Space Ghost Coast to Coast-Volume One (1994)
Audio Bites-Episode Commentaries
Featurette-Music Video with Zorak
|Year Of Production||1994|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
C. Martin Croker
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/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||Yes|
Featuring guest stars ranging from Hulk Hogan to "Weird Al" Yankovic, from Adam West to Fran Drescher, Space Ghost Coast to Coast is the universe-wide talk show hosted by hero Space Ghost! He's joined by bandleader and past enemy Zorak, the "lone locust of the apocalypse", and producer/evildoer Moltar, both who seem much more interested in his destruction than running the show. What ensues is a post-modern, Dadaist treat, as Space Ghost struggles with poor reception, bad interviewing skills, frequent attempts on his life, and Lassie, to deliver possibly the weirdest talk show in the history of all mankind.
In 1994, long before the Adult Swim block was developed on Cartoon Network, there was Space Ghost Coast to Coast, an off-the-wall series of shorts that took the aged Hanna-Barbera superhero and his surrounding characters and reinvented them with oddball non-sequiter humour and complete nuttiness unlike anything else on TV. The show was a cult hit, and would serve as the blueprint for future Adult Swim toons like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. Combining animation with real life interview footage, the creators of the show remixed actual interviews with various guests, changing the questions asked so that their answers make no sense. The characters reactions to this nonsense varies from being startled to accepting it in full. Indeed at times the show is completely incoherent, and will be interrupted for bizarre events like ordering pizza or universal destruction. This all works to varying effect; some episodes are downright hilarious, whereas others are extremely tedious and drag on and on.
Fortunately, each episode is only 11 minutes long, meaning even the bad episodes don't go on too long, and there's guaranteed chuckles in each short. Space Ghost Coast to Coast is, like most of Adult Swim, an acquired taste - some people will have no idea what the heck is going on here, and quite rightly - but for those into the strange and surreal humour, this is a treat, and it's fun to see where all of the later shows originally developed from. With this set, it's also good to see the show evolving across all 16 of these initial episodes - the early episodes were bizarre but not all that funny, and the show alters to find its oddball niche, becoming very fun and very strange. Although not my favourite Adult Swim cartoon, Space Ghost Coast to Coast is easy to recommend, and is definitely worth giving a chance - don't be quick to drop this just because the first few episodes don't quite gel. Guaranteed funny later!
After the awful, awful R1 Adult Swim DVD sets, I'm pleased to say that Space Ghost Coast to Coast looks fabulous on R4. Although the image is a little soft, this looks very good for TV, combining detailed live-action footage with colourful, vibrant animation with little interlacing or aliasing issues. The animation is clean, lacking any noticeable artefacts, and the horrid aliasing that jagged every edge on the R1 sets is completely absent here. This is the best Space Ghost has ever looked.
Black levels are good, though there is a little bit of noise in both colourful and dark scenes. Occasionally there is some minor blocking errors in the background, but none of these really detract from the experience. I'm extremely happy with the quality of the video transfer.
There are no subtitles.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast sounds excellent; the mix serves up dialogue, effects and music superbly, even including a bit of surround encoded into the track. Every line is perfectly audible, as is every explosion and insane sound effect, with no problems with dropouts or sync.
However, what really impressed me was the use of bass in the background to set the atmosphere for, well, no atmosphere; the always-present background "space" sound keeps the scene set as the wackiness prevails, always reminding you that you're not on this planet and thus the normal rules don't apply.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video very good, with lovely mix of bright, clear animation with live action.
The audio is also very good, with a nice sense of surround and atmosphere.
The minimal amount extras are, unfortunately, awful, in both quantity and quality.
"I am the lone locust of the Apocalypse! Think of me when you look to the night sky!"
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|