Overall | Death in Holy Orders (2003) | The Murder Room (2004)

P.D. James-Death in Holy Orders/The Murder Room (2003)

P.D. James-Death in Holy Orders/The Murder Room (2003)

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Released 8-Sep-2006

Cover Art

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Overall Package

    This set contains two complete three hour telemovies over two discs. There are no extras. The two discs are packaged in a double Amaray case.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Death in Holy Orders (2003) | The Murder Room (2004)

Death in Holy Orders (2003)

Death in Holy Orders (2003)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Sep-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 173:58
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (85:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jonny Campbell
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jesse Spencer
Christopher Fox
Alan Howard
Alex Avery
Martin Shaw
Clive Wood
Janie Dee
Jeff Rawle
Tom Goodman-Hill
Emma Rydal
Hugh Fraser
John Clegg
Jonathan Coy
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music Julian Nott


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

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

Plot Synopsis

    Martin Shaw is an actor whose work I have enjoyed in many different television shows, such as The Professionals, and Judge John Deed more recently. I also had the pleasure of seeing him doing Stanley in a live version of A Streetcar Named Desire here in Sydney some years ago. He is an excellent actor who generally does a good job with the characters he plays. This show, Death in Holy Orders, is certainly no exception. Here he plays the famous detective from P.D. James' novels, Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard. 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. This one 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.

    The plot is quite complex, easily filling the nearly three hour running time. It is set in and around St Anselm's Theological College somewhere on the English coast. The college trains young men to be priests. One of the young ordinands, Ronald Treeves gets killed in a landslide on the beach near the college and the coroner returns a verdict of 'Accidental Death'. The young man's father is not happy with this verdict and pulls strings to arrange for New Scotland Yard to send Dalgliesh to investigate. Commander Dalgliesh has a history with the establishment, having spent quite a lot of time there in his youth. As he investigates more bodies start turning up...

    The main characters are:

    This is a quality mystery, well acted and with a intriguing storyline which bears multiple viewings. I had previously seen it on television but still found it quite enjoyable. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is average but watchable. 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 not overly sharp, affected throughout by grain, probably as a result of the bitrate. Shadow detail was poor for such a recent production.

    The colour was fairly dull, driven mostly by the source material and there was some evidence of colour bleeding, especially from light colours.

    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.

    The layer change occurs at 85:05 and was not noticeable. It was placed at the end of part 1.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    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 Julian Nott is of good quality adding tension and drama to the movie.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    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 thirty minute featurette on P D James and some text bios, which makes it the best choice.

Summary

    An intriguing 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 average.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, October 12, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Death in Holy Orders (2003) | The Murder Room (2004)

The Murder Room (2004)

The Murder Room (2004)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Sep-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

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
Studio
Distributor

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

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

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.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

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

Audio

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    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.

Summary

    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)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE