Overall | The Quatermass Experiment (1953) | Quatermass II (1955) | Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

The Quatermass Collection (1953)

The Quatermass Collection (1953)

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Released 7-Jul-2005

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Overall Package

    This three-disc set contains all of the surviving material from the three Quatermass serials produced by the BBC in the 1950s. All were broadcast live, with a progressive increase in the amount of pre-filmed material inserted into the drama.

    The series was initially conceived by Nigel Kneale as a fill-in for a gap in the programming schedule, but then took on a life of its own. There were books, film adaptation of all three serials by Hammer Films, and even a radio spoof by The Goons (with Harry Secombe as Ned Quatermass). In 1979 after Kneale had left the BBC for ATV the character was brought back for one last gasp in a mini-series called simply Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion) starring John Mills as the intrepid Professor Bernard Quatermass. This series had an interesting premise but suffered from low production values.

    In April 2005 the original serial was restaged live on BBC4. It was the first live television drama in twenty years and featured Jason Flemyng as Quatermass. Reviews of it were mixed, but I expect it will appear on DVD before the format is extinct.

    Quatermass paved the way for later science fiction series such as Doctor Who and Doomwatch and despite the limitations of 1950s live television remains compelling and entertaining. This three-disc set contains all of the remaining episodes plus some useful extra material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Quatermass Experiment (1953) | Quatermass II (1955) | Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

The Quatermass Experiment (1953)

The Quatermass Experiment (1953)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 7-Jul-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-The Kneale Tapes
Featurette-Cartier And Kneale In Conversation
Featurette-Making Demons
Featurette-Quatermass And The Pit Omnibus Version-Opening & Closings
DVD-ROM Extras-Scripts For The Four Missing Episodes
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1953
Running Time 66:47
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rudolph Cartier
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Reginald Tate
Isabel Dean
Duncan Lamont
Hugh Kelly
Moray Watson
W. Thorp Deverreux
Van Boolen
Iris Ballard
Eugene Leahy
Neil Wilson
Colyn Davies
Katie Johnson
Oliver Johnston
Case ?
RPI Box Music Trevor Duncan
Gustav Holst
Richard R. Greenough


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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

    If you thought that British television science fiction started with Doctor Who in 1963, then think again. A science fiction series had been an early success for the BBC a full decade earlier.

    In 1953 a young writer in the BBC stables was given an opportunity to create a series at short notice to fill a programming gap. Nigel Kneale came up with a science fiction drama series that was performed live (as was virtually all TV at the time) and was a big success, paving the way for decades of TV drama, not just science fiction. The series was The Quatermass Experiment, featuring the adventures of Professor Bernard Quatermass, head of the British Experimental Rocket Group.

    As episode 1 opens, Quatermass (Reginald Tate) and his London crew are overseeing a manned rocket launch that took off from a base in Western Australia. Instead of orbiting the Earth, the rocket has shot off into space in an ellipse that will see the three man crew pass once more by the Earth and then disappear into space forever.

    Quatermass and his team manage to separate the command module and bring it crashing down to earth into a building in Wimbledon. When the rocket cools and the scientists are able to open it, they find only one occupant: Victor Carroon (Duncan Lamont), wife of Quatermass's assistant Judith (Isabel Dean). The other two members of the crew have disappeared, and yet the instruments show that they did not leave the spacecraft. Carroon is ill and unable to give any account of what has happened, but he begins acting strangely.

    Unfortunately, that's it. The six-part series was performed live, and the BBC only made telerecordings of the first two episodes, reportedly because they were dissatisfied with the results. Quatermass made appearances in two further BBC serials which do survive, and all are presented on a three-disc set with a number of extras.

    So this disc only contains the two episodes that survive. Also included are copies of the scripts for the other four episodes. If you don't feel up to reading those, then you could either obtain the Region 1 DVD of the movie version made by Hammer two years later, The Quatermass Xperiment, or await the arrival in this country of a recording of the 2005 BBC remake, which was also broadcast live.

    The movie version as I recall it follows the TV story closely. The cast is different, with American actor Brian Donlevy brought in to play a more ruthless Quatermass than in the TV serial.

