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Will there still be contractual edits in 2031?
on 20 August 2012
I know this was released yonks ago, but I've only just had the chance to compare the DVD with the programme as it was broadcast. So, here's a list of the "certain edits" mentioned in the small print on the back of the box:
Episode 1: Blair and Cameron sing Bowie's "Changes" (1m00s)
Episode 2: Antony Worrall Thompson goes on fire (11s)
An overcrowded football match (7s)
Jamie Carragher blows bubbles from his nose (5s)
Episode 4: The BBC bee invasion affects Royal Ascot (14s)
"Hooverbag Sherlocks" and "The Story of Light Entertainment" (1m32s)
Andrew Marr's action stunt (40s)
Episode 5: George Lucas's funeral (23s)
"I've Pissed in a Celebrity's House" with Tony Blackburn (10s)
Saddam Hussein fishing with grenades (5s)
"Songs of Praise" stock photo title sequence (18s)
"University Challenge" sponsored by KP (13s)
George W Bush sings "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (five segments: 51s in total)
Episode 6: Uninspired ice skating (37s)
All of the above segments have been completely removed. It adds up to about six and a half minutes, which is almost 4% of the total running time (for all you statistics fans). It's understandable that this would happen with a programme that uses so much reconditioned footage, but it's still a shame. I'd have quite enjoyed it if there was an option to view the episodes with silent black-out slugs inserted at each edit, like an incomplete old movie or a KLF album.
Additionally, certain clips, mainly of celebrities walking and/or standing up, have been replaced with other similar clips (Charles and Camilla and the Beckhams in episode 1, Princess Michael of Kent's funeral and Helen Mirren in episode 4 - with Mirren's line "it's a bit intimidating really" removed as a result - and Robert Powell replaced by Eamonn Holmes in the audience watching George W Bush) or still images (Jamie Oliver, Guantanamo Bay, Vic Reeves, Henman and Murray in episode 3 - with the footage on the TV behind grown-up Henman in Tiger Timz also removed - Saddam Hussein in episode 5 and Catherine Tate in episode 6). These replacements are a better compromise than the completely removed items, but still aren't as good as they could be.
Another omission from this DVD is the 9 minute trailer that was aired two weeks before the series proper. Admittedly, this was mostly composed of clips from the series, but some of these included deleted lines that didn't appear in the series. Some of the talking head segments in the trailer didn't appear in the series either (Stewart Lee and Armando Iannucci saying "iron, wool, curtain, bush"; old Jamie Oliver shouting "Iraq!"; Richard Ayoade talking about "Deal or No Deal"), and we also got to see Presidents Serena and Venus Williams for about three seconds. Only one tiny segment of this trailer would have required contractual obliteration - the overcrowded football appears for a few seconds - so it seems a shame that the rest didn't make it to shiny disc.
Ah well, I can keep my VHS of the series in its complete form, and use this DVD to watch its five hidden minutes of Bacon Shopping Channel. I'll be siding with Tesco when the war breaks out.