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13.08.14

A Comparison of Two Different Edits of the Sorry! Episode “Curse of the Mummy”, Because This Is Dirty Feed and You Wouldn’t Expect Anything Else From This Site Really, Would You, I Mean Come On

Posted 13th August 2014

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Curse of the Mummy title card

If you’re a TV geek of a certain disposition, you know that sinking feeling when you pop your latest DVD purchase in, sit back… and watch as rights issues tear your programme apart.

Sometimes footage isn’t cut, but the music is replaced, giving scenes a whole different feel. Amongst many other music edits, Series 1, Episode 4 of Life on Mars gets rid of “Wild Horses” on the DVD release, and Skins cut – of all things – Lily Allen’s “The Fear” from Series 3, “Pandora” (and from one of my favourite scenes of the series, to boot). Other times, whole chunks of an episode are cut entirely: Episode 6 of Filthy, Rich & Catflap includes a section where Richie sings a spirited rendition of “Consider Yourself” which is gone from all DVD releases.1 Worse still is the Casualty Series 1 episode “Teeny Poppers”, which has a storyline about a man dressed as Spider-Man. It couldn’t be cleared, so a full six minutes was lopped out the episode for commercial release.

Worst of all are the edits where you don’t even know what has been cut. On DVD, the Hi-de-Hi! episode “A Matter of Conscience” ends with a big, emotional (and very well done) speech by Peggy… followed by an extremely nasty edit which takes you right out of the show. And I have no idea what has been actually cut, not having been able to see the original.

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  1. Luckily, the opening of the very first episode – where he sings “Morning Has Broken” – was cut for VHS… but is intact on all DVD releases. 

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07.08.14

Curse of the Dream Sequence

Posted 7th August 2014

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Brittas asleep on the trainThe Brittas Empire: “Curse of the Tiger Women”
Written by: Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent
Produced by: Mike Stephens
Directed by: Christine Gernon
TX: 24th February 1997

This is the story of one of my least favourite endings to a sitcom ever. But to figure out what went wrong, we need to skip backwards three years…

In 1994, The Brittas Empire had a pretty incredible run. No less than seventeen episodes were broadcast1, across two series – and amongst those seventeen were some of the show’s very best episodes. Examples include “High Noon”, where the leisure centre is blown up on a sitcom budget (and largely convincingly, to boot); the audacious “The Last Day”, where they kill Brittas off, send him to heaven, and then resurrect him during his burial; and “Not A Good Day”, where… they chain Sebastian Coe to a railing and watch him suffer for half an hour.

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  1. Whilst the oft-quoted “only six episodes a year” for British sitcoms is overstated – check out Keeping Up Appearances or Drop the Dead Donkey – seventeen episodes was still pretty unusual. 

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