Guy Martin: Complete Speed [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Dazzler Media
Review written by and copyright: Matthew Crossman (17th June 2015).
The Show

‘Speed With Guy Martin’ is both series of Channel 4’s television programme which initially aired in the United Kingdom in December 2013 (series 1) and October 2014. Collected here are all eight episodes (four per series) in which motorbike racer Guy Martin attempts to break eight individual Guinness speed records.

The first of these is an attempt to break the land speed record of 110 mile per hour on a bicycle. Each episode follows the same pattern as Guy Martin and a team of specialists attack the problems facing them for each record. The science is covered as well as all the build up, whether this be for building a specific vehicle for the attempt or indeed building Guy Martin up physically and mentally for the challenge ahead. Guy Martin himself is the perfect foil in that not only is he a very personable character but also a little bit…well, crazy is perhaps a bit harsh but not far off. Each challenge that Martin attempts is unique and different from each other and so each episode, whilst following the same structure as the last, is fresh and new.

Disc One Series One
Britain’s Fastest Cyclist (47.28) - Martin attempts to break the land speed record of 110 mile per hour on a bicycle.

Hydroplaning Bike (47.34) - Martin attempts to travel further on water on a motor cross motor bike than anyone ever before.

Human Powered Aircraft (47.02) - Martin attempts to fly faster than anyone has previously in an aircraft powered only by himself.

World’s Fastest Toboggan (47.31) - Martin travels to Switzerland in an attempt to become the fastest person on a gravity only run on a toboggan.

Disc Two Series Two

Tandem (46.10) - Guy Martin and friend attempt to cycle further than 506 miles in one twenty four hour period (think Le Man’s but without the engines).

Pike’s Peak (47.27) - Martin enters his own homemade motor bike into the Pike’s Peak racing challenge which is set on a mountain in Colorado in the USA in an attempt to become the first British man ever to win in the exhibition class.

Hovercraft (47.29) - Martin attempts to break the hovercraft speed record of 85 mph.

Gravity Racer (47.03) - Martin tries to go faster than the record of 84.4 mph in a gravity racer (which, for those that do not know, is basically a go kart).

People that are not into cars or motorbikes maybe put off by this title. Guy Martin is well known for his prowess in the field of motor sports but this title is definitely not just for petrol heads. As previously mentioned, Guy Martin is a very likeable chap and his brand of charm and enthusiasm are what carry this title. The feats themselves, and the science behind each attempt, are very interesting but could feel very dry and maybe, perhaps, a bit dull without Martin driving the episodes on. Whilst each episode follows a familiar pattern the tasks are different enough, involving a different set of unique challenges each time, that each episode seems fresh, exciting and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed all the episodes but for me the stand out highlight was the Pike’s Peak episode but nearly every episode had me clapping and cheering at the end, if only for the effort that went in to each challenge if not for the outcome.

Video

1.78:1 1080/50i as broadcast by Channel 4 originally. It’s a good a picture as could be expected. There are lots of shots of on board ’shaky cam’ footage which are fine as well as plenty of sweeping vistas of snow covered mountains and lakes surrounded by lush forest that are presented well. Each episode is broken down into four chapters which I imagine are where the original advertisement breaks were place.

Audio

English 2.0 Digital Linear Pulse Code Modulated Audio (LPCM) stereo option only. The sound is perfectly acceptable. There is a good depth to the audio especially during scenes where any kind of motors are involved but this does not distracted from the dialogue nor overwhelm it. Separation is good if not overly spectacular. Subtitles (HoH) are available in a smooth, white font.

Extras

Four trailers have been made available as the only ‘extras’. These are for ‘Guy Martin Speed’ (0.41), ‘Guy Martin Speed 2’ (0.52), ‘Guy Martin’s How Britain Worked’ (1.43) and ‘Guy Martin’s Spitfire’ (1.20) and are all available on the second disc.

Overall

I thoroughly enjoyed each and every episode of this series. As previously mentioned Guy Martin comes across as a thoroughly likeable chap with just the right amount of enthusiasm and energy that keeps each episode vibrant and exciting. You cannot help but root for the fellow. I’m not spoiling things by saying that not every attempt is a success and actually that adds to the drama as you honestly don’t know if Martin and his team with succeed. The presentation is fine. No great effort has gone into the discs. There are not extras to talk of and even two of the trailers presented here are simply for two programmes you have just bought. I wouldn’t want to end this review on a downbeat note though so I will finish by saying that it’s definitely worth a purchase if you missed the episodes when they originally aired on Channel 4.

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

 


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