Archer: The Complete Season Two

Secret agent Sterling Archer hits the bullseye in this latest hi-def outing

The brilliantly filthy, bitingly funny animated spy spoof returns looking bigger and better than ever. While the debut season took a few episodes to really find its groove, this second year hits the ground running and races through 13 hilarious episodes that see secret agent Sterling Archer dealing with an over-sexed 16-year old German heiress, a prostitute who claims he’s the father of her baby, breast cancer and continuing problems with his mother/boss.

Picture: Archer may employ a rather simplistic style of digital animation, but that doesn’t stop the series looking absolutely sensational in HD. All 13 AVC-encoded 1.78:1 1080p episodes boast the kind of incredible sharpness, clarity and colour saturation that only Blu-ray can provide. And unlike some other animated TV shows that have been released on the format, there’s next to nothing in the way of banding or artefacting to spoil the fun.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Given the limitations inherent in material that originates on TV, this second season of Archer explodes onto Blu-ray with a surprisingly rich and punchy collection of DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtracks. While use of the rears is fairly sporadic (albeit very effective when employed), the actual quality of the audio is top-notch throughout. Dialogue and music benefits tremendously from the rich tones, while gunfire and other Foley effects have plenty of acoustic heft, are perfectly balanced and move around the front of the soundstage with a natural ease.
Audio: 4/5

Extras: This two-disc set serves up an entertaining, but extremely brief collection of extras. Sadly, there are no episode commentaries to be found, or any other material dealing with the making of the series beyond a 14-min Comic-Con panel Q&A. The rest of the extras are short animated spoofs, including Sterling Archer answering some fan questions, a shout-out to some US troops, the return of Archer-saurus and a mini-episode that finds Archer transformed into the likeness of voice artist H Jon Benjamin.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: Incredible visuals ensure that this animated sitcom has a licence to thrill in hi-def

20th Century Fox, Region A/B, £28 Approx, On sale now