Blackadder: The Complete Collection

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Sam Davatchi, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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  2. Roger_R

    Roger_R Second Unit

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    The BBC released a new boxset last fall in region 2, and I think it's the same one since they've now said that every release is going to be the same across regions. The only difference between the new and the old one is that the new one has a sixth disc with Blackadder's Christmas Carol (a 40 min. long christmas special) and the Cavalier Years (a 15 min. long charity special).
     
  3. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    But the U.S. version has always had the Christmas Carol and Cavalier Years specials. There's no need to re-release it if they wanted to add those. I'm guessing this is just a new SKU and the actual product is unchanged.
     
  4. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    So why they have assigned a new UPC? Is it common practice to give a new UPC when they re-release a title?
     
  5. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    But they say this is now a sixth disc, whereas on the old set (which I have) it was squeezed onto other discs, almost like easter eggs.

    Not that space-wise there was a real issue, nor with bit-rate considering the source material was shot on video anyway.

    I do recall one issue, which die-hards might want to look into: on the old US set, the millenium special Back And Forth is shown 4:3 (don't know if it's pan-and-scan or open matte), whereas its original "theatrical release" at the Millenium Dome was widescreen and I think it was released as such on the standalone UK R2 disc.
     
  6. James Ryfun

    James Ryfun Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, the current (or old) region 1 version had only 5 disks. But the "Christmas Carol" and "Cavalier Years" weren't hidden as Easter eggs, they were merely included on disk 5 as special features. They didn't seem horribly compressed to me, but it's been a while since I've watched them.

    I cannot attest to the OAR of the original Back and Forth episodes, though. If true, I guess that'd be a good reason to get the new set. But other than that, frankly I'd rather have all the same content on 5 disks rather than 6, but that's just me.
     
  7. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    The "old" US and UK sets, from my understanding, were mastered at different times and not with the same set of masters. The UK release was particularly criticised as not being very good picture-quality wise, and I understand the US one isn't so hot, either, but did, at least include Christmas Carol and Cavalier Years.

    Back And Forth was originally released on video (and DVD?) in the UK by SKY, not the BBC. The new UK-R2 boxset is merely a repackaging of the "old" one but with Back and Forth now added. Same transfer on everything as in the previous R2, just all bundled together as one set with, presumably, new packaging.

    What this show (and Fawlty Towers) needs is a proper remastering with some decent extras. For Blackadder anyway, there are at least a few brief sketches that could be added (including the one for Charles' 50th birthday celebrations) as well as the original pilot, assuming the clearances could be obtained.

    Fawlty Towers doesn't look so hot because it was essentially rushed into production due to the American wing of the BBC wanting DVDs quickly for the American market.
     
  8. Roger_R

    Roger_R Second Unit

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    From imdb:
    Film negative format (mm/video inches): 35 mm
    Cinematographic process: Super 35
    Printed film format: 70 mm (blow-up)
    Aspect ratio: 2.20 : 1

    The version on the UK set is in 16:9, but the clips from the deleted scenes (which they for some reason didn't bother to include on the disc) in the documentary looks to be in 2.20:1.
     
  9. Jonathan Kaye

    Jonathan Kaye Second Unit

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    Another spanner to throw into the works when comparing R1 & R2 Blackadders, is that in R2 Blackadder's Christmas Carol has been edited ever since its first VHS release; in the scene early on where Baldrick is describing the nativity play, with a dog as the baby Jesus, the line "They want us to do another one at Easter - they want to see us nail up the dog." is cut.

    That cut has follwed through to the R2 DVD release, but it is uncut on the existing R1 set.
     
  10. andrew markworthy

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    The R2 extras for this aren't all that bad - a documentary and commentaries which are okay.
     

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