldine finds out Johnny Depp is involved she throws a party to welcome them to the village. Many mystery guests turn up at her party including (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Fergie. Funny stuff and a good addition.

The Real Vicars of Dibley (28:43)

    This is a very worthwhile extra which is a documentary about Vicars who are outside the norm, focusing mostly on female Vicars including one who Geraldine's character was based on. Also includes vicars who are in motorcycle clubs and ones who stage sit-ins on their church roof. Includes snippets from the show (in much better video quality than the shows are presented) and interviews with the writer, Richard Curtis, and various cast members. Good stuff!

Cast Bios

    Text biographies for Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, Emma Chambers, Trevor Peacock, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Liz Smith (who does not appear in this series) and writers Richard Curtis, Paul Mayhew-Archer & Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Interestingly, the menu includes a choice for someone called Roger Bluthal who does not exist. Luckily, choosing Roger Bluthal takes you to the biography of John Bluthal, who does exist and is on the show.

Photo Gallery

    A gallery of stills mostly from the shows which includes approximately 35 photos.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis the Region 4 version of the disc is the winner. Season 3 does not seem to be currently available in Region 2, as far as I can tell.


    The third (and currently last) series of a classic English comedy.

    The video quality is poor.

    The audio quality is fine.

    The disc has a good selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony 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 DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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Comments (Add)
R4 vs R1 - R1 is the same - DaveS REPLY POSTED
These episodes should be widescreen -