The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006) (NTSC)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Vicar of Dibley Story
Biographies-Cast & Crew-
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
John Howard Davies
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Vicar of Dibley is one of the great English comedy series, along with shows like Black Adder, Mr Bean and Fawlty Towers. Leaving aside Fawlty Towers the others all have something in common besides being English. Richard Curtis was involved with writing all of them. He is definitely one of the greatest comedy writers ever to hail from the British Isles. Besides those mentioned above he also wrote for Not the Nine O'Clock News and Spitting Image and wrote both Bridget Jones films, Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings & a Funeral.
The Vicar of Dibley is set in the small village of Dibley in rural England and features the weird and amusing inhabitants of the village. The main character is the village Vicar, Geraldine Grainger (Dawn French) who is 'a babe, with a bob and a magnificent bosom'. In Series 1 she arrived in this small village as their new Vicar much to the consternation of the villagers, as they were expecting a man. However, over the three series she was accepted as the vicar and became a very popular member of the community, especially with some of the menfolk. The other villagers who appear regularly in this series are
Following on from the previous set of specials in 2004 where I think the quality dipped a little, this disc contains what will probably be the final episodes of the show. Included here are two one hour shows which were shown over the Christmas/New Year period in 2006/7 by the BBC. Specifically they are:
Comedically, this disc is a return to form for the show with many side splitting laughs. All your favourite characters are back and in great form. My only real criticism would be that the character of Harry is not particularly well written and the speed of the romance is not overly believable. Richard Armitage does not look entirely comfortable in comedy compared to his excellent performances in Robin Hood & North & South. This disc is available separately or as part of the new Immaculate Collection. Recommended.
The video quality is good but not without issues. It is however still in NTSC which is consistent with the previous releases.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio. It is very disappointing that this DVD is presented in NTSC format considering that it is a television production originating from a PAL country. All local releases of this show have been formatted in this way and it seems to be an issue with rights.
The picture was reasonably sharp and clear, with no evidence of low level noise.The shadow detail was quite decent. There was a bit of shimmering about especially on camera pans. There was grain throughout which descended into macro-blocking on occasion especially in backgrounds.
The colour was quite decent, certainly much better than the third series although there was some colour bleeding especially from reds, which seemed a little oversaturated. There was also bleeding from light colours such as white.
Some aliasing especially in the opening credits was noticeable.
There are no subtitles.
The audio quality is good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, which is of course critical in a comedy show.
The music by Howard Goodall does its job but doesn't stand out. The theme song is sung by a real church choir and was originally written for a hymn..
The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu was simple, including some animation and dialogue.
An excellent hour long documentary about the show including interview snippets with all of the main cast members and important crew such as Richard Curtis, other writers and more. Topics covered include inspiration for the series, response from the clergy, the female vicar who helped develop the character, the tone of the various characters, celebrity guests and the decision to make these specials. Good stuff!
Text bios for Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, Emma Chambers, John Bluthal, Trevor Peacock, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Richard Armitage and writers Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer. The text is very small.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This release is identical to the Region 1 release. The Region 2 release is very similar but at least is in PAL.
On this basis I would buy the Region 2 product.
The video quality is good but not without issue, including that it is still in NTSC.
The audio quality is good.
The disc includes a one hour documentary as its main extra.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|