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Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus Collector's Edition

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   texboil



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Posted November 05 2008 - 01:25 AM

Does anyone know if the problems with the previous Monty Python episodes released by A&E will be corrected in the upcoming Collector's Edition? If so, I would probably buy the set just to get the "complete" episodes, the new docs, and clear up some shelf space. I cut and pasted an e-mail I sent to A&E in July of 2000 explaining the problems with the earlier episodes so I don't have to detail them again . . . JR Hello, I have purchased all of the first 12 Monty Python's Flying Circus discs from your company. While I was very happy with the quality of the season 1 and 2 releases, I am very disappointed in the Season 3 discs, which were released this spring. Problems include: Using the censored British version of the Summarize Proust sketch in show 31. The uncensored version was seen in America, was included on the previous Paramount home video release, and is definitely the version that the Pythons (and their fans) would prefer. A skip in the Biggles Dictates a Letter sketch in show 33. This, however, may be just a problem with my individual disc. HOWEVER, the main problems arise with episode 38. The version you are releasing cuts off both the first and last sketches on the show. The first sketch is Choreographed Party Political Broadcast, and the last sketch is a BBC promo parody. Both sketches are even included on the episode guide on your Web site, but are not included on the disc! Where are these sketches? You advertise that your DVDs and tapes are "complete", "unedited", and "uncut". This is obviously not true. Please let me know what the reasons are for the editing and if you will be correcting these mistakes in the future(in which case I would expect to be able to trade in my current DVDs). Thanks in advance for your time and your response.

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   AndyMcKinney



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Posted November 05 2008 - 02:17 AM

Highly unlikely. Pretty much every A&E re-release of any series in their catalogue is simply a repackaging of the same old discs, i.e. no changes to the content on the discs themselves, just the box and/or artwork.

For now, the only way to get those edited episodes "uncut" is to buy the PAL sets that are out in Regions 2 or 4.

The only way I could ever see them fixing the mistakes is doing like they did with Space: 1999, and that would be to issue a "bonus disc" with the fixed episodes on it. Unfortunately, such a disc would likely only be in the new sets and may or may not be made available to those who bought previous versions (and even if it was, you'd have to pay for it, like I had to with the Space: 1999 bonus disc. Cost about $15-20, I think).

You'll be holding your breath a long time if you think A&E would even consider letting you "trade in" your old discs for an even exchange. Not gonna happen, despite the fact that they mistakenly put cut versions of some of the episodes on their sets.

Also, we'll never get the series 100% uncut on DVD anyway. There is at least one edit in all regions due to music licencing reasons: the sketch where Graham Chapman starts sininging "Tonight, Tonight, I'm getting pissed Tonight" is cut out, as it's sung to the tune of "Tonight" from West Side Story. That sketch was issued uncut on VHS from Paramount, but you won't be seeing it uncut on DVD, I'm afraid.

There are also other various bits, including part of that Choreographed Politican Broadcast and an animation involving Satan and Jesus crucified on a telephone pole, that were edited out of their original master tapes in the '70s by the BBC themselves. Though these long-missing bits have been rediscovered in recent years, they are not in broadcast quality, so cannot be restored to the episodes themselves (though could make it as DVD extras), so no Python release will be 100% as originally broadcast.

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   chas speed

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Posted November 05 2008 - 04:18 PM

Considering Python is in a "let's reissue everything a million times mode" it seems like they could go back and fix it just to get people to buy them again.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   AndyMcKinney



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Posted November 06 2008 - 05:07 AM

Well, that would require some effort (and, presumably, some expense) on their part. Just easier to take the lazy way out and simply repackage what they've got. I know, it sucks.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   texboil



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Posted November 06 2008 - 05:54 AM

It would be nice not only to fix the series three shows that are faulty but also to get some commentary from the group. It stinks that the group has been very involved with DVD re-issues for the movies but not the shows, which are of course their greatest achievements.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Derek Miner

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Posted November 07 2008 - 03:55 PM

BBC America had a promotion where the shows were advertised "digitally remastered" but I am unsure if there was any cleanup or other work done (re-transfer of film sections perhaps?) or if this was meaningless hype. But I agree, when they went to all the trouble of putting together ANOTHER megaset, why not rectify the problems with edited episodes? And if I'm not mistaken, this new set doesn't even include both German specials, only the one that was part of the "Monty Python Live" set. I don't see why they don't include the other two-disc set, "Life of Python" in this "collector's edition."
= Derek Miner =
Co-founder, Sunscreen Film Festival

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Jim*F


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Posted November 08 2008 - 05:44 AM

The versions that aired on BBC America are the same versions that appear on the A&E DVDs, which I suppose technically makes them "digitally remastered" (although that was 8 or so years ago!). You are correct that BBC America does love "meaningless hype" of their programs, like the premiere of a "new" show -- that aired in the UK 2-3 years ago! The best example is their "premiere" of the "new" season of Doctor Who tonight -- the only problem is that this "new" season already aired on Sci-Fi months ago!!!

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