Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let me explain myself, 28 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Romans Triple DVD Box Set Presented by Mary Beard - Caligula, Pompeii Life & Death in a Roman Town & Meet the Romans BBC2 (DVD)
The programmes are great. Really. Excellent and engaging and can't be faulted. It's a shame that BBC 2 mutilated the end credits on "Meet" and then the makers gave it to UKTVRecycle to hack them to bits still further, and not to BBC Four. That's why I was so excited that they'd all been released on DVD and in a box set.

And now the word you've all been waiting for... "But."

I ordered a set and found the discs had manufacturing faults on all but "Meet the Romans" Disc 1. Disc 2 broke-up and seized completely. "Caligula" did the same. "Pompeii" played, but there were periodic sound issues. On examination, Disc 2 of "Meet" looks okay in the light, but breathe on it and there emerges a 2-3mm ring on the disc at the point around where Scene 3 starts (it's about 2/3rds into the disc). Using Scene Select for Sc.3 caused the whole thing to lock-up and return to the Menu. A light inspection of the "Caligula" disc revealed blemishes, and what looked like dried water stains. Ditto "Pompeii", but without the blemishes. There seems to be a orange-y residue in the centre, or some kind of tiny blistering. I didn't want to mess around with it.

Disappointed I ordered a replacement, which arrived today. Went straight to "Meet" Disc 2, and selected Scene 3. DVD player fell over. Did the breath-test again. Same problem. A dark hoop in exactly the same place. There was no point in trying the others. So I'm having to send that one back too, and this time for a refund. Chances are all Amazon's stock has the same issues from a bad batch. At least, I hope it's just a bad batch and not the whole run. It might be worth noting that these are not BBC releases, but produced by an independent.

I'm so disappointed that high quality programmes have been victim to poor quality manufacturing. It's as if someone's come to my birthday party with a nice cake, and then done something unmentionable on it. I'm that disappointed.

These are DVDs I want to own and play fairly often (Roman history is a passion, and use such programmes for research purposes as pointers to original texts). But I can't keep ordering from, and returning stuff to, Amazon, so I'll have to try another retailer and hope their stock doesn't have the same problems. Or buy each DVD separately. However, since the box set is basically the original DVD releases in a cardboard wrapper, it's just as likely I could be buying a pig in a poke - not knowing what I'm going to get - and having to send items back as faulty until I find faultless versions of each.

Gutted.

UPDATED 23/2/14.

I've since bought this box set with A.N.Other online retailer, and it's the same again. I have three DVD players, excluding PC and laptops, two of which (the most recent) won't play either "Meet the Romans" DVD 2 or "Caligula" after Scene 3 in both cases. The eldest is more tolerant and doesn't fall over, but is also the one most likely to need replacing, and there's no guarantee that the new one will have any more luck playing these discs than the other two.

It does look very much like the entire run of these discs either used faulty blanks, or the blanks became damaged during production. If your copies of these play, then consider yourself very fortunate. and hope you don't need a new DVD player any time soon.

Still gutted.
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Location: UK

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