Overall | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) | The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-Immaculate Collection (1994)

The Vicar of Dibley-Immaculate Collection (1994) (NTSC)

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Released 1-Apr-2008

Cover Art

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Overall Package

    This set repackages all the previous single disc releases. The disc contents are exactly the same as the single disc releases however it has been nicely packaged with a cardboard slipcover, housing five stiff cardboard cases. The art work is all new on the packaging and discs. If you have not previously bought any of the individual Dibley releases (or the previous box set) this is definitely the one to go for, as it contains every episode and special along with a quality set of extras.

    The video quality is variable and disappointingly in NTSC.

    The audio quality is good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, May 16, 2008
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) | The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994)

The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) (NTSC)

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Released 1-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 175:18 (Case: 174)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Dewi Humphreys
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dawn French
Gary Waldhorn
James Fleet
Emma Chambers
Liz Smith
John Bluthal
Trevor Peacock
Roger Lloyd Pack
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    There is never any doubt that you are watching a product of British television. The characters are so believable, the quality is usually very obvious and the comedy is actually funny. So The Vicar Of Dibley can almost be classified as the quintessential British television comedy. After all, would America actually cast a fuller figured woman as the lead in a prime time series? Not on your life. Could you imagine them casting the verger with some slightly goofy looking woman? Yeah, right. It does not matter where you look in The Vicar Of Dibley, you will find the obvious hands of quality British television programming. Superbly cast, well written and brilliantly performed, there is much that can be admired in The Vicar Of Dibley.

    The village of Dibley is the epitome of British conservatism (if a tad eccentric), so when the local priest, the Reverend Pottle (aged 102) carks it, the parish council were sort of expecting to get a boringly traditional replacement at St Barnabas' Church - if one a little younger. What they did not expect was "a babe with a bob and a magnificent bosom" - the Reverend Geraldine Boadicea Granger (Dawn French). Cue the inevitable conflicts as the head of the parish council, noted for his iron handed rule over the village, David Horton (Gary Waldhorn), takes an instant dislike to the idea and seeks to have the new Reverend removed from the parish. The other members of the parish council - Hugo Horton (James Fleet), Letitia Cropley (Liz Smith), Frank Pickle (John Bluthal), Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock) and Owen Newitt (Roger Lloyd Pack) - are not quite so opposed to the idea. So Gerry has some task ahead to convince David Horton - a task not made any easier by the fact that she is blessed with Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers) as her verger - a more vacuous country bumpkin there has never been.

    These eight characters make up the vast bulk of the show and all have their eccentricities. It is those eccentricities that make the whole thing work so well and whilst the umpteenth viewing might not quite have the same impact as the very first, it cannot be denied that the comedy can still draw a smile and the occasional laugh. This is good comedy that only the British seem to be able to make. Enjoy.

    The six episodes making up the first series are:

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Rather unusually for a release from BBC Video through Roadshow Home Entertainment, this is an NTSC formatted DVD. Accordingly, you will need to have a player and/or display device capable of handling the NTSC signal. It would seem that despite there being a PAL release of the series in Region 2, the rights are not owned by the BBC and so Roadshow have sourced the NTSC master being used for the Region 1 release due out at about the same time as the Region 4 release.

    Since the show was made for television, the presentation is Full Frame (1.33:1) and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    After watching the first ten seconds of the opening credits of the first episode, I was starting to wonder what I had let myself in for. The image had a ghastly, overexposed look that had a very metallic edge to it, aliasing quite readily and with poor definition. Then I remember that this was what the VHS tapes looked like (subsequently confirmed by watching them again) and I returned to the task at hand. It has to be said that visually this is not a great looking series overall. Aside from the rather garish, overexposed look to the opening credits, the episodes themselves are prone to too much light that washes out a lot of the detail in the transfer. However, given the fact that these problems are also seen on the VHS tapes, there is some evidence to suggest the problem is source related rather than mastering related.

    The main difference from the VHS tapes, however, is the fact that the very indistinct look on tape has been replaced with something a lot sharper and better defined. It is still nothing approaching real quality but the result is certainly much more watchable. Ideally, the transfer would be a bit sharper and the detail would stand out a little more. There is a somewhat grainy look to the transfer but nothing really distracting. Shadow detail is not the greatest but in line with the average nature of the transfer in general. There is a distinct aura around faces most of the time during the transfer.

    The colours are nothing more than average overall. They are not well defined, with the need for a heck of a lot more solidity and consistency. Oversaturation is something of an issue during the third episode on the DVD, especially around 26:01. Blacks are well short of depth and really come over more as dark greys. Colour bleed is an occasional problem but is probably more source related than anything else.

    The soft definition means that there is at times a loss of resolution on camera movements, but this could hardly be classified as an MPEG problem. Aliasing is rife through the transfer but mainly of the very minor type - most obvious is aliasing in characters' shoulders such as at 9:15 in Episode 4. Otherwise, there is little in the way of film-to-video artefacts. There are no obvious film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is a Dual Layer formatted DVD with three episodes mastered on each layer.

    There are no subtitles on the DVD, which is rather disappointing for the hearing impaired.

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

Audio

    There is just the one soundtrack on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    The soundtrack does not have much to do, just presenting the dialogue clearly. It does this well and you can understand everything quite easily. There are no apparent audio sync issues with the transfer.

    The original music for the series comes from Howard Goodall. Pretty much on a par with what we expect from television series, especially comedy series. In other words, nothing really exciting.

    There is nothing much to say about the soundtrack. It is clean, clear and very functional.

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

Extras

    Nothing at all.

Menu

    A bit of audio and animation is all that rises this above ignorable.

R4 vs R1

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

    The equivalent Region 1 DVD is due for release on 7th October and appears to be the same as the Region 4 release. The Region 2 (UK) release apparently includes the additional special episode "The Christmas Lunch Incident" as an extra. With this additional inclusion, the balance is well tipped in favour of that release.

Summary

    The presentation on DVD is not the best that I have ever seen, even for modern television series. The NTSC formatting is surprising and a tad disappointing given that a PAL master is by all accounts available. Still, ignoring all this, the show is well worth suffering the problems for. Almost quintessential British television comedy, The Vicar Of Dibley is an enjoyable romp through conservative English traditions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Saturday, September 27, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Jules F
AllZone4DVD - CathyS
impulsegamer.com - Kate Esler
The DVD Bits - Dean B

Comments (Add)
Region comparison - Daniel B (read my bio) REPLY POSTED
I Agree with Daniel B -
Region 2 disc has extra episode... - REPLY POSTED

Overall | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) | The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998)

The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) (NTSC)

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Released 8-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 210:19
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gareth Carrivick
John Howard Davies
Dewi Humphreys
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dawn French
Gary Waldhorn
Emma Chambers
James Fleet
John Bluthal
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Trevor Peacock
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Yes folks, the babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom is back to inflict her own peculiar brand of eccentricity upon the poor, dimwitted and even more eccentric parishioners of the village of Dibley. Be prepared to laugh - very loudly!

    It has been a little while since I had the chance to sit down and watch some decent comedy, whether on television or DVD. Thinking back over the last six months or so, about the only comedy I have managed to catch, aside from the stupendous Futurama, has been of British origin. And not even Futurama had me laughing out loud as much as this collection of work did. That alone makes The Vicar Of Dibley a rare beast indeed, as by nature I am not a person who laughs out loud and the fact that even after repeated viewings the reaction is thus is quite astounding. The obvious British influence can be seen throughout the show: despite the rather eccentric characters, they actually are rather believable and very reminiscent of the sort of mix of people that you can actually find in small villages in England. Superbly cast, well written and brilliantly performed, there is much that can be admired and enjoyed in The Vicar Of Dibley.

    Series 2 (and the two specials) sees the return of all our old friends from the village of Dibley, a bastion of British conservatism and eccentricity. The Reverend Geraldine Boadicea Granger (Dawn French) continues her religious associations with chocolate, vacuous vergers and, rather occasionally, the church itself. Nothing much changes in the village of Dibley so we still have the iron handed David Horton (Gary Waldhorn) ruling the roost, his somewhat dimwitted son Hugo Horton (James Fleet) trying to come to grips with life, Frank Pickle (John Bluthal) doing a fine impression of the most boring man in Britain, Jim Trott (Trevor Peacock) trying his best to overcome the word "no" and Owen Newitt (Roger Lloyd Pack), the man with some desires. Naturally we cannot forget the most vacuous verger in Britain, the intellectually challenged (or is that anencephalic?) Alice Tinker (Emma Chambers). Well, there is one change - the culinary-challenged Letitia Cropley (Liz Smith) only makes an appearance in the Easter special.

    These are the characters that make up the show and parade their eccentricities with gay abandon. It is those eccentricities that make the whole thing work so well and the umpteenth viewing still is as hilarious as the first. This is good comedy that only the British seem to be able to make. Enjoy.

