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Steptoe & Son - The Christmas Specials [DVD]
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The two Christmas specials - originally broadcast in 1973 and 1974 - of the perennially popular BBC sitcom starring Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett, set in a rag and bone yard.
In the 1973 special, Harold (Corbett) books a Christmas holiday in Majorca.
Followed by the 1974 edition, which was the last episode ever made of the series, Harold eventually gets away from his father Albert (Brambell) after years of trying.
This collection features both Christmas specials from the hilarious, yet timeless sitcom,
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Top Customer Reviews
There are 3 sequences missing from this 1973 episode , the 1st being Harold singing with jubilation when receiving his tickets for his booked holiday before being stopped by his horse "neighing" loudly has him shouting "all right , all right ..keep ya bleed'in hair on" ...the next is the closing shot of Harold agreeing to stay home after opening his Christmas gift , he holds up his gift of Y-fronts and says "if my world shrinks any smaller , I'll disappear up the back of these !!.."
yet another scene has been omitted from this show , where Harold is writing a message on his Christmas gift to his father , in which he writes several times in pencil before rubbing out each message for being too "endearing"...
It is not clear "why" the BBC removed these from what is called a "Special" ,that meaning longer the the standard 27 minuets that all sit-coms were written to back in the 1960s & 70's , I am assuming at some point in the running of rare repeats of the show a 27 minuet version was put together to fit in a time slot , and when it came to releasing this for a final DVD master , the BBC felt the quality of the shorter version made later was of higher picture quality than the original 1974 master.
That saying , there is no excuse for not making it available , and when you are buying the "Complete Steptoe" box set as I did , you are not actually getting everything ever filmed.
Whats more laughable is that it was not edited for "non P.C.Read more ›
The episodes themselves are brilliant of course but they do follow an often repeated theme in the series, namely Harold deciding that he wants to go on holiday abroad and the old man doing everything that he can to stop him.
The Christmas episode 1972 follows series 7 of the show and the following year's festive outing has the distinction of being the final ever episode of Steptoe and Son and it is probably with this in mind that the writers allowed Harold to achieve a major victory over the old man, something that had never happened before.
The relationship between the two actors was at rock bottom by the time the last episode was filmed and in some ways it shows on screen but the two used this in their performances to perfection, if they didn't like each other in real life then it must have been very easy to despise each other on screen and the feelings and emotions come over as completely real and believable.
Steptoe and Son came to an end at just about the right time as it was obvious that it was perhaps running out of steam but these two little gems are a welcome addition to the now complete set of Steptoe and Son episodes on DVD, this is something that I have waited years for. An essential purchase.
The stumbling block... the edited release of these Christmas specials. I know the BBC dvds have a habit for this, you just need to see the Only Fools and Horses, Ideal, the original The Young Ones releases, Citizen Smith and Bottom DVDs. They may only be minor edits on some of those, but is disappointing that they do this. Even Yes, Prime Minister Series 1 was treated badly by being on a double sided disc, when other ones of these were on two discs. There have also been sloppy occasions with The Likely Lads and Hancock DVD releases where an episode has been missed off only to be included in the boxset as a special feature. For the Likely Lads one, they couldn't even be bothered to put it in the right order, and just shoved it at the end. I am putting off Hancock purely for the reason I don't like what they have done with the packaging, mainly the really poor episode listing inside
Anyway, back to my main issue with these, and the edited footage. I know of no reason for this apart from some reason about the quality of the picture they gave to someone else who asked them, but nowadays this doesn't hold much water as they could easily do a quick clean up or release it as is. I have bought this though, for the two reasons of I was lucky enough to pick it up new for £2.99 and also that it may be a while, if ever, for it to be re-released in it's full glory
The hardest part is for me to give this a rating. Sure, I could easily give it five stars, because of the quality of the program, or one star for the poor DVD release of it. I will give it 3 stars, as this is the only way you can watch them on DVD legally and complete your collection. Just don't think about the edit when watching them
Most Recent Customer Reviews
could'nt play it, wrong region...don't know what to do with it now. sorry. Barleben'sPublished 8 months ago by sandee b.
enjoyed watching this comedy again, childhood memories came flooding back.Published 8 months ago by MRS DJ PITT