The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) (NTSC)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Dibley Defrocked
Featurette-2005 Comic Relief Sketch
Biographies-Cast & Crew-Behind The Scenes Teaser For 1999 Red Nose Day
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||101:41 (Case: 125)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
John Howard Davies
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
The Vicar of Dibley is one of the great English comedy series, along with shows like Black Adder, Mr Bean and Fawlty Towers. Leaving aside Fawlty Towers the others all have something in common besides being English. Richard Curtis was involved with writing all of them. He is definitely one of the greatest comedy writers ever to hail from the British Isles. Besides those mentioned above he also wrote for Not the Nine O'Clock News and Spitting Image and wrote both Bridget Jones films, Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings & a Funeral.
The Vicar of Dibley is set in the small village of Dibley in rural England and features the weird and amusing inhabitants of the village. The main character is the village Vicar, Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French) who is 'a babe, with a bob and a magnificent bosum'. In Series 1 she arrived in this small village as their new Vicar much to the consternation of the villagers, as they were expecting a man. However, over the three series she was accepted as the vicar and has become a very popular member of the community, especially with some of the menfolk. The other villagers who appear regularly in this series are
After the third series in 2000, there were no new Vicar of Dibley shows until these specials were released, except for a few small skits for charity. This disc contains two approximately 50 minute specials made in 2004 for airing on the BBC at Christmas and New Year 2004/05 and another shorter charity special in the extras. These shows still have their very funny moments, however, I think the format is getting a little tired and clichéd and the second of these shows is more about how terrible poverty is than anything else. Whilst I understand that this is a serious issue, I feel it's a little overdone in this case, especially when you buy a DVD expecting a comedy show.
The shows included here are:
This disc is definitely worth having for Vicar of Dibley fans, however it is not quite up to the standard of the original series.
The video quality is good and certainly superior to the video quality of the third series. It is however still in NTSC which is consistent with the previous releases.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio. It is very disappointing that this DVD is presented in NTSC format considering that it is a television production originating from a PAL country. All three seasons of this show have been formatted in this way and it seems to be an issue with rights. There is also some light grain.
The picture was reasonably sharp and clear, with no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was ordinary. There was a bit of shimmering about, especially on camera pans.
The colour was quite decent, and certainly much better than the third series, although there was some colour bleeding particularly from reds, which seemed a little oversaturated. There was also bleeding from light colours such as white, some variations in colour from time to time and some chroma noise.
Other than those mentioned above there were no overt artefacts.
There are no subtitles.
The audio quality is fine.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, which is of course critical in a comedy show.
The music by Howard Goodall does its job but doesn't stand out. The theme song is sung by a real church choir and was originally written for a hymn.
The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu was simple and still.
This is presented 4x3 and is a behind-the-scenes featurette on the filming of these specials in front of a live audience. It covers the process the actors went through including rehearsals and also shows make-up and various goofs. Quite entertaining.
This is an amusing short special where Antiques Roadshow visits Dibley and there are a number of surprises, mostly regarding the authenticity of David's painting collection.
Text bios for Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, Emma Chambers, John Bluthal, Trevor Peacock, Roger Lloyd-Pack and writers Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This release is identical to the Region 1 release. The Region 2 release includes some extra things as follows:
On this basis I would buy the Region 2 product.
The video quality is good and significantly better than season three although still in NTSC.
The audio quality is fine.
The disc has a small selection of quality extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|