Billy Connolly's World Tour of England, Ireland & Wales (2002)
Audio-Only Track-Music From World Tour (7)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Billy Connolly's World Tour - Ireland/England/Wales is a very entertaining, absorbing, and informative travelogue series which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Billy Connolly was born in Glasgow in 1942. He left school aged 15 to become a welder in the Glasgow shipyards. Connolly had a great love for music (especially folk music), and for performing music, but during the 1970s, it was his comic talent that led him to success on stage as a stand-up comedian, first in Scotland, and then throughout the UK. Apart from his very well-known work as a stand-up comedian, Connolly has appeared in many videos, television specials, and movies, including the recent The Man Who Sued God (2001).
Lately, Connolly has also written, directed, and produced a series of travelogues set in Scotland, Australia, and this one, set in Ireland, England, and Wales. I found reviewing these discs very difficult, for I would watch an entire episode and then notice that I hadn't made any technical notes of any value. I would then have to re-watch that episode, and some episodes I ended up watching three or four times. The reason for this was that the programmes were so absorbing, fascinating and entertaining that I found it hard to watch them critically. Connolly has an infectious enthusiasm for his topics of conversation, and he displays great local knowledge (or excellent research) for every place he visits. The episodes are interspersed with clips from his live shows (the production of this series coincided with his live tour), and these comedy snippets often related to the rest of the episode. They certainly complement and spice up the series tremendously, as he's a very funny and witty man. Apart from being very funny, I also found many of his personal views very insightful, and his love of art, comedy, and music is obvious and endearing.
The Episodes are as follows:
The overall transfer quality is very good, and what one would expect from recent broadcast television. However, I will add that the 16x9 enhancement makes it a real pleasure to watch on a 16x9 television.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The image is sharp throughout, but at times the shadow detail is poor. For example, consider the lack of shadow detail at 7:54 (Episode 5).
The colour is excellent throughout, and flesh-tones are accurate.
There are no problems with MPEG artefacts. In regards to film-to-video artefacts, there is some severe aliasing at times, such as at 28:26 (Episode 1) and 12:02 (Episode 4). A few very tiny white specks appear rarely, but there are no problems with film artefacts.
English subtitles can be found on these discs, which are accurate to the spoken word.
Disc 1 is single sided and single layered, but Disc 2 is an RSDL disc. I did not spot a layer change, so I assume that it is between episodes.
There is only one audio option: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, which is fairly clear (only limited by the source material), and exhibits a good dynamic range.
The dialogue quality is limited by the source material. Generally it is very good, but at times, such as during Episode 3, there appear to be a few crackles in the original recording. The audio sync was fine.
The music is coordinated by Donard Duffy, and it features a lot of simple folk music, which includes Connolly singing and playing the banjo. There are also a few songs written by Ralph McTell and Tommy Sands.
There is no surround presence nor subwoofer activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras are slim, but I was surprised that there were any at all.
An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.
This is designed to connect you to the related Billy Connolly website.
Four pieces of music are on offer, including the theme music. The viewer selects one, and then a PCM track plays while the same photographic still appears on-screen.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This title does not appear to have been released on DVD in Region 1.
With wonderful content, and an excellent presentation on DVD, this is a great series.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is good, albeit limited by the source material.
The extras are slim (but at least they did something).
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|