No one's been able to give examples, probably because there aren't any! One person posts a comment on one site - this one - with no back-up, and then it just snowballs. If you have access to any original off-air recordings (not the recent repeats, which do have the odd snip) you'll find that they match these discs. If you search around the net for the forums where TV experts like to post messages, you'll find reliable and knowledgeable people who actually checked the durations of their knackered old VHS tapes just to make sure it was safe to dump them with the release of the DVD set.
I have this set on video and would definitely know if scenes had been cut. I would like to replace my videos with DVDs, but I just don't feel I want to risk it. Can anyone give any examples of cut scenes? I remember years ago viewers complaining to Points of View that the the BBC had cut a scene during a repeat of '4.50 From Paddington.' This was the scene where Lucy tidies the kitchen and bakes loads of cakes. Although not essential to the story these are the scenes that give these adaptations their charm.
Check the running times of your videos, then buy the DVD set (the UK region 2 version listed here). You'll find that the DVD episodes either run the same duration or a bit longer. The only people to have supposedly noticed anything missing are a couple of people who left vague messages on this page, and if you look elsewhere on the net you'll find people raving about how this set is longer than most of the recent screenings and matches the original transmissions.
Can anyone tell me if the total running time given for this box set is correct? It says 999 minutes in the product description. There is a German version of this box set that is 1350 minutes long(see amazon.de). And to confuse matters-I have just checked on e-bay.You can get this english version, but all sellers claim it is 1350 minutes long? Is the amazon.co.uk info just a typo?
The Amazon.co.uk info appears to be a typo! Discshop.se imports this set to Sweden (where I live) and they list the running time as being 1350 minutes (the people at Discshop.se are usually very accurate about these things - they often report various misprints on DVD-cases on their website and provide the correct info). I'm getting my copy from Amazon, though, as Discshop charges almost TWICE than Amazon for this set. This series was very popular in Sweden and I can't wait to see it again!
UPDATE: I have now received this box and can confirm that the running time is 1350 minutes! The running time listed here at Amazon is incorrect.
Thank you all so much!! I have been longing to finally get the perfect Miss Marple series! The prices at the time being allows me, but then I turned both sad and confused about the suggested cut scenes versus German subtitles! I am now ready to order this lovely BBC set, thanks to you all, and especially Helen Landgren's comment! Thank you for your useful information!
The scenes stated in reviews as 'missing' from the US released NTSC DVD set are in this UK PAL BBC set. The total run time of 'approx 1350 minutes' for this BBC Miss Marple UK PAL set gives no clue on whether a few other minutes have been trimmed off the odd episode though, and the length of each early episode at 51 minutes for an hour slot initially seems rather suspicious given that the BBC has no advertising breaks. However, these early serialised episodes were probably shown after the 9.00 O'Clock news at 9.25 to finnish around 10.15 [a typical BBC1 slot of the period]. From my memory these Miss Marple episodes seem exactly the same as the ones I remember watching when first shown all those years ago. I'm absolutely sure many earlier stories were originally shown serialised over different days, and that the later stories were shown all in one go as a TV 'feature movie', possibly around the 9.00 O'Clock news. For example, I do definately remember that 'The Caribbean Mystery' was first shown in one go as a single long two hour 'movie' on one night [in fact it was, on Xmas day 1989]. All exactly as set out on this DVD set, e.g The body in the library  & A murder is announced : 3 seperate episodes, while 4.50 from Paddington , & A Caribbean mystery : both single full length 'movies' [and both first broadcast on Christmas day]. Certainly the 5+ minutes of scenes an American reviewer on Amazon.com says have been cut from the NTSC '4.50 from Paddington' and 'A Caribbean mystery' DVDs are definitely in this UK release.
The order of the DVDs in the UK set is also exactly the same order as first shown on BBC TV - DVD1: 'The Body in the the Library' is the first episode from 1984 and DVD 12: 'The mirror crack'd' from 1992 is the last. All suggesting a lot of effort has gone into making this DVD set exactly the same as the original BBC broadcasts - i.e. no cuts at all. Besides when last I watched [and digitally recorded] this superb Miss Marple series it was on Sky Gold with loads of breaks for adverts - and I'm pretty glad that's been cut from these 12 DVDs.
