Little Britain-The Complete Second Series (2003)

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Released 2-Nov-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Matt Lucas, David Walliams And Geoff Posner (Producer)
Featurette-Little Documentary
Featurette-Comic Relief Special, With Commentary
Outtakes-Comic Relief
Deleted Scenes-With Optional Commentary
Featurette-Little Britain At The NFT
Audio-Only Track-Interview - The Chris Moyles Show
Audio-Only Track-Interview - TheJonathan Ross Radio Show
Interviews-Cast-Friday Night With Jonathan Ross
Featurette-Richard & Judy Sketch
Featurette-Daffyd Sketch
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 166:45
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steve Bendelack
Gareth Carrivick
Graham Linehan
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Matt Lucas
David Walliams
Tom Baker
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music David Arnold


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    "I want bitty"... Harvey Pincher

    If you're totally unfamiliar with the people of Little Britain, you might want to read my review of Series One first.

    The cult status enjoyed by Little Britain in the early days of Series One has well and truly given way to a much broader following these days. With Series Two, the unconventional characters of Little Britain were again unleashed on an eager BBC Three audience in October 2004.

    In December 2004, a slightly modified version of Series Two screened to huge ratings on BBC One. The modifications were done to accommodate a more mass-market audience instead of just catering to the die-hard Little Britain fans.

    Thankfully, an important aspect of Series One remained in the second series - the familiar style of brave and audacious humour. Matt Lucas and David Walliams tread the good taste tightrope frequently in both series, but probably more so in the second series. Your personal taste will determine whether some of these sketches have strayed into the area of poor taste. Personally, I love any comedy that's prepared to push at moral boundaries.

    Series Two of this popular British comedy brings in many new characters, mixed with existing favourites. A few of the more heavily featured characters include Harvey Pincher (David Walliams), a man in his mid-twenties from an upper class family who is about to marry his beautiful fiancée. The fact that Harvey was never weaned from his mother's breast seems to only be a problem to others. Bubbles De Vere (Matt Lucas) is a rather large women living the high life at a luxurious spa. Judy and Maggie (Matt and David) are elderly middle class ladies with a passion for community events. Judging the food competitions can get very messy though. Carol (David Walliams) is a customer service officer at a bank and a victim of the computer age.

    All your favourites from Series One such as Lou and Andy, Vicky Pollard, Daffyd, Majorie Dawes, Emily Howard and Sebastian have returned in Series Two. Of course the unseen Tom Baker also returns with his unique brand of narration.

    Only a couple of the characters from the first series fail to make an appearance in Series Two. Eccentric Scot Ray Clooney and the granny-loving Jason are absent from this series, but according to David Walliams they may return in a future series. Jason does make an appearance in the deleted scenes on disc two - I'll say no more than that.

    Little Britain Series Two is presented here as a two DVD edition. The first disc contains all six episodes, complete with optional commentaries and a special Play Character feature. The second disc contains a huge selection of quality extras.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer for Series Two is again outstanding.

    This series is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer displays wonderful sharpness and clarity and is very close to how it appeared on television. Blacks were deep and very clean, with no low level noise evident. Shadows were superb and held a high level of detail. In general, this transfer is marginally better than the great transfer of Series One.

    Colours appeared very natural and exhibited no obvious flaws in this area.

    There were no MPEG artefacts in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts were extremely well controlled and didn't present any significant issues. There were no film artefacts.

    English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available on this DVD. They are presented in bold white, are very easily read and are very accurate.

    Both discs are single sided, dual layered. The layer change on disc one occurs during episode three at 26:18 . It is easily noticed, but not particularly disruptive. The layer change on disc two occurs at the very end of the Comic Relief Special and as such, is not at all noticeable.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer for series two is also of outstanding quality.

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) surround encoded audio and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality was exceptional. I had no problems hearing and understanding dialogue throughout the entire series and extras. Audio sync presented no problems and appeared to be spot on.

    The music is again credited to David Arnold who provided the music for the first series. The incidental music for the sketches is again excellent, while the theme music hasn't changed from the first series.

    The surrounds were highly active channelling music and ambient sound. With no real requirement for direct sound placement, this mix was perfect for the task.

    The subwoofer was used very sparingly. The occasional rare direct sound effect brought the subwoofer to life, but overall there was very little requirement for this. Some musical elements also kicked the subwoofer into action, with Vicky Pollard's music the most prolific.

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

Extras

    

Menu

    As with the Little Britain Series One DVD, the menu design for the second series is absolutely brilliant. The menus are extensively animated using a rotating postcard stand as the basic theme, with the postcards making the selectable choices. The audio features the theme music playing in the distance, which is mixed with sounds of the seaside to go with the postcard theme. The menu features 16x9 enhancement and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio.

