The Young Ones-Series 1 (1982)
|Year Of Production||1982|
|Running Time||198:30 (Case: 160)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Geoff Posner|
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|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Smoking||Yes, not necessarily of tobacco|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, more hilarious than annoying|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, be sure to keep watching after Flood's credits|
If you watched television during the 1980s, and you took the time to see the ABC's latest imports from England, then chances are you saw at least one or two episodes of The Young Ones. With literally no thought given to the laws of physics, logic, or sense, when one says the words "anarchic comedy", chances are they are referring to The Young Ones. There just hasn't been a series like it before or since, even when some of its stars have been involved, and I am sure that there are a lot of parents who believe in the "impressionable child" syndrome who are very grateful for that.
This DVD contains the entire first season of The Young Ones. Only two seasons were made, each containing six episodes, so becoming a collector of The Young Ones on DVD is nowhere near as financially dangerous as it would be for most of the crap that has long passed its use-by date on television this days. In order, the episodes are:
In case I haven't already made this clear, this is one of the best comedies that the BBC has ever produced, which is saying a lot considering how many have come out of the woodwork since the 1980s. It makes Mr. Bean seem sedate by comparison, and while some of the jokes will go right over the head of younger audiences who don't have a reasonable knowledge of politics and history, it is just as funny today as it was twenty years ago.
The Young Ones is like the majority of BBC productions in that it was filmed using reel-to-reel video for the studio sequences, and sixteen millimeter film for the location sequences. Some processing has also been done to some of the colours during a couple of sequences, but the results look a bit better than what I was expecting.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced.
The transfer is sharp enough when the shots are close-range, which is nine out of ten times in this series (a joke is made about this in the second season). When some distance exists between the subject of a shot and the camera, however, detail and definition tends to go out the window. There is little need for shadow detail in this transfer, but it is also quite poor when shots are located outside in conditions of minimal lighting. Thankfully, there does not appear to be much, if any, low level noise in this transfer, an area where it scores a king hit over the old VHS tapes.
The colours in this series are generally neutral and realistic, but there are occasions when they have been manipulated in order to produce some kind of effect, especially in a couple of sequences during Flood. Dot crawl is visible in the opening and closing credits. Fire is especially problematic in this transfer, with trails of false colour often appearing as flames move about in their random manner.
MPEG artefacts were not found in this transfer, which is surprising given the amount and the quality of the source material being compressed on this one disc. Film-to-video artefacts were something of a problem, with the entire frame shimmering at 28:46 during Demolition, and Vyvyan's knife appearing rather jagged at 4:13 during Flood. The whole image wobbled vertically, and appeared discoloured for a few frames at 18:49 during Flood. Film artefacts are also frequently visible whenever the action happens outdoors, especially in the sequence when the lads are making their way to the local pub.
English subtitles are available on this DVD. They are, quite frankly, terrible, with major variations on the spoken dialogue which lose all of the thrust of the jokes. Dutch subtitles are also available, although they have to be selected during the programme with the remote control, as no mention is made of them in the menu. They are probably much more accurate to the spoken dialogue once the hassle of translation is accounted for, anyway. Burned in subtitles are present at 5:07 and 25:55 during Interesting, the first of which is a hilarious warning against shutting people inside fridges.
This disc is dual layered. No layer change was noticed during the episodes, so I presume it is located between them.
There is one soundtrack on this DVD: a flat, unspectacular English Dolby Digital 2.0 effort. Given the music and some of the sound effects in the series, a 5.1 remix or a surround-encoded effort could have done wonders, but I expect that the necessary source materials no longer exist.
The dialogue is generally clear and easy to understand, although there are times when Special Patrol Group (voiced by Rik Mayall) or one of the various weird forms of life in the house is speaking in a low, rapid manner that makes their lines a little difficult to discern at times. Ade Edmonson shouts almost every line, which can make him somewhat irritating to listen to, but this is intentional. There are no problems with audio sync.
One of the most frequently asked questions about The Young Ones is why a band was featured in almost every episode. The answer is that apparently the producers could present the series as a variety program instead of a sitcom to the BBC, and thus obtain a better budget. Aside from the bands, there is some incidental music by Peter Brewis, and a rendition of the old Cliff Richard hit that the series is named after. The music sticks out like a sore thumb, but this is actually one of the things that makes the series so funny.
The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack. They were missed during some of the gags, such as when Neil is floating off to the moon.
The subwoofer was also not used by this soundtrack. It was especially missed during the musical sequences, and I shudder to think what the Motörhead song in the next series will sound like without it.
|Surround Channel Use|
Not a sodding thing. Considering how much value could have been added with just an audio commentary by Ade Edmonson and Rik Mayall, this effort is disappointing to say the least.
The menu is static, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 2 and Region 4 versions of this disc are identical in that they are bare-boned single disc efforts.
Region 1 come out way on top in this comparison, which is truly disgusting when you consider that this series was produced in the UK, yet even they do not get all of the twelve episodes split over three discs, with pilot episodes of Bottom and Filthy, Rich, And Catflap, not to mention a making-of featurette. Aside from the NTSC formatting, there is little reason for me to not recommend giving the BBC the big finger by purchasing the Region 1 multi-disc set.
The Young Ones is proof that when one defies convention and attempts to make something different, they can create something miraculous. There is no way this show would be made in today's climate, and that is a great pity, because even if the things that the titular characters do can be considered ridiculous, at least they (the actors, anyway) do not take themselves seriously.
The video transfer is very good considering the source materials.
The audio transfer is unspectacular.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|