Jonathan Creek-Christmas Specials (1997)
|Year Of Production||1997|
|Running Time||206:58 (Case: 208)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
|RPI||$24.95||Music||Julian Stewart Lindsay|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†† The second special, Satan's Chimney, is great viewing but not quite up to scratch with Black Canary, and begins an unfortunate downward twist for the series, which would later go on to receive its worst ratings with the fourth season. With Caroline Quentin absent, the wonderful Maddie is replaced by the much less likeable Carla Borrego (Julia Sawalha), a sensationalised and over-the-top foil for Jonathan's cool intellect and wit. While the two central mysteries - a sealed-off†derelict cell that impossibly burns any captives to death, and the impossible shooting murder of an actress in a locked set - are as engaging and clever as anything else seen in the series, the main storyline is similarly sensationalised and over-the-top, featuring ridiculous soap opera characters, murky pacing, forced humor and an unlikely reveal involving multiple killers staging an elaborate scene for no one to see. While still satisfying and fun to watch, the major tonal shift feels strange and out of place, and was unfortunately built upon in the following series, leading to the apparent end of the cult classic.
†† Fortunately, it seems like we may see a revival of the once-great series, with the new special taking record ratings. Whether we see more of Jonathan's adventures onscreen is yet to be decided; for now, this is a solid set featuring two engaging feature length episodes, and despite the change in quality, both are must-watch. Having them both available together in this nifty set is a treat, and a must for the fan and completist.
†††These are dual-layer discs, with the layer change occuring between the specials.
†††There are English subtitles, which are accurate based on the sample of scenes I viewed with them.
†† Jonathan Creek features effective but unexceptional sound, with the excellent main theme booming lovingly through the stereo speakers as each episode begins before taking a backseat to the superb, perfectly-synced dialogue. All audio is well mixed and audible, as is important in a show like this in which the small details can make a big difference. Although full surround would be better, its absense is not noticable.
†††The distinctive theme tune is an arrangement of Camille Saint-SaŽns' Danse Macabre by Julian Stewart Lindsay, who composes the excellent, often intense orchestral underscore throughout the series.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†† Both the video and audio transfers are†fine but not exceptional.
†† Booklet aside, there are no extras.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3 (HDMI 1.3) with Upscaling, using Component output|
|Display||Philips 47PFL9732D 47-inch LCD . Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Logitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Logitech 5500 THX|
|Speakers||Logitech 5500 THX|