Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney (TV)
R2 - United Kingdom - Simply Media
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (7th March 2019).
The Show

Martha Kearney, the BBC broadcaster and journalist, follows in the footsteps of 19th century Irish artist and geologist, George Victor Du Noyer, exploring the places Du Noyer visited and captured so wonderfully in sketch and paint.

Martha Kearney returns to Ireland, her ancestral home, to follow in the footsteps of artist George Victor Du Noyer, who spent 35 years tracing his country's people and buildings, and it's beautiful, rugged landscape. She discovers how the landscapes once looked, revealing the intrinsic relationship between the people and the land.

Episode One Kearney introduces Du Noyer's work, and travels to the Bog of Allen, which lies between the Liffey and Shannon, and the Old Head of Kinsale in Co Cork.

Episode Two Kearney travels to Northern Ireland, focusing on the beauty of the region, from the rugged Giant's Causeway in Antrim, to Mussenden Temple in Londonderry.

Episode Three Kearney drops in on the sumptuously splendid Castletown House in Co Kildare and gazes at the glorious Rock of Cashel.

Episode Four Kearney explores the Blasket Islands off the coast of Co Kerry, then on to the Dingle Peninsula, finally heading north to the islands of the Fermanagh Lakelands.

Video

Bright, clearly shot modern documentary series' most likely all lensed in HD. These three shows (Great Irish Journeys with Martha Kearney, Wild Ireland, Ireland with Ardal O'Hanlon) were all made around the same time (2015-16) and are very much of a muchness.

Colours are bright and clear with no bleeding, black levels are rich with no signs of crush that I noticed. Contrast is moderate allowing detail to shine through as far as it can in the typical fog of standard definition. Detailed patterned surfaces can occasionally have very minor signs of moire or mosquito noise but that's to be expected in standard definition.

Occasionally in darker patches of the screen mild artefacts can be detected but nothing much to mar enjoyment for the viewer. On a corrected setup display these won't be noticeable at all.

All in all, a decent standard definition image.

1.78:1 / PAL / Great Irish Journey's with Martha Kearney - 116:32

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: None

Straightforward, modern 2.0 stereo track. Music is pushed mainly to the surrounds, dialogue remains front and centre and is very, very clear. It's primarily designed to be supportive of the presenter so like the video: new and well up to the usual standards capable of DVD for what it is.

No subtitles is not really acceptable in this day and age; folks who're hard of hearing will have to do without these three releases.

Extras

Nothing. No outtakes, no interviews nothing. Surely there must have been some promotional bits and pieces, deleted scenes etc that could've been included?

Packaging

Standard keepcase.

Overall

Barebones releases of fairly recent, modern, light documentary series'. Picture and sound are as good as can be for the standard definition format. These were most likely HD lensed so a Blu-ray release would be ideal. However, coming down from Lala land this kind of programme isn't going to warrant the extra expense. A decent release for what it is and if this is your bag you'll be pleased.

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

 


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