Doctor Who-Series 4-Volume 2 (2007)

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Released 4-Sep-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 179:09
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Graeme Harper
Euros Lyn
James Strong
James Hawes
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Murray Gold


Video 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 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

This is the third disc of the fourth series of the new Doctor Who to be released, despite being entitled Volume 2. Unlike previous years the Christmas special disc this time around was not given a volume number, so this disc actually contains episodes 4-7 of the new series. Once again Roadshow are releasing each disc of the new series separately, one per month from July until November. This season will be spread over 5 discs. A box set will be released later in the year. The presentation is very similar to last year, right down to menu design. One presumes a box set will be released later in the year.

This disc contains four episodes including a double episode featuring the Sontarans, an alien race bred for war. These episodes feature comedienne Catherine Tate as The Doctor's companion which is really starting to work, to my mind. It is good to see a change in style for the companions from young 'love interest' types to a more feisty and mature character. At first I was surprised by the choice of Tate as the new companion but I believe that it is really working. She is believable, funny and resourceful. All four episodes included here are of high quality and this season is shaping to be one of the best yet of the new series.

The four episodes on this disc are:

  1. The Sontaran Stratagem (44:33) - First half of a two-parter featuring The Sontarans, an alien race bred for war. Martha Jones reappears, summoning The Doctor back to earth to help fight the alien menace which seems to be related to a car air cleansing system.
  2. The Poison Sky (44:40) - Continues the story from the first episode on the disc. The Sontarans step up their invasion plans while the Doctor needs to save the earth...again!
  3. The Doctor's Daughter (45:12) - The Doctor and Donna arrive on a planet in the middle of a civil war only to meet a young woman who says she is The Doctor's daughter.
  4. The Unicorn and the Wasp (44:44) - 1920's England is the next destination for The Doctor and his companion. They arrive in time for a party at a country house to find that author, Agatha Christie is the guest of honour. This episode has a new explanation for Christie's famous 'disappearance'.

Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is very good.

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

The picture was surprisingly clear and sharp throughout. There is still some light colour bleeding to be seen but not as bad as previous discs. Shadow detail is also very good. There was no evidence of low level noise. There was just a little light grain in some scenes.

The colour was fine from a vividness and richness perspective, however the aforementioned colour bleeding from light colours was a little annoying.

There were no noticeable artefacts other than a little mild Aliasing" style="text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.michaeldvd.com.au/Articles/VideoArtefacts/VideoArtefactsAliasing.html"> aliasing here and there.

There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read, however were a little small in size.

There are no layer changes in the episodes.




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

Audio

The audio quality is very good but a 5.1 mix would be nice.

This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo encoded at 192 Kb/s.

Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand, although some lines were a bit drowned by the music and effects. Audio sync was also fine.

The original theme song by Ron Grainer has been modernised and the score is provided by Murray Gold. The music is of excellent quality and adds significantly to the production.

The surround speakers added significant music and atmosphere.

The subwoofer was used to add bass to the music and effects.

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

Extras

None

Menu

The menu features motion and the theme tune.

R4 vs R1

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

This show is also available in the same format in Region 2 but does not seem to be available in Region 1.

Summary

A new set of four quality episodes from the latest series of the new Doctor Who.

The video quality is very good.

The audio quality is good.

The extras have been saved for the whole season box set.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, September 18, 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
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