Thunderbirds-Volume 4 (1964)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-The Tracy Family
|Year Of Production||1964|
|Running Time||192:43 (Case: 200)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, advertising Thunderbirds merchandise before menu|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This volume contains another four episodes:
There's a really gorgeous mistake in the same episode. Towards the end of the episode a car is shown being driven along a road. When we see it in long shot it is left-hand drive; when we see it in close-up it is right-hand drive. There are several shots of either type, so you have ample opportunity to confirm it for yourself.
The only other glitch I have to mention is in Day of Disaster. We are told about how the rocket must be launched from England because of the position of Mars - a launch from Cape Kennedy (remember, this was made in the early 60s, so it was called Cape Kennedy) would have "problems". Considering that we are talking about a trip of tens of millions of kilometres, a difference of a few thousand kilometres is supposed to make a difference?
Then again, we are talking about Thunderbirds - trying to pick out all of the technical glitches would be foolish. Sit back and enjoy the fun.
Thunderbirds is a TV series made in the mid 60s - it is therefore presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and consequently not 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness comes in two levels. All the interior shots are sharp and clear, with good shadow detail and no low-level noise - there are films made in the last year or so that could learn from this. Almost all of the exterior shots are models, and the model shots have been been filmed, in many cases, at quite high frame rates, then slowed down for display so that the models seem to move as if they were full-size. Unfortunately, these higher frame rates give the film less time to expose, and yield more grain and reduced sharpness and less shadow detail. Additionally, some of the stock shots (Tracy Island, Thunderbirds in flight, ...) are used often, and the film has been printed repeatedly, yielding reduced sharpness. Add to that one or two shots which are horribly grainy (the opening shot of Edge of Impact, and the sky at 10:12 and 32:35 in Move and You're Dead), and you see that I have been fairly generous in my sharpness rating.
There are lots of machines painted in solid colours: reds, greens, yellows - plenty of chances for colour to show, but 1960s film stocks can't capture colour as well as modern ones. So, colours are good, but a little less than fully saturated. It is not that the film is a bit faded through age, it is that the colours weren't captured by the original film.
There are quite a few film artefacts, but they aren't really troublesome - mostly tiny flecks. There has to be aliasing, because the Thunderbirds milieu includes so many objects with parallel lines - grilles, flutes, grooves. The aliasing is quite well-controlled, and never bothersome. The only artefact that annoyed me was telecine wobble - perhaps because it is the most easily controlled. I must say, though, that the wobble was predominantly during the credits, and is unlikely to bother anyone not doing a review.
The disc is single sided and double layered, but not RSDL-formatted. There is no visible layer change - they appear to have placed two episodes on each layer.
Dialogue is clear and easily understood. There are no problems with audio sync.
The score is classic Thunderbirds. Barry Gray did all the music, and it is very consistent. It wouldn't be Thunderbirds without the music.
The surround sound is quite nice, particularly given the original mono soundtrack. There are some good uses of the surrounds for ambient noise - bird calls, falling rocks, a nice sequence underwater in Day of Disaster.
The subwoofer is used mostly for explosions, but that's OK - Thunderbirds always has explosions!
|Surround Channel Use|
I have meant to mention in earlier reviews that there is no separate Play command for each episode. Selecting an episode from the main menu brings up the scene selection for that episode. Pressing Enter starts the episode at the beginning, because Chapter 1 is highlighted.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is surprisingly good for mid 60s TV.
The audio quality is good.
The extras are not as good as previous volumes.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-737, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|