Hamish Macbeth-Series 2 (1995)

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Released 6-Sep-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 297:53 (Case: 294)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (26:23)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jonas Grimås
Patrick Lau
Nicholas Renton
Sid Roberson
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Robert Carlyle
Shirley Henderson
Duncan Duff
Brian Pettifer
Anne Lacey
Billy Riddoch
Stuart Davids
Ralph Riach
Stuart McGugan
Barbara Rafferty
Valerie Gogan
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music John Lunn


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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Hamish Macbeth is one of the great BBC comedy drama series of the 1990s. It was a short-lived series only running for three seasons from 1995 to 1997, totalling 20 episodes, which is a great shame. This second series includes 6 episodes (each of about 50 minutes) and unlike the DVD release of the first series all 6 are included on this set. I previously reviewed the first series.

    The series is set in the Northern Scottish town of Lochdubh and centres on the local constable, Hamish Macbeth (Robert Carlyle, in the role which kick-started his career) and the adventures of the various and eccentric villagers. He is much loved by the townsfolk and dishes out his own brand of justice which sometimes bends the rules. He is very clever and a good investigator but makes sure not to perform too well to avoid being transferred away from his beloved Lochdubh. He was born in Lochdubh but then his family moved to Glasgow. He has returned and now vows never to leave. The other key characters are:

    This show is a great mixture of comedy and drama with some excellent characters, each with their own unique identity. Once you add to that some excellent acting, wonderful scenery and great writing, this show is a winner. One of the strengths of this show is that the characters are not just mad eccentrics, they are eccentric but are also fully-rounded real people. This series has a much stronger running storyline about the relationship between Alex, Hamish and Isobel which only adds to the quality of this series. This second series is probably the best of the three.

    The episodes included are:

  1. A Perfectly Simple Explanation - A local cult, The Church of the Stony Path, declare that Hamish is Satan as he is living with Alex. Hamish tries to ignore him but it becomes obvious that more is going on including apparitions. Strangely, the local hippie commune leader, Zoot, also seems to be involved...
  2. In Search of a Rose - Wee Jock finds a life ring from the Lochdubh Rose, a local fishing vessel by the side of the Loch. Its owner has been out for a three week fishing trip and has not returned. Hamish sets out to find him. A young stranger, Mr Robb arrives in town and seems to be looking for something. Barney is running wildlife boat tours.
  3. Isobel Pulls It Off - Isobel is looking to move on from Hamish and Lochdubh and decides to get herself a makeover. In the process she attracts and starts a relationship with an ex-journalist visiting the area. After seeing some men squabbling over a car and taking their photos she decides to find out what was going on. Lachie McCrae is running a lottery syndicate for the town.
  4. Radio Lochdubh - Lachie Jr starts his own pirate radio station on which both Isobel and Alex are appearing which causes some tension. Inspectors arrive to search for the station and tragedy ensues...(It's very hard to say more about this excellent episode without giving the tragedy away).
  5. No Man Is An Island - Hamish goes out to an island to be alone with his grief, considering suicide. He finds an old woman stuck on the island in a difficult predicament and decides to try and help her. Fantastic episode.
  6. The Lochdubh Deluxe -  Rory's Aunt Bella dies but then her body is stolen from its grave. Hamish must work out what is going on. The old undertaker is very concerned that his young nephew who helps him run the business does not care about the people, only the business, and takes on Lachie Jr as a new apprentice much to his nephew's annoyance. Wonderful black comedy which is a great antidote to the previous very dramatic episodes.

    I would highly recommend this TV series to those who haven't seen it and this set is a significant improvement over the first release. I can now recommend this DVD release, unlike the first one.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is significantly better than the first series.

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

    The picture was clear and sharp, however somewhat variable with the first episode being better than some of the subsequent ones. Overall, though, the level of sharpness was quite good and much better than series one. There was some light grain in most episodes, although worse in some than others. There was no low level noise. The shadow detail was decent.

    The colour was generally pretty good although there was some minor bleeding and one or two patches of cross-colourisation.

    Once again artefacts were significantly improved over the previous release although there was some minor aliasing such as in the credits of episode 1 and some bits and pieces of edge enhancement.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read although there were some minor changes from the spoken word.

    The layer change causes a short pause on each disc.
    

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

Audio

    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 John Lunn is jaunty Scottish style folk music, well suited to the program.

    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 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 has been released in exactly the same format in Region 2 and Region 1. Call it a tie.

Summary

    One of the great BBC comedy drama series which launched the career of Robert Carlyle. This second series is just as good if not better than the first and the DVD release is significantly better.

    The video quality is quite good.

    The audio quality is fine.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, October 26, 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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