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"Yes Minister": No. 5 Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd; abridged edition edition (8 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408427079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408427071
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 April 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The BBC has been issuing some episodes of Yes Minister in audio-only formats for more than twenty years (originally on LP), but these four episodes are new to audio. If it seems odd to present a television program in audio only, you have only to remember how much like a radio comedy Yes Minister was to realise why it's possible. It had a thick wordy script, and was almost entirely filmed in a studio in front of an audience. You lose Sir Humphrey's arched eyebrow, Jim Hacker's expression of bafflement and his faux-Churchillian stylings, but virtually all of the humour survives the transition intact.

The trio of stars are Paul Eddington as the Minister, Nigel Hawthorne as the Permanent Secretary and Derek Fowlds as the Minister's Private Secretary, in a fictitous Whitehall department. The minister is neither Labour nor Conservative; the subject is the interaction between elected officials and the civil servants that run their departments. It's easy to forget that these programs are 30 years old, and some of the attitudes - comic though they are intended to be - are noticeably old-fashioned. For example:

Jim Hacker to a visiting African president: "Blackmail"!
African president: "Are you describing me or my proposal"?

There's one episode from Series One (The Official Visit), and three episodes from Series Three on this compilation (one of which includes the interview with Ludovic Kennedy - "Ludo", as Hacker chummily insists on calling him). The disks are arranged with two episodes on each disk, and with a separate track for each scene (there are only a handful of scenes in each episode), in a slim jewel case.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 May 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This double audio CD contains the sound tracks from 4 episodes from the television series. The 4 episodes are `The Official Visit', `Equal Opportunities', `The Challenge' and `The Bed of Nails'. My particular favourite is `Equal Opportunities' which features Eleanor Bron as a high flying civil servant. The discussion of whether or not women should be in positions of power is priceless and allows Bernard to coin a new name for a female Mandarin - a Satsuma.

The dialogue in all four episodes is as fresh and crisp as the day it was first broadcast and provides a basis for interesting speculation about just exactly how civil servants and ministers do work together. `The Challenge' illustrates a scenario familiar to anyone working in a large organisation; if something is presented to you as a challenge it usually means no one else wants to do it - or several have already failed trying.

I really enjoyed listening to these episodes and I would recommend it to anyone - even if they have never watched the television series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By pacem et amorem VINE VOICE on 10 Dec. 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is nothing to compare to Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister when it comes to political comedy. With Sir Humphrey's speeches enough to melt the brain, or at least make your head spin, you are treated to the most intelligent comedic writing and acting that has perhaps ever been broadcast on TV. I was delighted to discover that I could alos enjoy the delights of Yes Minister on CD I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. On this disc set there are four brilliant episodes with perhaps the best being Equal Opportunities. All of them will have you rolling about laughing.
Buy this if if you need a laugh ... Yes Minister will certainly bring a smile to your face!
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I approached this CD with a certain amount of trepidation as I wasn't sure that it was a particularly great idea - the tv show is one of my favourite programmes of all time, so if this didn't work it would have amounted to sacrilege!

Much to my relief then, these soundtrack episodes do still work pretty well, although the inevitable longueurs do tend to make you wonder why you're listening to this when you can just as easily watch the episodes on tv (and the DVDs will probably cost you less too)!

Still, this way you know that at least you're listening to all the original actors: the BBC did tend to record radio versions of their hit tv shows such as Dad's Army (and even Yes Minister if memory serves) that always seemed to have half the original actors missing and replaced by also rans, which was always highly annoying.

So in short - not as great as the tv series, but if your tv has just blown up then these CDs aren't too bad a bad substitute.

By the way - a lot of people maybe aren't aware that the Yes Minister/Prime minister scripts were expanded into short stories and released as extremely entertaining books, which if anything are AT LEAST the equal of the original tv series (and in some respects even better as they fill in a surprising amount of background that couldn't have been fitted into 28 minutes of tv), so if you're a Yes Minister/Prime Minister addict then buy those books at once!
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By Curlynob TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 April 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This newly available audio collection gives you four classic 1/2 hour episodes of Yes Minister over two CDs: The official Visit, Equal Opportunities, The Challenge and The Bed of Nails.

The sound is taken straight from the original TV episodes and whilst there are a couple of moments that are a bit clumsy - for example when Jim is talking to the Foreign Secretary over the phone, their voices keep cutting with non existant camera shots between a normal voice and the sound of their voices crackling down the phone line - largely it still works incredibly well. The raised eyebrows and baffled expressions are just as funny, bizarrely perhaps even funnier, when they are suggested rather than actually shown. At times the audience erupts into laughter and you know EXACTLY what has just occurred.

Yes Minister survives the translation to Audio CD so well because of the devastating quality of the scripts and the now legendary performances of the lead characters. Some thirty years on, the whole production is still incredibly sharp and funny. Listening to Jim squirm through an interview with a school girl before declaring, "That's the last interview I give for a School Magazine, she asked some very difficult questions", is one of many pricelist moments in the two hours of stone cold classic comedy delivered on this latest release. Recommended.
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