PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Echo (1998)

The Echo (1998)

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

Released 6-Sep-2006

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 144:22 (Case: 142)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:53) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Diarmuid Lawrence

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Clive Owen
Joely Richardson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music None Given

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 Audio Commentary Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Minette Walters is one of the most popular modern psychological thriller writers in the world. Since 1992 she has had 12 books published and so far 5 of them have been made into telemovies for the BBC. All five of the telemovies have been released here locally as part of a Minette Walters box set by Roadshow. I decided to watch and review them in the order they were made rather than the order the books were published. This book was published in 1997 and the movie was first shown in 1998. This particular production is notable for including Clive Owen in one of his first leading roles. His performance here is excellent and it's easy to see why he has since become a major film star.

    The plot of this movie is set in London around Christmas time. A dead body is found in the garage of a rich woman who lives alone. Her name is Amanda Powell (Joely Richardson) and she is an architect and quite reserved and somewhat haughty. The body is of a man known as Billy Blake who was a tramp and died of starvation. Powell paid for his funeral at the time of his death and now six months later an investigative journalist is assigned the story. He is Mike Deacon (Clive Owen) who begins to try to unravel the story, quickly discovering her past and forms the opinion that she knew Billy. In order to assist with his story he finds a young homeless man called Terry who says he knew Billy. I won't reveal more details of the plot as it would spoil your viewing.

    This is an excellent story and production, probably the strongest of the set. The acting is of high quality from both the leading players and as their relationship becomes more complex that quality really begins to reveal itself. This is the only one of the movies in this set which includes significant humour and that's certainly a positive. It does not in any way reduce the effect of what is quite a gritty psychological thriller. My only real criticism is that some of the CGI backgrounds are quite obvious. Once again it is presented in two parts as it was shown on television.

    Highly Recommended.

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

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite sharp and clear. Shadow detail is quite good, better than the first three discs. I did not notice any low level noise.

    The colour was very good, quite vibrant and well saturated. There was some minor colour bleeding from light colours.

    There were no major artefacts to mention.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read but were somewhat summarised from the spoken word.

    The layer change occurs at 72:53 which is the end of the first part. It was not noticeable.

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


    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by John Harle features some wonderful moody guitar and jazz sax which add to the style of the film.

    The surround speakers were not used.

     The subwoofer was not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu included music, and the ability to select parts, scenes and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

     This disc is available in the same box set format in Region 2 and is not available in Region 1. The local product wins.


    An excellent psychological thriller based on the book by Minette Walters. Disc 4 of a 5 disc set based on her novels.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, November 13, 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