Cold Feet-Series 1 (Universal) (1998)
Featurette-The Meaning Of Love
|Year Of Production||1998|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
|RPI||$39.95||Music||The Other Two|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Since it first went to air, Cold Feet has taken off and developed a huge following around the globe.
Cold Feet can find its roots as far back as 1994 in an original script called The Road To Wembley, which was later changed to The Perfect Match before being aired on ITV that same year.
In 1996, the pilot episode of Cold Feet was commissioned. Filming took place in Manchester over a two week period but it was not until 1997 that the pilot was first aired on television. The show was an immediate hit, with an initial audience of 4.6 million people. It received favourable reviews the day after going to air, and has been steadily increasing in popularity ever since. Originally, the script called for the characters to be based in London, but after the pilot was aired it was changed to have the gang based back where shooting began, in Manchester.
The first series commenced filming in 1998 and was aired in autumn the same year, with Australian viewers having to wait until 2000 to see the show. It is these 6 episodes plus the pilot that we are presented with on this DVD. Cold Feet has just completed its fourth season in the UK.
Cold Feet has been compared by some members of the press to Friends. In my opinion, it is a little unfair to try and directly compare two completely different kinds of humour. Sure, they both have a group of people featured in each show and both are comedy-based, but that's where the similarities end. First of all, British and American humour is completely different and it does not necessarily translate that one style is as likeable to everyone as the other. The Cold Feet episodes also go for an average 30 minutes longer than Friends episodes, which gives the scriptwriters a lot more scope to work with.
Cold Feet is based primarily on the lives of David (Robert Bathurst) & Karen (Hermione Norris) Marsden; Pete (John Thompson) & Jenny (Fay Ripley) Gifford; and Adam Williams (James Nesbitt) and Rachel Bradley (Helen Baxendale). I will delve deeper into the pilot episode to give you some important background information on the characters.
This disc contains the following episodes;
Pilot Episode (51:01) - Naturally, this story is where we get introduced to the characters. A decent amount of background information is presented and it is easy to see why the show quickly went into production. Pete & Jenny are introduced first. They are trying to conceive their first baby. A lot of their time is spent in the "Throne Room" with a pregnancy test kit. According to Jenny's ovulation chart, tonight is "the night" when she is most fertile. Pete's mate Adam asks him down to the pub for a few beers and to cry on his shoulder about splitting up with his girlfriend of three months. Meanwhile, Rachel's boyfriend tells her that he is moving to Hong Kong and not taking her with him when he moves.
Karen is fed up with looking after her young son and insists on getting a Nanny to help with her workload. Her husband, David, is from the old school and insists that a mother is the only one that can raise a child properly. It is clear from an early stage that there is an underlying tension between these two that goes deeper than whether they should get a Nanny or not.
Rachel and Adam first meet when she drives her car into the back of his vehicle as he is exiting a car park at their local supermarket. Adam instantly falls for her and asks Rachel out on a date. As Rachel is newly single, she reluctantly agrees. Neither have any paper or pen to swap phone numbers so she writes her number on the dirty rear windshield of Adam's car and he hands Rachel his business card. The fun begins when Rachel drives off and it starts to rain, leaving Adam to spend a great deal of his time trying to track her down. Luckily, Rachel is a friend of Karen's (there's the link) and she pushes Rachel to give Adam a call. Needless to say, the couple catch up with each other and fall madly in love. Adam starts to get "Cold Feet" and his mate Pete (there's the other link) convinces him that Rachel is playing for keeps and is getting very serious about their relationship.
Pete & Jenny announce that she is finally pregnant.
Episode 1 (49:38) - Pete buys a mobile phone so that Jenny can contact him at any time should she go into labour. Unfortunately, he lends this phone to Adam, and sure enough her contractions start. Now Adam has to track down Pete and get him to the hospital on time. Tension is building between Adam and Rachel again because she is becoming tired of living out of Adam's flat all the time and not "time sharing" their respective units.
Episode 2 (49:25) - Adam and Rachel take the big plunge and finally move in together. Rachel has a secret that even her best friend Karen has not heard about. David's investment in an African Golf Club goes belly-up and he loses £15,000 without Karen knowing about it. She is furious when she finds out.
