45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Blu Review 24 - Robin of Sherwood,
This review is from: Robin of Sherwood - Michael Praed [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Robin of Sherwood (Michael Praed Years) Blu-ray Review
Distributor: Network Video, UK
Although over the years there have been many tales of the hooded man, Robin of Sherwood for many, remains the ultimate take on the legend. Robin Hood of the 1980's imposed a twist on the legend by adding mysticism and a Celtic soundtrack which fit the series like a glove. Perfectly written by Richard Carpenter and starring many generation actors of the time including Ray Winstone, Clive Mantle, and Michael Praed as Robin, the series instantly became a cult classic which still holds a strong following 26 years after the first episode aired. Marking the latest release, this Blu-ray disc was certainly an unexpected treat for the series many fans and was always going to make for an interesting review. Thankfully Network Video have released this set as region A, B and C so fans worldwide should have no issues of playback.
Robin of Sherwood has seen a variety of releases, dating back to original video cassettes featuring one or two episodes, to DVD releases of the complete individual series (of which there were 3) to a complete DVD box set. This new Blu-ray release contains all of the Michael Praed episodes which made up the entire first two series of the show, with each episode having been extensively remastered in high definition from the original 16mm prints. Certain collectors these days have stated that releasing a product which was filmed in 16mm onto Blu-ray is not a worthwhile exercise, however having experienced watching this series on DVD, I was actually awestruck in the difference of the 1080p print quality. The episodes are presented as transmitted in their original 4x3 aspect ratio and the enhanced detail available really shines through. A noticeably major improvement with this new transfer are the colours on display which are stunningly rich and vibrant and their quality really draws you into the episode like never before. Black levels are also excellent and the print appears clean and crisp throughout with the slightest amount of grain detail showing in certain scenes and with a very minimal amount of print damage on display. Part of the charm of this series was the fantastic location shooting which is complemented all the more in high definition.
One issue worth noting, is that for some reason, two of the later series 2 episodes, appear out of transmission order and are placed on the second disc after the final episodes of the first series. Quite why they have been arranged in this way is a mystery, however the inside of the Blu-ray cover contains all of the episodes synopsis as well as the original transmission date information, so it is relatively easy to research and view in the original episode order if desired.
Audio quality is also a great improvement over the DVD release. Dialogue is clear and distortion free but the real treat is the music soundtrack by Irish folk group Clannad which sounds better than ever with the now classic tracks filling the room for the ultimate experience. The music sounds bassy and powerful throughout and helps to create the ultimate viewing atmosphere.
Extra features in this set are numerous, beginning with an extended Electric Theatre Show documentary presented in in high definition, which was filmed for television at the time of the original series and features interviews and footage on the making of the first two episodes of the series. This was previously released on the DVD sets, although the version here has been specially extended to produce a longer version. The previous DVD episode commentary tracks are also included in this set and are a real treat for fans of the series and there is also a music only option on the soundtrack. There is also a stills gallery of over 500 images presented in HD. Also included in this set is a DVD disc which contains even more extras including two exclusive documentaries on the making of Robin of Sherwood (the Michael Praed years), series one and two out takes, featurettes on three episodes, and PDF materials including the original story treatment and some scripts. Rounding this set of, there is also an extensive booklet covering the story of Robin of Sherwood which covers pre-production, the making of the series and post production issues including Mary Whitehouses' public dislike for the series.
There is also information available relating to original filming locations used for the series.
All things considered this set is an essential purchase for fans of the original series and should be considered as the last word on a classic piece of 1980's television. Hopefully the care and attention placed in this release will be appreciated and sales figures will warrant a Blu-ray release of the final series with Jason Connery taking over as Robin. This Blu-ray is advertised as a limited edition and although not a numbered edition, is well worth investing in as the ultimate release.
A very worthy Blu-ray release for a TV classic.... Robin of Sherwood is still as popular as ever...
NOTHINGS FORGOTTEN... NOTHINGS EVER FORGOTTEN.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Feb 2011 11:52:13 GMT
Robert Sinden says:
If the episodes which are out of transmission order are the two parts of "The Swords of Wayland" then this follows production order and makes the most sense as far as the narrative goes. It is discussed here: http://www.robinofsherwood.org/episodes.h
Posted on 12 May 2011 07:47:34 BDT
Thank you for your detailed review of the Blu-ray set, particularly the comments about the picture quality and the additional extras, like the extended Electric Theatre Show documentary. I don't currently own any version but my home-recorded VHS tapes, and wondered if any of the DVD supplements were dropped in the transition to Blu-ray?
In reply to an earlier post on 15 May 2011 21:56:22 BDT
All of the dvd extras are on the blu-ray plus there are a few bits and pieces not on the dvd.
Just need blu-rays of series 3 now.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 May 2011 21:58:58 BDT
thanks for the info, I will check it out
Posted on 21 Aug 2011 23:51:37 BDT
Mr. Stephen Reid says:
Great review of a great series. Truly nothing's ever forgotten.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2011 08:37:01 BDT
Unfortunately we still have heard nothing of a series 3 blu-ray, however we are continuing to press this issue on Network videos page on Facebook. Hopefully it will happen at some point as seires 3 also had some classic episodes.
Posted on 8 Aug 2013 12:46:03 BDT
Having recently purchased both sets, I contacted Network regarding the episode order discrepancy for Series 2 - the response I got was:
"The second series was transmitted out of order back in 1986, so we have put them in their correct order for our set, as they were intended to be seen."
Hope that clears the matter up!
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Mar 2015 01:39:30 GMT
N. Bolton says:
There are a couple of extras missing from the Blu Ray discs, that appeared on the bonus disc of the complete DVD set - these are: the unedited, including unused, footage from the Electric Theatre Show (about an hour of interviews and behind the scenes footage) and a few minutes of silent footage of Clannad recording the video for Robin the Hooded Man.
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