Pride and Prejudice appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. Shot on Super 16 film, the image showed its source but nonetheless looked reasonably good.
Sharpness seemed erratic. Much of the series offered fairly positive delineation, but occasional soft spots materialized. Those likely acted as an outgrowth of the source format.
The image lacked issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. A few small specks appeared, but print flaws largely stayed away from the picture.
Grain became an inconsistent aspect of the image. Given the Super 16 source, I expected a fair amount of grain and sometimes got it, but other scenes felt surprisingly clean.
Did this stem from the use of noise reduction? I can’t say for certain, but the erratic presence of grain came with no rhyme or reason.
Colors went with an earthy feel and some push toward the pink side of the street, especially in terms of skin tones. The hues never excelled but they felt fairly appealing.
Blacks generally looked deep, though they occasionally veered toward “crush”, and shadows offered mostly pleasing clarity. Though the image never looked great, it held up nicely given the source’s age and format.
Don’t expect much from the series’ DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack, as the audio remained restrained. In terms of the soundfield, music boasted nice stereo spread, and that became the most appealing aspect of the mix.
Effects had less to do. Environmental elements used the side speakers in a decent manner and offered a little movement at times, but this was a chatty series, so the effects didn’t bring a lot to the project.
Audio quality worked fine. Dialogue came across as reasonably natural, though a smidgen edgy at times.
As noted, effects didn’t get much of a workout, but they felt accurate enough, and music showed nice range. The audio was perfectly acceptable for this project.
Seven featurettes appear, and From Page to Screen goes for 29 minutes, six seconds. It offers comments from screenwriter Andrew Davies, author PD James, producer Sue Birtwistle, director Simon Langton, production designer Gerry Scott, costume designer Dinah Collin, hair/makeup designer Caroline Noble, choreographer Jane Gibson, and actors Alison Steadman, Colin Firth, and Jennifer Ehle.
As implied by the title, “Page” discusses the source novel and its adaptation as well as sets/locations, costumes, hair, cast and performances, editing and music. This becomes an uncommonly detailed view of the subject and delivers an informative view of the subject matter.
Next comes A Turning Point for Period Drama. In this 32-minute, 22-second program, we hear from Davies, Collin, publicist Alan Ayres and TV critic Baz Bamigboye.
“Drama” looks at some of the same topics as “Page” along with thoughts about the series’ release and reception. It provides another engaging and useful discussion.
We learn about the Blu-ray’s transfer via The Technical Restoration. It fills five minutes, 36 seconds with info from colorist Vince Narduzzo.
He gives us details about the work used to bring the series to Blu-ray. This becomes a decent chat but not anything revelatory.
With The Definitive Pride and Prejudice, we find a 21 minute, 23 second piece with notes from Davies, Langton, University College London professor John Mullan, Second Impressions author Sandy Lerner, location manager Sam Breckman, and actors Lucy Briers, Susannah Harker, Polly Maberly, Adrian Lukis, and David Bamber.
“Definitive” looks at the life and career of author Jane Austen, aspects of the story, its path to the TV screen, parts of the production and its reception. We get some good notes but “Definitive” can feel a bit fluffy and repetitive at times.
Love or Money? lasts 10 minutes, one second and includes Mullan, Lerner, Davies, Langton, Lukis, Briers, Bamber, Gibson, Breckman, Maberly, and Harker.
“Love” examines social situations in the story’s era. It becomes a moderately engaging piece.
After this we see The Music of Pride and Prejudice, a nine-minute, 58-second reel that features Langton, Lukis, Briers, Gibson, and composer Carl Davis. As anticipated, we learn about the series’ score in this fairly informative reel.
Finally, Lifestyles of the Wealthy takes up eight minutes, 39 seconds with remarks from Langton, Mullan, Lerner, Breckman, and National Trust’s Harvey Edgington.
More history appears here, as we get notes about social and money-based issues in the story’s period. It’s another decent featurette.
The package also includes a DVD copy of Pride. It presents the same extras as the Blu-ray.
Though I prefer the 2005 theatrical version, the 1995 Pride and Prejudice nonetheless offers a high quality piece of work. It brings us a steady, well-rounded adaptation that comes with no obvious flaws. The Blu-ray delivers more than adequate picture and audio along with a fairly useful set of supplements. This winds up as an engaging mini-series.