Robin Hood-Complete Series Two (2006)

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Released 2-Apr-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Episodes 1, 7, 12 & 13
Featurette-Beneath the Hood plus two with spoiler titles
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 563:25 (Case: 609)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
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 and has been shown locally on the ABC. This second season contains 13 episodes, 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 an extended 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. This second series sees quite a few changes in Locksley including the Sheriff getting even more evil, Guy becoming more conflicted in his loyalties, Robin getting grumpier, a traitor emerging, the death of a major character listed above and another important character introduced. The action also traverses large distances with the Holy Land playing a part, especially in the finale of the season.

    The thirteen episodes are about 43 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. Sisterhood
  2. Booby & The Beast
  3. Childhood

Disc 2

  1. The Angel of Death
  2. Ducking & Diving
  3. For England...!
  4. Show Me The Money

Disc 3

  1. Get Carter
  2. Lardner's Ring
  3. Walkabout
  4. Treasure of the Nation

Disc 4

  1. A Good Day To Die
  2. We Are Robin Hood

    The set is nicely packaged in a fold out cardboard box with an outer clear slipcover featuring see-through photos of some of the cast. Each of the discs features a photo of one or more of the main characters. I highly recommend this excellent television production.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is quite good without being spectacular.

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

    The picture was quite clear and sharp although the sharpness was affected by some MPEG grain, especially in darker scenes. There was no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was good.

    The colour was excellent with vibrant colours and deep greens of the forest.

    There were no noticeable artefacts.

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

    I did not notice any layer changes. Three of these discs are DVD9 formatted and two are 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 preferred pick, providing much more presence and atmosphere, although specific directional effects are pretty few and far between.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    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 little in the way of specific surround effects. Very immersive for a TV production.

    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 good 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 1 - Lucy Griffiths, Richard Armitage, Foz Allen (Exec Producer/Creator), Dominic Minghella (Writer/Creator/Exec Producer)

    This is a friendly and lighthearted commentary where everybody 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 and goofs during filming.

Disc 2

Commentary - Episode 7 - Gordon Kennedy, Lucy Griffiths, Richard Armitage, Sam Troughton & Anjali Jay

    Another friendly commentary which is okay, but it's but not as good as the first one. Still worth a listen.

Disc 4

Commentary - Episode 12 - Gordon Kennedy, Dominic Minghella, Richard Armitage, Sam Troughton & Anjali Jay

    Another lighthearted commentary but with some dead spots. Okay though.

Commentary - Episode 13 - Gordon Kennedy, Richard Armitage, Sam Troughton & Anjali Jay

    Another funny commentary including stories and trivia.

Disc 5

Beneath The Hood - Making of Series 2 (27:29)

    Good viewing which covers on-set injuries, guest stars, thinking behind various plot points, new sets and locations and character changes.

Farewell to (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Marian (18:19)

    If you have not watched this season especially the last episode do not reveal the title of this extra and if you buy the set try not to read the list of extras on the back. It is an interesting featurette on the topic!

The Death of (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Edward (7:14)

    If you have not watched this season do not reveal the title of this extra and if you buy the set try not to read the list of extras on the back. It is an interesting featurette on the topic!

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 Region 2 in the same format. The Region 1 release is not scheduled until the end of July. For now Region 4 is the go.

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 quite good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has a good selection of mostly excellent, well made extra features.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, May 26, 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)
On location in Hungary? - Ron Stevens
On Location - Le Messor (bio logy class) REPLY POSTED
This show is ludicrous - Nick H