Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dick Francis - The Racing Game|
Actors: Mike Gwilym, Mick Ford, James Maxwell, Susan Wooldridge
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
An unusual yet unexpectedly entertaining television mystery series, The Racing Game DVD collection includes all six episodes from a 1980 British production inspired by Dick Francis's novel Odds Against. Francis himself wro... more »
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Completely true to the feel of Dick Francis.
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This series is, like a lot of '70s British television, short on technical glamor, and long on getting an adaptation absolutely true in spirit to the original, with an added fillip of its own. In this case, the performance of Mike Gwilym, who did such a good job that Francis was inspired to write a second Halley novel [Whip Hand] and dedicated it to Gwilym and the producer of this series. His tough-but-brilliant Sid is the best you'll ever see. If you're a Francis fan, you need this DVD.The DVDs do the best they can with unrestored source material. You will see film grain, scratches, hairs, etc. But the digital translation has remained as faithful as possible, with the datarate peaking into the 9s frequently (there are three episodes per disc). The colors are bright, and artifacts are not present. The extras aren't. But each episode has 10 chapter stops in all the logical places, and, glory allelu, each episode intelligently inhabits a title (i.e., episode 1 is Title 1, episode 2 is Title 2, etc.) No frills, but no compromises, either."
Lacks a lot, technically
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 03/09/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The quality of the sound is so bad that it often is difficult to follow the dialogue. Color often is quite faded in parts. The six mysteries are not bad. Of interest to Dick Francis fans, but still a disappointment."
Worth seeing but poor video and sound
Carol Haynes | North Yorkshire UK | 04/14/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had vague memories of enjoying this series on TV when it was originally released on TV. Having ordered this item from another supplier (only to be told it was unavailable) I ordered from Amazon. I waited for nearly two months it to arrive in the UK - why can't we buy UK produced drama on region 2 DVDs in the UK ??? I will never understand why most British stuff is released in the US and not in the UK. (End of whinge)
The story lines are quite good - but a little too short to have the complexity of Dick Francis's books.
Sid Halley seems to be a dominant figure in Francis's writing but in fact there were only a couple of books based on the character and his side kick Chico. The rest of the series is based on story ideas from Dick Francis and he acted as consultant to the series.
Halley is quite understated in the books and this is, if anything, over done in the series where he seems so detached from the world around him that he can be difficult to engage with as a character.
Chico is quite well portrayed but don't expect any stunning judo based fight scenes as the limited violence in the series is pretty poorly done (it reminded me slightly of fight scenes in school plays where teachers are very keen not to get prosecuted for injuries caused).
All that said the stories are still worth watching.
The big problem with the series however is the picture and sound quality. The picture is generally below par - grainy, washed out in places and showing its age. Imagine a worn out VHS tape and you won't be too far off.
The picture, however, is superb compared to the sound quality. One of the episodes is completely unwatchable unless you can lip read! The sound quality really is that bad on that one episode - sounding like the whole thing is tranmitted through a bucket of muddy water. The other episodes are merely poor (but at least you can hear what the characters are saying).
I can understand that the studio wanted to release this series but they could have done something about the sound (there must be a better quality copy somewhere in the world to transfer from) or at acknowledge the problem and provide subtitles on the really bad episode.
It deserves more than 2 stars but the sound alone couldn't warrant any more."