    It's hard to make out what the entire series must have been like, but the first two episodes are very good. Reginald Tate is a good Quatermass, and the cast has a number of familiar faces from British TV and film. One of Quatermass's assistants is Moray Watson, who was George Frobisher on the Rumpole series. Paul Whitsun-Jones plays the reporter Fullalove, a character that reappears in the third serial, while Oliver Johnston is his boss. Katie Johnson plays the owner of the house in which the rocket crashes: she would later become well known from the film The Ladykillers. Duncan Lamont would have a prominent film career, and would play a supporting role in the film version of the third serial, Quatermass and the Pit, in 1968.

    It is difficult to enthuse over something that is only one-third complete, but these two episodes are still worth seeing, if only as an introduction to the two complete serials included in this set.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The programme is shown in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1. The original aspect ratio would have been 1.33:1.

    This material is a telerecording or kinescope of the original TV broadcast. In effect, a telerecording is created by pointing a film camera at a TV monitor. The camera is adjusted to match the frame rate of the television broadcast.

    As such, the visual quality is disappointing. There is a slight distortion at the extreme left (presumably due to the curve of the screen) which affects some motion towards that side of the image. Otherwise the image is blurred, with visible scan lines and a lot of detail missing. It is worth noting that at the time the resolution of television in the UK was 405 lines, compared to the present 575.

    Contrast is poor, so there are a lot of featureless blacks and over-bright whites. There are film artefacts, though relatively few. The spots that appear on the screen were probably on the camera lens or the screen that it was filmed off. In episode two from 51:10 an insect seems to have landed on the camera lens. It remains there for a while, disappears and then reappears.

    There is a fair bit of what appears to be aliasing, although again this could simply be a limitation of the recording and could be present in the original material.

    The disc is dual-layered, but there is no layer break within either of the episodes. The usual small BBC subtitles in white font are available, and are reasonably complete in terms of transcribing the dialogue.

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

Audio

    The sole audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    Dialogue is mainly clear, but some is not so easy to understand and requires use of the subtitles. The recording is a little rough, with some harshness and distortion, but less allowances need to be made for the audio than for the video. There is no indication that the transfer to DVD has caused any issues with the audio. I did not notice any problems with audio sync.

    Music is provided in the form of stock music from the BBC library, with the theme being "Mars, the Bringer of War" from Holst's The Planets.

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

Extras

    A good selection of extras. All of the extras in this set are on the first disc, and with the exception of the scripts should be viewed after watching all three episodes, as there are spoilers. All are in full frame unless stated otherwise, and all have subtitles. According to the case, a collector's booklet is included, but I did not receive this with the review copy.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Some footage from the film is seen on the main menu together with some of the music.

Featurette-The Kneale Tapes (39:34)

    A recent (2003) documentary about the career of the writer. I could have sworn that I read an obituary of Kneale sometime in the early 1980s, and laboured under the impression for years that he was dead. However, happily, he is not and this documentary features the octogenarian writer and his wife Judith Kerr, also a writer. Starting with The Quatermass Experiment, the programme delineates his career, including excerpts from a TV production of 1984 with Peter Cushing. There are interviews with various people, including author Kim Newman and a couple of the League of Gentlemen, one of whom appears in the 2005 version.

    Of interest is that Kneale still has the gloves used for the monster in the first serial, and one of the creature models from the third. The programme is in 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette-Cartier And Kneale In Conversation (11:02)

    This is taken from interviews with Kneale and producer of the three serials Rudolph Cartier made in the early 1990s, not long before the latter's death. Speaking of which, Cartier seems to suggest that John Robinson did not appear in the third series due to being dead, which is not true. In fact he outlived his replacement.

Featurette-Making Demons (7:08)

    This is a piece from the early 1990s with the two special effects people who worked on 1984 and the later serials. Quite interesting material.

Featurette-Quatermass And The Pit Omnibus Version-Opening & Closings (2:11)

    The third serial was repeated in an omnibus version, with two programmes consisting of three episodes each. These are the opening credits for both and the closing credits for Part One.

