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Great Show, But Season 8 DVDs Have Been Edited
on July 12, 2012
UPDATE x2: Unfortunately, I've had to deduct a star, and return this review to its original 3-star rating. Acorn (whom I purchased the DVD from) made a very public spectacle of attempting to put things right with me regarding the edited DVD situation. Unfortunately, it's been over 3 months, and they never sent a new, unedited DVD to me as promised. To make matters worse, attempts to contact them via their Facebook page have gone unanswered.
The product itself ("New Tricks" Season 8) is definitely a 4-star affair, and I don't want to harm its rating. As it stands with the distributor (Acorn), however, that is decidedly a 1-star operation, and so this review once again goes back to 3 stars.
UPDATE: Since this review was published, Acorn have responded (both on Facebook and in the comments section of this review), and have been a class act in their acknowledgement of the issue, and how they plan to address it. I wanted to make readers aware of this, and that I am now bumping the star-rating of my review from 3 to 4 stars. Thank you, Acorn!
I've liked "New Tricks" since the pilot episode. The program manages to blend drama, light humor, mystery and suspense quite well. The cast are top notch, and the writing and direction are good. If I could give this set four or five stars, I would. Unfortunately, I am only giving it three. This is due to the fact that, for some reason, the episodes have been edited. Allow me to explain.
Almost all of the "New Tricks" episodes have a run time of approximately 58 minutes. The episodes on this Season 8 set run for roughly 51 minutes. I found this odd. I also found odd the fact that the late Trevor Bannister was somehow missing from the episode "Old Fossils," which was his last ever role. As a fan of his portrayal of Mr. Lucas on the venerable British comedy "Are You Being Served?" I was looking forward to seeing him one last time. Alas, it was not to be.
Not only was Bannister's scene cut from the DVD, but so was his listing in the closing credits. The Season 8 episodes are available on You Tube, and so I went and watched them there, and lo and behold, there are *several* scenes cut from each episode (about 7 minutes worth), and in the UK broadcast version of "Old Fossils," Bannister's name *does* appear in the closing credits. So, it was actually excised from the version on the DVD (along with his scene, and others).
This sort of detailed editing is uncommon to the prior season sets of "New Tricks" released by Acorn (seasons 3-7), and the BBC (seasons 1-2). I'm not sure what's happening with the Acorn release of Season 8, but please be aware that the episodes have been edited, to the point that roughly 60 minutes of total footage has been collectively removed from the set. This is an unfortunate and unsettling turn of events with Acorn, and I cannot award this release more than three stars because of it.
Seasons 1-7 are highly recommended.