The Video: How Does The Disc Look?
First and foremost, this is the same set of transfers that appeared on the previously released DVD edition of Pride & Prejudice. The only improvement is that A&E excised the closing credits for each episode, creating a significantly more impressive overall flow. But some major color accuracy issues remain. Saturated greens and blues are hard to find. Everything seems to have been constrained toward the middle of the visual range. And grain is more visible than it should be. A questionable effort.
The Audio: How Does The Disc Sound?
As is the case with virtually every BBC DVD release, the stereo mix is not important at all. Dialogue sounds fairly strong and every once in a while, like during the dancing sequences and outdoor scenes, there are fits and spurts of atmospherics and sound effects in the soundscape. But for the most part, this is a by-the-book, simplistic TV-grade mix.
Supplements: What Goodies Are There?
This release imports some extras from the miniseries’ first DVD release. Pride and Prejudice comes with a standard-grade half-hour featurette documenting the more crew-oriented aspects of production, some text information on Jane Austen, and some cast and crew filmographies.
But new to this anniversary edition is a third disc, one that includes the Jane Austen episode of A&E’s Biography (truth be told, this is pretty standard fare at best), and a 10-year anniversary documentary featuring many of the behind-the-camera collaborators on the project. The drag of this doc is that the principal actors are nowhere to be found, and without their input as to how this project influenced their lives and careers, it’s understandable that most viewers will be left wanting much, much more.
Also included is the already-available book The Making of Pride & Prejudice, which offers some wonderful photographs and incisive looks into the construction of this immensely popular saga.
As a miniseries, this version of Pride & Prejudice is not to be missed. It could very well be the great miniseries in the history of the BBC. And while this deliciously large 10th Anniversary Edition is a wonder to enjoy, it’s difficult to recommend an upgrade for those who already own this miniseries on DVD. But if you love Jane Austen and haven’t bought this BBC miniseries yet, I highly recommend this newer release.
In the NY Post, Mark Yam previews The Coast of Utopia and gets this advice about the marathon days:
"Dress in layers," says Shuttleworth. "You never know how comfortable or not you're going to be as the hours move on. Don't come kitted out in the kind of wear that will lead you to give yourself a wedgie - it could take a couple of hours for you to liberate that."
"You might find yourself drifting off," Shuttleworth warns. "You need some kind of mechanism to maintain consciousness - I favor extremely strong mints."
"Anything methane-rich in its by-products is to be avoided," he cautions. "One doesn't want to generate a pungent microclimate in an enclosed space."
Nice. A couple of responses to the NYT article: at Maroon Voices, Ethan Stanislawski is heartened by the success of the casting process, while UPI previews the show and misquotes the NYT.