Keeping Up Appearances-Christmas Specials (1992)

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Released 6-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 164:59
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Harold Snoad
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Patricia Routledge
Clive Swift
Josephine Tewson
David Griffin
Judy Cornwell
Geoffrey Hughes
Mary Millar
Shirley Stelfox
Jeremy Gittins
Marion Barron
George Webb
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Nick Ingman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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

    Hyacinth Bucket (no, it's pronounced Boo-kay, my dear) returns to spread her own distinctive style of festive cheer in these four Christmas Specials.

    If you are not familiar with this inspired piece of British comedy, then you have been missing first rate television. I won't delve into the premise here as it has been well covered in this site's reviews of the other discs of the series. A superb cast make the most of brilliant scripts, each character being finely drawn and well portrayed.

    This disc of the Christmas specials is almost an epilogue to the 5 series and completes your journey into the world of Hyacinth Bucket. Hyacinth is sure you will have come away from this experience learning how one must behave properly in social situations. Many of the specials are not of a Christmas theme per se, but were specials made to air during the Christmas period.

   Please remember that, although you have learned how to be socially superior, do not act superior. As Hyacinth says, "People who think they are superior make it very difficult for those of us that are."

1991 Special (29:18)
    Hyacinth arranges for Richard to play Santa and distribute presents to the senior citizens, despite Richard's protestations. Richard hides in embarrassment next door and gets drunk with Emmet drowning Richard's sorrows. Elizabeth dons the Santa suit to cover for Richard which leads to a series of mistaken identities. This special was also included on the Series 3 & 4 three disc set.

1993 Special (58:08)
    Hyacinth and Richard are taking a holiday, cruising on the Queen Elizabeth II. A vessel of suitable distinction for Hyacinth, where they will, of course, associate with people of only the finest social standing. When Hyacinth sees Daisy and Onslow on the boat, she is sure they must have stowed away.

1994 Special (48:22)
    Richard develops a most socially unacceptable case of athlete's foot, so Hyacinth makes him pretend it is gout, a much more civilised ailment. Meanwhile, a family crisis looms as Daddy has wandered off again.

1995 Special (29:11)
    Hyacinth is organising a pageant about the local involvement in the English civil war. When her appeal for volunteers fails to attract anyone, she calls in her family to help.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    Once more the BBC provides a good transfer for a mid 1990s TV series. The transfer is 1.33:1, which is the original aspect ratio and there is little to complain about.

    Naturally being a TV series the image is not as sharp as a modern feature film, but it is acceptable. There was little in the way of graininess and I didn't notice any MPEG blocking. In short, a good, workman-like transfer. Nothing stunning, but nothing wrong either.

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

Audio

    Audio is, like the video, a good workman-like transfer. Dolby Digital 2.0 is provided and, with the show being primarily dialogue, not too much is expected from your speakers.

    While not an audio feast, what it needs to do the soundtrack does well with dialogue easy to understand and clear.

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

Extras

    There are no extras. The menu is animated with the theme playing behind it.

R4 vs R1

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

    I was not able to find an equivalent release in Region 1.

Summary

    A very basic disc with only four episodes and no extras, this is still a must-have if you are a Keeping Up Appearances fan and want the complete set. If you have not yet discovered this fine British comedy, this is not the disc to make your acquaintance with Hyacinth and her family as these episodes assume you already know the characters.

    Video is good.

    Audio, although only Dolby Digital 2.0, is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TH-42PV500A 42" HD Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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