9.6 C
New York
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Advertisement

Call the Midwife: Season One Blu-ray Review


Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

Call the Midwife, the BBC’s latest hit period drama based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, has overtaken the immensely successful Downton Abbey to become the most successful new drama debut for the BBC in two-decades. Watching this charming, heartfelt, and ‘lived-in’ drama, it’s not difficult to understand why that should be the case. Where Downton Abbey is a fine drama of romance and luxuriant sets that juxtaposes the affluent with their less fortunate servants, Call the Midwife places us right in the heart of the average and everyday in an intricately detailed post-war Britain. What better way to experience the laughs, tears, struggles, and heartbreak of everyday living than through the eyes of those in the trenches, so to speak? The story follows a group of NHS (National Health Service) nurses and midwives working for a group of nuns in London’s poorer neighborhood in the mid-1950s. Told through the eyes (and words) of young midwife Jenny (Jessica Raine; Vanessa Redgrave as mature Jenny narrates from Worth’s memoirs), the series is literally a story of the struggle of life and death. Each week’s episode brings a new tale into the often miserable (in the root sense) lives of the working class and poor, but also offers the new hope and optimism of children being born (or sometimes not) making it into the world. The cast is spectacular, here. A true standout is Miranda Hart as the somewhat awkward upper class midwife Chummy Browne. Judy Parfitt is also a charmer as the lovable nun Sister Monica Joan suffering from dementia. As only the Brits seem to be able to do so well, the set designs are wonderfully authentic and layered, drawing us right into the mid 20th Century with every oyster cart, pram, and dilapidated row house.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]


An original HD production using Arriflex D-21 cameras with Cooke S4 and Angenieux Optimo lenses, Call the Midwife: Season One comes to Blu-ray with a 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from the BBC. The image looks generally natural with good flesh tones and strong close-up detail. Contrast isn’t as strong as it could be, and video noise does tend to begin to overwhelm detail in darker scenes.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

A simple LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is provided for this series. While it doesn’t offer the addition of ambience and surround effects, it is effective for this material, has clean dialogue, and a good amount of stereo spaciousness.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

A rather mundane “behind the scenes” featurette with interviews with the cast and crew is the only bonus feature included.

  • Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:10:02)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

The heartfelt stories and wonderful performances in Call the Midwife, I’m not ashamed to say, often left me rather teary-eyed. It wasn’t because the writers were aiming for obvious sentimentality and overtly saccharine moments, it was because the writing was so true and acting so believable, the production so nuanced and human, that it gets into your subconscious. If the second series is anything like the first, then it is sure to be another glowing success. In the meantime, I highly recommend this series to any fan of high quality period dramas.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B009FUYRCI[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B0093I5QG8[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Call The Midwife: Season One (2 Disc) - Fullscreen Subtitle - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Call the Midwife on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Call the Midwife, Season 1 - Call the Midwife

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

 

[amazon-product]B009FUYRCI[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B0093I5QG8[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Call The Midwife: Season One (2 Disc) - Fullscreen Subtitle - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Call the Midwife on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Call the Midwife, Season 1 - Call the Midwife

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

 


Advertisement

Related Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...
%d bloggers like this: