Series 1 DVD & VHS Query

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
On most DVD and VHS copies of series 1, the first three episodes (Short Back and Palais Glide, Inventor of the 40 Foot Ferret, and Pate and Chips) are all joined together and not as originally broadcast. Is there a reason for this at all?

I do have them recorded from the Yesterday channel where they are not joined together, but it's just not the same as them being as broadcast on DVD.
 

Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
If I were to hazard a guess I'd say it was to do with the length of the tapes, many VHS tapes used to be 60,90,180mins etc so to fit 3 episodes on with start and end credits may take them over the allotted time.
 

maltrab

Administrator
Staff member
On the normal release of series 1 & 2 on dvd they were glued together, on the box set they were not, I have no idea why, though much better watching the dvd's than the advert filled and edited versions being pumped out on UKTV channels
 

wstol

Dedicated Member
The reason Short Back, Inventor and Pate are all joined together, with the credits taken out, dates back to the original BBC Video release back in 1984.

BBC comedy programmes became available to buy on video for the first time in 1983 and 1984.

The first programmes to make it onto BBC Video included The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Good Life, Butterflies, Fawlty Towers, The Goodies, Open All Hours and Last of the Summer Wine.

On these early videos, for some unknown reason, these programmes were often 'top and tailed', joining two or three episodes together, removing the intermediate titles, and making a new set of closing credits, combining all the credits from all the relevent episodes.

In the case of Reginald Perrin, seven half hour episodes were condensed into a two hour adaptation.

That's what they did in those days, you would rarely get a complete series of anything. Nowadays a whole series is released the day after it is shown on TV.

Anyhow, this 1984 Last of the Summer Wine BBC video, featuring the first three episodes from Series One, in this edited format, was re-released in 1990 as a WH Smith exclusive video, in similar packaging. This release also had the episodes edited, as before.

(The artwork on this single BBC Video box was quite stunning: it was a photograph of a cobwebby wine bottle, with Clegg, Compo and Blamire, and a fantastic view of Holmfirth, on the bottle label.)

In 1991 the remaining episodes of Series One were released as three full episodes.

In 1993 a double VHS video was released featuring two tapes called The Complete Last of the Summer Wine Series One. The tapes were exactly the same - the first tape had the first three episodes edited, the second tape had the remaining episodes as three full episodes.

And then in 2002, Playback released exactly the same content on both VHS and DVD.

So that ridiculous bit of adapting done in 1984 has remained ever since on video and DVD - no company in the UK has changed it (as far as I know, don't know about the latest DVDs). Can't speak for US versions.
 
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Sarkus

Dedicated Member
So that ridiculous bit of adapting done in 1984 has remained ever since on video and DVD - no company in the UK has changed it (as far as I know, don't know about the latest DVDs). Can't speak for US versions.
As Maltrab said, the complete series box set did away with that. I have the UK version of that set but my earlier DVD of the first series had the combined idea.
 

maltrab

Administrator
Staff member
As Maltrab said, the complete series box set did away with that. I have the UK version of that set but my earlier DVD of the first series had the combined idea.
I think the original DVD releases were just copies of the VHS tapes,the quality on the complete series box set seems better and the first 3 episodes are separate episodes, so I think they must of rescanned the films for the box set, shame they did not do it in 4k, maybe they will one day
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
If I were to hazard a guess I'd say it was to do with the length of the tapes, many VHS tapes used to be 60,90,180mins etc so to fit 3 episodes on with start and end credits may take them over the allotted time.
The second three episodes of Series 1 in the VHS copy I had were not joined and were as originally broadcast, so I don't think the length of the tapes is anything to do with it. Besides, some blank VHS tapes could go on for as long as 4 hours.
 
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imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
On the normal release of series 1 & 2 on dvd they were glued together, on the box set they were not, I have no idea why, though much better watching the dvd's than the advert filled and edited versions being pumped out on UKTV channels
I think there must have been many complaints about it happening on earlier issues, (perhaps also from the BBC themselves?) so they corrected the episodes on the box set. I also note the pilot episode (Funerals and Fish) was not included in it's natural place, with Series 1. I believe it was included as a special feature with Series 31.
 
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wstol

Dedicated Member
They should have re-done the first series, so the first DVD consisted of the pilot, then the first three episodes un-combined.

I suppose people may have complained about having to buy the first DVD again, just to get the pilot.

Seems a bit funny having the pilot at the end of the very LAST series DVD, but quite handy if you watch the shows in order continuously, as I think some people here do.

EDITED because of missing word.
 
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Sarkus

Dedicated Member
My guess is that a lot of this may have to do with who has the rights to what. The pilot aired as part of another series so that may have complicated the logic of having it be part of the Series 1 release for all those years. Its the same reason why the 25 and 30 year specials weren't released as part of the box set. While it may seem logical that all this stuff was owned by the BBC, now days these media companies sell stuff off all the time so the legal ownership gets pretty murky.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
They should have re-done the first series, so the first DVD consisted of the pilot, then the first three episodes un-combined.

I suppose people may have complained about having to buy the first DVD again, just to get the pilot.

Seems a bit funny having the pilot at the end of the very series DVD, but quite handy if you watch the shows in order continuously, as I think some people here do.
Exactly, I agree there. If they had the pilot in the box set, it should have been sense to put it along with Series 1, whether it is a special feature or as part of the normal run of episodes.
 
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