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THOMAS AND SARAH

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: John Alderton, Pauline Davis
Director: John Davies
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Surround
Studio: A&E
Features: See Review
Release Date: April 27, 2004

Film **

Thomas Watkins and Sarah Moffit got tired of the ups and downs of their every day life as a chauffer and parlor maid, so they decided to strike out on their own.   The pitfalls and perils of life outside the security of their normal routine try the very heart of both, but in the end they vow to triumph!

Thomas and Sarah were characters originally introduced on the BBCís Upstairs, Downstairs.  The show set in Edwardian England gave viewers a very entertaining look at the daily lives of servants employed by Britainís upper crust.  

After spending two years onscreen in the company of the downstairs crowd, Thomas and Sarah were given a show of their own.  

I will admit that I am typically not one for period pieces, and I have never enjoyed British television shows.  However, I did enjoy this box set, and would gladly watch anything else done in this style and format.

Okay, so the deal is, Thomas is a scheming, conniving, plotting, pinhead!  Sarah loves him, but donít let her innocent happy face fool you, sheís just as sneaking and conniving as he is.   They end up pregnant, or rather Sarah does, and Thomas high tails it out of town.  

If I go into too much detail Iíll ruin the first episode of the show so Iíll just say all is not as it appears when Thomas shows up and Sarah passes out, literally! 

This was a very entertaining show to watch.  I really enjoyed watching both Thomas and Sarah scheme to get rich quick.  Each episode builds upon the last showing how far they will go to scam someone, and then turn right around and give it up for the greater good.

At times I was confused as to the motivations driving each character but as each episode passed, it became clear that they were both just looking for a little love and happiness, and if they get rich along the way, neither one will complain! 

I have to admit that I enjoyed watching Pauline Davis more so than Mr. Alderton.  I have had more experience with Pauline as she was in another movie I recently reviewed, starring opposite Patrick Swayze in City Of Joy.  She was wonderful in that film, very witty, and easy to like as a person and character.  By contrast John Alderton seemed to be better suited for a career in theatre than on tape.  I didnít dislike him over all but he did tend to be flamboyant, which wasnít exactly suited for this format.   Together they were entertaining to watch and I guess at the end of the day thatís all that really matters.

This box set was fun and entertaining, with some intense emotions and high rolling laughs.   If youíve got the time to devote to these DVDs then by all means, bring Thomas and Sarah home and let them entertain you!

Video ***

The 1.33:1 standard Fullscreen was very appropriate for this box set.  Since the individual episodes in this box set were taped instead of filmed it had a completely different feel than the DVDs I am used to viewing.  The colors were vivid in the extreme and the quality was really nice.  There was very little dirty visible throughout these four discs.  I was really impressed by the good video quality I found when I popped each of these discs in.

These episodes had an almost stage quality and feel to them.  It was almost as if I was watching a play instead of a DVD.   I liked that because it brings a breath of fresh air to the viewing experience.

Audio **

The Dolby Digital Surround in this box set left a little to be desired.  I had to really crank the audio to get a level where everything was audible.  For the most part the levels remained constant with little fluctuation.

I would have to say that it wasnít bad audio, but it wasnít the best Iíve ever heard. 

Features *

This four disc box set contained the featurette ďHousehold Hierarchy and Job Duties,Ē along with interactive menus and scene selection.  

Summary:

This DVD box set was fun, but it felt like it was lacking something.  One thing that could have made it better would have been some good extra features.   Alas, we are left with one featurette, the standard interactive menus, and scene selection.  If youíre looking for a period piece thatís witty and unconventional, then this just might be the box set for you!  Grab Thomas and Sarah and take them for a ride over the laser beam rainbow!