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Intriguing Story... Poor video transfer
on March 4, 2013
While the originally filming and production of this mini-series was probably high quality, this DVD transfer is very poorly done. Somewhere between the BBC and Timeless Media, the quality of this mini-series has been seriously degraded. Video quality is very poor, with a lack of contrast, overly-saturated colours and sound quality that varies between scenes.
The original production was filmed with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 or 4:3, ostensibly to fit the standard CRT TV format at that time. Unfortunately, on this transfer, the 4:3 aspect ratio has been stretched to 16:9, resulting in a badly distorted image when all the other TV and DVD player settings are set at default. So, if viewers wish to see the image in the correct Aspect Ratio, it's necessary to get into the DVD player's video settings and change the aspect ratio to correct this.
There's no excuse for this kind of transfer screwup.
As for the colour and contrast, little can be done because the DVD transfer material is so poorly done and there's only so much a viewer can do with the video settings on the DVD player and TV.
While these technical problems detract from the story, it was a treat to see a young Benedict Cumberbatch showing his mettle prior to his "Sherlock" and "End of Parade" roles.
Reviewers who complain about the story being vulgar, crude or boring appear have no concept of the harsh reality that many of our ancestors had to face when immigrating to a new land.
Some reviewers also display a breathtaking ignorance of the social structure and historical context of the time. This production is not claiming to be some "19th Century Reality TV Show", but attempts to portray what happens when a cross-section of British society is forced to endure in a 'closed space' for many months at a time. It's likely that some of these critical reviewers wouldn't understand "Lord of the Flies" either , if they could be bothered to read something other than the weekly "illustrated fashion/movie star" tabloid news.