Overall | River Somewhere, A-Series One (1997) | River Somewhere, A-Series Two (1997)

River Somewhere, A-Series One and Two (1997)

River Somewhere, A-Series One and Two (1997)

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Released 31-Aug-2005

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Overall Package

    Series One and Two of the acclaimed travel programme A River Somewhere have been released as part of a boxset in Region 4 and come packaged in separate Amaray cases in an attractive slipcase. Included in the box set (though not included for review purposes so as such I am unable to comment on) is a CD featuring some of the superb music used in the series.

    A River Somewhere sees Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch, two of the members of the creative team behind Frontline, The Castle and television's The Panel, heading off to several far flung destinations in pursuit of their passion - fly fishing. Each episode runs for around 25-30 minutes and is filmed like a travelogue where the actual angling exploits often take a back seat to some of the stunning scenery the two come across.

    There are six episodes comprising season one which sees the lads travel to country Victoria, Scotland, New Zealand, the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Venezuela and Italy. Season Two features seven episodes and sees locations such as Bhutan, New Zealand, high country Victoria, Queensland, The USA and Belize.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
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Overall | River Somewhere, A-Series One (1997) | River Somewhere, A-Series Two (1997)

River Somewhere, A-Series One (1997)

River Somewhere, A-Series One (1997)

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Released 31-Aug-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 160:21 (Case: 158)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Tom Gleisner
Rob Sitch
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Tom Gleisner
Rob Sitch
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music Liam Bradley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/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 None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, I seem to remember a problem with the VB cans...
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    First airing on the ABC in 1997, A River Somewhere - Series One sees Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch, two of the members of the creative team behind Frontline, The Castle and television's The Panel, head off to several far flung destinations in pursuit of their passion - fly fishing. Filmed in much the same vein as a travel series, the actual angling exploits often take a back seat to the stunning scenery, interesting and quirky towns and equally quirky people the two come across. The boys love their sport and are keen to share this passion with the viewers. Also, originally being in the comedy business, they are quick to dispense with a few well-chosen one liners about the various locales and people they meet. Often these are quite amusing, but sometimes they seem a little cheesy some eight years after this series first went to air. Cheese aside, this is still a pretty entertaining series, and if you don't want to give fly fishing a try after watching this, you must either be vegetarian or an animal liberationist.

    There are six episodes in series one, with another seven episodes contained in series two. Series one consists of:

    Episode 1: The Howqua River, Victoria, Australia (25:21)

    Tom and Rob's "local" river, this is where they learnt to fly-fish and as such it holds a special place for them. Some stunning Australian bush scenery (and not a bush poem in sight!) make up the bulk of this episode as the boys hunt for the elusive trout.

    Episode 2: Altnahara, Scotland (26:52)

    River fishing in the United Kingdom is so different with the lads first encountering a stream that is privately owned in the Cotswold region. Escaping the crowds of England, they head to the far north reaches of Scotland where they will try their luck in several lochs and streams near the small town of Altnahara.

    Episode 3: The D'Urville River, New Zealand (25:56)

    The boys are spoilt in this episode when the travel to the South Island of New Zealand and stay in the luxurious confines of one of the well equipment luxury fishing lodges specifically created for travelling fly fishermen. The D'Urville River also contains some of the best fly fishing in the world so it looks like the lads will win on both fronts.

    Episode 4: The Chamberlain River, Western Australia (27:41)

    A move away from the prized trout in this episode as the boys head to the remote Kimberley to hunt for the even more prized barramundi. Half the fun of this episode is the journey from Melbourne to the far north of Western Australia as the boys fly themselves in a light aircraft over the desolate plains of the Australian interior.

    Episode 5: Los Roques, Venezuela (27:58)

    This is the most exotic location the lads will travel to in this series. Los Roques is a series of tiny coral islands off the north coast of South America which are home to the legendary bonefish. These fish are not particularly good eating but the fight they put up when hooked more than makes up for the lack of culinary excellence. This is a virtually undiscovered gem of a location in probably the furthest point the lads could get away from their hometown of Melbourne.

    Episode 6: Courmayeur, Italy (26:33)

    Tucked away at the foot of the Alps in northern Italy, Rob and Tom search once more for that elusive trout, even though they aren't quite sure any exist in this interesting location. With the fly-fishing appearing tough, the resultant method they are reduced to in order to get a feed will make you laugh out loud.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Anyone expecting a pristine visual treat is going to be disappointed with this effort as it contains a couple of rather good examples of the video artefact brought about by excessive noise reduction.

    The video is presented in the original television aspect ratio of 1.29:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The level of clarity and sharpness is overall barely average, with the source material obviously not being that high quality to start with. Shadow detail is fine and while grain is present it doesn't overburden the picture like the lack of clarity does. There is also some low level noise throughout.

    Colours are average without being overly vivid.

    There are no compression artefacts, thought it's doubtful you would see them in amongst the fuzz and the excessive noise reduction artefacts. This disc is easily the worst I have ever encountered for the consistency of the dreaded noise reduction artefact. This manifests itself as what could colloquially be called "floating face" or "floating backgrounds". Parts of the image, usually in the background, appear to be moving on an alternative plane to the rest of the image, usually to what is occurring in the foreground. Episode two contains probably the worst examples of this artefact with cottage windows moving all over the place at 0:24, a stone wall appearing to shift sideways while the rest of the image is static at 0:26, and the entire country estate building shaking like an earthquake is rumbling at 0:42. All of these examples occur even before the credits start. The problems then occur throughout the episode, alternating between slight and downright obnoxious. The other episodes are not quite as bad, but this problem does affect all six episodes at some stage.

    Sadly there are no subtitles.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change occurring between episodes.

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

Audio

    There's a fairly basic audio selection on this disc, with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack as the only option.