    It should be noted that the Vicar Of Dibley is an unusual animal in the world of episodic television in that there are gaps between the various series and there are not too many episodes in a series. In this instance, Series Two comprises three episodes broadcast in 1998, four years after Series One. That gap was filled by the specials that are also included on this DVD. The DVD starts with the three specials before offering up the three episodes making up the second series:

    Note that the slick for the DVD is incorrect in listing Engagement as an episode of Series Two - it is in fact a special first broadcast in the UK in December, 1997, with the actual Series Two being broadcast in January, 1998.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Once again, we have the unusual situation of a BBC Video release through Roadshow Home Entertainment being an NTSC formatted DVD. Accordingly, you will need to have a player and/or display device capable of handling the NTSC signal. There is of course a PAL release of the series in Region 2, but the rights are not owned by the BBC and so Roadshow have apparently sourced the NTSC master being used for the Region 1 release.

    Since the show was made for television, the presentation is Full Frame (1.33:1) and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The quality of the transfer is somewhat better than the previous release, particularly as the opening credits for each episode are not as overexposed and metallic looking. The washing out of detail due to excess light is also less of an issue here. Otherwise, this is not too shabby a transfer, with quite reasonable sharpness, fairly reasonable detail and a fairly clear transfer with little in the way of grain. Sure it would have been nice if it had been a little sharper and more detailed, but I am certainly not complaining about the general standard here. Shadow detail is quite decent and never really creates an issue.

    The colours are slightly better than the first series too, quite well saturated and fairly consistent. There are no problems with oversaturation. Skin tones are pretty well handled overall, and this is certainly a more natural looking effort overall. This time round there are no problems with colour bleed.

    There are no obvious MPEG artefacts in the transfer, and in general there is not much in the way of film-to-video artefacts. The only real issues are with some cross colouration, mostly in fine lined jackets such as at 1:16 in Dibley Live and 2:26 and 17:51 in Love and Marriage. There are no obvious film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is presumably a Dual Layer formatted DVD so there is no apparent layer change to be negotiated..

    There are no subtitles on the DVD, which is rather disappointing for the hearing impaired.

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

Audio

    There is just the one soundtrack on the DVD being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    The dialogue comes up very well in the soundtrack and is generally easy to understand. There are no apparent audio sync issues with the transfer.

    The original music for the series comes from Howard Goodall. Since it is very similar to what we heard in Series One, there really is not much to say about the music.

    Equally, there is nothing much to say about the soundtrack. It is clean, clear and functional.

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

Extras

    Nothing at all.

Menu

    A bit of audio and animation enhancement at least lifts it above being totally bland.

R4 vs R1

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

    The equivalent Region 1 DVD was released last year and appears to be the same as the Region 4 release.

Summary

    This time round the presentation on DVD is somewhat better than for Series One. Whilst the NTSC formatting is still a little surprising and a tad disappointing given that a PAL master is by all accounts available, still, ignoring all this, the show is well worth suffering the problems for. Almost quintessential British television comedy, The Vicar Of Dibley - Series 2 is one of the best laughs I have had for ages. Well worth getting hold of this DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Jules F

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) | The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998)

The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) (NTSC)

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Released 2-Mar-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Ballykissdibley
Featurette-Behind The Scenes Teaser For 1999 Red Nose Day
Featurette-1999 Red Nose Special
Featurette-The Real Vicars Of Dibley
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 158:43 (Case: 230)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gareth Carrivick
John Howard Davies
Dewi Humphreys
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dawn French
Gary Waldhorn
Emma Chambers
James Fleet
John Bluthal
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Trevor Peacock
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

   

'We've been playing a fair bit of hide the purple parsnip' Alice Horton nee Tinker

    This 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. What a great set of work!

    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 first two series she was accepted as the vicar and has become a very popular member of the community, especially with some of the menfolk. The other villagers who appear regularly in this series are:

    The show is very, very funny with lots of great one-liners and humorous situations, and like many of the great English comedies they took their time to ensure the produced shows were of the highest possible quality. The same is true of the Four seasons of Black Adder and Fawlty Towers. This series arrived on British television nearly two years after the previous one, at the end of 1999.

