DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cadfael - The Raven in The Foregate
Cadfael - The Raven in The Foregate
Acorn Media // Unrated // October 30, 2001
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted October 3, 2001 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Raven in the Foregate is part of a series of mysteries produced for BBC Television based on the novels of Ellis Peters. Derek Jacobi stars as Brother Cadfael, a mild-mannered monk in medieval Shrewsbury who is known for his ability to ferret out the truth in mysterious circumstances. In this case, the new parish priest, Father Ailnoth, is found dead soon after he arrives... but finding his killer turns out to be quite complicated, as the harsh and unforgiving priest had managed to alienate many of the townsfolk before one of them did him in.

The 75-minute episode's pace is fairly leisurely, and there's never a particular sense of urgency about the plot. Partly this is due, I think, to the fact that the character motivations are not really conveyed as well as they might be; what is apparently an urgent dilemma for Cadfael is based on what seemed like a minor point of church doctrine to me, so it was hard to feel really involved in the situation.

I imagine that The Raven in the Foregate is most enjoyable if you're already familiar with the series and the recurring characters. Taken by itself, it's a little harder to get involved in, considering the fairly large number of characters that appear in the episode. Though I wasn't particularly drawn in by the beginning of the episode, I found myself enjoying it more after about twenty minutes, when the central mystery becomes more evident. I don't feel compelled to watch the rest of the series, but The Raven in the Foregate turned out to be reasonably entertaining.

Video

Considering that the DVD is a transfer of a TV program, the video quality is satisfactory. The transfer is in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with a fairly clean image and what appear to be good colors. The contrast does suffer a bit in the darker scenes, though, which detracts from the overall image quality.

Audio

The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track provides a fairly good sound experience. The music is excellent and does a nice job of setting the medieval atmosphere for the story. The only problem that I can see with the soundtrack is that the music is occasionally a bit overloud compared to the dialogue.

Extras

It's not quite a bare-bones disc, but the extras aren't anything particularly impressive, either. There's a section with audio-only comments from Derek Jacobi; note that this is not an audio commentary for the feature. The remaining special features are a production scrapbook, filmographies, and an Ellis Peters booklist and biography.

Final thoughts

All in all, The Raven in the Foregate is a moderately enjoyable mystery. The medieval setting appears to be well-realized, and the acting is of a generally good quality. If you have enjoyed other episodes of the Cadfael series, it's probably a safe bet; otherwise, I'd suggest renting it first.
Popular Reviews
1. Fargo: Remastered Edition
2. Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Four
3. Demons
4. Angry Birds Toons - Season 01 Volume 02
5. Double Indemnity - 70th Anniversary Limited Edition
6. Little House on the Prairie - Season One & The Pilot Movie
7. The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Fully Roasted
8. Norma Rae: 35th Anniversary
9. Performance
10. Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use