Angel-Season 1 Box Set Part 2 (1999)

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

Released 3-Dec-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Vampire Script-Five By Five; Sanctuary
Featurette-I'm Cordelia
Featurette-Introducing Angel
Featurette-The Demons
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 450:44 (Case: 495)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Greenwalt
Bruce Seth Green
James A Contner
Studio
Distributor
Mutant Enemy
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring David Boreanaz
Charisma Carpenter
Alexis Denisof
Elizabeth Rohm
J. August Richards
Julie Benz
Stephanie Romanov
Christian Kane
Thomas Burr
Eliza Dushku
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $79.95 Music Christophe Beck
Robert J. Kral


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
English
French
French Information
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Angel Season 1 has 22 episodes. The first 11 are included in Angel Season 1 Part 1 - you can find a review of that volume here, and I recommend you refer there if you haven't watched Angel on TV.

    This is the second volume of Season 1 of Angel, containing a further 11 episodes. This volume contains:

    You really want to see the credits at the end of She - Angel and Wesley dancing is a horrifying sight. Also very amusing is Angel's commentary on a painting by Manet and the poet Baudelaire.

    There are several cross-over episodes between Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 4 and Angel Season 1 - an episode of Buffy with a storyline that continues in the matching episode of Angel. In this volume the only cross-over episode is Five by Five. Although the episode makes sense standalone, it has more impact when you see the Buffy episode which precedes it. Let's hope we don't have to wait too long for the DVDs of Buffy Season 4. 

    There's quite a bit of Angel's past in some of these episodes, with one or two bits taken from early Buffy episodes - particularly a sequence with Darla (the vampire who sired Angel). The footage taken from Buffy shows itself by being notably grainier (it was shot on 16mm film, rather than 35mm). We learn quite a bit more of Angel's past, including more about his family, and the fact that he was 27 when he became a vampire. We also learn more about the purposes behind Angel's presence in LA, and the prophecies about his future.

    Angel's universe is different from Buffy's. Buffy may be the Chosen One (although I think we may be up to the Chosen Three by now), and we know that there's a Watcher's Council, but that's about it for structure. In Angel's universe there are The Powers That Be, plus The Oracles, and there seems to be quite a bit of cosmic plan. In She we get the first hint of cross-dimensional portals (they become much more important in a later season).

    One thing I hadn't noticed at all on TV, nor again until watching these episodes on DVD, was the use of colour during the credits - the title and the credit for Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt are in red, David Boreanaz's credit is in blue, Charisma Carpenter's is in green, and the third member of the team (Glenn Quinn or Alexis Denisof) is in yellow.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    I was expecting Angel to be presented in 1.33:1, because that's how it was presented on TV, both here and in the US. That's how it is presented on these DVDs, so I was unsurprised. Turns out I was wrong. Angel has always been filmed in 1.78:1, suited to widescreen TV. These DVDs were prepared from a 1.33:1 master, much to the disappointment of some fans who knew about the widescreen version (there was even a petition). Later seasons will be released in widescreen, but I doubt we'll ever see a widescreen version of this season. There's no indication whether the 1.33:1 version is a pan-and-scan effort, or open matte. Naturally, the image is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is fairly sharp, and quite clear. There's very good shadow detail, and no noticeable low level noise.

    Colour, when we get some, is well-saturated. There's no colour bleed or over-saturation. There's lots of black, but that's characteristic of the show.

    There are moments with some light grain, and one or two with moderate grain (see 37:31 in The Ring). There are a few miniscule film artefacts, but they're never really noticeable, excepting a hair on a frame at 38:13 in Sanctuary. There is a little bit of mosquito noise, like at the start of Five by Five. There is some aliasing (the worst example is at 39:39 in To Shanshu in LA), but again, it is barely noticeable. There are no MPEG artefacts. All in all, it's quite a clean picture.

    There are subtitles in a number of languages. I watched the English subtitles throughout, and found them easy to read, and coherent, but occasionally rather more abbreviated than the spoken dialogue - the storyline is unaffected, but it's somewhat annoying if you are both reading and listening.

    The discs are single-sided and dual layered, but there's no visible layer change, because two episodes are on one layer, and two are on the other.

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

Audio

    Both the English and French soundtracks are Dolby Digital stereo, surround encoded. I listened to the English soundtrack only.

    The dialogue is easy to understand at all times. There are no visible audio sync issues. 

    The score for Angel is by Christophe Beck and Robert J Kral. I like both the theme, and the incidental music; very much part of the Angel experience.

    There is some awesome bass in the main channels, especially noticeable towards the end of Blind Date. Nothing through the subwoofer, though. The surround speakers are not called upon, either.

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

Extras

    There are fewer extras on this volume than on the previous - that's a bit of a disappointment.

Menu

    The menus are static, with music. There's an interesting introductory transition before the main menu. The spelling error I mentioned in the first part's Language Selection menu appears here, too: "English for the Hearing Impared".

Script

    We get the original script for Five by Five, and Sanctuary. The script for Sanctuary lists a long "previously on Angel", but we don't get to see that on this DVD - I think that's why some of these episodes are under 40 minutes.

Featurette: Introducing Angel (3:40)

    There's nothing new or interesting in this short piece. If you've watched the episodes then you've seen more than is said here.

Featurette: I'm Cordelia (5:27)

    Again, nothing much new here, although it's a little more interesting than the preceding one. I like the way that they describe Cordelia as "brutally honest" as though that's a virtue...

Featurette: The Demons (7:41)

    A quick guided tour through the catalogue of demons we get to see in this season (interestingly, they include Faith...). There are a few comments on each one, but nothing especially enlightening.

R4 vs R1

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

    Angel is out here, and in Region 2, but has yet to appear in Region 1. The Region 2 version sounds pretty much identical to ours, although I'd always worry about censorship courtesy of the BBFC. No reason at all not to buy the Region 4 - let's all buy it so they hurry up and bring us the other seasons of Angel and Buffy!

Summary

    The best available version of Angel on DVD. What's not to like?

    The video quality is quite good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are good - I wish I could find the outtakes reel, though.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Amy F
Dark Horizons - Garth F

Comments (Add) NONE