DVD365.net
Apple Tree Yard (2017) artwork

Apple Tree Yard (2017)

20th February 2017

Married with two grown-up children, Yvonne Carmichael lives a contented, conventional suburban life. But her world spirals into chaos, when a chance encounter leads to an impulsive and passionate affair with a charismatic stranger and a life-changing act of violence leads to a Crown Court trial.
Emily Watson, Kezia Burrows, Laure Stockley, Steven Elder, Mark Bonnar, Ben Chaplin , Assad Zaman, Susan Lynch
Television, Drama, Suspense/Thriller
B
4 Hours

Married with two grown-up children, Yvonne Carmichael is a highly esteemed geneticist working at the Beaufort institute; one of the most respected institutions in her field. With the children having "fled the nest", she lives a contented, conventional suburban life with her husband Gary. Gary is a successful and respected scientist, but totally absorbed by his work. He is full of self-assurance that makes him even more attractive to his colleagues and students. It's not something that goes unnoticed and Yvonne is jealous of his success and is a source of anxiety and self-doubt. Tensions between the pair are constantly bubbling beneath the surface - even more so as Yvonne thinks he is having an affair with his assistant Rosa.

After giving a presentation to a select committee in the House of Commons, Yvonne bumps into a mysterious, and smartly dressed, man in the hallway. He'd been impressed with her talk and offers her a VIP tour of the Secret Chapel of the Commons. Flattered by the attention, and taking an instant liking to him, she accepts his offer. One thing leads to another and they end up having sex in the broom cupboard where suffragette Emily Davison hid overnight so she could put down her address as the House of Commons in the census.

The next day, unable to get the encounter out of her head, and with the hope of bumping into "Mr. X", Yvonne returns to the commons and gains entry by claiming she had left her scarf. Unfortunately, she fails to find him, instead ending up in a cafe opposite the Commons before finally spotting him and inviting him for coffee. Thrilled by their previous encounter, the pair end up having sex in the toilets, exchange telephone numbers and begin an affair fuelled by the thrill of having sex in a public place. And with "Mr. X" unwilling to reveal his true identity, and with apparent knowledge of the surveillance cameras in the area, it fuels Yvonne's desires and excitement even further - and to note that she's "screwing a spook".

But one night, after another illicit meeting with "Mr. X", Yvonne attends a leaving party for one of her work colleagues. During the party, she is approached by a long-term friend, George. He knows about the affair and, when she rejects his advances, he rapes her. In fear of revealing her affair, Yvonne doesn't report the incident to the police, but also decides against continuing with the affair. But when George starts to stalk her, "Mr. X" offers to help Yvonne resolve the problem - and that's when her problems really begin...

Apple Tree Yard is available on both Blu-ray and DVD, but we're reviewing the Blu-ray here. Filmed in high-definition and presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and with the AVC codec, it looks a bit of a stunner too - and it's made all the more surprising by the fact it's a television series and not some sort of big budget blockbuster.

Blacks (of which there are plenty in the dark alleyways, cupboards and bedrooms) are superb throughout. They are deep and solid, and with good contrast levels too. Given the vast number of dark interior scenes it's great to find a disc which excels in the picture department. There are no signs of artifacting or outlining and the brighter exterior, or artificially lit, scenes such as cafes or restaurants are faithfully reproduced with sharp images, excellent flesh tones and wonderful levels of detail.

There have been a suprising number of recent complaints about the sound quality of various BBC television shows, including where viewers have been unable to hear dialogue due to overpowering musical scores or, more recently, mumbling actors in SS-GB. Fortunately, there's no issues here, with the Blu-ray coming equipped with a rather supberb DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack.

Upon spinning up the disc I wasn't expecting too much from the sound department, after all, it's only a made for television production. Never the less, I was pleasantly suprised to discover a rather dynamic audio track, with plentiful use of the surround channels, a booming LFE channel via the dramatic musical score plus some superb stereo steerage in the front channels with the dialogue firmly locked to the centre channel. Good stuff indeed - and definitely one for the home cinema setup to have a crack at, and given the small price premium of Blu-ray over the DVD, it'll be money well spent.

Other than short trailers for the excellent The Saboteurs and River, the disc contains no other additional material. Even the menu system is rather plain and boring; static, but with some weird and spooky sounding ambinent music from the programme. I guess they're trying to set the mood...

