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The Tudors: Complete Third Season [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Hindi
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Classification: 15
  • Discs: 2
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 7, 2009
  • List Price: £39.99

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

In the third and what is also the second-to-last season for the popular multinational production, The Tudors, intrigue at the court of Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) continues as his latest wife, Lady Jane Seymour (Annabelle Wallis) succumbs to death from childbirth after giving Henry his much-coveted son.

Henry also deals with the Pilgrimage of Grace, the historical uprising of northern commoners against the reformations of the English church, burning of abbeys, and requisition of churches as part of an agenda pushed by Henry’s number one advisor, Thomas Cromwell (James Frain).

Also added to the cast for the third season are Max Von Sydow stepping into the shoes as Henry’s main religious rival in the role of the Bishop of Rome, and soul singer Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves, Henry’s fourth wife and an unwanted match arranged for purely political gains that would eventually lead to Cromwell’s downfall.

Never fear all you faithful Tudor watchers out there, Season Three keeps enough salacious bedroom debauchery, torturous executions, mystery and thrills while maintaining its balance of historical accuracy to keep you on the edge of your seat straight through its quick 8-episodes of voyeuristic fun.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Recorded in high definition on a Panavision-modified Sony HDW-F900 at 1080p/24, The Tudors retains a rather film-like quality and Season Three may be the best looking yet on Blu-ray. There are still some inconsistencies, such as some obvious spottiness from video noise in darker scenes, but for the most part, noise looks organic and not un-filmlike. Detail is strong in bright, up-close shots and the lavish sets are well served.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack serves the content well, but it is hardly an exciting mix. The surround channels provided some mild ambience with rare use of more discrete information. Low frequencies are barely extended, but highs are smooth and listenable. The dialogue is clean and dynamic as is the score.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The supplements are slight for this release, but all are in 1080p high definition and provide a look behind-the-scenes at the luxuriant sets captured in the series.

The supplements provided on this release are:

  • On Set with the Tudors: Three Scenes in Production (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:07.50)
  • Henry’s Magnificent Palace: An Exclusive Tour of Hampton Court (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:08.12)
  • Soul Queen Meets Tudor King: Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:06.36)
  • Trailers:
    • Damages — Season 1
    • The Shield
    • Breaking Bad — Season 1
  • BD-Live

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Now preparing to head into its fourth and final season, The Tudors is definitely a guilty pleasure that will be missed. Even with Anne Boleyn out of the way, the series has still managed to maintain a certain amount of voyeuristic charm that perhaps stems from its historical and royal roots. The Complete Third Season Blu-ray release may not be a windfall of extras and added value, but it is solidly transferred and should please fans of this show nonetheless.

Additional Screen Captures:

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