Keeping Up Appearances-Series 5 (1992) (NTSC)
Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew-Hyacinth's Social Register
Biographies-Cast-Hyacinth's Guest Book
Featurette-Pebble Mill Interview With Patricia Routledge & Clive Swift
Featurette-The Memoirs Of Hyacinth Bucket
|Year Of Production||1992|
|Running Time||290:53 (Case: 374)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Harold Snoad|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Boo-kay, of course) returns to continuing improving her social standing in this the fifth and final series of Keeping Up Appearances.
Time has not mellowed Hyacinth - in fact, she is more formidable than ever in her assault on local society. Richard, of course, is dragged along with her; stoically reserved to his lot in life. One can't help but pity poor Richard and wonder why he is still there.
Hyacinth's sister Daisy, and her philosophical husband Onslow, still share those special private moments of their marriage with us, and sister Rose is still searching for her perfect man. Well, any man really.
The formula for this brilliant British comedy is well developed now and it works superbly. Once more the laughs flow freely as we are taken for a visit to Hyacinth's world.
Episode 1: Seaside Fun (29:00)
Hyacinth volunteers herself and Richard to help the Vicar take some of the local elderly on a day out at the seaside. One of the elderly, an amorous Italian, takes a fancy to Hyacinth.
Episode 2: The Fancy Dress Ball (28:58)
Hyacinth is concerned that they have not been invited to the Mayor's fancy dress ball since Richard is retired from the council and is sure it is an oversight. Richard is dispatched to get the error corrected.
Episode 3: Hyacinth Is Alarmed (29:10)
Richard quickly arranges for a top-line burglar alarm to be installed as an anniversary present so Hyacinth won't know he had forgotten. But will his undoing be the disarm code?
Episode 4: Riparian Entertainments (29:08)
Hyacinth invites the Vicar and his wife and her neighbours to "a waterside supper with riparian entertainment". When she finds her secluded picnic spot by the river is the site of a dredge, she is determined to find another suitable location, regardless of how hard Richard and her guests have to work.
Episode 5: Sister, Sister (29:11)
Hyacinth buys Richard some skis for his birthday - even though he doesn't ski - so he can be seen driving with them on the roof of the car. When she gets Richard to take her to her sister Violet's, she is horrified to find Violet wants to divorce her husband. To avoid the family scandal of a divorce, Hyacinth takes steps to save the marriage.
Episode 6: Country Estate Sale (29:01)
Determined to improve her social status yet again, Hyacinth takes Richard to a country estate auction. Richard is worried about how much she will spend and is relieved when she only buys some bottles of gooseberry wine made by the lord's mother. Richard isn't prepared for the consequences when Hyacinth samples "Mumsy's Rocket Fuel" with the lord.
Episode 1: General Bucket (29:09)
Hyacinth must tend to a family emergency when her father locks Onslow and Daisy out of their house having declared it a restricted military area.
Episode 2: A Bon Vivant Buffet (29:13)
Convinced next door neighbour Emmet is shy, Hyacinth organises a barbecue at her sister Violet's place. When Violet's domestic problems become vocal, Hyacinth needs to find a way to drown out the arguing so her guests will not be aware of the marital problems.
Episode 3: A Crafts-Woman Scorned (29:02)
Angered at being placed second in a craft show, Hyacinth decides it is time to show up her Mercedes driving adversary. She conspires to have Richard test drive a Rolls Royce and when the salesman is delayed by a phone call, forces Richard to take the test drive without him.
Episode 4: Scintillating Socializing (29:01)
Hyacinth decides she can help the 'socially disadvantaged' by sharing her experience in etiquette with them. Her newspaper advertisement reads "experienced hostess offer her services for your special occasion" and results in work offers she never intended.
If only the transfer was up to the standards of the previous series. This final series is actually a bundle of two US releases, Living The Hyacinth Life (Disc 1) and Hats Off To Hyacinth (Disc 2). The transfer is NTSC and the menus still retain the original US titles. Series 1 & 2 and Series 3 & 4, the two previous Keeping Up Appearances releases, were PAL transfers with their menus referring to which series they were. The menus for this series are of a style completely different to the earlier series, and look out of place if you are building your collection.
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this transfer is quite good for a TV series in NTSC. There is nothing really to criticise, aside from the fact it is not PAL. Colours are rich without being overdone, there are no video artefacts and sharpness is good, considering this is 1990s television.
Shadow detail is excellent and the show is still pleasant to watch, although not up to the quality it could have been.
Audio is your basic Dolby Digital 2.0. Again nothing special, as you would expect from the source, but well presented and easy to listen to. Dialogue is clear and easily understood and music is limited to the theme in the title and credit sequences.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is animated with the theme playing behind it. It is a cartoon pop-up book style, completely different from the previous releases as it is from the US series. Quite frankly, it is not as dignified as the earlier series. Hyacinth would disapprove most vociferously.
Hyacinth's Social Register
A collection of text biographies of the regular cast of the series.
Hyacinth's Guest Book
A collection of text biographies of the guest stars of the series.
A number of fluffed lines, giggling fits and prop problems.
Hyacinth's Social Register
A collection of text biographies of the regular cast of the series. Yes, the same as Disc 1.
Hyacinth's Guest Book
A text biography of one of the guest stars of the series featured on this disc. They are one of the guest stars from Disc 1, so there is nothing new here.
More fluffed lines, giggling fits and prop problems.
The Memoirs Of Hyacinth Bucket (60:52)
A featurette with Onslow and Daisy reading from Hyacinth's memoirs, which allows plenty of flash-backs to some of the funnier scenes from all five series.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As this is just a bundle of the Region 1 releases Living The Hyacinth Life and Hats Off To Hyacinth, there is no difference. We even get NTSC.
The British have a knack of knowing just when to end a TV series. Rather than let the characters and plot get old and stale they tend to finish their comedy series with dignity and end them on a high, following the old show-biz adage "leave 'em wanting more". This final series of Keeping Up Appearances does just that and I'm left with that ambivalent feeling of being glad the quality didn't fall off before it ended, and wanting to see more of this classic British comedy.
I was looking forward to doing this review, having reviewed Series 3 & 4, but I was disappointed in this rather lazy repackaging of two US discs. The menu titles still use the US disc names rather than referring to this as Series 5, as it is promoted, and the menu styling is a stark contrast to the earlier releases. Add to this the fact that we have an NTSC transfer of a TV show that was produced in PAL and it really is an inexcusably lazy marketing exercise that treats you, the buyer, contemptibly. I am torn between recommending this disc because I enjoy the show so much, and advising you to keep your money firmly in your pocket because of the cheap and nasty repackaging job this is. I'll let you decide.
The video is good, albeit NTSC.
Audio, although only Dolby Digital 2.0, is good.
Extras are average.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-1200Y, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TH-42PV500A 42" HD Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Richter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer|