Man About the House - Series 1 & 2

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Derek_J, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Derek_J

    Derek_J Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 22, 2004
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    Anyone looking to pick this one up? I'd much rather have Robin's Nest, but if nobody wants the first one, that may not happen. (edit: I see Robin's Nest is coming to R2 about the same time...)

    Off topic: The lead actor is in a retirement home already? Seems a bit young for that.
  2. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

    Jan 5, 2002
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    Judging from this recent photo, he has aged quite a bit, and he's only 63! Paul McCartney is 2 years older and looks great! I'm afarid Mr. O'Sullivan must be having serious health problems (note the walking stick). A shame really- strange how both male leads from the UK and US versions of the same story both met with ill health in their middle years- at least Richard O'Sullivan is still alive.

    Regardless, I'm looking to seeing Man About The House again- the complete series and Robin's Nest were shown here in NYC in the late 80s/early 90s. As someone who watched all of Three's Company from start to finsh on ABC, this DVD release is a joy. BTW, will George & Mildred (the UK Roper spinoff, never shown Stateside) be released too?
  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

    Apr 2, 2004
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    Kentucky, USA
    I already have the R4 sets of series 1 and 2. I just hope for the USA's sake that BCI got hold of untampered masters and not "for syndication" ones.

    For those who don't know what I mean: the "for syndication" tapes have the "salute to Thames" opening (most famous from The Benny Hill Show) snipped out, the Thames end-board replaced with a modern one and, most importantly, have the ad-caps (ad breaks, where they say "end of part one" before fading to black, and then say "part two" when coming back from the break) snipped out. This might sound petty, but on old ITV shows, the episode's action often picked back up before the on-screen captions disappeared. Snipping these out sometimes leaves out important footage (certain episodes of Sapphire and Steel are one of the more glaring examples).

    Freemantle (and other companies) are notorious for editing all this stuff out on worldwide syndication copies these days. DVD companies like Umbrella (R4) and Network (R2) have taken care to get hold of the complete copies. One wonders whether anybody at BCI even knew to ask.

    Perhaps just as important, is the show getting a proper, modern PAL-to-NTSC transfer, or did Freemantle just pull some old 80s/90s vintage NTSC conversions (from US/Canadian syndication) off the shelf, which would have an inferior picture quality, perhaps, than buying the PAL versions and using your DVD player to convert them!

    Another question is extras: will there be any? The season 2 release in R4 at least had Sally Thomsett and Brian Murphy doing commentary.

    Perhaps David Levine can shed some light on all this stuff as he has posted in the HTF before and actually works for BCI. Over to you, David?
  4. Alan Lee UK

    Alan Lee UK Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 27, 2003
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    This will be the fourth worldwide release for series 1. It was originally released in bare-bones form (with ad-caps removed) in the UK by ClearVision in 2002, but they never followed up with later series. A couple of years later, Umbrella released a vastly superior version (with ad-caps etc) in Australia, and released series 2, but then ran into licensing problems and have not released any more. Over the last couple of years Network have released all six series in the UK, with ad-caps, but without the kind of extras that Umbrella put on their sets.

    Man About The House is one of my favourite ever series, not least because it's the earliest ever programme that I can recall seeing trailers for, and watching the opening episode on first broadcast.

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