We won’t review the highlights, because they’re pretty self explanatory, suffice to say that there are five DVDs and highlights of every day of the series. The commentary is from Australia’s Channel Nine and events like Peter Siddle’s hat trick benefit from that with Mark Taylor a genuine enthusiast, not just a man doing a job.
The first thing to say about the documentary, The Inside Story, is that it isn’t an inside story. There’s a lot of talking head stuff, a tiny bit of turning-up-the-stump-microphone and some footage of players ambling about doing not a lot between matches (Michael Clarke telling some Aussie schoolchildren that Dougie Bollinger is ‘not the smartest’ being a fairly typical example).
There’s also quite a bit from the two captains, which we were quite surprised by (how do they find the time?) Other players feature too, but to be honest the pundits are better, because they don’t have to watch what they say quite so much – Mike Selvey’s near-contempt for Mitchell Johnson being a good example of this.
There’s a lot of Selvey and we always feel he’s worth listening to. His presence as well as that of the captains and the Channel Nine commentators lends some weight to the documentary and makes it feel authoritative, which is very important. There’s a certain amount of Mark Nicholas too. Not so sure about that.
Basically, it’s a review of the 2010-11 Ashes and that’s no bad thing. If you haven’t got nine and a half hours to watch the highlights, what are you going to do? The Inside Story is comprehensive and definitive and allows you to relive the whole series in one evening.
Or get both. You get to watch full highlights of day one of the Boxing Day Test if you do that.