Audio Commentary - Matt Lucas and David Walliams with Geoff Posner - Producer

    Audio commentary is available over all six episodes. If you are a fan of the series, listening to these commentaries is an absolute must. Matt, David and Geoff provide superb insight into every aspect of the second series. It becomes quite obvious that all three enjoyed relaying behind-the-scenes anecdotes. So many audio commentaries sound drab and laboured, so it's refreshing to listen to one with genuine humour and enthusiasm.

Individual Character Play List

    Anyone familiar with the first series of Little Britain on DVD will be aware of this excellent feature. By selecting one of the characters directly from the menu, this feature will play consecutively all of those sketches relating to that particular character. This effectively removes the need to search through episodes to follow a character. This becomes a very convenient tool, especially for repeated viewings.

Little Documentary (43:46)

    This superb behind-the-scenes look at series two of Little Britain will delight fans of the series. The focus of this documentary is on the actors' preparation rather than simply filming the filming, as many of these types of extras tend to do. The camera follows Matt, David and other cast members from rehearsals through to filming, both on location and in front of a live studio audience. There are also frank and funny chats with family members of Matt and David. The discussions with cast members are very candid and humorous and offer genuine insight into the many aspects of the series, including some of the more controversial characters and sketches. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Comic Relief Special (22:21)

    Comic Relief is an organisation that was launched in the UK on BBC One in 1985, their objective being to use comedy to raise funds for a variety of worthy charities. By enlisting the services of well-known comedians, the task of fundraising is of course significantly facilitated. In February 2004 a special episode of Little Britain on DVD went on sale in the UK as part of Comic Relief's Red Nose Appeal. This episode includes exclusive cameo appearances from many celebrities including George Michaels, Simon Callow, Trisha Goddard, Elton John and Robbie Williams. Sales of the DVD generated nearly two million pounds for the charity and is presented as an extra on this DVD, compliments of Comic Relief. An audio commentary with Matt Lucas, David Walliams and Geoff Posner is an option for this special and is also highly recommended. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Comic Relief Out-takes (2:52)

    A very small goof reel of four scenes from the above special that didn't quite go to plan. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Deleted Scenes (49:54)

    A collection of thirty one sketches which didn't make the final cut of the second series for a variety of reasons. Many of these sketches include new characters that were to become part of the regular line up, but were ultimately discarded. After viewing these sketches, I highly recommend viewing them again with the audio commentary selected. Matt Lucas, David Walliams and Geoff Posner discuss the many reasons why this considerable body of work was not used in the final cut of the series. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Little Britain At The NFT (43:17)

    Dr Graeme Garden introduces Matt Lucas and David Walliams to a live audience at the National Film Theatre. Graeme conducts an informal interview with Matt and David on stage in front of a large screen, which displays examples of their early work and also their comedy influences. Although the chat is casual, it is very amusing, informative and relevant. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

The Chris Moyles Show Interview (34:20)

    This is a radio interview, with Chris Moyles interviewing Matt and David about the second series of Little Britain and general light-hearted banter. The audio plays over a slide show containing mixed images from the second series. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

The Jonathan Ross Radio Show Interview (34:55)

    This is along similar lines to the above extra. This time Matt and David are guests on the Jonathan Ross Radio Show. Again, the interview plays over an image slide show. The discussions are again quite familiar, but the pair do appear to have a friendly rapport with Ross. Matt and David have been frequent guests on Ross's radio and TV shows, as is the case with the next extra. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross Interview (9:57)

    This time Matt and David are guests on Jonathan Ross's Friday Night TV Show. They discuss Series Two of Little Britain and some of the new characters. Again the rapport with Ross shines through in this amusing interview. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Richard and Judy Sketch (1:02)

    Reading between the lines of this small extra it appears that Richard and Judy have a TV chat show on Channel 4. They have put together their own sketch, which is a take-off of the characters of Lou and Andy. This sketch is played to Matt and David while they are guests on the show. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

Daffyd Sketch (1:58)

    A deleted scene featuring Daffyd joining the police force. I'm not sure why this sketch is singled out as an extra. It could have been included with the deleted scenes. Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    At the time of this review, there is no R1 version of Little Britain Series Two.

    This reviewed R2-4 Australian version seems to mirror the UK R2 version perfectly. The menus may be slightly different, but all the features and extras seem to be exactly the same in both editions.

Summary

    The quality presentation of Series One of Little Britain on DVD is matched and exceeded with this release of Series Two. The idiosyncratic characters and the often audacious style of comedy is worthy of many repeated viewings. Highly Recommended.

    The video and audio transfers are superb.

    The selection of extras for Series Two is again first class.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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