Plot: What’s it about?
Brother Cadfael (Derek Jacobi) is back once again and as per usual, he is called upon to solve a most difficult mystery, involving a cold blooded murder. This time the ingenious Crusader-turned-monk must work twice as hard, as time is short and the case is most important. After a young monk claimed to have visions of St. Winifred, Cadfael and some others departed from Shrewsbury Abbey, to unearth some relics in Wales. The trek meet with much resistance from the locals however, which causes all sorts of problems and potential trouble points. But it all comes to a head when the main opponent to the monks is killed, which sends both sides into chaos. Although the monks are men with morals and missions, even they are not out of the realm of suspicion in this case, due to the sensitive nature of their business in the area. If Cadfael wants to return to Shrewsbury with the relics, he must pinpoint the killer and with such a heated environment, even he may be surprised by the truth, should he be able to uncover it, that is.
I’ve now seen a few installments in Acorn Media’s series of Cadfael releases, so I was looking forward to yet another volume here, with A Morbid Taste For Bones. Aside from a pretty cool title and the usual Cadfael elements, I was unsure of what to expect, but I figured I was good hands, since I’ve liked previous episodes. I liked this one also, but I wouldn’t say I loved it, although it was well made and offered some terrific moments. I was never that taken with the basic premise in this episode, which skewed my vision on the entire program. I was impressed as always with the production design, as the costumes, locations, and other elements look great, but the story just didn’t interest me, so the episode was a lost cause. It sometimes picked up and offered an interesting moment, but not enough of those, at least in my opinion. The suspense was well drafted and comes across in typical Cadfael fashion, but as I said, this one just didn’t have the kind of story that interests me. I still think fans of the series will want to give this disc a spin, especially if you’re interested in the premise, although I wasn’t in the least.
Video: How does it look?
A Morbid Taste For Bones is presented in a full frame transfer, which retains the feature’s intended aspect ratio. This was run on television and doesn’t look as good as a feature film, but I have no serious complaints with this transfer. The source materials seem in better shape than prior editions, but not to the extent where a score raise is in order. The colors look soft, but effective and contrast is stable, so detail is rich and never falters. I saw a couple small compression errors, but nothing to be concerned with and in the end, I think this transfer is more than acceptable.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included stereo track might be basic, but it handles the material well and in the end, that’s what counts here. The dialogue is clean and always easy to understand, which is good, since this is a vocal driven series, to be sure. You need to hear every word to keep up and with this mix, that is simple to do, no issues at all. The music and sound effects seem a little limited at times, but come through in more than decent form, so I won’t knock the score much. This won’t be the track to showcase your system with, but this is about as good as this material is going to sound. This disc also includes English subtitles, which are always welcome.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some still photos from the production scrapbook, talent files, information on other Cadfael episodes, and a brief audio interview with Derek Jacobi, which is a nice touch.