Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Beyond Home Entertainment
Keith Hamilton Cobb
Gordon Michael Woolvett
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/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|
If you have been following the reviews of this series then you may have noticed that in my opinion they seem to come in pairs, one alright and one reasonably good. It was not until I was watching the second episode on this disc and the first credit appeared at the end for Majel Roddenberry that it suddenly all became clear. Of course they come in pairs, it is (sort of) from the same people as Star Trek, just like the movies. I am not saying that the famous odd and even number system works exactly, but it seems to come quite close.
As has become the norm, we have a fair episode and a reasonable episode on this disc. As I mentioned in one of my first reviews of this series I was going to try very hard and not compare story lines to other series, but the second episode on this disc is just too much. If you can imagine that C3PO has been assimilated by the Borg along with Robin William's version of The Bicentennial Man, then you have a pretty good idea of what is in this episode... We are the collective...beep beep. Oh dear.
1:15 Forced Perspective.
Dylan and Trance are out on their own for this episode. Dylan is arrested after returning to a planet that he had been to 300 years before. His previous visit involved some undercover work for the original Commonwealth. It appears the original Commonwealth was not completely squeaky-clean. On this visit he is arrested and charged with crimes committed during his first visit. He is confronted by his accuser and his conscience, not a comfortable experience. We learn a little more about the lovely Trance in this episode, about her past and about her mysterious ability. Her mysterious ability turns out to be quite interesting and while not totally original, they could have chosen something far more cheesy.
1:16 The Sum Of Its Parts
Take me to your leader! A message arrives from a mysterious entity called the Consensus, a very large collection of machine parts that appear to have gained consciousness. They send out a group of parts that breaks into the Andromeda and forms a vaguely humanoid robot. Its function is to guide the Andromeda to a meeting with the Consensus. This meeting does not exactly go according to plan and the crew find themselves in the usual amount of trouble. Vacillating between corny and sickly sweet this episode is an interesting and amusing ride.
The transfers are basically identical to the previous discs with the same good points and same bad.
The video is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness of the live footage is excellent and the computer generated material appears to be on the improve, just about matching the live footage. Depth of field remains good in these episodes. Shadow detail is also good and there is no low level noise.
Colours are excellent in the live footage and pretty good for the computer generated.
There are no MPEG artefacts, nor film-to-video artefacts. A problem with shimmering on horizontal lines can be seen on a couple of the exterior shots of the Andromeda but only on a big screen and when you are looking closely. The tradition of excellent film masters continues with only a couple of spots present.
There are no subtitles.
This is a single layer disc.
The audio remains acceptable for these two episodes with a further marginal improvement in the bass.
There is a single Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that appears to be surround encoded despite not being flagged as such.
Dialogue quality is very good as is the audio sync.
The music supports the script well and has a reasonable sound stage, though not great.
The surrounds were moderately used where they could be. Yet again there are some missed opportunities.
The subwoofer was also slightly improved but still not great.
|Surround Channel Use|
The animated menus are basically the same as the last disc, with the new navigation remaining. Before there were two selections at the top of the screen, one to start each of the two episodes on the disc. On this disc the top left selection is still there to start the first episode but the box on the right is no longer a selection but simply contains scrolling text. This means that you cannot directly select the second episode but must go through the chapter selection menu. Thank goodness you can skip the long intro section with the chapter next button.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The first 5 episodes have finally been released in R1 allowing us to do a full comparison, and a very sad one it is. The next set of episodes have not yet been released in R1, I am going to still include the information for the first five episodes as they probably give a good indication of what will be coming, but be aware that the specifics here only apply to the first five episodes, not the episodes on this disc.
The region 1 version is two discs with five episodes and...
The region 4 version of this disc misses out on:
and that's just on the first disc! We continue with:
and to really top off the list:
The region 1 version of this disc misses out on:
Even without the multitude of extras the wide screen formatting makes the region 1 version the hands down winner.
The humour that I enjoy in this series is present in these two episodes. There are enough flashes of originality to keep most people coming back for more. The characters are starting to gain a little depth and I particularly like the paradox and tension contained in Rev Bem's character.
Video remains solid.
Audio is a just acceptable surround encoded effort.
Still no extras.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|