The Tick: Complete Season One Review
Seeing that I wrote a review for the region 1 release last year I shall simply direct the reader to it here and get straight down to business.
The main difference between the UK and US release of The Tick’s first season is that we get episode 11: “The Tick vs. The Mole Men”, which for some reason (it’s still unclear) was pulled from the US edition. To be honest it isn’t very good, but that’s beside the point given that it is at least here. The writing in general feels very lazy, aside from one or two funny Tick-isms, with the story concerning a bunch of mole people who come to the surface on holiday, only for the king mole to fall in love with celebrity Mindy Moleford. The episode spends far too much time on the mole men, with a pitiful love angle taking centre stage, while Tick gets to briefly beat up a lava man. Still, the laundry bit’s funny, as is Sewer Urchin Man up to his usual cowardice. Overall you can’t complain a great deal over one dud out of thirteen.
The Full episode line up then:
1) The Tick vs. The Idea Men
2) The Tick vs. Chairface Chippendale
3) The Tick vs. Dinosaur Neil
4) The Tick vs. Mr. Mental
5) The Tick vs. The Breadmaster
6) The Tick vs. El Seed
7) The Tick vs. The Tick
8)The Tick vs. The Uncommon Cold
9) The Tick vs. Brainchild
10) The Tick vs. Pineapple Pokopo
11) The Tick vs. The Mole Men
12) The Tick vs. Proto-Clown
13) The Tick vs. Arthur’s Bank Account
Liberation Entertainment presents The Tick: Complete Season One as a bare-bones two disc set, with the thirteen episodes spread almost evenly between. The packaging is nice and colourful, as are the newly designed menus which differ from the US release. The discs are flagged as being region free. The DVD is also presented in association with kids channel Jetix, which made me think we might be seeing different masters here.
So here we go. My opinion here is going to be identical as before. I’m sorry if all this comes across quite lazily as I merely paste my previous comments, but I sense no point in messing about.
The Tick is presented in its original 1.33:1 ratio. Right, so that’s the good out of the way. The bad news is that the source material is a poor analogue master. I have some old BBC2 recordings still on tape and even those, while being understandably soft, don’t exhibit the sheer amount of crap that litters this release. First up is the worst case of dot crawl perhaps on any DVD ever; it’s far too distracting, showing up on character outlines throughout the entire two discs. In addition colour bleeds across the board and there’s severe ringing, along with unsightly compression artefacts (particularly evident on Tick’s blue suit), aliasing and cross colourisation. The disc is also interlaced. As for colour it’s reasonably sound. The show pretty much looked the same a few years back, with even The Tick’s blue costume oddly changing from a deep blue to turquoise from scene to scene. I never did understand what the cause of that was, but otherwise tones and levels aren’t too shabby and had they not been blighted by such severe authoring problems they’d be perfectly acceptable. Likewise detail is fine and appears to be as sharp as we could expect. It’s watchable, but that’s not enough to forgive such huge oversights. Honestly, how can you get almost every possible deterrent on one disc?
The English Dolby Digital track is fine, with the action and dialogue naturally taking place centrally, keeping quite clear throughout. Some quieter moments reveal a little noise, but it isn’t too bothersome due to the rapid and boisterous nature of the show.
The Tick is such a great little series and it’s sad to see that it’s once again been totally shafted on DVD. There’s really not much else for me to say.