Ordinarily, I'd be the first to complain about a lack of extras. However, for a programme such as this, and one outside of distributor Arrow Film's hands, I doubt the production company Kudos Film & Television would have had anything available for use - especially since the series was commissioned for the BBC. Given the value for money that the BBC will be seeking, I'd be suprised if there'd any budget for disposable coffee cups, let alone interviews with the cast and crew.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Louise Doughty, if you've never read the book then the opening five minutes really do set a surprising scene for the rest of the series. It was most unexpected and certainly made me sit up and take interest of what was about to be revealed.

However, even though it is only four episodes, and large sections of the original book have been skipped over, it did have a tendency to drag at times. It was only the shocking scenes at the end of the first episode that rekindled my diminishing interest, which again then began to wane until the final episode of the series. It's definitely a rollercoaster of a programme!

Given that the series was shown in the BBC it didn't take long for the complaints to roll in over the controversial rape scene. Since the story revolves around that shocking scene, and being raped is hardly going to be a cordial affair where people shake hands afterwards, I do not see why various rape charities had to complain about its "shocking nature". After all, it must have helped to highlight their cause and the dreadful effects such a crime has on the individual. The scene was a success because it achieved the desired result - to shock the viewer and start a debate. Since when did we have to start tip-toeing around real life in case it caused offense?

So, if you like your crime thrillers to be alfresco and sexy - and with broom cupboards to boot - then Apple Tree Yard is definitely one for you. Just be prepared to hang on in there and sit out some of the more laborious moments. It'll be worth it - especially for the final twist that'll leave you gobsmacked...

  • None

1917

DVD
Sam Mendes, the Oscar®-winning director of Skyfall, Spectre and American Beauty, brings his singular vision to his World War I epic, 1917 to DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray 18th May 2020 from ...Read more
Braquo S4 artwork

Braquo S4

BDTV
09/12/2016
All eight episodes from the fourth season of Olivier Marchal's French police thriller which follows a group of police officers led by Eddy Caplan who use violent and unorthodox methods in their ...
The Tunnel artwork

The Tunnel

DVDTV
20/01/2018
The Disappearance artwork

The Disappearance

DVD
06/07/2016
The Shanghai Job artwork

The Shanghai Job

DVD
12/02/2018
Homeland S3 artwork

Homeland S3

DVDTV
10/09/2014
Lee Mack artwork

Lee Mack

DVD
10/12/2014
Outlander S5 artwork

Outlander S5

DVDBDTVBoxset
30/07/2020
The fifth season of Outlander, released on DVD and Blu-ray 21st September 2020 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, sees a continuation of Claire and Jamie's fight to protect those they love, as ...
Misbehaviour artwork

Misbehaviour

DVD
04/08/2020
The Secrets She Keeps artwork

The Secrets She Keeps

DVDDIGITALTVBoxset
22/07/2020
Narcos artwork

Narcos

DVDBDTVBoxset
30/07/2020
Chicago P.D. S7 artwork

Chicago P.D. S7

DVDTVBoxset
18/07/2020
Sherlock Holmes artwork

Sherlock Holmes

UHD
04/08/2020

Spider-Man

Features06/11/2019

In Spider-Man: Far from Home, Tom Holland returns as our friendly neighborhood Super Hero who, following the events of Avengers: Endgame, must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
A first-time adaptation of the recent global bestseller, a new Dragon Tattoo story comes to the screen starring Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander, the fierce, outcast vigilante defender from the acclaimed Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson, in The Girl in the Spider's Web.

Chicago Fire S8

News18/07/2020

The courageous firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51 return for the explosive eighth season of Chicago Fire, released on DVD 14th September 2020 from Universal Pictures (UK).
"I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it's a f**king comedy."
Joker (2019)

Jojo Rabbit

DVDBDDIGITAL11/05/2020107

Birds of Prey

DVDBDUHDDIGITAL20/06/2020104

The Invisible Man

DVDBDUHDDIGITAL29/06/202094

Sonic The Hedgehog

DVDBDUHD08/06/202089

The Nest

DVDTV18/05/202078

Quiz

DVDDIGITALTV15/06/202068

Pennyworth S1

DVDBDDIGITALTV22/06/202060

Save Me Too

DVDTV15/06/202054

Angel Has Fallen

NOTESDVDBDUHD16/12/2019105

Bombshell

DVDBDNOTES20/12/2019100

Radioactive

DVDBDBDNOTES24/04/202085

JoJo Rabbit

DVDBDNOTES30/01/202075

Racing Stripes

DVD21/06/20052992

Austin Powers

DVD01/12/20071399

The Simpsons S16

DVDTV05/12/2013962

Supergirl

BD
29/07/2020

Echoes of Fear

DVD
27/06/2020

Anthony

DVDTV
30/07/2020

Orange Is the New Black S7

DVDTVBoxset
30/07/2020