Dalziel and Pascoe-Series 1 (1996)

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Released 6-Sep-2007

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 269:18
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ross Devenish
Maurice Phillips
Richard Standeven

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Warren Clarke
Prunella Scales
Francesca Annis
Colin Buchanan
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI ? Music Barrington Pheloung

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Originally broadcast in 1996, Dalziel & Pascoe Series One is a fantastic police detective drama that combines the acting talents of Warren Clarke (instantly recognisable from A Clockwork Orange) as Andy Dalziel and Colin Buchanan as Peter Pascoe. Prunella Scales (of Fawlty Towers) also appears as a guest star in this series. The television series is based on a string of very successful novels by distinguished author Reginald Hill, the first of which (A Clubbable Woman) was published back in 1970. At a stretch, I would say that the Dalziel character (pronounced Dee-el) is a little toned down for television when compared to the books, but it's still a great performance by Clarke. I was surprised to learn that this was in fact the second attempt to bring the duo to the screen - the first being a short-lived rendition by ITV in 1994, starring none other than comedians Hale & Pace.

    What I feel makes this series well above the usual, run-of-the-mill British cop dramas is the straight-talking, no-nonsense approach from Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel. Andy is an old hand at the Mid-Yorkshire CID, he's been hardened by years on the job and has no time for bureaucracy. Peter Pascoe, on the other hand, is the opposite. Fresh out of college and inexperienced, with a degree under his arm and a positive attitude to match, he is part of the new order that Dalziel despises in the force. Their contrasts do complement each other immensely, and it is in these early episodes that we see the pair coming to appreciate their strengths.

    All three episodes are included in this set, running about 90 minutes each. Episodes one and two are contained on disc one, while episode three is on disc two.

  1. A Clubbable Woman (89:09) - Dalziel is introduced to Pascoe in the opening scene, and after some initial friction the two begin their first case together. The star of a local rugby team has been firmly implicated in the shooting death of his wife, even though he maintains that he was asleep throughout the ordeal.
  2. An Advancement of Learning (89:48) - At a nearby University, the unidentified remains of a woman have been unearthed during routine excavations. Seeing Dalziel deal with young people and their school-yard politics is absolutely hilarious.
  3. An Autumn Shroud (90:21) - With his partner, Peter, away on honeymoon, Andy decides to take a vacation himself. He shacks up with a recently widowed friend, whose son has mysteriously gone missing.

    The presentation on DVD leaves a bit to be desired, but nonetheless this is a fantastic investigative police series that is acres ahead of the rest. As of 2007, Dalziel & Pascoe is in its twelfth season.

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Transfer Quality


    This series has been transferred to DVD in an aspect ratio of roughly 1.66:1, which I suspect is the intended ratio. This series was shot on film, but later seasons were shot digitally and broadcast in 16x9 widescreen. The image on this DVD is not 16x9 enhanced. Be warned that the cover slick is misleading in its wording, listing the transfer as "16:9".

    Sharpness and overall detail is average. Persistent grain, compression hiccoughs and washed-out colours do not help the cause. Shadow detail is lacking when it's needed most, and that would be during the numerous nighttime stakeout/chase scenes.

    The series is dominated by grays and washed-out greens. There isn't a lot of bold colouring to speak of, but having said that, skin tones appear to be realistic.

    MPEG compression grain is visible from time to time, and some scenes contain visible film artefacts, scratches, dirt and persistent hairs. Film grain is also fairly consistent.

    An English subtitle stream is available and seems to follow the spoken word accurately.

    Disc one is dual layered (DVD9), however there was no noticeable disruption to the feature. Disc two is DVD5 formatted.

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


    The original English audio is the only soundtrack. It's presented here in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) and seems to be true to the original broadcast.

    The English dialogue is relatively easy to make out and is never overpowered at all. There is a good degree of depth and brightness to the audio, and I noted a few good uses of the stereo soundfield, for passing cars and the like. There are no ADR or audio sync issues.

    The score is credited to Barrington Pheloung. It's brassy, and suits the attitude of the show quite well.

    The subwoofer and surround channels are not utilised. I attempted to process the audio via Pro Logic IIx but was not impressed by the result.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    None. There is a little menu animation and audio, but nothing worth raving about.

R4 vs R1

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

    There is no Region 1 release yet. The Region 2 UK release is identical to ours.


    If you like your cop dramas gritty and realistic, Dalziel & Pascoe is superb viewing. Let's hope the remaining seasons find their way to DVD as well.

    The transfer is ordinary.

    The extras are non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba HD-D1, using HDMI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.

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