Alexei Sayle's Stuff-Series 2 (1989)

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Released 8-Mar-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 169:17
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Marcus Mortimer
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Alexei Sayle
Mark Williams
Arabella Weir
Tony Millan
Angus Deayton
Owen Brenman
Harriet Thorpe
Felicity Montagu
Jan Ravens
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music Roddy Matthews
Simon Brint
Steve Jeffries


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 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

Alexei Sayle is a famed comedian, character actor and celebrated short-story writer, known for his manic physical comedy, sarcasm, political awareness and wearing a suit a few sizes too small. Sayle's career began in 1979 with a number of successful stints at The Comedy Store in Soho, London appearing alongside fellow alternative comedians Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Ben Elton and Keith Allen. Sayle then secured a radio series for London's Capital Radio titled Alexei Sayle and the Fish People (1981). Following the award wining radio series Sayle participated in the successful comedy albums The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, (1981-2) The Comic Strip Album (1981) and Cak! (1982). However it was Sayle's unlikely chart hit Ullo John! Gotta New Motor? which brought him mainstream appeal and recognition. The song was produced by Madness, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley and is noted for the amount of profane lyrics featured on the 12" single. This new found fame allowed Sayle to appear on the successful television shows The Comic Strip Presents and The Young Ones, and to become one of Britain's highest-paid voice-over talents, narrating a variety of TV and radio commercials and documentaries. Today the multi-talented Sayle writes a motoring column in The Independent newspaper and his latest acclaimed novel is titled Weeping Women Hotel.

'Here come the Lizards! Here come the Lizards!'

The Emmy award winning comedy sketch show Alexei Sayle's Stuff appeared on BBC2 in 1988. The cutting-edge series which ran for three series' (1988-1991) featured Sayle's satirical monologues on life, death, fame and politics, interspersed with absurd sketches focusing on various issues of the era. The show also stars Angus Deayton, Tony Millan, Owen Brenman, Felicity Montagu, Jan Ravens, Harriet Thorpe, Arabella Weir, Mark Williams.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Alexei Sayle's Stuff is presented as it was originally broadcast, in the Full Frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

The transfer unfortunately incurs a fair amount of aliasing but otherwise the colour is natural and the black levels solid.

There is a warning on the back cover stating the picture quality will vary but overall the transfer quality is typical of its era. There is some noticeable dirt and occasional white specks amongst the mild grain.

However MPEG compression artefacting is minimal as the transfer is encoded at an average bitrate of 4.62 Mb/s over a dual layer DVD.

Overall, considering the show is over 10 years old the transfer is suitable, as it is relatively smooth and natural looking with the occasional flaw. The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are true to the on-screen dialogue and action.

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

Audio

The English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s) soundtrack is clear with no flaws. Dialogue is certainly audible amongst the canned laughter. Overall this is an average and suitable soundtrack for the sketch comedy show. Surround sound usage is limited.

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

Extras

Main Menu

The Main Menu is a still image of the cover artwork. The navigation includes episode selection, subtitle options and a play all feature. There are 4 chapters for each episode but this feature cannot be accessed from the main menu, only while viewing the desired episodes.

R4 vs R1

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

The local release is identical to the R2 release. Both releases state edits to the show have been made for contractual reasons. The DVD has not been released in R1.

Summary

Alexei Sayle's subversive sketch comedy show was upfront and embodied Sayle's relentless satirist comedy with bizarre surrealist sketches reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969).

The television series managed to balance Sayle's manic personality and intelligence, but may seem outdated to modern audiences as there are constant references to the Thatcher administration, The Film Programme, Doctor Who, The Mickey Mouse Club, Dick Van Dyke, Lesley Crowther and much more. However audiences familiar with Sayle will be more then pleased to see the series finally available on DVD.

The video quality and sound option is standard and suited to the type of content on the DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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