Little Britain-The Complete Third Series (2003)

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Released 5-Oct-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Matt Lucas, David Walliams
Deleted Scenes-Little Documentary
Featurette-The South Bank Show
Featurette-Little Britain Night Highlights
Featurette-Richard and Judy Interview
Featurette-David Walliams on Top Gear
Bonus Track-Heresy - audio only
Trailer-Little Britain Live
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 170:40 (Case: 334)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Declan Lowney
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Matt Lucas
David Walliams
Tom Baker
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music David Arnold


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
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 Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you're unfamiliar with the characters and concept of Little Britain, can I suggest that you first check out my reviews of series one and series two.

    The first episode of the third series of Little Britain screened in the UK on BBC One on November 17th 2005. It was some months later, in mid 2006, before Australians got their chance to view the series when the programme went to air on the ABC.

    Little Britain has retained and consolidated an incredible following ever since the first series, even though most characters still carry the same basic joke. We know what the final outcome of these sketches will reveal, but we are still compelled to see how it gets there. This is testament to David Walliams and Matt Lucas, who give these characters such an alluring presence. The program has now even spawned a live stage show that has been touring the UK in 2006 and will reach Australian shores early in 2007.

    Naturally, many of the favourite characters from the first two series return in the third - this includes Tom Baker's excellent narration. But as was the case with the second series, some new characters have been added to promote continued interest and freshness. A couple of characters appear only once in the series, while others are a little more frequent. These include Bubbles De Vere's ex-husband Roman (Rob Brydon) and his new wife Desiree (David Walliams). Sir Norman Fry (David Walliams) is a wealthy MP with a reputation for scandal. Mrs. Emery (David Walliams) has a severe incontinence problem that she is totally oblivious to. Dudley (David Walliams) is full of anticipation when his new Thai bride, Ting Tong (Matt Lucas), arrives - problem is, Ting Tong has a secret. Pat (David Walliams) and Don (Matt Lucas) are frequent visitors at an Indian  restaurant. Leonard (David Walliams) is more a hindrance than a help at an old people's home. Lette (David Walliams) loves her frogs, just as long as they aren't real. And Sid Pegg (David Walliams) runs the local neighbourhood watch scheme. The characters of Harvey Pincher and Dennis Waterman have been dropped for this series.

    Rumours of cameo appearances in the third series by the likes of Kylie MinogueJohnny Depp, George Clooney, Nicolas Cage and the real Dennis Waterman sadly never eventuated. But at least the David Walliams web site now reports that a fourth series of Little Britain is highly likely.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer for Little Britain  series three is on par with the two previous series.

    The episodes are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1, which is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness and clarity was certainly an asset in the first and second series - thankfully this continues with the third. Blacks were crisp and clean, with no low-level-noise. Shadow detail was equally impressive.

    Colours were beautifully balanced and appeared perfectly natural.

    There were no MPEG artefacts in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts didn't present as an adverse issue and film artefacts simply don't exist.

    English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available. They are easily legible in white and are very accurate.

    Both discs are single sided, dual layered discs. The layer change on the first disc occurs between episodes, so there is no disruption. The layer change on disc two occurs at 25:41 during The South Bank Show. It is very well placed and was not at all easy to detect.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is also on par with the previous two series.

    There are two audio tracks available, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    Dialogue quality was impressive throughout and audio sync appeared spot on.

    David Arnold again provides the music with his familiar style from the two previous series. The well-known theme music has naturally been retained for this series.

    With no real directional sound placement, the surround channels were only active with music and ambient sound.

    The subwoofer kicked into action during bass elements of the music and with occasional bass enhancement, but otherwise it was fairly low-key.

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

Extras

    Staying consistent with the previous editions of Little Britain, the selection of extras on offer for this third series will again delight the fans.

Menu

    The menus on both discs are a little more subtle than previous, but are still well designed and easy to navigate. The series three menus are themed on a View-Master slideshow, with options rotating to reveal each selection. Various menus feature audio samples of Little Britain characters and theme music. All menus are 16x9 enhanced.

Disc One:

Audio Commentary on all six episodes with David Walliams and Matt Lucas.

    David and Matt again provide a comprehensive commentary for all six episodes of series three. If you are keen to learn more about the behind-the-scenes element of the series and to hear some amusing anecdotes, then listening to these commentaries is mandatory.

Disc Two:

Deleted Scenes (44:23)

    A selection of thirty-one scenes, including some new characters that did not make the final cut of sketches in series three. These scenes play consecutively and can be viewed with an optional audio commentary by David Walliams and Matt Lucas. After initially viewing these scenes, the commentary option is recommended to gain an insight into their omission from the final wrap.

The South Bank Show (48:45)

    The South Bank Show is a long-running ITV arts magazine program hosted by Melvyn Bragg. This particular program is dedicated to Little Britain and was originally screened in the UK on Christmas Day, 2005. Matt and David consented to the cameras following them around during the production of series three. We get an informative, behind-the-scenes look at some of the rehearsals for the third series, right through to opening night of the Little Britain "Live" stage show. Apart from the generous and insightful dialogue with Matt and David, there are also contributions from the likes of Barry Humphries and Ronnie Corbett. We also get to meet David's family and Matt's Mum. Naturally, various Little Britain clips are also incorporated into the content.

Little Britain Night Highlights (36:39)

    This one off special aired in the UK sometime around the beginning of 2006 and is hosted by Rob Brydon, who plays Bubbles ex-husband Roman in Little Britain. Matt and David discuss the origins of Little Britain and in particular the third series. They are later joined by Ruth Jones (Myfawny) and Anthony Head (Prime Minister), who discuss their roles in the show.

Richard & Judy Interview (14:50)

    Matt and David are guests on Richard and Judy's chat show, talking about the third series. Judging by the Christmas tree in the background, it would be safe to assume this aired in the UK in December 2005.

David Walliams On Top Gear (9:42)

    Top Gear is a British television program for motoring enthusiasts, which naturally discusses all things car. This segment is the David Walliams guest spot, where he talks about his vehicle preferences and also performs the celebrity time trial.

Heresy - "Audio Only" (27:40)

    David Walliams and Matt Lucas are guests on the BBC Radio 4 program Heresy which is hosted by David Baddiel. This is audio only and plays over a static screen.

Little Britain "Live" Trailer (0:30)

    This is the trailer for the DVD of the Little Britain stage show. This same trailer also plays automatically at the beginning of disc one.

R4 vs R1

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

    At the time of this review, there is no R1 edition of Little Britain Series Three available on DVD.

    However, the R2 UK version appears to be identical with this local edition. Therefore there seems no logical reason to track down an alternate version.

Summary

    The eccentric characters of Little Britain return for the third series with enough material to hopefully offend everyone in some small way. All seems well placed for a fourth series - fingers crossed.

    The transfers are both excellent.

    The selection of extras will please the fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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