Review: Sons And Daughters – Collection One

Pat The Rat is back, and ready to piss off a new generation of viewers.

The award-winning Australian television soap Sons And Daughters has come to DVD. We’re not talking any compilations or “best of” editions either.

Distributor Via Vision Entertainment has managed to convince The Reg Grundy Organisation (aka Fremantle) to release the entire season one of the iconic TV series, that graced our screens from 1982 to 1987.

In the Sons And Daughters – Collection One boxset, we follow the lives of the upper-class Hamilton family from Sydney, and working-class family from Melbourne, the Palmers. The young adults of the families Angela Hamilton (Ally Fowler) and John Palmer (Peter Phelps) eventually cross paths and develop a relationship, unknown to themselves that they could be twins separated at birth. From there, both the Hamilton and Palmer families weave in and out of murder, intrigue, scams, marriages and manipulations. The first season gave birth to Patricia Hamilton (Rowena Wallace) who became a household icon as ‘Pat The Rat’ due to her schemes and utter bitchiness by undermining anyone and everyone, just to come out on top – no matter what the cost.

Sons And Daughters – Collection One boxset contains 25 DVDs with 174 episodes of the first season, including the movie length pilot (Episodes One, Two and Three joined together). Each DVD has a standard menu, where you can “play all”, or play the episodes individually.

Each episode is presented in 4:3 aspect ratio, with the episode quality transferred directly from the master tapes. The quality of pilot episode holds up for its age, looking only ever slightly washed (pedantic, I know), but overall the master tapes have held up well. So well, they were good enough to be re-broadcast many times over the years, most recently on Channel 7’s digital station 7TWO at 3 / 4am in the morning.

Pilot episode quality

Here are the DVD details:

  • Case One – 6 Discs  = Episodes 1 to 41
  • Case Two – 6 Discs = Episodes 42 to 83
  • Case Three – 6 Discs = Episodes 84 to 125
    • Episode 111 has a shorter running time, coming in at under 19 minutes. Via Vision Entertainment stresses there was nothing edited and is a direct transfer from the master.
  • Case Four – 7 Discs = Episodes 126 to 174

The Collection One box set has a run time of 67 hours and 19 minutes, in glorious 2.0 mono sound and Region 4 PAL format. So overseas viewers (I’m looking at you, U.K!) you’ll need to make sure your DVD player can play the right format. Unfortunately, there is no episode guide, so if you’re after a particular numbered episode, you will have to refer to the back of the DVD casing and take a rough guess where you will need to find it… it helps to remember there’s roughly 7 episodes per DVD. There’s also zero special features. Consider the release a “what you see is what you get”.

This collection is a definite must for the person who loves a good, classic trashy Aussie soap, and reminisce of a time where being a ‘bitch’ was good for the soul. Via Vision Entertainment have done a great thing by releasing this series onto DVD. A new generation can be inspired by such iconic series which are destined to be forgotten and lost into dusty archived shelving. Collection Two is due to release early 2021, so make sure you purchase this through their site or any local retailer so it’ll enourage Grundys / Fremantle that all 972 episodes need the forbidden love they so deserve.. so to speak.

Sons And Daughters – Collection One stars Rowena Wallace, Brian Blain, Pat McDonald, Peter Phelps, Ally Fowler, Cornelia Frances, Anne Haddy, Ian Rawlings, Paul Wayne, Leila Hayes, Tom Richards, Ann Henderson, Stephen Comey, Antonia Murphy and Sally Conabere. Available to buy from November 18, 2020.

This boxset was supplied to us from Via Vision for review.

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