DVD-ROM Extras-Scripts For The Four Missing Episodes

    This is a bit of a damp squib. On the disc accessible via DVD-ROM are four portable document format (PDF) files, containing the scripts for the four lost episodes. You will need Acrobat Reader or an equivalent PDF reader to view them. Unfortunately, they turn out to be images of photocopies of copies of the original scripts. The text is very difficult to read, as the typewriting did not always come through properly, so some characters are only partly visible. These scripts were printed in book form some years ago, which might be a better option if you can access them.

Gallery-Photo

    A substantial photo gallery covering all three series, including some sketches for the sets.

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 is identical to the UK Region 2 release, and the series remains unreleased on DVD in Region 1.

Summary

    An interesting piece of television history well presented on DVD.

    The video and audio quality require the viewer to make allowances.

    Some good extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Monday, August 15, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Restoration of Quatermass - Anonymous
Booklet???? - zooty
The Quatermass Xperiment - Steve
Booklet - Sean Brady

Overall | The Quatermass Experiment (1953) | Quatermass II (1955) | Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

Quatermass II (1955)

Quatermass II (1955)

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Released 7-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1955
Running Time 188:06
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rudolph Cartier
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring John Robinson
Monica Grey
Hugh Griffith
John Stone
Brian Hayes
Tony Lyons
Eric Lugg
Hilda Barry
Herbert Lomas
Richard Cuthbert
Kim Grant
Peter Carver
Peter Macarte
Case ?
RPI Box Music Trevor Duncan
Robert Farnon


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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

    The second Quatermass serial opens like the first, with a rocket launch. This one however has been unsuccessful, with the prototype nuclear engine exploding, causing death and mayhem. Luckily, the explosion occurred in what was Britain's 1950s nuclear dumping ground: outback Australia.

    About a year earlier there had been a flurry of tiny meteorites. Quatermass's daughter and assistant Paula (Monica Grey) has a boyfriend in the army, John Dillon (John Stone). Dillon has found some meteorite fragments in a field, and the farmer was a witness to this latest strike. Dillon shows the fragments to Quatermass (John Robinson) and his assistant Dr Pugh (Hugh Griffith).

    The find excites the scientists, because the likelihood of a meteorite landing intact on the Earth's surface is highly remote. The mystery becomes more intriguing when Pugh discovers that the fragments form a regular shape, and when put together that shape is hollow.

    On visiting the farmer, Quatermass finds him taciturn and unwilling to talk about the experience of seeing the meteorite land. On their way back to town Quatermass and Dillon stumble on a large manufacturing plant, heavily guarded. They see another meteorite land and Dillon gets too close, getting something on his face. Shortly afterward guards arrive and whisk Dillon off for "medical treatment". Something is fishy in Winnerden Flats, as Quatermass soon finds out as he attempts to get Government assistance.

    The first Quatermass adventure had men going into space and bringing something back with them. This one has something coming from space on its own recognisance and attempting a takeover. In some ways it is a combination of War of the Worlds and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, although the film of the latter had yet to be made when Quatermass II hit the screens (Kneale might have read the Jack Finney novel on which it was based, but as it dates from the same year as this series it is unlikely).

    From the little information I have been able to find on the production of this serial, it was originally intended to have Reginald Tate reprise his role as the intrepid scientist. However, Tate died just two months prior to the screening of the first episode and was replaced at the last minute by John Robinson. Robinson sadly is not very good. He has a tendency to fluff his lines and he also overacts badly. Fortunately the story moves at a swift pace so the viewer does not have much time to linger on his inadequacies.

    This time the budget extended to filming of some outdoor sequences which were inserted via telecine during the live broadcasts. This helps the story to open out more than was evident in the two surviving episodes of the first serial. Also helping is a large dose of familiar British character actors, some of whom had had long cinema careers behind them, and some who would be more famous in later years. In the former category are Herbert Lomas, who appears as an old man in the pub in episode two, Austin Trevor in several episodes as Fowler, and Ian Wilson, the bespectacled short man in the pub sequence in episode 5. In the latter category are Rupert Davies as the ill-fated parliamentarian - later he would play Maigret on television; Wilfred Brambell (Steptoe and Son) as the tramp in episode 2; Melvyn Hayes (It Ain't Half Hot, Mum) as a boy in episode 3 and Roger Delgado (Doctor Who's original The Master) as the reporter Conrad. Then of course there is Hugh Griffith, later an Oscar winner for Ben Hur.

