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 Potter's Field
Cadfael - The Potter's Field
Acorn Media // Unrated // August 13, 2002
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted August 6, 2002 | 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
In The Potter's Field, Sir Derek Jacobi stars as Brother Cadfael, a twelfth-century British monk who finds himself called upon to solve mysteries and get to the heart of puzzles that turn up at his monastery of Shrewsbury Abbey. This episode, which is based on the 1989 novel by Ellis Peters, is one of three from the fourth season of the series, originally broadcast in 1998; the other two episodes from that season are The Holy Thief and The Pilgrim of Hate.

The episode opens peacefully enough, as the brothers of Shrewsbury Abbey begin plowing the ground of the "potter's field," recently bequeathed to them by a local landlord. But events take a sinister turn when the plow turns up the corpse of a woman. Who was she? How did she end up buried in the field? Was she murdered, and if so... by whom? Brother Cadfael begins the investigation when accusing fingers point toward the crime being committed by a recent initiate into the abbey.

The Potter's Field is a very "busy" episode, bustling with secondary characters and abrupt twists in the plot. In fact, the story ends up being overly convoluted while at the same time insufficiently developed; it's easy to see that this episode might have worked better as a full novel. At times, it seems like every single character in the story is going to be presented as a murder suspect by the time the episode wraps up, and the pacing of the narrative allows little room for the audience to play detective and try to gradually figure out who is the killer.

It's an entertaining seventy-five minutes, nonetheless; Jacobi fills in the role of Cadfael convincingly, and the atmosphere of the abbey and surrounding town is conveyed effectively. The Potter's Field offers a slice of life as it might very well have been in medieval England, along with its mystery plot, which gives the episode added depth and interest.

Video

Overall, the DVD of The Potter's Field offers a pleasing transfer, with good colors and natural-looking skin tones. The image is fairly free of noise or print flaws, but it does have a distinct graininess at times, especially in outdoor scenes. The Potter's Field is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Audio

The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack does a fine job of conveying the dialogue, which is the main focus of the audio track. It's a no-frills audio experience, but the most important aspect is that it's clean and clear. The musical portions of the track sound quite good, as well.

Extras

The DVD offers a basic slate of minor special features, the most interesting being a brief audio-only interview with Derek Jacobi, discussing the physical demands of filming the series and the way that actors and directors worked with the assorted writers for the show. Other material on the DVD includes text information on Ellis Peters, the author of the original novels, and a set of still photos from production of the episode.

Final thoughts

Fans of the Cadfael series will certainly want to pick this one up, as it's as entertaining as other installments. Those who aren't already hooked on it would be advised to rent it first; it's an entertaining movie but not necessarily one that merits repeat viewing.
Popular Reviews
1. Nightbreed: The Director's Cut
2. Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Complete Series
3. 24: Live Another Day
4. Gone With the Wind: 75th Anniversary Edition
5. Nekromantik
6. Mad Men: the Final Season-Part 1
7. Jennifer
8. Medical Center: The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive Collection)
9. Snowpiercer
10. Squirm


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