We all are fully aware of the cuts that Only Fools and Horses have suffered, whether on the recent BBC repeats or more annoyingly on the DVD releases.
This week (5 Sep 2011) we see the very latest release from the BBC – Every episode in a very smart 26 disc boxset celebrating the 30 years.
Amazon has it here with free delivery Only Fools and Horses – The Complete Collection [DVD]
Features all the episodes and Christmas specials on 26 discs.
So will this set be different to all the others?
Fools Fans Complain to BBC
Fools fan Pete Manning told me ”
Thank you for contacting us regarding the BBC One programme ‘Only Fools and Horses’ broadcast on 12 July 2011.
I understand you’re unhappy because you believe episodes in the series were edited so badly that the stories no longer made sense and that many cuts weren’t necessary.
We raised your concerns with those responsible for managing this content in our Comedy department. They passed the following reply:
“The recent screenings of Only Fools and Horses have been a big success with the BBC’s Daytime audiences, which is no surprise considering it is such a well-loved show. Unfortunately the limited amount of time in the Daytime schedule meant that edits had to be made to fit the episodes into the available time-slot. This is also the reason why the episodes were run together in pairs – removing the opening titles from the second episode in the “double-bill” and combining the credits of the two episodes ended up saving valuable minutes that we then didn’t have to remove from the shows’ content.
Very occasionally an edit was also made because some of the language was considered too strong for that time in the afternoon. The family of the show’s writer, John Sullivan, were heavily involved in the entire process, agreed with every edit made, and were, like us, happy with the state of the final episodes.”
I appreciate that you may continue to feel it somewhat becomes in parts, nonsensical and I’d like to assure you that I’ve registered your complaint on our Audience Log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that’s made available to all BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive board, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The Audience Logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions on future BBC programmes and content.
Once again, thank you for contacting us.
I then took the opportunity to build on this by sending another complaint regarding the DVD releases:
Titled : Only Fools and Horses Cuts – please respect the comedy
From the outset – I understand that certain cuts have to be made when fitting in with TV schedules etc
But I cant understand why we get so many cuts when purchasing the Only Fools and Horses DVDs for a good price
Only Fools and Horses is a British institution
It wins nearly every voting pole going including Best Sitcom ever
I’m sure you’re proud of Only Fools and Horses and John Sullivan’s amazing work as much as I am, but how do you justify cutting so many scenes in the Only Fools and Horses DVDs?
I know you speak of music royalties etc – but pay for them!
That’s why we purchase the DVD in the first place – to see the original comedy, not parts cut out by a limited budget
Also Only Fools and Horses is one of the only DVDs you can purchase that have no extra scenes or footage or clips or bonuses, or directors comments.
For years I’ve heard fans complain, again and again about this issue
I know they have written to you, emailed, you and I know you have given replies with the above comments.
- But what do you need to charge for a DVD box set so the directors/ teams comments are there for the fans?
- But what do you need to charge for a DVD box set so the uncut scenes and background music are kept in tact?
- But what do you need to charge for a DVD box set so the fan gets some genuine extra footage off the original clippings (I know there are loads as I’ve been to the studio filming)
Come on BBC, its our Sitcom, please stop destroying it and listen to the public
Most are prepared to pay for the DVDs and a good price for them if you gave us the respect and provided at a minimum the original broadcast and some bonus footage really would be appreciated
Having had the Formula One footage cut in half for the coming years – its little to ask that Britains Best Sitcom gets more than the usual respect
The reply from the BBC:
Thank you for contacting us regarding ‘Only Fools and Horses’.
I understand you’re disappointed with the content included on the DVD version of this series.
All of our commercial products, including DVDs, are handled by BBC Worldwide so you should contact them directly with your concerns and this can be done using the information provided below:
In the meantime, I can assure you that I’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is a daily internal report of audience feedback which is made available to all BBC programme makers and commissioning executives, including their senior management. It ensures that your concerns are considered across the BBC.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Leo Westoby also recently sent a complaint to the BBC on Re-released DVD edits….
Hi, i am a huge fan of OFAH and have been reading the complaint letters on your fantastic website about the new re-edited DVDs. I have written an email to the BBC complaining about the new DVDs. This is what i sent “Only Fools and Horses is a fantastic comedy and is still watched by millions of people around the world. Everytime the BBC re-releases DVDs of the surperb comedy it gets re-edited! Alot of huge fans, including myself, wants an original series on DVD without any edits being made. I do understand about there are legal issues about music. Everytime a complaint of this nature is brought to the surface it seems that no one is really listening and get fobbed off. I understand by reading a previous complaint letter that John’s family were involved in the editing process. I also have videos of ‘Only Fools’ and have been comparing them. One on feature length episode the DVD version was nearly 6 minutes shorter than the video version. Please can you explain why everytime Only Fools gets re-released on DVD it gets re-edited?”
Keep up the good work as this website is the best around and long live OFAH!
So still none the wiser – but do give them a call and at least it is noted – if not it may turn things around
BBC Worldwide Limited
201 Wood Lane
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8433 2000
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8749 0538