Suspicions of Mr Whicher (The): The Complete Collection (TV)
R0 - United Kingdom - Acorn Media
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (9th September 2014).
The Show

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

In a time before the science of crime became the solving of it, a detective relied on an open eye, a keen ear and the dogged pursuit of any and every lead.

Here in Victorian England, the difference between innocence and guilt can all be weighed upon The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Crime in Victorian England has never undergone such scrutiny.

Included in the set, are all four movies:
- The Murder at Road Hill House
- The Murder in Angel Lane
- Ties That Bind
- Beyond the Pale

Video

Acorn Media have released "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher" in its current entirety in this "Complete Collection" set. All four of these television movies are presented in their original aspect ratios of 1.78:1, with anamorphic transfers. It looks as good as you would expect a period crime drama from one of the UK's biggest channels to look.

The features were originally broadcast over four years (2011-2014), but have the same tone and characteristics, with very little difference in quality between them. For anyone who has ever seen a period drama based during Victorian times from either ITV or BBC, you'll know exactly what colour scheme to expect; muted browns, grimy beiges, dirty whites, and plenty of greys and blacks. Although I had never seen any of these features during the original broadcast, I'd be surprised if they weren't 100% representative. The streets look dirty and the details in the surroundings are very strong, whilst when we are inside the homes of the upper class, everything is immaculate, and as white and shiny as can be. Details in the many facial close-ups are at the higher end of the spectrum for DVD, and the more minute details in clothing is also worth noting. As far as problems and flaws go, there aren't too many to be found. Aliasing is noticeable during numerous scenes, but usually very minor, and there is some banding in skylines of longer distance shots. There are no signs of damage to the transfer, and compression artefacts are minimal.

All four movies are uncut, and run ~90 minutes a piece.

Audio

Acorn Media have provided us with a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track which is to be expected for a TV release, though a 5.1 mix would've certainly been advantageous. Like the picture quality, I'd be surprised if the audio does not sound exactly like it did during the original broadcasts, with dialogue clear and concise at all times, and the score sounding perfectly fine. Sometimes audio tracks which remain at the front of the sound field can have inconsistent volume levels as the score and dialogue battle each other in order to be heard in comparison to a 5.1 track - however - there are no problems here. I noticed no damage of any kind. No drop outs, background hiss, or scratches and pops.

Optional subtitles have been included in English.

Extras

Disc one includes the "Behind the Scenes at Road Hill House" featurette which runs 12:37. It features some behind the scenes footage interspersed with sound bites from various cast and crew including Peter Capaldi and James Hawes. These sound bites are surprisingly informative, with some enjoyable tidbits about the cinematography, the general production, the characters, and even the true story of which this is based upon is talked about.

All four discs include a photo gallery.

Overall

It's no "Ripper Street", but as far as period crime dramas go, it's adequate fare.

The Show: C+ Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: D Overall: C+

 


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