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BBC DVD collection

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BBC DVD collection

Postby Jojo » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:09 am

I'm sure most of us will have already bought the entire 8 series' on DVD by now. My question is, why [esp the 60's episodes] have they not been restored or at least had the vidFIRE treatment applied to them. 'Homes For Heroes' has some terrible scratches on it.

I know it's about Rag n Bone men with their assorted junk, but at least the prints themselves could have had some Brasso applied before being sold onto the public.

Some could say it adds to the squalor and grime of the series and gives it that hand-me-down look...and I can see the point in that. But compare them with what 2Entertain do with 1960's Dr.Who storys - they sparkle with restoration. DVD's were supposed to be the future of those scratched VHS tapes of the past. Pristine images we were all promised... 'Cobblers'.

What's your view? Should these seasons have been cleaned up for future generations? Or is Steptoe And Son considered already as too un-PC to even be considered the time of day?
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Postby Archie » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:17 pm

Thankfully I have been collecting the series since I got my first VCR in the mid 80's and have every 'uncut' episode (apart from A Box In town) on so called old fashioned video tape.
DVD Discs and recorders have an alarming habit of packing in whereas if a video tape breaks just stick it together with a bit of sellotape.

Anytime you see a Steptoe video tape in a charity shop snap it up Sod modern technology :evil:
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Postby bob » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:09 am

I completely agree that every attempt to restore the episodes should have been made.

We all accept that the episodes on the new DVD have been cut, but there appears to be no obvious reason (i.e. censorship) for the cuts.

does anybody know why ?
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Postby Arthur Rudge » Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:52 pm

I'd hazard a guess that it leaves the door open for future releases once the fans have shelled out on this collection.A year or two down the line and another company will release Steptoe And Son or maybe it will be BBC restoring them and adding one or two extras and throwing them into a boxset at a large price.
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Postby Jojo » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:25 am

Would we still buy it though? I'm cross with 2Entertain for not getting these prints restored before releasing them onto DVD.
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Postby Arthur Rudge » Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:43 pm

People would buy it if its boldly advertising restored versions of Steptoe And Son with extras thrown in.
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Postby Jojo » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:57 am

Arthur Rudge wrote:People would buy it if its boldly advertising restored versions of Steptoe And Son with extras thrown in.


No doubt folk would, it would depend on the extras and above all price for me to consider it.
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Postby Graham_S nli » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:03 pm

The Goodies AT LAST....... & The Goodies AT LAST A SECOND HELPING...... DVD's were digitally restored and it shows what can be possible and the people who sold them ensured the best quality possible was done with numerous extra's included...

One episode in particular called "Come Dancing" was actually found in Scotland on 2 inch tape with the adjoining "Top of the Pops" episode from 1971 on an extremely "low band" colour signal (technically B/W) and was enhanced to such a degree that it now looks in colour (although not perfect...)

The BBC and it's partner selling the Steptoe series seem to have done no more digitally remastering than what has already been carried out on the "lost episodes" when they were first discovered in Ray Galton's basement....

There was news recently that some "lost episodes" were found in a similar type of film with a "colour signal" that could be enhanced....

If they are eventually digitally remastered I would not be surprised if they sell them in a further "special edition" boxset in the future....(a bit similar to selling your favourite films to you first on VHS, then DVD and now "blu-ray"....).
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Postby The Pixel Surgeon » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:57 am

bob wrote:I completely agree that every attempt to restore the episodes should have been made.

We all accept that the episodes on the new DVD have been cut, but there appears to be no obvious reason (i.e. censorship) for the cuts.

does anybody know why ?


Probably saving the fully restored definitive version/set (hopefully - although I’ll be dead by then) for a fiftieth anniversary box set... Having (hopefully for them, the BBC) most who bought the first time round, to pay out again... and which won't be, untill at least 2012, if they use the date of the pilot (Comedy Playhouse) episode; 'The Offer', as the series' conception...

Whilst the DVDs may not have had the ‘full’ restoration treatment (not talking about cuts, here), they/some have certainly been restored (cleaned-up) to some degree...

