Yes, Prime Minister-Series 2 (1987)

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Released 7-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 235:17 (Case: 298)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (19:03)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sydney Lotterby
Peter Whitmore

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Paul Eddington
Nigel Hawthorne
Derek Fowlds
Diana Hoddinott
John Nettleton
Deborah Norton
Peter Cellier
Antony Carrick
Frederick Treves
Donald Pickering
Peter Cartwright
Barry Stanton
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $39.95 Music Ronnie Hazlehurst
Valerie Warrender
Richard Winter

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 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Some time ago I reviewed an Australian political satire television series called Grass Roots. In that review I called it the best political satire I had ever seen, bar none. I included this series and its predecessor Yes, Minister in that comparison. I still stand by that statement, but this is without a doubt a truly excellent political satire as well. I think the thing which pushes Grass Roots ahead is its intricate plotting and ongoing story arcs across the whole series. Both are extremely funny.

    Anyway, just in case you don't know Yes, Prime Minister is an English political satire which follows the political career of Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) after he becomes Prime Minister. In Yes, Minister  he was Minister for Administrative Affairs and in the first series of this show, he becomes Prime Minister. This second series includes eight excellent episodes in which he spars with his long time adversary, Sir Humphrey (Nigel Hawthorne), who is now Cabinet Secretary. Jim is ably assisted by his droll private secretary, Bernard (Derek Fowlds), and is joined in this show by a new ally, his political adviser Dorothy Wainwright. Dorothy has an ongoing war with Sir Humphrey. The comedy is mostly about the interaction between Jim, representing the political side of government and Sir Humphrey, representing the administrative side. However, some of the best lines are kept for Bernard.

    One of the things which sets this show apart from its predecessor is that Jim gets the better of Sir Humphrey more often. This particular series was first shown on the BBC in late 1987, early 1988.

    Strangely, this set is a combination of one dual-layer disc and one single-layer disc meaning that 5 episodes are on the first disc and three on the second. The episodes included here are:

  1. Man Overboard (30:02) Jim wants to move army bases into the north of England to promote the economy and employment. He finds that the public service are not so keen on this idea.
  2. Official Secrets (30:07) Jim tries to stop publication of the memoirs of the former Prime Minister as they are critical of him. A member of the committee leaks his objections to the press.
  3. A Diplomatic Incident (28:08) Negotiations are underway with the French on details of the channel tunnel. As Jim hosts a state funeral for his predecessor the French try to cause a diplomatic incident to embarrass him.
  4. A Conflict of Interest (30:04) There is a financial scandal in the city and Jim wants to appoint a honest man as the next Governor of the Bank of England. Sir Humphrey tries to dissuade him.
  5. Power to the People (30:31) Jim is having trouble with a local councillor who wants to abolish the police and make other radical changes to the country. Jim assigns Sir Humphrey the task of sorting it out.
  6. The Patron of the Arts (28:05) Jim has agreed to appear at a Theatre awards night but realises too late that the audience will be hostile due to recent budget cuts for the arts.
  7. The National Education Service (30:03) The PM needs to reform the education system or it might lose him the next election. Sir Humphrey, of course will not allow that to happen without a fight.
  8. The Tangled Web (28:17) Jim gets caught by Sir Humphrey lying to the house, even though he didn't know he was lying. Sir Humphrey tries to use it as leverage.

    A great series of a great English political satire. Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good, especially considering the age of this show.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was fairly clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The clarity was affected by some very light grain throughout. Shadow Detail was also quite good. The bit rate was consistently high, somewhere around the 7 Mbps mark.

    The colour was quite good considering the source, although not without problems. Faces were a little pale generally, there was some colour bleeding and occasional flashes of red or green especially around someone's head. I also noticed a little cross colourisation.

    Besides those mentioned above, there were also some other artefacts present including some minor tape tracking artefacts, some very mild aliasing especially showing itself as jagged edges, a little bit of edge enhancement, some comet trails especially from lights and a few black specks here and there. Despite all of this being present none of them were overly distracting.

    There are subtitles in English. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 19:03 in episode 3 of Disc 1 and caused a slight pause.

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 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, which of course is the principal requirement of a comedy soundtrack.

    The music by Ronnie Hazelhurst mostly consists of the theme tune. It is slightly distorted during the intro to most episodes.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu included music,stills and the ability to select scenes and subtitles.


R4 vs R1

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

    This show is available as a complete box set in Region 1 with both series included. This set also includes some significant extras. This particular series is available in Region 2 in exactly the same format.In terms of this series specifically the local product is better, however, the Region 1 set is probably the choice at this stage if you want both series of this show.


    A great political satire.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is fine for the purpose.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, August 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)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R1 subtitles - penguin (there is no bio) REPLY POSTED
complete box set in Region 4 - David G REPLY POSTED