Quincy, M.E.-Seasons 1 and 2 (1976)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||1976|
|Running Time||923:45 (Case: 918)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (6)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
John S. Ragin
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Truly the precursor to C.S.I. and all its various spin-offs, Quincy M.E. is a fairly remarkable show for its time, and still thoroughly enjoyable today. Part of its charm comes from its irascible central character, Quincy (Jack Klugman), who always has his back up about something, and is always willing to go that extra length, mostly in the name of pride, but also out of some intransigent inner sense of justice.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it follows the exploits of a Los Angeles medical examiner in the Coroner’s Office, who rather fancies himself as a forensic investigator. Well before the time when DNA was established, Quincy was solving crimes with scientific knowledge applied to the evidence before him, rather than making vast leaps of logic to incriminate the wrong man.
A full episode summary would spoil the fun, if not the mystery, and you can get a summary at TV.com. The following sets out the episodes as they appear in this set:
I’m still undecided on this one. I used to watch it when it was on back in the day, and it was passable entertainment then. But although Quincy might have been an entertaining “loud” and larger-than-life character who got his kicks from bucking the system, he gets a bit tiresome after watching 3 or more episodes in a row, and I really had to stretch this out to make it bearable. Even then, his personality can really grate.
For the most part, though, this show is still fun all these years on - it almost makes you wish for a crime thriller period piece set back in those days, perhaps something in the style of James Ellroy, where the odds were stacked against the police, and a cop had to rely on his wits and whatever evidence he had in his hands to make a case stick. Miami Vice, this isn’t – but as a family friendly crime show with a few surprises, it is still good entertainment even if it doesn’t really push the boundaries of conventional TV.
Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, this is the show's original broadcast aspect ratio.
This is a fairly rudimentary transfer, lacking in extras or remastered audio. However, because the transfer appears to have been made from a film negative rather than videotape, it stands up reasonably well.
Colour is a little muted, but reasonably well balanced.
Shadow detail is a little patchy, and can sometimes bleed into blue.
There is a touch of overall grain about the picture, though this is largely to do with the source material, I am sure.
There is a fair amount of background aliasing and moire, and some dirt, but nothing too horrendous.
No subtitles, though, which is a bit of an oversight.
The dual layer pauses appear to fall between the episodes and are not visible.
The sound is a straightforward 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono.
Dialogue is reasonably sharp and clear, but without stereo dynamics.
The music is reasonably well rendered, but can sometimes be a touch heavy in respect of the dialogue track – a common fault with mono audio.
There were no surrounds or subwoofer use unless I used one of my receiver’s Digital Signal Processing formats. But with format direct processing, there’s nothing.
|Surround Channel Use|
All menus are in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The disc home menus have various clips from the credits with a 2.0 Dolby Stereo soundtrack. All other menus are static and silent.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Content wise, R1 and R4 are largely identical. Without an R1 copy I cannot do a direct video-to-video comparison for you, but I suspect that the version we have here is an NTSC conversion. Region coding and NTSC colour will be different.
Quincy M.E. – Seasons 1 & 2 is an excellent set, with some real crime solving. It is not brilliant, in that it does not go to extremes in the way that Sopranos and Deadwood do. But considering the era, this is hardly surprising, and does not detract from this as excellent entertainment.
A good if imperfect transfer.
|DVD||Sony DVPNS92, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-HS60 WXGA 3LCD Cineza Projector (10,000:1 contrast ratio) with 100" Longhom Pro-Series Micro-Textured White Matte PVC 1.78:1 16:9 Fixed Mount Screen with Black Velour Trim. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Jensen QX70 Centre Front, Jensen QX45 Left Front & Right Front, Jensen QX20 Left Rear & Right Rear, Jensen QX-90 Dual 10" 250 Watt Subwoofer|