I received this DVD set for Christmas (I bought the videos years ago). I can assure everyone there were no scenes deleted from the videos when they were transferred to DVD. I know the series produced by the BBC so well, that I would spot any changes. In fact the two longest stories: The Body in the Library and A Murder Is Announced now have their natural breaks, reminding me these stories were originally shown in three parts - the videos of these stories had an unnatural break at the end of tape one, with no credits, but the DVDs are exactly as the director intended.
As an aside, I suppose all movies and TV programmes are edited and then often re-edited much later by the producers and directors, and I suspect very rarely just to 'fit the movie into a DVD' [a typical dual layer commercial DVD can take more than a single Miss Marple story at standard definition, and doesn't need a few minutes trimmed off to 'fit']. More likely the original TV episode was edited to fit a broadcast slot (and it seems some commercial VHS tapes did have extra scenes left in that were cut from the original broadcast version). Otherwise the Editing is generally done to set the pace and continuity of the program and as we all know many hours of filming can end up on the cutting room floor [Judy Garlands 'Over the Rainbow' song was originally cut from 'The wizard of Oz' as it was felt it added nothing to the movie].
This has being going on since the dawn of cinema, Charlie Chaplins 1921 film 'The kid' [the world's first feature film] is now only available on DVD re-edited back to Chaplin's last personal edit on the film (from 1971) where several scenes featuring Edna Purviance (the mother) were deleted. It wasn't done to 'fit the movie' into anything, Charlie just thought it was tighter and flowed better re-edited this way - although others disagreed: e.g. for all of Edna's scenes, the alternative Shepard restoration of 'The Kid' is apparently recommended. Personally I don't worry at all about minor re-editing of such material - every episode is after all 'The directors or producers final cut' and is what they, at that exact moment of editing, felt worked best with the material at hand.
It is also easy for the memory to play tricks, I've re-watched films many years later and my recollection of the exact detail in the odd key scene has been proved false, although the endings always the same [well, unless I've confused it with another film].....could anyone really remember the exact the detail of all the scenes from a 1984 Miss Marple episode, when re-watching the episode after an interval of 25 years? If only I had kept VHS copies of the original broadcasts.....but then I can't even remember if my parents had a VHS recorder back in 1984.
There are no 'scenes' etc missing from official BBC DVD's. The Dutch and German box sets have longer running times as some episodes are in 2 parts for some reason which lengthens running times. There is a Miss Marple complete collection listed on Amazon that is the Dutch version which has the longer running time and someone has reviewed the set and explains the difference in running times. I have the official BBC set and also all individual episodes and there is definitely nothing missing from the BBC UK official editions.
That's true, many of the best of British programmes end up cut to fit into US schedules and the DVDs releases get the same treatment. The BBC classic serials such a Narnia and Five Children and it: The Phoenix and the Carpet were heavily cut [around two episodes removed] and the half hour episodes spliced into a single 'movie', badly affecting pace and the 'cliffhanger'. In the UK these serials were put onto DVD with the opening/ending credits and presented exactly as broadcast.
My US versions seem to have been cut terribly. In "A Murder Is Announced," we don't find out why Miss Marple asked about Miss Blacklock's short-sightedness and her sister dying of consumption, why the photos of Sonia were removed, and why "Old Age Pension" was on Miss Marple's list. It's irritating that the editors keep these scenes, but remove the explanation from the denouement. I was going to buy the Region 2 versions, thinking they would have the missing info, but the length of my US versions is 1357 minutes, compared to UK 1350, so I suspect I wouldn't gain anything. I guess I'd better go back and re-read the books.
I recognize the need for editing. My issue is with the quality of the editing process. The editors are doing less delicate surgery and more butchery. If you are going to remove a scene or part of a scene, you should consider whether it leaves other parts of the film hanging out in space.