    Dialogue is consistent across all the episodes, with much of the commentary obviously recorded in the studio after the lads made it back to Australia. Sound recorded on location exhibits a little more noise than usual, which is as expected given the remote locations they were in. There are also no audio sync issues.

    Liam Bradley's score is quite unique to this series and plays across the opening titles and regularly throughout each episode. The individual episodes also feature their own unique score. These tracks are also featured on the bonus CD that is contained in the two disc box set.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use at all.



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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    Aside from a little menu audio there are no extras on this disc.

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 not available in Region 1.

Summary

    A River Somewhere Series One is an entertaining, if perhaps a little cheesy, travel series featuring Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch trekking to several exotic fly fishing locations in the search for the elusive trout or other prized species.

    The quality of the video is hugely disappointing with excessive noise reduction artefacts abounding.

    The audio is nothing spectacular but handles the job required with ease.

    There are effectively no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, October 10, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | River Somewhere, A-Series One (1997) | River Somewhere, A-Series Two (1997)

River Somewhere, A-Series Two (1997)

River Somewhere, A-Series Two (1997)

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Released 31-Aug-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 195:38
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Tom Gleisner
Rob Sitch
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Tom Gleisner
Rob Sitch
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music Liam Bradley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/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 None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    After the success of the first series of A River Somewhere, a second series screened on the ABC in 1998. A River Somewhere - Series Two once again sees Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch heading off around the world in pursuit of the elusive trout. The style of series two is identical to series one, with the show filmed like a travelogue and the angling exploits often taking a backseat to the scenery and locales the two come across. After the success of the first series it would appear the budget was increased for this effort, allowing the lads to travel to a few more exotic locations like Bhutan and Belize. As before it is obvious the boys love their sport and are keen to share this passion with the viewers. The one liners do keep coming and once again seem to be aging with just a little too much cheese at times. But if you enjoyed series one of this acclaimed series there is absolutely no reason why you will not love series two.

    There are seven episodes in series two:

    Episode 1: Bhutan (30:54)

    Bhutan is a country few people have heard about, let alone seen in detail. It is a tiny country nestled high in the Himalayas north east of India, and after a searching 12 hour journey through the sub-continent on a rickety train, Tom and Rob are permitted to enter Bhutan in search of some brown trout rumoured to be in the rivers.

    Episode 2: The Cobungra River, Victoria (29:17)

    Way up in Victoria's high country, the Cobungra River is a pristine stream with big mountain trout. There are no roads so the lads saddle up the horses and trek in over an old cattle route.

    Episode 3: Wyoming, United States Of America (27:18)

    The boys start off in San Francisco and head east, headed for Wyoming and the classic fly fishing rivers that are found high up in the magnificent Rocky Mountains.

    Episode 4: The Yarraki, Queensland, Australia (26:57)

    The first of a two part episode, Tom and Rob first learn to sail a yacht and then with the benefit of their new found skills head to Port Douglas in Queensland. Here they hire their yacht and start the 1000km journey north, bound for the magnificent Yarraki River. Along the way they dine on tropical fruit and plenty of seafood including crayfish, oysters and various coral fish.

    Episode 5: The Yarraki Continued (25:14)

    Part two of the long sailing journey north, the boys finally reach the Yarraki River, a waterway so remote the only way to get there is by boat.

    Episode 6: Tongariro River, New Zealand (28:37)

    One of the most famous fly fishing rivers in the world, the Tongariro in the North Island of New Zealand attracts anglers from around the globe hunting for one of the thousands of huge rainbow trout that spawn in the river each season. Tom and Rob pray for some rain to kick things off before they land several rather massive trout.

    Episode 7: Turneffe Islands, Belize (27:21)

    Belize in Central America is the destination for the last episode of Series Two. Tom and Rob head to the tiny country in search of more bonefish, tarpon and the odd barracuda.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    After the major disappointment of the video transfer for Series One, which was marred by huge numbers of noise reduction artefacts, it is pleasing to report that Series Two is in much better condition. Having said this, that dreaded noise reduction problem is still evident, though it is certainly not as bad this time round.

    The video is presented in the original television aspect ratio of 1.29:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The level of clarity and sharpness is again average, though probably a touch sharper than series one. Shadow detail is fine and while grain is present it doesn't overburden the picture. There is also some low level noise throughout.

    Colours on the whole are much better in this series with an even saturation and some nice vivid hues on offer.

    There are no compression artefacts, thought it's doubtful you would see them in amongst the fuzz and the excessive noise reduction artefacts. Like Series One, this disc does exhibit some of the dreaded noise reduction artefact, though it is not nearly as severe as that earlier example.

    Sadly there are no subtitles.

    This is a dual layered disc with the layer change occurring between episodes.

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

Audio

    As expected the audio soundtrack is virtually identical to series one. Once again it is a basic selection, with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack as the only option.

    Dialogue is consistent across all the episodes, with much of the commentary obviously recorded in the studio after the lads made it back to Australia. Sound recorded on location exhibits a little more noise than usual, which is as expected given the remote locations they were in. There are also no audio sync issues.

    Liam Bradley's score is again featured and again it is quite unique to this series. It plays across the opening titles and regularly throughout each episode, while the individual episodes also feature their own unique score. These tracks are also featured on the bonus CD that is contained in the two disc box set.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use at all.



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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    Aside from a little menu audio there are no extras on this disc.

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 not available in Region 1.

Summary

    A River Somewhere Series Two continues the entertaining, but still a little cheesy, travel series featuring Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch trekking to several exotic fly fishing locations in the search for that elusive trout or other prized species.

    The quality of the video for series two is an improvement on Series One though there is still evidence of noise reduction artefacts throughout.

    The audio is nothing spectacular but handles the job required with ease.

    There are effectively no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
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