Top Gear-Complete Series 16 (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 3-Nov-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Bonus Episode-2 full length specials
Interviews-Cast & Crew-various
Deleted Scenes-various
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 423:24
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jeremy Clarkson
Richard Hammond
James May
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Top Gear has been on UK Television on and off since 1978, however most people probably associate the name more with the current incarnation featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May which has been running since 2002 (although May didn't join until 2003). They recently finished the 17th series on UK television and the 18th will start around Christmas time. This set contains all the episodes from the 16th series which started on television in December last year (2010). Slightly annoyingly for those who may have purchased the previous Top Gear Blu-ray release, Top Gear-The Great Adventures Middle East this Season 16 set virtually includes everything on that set, although maybe not the complete “director's cut” versions. There is lots of other content here in addition, making this the set to buy if you can only afford one. The Middle East set does include extras not on this set.

     This three disc Blu-ray set includes all seven episodes from Season 16, plus the full US special and the Middle East special as extras. The episodes feature a variety of stunts, car tests and the usual star in reasonably priced car segments. Highlights are as follows:

  1. The US Road Trip special
  2. A funny review segment about the Skoda Yeti
  3. The Top Gear Ashes between Top Gear UK and Top Gear Australia. Not necessarily completely fair.
  4. The Albania adventure and a comparison of fast hatchbacks
  5. Pagani Zonda and a used BMW convertible test
  6. Turning a combine harvester into a snow plough and testing it in Norway
  7. A Jaguar Vs God race across England and May driving a Moon Buggy

     This series is the first to feature the 'new' Stig who they found in a manger during the Middle East Special and to my mind is a return to form for the Top Gear boys after some lacklustre shows over the past couple of years. This is an excellent series, very entertaining, amusing and even making some worthwhile points about important issues.

     Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good but unfortunately only 1080i. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080i encoded using AVC.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout but not as good as some film based Blu-rays. The shadow detail was very good. The colour was excellent, showing off the various locations.

     There was some mild graininess at times.

     There are subtitles available in English which are clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is good but unlike the previous Top Gear Blu-ray not in a high definition format.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0. It is disappointing that a high definition format was not used and even though it is obviously high bitrate DD2.0, there is still a difference to the lossless soundtrack on the previous set.

     Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear and understand.

     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 and motion.

Disc 3

US Road Trip (52:01)

     The full version of the road trip as seen in episode 1. This is the same as the version on the previous set.

Middle East Special (76:13)

     The original cut version of the Middle East special which is a few minutes shorter than the director's cut version on the previous set. You do not miss that much and buying both sets just to get those few extra minutes seems excessive. A fun and exciting special.

Pre-series Chat (3:20)

     Originally released on the internet this is the three hosts chatting before the series about what is included. Funny and worth a look.

John Bishop Lap (4:34)

     Extra footage of John Bishop doing his lap in the car.

Clarkson & Hammond joking about James' death (2:31)

     More behind the scenes silliness originally released on the internet.

Nick Frost & Simone Pegg Laps (6:29)

     Detailed footage of their laps and their reactions.

John Prescott - Jezza vs Prezza (0:59)

     Highlights of their on-screen argument.

End of Series 16 Chat (2:43)

     Hosts chatting about how the series went.

Behind the Scenes - Production Office & Studio (9:40)

    Snoreathon tour of the production facilities for the show, hosted by the crew.

R4 vs R1

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

     This set is available in the same format in the UK.

Summary

     A fun and entertaining series of Top Gear.

     The video quality is very good but only 1080i. The audio quality is very good but only Dolby Digital 2.0.

     A great set of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, November 18, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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