    This disc includes all 4 episodes in this series, each of approximately 40 minutes duration, which was longer than the previous series. Each episode includes a joke after the final credits, told by Geraldine and misunderstood by Alice. The episodes are:

  1. Autumn (39:54) - Alice & Hugo return home from their Honeymoon much later than expected. David's brother, Simon is coming to visit and Geraldine is very excited about that prospect. Alice & Hugo announce big news. This is an extremely funny episode and probably the best of this series.
  2. Winter (40:01) - The village are planning their Christmas show but find it difficult to come up with a good idea for it. After they decide, they hold some very amusing auditions. Alice & Hugo play Mary & Joseph but they get a lot more than they bargained for during the play. This is a good episode but the only one of the series which is not excellent.
  3. Spring (39:28) - Geraldine wants to starts a crèche in the vestry. Preparations are underway for (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) the christening of Alice & Hugo's baby. Geraldine reveals her real first name and David begins to have feelings for her. A special guest is in this episode - (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Sean Bean . Another excellent episode and very, very funny.
  4. Summer (39:20) - There is no water supply and none of the villagers can shower or bathe. The decide to build a millennium statue in the village but can't decide who the subject should be. The Water Board want to take a radical solution to the water problem and the villagers protest by chaining themselves to the church. Another classic episode.

    At this stage no further series of The Vicar of Dibley have been made although there have been some more specials made quite recently, so we can keep our fingers crossed.

    One of the great English comedies which should be in the collection of any fan of the genre.

'No, No, No, No, No...Yes'

 

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is poor.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is 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 three seasons of this show have been formatted in this way and it seems to be an issue with rights. The discs issued here have been in a similar format to those released in Region 1.

    The picture was not particularly sharp or clear, and the clarity was also badly affected by various artefacts. I did not notice any low level noise. The shadow detail was reasonable.

    The colour was not good and the whole show seemed a little overexposed and some colours, especially bright ones, were oversaturated. Additionally there was significant colour bleeding, especially whites and faces. David's bald head seemed to have a permanent halo.

    Artefacts were also significant, especially edge enhancement such as at 0:50 in Episode 1 and then continuously. Sometimes the edge enhancement partially covered the colour bleeding mentioned above so that you had a black ring of edge enhancement followed by a halo of colour. Additionally there was some grain and aliasing especially noticeable during the credit sequence and a jacket in Episode 3. Last but not least there was significant macro-blocking in large walls or other expanses of colour. This is visible at 26:40 and 28:40 in Episode 1 and many other places.

    There are no subtitles.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is fine.

    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.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included music, dialogue from the show and an intro. It allowed for episode or scene selection or playing all.

Ballykissdibley (11:36)

    This is a special made in 1997 which features the lead character from the show Ballykissangel, Father Peter Clifford, as he visits Dibley on a priest exchange program. Quite funny but too short. Features even worse video quality than the main program.

Behind the Scenes teaser from 1999 Red Nose Day (4:12)

    A short promo for the following special feature, which was obviously shown on the same channel to promote the special.

1999 Red Nose Day Special (13:44)

    Another short special from 1999 made for charity. A film company wants to film in Dibley and when Geraldine finds out Johnny Depp is involved she throws a party to welcome them to the village. Many mystery guests turn up at her party including (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Fergie. Funny stuff and a good addition.

The Real Vicars of Dibley (28:43)

    This is a very worthwhile extra which is a documentary about Vicars who are outside the norm, focusing mostly on female Vicars including one who Geraldine's character was based on. Also includes vicars who are in motorcycle clubs and ones who stage sit-ins on their church roof. Includes snippets from the show (in much better video quality than the shows are presented) and interviews with the writer, Richard Curtis, and various cast members. Good stuff!

Cast Bios

    Text biographies for Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, Emma Chambers, Trevor Peacock, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Liz Smith (who does not appear in this series) and writers Richard Curtis, Paul Mayhew-Archer & Kit Hesketh-Harvey. Interestingly, the menu includes a choice for someone called Roger Bluthal who does not exist. Luckily, choosing Roger Bluthal takes you to the biography of John Bluthal, who does exist and is on the show.

Photo Gallery

    A gallery of stills mostly from the shows which includes approximately 35 photos.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis the Region 4 version of the disc is the winner. Season 3 does not seem to be currently available in Region 2, as far as I can tell.

Summary

    The third (and currently last) series of a classic English comedy.

    The video quality is poor.

    The audio quality is fine.

