Robin Hood-Complete Series One (2006)

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

Released 2-May-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Episodes 2, 4, 8 & 13
Featurette-Hood Academy
Biographies-Character
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Dressing Hood & Designing Hood
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 575:03 (Case: 700)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (17:42)
Multi Disc Set (5)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Graeme Harper
Declan O'Dwyer
Richard Standeven
Matthew Evans
Studio
Distributor
Tiger Aspect
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jonas Armstrong
Lucy Griffiths
Richard Armitage
Keith Allen
Sam Troughton
Gordon Kennedy
Harry Lloyd
Joe Armstrong
Anjali Jay
Case Slip Case
RPI ? Music Andy Price


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Robin Hood is one of the best known characters in the history of the English language and his story has been converted to film and television on numerous occasions. The most famous versions are probably Douglas Fairbanks in 1922, Errol Flynn in the 1938 classic, the Kevin Costner opus from the early 1990s, the Disney animated version and the 1980s TV series but there are many more. Due to this, it is actually difficult for a new version to make an impact, however, this version is a ripper!

    This latest incarnation of Robin Hood was made for the BBC in 2006 and has been shown here on the ABC. The second season is currently in development and this release contains all 13 episodes of Season 1, which is quite a long series for English shows. This show is a great combination of fast paced action, drama, romance, comedy and much more. It features a wonderful ensemble cast with many good looking young actors and actresses, who as well as looking good also do a great job at their roles. The series was shot on location in Hungary over a six month period and it is obvious that the cast built up great rapport with each other during that time. They really seem to have enjoyed themselves.

    All the famous characters (with the exception of Friar Tuck) are here but they have been modernised and given multi-dimensional personalities. Marian is no longer a Maid and has also become somewhat of a vigilante, helping poor people while maintaining a respectable face to the sheriff. It's great to see a strong and resourceful female character, rather than just a handbag for Robin as she has been in previous versions. Robin himself is also a very interesting character who is sometimes grumpy, sometimes vindictive and sometimes needs his friends to keep him on the right course. The full major character list is

    There are lots of elements which make this show great to watch in addition to the cast. These include excellent writing (mostly by Dominic Minghella, brother of Anthony Minghella), wonderful cinematography, great sets and locations and a brilliant score by Andy Price.

    The thirteen episodes are about 45 minutes each. They are spread across four discs with the fifth disc of the set being restricted to extras. They are as follows:

Disc 1

  1. Will You Tolerate This?
  2. Sheriff Got Your Tongue?
  3. Who Shot The Sheriff?

Disc 2

  1. Parent Hood
  2. Turk Flu

Disc 3

  1. The Taxman Cometh
  2. Brothers in Arms
  3. Tattoo? What Tattoo?
  4. A Thing or Two About Loyalty

Disc 4

  1. Peace? Off!
  2. Dead Man Walking
  3. The Return of the King (First half of double ep)
  4. A Clue: No

    The set is nicely packaged in a fold out cardboard box with an outer cardboard slipcover. This allows lots of space for photos of the cast. Each of the discs features a photo of one of the main characters. I highly recommend this excellent television production.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is variable from excellent to good. The first two discs set a very high standard, probably due to not housing as many episodes which is not followed through on by discs 3 & 4. The bitrate is much higher on the first two discs.

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

    The picture was wonderfully clear and sharp on the first two discs however the third and fourth are affected by MPEG grain, which although never terrible does effect the sharpness. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was very good.

    The colour was realistic, with excellent representation of the greens of the forest.

    The only artefact I noticed were some very mild jagged edges.

    There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which were clear, easy to read and exact to the spoken word.

    There was a layer change at 17:42 in episode 2 which was well done. I did not notice layer changes on the others discs. The last disc is a DVD5.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains two audio options (not including commentaries); an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. The surround track is certainly the pick providing much more presence and atmosphere, although specific directional effects are pretty few and far between.

    Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync. Some lines of dialogue were a little difficult to make out.

    The score of this series by Andy Price is a corker with an excellent theme tune and different themes used for each of the main characters. Wonderfully good for a TV show.

    The surround speakers provided lots of atmosphere but very little in the way of surround effects.

     The subwoofer was used quite a bit for the music and action scenes.

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

Extras

    A large collection of worthwhile extras are included, spread across all the discs in this collection. All are 16x9 enhanced, with optional subtitles.

Menu

    The menus are well designed utilising the arrow motif used for transitions during the show along with the target (also from the show). It features an introduction, music and motion along with all the normal functionality you would expect.

Disc 1

Commentary - Episode 2 - Gordon Kennedy, Lucy Griffiths, Foz Allen (Exec Producer/Creator), Dominic Minghella (Writer/Creator/Exec Producer) & Andy Price (Composer)

    This is a friendly and jokey commentary where everybody (including the audience) has a good time. They tell anecdotes about the production, makes jokes at each other's expense and also provide some good info about making the show, goofs, locations and the link between this show and Spinal Tap!

Disc 2

Hood Academy (15:43)

    16x9 enhanced. This featurette goes behind the scenes of the two week training camp for the actors before shooting began. It covers their training is fighting, shooting arrows and horse riding and includes interview material with the cast and stunt co-ordinator. Good stuff.

Character Profiles

    These are all similar in nature and involve scenes from the shows plus interviews about the specific characters. There is some crossover to the other featurettes. On this disc are:

Commentary - Episode 4 - Gordon Kennedy, Lucy Griffiths, Richard Armitage, Foz Allen (Exec Producer/Creator) & Dominic Minghella (Writer/Creator/Exec Producer)

    Another friendly and jokey commentary which is OK but not as good as the first one. Still worth a listen.

Disc 3

Character Profile

    These are all similar in nature and involve scenes from the shows plus interviews about the specific characters. There is some crossover to the other featurettes. On this disc is:

Commentary - Episode 8 - Richard Armitage, Jonas Armstrong, Sam Troughton, Anjali Jay & Andy Price

    Another friendly and jokey commentary which features information about shooting, locations and includes some interesting anecdotes.

Disc 4

Character Profile

    These are all similar in nature and involve scenes from the shows plus interviews about the specific characters. There is some crossover to the other featurettes. On this disc is:

Commentary - Episode 13 - Anjali Jay, Jonas Armstrong, Sam Troughton, Foz Allen & Andy Price

    One of the best of the commentaries, this is a bit more information while still retaining the casual atmosphere.

Disc 5

Robin Hood  - The Making Of (29:19)

    Hosted by Foz Allen & Dominic Minghella this follows the development process, casting, the concept, locations and sets, learning Hungarian, shotting, stunts and how the cast kept themselves amused while in Hungary. Good stuff.

Dressing Hood (16:03)

    Featurette focused on the costumes which were all made locally in Budapest. Includes camera test footage of the costumes.

Designing the Hood (11:09)

    Featurette focused on the production and art design including the impressive building project they undertook over three months. Covers where CGI was used as opposed to actual construction and also problems encountered during the building works.

Character Profiles

    These are all similar in nature and involve scenes from the shows plus interviews about the specific characters. There is some crossover to the other featurettes. On this disc are:

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 both Region 1 & 2 in the same format. Draw

Summary

    A great new rendition of Robin Hood which takes its place amongst the best versions ever made. Kevin Costner eat your heart out!

    The video quality is variable.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has an impressive array of mostly excellent, well made extra features.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, July 14, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE