The Two Ronnies-The Best of (2002)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||None Given|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
As part of their Classic Comedy series, the BBC has released "The Best Of" for several of their long-time favourites including Dad's Army, Yes Minister, and now The Two Ronnies. The Two Ronnies, aka Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker starred in their own sketch comedy show for a remarkable 16 years (between 1971 and 1987), producing many episodes and eight Christmas/Easter specials.
I have some very fond memories of The Two Ronnies. I can vividly remember visiting my grandparents almost every Saturday night during the mid 70s to early 80s. After some take-away from the local fish 'n' chip shop, and a game of cards we settled down in front of the telly to watch The Two Ronnies. This was one of my granddad's favourite shows and he never missed it, watching religiously every week. In case you don't remember, Ronnie Corbett was the little bloke and Ronnie Barker was the larger one who also featured in several TV shows in the same era, such as Porridge and Open All Hours.
The show followed a certain set formula each week and I will long remember the best of the standard set of sketches that appeared. Segments such as the opening stand-up item where both of the Ronnies would always promise "In a packed programme tonight" and then proceed to tell some hilarious jokes about who would or would not be appearing on the show (none of them ever appeared strangely enough, which took me a long while to work out - they were just jokes!). And what about that huge chair that Ronnie Corbett virtually disappeared in while he rambled on endlessly about several stories at once and yet managed to wrap it all up into a funny punchline at the end. And of course the end of show news segment that produced the catch-phrase that has entered the English vocabulary "It's goodnight from me...and it's goodnight from him". I can actually remember a mate and myself producing a copy-cat act based on that very segment for a primary school review show (I can't remember if it was funny though - most likely it was awful!). So as you can well imagine, The Two Ronnies was very much a part of my childhood and one that I took to reviewing with a great deal of relish and just a small dose of nostalgia.
The first thing that struck me when this disc arrived was the cheap and nasty look to the cover artwork. No multi colours here - we get a sort of sepia-toned photo and hideously beige and light brown coloured text and background. I would have liked to see a little more effort and flair going in to the jacket design. It is, after all, one of the key selling points when a disc is sitting on the shelf in the shops.
We get a series of 23 sketches running for around 80 minutes spanning the whole time that the show ran for. The year the sketch originally aired is displayed at the start of each sketch. Sketches include a couple from the long running Allotment series, the well known Mastermind sketch with Ronnie Corbett answering the current question with the previous question's answer, and a couple of Corbett's famous monologues with him perched in his massive chair, among others.
Unfortunately for me, my favourite sketches involving the crime solving sleuths Piggy Malone and Charley Farley are missing. What a shame...
Not the greatest of video transfer here, though it did hold up better than I was expecting. With the source material being of mostly 70s and early 80s vintage BBC television vision we get a slightly dull and less than super sharp transfer. The video does improve significantly in the sketches from the mid 80s.
The video is full screen 1.33:1 with (obviously) no 16x9 enhancement.
A moderate level of sharpness is maintained throughout with a couple of the cheaper-looking sets offering a slighter blurry background on occasion. There is no problem with shadow detail. Grain is well controlled and there is no low level noise.
Colours in the 70s and early 80s TV weren't exactly vibrant and rich, with many tans, browns, and beiges evident. There are no problems with colour bleeding or oversaturation.
I noticed no MPEG artefacts. Aliasing is common though not overly obtrusive, more just a slight shimmer. You can see examples of this on Ronnie Corbett's shirt between 11:57-16:00. There is also what looks like a hint of a moire effect on Corbett's jumper at 46:00-52:07. Video artefacts are limited to a couple of small and almost unnoticeable blemishes.
No subtitles are available.
This is a single sided/single layered disc only so there is no layer change to contend with.
Only one audio track is on this disc. It is a pretty stock standard Dolby Digital 2.0 track which for a show of this vintage is all I expected.
Dialogue is clear and well pronounced in the sound mix, though the background sounds can be a little harsh (especially the audience laughter around 46:00-52:07 which is quite grating on the nerves). There are no audio sync problems.
Not too much music is present. The opening theme and a comedy number by the Ronnies are about it.
There is no surround or subwoofer activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
Pretty much stock standard stuff. A couple of pages each with reasonably detailed information about the careers of both Ronnies.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I can't find any reference to this disc being available in Region 1 yet. This is not surprising English humour and American humour are quite different beasts. This title is available in Region 2 (this disc is dual region 2 and 4) , and is of course specified exactly the same as ours. The local product is the disc of choice due to the price.
A collection that gives a good overview of some of The Two Ronnies work but I really don't think I can stretch so far as to call this The Best Of. There are some significant moments from the shows that are missing that simply had to be included for it to collect that title. I was a little disappointed with the content of this disc and would only be able to recommend it to real fans of the show (someone like my granddad).
The video is acceptable for the vintage of the source material.
The audio is a little harsh at times, though the dialogue is always clear.
There are virtually no extras.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|