Sandman in Siberia (2005)

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Released 5-May-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 74:31 (Case: 72)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Steve Abbott
Evelyn Abbott
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

    Sandman in Siberia follows the story of Steve Abbott and his mother Evelyn as they travel to Siberia to try and meet up with long lost relatives. The main relative they are seeking to meet is a brother of Evelyn’s mother who was left behind when the family left Siberia for Australia in 1912. Steve Abbott is better known to the Australian television audience as The Sandman, a character who has appeared on a variety of shows including The Fat and Good News Week, amongst others. Despite the title, this show does not really feature the character of The Sandman except in some short footage of one of his television appearances.

    This show recently appeared on SBS and the version on this disc also includes some 20 minutes of extra footage. I can’t tell you exactly what footage is additional as I did not see the show when it aired. When I received this disc for review, I was concerned to see that the program was rated PG, for "Brief Incidental Nudity" especially considering that the stars were the less than svelte - Steve Abbott and his mother! Luckily it merely refers to some footage of The Sandman from a television show where he appeared naked.

    For Steve it is a voyage of discovery about his past and family connections which fascinates as well as terrifies him. His mother is a complete character and it is the dialogue between them which is the highlight of this show. In truth very little actually happens and the journey is mildly interesting as are their reactions to it. The show really comes across more like a home video that other relatives would be interested in viewing rather than something for the general viewing audience.

     Mildly interesting but hardly essential viewing. Dedicated fans of Mr Abbott may get more out of it than I did.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good with no significant issues.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. This is probably the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was very good.

    The colour was good with no issues to report.

    From an artefacts perspective I noticed some minor aliasing such as on a short at 1:45, a hat at 8:45 and the church at 67:19. There was also some moiré at 6:05.

    There are no subtitles.

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


    The audio quality is decent.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was mostly reasonable although sometimes the music drowned out what was being said. There were no audio sync issues.

    The score of this show by Jamie Rigg alternated between being very evocative and quite annoying.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu was very simple with a still photograph only.

Photo Slideshow (3:16)

    A slideshow of still photos from the trip with music.


R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is only available in Region 4.


    A trip through Siberia looking for relatives with Steve Abbott and his mother. About as exciting as that sounds.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The disc has only one small extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, June 02, 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)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Exciting??? - acassimaty