The Second Coming

The Second Coming

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Amber Wilkinson's film review of The Second Coming

For a TV drama, Red Productions have made quite an effort to present something more than just a reproduction of the programme on this disc. The colour and sound quality, as you would expect from something so recent, is good throughout, with excellent saturation and blacks.

The largest extra is the Commentary track, with contributions from writer Russell Davies and director Adrian Shergold, although there are some niggling problems with it. While observations about the production are intermittently interesting and both men are obviously very personable, there is a considerable amount of "Oh, this actress was good"and "Wasn't that actor great?", which adds little to the watching experience. I'm all for chatty interplay, but have to question whether Davies's revelation that he is wearing a nicotine patch adds much to the listener's enjoyment.

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There are a couple of other problems withthe Commentary. Firstly, when you have it on, there is absolutely no sound from the movie. Switching to subtitles obviously helps you follow what's happening, but it can be very frustrating to hear Shergold and Davies discuss the music in a scene when you are unable to hear it. The second problem is that the commentary track itself has no subtitles, which is a real shame for the hard of hearing. They will also miss out on the deleted scenes and outtakes. I can't imagine that it would have cost Red a great deal to sort out these omissions and the lack of them makes this DVD presentation feel slightly cobbled together.

A third gripe is that the commentary frequently seems to be running ahead, or behind, the action which, considering the many cut-away scenes, can be frustrating when you are trying to follow it, especially without the original soundtrack. Complaints aside, however, there are memorable moments when Davies talks about the editing process and tells a story about making the actors feel like "passengers clinging to an Indian train".

The most interesting extra on the disc is the 37 minutes of deleted scenes. While some are simply second takes, there is a fascinating scene between Steve and his mother - later, her role was cut completely when they decided to make a three-hour drama, rather than a four-hour one. There is also a long sequence, which Davies describes as "The Night of the Devils", when each of Steve's friends are tempted in turn. While this scene helps develop the idea of Steve having problems coping with his new found powers, you can't help feeling grateful that the dreadful make-up on one actress - she is supposed to look disfigured, but actually resembles a comicbook villain - never made it onto the screen. The outtakes are just what they say they are, but their jokiness feels out of place on such an otherwise serious presentation.

Glitches aside, this is a comprehensive presentation of Davies's drama and one worth watching again.

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2003
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The Second Coming packshot
God sends his son back to earth to find a third testament for mankind before Armageddon strikes
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Product Code: 3711504783

Region: 2

Ratio: 4:3

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Deleted scenes; Out-takes; Commentary by Adrian Shergold and Russell Davies; Subtitles.

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