Quantum Leap-Season 2 (1990)
|Category||Adventure||Main Menu Audio & Animation|
|Year Of Production||1990|
|Running Time||1005:37 (Case: 1012)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (6)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Anita W. Addison
Donald P. Bellisario
Universal Pictures Home Video
Velton Ray Bunch
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during a couple of episodes.|
Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), the haphazard time-traveller of the seminal 1980s science-fiction show Quantum Leap is back again for the second season, lost in the past, trapped in the bodies of various people, and on a mission to save someone before he can get back to his own time. In order to find his way home, he must undo a wrong that occurred in the past with the help of his friend, Rear Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), and a computer called Ziggy.
Season 2 is a vast improvement on the first season. It is longer for starters, but it also finds its feet and establishes itself as one of the best science fiction series of the twentieth century. Unlike the first season, Season 2 ditches blatant religious Samaritanism for addressing real social issues in an entertaining context – sexual harassment, freedom of speech, racism, disability, true exploration of theological exploration.
I do not intend to give you a full run down of each episode. Far better summaries than I could provide can be found at TV.com amongst other places. The following is a list of the contents of the second season as set out on these DVDs:
Some of my favourite episodes of the series are in this season. Crackers like What Price Gloria?, Good Morning, Peoria, Jimmy, So Help Me God, and perhaps the best of them all, M.I.A.. If you were ever a fan of this show, this is a must have.
This transfer is in the original 1.33:1 Full Frame broadcast ratio of the series. However, unlike the first season, it looks like we have the R2 version mastered from a PAL video master. As a result, the picture is vastly improved
First off, colour is much better – well saturated, nicely balanced, and lacking the washed out feel of the original. The picture is also a lot sharper, lacking the soft filter focus image of the first season.
There are some grain issues in obvious stock footage, like in The Americanization of Machiko, and also in shadowy scenes, but overall, for a show this old the picture is pretty smooth.
There are no glaring MPEG artefacts, but there is some minor background aliasing. It’s nowhere near as bad as the first season, but it is still visible if you look for it.
There is some dirt here, particularly in the opening credits after the title sequence where it looks like translucent slides were spliced over the film. I also saw the odd line down the screen, the odd slight blue patch, and some hairs. But for the most, this is pretty clean.
Unfortunately, there are no subtitles.
These are dual layer discs with 2 episodes per layer, 4 episodes per disc.
The only audio available is an English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track, encoded at 224kb/s. Unfortunately, it’s a real let down.
Starting with the good points, there were no problems understanding dialogue, and the minor sync issues were clearly faults from the source.
In other good news, unlike the R1 release, we seem to have all the original music intact, which is really important for episodes such as Good Morning Peoria.
The range is pretty good for a stereo job, and I think slightly better than the first season despite being stereo instead of Dolby Surround. There were also some good directional cues in the way of front surround information.
There is no subwoofer use.
The bad news is that unfortunately there seems to be a major fault with the audio I have on this test disc. There seems to be some kind of sync fault that creates a “warble” effect in the upper register, whereby it sounds like there is a bubble in the music track in particular, but also the dialogue track, that keeps blocking out part of the noise then popping. While initially I thought this might be a fault with my system, I’ve tried the discs on other systems to the same effect. I’ve switched cords and played around with every dynamic I can think of with my amplifier and other people’s systems, but it’s still there. The really telling thing, of course, is that no other DVD of mine does this, even those just in stereo. Indeed, Universal Home Video’s contemporaneous release of Sliders – The Complete Third Season is also in stereo and has none of the same problems. This is definitely a mastering fault.
All in all, this is a major disappointment for me, being a big fan of the series, and of this season in particular. Given I am using test discs and not the official release to do this review, it’s hard to know whether the final release has this fault. If anybody else comes across it, let me know so we can put the word out and get it fixed.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has various clips from the episodes and the theme in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The R1 release uses the NTSC colour format and is Region Coded for Region 1. It is presented as 4 dual-sided and dual-layered discs. A big difference is that, unlike the R2 and R4 releases, the R1 release has Subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired, which is an important consideration.
However, I understand that a lot of the original music has been cut out of the R1 release and replaced because of music rights issues in the US. The R4 and R2 releases retain the original tracks.
I do not know if the R2 release suffers from the same “warble” effect that the R4 does, however I’d be inclined to preference that release if it does not have this fault.
Quantum Leap: The Complete Second Season is much better than the first season and contains some of the show’s seminal episodes. Highly recommended.
Video is pretty good for a series of this age.
The sound is a significantly flawed 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track. I hope that Universal remaster this. If any of you come across the same effect, I’d be happy to write to them on our behalf.
Sadly, there are no extras.
|DVD||Momitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-HS50 LCD Cineza Projector with HP 80" Widescreen (16:9) HDTV Mobile Projector Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Digital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer|