An original storyline and great performances by the bit parts as well as the leads.
- black and white spatter pattern fur(?) coat,knee length, over green sequined catsuit, brocaded button holes (3) on torso, thin ribbon belt tied in loose bow at waist, with silver shoes
- (1) without coat
- traditional nurse's uniform (black belt, white apron and hat, dark blue skirt)
- black rollneck pullover and knee-length tartan skirt, gold medallion, black knee-high socks and black flat shoes
- leather trousers and vest with black long-sleeved rollneck skivvy, leather cap, sucker-soled black athletics shoes
- (5) with black fleecy-lined overcoat and black scarf
- black leotard
- coat of (1) over black skivvy, rest of outfit hidden
- tan overcoat and brown serge suit, single-breasted and double vented. Black umbrella with whangee handle, black Chelsea boots and brown bowler hat. A beige shirt and deep crimson tie with blue and orange flower pattern
- (1) without overcoat and bowler
- navy suit - hard buttons, two on torso - with a dark tie with a pin and black bowler
- brown overcoat over Prince of Wales check suit with dark waistcoat with metal buttons, patterned dark tie, white shirt (city collar, double cuffs, metal BSA links), with brown bowler and umbrella
- black polo shirt with dark trousers
- unbelievably ugly fur-fronted casual jacket with black skivvy, light trousers, brown chelsea boots
- Grey single breasted three-piece suit, two vents, flap pockets, with a dark tie and bowler, and white shirt
- brown overcoat, white shirt, light silk tie, dark suit
- dark skivvy, sleeves rolled up, light trousers, later with the ugly jacket
A note on the timecodes
Where I have listed two sets of timecodes, the first is from the 2009-11 Optimum Releasing/Studio Canal DVD sets, any other timecodes are from the A&E and Contender DVD sets from a decade beforehand.
The new releases have been remastered and their frame rate has been changed, resulting in a shorter running time. However, the picture quality has increased markedly. I assume this is because they used a simple 2:2 pulldown (24 @ 25)
when converting from the original film masters (film runs at 24 frames per second, while PAL runs at 25fps, the new DVDs are in PAL format).
This pulldown was also the cause of audio errors on many episodes, especially for Series 5, as the audio sped up to match the new rate (4% faster), rather than being properly pitch-shifted. Checking the dialogue sheets, which list the feet and frames of the reels, it looks like the speed change is around 5.04%, so there may be some cuts as well - probably from around the commercial breaks and ends of reels, as they amount to about 25 seconds. All my assumptions are based on the episodes having been filmed on standard 35mm film, which has 16 frames per foot and runs at 24 frames per second, so a minute of footage uses 90 feet of film (1,440 frames).
These audio errors have been corrected in the currently available DVDs, but the 2:2 pulldown remains. There is also the addition of a Studio Canal lead-in, converted to black and white to match the episode for Series Four, but colour for Series Five, adding an extra 18 or 19 seconds to the runnning time and making it harder to match timecodes with previous releases. It's annoying that it has been slapped on every single episode, Series 1-3 didn't suffer this indignity.
The previous Contender and A&E DVD releases didn't seem to suffer from these problems, so I assume they either used soft telecine and preserved the original 24fps rate of the film (my preferred option in DVDs) or they used 24 @ 25 pulldown (2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:2:3 Euro pull-down)
Thankfully, the new blu ray releases for series 4-6 appear to use native 24fps with soft telecine so the running times and pitch all seem to be correct again along with a much grreatly improved picture quality, most notably in the Tara King episodes which are finally back to their original glory.