The problem with emblazoning the sleeves with "digitally restored" is that you kind of assume it'll look like the latest Hollywood blockbuster released in the last few months,rather than something 50 years ago.
And the reality check can be found in tiny lettering on the back ....
" Please note that whilst every care has been taken to ensure the quality of this programme,due to the age of the original materials the technical quality of the programme may be slightly impaired in places."
Which you won't be too surprised to learn is under-stating the problem somewhat.
Because whilst the footage is certainly an improvement over the earlier releases,below [admittedly not hard],there are still big variations in exposure levels,picture wobble and general dirt to contend with.
In short,rose-tinted specs still required !
These last 3 were the very first dvds to be released.
As with the boxset immediately above,these are all fairly irrelevant now. But .... just for the record ....
Several anomalies here.
With the main one being that the Camberwick example doesn't appear to have been released until after the first boxset and over 2 years after its Trumpton and Chigley counterparts.Very bizarre (if indeed true)
Camberwick Released June 2004 : Deleted August 2004.
Only 12 of the 13 episodes are featured.
With the "Mr.Dagenham" one absent for some reason.
Trumpton Released March 2002 : Deleted June 2005.
There's a major error on the sleeve notes for this one.
It actually contains all 13 episodes NOT the "8" quoted !
Chigley Released March 2002 : Deleted June 2005.
Unlike Trumpton,the sleeve is correct ie.there are just 8 episodes.
And that ends the full list of all the DVD releases
Trumpton dvd- "Creating Trumptonshire"
There's a brief interview with Gordon Murray and some shots of the original animation process which is great.
But it only lasts just under 3 minutes (not mentioned on the sleeve) and isn't even new material.
In fact all 3 minutes comes from the 2005 BBC3 series "Animation Nation".
And as it's simply a chunk lifted out un-edited,there's one particular guy happily chatting away whose identity is a complete mystery !
Why they didn't just sit Mr.Murray down and get their own definitive,in-depth interview I've no idea.
It would've been the ideal opportunity to get a proper,full-length one-to-one with him on film .... before it was too late.
Cheap to do,and I'm sure he would've been only happy to oblige,which makes it all the more frustrating.
Camberwick dvd - "Trumptonshire Art Gallery"
If you thought the Trumpton extra was disappointing then this takes it to a whole new level.
As it's something called the "Trumptonshire Art gallery" - simply a paltry collection of 8 photos from the series.
And,yes,you did read that right.
In their defence,the original pre-release blurb had mentioned a feature on the Quaker Oats ads,which was clearly pulled quite late-on for some unknown reason.
But Windy's Well has never been this dry !
Chigley dvd - "Restoring Trumptonshire"
This takes a look at the digital restoration process that supposedly sets these releases apart from the previous offerings.
And whilst it'll detain you twice as long as the Trumpton extra,that's still only about 6 minutes in total.
But ... brace youselves .... it is actually quite interesting ! And it also leads nicely into the last part of the review ....
It pays to wait ....
As stated above,these are the 3 dvds that came out individually earlier in 2006 and were simply plonked in the cardboard box to turn them into the boxset.
Based on the best available retail prices at the time of release,you'd have paid around £36 for all 3 seperately as opposed to just £16 pounds for the boxset.
And when they were released there was no indication there'd be a boxset just a few months later of course.
Doubtless leaving early bird purchasers feeling they'd had their pockets picked in a rather tacky way.
The most recent complete boxset was released on September 25th, 2006. But ! ....
The 3 dvds it contains had all been released seperately earlier in the year. (pictured further down)
Trumpton - on March 27th .... Camberwick - on May 8th .... and Chigley - on June 9th.
And the only things you gained by buying the boxset were different menu designs,
anda nicely printed cardboard box,as the sleeves and extras were all completely unchanged.
Admittedly,HMV did at least sell a version,exclusive to them,that included4 fridge magnets (right)
A nice bit of thinking outside the box [literally].But still just a small dollop of ketchup on re-heated leftovers.