The Murder Room (2004)

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Released 8-Sep-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 177:06
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (87:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Diarmuid Lawrence

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Martin Shaw
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music John Lunn

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Martin Shaw plays the famous detective from P.D. James' novels, Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard in this 2004 telemovie. Previously this part has been played by Roy Marsden in 10 films. Personally, I much prefer Shaw. This detective is quite a complex man, a widower who still yearns for his wife and also a poet of some renown. This is the first of two telemovies in which he plays the role. Death in Holy Orders was made in 2003 and was followed by The Murder Room in 2004. They were both made for the BBC and are being released here as a two disc set. Each movie is presented in two parts as they were shown on television.

    This second telemovie is the best of the two, having a stronger story and a better production all round. This is not to say that the first one was average because it certainly wasn't, however, I felt that this one had a more realistic setting and therefore was a more accessible story. The story here revolves around a family owned museum about England between the wars called The Dupayne. One of its main features is an exhibit about gruesome murders committed in those years which is referred to as The Murder Room. The museum was started by the father of the three main characters here, Marcus, Neville & Caroline Dupayne. Neville is a psychiatrist who recently lost his wife. Marcus is a civil servant who is about to retire and has set his heart on running the museum. Caroline is a socialite who lives in a private flat over the museum. The three of them are the trustees of the museum and as the lease is due for renewal on the museum they must all sign the new lease or otherwise the museum will close. Neville does not want to sign as he wishes the museum to close. When Neville ends up dead, in a very nasty way, suspicion falls on his siblings and many others including:

    To make Dalgliesh's task of tracking down the killer more difficult, more bodies start to turn up bearing a similarity to a murder from The Murder Room and there is some sensitive government involvement in the case. In addition to the well put together mystery this movie also sees Dalgliesh continuing his relationship with Emma Lavenham from the previous movie which goes through many ups and downs over the course of the movie. This is a quality mystery, well acted, and with an intriguing story line which bears multiple viewings. The score of this particular film is a highlight. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is decent, slightly better than the other film. The long running time seems to have resulted in a less than satisfactory bitrate.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was reasonably sharp, although affected somewhat by grain, probably as a result of the bitrate. Shadow detail was better than the previous film but still nothing special.

    The colour was quite decent, although as most scenes took place at night bright colours were not overly used.

    Artefacts included some minor aliasing and a little edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read but contained some minor errors.

    The layer change occurs at 87:50 and was not noticeable. It was placed at the end of part 1.

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


    The audio quality is good. The sound was surprisingly rich and warm considering the bit rate.

    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.

    The score of this film by John Lunn is excellent, adding tension and drama to the movie.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu was still and silent allowing for the ability to select parts and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

     The set is available in the same format in Region 2 and the two movies are available either separately or together in Region 1 . The Region 1 issue of this movie includes a P D James interview and some text bios, which makes it the best choice.


    An excellent entry in the Adam Dalgliesh mysteries from the BBC with Martin Shaw as the commander. It is only available in this region as part of a two disc set.

    The video quality is decent.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, October 21, 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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