The Forsyte Saga-Series 2 (Shock) (2003)

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Released 3-Feb-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 266:04 (Case: 275)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (24:09)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Christopher Menaul
Dave Moore

Shock Entertainment
Starring Damian Lewis
Rupert Graves
Gina McKee
Corin Redgrave
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $39.95 Music Geoffrey Burgon

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (128Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    As with a number of other recent releases from Time Life, The Forsyte Saga - Series 2 (2003)  is a re-release of a previously released title from a different distributor. The original review by ChrisT is available here. This new release is quite different, despite containing the same material. The differences are summarised below.


Original Universal Release

Time Life / Shock Release


1.78:1 16x9 enhanced OAR

1.56:1 non 16x9 enhanced not OAR


DD 2.0 Stereo 192 Kb/s

DD 2.0 Stereo 128 Kb/s.

Extras None Nothing

No of Discs

4x70 minute episodes (275:58 total)

Recut to 5x53 minute episodes (266:04 total)

    On the basis of these differences you should stick with the original release if you already have it. The change of aspect ratio is quite annoying and it is obvious that some of the picture is missing in some scenes. The recutting into 5 episodes is a bit odd but I can only assume this was done for a different television showing, possibly along with the cropping. The total run time is about 10 minutes shorter when compared to the original release which is a bit odd. It must have been edited as well.

    In terms of the program itself, the previous review includes an excellent plot synopsis. In my opinion this is a very well made series with excellent acting and some wonderful use of music. The material is highly recommended. I enjoyed it despite having seen it before.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is average and at the wrong aspect ratio.

    The feature is presented in a 1.56:1 aspect ratio, non 16x9 enhanced, which is not the original aspect ratio. I will remove one star from the overall video rating due to this incorrect aspect ratio.

    The picture was of quite average sharpness and clarity and was affected quite badly by ghosting and colour bleeding. There was light grain throughout which also became worse in spots. There was no evidence of low level noise. I did notice some very minor macro-blocking in backgrounds. Shadow detail was also average.

    The colour was not overly bright considering how new this production is and as mentioned above some colour bleeding was evident.

    There was quite a bit of edge enhancement to be seen along with some minor aliasing here and there.

    There are no subtitles.

    The layer change on Disc 1 occurred at 24:09 in Episode 2. There is no layer change on Disc 2.

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


    The audio quality is decent but no more.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at a quite low 128 Kb/s.

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

    The score of this series is by Geoffrey Burgon and some other classical works are also used. The theme song is sung by Bryn Terfel. The combination of music is excellent and very well used. Unfortunately, the low bit rate of this second season has reduced the effect of this music somewhat.

    The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere when played with Pro Logic II.

    The subwoofer was not used noticeably.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use





    The menu included music and does its job quite well.

R4 vs R1

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

    This series is available in anamorphic widescreen in both Region 1 and Region 2. Either are better choices than this local version. Additionally, when compared to the Region 1 set, the new Region 4 version of this set misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    Region 1 is the pick here.


    An excellent television adaptation of the John Galsworthy novels.

    The video quality is average and in the wrong aspect ratio.

    The audio quality is decent but at a low bit rate.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
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

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