Detectorists: Series 1 (TV)
R0 - United Kingdom - Acorn Media
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (27th October 2014).
The Show

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

Odd couple Lance and Andy forge their friendship in muddy fields away from their own dysfunctional lives.

Mackenzie Crook writes, directs and stars as Andy a wannabe archaeologist who, alongside his friend Lance, spends his time in muddy fields with a metal detector and a packed lunch, dreaming of finding that priceless Saxon hoard that will make them rich and cement their place in detecting history.

But as they go off on their adventures, real life keeps getting in the way.

They embark on a journey of greed, betrayal, rejection and redemption as they hurtle towards Danebury Metal Detector's Club's greatest ever find.

Video

Acorn Media have released the first series of the BBC Four show "Detectorists" on to DVD in the United Kingdom, with an anamorphic using the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It looks good, but lacks the clarity you would expect from such a new show.

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed with the picture quality here. For such a new entity for a major channel, I would have expected this to look quite sharp, but there is a surprising dearth of clarity here, with too many of the locations feeling a little blurry and blocky. A slightly muted palette has been used for the show, with dull greens and browns giving the true feeling of the blustery English countryside, but the colours are still bright enough so that when the sun peeks through, there is plenty of depth and vividity. There are several moments of light aliasing, generally during scenes which take place either in the pub, or in the club's meeting room. Close-up details look okay, with no real issues, and shadow details are hit and miss. There are no signs of damage in the transfer such as scratches or dirt, and there are no major compression issues.

The show is uncut, and the play all option runs 173:56. Each episode is also selectable individually.

Audio

Acorn Media have provided us with a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, which is indicative of the original broadcast. Although there are no problems present on the audio track, such as drop outs, scratches or pops, it's quite standard fare with nothing to shout home about either. Dialogue is clear throughout, never sounding dull or mumbled, but channel separation is kept to a bare minimum, and the sound design for environmental effects is quite basic. There is an explosion during one episode, which is well emphasised, but overall the track feels a little flat, lacking depth. The show is dialogue driven, so a stereo track is certainly adequate, but this is only slightly above mediocre.

Optional subtitles are available in English for the hard of hearing.

Extras

The main extra included on this release, is a featurette entitled "Discovering Detectorists", which runs 24:33. The featurette features some behind the scenes footage, along with interviews with various members of the cast and crew. Having written, directed, and starred in the show, Mackenzie Crook is the most interesting to listen to, revealing why he decided to write a comedy set around metal detectorists. It was obviously a windy day when this was shot (as an opening screen acknowledges), and this does cause the occasional problem with the audio. Still, it's forgiveable, and doesn't interfere too much.

We also have a "Behind the Scenes" picture gallery (0:29), and a regular picture gallery (0:56).

Overall



Mackenzie Crook hit the mainstream as an actor, playing Gareth in "The Office" and Ragetti in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. "Detectorists" is his first venture behind the camera, and his second foray into writing, and the result is a cracking little series with really funny subtle humour, and likeable characters. Hopefully a second series will be forthcoming.

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

 


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