Keeping Up Appearances-Series 3 & 4 (1992)

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Released 8-Jul-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 435:02 (Case: 428)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Harold Snoad
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Patricia Routledge
Clive Swift
Josephine Tewson
David Griffin
Judy Cornwell
Geoffrey Hughes
Mary Millar
Shirley Stelfox
Jeremy Gittins
Marion Barron
George Webb
Case ?
RPI $59.95 Music Nick Ingman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

   You are cordially invited by Mrs Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Boo-kay, of course) to again accompany her on a journey to improve one's social status.

    Following on from the previous collection of series one and two, this three disc set from the British Broadcasting Corporation (referring to such an august institution by the abbreviation BBC is nothing less than laziness and makes one sound distinctly lower-class) presents us with series three; in which husband Richard needs Hyacinth's help dealing in a proper manner with early retirement; and series four; in which Hyacinth is determined to bring a touch of civilisation to the rural areas by purchasing a country property. Also included in this collection is the 1991 Christmas special.

    All the familiar faces from the first two series are here. Naturally Hyacinth and Richard take centre stage, as is their right as the socially superior, but we do get to see Hyacinth's family; although she would prefer we didn't. Her sister Daisy and husband Onslow are ever-present in their lower-class, unemployed, council house ("How can a yard look like this so many years after the Blitz?") way. Rose is still living with them and having man trouble ("You promised me you'd be faithful and I find you sneaking back to your wife"), and her father is also still there (I'd have Daddy live with us; if only he didn't dribble his cocoa).

    There are frequent phone calls from sister Violet (with a sauna, Jacuzzi and room for a pony), filling us in on her Turf accountant husband's penchant for female attire. Her darling son Sheridan, who is doing so well in his needle-point course at the university, also phones frequently to keep in contact with Mummy; the requests for extra money are mere coincidences.

   The Christmas Special is from 1991, Series Three is from 1992 and Series Four is from 1993 and the fifteen episodes, seven from each series plus the special, are spread evenly over the three discs.

Disc 1

1991 Christmas Special (29:17)
Hyacinth arranges for Richard to play Santa for the old age pensioners, despite Richard's embarrassment at wearing the red suit. When Emmet and Richard get drunk drowning Richard's sorrows, Elizabeth must cover for him.

Series 3 Episode 1 - Early Retirement (29:13)
Richard is forced to take early retirement and faces the daunting prospect of dealing with Hyacinth all day, every day. Hyacinth, of course, has other plans for Richard.

Series 3 Episode 2 - Iron Age Remains (29:07)
Now Richard is retired, Hyacinth takes an interest in local history and has Richard take her for an excursion into the countryside to find some iron age remains. Meanwhile Rose is love-lorn again and threatens to kill herself.

Series 3 Episode 3 - Violet's Country Cottage (29:16)
Hyacinth gets the use of her sister Violet's country cottage so she packs half the house for her and Richard to spend a couple of days in the country. While there she tries to make social in-roads with the Lady of the Manor while Richard is sent out out to find her dog.

Series 3 Episode 4 - How To Go On Holidays Without Really Trying (29:05)
Hyacinth hears that a neighbour is going abroad for holidays. Not to be outdone, she schemes to have everyone think she and Richard are planning an expensive holiday of their own. Onslow, meanwhile, decides it's time for him to rescue Richard from Hyacinth and introduce him to the joys of irresponsibility.

Disc 2

Series 3 Episode 5 - Richard's New Hobby (28:59)
Hyacinth determines that Richard needs a new hobby to keep him occupied now he is retired, so equips him with a video camera and sends him out to "be creative".

Series 3 Episode 6 - The Art Exhibition (29:24)
Hyacinth plans to attend an art exhibition, but her father runs off to join the Foreign Legion and must be found before the exhibition.

Series 3 Episode 7 - What To Wear When Yachting (29:11)
Hyacinth has the use of a friend's yacht for the day. This is the perfect opportunity to improve one's social status so she plans to entertain on board with a "nautical buffet", but first Richard must be fitted out with appropriate garments for ship-board life.

Series 4 Episode 1 - A Job For Richard (29:07)
When Hyacinth sees a job for the General Manager of a local frozen foods business advertised, she is convinced it's perfect for Richard, even though Richard is not so convinced. As these roles are never filled by application, but by knowing the right people, she sets about ensuring Richard makes a good impression on the company owner.

Series 4 Episode 2 - Country Retreat (29:00)
When a neighbour buys a country cottage, Hyacinth decides that they should have a country retreat also, so she can bring "civilisation to the rural areas".

Disc 3

Series 4 Episode 3 - A Celebrity For The Barbeque (28:44)
When Hyacinth discovers Richard is casually acquainted with the local "garden king" who has appeared on TV, she sets about ensuring he attends her "indoor - outdoor luxury barbeque" to upstage a neighbour who recently had a minor celebrity at her barbeque.

Series 4 Episode 4 - The Commodore (29:04)
Hyacinth volunteers to collect the guest speaker for her Ladies' Luncheon Club from the station. She plans to hold an over-the-top social occasion before the luncheon, but things don't go to plan.

Series 4 Episode 5 - Looking At Properties (28:19)
Hyacinth's father is arrested for guarding the Town Hall and refusing to let the Mayor's secretary in. Richard is dispatched to discreetly collect him from the police station while Hyacinth views country properties. Richard fears that she will purchase something well out of their price range.

Series 4 Episode 6 - Please Mind Your Head (28:47)
As "part owner" of a country mansion, Hyacinth is determined to have a few guests over for tea and cucumber sandwiches. Richard is concerned that the apartment is too small for entertaining, but there is no discouraging Hyacinth.

Series 4 Episode 7 - Let There Be Light (28:29)
The local church is holding a bring and buy sale. Hyacinth volunteers Richard to help repair the electrics in the hall even though his electrical experience goes no further than fixing the Christmas tree lights. While Richard is trying to avoid getting electrocuted, everyone else is trying to avoid Hyacinth.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    In short, this is a good transfer from a quality video source. There is nothing to complain about here.

    The bit rate is high and there were no visible video or compression artefacts. Sharpness, particularly in the backgrounds, is lacking a little in some scenes, but this is probably a result of the source material being video. Similarly, shadow detail is not reference quality but is more than acceptable for a transfer of a television series. There was no significant low level noise.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Dolby Digital 2.0 English sound is provided and is competently transferred. There is nothing special here, but as there is only dialogue to deliver, not much is demanded of the audio. Thankfully, dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There is no real call on the rear speakers or subwoofer.

    Like the video, the audio is good without being exceptional.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

     A nicely animated menu is provided, in the best possible taste of course, which allows episode selection. Each episode is conveniently chaptered.

    There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

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

     The Region 2 version of this disc is the same as the Region 4 version. There is no direct equivalent in Region 1 that I could find, however there is a 4 disc version that has series 3, 4 and 5 as well as an extra Memoirs of Hyacinth Bucket which is a collection of cast interviews and out-takes.

    The Region 2/4 release has the advantage of PAL formatting which, being a British show, is its native format. The Region 1 package is more extensive, covering three series and adding the interviews and out-takes, so I guess that makes the Region 1 version a winner on content..

Summary

    Lovers of British comedy will enjoy this series and this is a nice 3 disc package of series 3 and 4. There is plenty to view with a run time of 435:02. I didn't miss the extras and prefer no extras to poor extras.

    The video transfer is good.

    The audio, while not spectacular, is more than adequate for the job.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig M84-210 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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Comments (Add)
Memoirs & R1 set -