Line of Duty: Series 1 (TV)
R2 - United Kingdom - Acorn Media
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (12th January 2014).
The Show

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the show from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

When a counter-terrorism raid goes tragically wrong, Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott refuses to participate in a cover-up. Ostracised by colleagues, he transfers to an anti-corruption unit, AC-12, in the process of investigating one of the Forceís most respected officers, Detective Chief Inspector Tony Gates. Not only has Gates just been awarded Officer of the Year, his squad has returned the best crime figures for three consecutive years. But can anyone really be that good? Arnott doesnít think so and soon he and Gates become embroiled in a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse. Every time Gates seems cornered, he finds a way to turn the tables still believing he can save himself, if only he can prove his innocence. But all the time heís digging a bigger hole and plunging irrevocably into a moral abyss. And the stakes keep getting higher. Soon it isnít just careers on the line Ė itís lives.

Disc one features the first two episodes, whilst disc two houses episodes three to five.

Video

Acorn Media release the hit BBC2 police drama "Line of Duty: Series 1" onto DVD in the United Kingdom in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The series consists of five episodes spread over two discs, and looks great.

Originally shown on BBC2, this looks just as good as you would expect a BBC drama with a decent budget to look. Details are strong, with facial details at the high end of what you can expect from DVD, and foliage and background items are certainly above average, though are a little fuzzy at times. The colour scheme uses a lot of greys, browns and dark blues, with all of them looking consistently natural. Blacks are deep, and I noticed no crushing, whilst contrast levels appear to be spot on. I did notice some occasional aliasing here and there, most notably on background walls and brickwork, but it isn't noticeable enough to be too much of a problem. There's no damage to the print such as scratches or dust, and little sign of edge enhancement. Overall, this is a solid presentation.

The discs are region 2 encoded, and in PAL format.

Audio

Acorn Media have presented just a single audio option for this release; English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. This is the original track from when the show was first broadcast, and is certainly adequate, even if it is a little underwhelming. Separation is minimal, but noticeable, and dialogue is clear and concise at all times. Volume levels between the score, effects, and dialogue are all consistent, and never overpower each other. As to be expected for such a new show from a well known broadcaster, there is no sign of damage to the track such as dropouts or scratches. A 5.1 upmix would've been a welcome addition to the proceedings, especially for some of the more action-packed scenes, but there are no problems with what we have been given.

Optional subtitles are available in English.

Extras

All extras can be found on disc one of the set.

The main extra feature on this set is a "Behind the Scenes" documentary (29:51). It's quite standard fare, showing various clips from the show interspersed with interview footage with the majority of the main cast and crew. The interviews get into reasonable depth about many aspects of the show, from how the cast and crew were drawn to the project, the story, and the characters. Also touched on is the decision to cast Neil Morrissey, an actor who is well-known for his comedies such as Men Behaving Badly, completely against type. The documentary is worth a watch thanks to the answers from the participants being well put together, and, even if there is a lot of back-slapping, it's still better than 90% of the documentaries I've seen on TV show releases.

The rest of the extras are self-explanatory.
Actor Filmographies:
- Lennie James (2 pages)
- Martin Compston (1 page)
- Vicky McClure (1 page)
- Adrian Dunbar (2 pages)
- Neil Morrissey (1 page)
- Craig Parkinson (2 pages)
- Gina McKee (2 pages)
Picture Gallery (1:00)

Overall

The Show: A- Video: B+ Audio: B- Extras: C- Overall: B

 


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