Top positive review
a 4.5 star release, really
21 September 2018
This was edited in May 2019 to correct a small detail.
I'll start with the good. The entire show is here, all in very good quality (as good as the old tapes could provide...... expect occasional small hiccup). Both picture and sound quality is as good as possible. Being the UK release, NO ORIGINAL MUSIC IS CUT, which is half the reason I got this one (the other being higher resolution). The bonus material is a neat inclusion, considering they did not have to film any of it. Original pilot version is also included.
Unfortunately, the release is not perfect. Firstly, the first season. Fabulous Films, gods bless their souls, in their infinite brilliance decided to just copy+paste the work done by Universal Playback, from when THEY released season 1. Unfortunately, that means that the picture is interlaced by default. They could have done some digital magic, and restored the original progressive frames (the original old source WAS progressive after all, they filmed on FILM). Now, it is still possible to get the progressive image, IF your player knows how to combine every 2 fields. Sadly, VLC (as of 2018) still does not have a proper reverse telecine option for PAL. And that is how I watch the show. Other filters can do an almost perfect job, but still........ Fabulous, you missed the chance to do a perfect job. 2019 EDIT: looks like episode 2 of season 2 (on the same disk as episode 1, obviously) is presented as interlaced, while the prior episode is progressive. My educated guess is someone somewhere messed up with the flags (the tiny pieces of data before each "chapter" in a MPEG-2 video stream which tell the player if the footage is to be played "as is", or apply interlacing). That means if your player of choice can ignore flags and play the supposed progressive footage on the disk, you are golden.
The bonus 40 minute video also combines progressive 576 25p and 576 50i footages, which is something they could have fixed (in the end, it is up to you to do their job). An earlier (shot while the show was still on TV I believe) promo video including an interview with Stewart Copeland is NOT included. Perhaps they could not find it, forgot it existed, or could not get the rights. Still, it sucks.
All in all, a VERY complete set with small flaws, but at least those are flaws you can fix yourself.