Ballykissangel-Series 1 (1996)

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Released 2-Feb-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 292:27 (Case: 324)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By N.G. Bristow
Chris Clough
Mike Cocker
Paul Duane

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Niall Toibin
Stephen Tompkinson
Dervla Kirwan
Tony Doyle
Tina Kellegher
Peter Hanly
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music Dominic Crawford-Collins
Shaun Davey

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    In the late nineties one of the most popular BBC/ABC series revolved around the residents of the small Irish town of Ballykissangel and its new English priest, Father Peter Clifford (Stephen Tompkinson). The series ran for 6 seasons from 1996 to 2001 and covered a total of 57 episodes. This first series included 6 episodes, which are spread across two discs. Clifford has been reassigned by the church from England and arrives to find himself mistrusted because of his relative youth and Englishness. Over the course of this first series he builds the trust and friendship of the locals until he becomes a fully accepted member of the community. The plotlines of the episodes revolve around the mild adventures and inter-personal relationships of the various villagers. The key residents are:

    In addition to these there are many other regular characters, however most of the story lines, certainly in this first season, revolve around those mentioned above. The other characters provide local colour and comedy relief. This is an entertaining and colourful comedy drama which has interesting storylines and slowly developing relationships which catch your interest. I had not seen the series before and found the first couple of episodes a bit slow and felt the series did not really pick up fully until episode 3. By the end of series 1, I was enjoying the show much more than I did initially and would be keen to see the next series.

    This DVD production is a bit slapdash with only the episodes (no extras), no chapter selections, no time coding on each episode and even a mistitled episode on the back cover. Luckily, as you can see below the video quality is pretty good, so it's not a total loss. If you want the episodes, this DVD set is OK, but it certainly could have been better and a series that was this popular when shown on television would certainly be worth spending a bit more time on.

    The episodes included are:

  1. Trying To Connect You - This episode introduces the characters, giving you a good idea early on about Brian Quigley and Father McInnaly and how they plan to work with Peter. Brian is installing a new hi-tech confession booth in the church as part of a deal with Father McInnaly. Niamh goes to Peter for advice on her relationship with Ambrose.
  2. The Things We Do For Love - Jenny, a young woman from Father Clifford's past arrives in town looking for him. An unemployed itinerant worker gets into a run-in with Quigley and Peter gets involved. Peter tries his hand at Gaelic Football.
  3. Live in My Heart & Pay No Rent - Quigley is planning to catch up with an old girlfriend but Niamh is not happy about it. Ambrose has a near death experience and decides he can't marry Niamh any more. Assumpta stops stocking Guinness at the pub.
  4. Fallen Angel - A local pirate radio station starts up and Ambrose is determined to find the culprit but the rest of the village loves it. Peter meets a new patient at the hospital, an ex-judge with no family or friends who is dying, and he is also trying to pass his driving test.
  5. The Power & The Gory (misspelt as Glory on the cover) - A local politician dies and Quigley becomes locked in a struggle for his place in parliament. Meanwhile, his men dig up human remains while working on one of his developments and an old flame of Assumpta's comes to town, a journalist called Leo McGarvey (James Nesbitt).
  6. Missing You Already - Peter has been advised that he will be transferred back to England. The village festival is on and Quigley sets up a rival pub to Assumpta's. Niamh & Ambrose are finally getting married.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is good but not spectacular.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, a bit better than you might usually expect for television of this age, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was at best average. Some grain was evident especially in backgrounds.

    The colour was a bit dull but nothing to complain about really.

    Artefacts included some mild aliasing on car grilles and the like, some occasional edge enhancement and some little bits of macro-blocking especially in backgrounds.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change causes a short pause on each disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is fine.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand except for some accents but this is an issue with the original material rather than the transfer. There was no problem with audio sync.

    The music by Shane Davey suits the show well, including some lilting Irish themes and the odd touch of whimsy.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu was very simple and still.

R4 vs R1

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

    This series is available in Region 2 in the same format as ours or in Region 1 with quite a few extras. The differences are as follows:

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis the Region 1 seems to be the best bet.


    An enjoyable mild character comedy drama from the mid-1990s.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is fine.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony 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 DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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