    The serial was screened over 6 consecutive Saturday nights on the BBC and fortunately it was telerecorded for posterity. It is enjoyable and suspenseful, and like the first serial was adapted for the big screen with the basic plot intact. Quatermass II reached the big screen in 1956 with American actor Brian Donlevy reprising his role from the first film. I have not seen it but it gets good reviews, though writer Nigel Kneale was reportedly unhappy with the choice of leading man. In any case, the television serial is well worth seeing and scrubs up well even without the big budgets and sophisticated special effects of more recent science fiction fare. It comes as part of a set containing what survives of The Quatermass Experiment and the entirety of Quatermass and the Pit. Each episode is shown complete, including opening and closing credits.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The programme is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1.

    The video quality is slightly better overall than that afforded the first serial, but it has more significant problems with resolution. In 1955 Britain had a 405 line black and white television standard, so resolution was lower than that of modern PAL televisions. While videotape recording systems existed, they were very expensive and quality levels were variable. Television programmes were recorded for posterity using a camera synched to the frame rate of a television monitor that it was pointed at. This process was known as telerecording or kinescoping.

    You can clearly see the problems with this approach on this DVD. The image is slightly distorted at the sides, more so on the left of screen, probably due to the curvature of the monitor screen. There are also visible scan lines, which are quire distracting at times, though one gets used to them. There is a lack of clarity and detail to the video as a result. Contrast is poor and shadow detail almost non-existent.

    There are no serious film artefacts.

    Optional subtitles are provided in English, and these are quite close to the spoken dialogue. They are slightly smaller than subtitles on most DVDs, in the typical BBC fashion.

    The disc is dual-layered with no layer break within any of the episodes.

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

Audio

    The sole audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    Dialogue is generally clear and I found no use for the subtitles except to clarify matters of spelling. The audio is slightly distorted and muffled but surprisingly good considering how it was recorded.

    Again, the theme music is Mars, the Bringer of War from Holst's suite The Planets. There is also some stock music, used for sinister effect.

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

Extras

    The extras are included on disc one in this set. This programme is on disc two and contains only a minor extra.

Main Menu Audio and Animation

    Some footage from the film is seen on the main menu together with some of the music.

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 is identical to the UK Region 2. The programme is not available in Region 1 at this time.

Summary

    A fine old television serial well transferred to DVD.

    The video and audio qualities require the viewer to make allowances, but are as good as the old Doctor Who serials of a decade later.

    No significant extras on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Quatermass Experiment (1953) | Quatermass II (1955) | Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

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Released 7-Jul-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1958
Running Time 207:04
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rudolph Cartier
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring André Morell
Cec Linder
Anthony Bushell
John Stratton
Christine Finn
Van Boolen
Holly Bane
Lionel Ngakane
George Dudley
John Rae
Malcolm Watson
Stanley Vine
Mark Eden
Case ?
RPI Box Music Trevor Duncan
Eric Coates


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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

    The third and last of Nigel Kneale's BBC Quatermass serials was made in 1958. John Robinson, having proved unsuitable, was not retained to repeat the lead role from Quatermass II and was replaced by Andre Morell, who had appeared in the television version of 1984, also produced by Rudolph Cartier and adapted by Kneale.

    While excavating a building site in Hobbs Lane, a group of workers uncover a skull. Dr Matthew Roney (Cec Linder) believes the skull is over 5 million years old and belongs to a previously unknown form of hominid. Roney and his team proceed to dig in the site, uncovering more bones and fragments. Under the dirt they discover what appears to be an unexploded bomb left over from the war. An army disposal team is called into to defuse the device, but it appears to be some unknown sort of device.

