Top positive review
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At least they exist!
on 17 August 2006
Previous reviewers have based their reviews almost exclusively on the picture quality of the episodes. Yes, you can't deny that by 21st century standards it's well below what you'd expect but I don't think it's too distracting.
It's worth reiterating that these are not the original shows which the BBC broadcast early in 1970. This series, plus most of the following series shown later that year, was subsequently lost or wiped. What you have on the DVD are copies of the show which were recorded by the writers Galton & Simpson on a primitive video recorder. They were discovered in a cellar in the early 90's and restored at the British Film Archive.
Of course, looking at this in 2006 it seems madness that the BBC would junk it's premier sitcom. However in the pre video era, the shows were expensive to repeat and it was costly for the BBC to maintain their ever expanding archive. No one considered that anyone would want to watch these shows 30 years down the line.
I for one am thankful that they exist at all and that the archives hold every episode of this classic series. Other legendary BBC shows of the era are not so fortunate. Only four episodes out of the first three series of Till Death Us Do Part still exist, Dad's Army fares far better, but three from the second series are still missing.
We live in hope that the originals will turn up one day but what we have got on the DVD still shows that the quality of the acting and writing was maintained throughout the series run.