    The disc has a good selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
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
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Rebecca T
The DVD Bits - Dean B

Comments (Add)
R4 vs R1 - R1 is the same - DaveS REPLY POSTED
These episodes should be widescreen -

Overall | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) | The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004)

The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) (NTSC)

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

Released 2-Nov-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Dibley Defrocked
Featurette-2005 Comic Relief Sketch
Biographies-Cast & Crew-Behind The Scenes Teaser For 1999 Red Nose Day
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 101:41 (Case: 125)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gareth Carrivick
John Howard Davies
Dewi Humphreys
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dawn French
Gary Waldhorn
Emma Chambers
James Fleet
John Bluthal
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Trevor Peacock
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    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 bosum'. 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 has become a very popular member of the community, especially with some of the menfolk. The other villagers who appear regularly in this series are

    After the third series in 2000, there were no new Vicar of Dibley shows until these specials were released, except for a few small skits for charity. This disc contains two  approximately 50 minute specials made in 2004 for airing on the BBC at Christmas and New Year 2004/05 and another shorter charity special in the extras. These shows still have their very funny moments, however, I think the format is getting a little tired and clichéd and the second of these shows is more about how terrible poverty is than anything else. Whilst I understand that this is a serious issue, I feel it's a little overdone in this case, especially when you buy a DVD expecting a comedy show.

    The shows included here are:

  1. Merry Christmas 2004 (53:58) - It is Geraldine's 10th anniversary in Dibley and the town decides to have a competition to make up a new Christmas Carol in her honour. A rumour starts that Geraldine is gay which has David up in arms. David gives the house away to Hugo and Alice as a tax dodge with interesting results and Geraldine considers a new job. There is some funny material here and this is the pick of the two specials. Rachel Hunter guests.
  2. Happy New Year 2005 (47:43) - Geraldine wants the town to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Live Aid and it's also her 40th birthday which she doesn't want to celebrate. The villagers try to find her a boyfriend by sending her speed dating. As I mentioned above the overdone poverty lecture in this episode reduces its comedic value, although there are certainly funny scenes.

    This disc is definitely worth having for Vicar of Dibley fans, however it is not quite up to the standard of the original series.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good and certainly superior to the video quality of the third series. 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 three seasons of this show have been formatted in this way and it seems to be an issue with rights. There is also some light grain.

    The picture was reasonably sharp and clear, with no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was ordinary. There was a bit of shimmering about, especially on camera pans.

    The colour was quite decent, and certainly much better than the third series, although there was some colour bleeding particularly from reds, which seemed a little oversaturated. There was also bleeding from light colours such as white, some variations in colour from time to time and some chroma noise.

    Other than those mentioned above there were no overt artefacts.

    There are no subtitles.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is fine.

    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.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu was simple and still.

Dibley Defrocked (10:56)

    This is presented 4x3 and is a behind-the-scenes featurette on the filming of these specials in front of a live audience. It covers the process the actors went through including rehearsals and also shows make-up and various goofs. Quite entertaining.

2005 Comedy Relief Special (14:08)

    This is an amusing short special where Antiques Roadshow visits Dibley and there are a number of surprises, mostly regarding the authenticity of David's painting collection.

Cast Biographies

    Text bios for Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, Emma Chambers, John Bluthal, Trevor Peacock, Roger Lloyd-Pack and writers Richard Curtis & Paul Mayhew-Archer.

R4 vs R1

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 includes some extra things as follows:

    On this basis I would buy the Region 2 product.

Summary

    The latest specials from The Vicar of Dibley.

    The video quality is good and significantly better than season three although still in NTSC.

    The audio quality is fine.

    The disc has a small selection of quality extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, February 05, 2006
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
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete First Series (1994) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Second Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-Complete Third Series (1998) | The Vicar of Dibley-The Specials (2004) | The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006)

The Vicar of Dibley-A Holy Wholly Happy Ending (2006) (NTSC)

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Released 16-Jan-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Vicar of Dibley Story
Biographies-Cast & Crew-
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 108:47
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gareth Carrivick
John Howard Davies
Dewi Humphreys
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dawn French
Gary Waldhorn
Emma Chambers
James Fleet
John Bluthal
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Trevor Peacock
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    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: 

  1. Handsome Stranger (53:17) - The village is being inundated with London residents buying cottages which they are only using at the weekends. Geraldine & Alice set off to give the latest one a piece of their mind, when they discover that he is the good looking and available Harry (Richard Armitage). Harry and Geraldine are immediately attracted to each other but things do not go smoothly.
  2. The Vicar in White (55:30) - The villagers take on the organisation of the wedding with hilarious consequences.

    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.

 

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    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.
    

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

Audio

    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.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The menu was simple, including some animation and dialogue.

The Vicar of Dibley Story (59:07)

    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!

Cast Biographies

    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.

 

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

    The last (possibly) episodes of The Vicar of Dibley.

    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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
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) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE