GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART - THE COMPLETE
Region 2 Edition
Updated January 2006
Nicholas Lyndhurst, Dervla Kerwin, Michelle Holmes
Goodnight Sweetheart is an amiable
fantasy sitcom about a TV repair man, Gary Sparrow (Only Fools and
Horses' Nicholas Lyndhurst) who discovers he's able to travel back in
time to London during the World War II, where he engages in an flirtatious relationship
with a barmaid (Ballykissangel's Dervla Kerwin). Gary confides to
his best friend, printer Ron Wheatcroft (Bread's Victor McGuire),
and they conspire to keep the secret from Gary's wife, Yvonne (Michelle
For more details about the series, read our
The DVD features the complete second
series, comprising of ten half-hour
episodes split evenly between two dual-layer discs: Don't Get Around
Much Anymore, I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good, Just One
More Chance, Who's Taking You Home Tonight?, Wish Me Luck...
As You Wave Me Goodbye, Would You Like To Swing On A Star?,
Nice Work If You Can Get It, Let Yourself Go and Don't Fence
The series has several running stories and
developments: Gary loses his job as a TV repair man because of his regular
trips to see Phoebe, and finds new ways of raising money. Ron gives Gary a
fake job as a salesman for his printing company, and Gary's dual life
becomes increasingly stressful, leading him to make a drastic decision.
One of the key characters from the last series has been dropped, without
significantly changing the show: it was clear that his character would
have restricted the development of Gary's relationship with Phoebe.
The discs in this set are of similar
quality to the first season disc. As a relatively recent PAL-sourced
videotaped BBC series, the source materials are in good shape. There are
some patches where underlying video noise is evident, and there's a touch
of ringing here and there, (both probably embedded into the source, and
not the result of any recent tweaking), but generally the picture quality
is very satisfactory. Dropouts and other source glitches are practically
There are few signs that the bitrate is
struggling, although some i-frame pulsing can be seen occasionally.
Nothing that should cause offence, though, and certainly better than some
similar discs. With five episodes on each disc, there's a bit more room to
play with than there was on the Series One disc: the episodes on
disc one have an average bitrate of 5.45Mb/s; those on disc two have an
average bitrate of 4.76Mb/s (because they have, somewhat inexplicably,
only used 5.2Gb of the capacity - a black mark there).
The audio is in 2.0 Dolby Digital format,
at a constant 192kbps. It's a robust, no-frills mix, with the typical
limitations of a modern TV production. Dialogue is invariably clear, and
The back of the sleeve states that the "DVD
features Original Music From The TV Broadcast". This is less definitive than Series One's "DVD features all
the original music from the TV series", and with good reason.
Although it features songs written by The Beatles (I Am The Walrus) and The Rolling Stones ((I
Can't Get No) Satisfaction), there are cuts to two episodes.
I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good has
been edited to remove Gary singing part of You've Lost That Loving
Feeling. In the original version Gary is playing the song on the
piano, and Phoebe tells Gary to "Will you pack it in with that miserable
wailing", and he replies "Y'see, Reg, she has started to criticise the
little things I do", which is also a lyric from the song. The edited
version clips off the beginning of the scene, making Gary's comment rather
A song by Cliff Richard (the aptly-titled
We Don't Talk Anymore) has been replaced by nondescript stock music
in Who's Taking You Home Tonight?, and the dialogue has been edited
to disguise the change. The song featured in the scene where Gary returns
to the restaurant, where he has left a tape playing a recording of Gary
being sick. In the original version Ron's says "Can you hear something?
Sounds like Cliff Richard!", and Gary replies, "Shut up, Cliff". Both of
Ron's lines and Gary's reply have been removed.
The discs have clear, simple animated
menus, offering a choice of episodes, and, in the case of disc one, the
bonus features menu. The episodes themselves have been coded as one title,
and sub-divided into eleven chapters. There are chapter marks at the
beginnings of each episode, and one at the end of each episode's credit
sequence (making it easy for people watching more than one episode to skip
the end credits and opening title sequences - something we requested in
our review of the Series One disc, so perhaps someone is
There are no subtitles.
THE BONUS MATERIAL
We remarked in our review of the Series
One set that having commentary tracks on all the episodes was
laudable, but in practice the participants (Marks and Gran) frequently ran
out of steam. This time, Revelation have only supplied two episodes with
commentary (the opening episode, Don't Get Around Much Anymore and
episode four, Who's Taking You Home Tonight?). This time Marks and
Gran are joined by fellow writers Gary Lawson and John Phelps (it was
during this season that Marks and Gran decided that they couldn't handle
the extended number of episodes themselves, and brought in writers they'd
worked with before to help out).
This time the tracks are as informative as
the last batch, but the energy is sustained throughout. Obviously, it
would have been nice to have a couple more, perhaps with Paul Makin (the
other writer working on this season) contributing to his episodes? It's a
shame that there wasn't at least one more commentary for an episode toward
the end of the season. There are some significant developments in the
second half of the series, including the introduction of a number of
The other bonus feature is a half-hour
videotaped interview with Christopher Ettridge, who comes across as an
amiable fellow. The interview is, naturally, focussed on Goodnight
Sweetheart, but also takes in other aspects of his life and career.
There's no interviewer: questions appear on-screen as captions. The mood
is cosy. Ettridge seems to have enjoyed his time on the show, and, as a
jobbing actor, seems, naturally, to be most grateful for the work and
The much-increased number of episodes (ten
this time, as opposed to six last time) has resulted in a rise in the RRP,
from £15.99 to £19.99. That's still very reasonable compared to similar
releases, from other companies, especially considering the bonus material.
Ten episodes, two commentary tracks, and a
half-hour interview make this a very solid release from Revelation Films.
Again, there are a few quibbles (the wasted space on the second disc, the
music edits, and
the reduced number of commentary tracks), but it's unlikely that anyone
will feel short-changed.
With thanks to Brad Jones.