Episode 3 (49:15) - David can't "get it up". Pete wants to, but Jenny won't allow it so soon after the baby. David discretely tells Adam of his impotence problem. Soon, everyone is aware of the secret and during the translation between the friends it somehow turns into Adam having the problem and Rachel not being fulfilled by Adam. The funny thing is that Adam thinks Rachel is unhappy about his bedroom ability and Rachel thinks Adam is unhappy with her. There are a lot of laughs as the two separately try to upgrade their bedroom antics. They end up shagging in a shop window one night that unfortunately is ram-raided by a stolen car.
Episode 4 (50:13) - Pete's parents come to visit for 10 days. Pete hates his old man with a passion. Jenny is pleased that they are showing an interest in their new grandson and tells Pete to put up with it. By the end of the episode, Pete and his father are ready to kill each other. It is clear to see that most of the problem lies with Pete. He is convinced in his own mind that his father did nothing for him as a child and so Pete is going to make him pay for this for the rest of his life. They end up having a falling out because Pete won't christen his son with the same middle name that has been in the family for generations. Karen lands a job editing a book for the famous writer Alexander Welch whose novels are well-known for their frequent and overly descriptive sexual content. Karen thinks the writer is after her and she is ready to have an affair.
Episode 5 (49:52) - With David wanting to sleep with the Nanny and Karen with Welch, she thinks it is best to seek the assistance of a marriage councillor. Adam is really starting to irritate Rachel but he doesn't know why. The guys and girls end up going on separate party jaunts to have a break from each other.
Episode 6 (50:01) - One of the girls is pregnant and doesn't know who she can or should tell. David invites the group out to a corporate function where Jenny picks a fight with his boss and covers her with foam from a fire extinguisher. David's boss expects Jenny to apologise and pay for the dry cleaning of her dress. If she doesn't, David will be punished in her stead.
The major issue with this transfer is the large amount of background grain. It is similar in level to that which can be seen in more recent episodes being shown on free-to-air television, so cannot be attributed to transfer problems but rather would seem to be inherent in the source material. Shadow detail seems to fluctuate between episodes, where one episode can be spot-on for shadow detail and yet another can exhibit poor shadow detail. Episode 4 at 3:24 is an example of good shadow detail and Episode 5 during the introduction is an example of the worst shadow detail.
There were no problems with the colours, which were evenly presented across all episodes. All appeared to have natural skin tones, sky shades and other features. There were no striking areas where colour was vibrant or worthy of special mention.
The only MPEG artefact noticed was in the form of macro-blocking which appeared in Episode 6 at 32:53. Aliasing is unfortunately quite common, and can be found in all Episodes. The most noticeable examples can be seen at 19:41 in Episode 4, and at 44:28 in Episode 6. Film artefacts are also common but quite small and not overly distracting.
There are no subtitles present.
Disc 2 is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change placed at 26:06 during Episode 5. It is quite disruptive to the flow of the show and should have been placed at around 26:10 when the scene changes. Disc 1 is dual layered and no layer change was noted within the programme material.
The audio for this transfer is presented as an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track which seems common for this type of show.
The dialogue was usually clear and easy to understand, but I did have trouble with the accents being muffled or mumbled at times. Adam was the hardest to hear when he fails to enunciate his words clearly because of his strong Irish accent. Karen is also softly spoken and can be hard to hear at times. The base volume level for Episode 3 was slightly louder than the Pilot or the other Episodes.
Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.
The music by The Other Two is quite catchy and I say cautiously at this stage should date a lot slower than "I'll Be There For You . . ." from Friends. The volume levels did not drown out the dialogue and are fitting for this style of show.
The surround channels were only used infrequently. The front speakers were used when required to add some directional effects to the on-screen action. Episode 2 contains the clearest indication of this at 26:10 when the baby is crying off-screen and the camera pans across.
The subwoofer was not used during any Episode.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is no Region 1 specific release of this title, but it is available in Region 2. Both the Region 4 and Region 2 versions are identical.
Addendum 23-Feb-2002 - UK television viewers were lucky enough to see Series 1, 2 and 3 broadcast in a 16:9 format. Unfortunately Australian viewers have only been shown a Pan & Scan version. It is this Pan & Scan 4:3 release that the Region 2 and 4 DVDs have been mastered from.
Cold Feet is a mightily funny series and it really hits the spot with my sense of humour.
The video is quite grainy, but no more so than is present in the source material.
The audio is presented in stereo and could do with a bit more surround effects.
The extras are satisfactory. The pilot episode is included on this two disc set to provide a nice introduction to the characters.
|DVD||Pioneer XV-DV55, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Pioneer S-DV55ST-K Satellite wall mouted 5-Speaker System; Pioneer S-DV55SW-K Powered Subwoofer|