Twin Peaks-Season 2: Part 1 (1990)

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Released 10-Apr-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 542:23 (Case: 541)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (44:49)
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Graeme Clifford
Caleb Deschanel
Duwayne Dunham
Uli Edel
Studio
Distributor
CBS
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Kyle MacLachlan
Michael Ontkean
Mädchen Amick
Dana Ashbrook
Richard Beymer
Lara Flynn Boyle
Sherilyn Fenn
Warren Frost
Peggy Lipton
James Marshall
Everett McGill
Jack Nance
Kimmy Robertson
Case Custom Packaging
RPI ? Music Angelo Badalamenti
David Lynch
David Slusser


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (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
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
German
Italian
Norwegian
Spanish
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    It is not long since the sleepy Washington mountain town of Twin Peaks was rocked by the brutal murder of the local homecoming queen Laura Palmer. FBI Special Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) has been sent in to investigate and uncovers an undercurrent of corruption and vice running beneath the town. Aided by dreams of a backwards-talking midget, a host of eccentric townsfolk and some great cherry pie, every question Cooper manages to answer uncovers more questions.

    Think Hill Street Blues meets Mulholland Drive (each another work involving a Twin Peaks producer) and you are on the right track.

    Twin Peaks pretty much broke the market for quirky drama, small-town drama (everything from Northern Exposure to Ed owes a little something here) and anything with a weird or paranormal bent -Eerie Indiana, American Gothic, even The X-Files owes a little something to Twin Peaks. Many of the imitators and the inspired went on to much greater commercial success than Twin Peaks, but few are remembered as fondly. Even fewer hold up as well when viewed today.

    The real secret to the success of Twin Peaks is the balance between David Lynch's signature out-there guff and a traditional murder mystery. The central mystery ambles along at a steady pace whilst the surreal side to the story wanders all over, but the two intersect frequently enough and neatly enough to weave a complete picture. Co-producer Mark Frost did an amazing job to focus his co-collaborator Lynch into such coherence; Twin Peaks is easily the most accessible of his surreal works.

    Though rife with overacting (frequently intentionally), the cast are near perfect for their roles. The handful of new characters in this season work seamlessly into the ensemble.

    Though perhaps not quite as tightly written as the first season, this first half to the second season does an excellent job of living up to the level of quality of the first season. With a three fold increase in the number of episodes in this season, that's hardly a surprise. Many new writers and directors were brought on board, but the producers managed a remarkable job of keeping the style consistent and quality so high.

    This set features 11 episodes. Each is around 45 minutes, with the exception of the first which is double-length. The episodes are numbered starting at number 8, so as to continue the numbering from the first season.

    More than 5 years has passed since the DVD release of the first season of Twin Peaks. During that time this season has topped more than a few "most anticipated" lists. At least in terms of the show itself, there is little to be disappointed about.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video is generally very good, particularly for a show of this age.

    The show is presented in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio.

    The image is surprisingly sharp for the most part despite there being a mild grain visible throughout. The level of grain is very consistent, however, so it does not degrade the viewing experience. There is a good level of detail visible in dark areas and shadows.

    The colours are generally quite natural and particularly bold for an older show. A number of scenes are a little too orange, however. This is most evident in skin tones and the many wooden sets. Whilst imperfect, the colours are a long way from unwatchable and only likely to niggle at the fussiest of viewers.

    Small film artefacts are occasionally noticeable on screen, but these are never particularly distracting and really do little more than remind you of the age of the show - something the transfer generally does a good job of hiding. There is, on rare occasions, telecine wobble noticeable (eg at 18:44 on episode 9). Whilst each occurrence tends to be very brief, almost to the point it looks as though someone bumped the camera, it is a little distracting if you notice it.

    There are no noticeable MPEG compression issues in the transfer.

    Based on the few minutes I sampled, the white English subtitles appear to be quite accurate and well timed.

    Each disc in this set is a RSDL disc. The layer change occurs between episodes and are consequently not noticeable even when all the episodes on a disc are played together.

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

Audio

    The original English language stereo soundtrack has been mixed up to Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kbps) for this release. There are also German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps) language tracks available. The original English stereo mix is not included.

    The dialogue is reasonably clear, but occasionally a little soft in the mix. The audio quality of the dialogue has not stood the test of time as well as the video and it will sound a little lo-fi to many ears used to hearing more recent audio tracks. There are no sync issues with the dialogue.

    Angelo Badalamenti's glorious musical score sounds as beautiful today as it did when the show first aired.

    The 5.1 remastered sound is a bit of a mixed bag. Most of the surround channel use goes to the score, which makes it sound fantastic and becomes incredibly engrossing. The enhancement to the score comes largely at the expense of the dialogue, which is virtually mono in that it sits solely in the centre speaker. There is also a significant flaw in episode 12, whereby each of the channels sounds as though they have shifted one channel to the right of where they should be and the dialogue comes out of the right speaker. This uneven break up occasionally leads to points where the score overpowers the dialogue. There is minimal subwoofer usage, but there is not a lot of need for the subwoofer other than to support the score.

    There is no denying that this is a decent remix, but it is a shame the original audio was not included as well.

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

Extras

    Nothing at all... however the box set for the second half of the season contains a few.

R4 vs R1

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

    Season two of Twin Peaks has been released in Region 1 as a single box set containing 6-discs. The menus on the Region 1 disc are much nicer than the spartan menus on the Region 4 release. Region 1 features a Portugese dub track not found on the Region 4 edition, but Region 4 has additional German and Italian language tracks as well as a whole raft of additional subtitle tracks.

    In terms of special features, both regions' editions contain a series of interviews with people involved with the show (directors and cast) and introductions to the episodes by the "log lady" from the show, but these extras are spread evenly across the discs in Region 1, whereas they are all clumped together on the second set for Region 4. The unfortunate side effect of this split-up is that Region 4 viewers miss out on the "log lady" intros for the first half of the season.

    Also worth mentioning is the packaging of the two versions. The Region 4 sets come in a cardboard digi-pak surrounded by a plastic sleeve featuring a full-colour image on the front and are very similar to the season one packaging. The Region 1 edition is a somewhat generic cardboard box that featuring similar artwork to the Region 4 release and contains 3 slimline amaray cases, each containing 2 discs. There is no denying that Region 4 got the better end of the stick on this front.

    To make a fair comparison between Region 1 and Region 4 you really need to weigh up the complete season two set in Region 1 with both Region 4 sets. In terms of content, Region 1 is ahead by a nose, however If you do own the first season set and would like to have a consistent looking (not to mention much nicer) set of boxes for season 2 at the expense of a small chunk of extras, Region 4 is the place to shop. At the time of release, the Region 1 set is priced around the same mark as the two Region 4 sets put together.

Summary

    A classic show that has withstood the test of time surprisingly well. Twin Peaks is a near perfect blend of mystery and total weirdness. It is a shame there are no special features on this set.

    The video transfer is surprisingly good for a show of this age, but not without one or two small faults.

    The audio also holds up well, but does sound dated despite a 5.1 remaster. There is, however, a significant defect with the audio on episode 12 - each channel in the mix appears to be shifted one channel to the right, (EG. the mono dialogue comes solely from the right speaker)

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
colour - REPLY POSTED
Interviews - REPLY POSTED
Bad Sound -
Geographically Challenged - REPLY POSTED
Bad Audio on Episode 12... - REPLY POSTED
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