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The First Season
Running Time: 1197 minutes
Starring: Andy Griffith, Luna Purl, Kene Holliday
Retail Price: $49.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Dolby Stereo Surround, English Closed Captions, Episode Selection, Chapter Stops (6 per episode), Seven-Disc Set
Released: April 8th, 2008
Poor Matlock! You have not aged well. All 24 episodes of the first season are in 1.33:1 full screen, but the video quality on these episodes are terrible. Most offensive is that these episodes look like poor VHS dubs, and while I didn't expect them to be restored, I wonder what sources were used for these transfers. The episodes look pretty murky and fuzzy, with wishy-washy color saturation and poor looking fleshtones. Detail is quite blurry, not to mention all the grain, noise, edge halos, artifacting and blemishes that appear throughout. These transfers are a real shame, and an incredible disappointment. Truly some of the worst I have seen for a TV series on DVD.
"Matlock" is presented in English Stereo Surround, and while these tracks are a little bit better than the transfers, there really is nothing to them. Stereo effects are completely non-existent, and while all sound elements come in, everything is downright limited, straightforward and bland. Dialogue is clear, and the musical cues sound good too, but there is hissing in the background which can be a bit of an annoyance. Disappointing, too.
English closed captions are also included.
Grandpa Simpson is probably thrilled "Matlock" is now out on DVD, and I'm sure some of you are too. Sadly though, this set should only be considered by the series' biggest fans - who themselves may have to justify this purchase. While the sound tracks are average, the transfer quality is downright shoddy and there are no extras to speak of. Casual fans are probably best left to watching Ben and his team in syndication (where I'm sure they look and sound better, too). I really hope future seasons of the show on DVD will be greatly improved.