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on 13 December 2000
This is a paperback re-print of last year's "Complete Scripts," and is every bit as brilliant. Every ted fan should have this book on their shelves, if only for the commentary on each episode by writers Arther Matthews and Grahan Lineham. Very overlooked, yet very brilliant. it is worth noting that these scripts arent the final versions that went out to air, but an earlier draft showing more hilarious moments that were never meant to be seen on air. A classic book to complement a classic series.
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I love "Father Ted", and always watch it whenever it is on TV, own all the DVDs and spin-offs, and am also one of those tiresome types who can quote big chunks of the dialogue. I also enjoy reading scripts and screenplays, so when I heard this book was being released I just had to get it.

Inside you'll find the script for every episode from each of the three series', plus the Christmas special, all of which are introduced by writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, where they reveal their thoughts on the episode, plus give some nice titbits of information about sources of inspiration - such as the three bad guys in "Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep" were named after three films set in wide open spaces (Fargo, Hud and Giant). Best of all, the scripts collected in the book aren't the final shooting versions but are all earlier drafts, so you'll find scenes and lines which were omitted from the shows, plus you'll discover which bits were added at the eleventh hour - such as the "these are small, but the ones outside are far away" line. Throughout each script there are also footnotes by Linehan and Mathews explaining some aspects, such as why some parts were excised from the final versions.

This is a great read for fans of the show, or those who want a masterclass in comedy writing.
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on 3 January 2000
Nice to see a script book actually written by the people responsible for the series. At least twice in every episode I laughed out loud. This book contains scenes, lines and jokes cut from the actual series as well as notes from Linehan and Matthews about why they were written, characters etc. Bit to look out for: Ted trying to teach Jack to say "yes" and "that would be an ecumenial matter". The only reason this book doesn`t get 5 stars from me is that you always know what is going to happen when you watch the programme.
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on 18 January 2013
This book places the bar very high for other similar books, and none of the others I've read comes close to this one.

I couldn't give more than 3 stars to ], although it's my favorite sitcom.
] , although better visually designed and with some added gags, and others like ] and ] trail behind with their printed editions.

The only one that came close so far to be a great companion to a series was "Porridge": The Complete Scripts and Series Guide.

But let's return to the reviewed script book:

First of all - it's indeed complete, as claimed in the title.
All the scripts from the 3 series and Christmas Special, each preceded by 1 page 2 parts Linehan / Mathews foreword.

Secondly - these are really scripts and not transcriptions of the TV-shows. They differ at times from the final versions shown on screen, and many of the differences are discussed by the writers either in the episodes' foreword or with the help of footnotes.
Scenes that didn't make it to final broadcast also appear, marked with asterisks.

As an example: the final scene of the last ever episode was changed due to Dermot Morgan's saddening death just days after they ended shooting, and instead of having him join a would-be suicidal Kevin on a window shelf they appropriately changed it with a montage of Father Ted clips.

Furthermore, it's obvious that the texts were actually written by the writers, and not compiled by some third party.
This is noticeable in the expositions of scenes, that are very detailed and well written, and excellently convey the atmosphere.

Again an example:

The Crazy Golf Course scene (Father Stone S1 Ep2)
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I found myself in stitches when reading the exposition, maybe even more than when watching it on TV:

"We see a sign saying 'Craggy Island Crazy Golf - £1, members - 50p'. The sign is being lashed by wind and rain. There seems to be only one hole on the course. It is just a row of cement blocks with a windmill at the end of it. We hear thunder in the distance. Ted and Dougal are playing the hole. It is raining buckets. They look miserable."
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- Simply genius.

You can read my review of the ] to see how this can be done in a sloppy manner, almost surely not by the writers.

The only downside of this book concerns the visual aspect. There are no color pictures to liven up the experience a bit, and the few B&W ones are not printed on glossy paper but on plain paper as the rest of the text, which results in grainy and smudgy images, however, It didn't affect my enjoyment from the book.

Overall highly recommended.
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on 1 June 2014
I really enjoy reading script books and own quite a lot of them and in many ways this is one of the best packages I have seen. Generally when you buy a script book it is either the shooting script (and so may be different from what you actually see on screen) or a transcription of the final version as seen. This is a bit more interesting. It is an earlier version of the script with annotations by the writers explaining how it is different to what was on screen and in some cases why. This is a great idea and gives you much more of an insight into the making of the show.
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on 26 February 2015
Go on, go on. The copy I got was from a marketplace seller and arrived stinking of stale smoke, but I guess that makes it an authentic relic from Craggy Island Parochial House. Febreze helped. Great insight into the writing, as this is the penultimate draft of the scripts. Ardal and Dermot did a lot of improvisation in the series, and it's fun to read along and see where they let loose (the Beast description, for example, in Chirpy Burpy Cheap Sheep). Highly recommended.
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on 13 June 2016
Good to read drafts that weren't final scripts. Buy one for a friend and re-enact great moments and classic lines from the series. Or better still.....persuade a friend to buy their own and save money and STILL re-enact great moments and classic lines from the series. Go out together in public with a hat on the ground for people to drop copper coins into whilst you are shouting "A pair of fecking women's knickers!!" and getting curious looks from policemen.
Never leave home without a copy! Did you know......90% of riders in the Tour de France carry a hard-backed copy in their lycra jerseys to read funny lines to themselves on those grueling hill climbs!? Fact.
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on 8 April 2013
What I like about this book is the authors' comments. It's not just a series of scripts but includes notes from the writers about why they did or did not do certain things with the dialogue. Even if you didn't like Father Ted, you'll get a great insight into the process of writing a successful comedy series.
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on 3 June 2000
This is a brilliant book containing all the scripts from everyone's favourite priest comedy - Father Ted. Also, there are introductions to each episode from the autors of the show, so get out and buy it from Amazon NOW!
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on 4 April 2008
It is improtant to mention these are not transcripts, these are written drafts by the very talented writers. Excellent for any aspiring script writer to see how the written word transfers to the screen.

it is an excellent read for any fan of father ted.
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