When these shows came out on VHS, I found several very annoying differences in regard to the length and 'completeness' of the shows. The PAL videos contained bits and sketches that did not appear on the NTSC videos, entitled under the same name, and vice versa. (This was the case with all of the shows).
Now, finally (!), these shows are available on DVD!!! - and still, I found some missing bits. For instance: Billy Connolly's 'Country & Western' sketch from "The Secret Policeman's Ball" does not appear here. (And the funny thing is, that you can even see his name on the credits...), another missing bit is Lenny Henry's wonderful monologue as Trever Netelford with his 'inquiring mind' (- missing from "The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball") and there are a couple of others... - and these are things that you can get on the videos (and again, it depends on which ones you buy...).
Why can't we ever get a full and complete version of these shows??? Why??? Why??? Why???
Another thing - and this will end my short chain of complaints -If they're going to make a special "Best-of Music Edition" (- which I think is rather silly - because there's nothing "new". You've already got all those musical numbers on the other DVDs in the set - and all you need to do it to skip chapters), why not make a "Best-of Comedy Edition" as well? - for the people who are more interested in the comedy side of these shows?
But, all nitpicking aside, this a really fabulous collection! The transfer may seem not-very-good, but I think that concidering the horrific origional masters, the transfer is fantastic!!
So it's missing a couple of funny bits... big-deal... - It has plenty of other great sketches and comedy routines, as well as all the best British-music hits from the 70s and 80s.
This set contains the show, which I believe should be in the house of anyone who conciders himself to be a Monty Python fan, that has a version of the Parrot Sketch where you can see Michael Palin being very 'naughty', giggling and trying to keep a stight face... absolutely hilarious!!!.. It's as though Palin and Cleese are virtually trying to 'break' each other...
Another favorite of mine is the Peter Cook's fabulous "Memories of a Miner"... and there are plenty of other wonderful enjoyable materail from one of the best periods of British comedy...
All in all, this is a very highly recomended set and it's worth the money.
I have rated this 4 stars, because the transfer is not very good, and partly that can be contributed to bad masters. With a little more work this could have become a great package. Still, it's a fine display of the best british comedy of the 70s and 80s and I doubt that there is any other compilation of the same quality of comedy anywhere.
Very recommended !!!
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