    Frustrated by the delays caused by the bomb disposal unit, Roney seeks the help of his old friend Bernard Quatermass (Morell), who is having problems of his own. Head of the Experimental Rocket Group, Quatermass is fighting the Government and military who are seeking to use the group for military purposes. He is assigned a second in command in the form of Colonel Breen (Anthony Bushell), who is a typical military blusterer. When Roney arrives, Quatermass sees his chance to keep Breen busy by getting him to help with speeding up the bomb disposal unit.

    Quatermass soon realises that the bomb is in fact some sort of alien spacecraft that has lain in the pit for five million years, but Breen continues to insist that it is some sort of German missile. Meanwhile Roney's assistant Barbara Judd (Christine Finn) learns of some supernatural happenings in a nearby house...

    This is by far the best of the Quatermass stories. Playing on the fears of nuclear war of the era, concern over the destructive use of science and the rise in interest in the occult, Kneale delivers a storyline that is not just exciting but also fascinating and resonant on several levels. Production values are very high: the first episode seems to have had a budget higher than the entire six episodes of Quatermass II combined. In fact it was the most expensive British television production to that date. There are some excellent visual effects, the sets are impressive and there is much more use of pre-filmed material inserted within the live material.

    The cast is also excellent. Morell is the definitive Quatermass, convincing as a scientist and also as the voice of moral conscience. Bushell is very good as the blustering Breen. The supporting cast has a raft of familiar faces. Michael Ripper, having also appeared in Hammer's film version of Quatermass II, is the army sergeant and Harold Goodwin is one of the sappers. Brian Worth resurrects the role of James Fullalove from the first series. And Noel Howlett, who almost invariably played clergymen throughout his film career, plays a vicar here. Other familiar faces include Bill Shine, Ian Wilson and perennial old fogey Sydney Bromley.

    An excellent and thought-provoking piece of television, it was adapted for the screen in 1968 again by Hammer, with Andrew Keir as Quatermass. That film is very good but not as good as the original, now available in a three-disc collection containing all of the surviving BBC Quatermass material. This series is shown complete with all of the opening and closing credit sequences.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The programme is transferred in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1.

    Like the two previous series, the programme was a mix of live action and pre-recorded material. The proportion of pre-recorded material seems to be much higher in this series. This material was shot using a film camera and then telecined into the live broadcast. The entire show was captured for replay using the telerecording technique of the day.

    For this transfer the BBC appear to have found most or all of the original material of the black and white film inserts that were used in the initial broadcast. So while the live parts of the programme still have that poor quality look, the filmed inserts are clear and detailed. In fact they are in excellent condition, with almost no film artefacts whatsoever.

    The live portions lack contrast and detail. The filmed portions have a nice range of greys and look just like feature film material of the era, as if they were shot on 35mm.

    The live portions also have some aliasing and some visible scan lines, possibly due to being on the old 405 line standard.

    Optional subtitles are provided in the usual small BBC white font. They match the dialogue well and are easy to read.

    The disc is dual-layered but there is no layer change during any of the chapters.

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

Audio

    The sole audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

    The audio seems somewhat constricted but is noticeably better than that afforded the two previous series. Dialogue is clear and the sound effects come over well, especially the eerie sounds created by the fledgling BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

    The Holst music was dumped for this series and replaced with some stock music and newly composed material by Trevor Duncan. It is all quite effective and helps build the tension nicely.

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

Extras

    The extras are included on disc one in this set. This programme is on disc three and contains only a minor extra.

Main Menu Audio and Animation

    Some footage from the film is seen on the main menu together with some of the music.

R4 vs R1

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

    The new release from the BBC in Region 2 is identical to the Region 4. There was an earlier release from a different company which contained a version of the story edited into a single unit, as though it were a feature film. There was a slight cut in this version which has been restored in the new edition.

Summary

    A fine piece of science fiction from the archives of the BBC, worth seeing if you have an interest in the genre.

    The video quality is as good as could be expected.

    The audio quality is good.

    No significant extras on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
The American release by Hammer - penguin (there is no bio)
John... the US disc is not the same thing... - Anonymous
Corrections... - ChickenEater