Secrets of Scotland Yard (DVD)

“Get inside the most famous police headquarters in the world.”

Just like the rest of PBS’ “Secrets Collection,” Secrets of Scotland Yard is a program designed to give the viewer, however casual, a look behind a well-known entity. This time that institution is Britain’s Scotland Yard, one of the world’s most famous police squads. It is extremely well-paced, moving from the early days of the police squad’s formation through modern day in a little less than an hour. While trying to tackle such a rich subject might seem presumptuous for such a quick runtime, it works very well, in no small part to the no-nonsense atmosphere of the piece. Get in, share the information, and get out. No rambling stories or unrelated tangents here.

As far as an educational program goes, I find no faults with this disc; in fact, the only thing I can negatively comment upon concerns the technical aspects. Far too many interviews were performed in moving cars, and the camera work that results is not the best. Too often the camera attempts to frame a point of interest through the vehicle’s glass, which results in poor viewing.

The video transfer is an unsurprising 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, by now the almost universally accepted format for currently airing television shows. There is a fair bit of compression artefacting present, especially evident around the eyes of the interview subjects as well as the end credit sequence. It’s something you will need to adjust your eyes to however after a few minutes it fades to the background. The palette is a pale neutral, a no-nonsense choice to back up the no-nonsense subject matter. The audio track is a simple Dolby 2.0 Stereo, however it’s more than serviceable for a television documentary such as this.

There are no special features.

I really enjoy this program. It is extremely fast paced, however never moving at a speed that leaves me behind in terms of what I am learning. It is more in-depth than I anticipated, which is a welcome surprise. For those with even the most passing of curiosities about Scotland Yard, Secrets of Scotland Yard will likely answer every question you have and some you would never think to ask.

THE VERDICT

Not guilty.

89
Here are the top ten things we know: 1) She lives in Ohio 2) She is MWOC unless you count her two dogs 3) Believes Avatar was NOT the greatest movie ever made 4) Operates on a primarily nocturnal basis 5) Wants to write the screenplay for the movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle 6) Watches a variety of shows on television including, but not limited to: Castle, @midnight, Face Off, Sherlock and Whose Line is it Anyway? 7) Does not believe anyone will actually read this besides the editor (hello, Editor!) 8) Has attended more than one N*SYNC concert in her lifetime but only one NKOTB concert 9) Was in a car crash that would have killed her had she not been wearing her seat belt 10) Is in the process of catching up on Supernatural (incidentally would possibly leave her husband for either of the Winchester Brothers depending on the episode in question) and the bonus! 11) Enjoys reading, writing, laying on the beach (long walks tire her out) and assorted snack foods like frozen M&M's.
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