I don’t yet have the box set, but have seen several of the episodes included...

Take a look at the filmed insert, from ‘A Star is born’, where Albert leaves the curry house, and you should now notice, a nicely cleaned image... where before, it was covered in muck (for want of a better word).
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Postby Archie » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:00 pm

Welcome to the forum Pixel Surgeon :o

Recently yet another DVD recorder packed in I purchased a HDD / DVD recorder this will cut down on wear and tear on the DVD recorder.
I can wipe recordings that I don't want to keep.

The next craze will be Blu ray, from the Philips site -
Blu-ray Disc is a new generation optical disc format which can record, rewrite and replay full High Definition content. Jointly developed by Philips and other major manufacturers, a Blu-ray Disc offers more than ten times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs - up to 50 GB on a dual-layer disc. Blu-ray Discs are also more resistant to scratches, dust and fingerprints than conventional discs. Blu-ray Disc supports Full High Definition resolution (1920 x 1080p) and up to 7.1 channel surround sound.

Will Steptoe & son eventually be available in this format I wonder you could get every episode on 2 discs, we will have to put our hands in our pockets yet again :shock:
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Postby thatsthatthen » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:19 pm

I like the episodes in black and white much better than the colour.

But when you reach series six what on earth's going on? Some colour, some black and white.

I like the B/W as it keeps the series firmly in the past and that somehow forgives some of the racist remarks and politically incorrect language employed.

Interestingly, this site itself is very much black and white too.

I like that.
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Postby bob » Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:48 am

Dear thatsthatthen

It’s really nice having someone on the forum who is completely new to the show. Some of the things we now take for granted are new and exciting for you.

Now I hope you are sitting down before you read this.

As you have discovered Steptoe and Son is a landmark television comedy, something that paved the way for much of the comedy we see today. Some thirty years after the programme stopped people still remember it, and the recent “Curse of Steptoe” programme attracted millions of viewers.

Steptoe and Son is an unbelievably valuable asset for the BBC.

Not only series 6 but from series 5 onwards all of the episodes were in colour. So why are the majority of series 5 and 6 in black and white ? The answer is that the BBC lost them !!!!! Until a few years ago we thought some episodes were lost forever.

Many of the episodes that appear on the DVD are restored versions of domestic video recordings, many made by Ray Galton one of the script writers. If you compare the quality of the B&W recordings in the earlier episodes you will see that they are of much better quality that many of the B&W recordings from series 5 and 6.

Still the most important thing is that we have some record of the show and they are just as funny no matter what colour the picture may be
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Postby thatsthatthen » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:55 pm

Hi bob

Thanks for the explanation.

The BBC lost them ... or wiped them?
Or were they recycled for the silver (like so many early films).
It is scandalous that such a desecration could occur.

As I near the end of my journey through all episodes (in transmission order) I am saddened. I have only 3 more episodes to watch (including the final Christmas show from 1974). I hour and 40mins of new material.

After tonight I will be totally lost... unless of course I just go back and watch them all over again. Or I could find another TV show I've never seen before and obsessively watch every episode over the course of four weeks and talk about nothing but that show and make other people watch it too.

To date, I definitely prefer the early series (1-4). I think credibility plays a large part in my reason for this:
The actors aged, the characters didn't.
At 37 you really felt for Harold. When, 12 years later (and an actor pushing 50) he's still stuck, it requires you to suspend disbelief a bit.

I watched the two films and remembered seeing one of them (the stripper one) years ago and not being impressed. Ride Again is much better (though still not great).

What are H's other films like? Is he any good in Jabberwocky? What about Ladies Who Do? Bargee?
I did like his turn in Magnificent 7 Deadly Sins (Lust) and watched it again recently. Not a great film but a few well written episodes.
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Postby Jojo » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:52 pm

Totting about on the web and found this collection of junk at half normal price...
http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/3441141/ ... duct.html#

Dammit... mine's ordered, sod the rent. :wink:
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