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Yes Minister: The Complete Collection (2003)

Paul Eddington , Nigel Hawthorne  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 613 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008DP4B
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,304 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Yes Minister: The Complete Collection" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 21 episodes on 4 discs
  • "A Short History of Yes Minster"
  • "Sir Nigel Hawthorne Remembered" (47 mins.)
  • Creator Jonathan Lynn interview

Editorial Reviews

The elegant sitcom-cum-farce-cum-sophisticated political satire Yes, Minister sets off Paul Eddington's Jim Hacker, Minister for Administrative Affairs, against Nigel Hawthorne's discreetly obstructive civil servant Sir Humphrey. The pilot episode, "Open Government," is curious in that it contains opening and closing credits different from and distinctly inferior to the rest of the series. You also sense that Mrs. Hacker was originally intended to have a larger role, with comedy focusing on the clash between political and domestic commitments, until the writers wisely decided to focus on the stand-off between Jim and Sir Humphrey, with Derek Fowlds's mousy private secretary Bernard making occasional interjections.

While Sir Humphrey is at times a little too sinister for sitcom consumption, all the series' classic features quickly show up: Hacker's occasional Churchillian bombast, followed by panicky double takes when flummoxed, and Sir Humphrey's unflappable verbosity as he brings the dead weight of civil service bureaucracy to bear against Hacker's naively optimistic schemes for open government and slashing red tape in episodes like "The Economy Drive." It's ironic that when Yes, Minister was first screened in the '80s, it was during the rampages of early Thatcherism in which government had never been less like the ineffectual politicking satirized here. --David Stubbs

Product Description

In politics, you have to really get behind somebody before you can stab them in the back! Named one of the Top Ten TV programs of all time by the British Film Institute, this brilliantly observed comedy of manners pits the well-meaning Jim Hacker, a newly appointed Cabinet Minister, against the machinations of a career civil servant, Sir Humphrey Appleby, in the ultimate political marriage of inconvenience. Paul Eddington (Good Neighbors) stars as the The Right Honorable Jim Hacker, a role that was written especially for him, and Academy Award nominee Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George) first drew wide notice in the role of Sir Humphrey Appleby. Yes Minister is the first - and only - series to win the British Academy Award for Best Comedy three years running.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Lovely Collection Set of an Outstanding Britcom! November 19, 2003
By Tiggah
It is high time this outstanding britcom (plus its sequel, Yes Prime Minister) was released in its entirety on DVD, but it was well worth the wait for the BBC has done an outstanding job. It contains all twenty-one 30-minute episodes (which ran from 1980 through 1982) in a beautifully packaged four-disc set. The quality of the picture is very crisp and clear for a 20-year-old production (I know I'VE never seen it look so good!), and the DVD extras are a real treat.
This is an intelligent, extremely well-written series--a satire of the inner workings of government. Sources within the government provided the writers with all the fodder they needed, and it is highly accurate in its depiction of the corruption, politics, red tape, and manipulation that forms an integral part of the administration of government (ANY government, mind you--which is what gives this series such universal appeal). Indeed, Margaret Thatcher, herself a fan of the series, referred to it as being a "closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power."
The series opens with Jim Hacker (played by the late Paul Eddington (Good Neighbours), who sadly died of skin cancer in 1995 at age 68), who has just won the parliamentary seat for his riding (his party has won the election), being appointed as the new Minister of Administrative Affairs. Now that he's in a position of power (or so he thinks!), Hacker has high hopes for making some positive changes--things like instituting an open government policy, linking honours to economies for civil servants, and so on.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TIMELESS Political Humor July 12, 2003
Though done in the 80's Yes Minister is as fresh and funny as it was 20 years ago! What makes this series great is there isn't a weakness to be found. Nigel Hawthorne is Brilliant as Sir Humprhey and Paul Eddington as the bewildered yet good-intentoned MP James Hacker. Casting was perfect for these roles.
At the same time, the supporting cast was mostly overlooked, including the "3rd lead" Derek Fowlds who plays Bernard, the MP's undersecretary who seems torn in allegiance between Civil Service and his MP. While the first season also had some great moments outside of Parliament, later series removed the emphasis on Jim Hacker's home life, which served well early on, but could of weighted down the series as it grew.
Another strength is that the series had no real political affiliation. It didn't matter the issue, it found a way to have fun with it and cause mayhem.
Often Imitated, Never Duplicated. This is the gold standard for Political Comedy.
On the DVD specifics, do enjoy the special on Nigel Hawthorne on the 4th disk. I just hope that they can put together a similar tribute to Paul Eddington on the release of Yes Prime Minister.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir Humphrey and Hacker finally make it to DVD! June 12, 2003
I love Fawlty Towers, but for my money Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister is the funniest sitcom I have ever seen. While most of the humor is political in nature, you don't have to be a C-Span junkie to get all the jokes. You also don't need a background it the British political system (though it helps) as political corruption is universal. Indeed, this show was a worldwide hit and is being aired somewhere right now!
The U.S. video tapes for this series only included the first seven episodes of this series, so many of us will be seeing 14 "new" episodes! If you have those video tapes or have seen this show on public television, what are you waiting for? The video is of high quality and there are no gotchas; it's a wonderful set I'll keep mine for the rest of my life. If you are an anglophile who enjoys the likes of "To the Manor Born" or the Ian Richardson "House of Cards" trilogy (soon to be released on DVD as well), you will more than likely enjoy this set too. For the rest of you who have never seen this show, just know that it is an incredibly witty (though never silly) look into a well-meaning minister's (Paul Eddington) attempts to reform the civil service and an incredibly clever director of the civil service's (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) attempts to prevent any reforms. Don't let the subject matter fool you, it is never dull and will have you laughing throughout.
While there is a lengthy segment on Sir Nigel Hawthorne including an interview conducted shortly before his fatal condition was diagnosed, I wish there had been commentary on at least one of the episodes from the writers or producers (or even Derek Fowlds, who sadly is the only major surviving member of the cast) just to get a insider feel for the show.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Funniest & Truest Satire of Government Ever. November 20, 2004
"Yes, Minister" is simply the best political satire ever committed to film. The BBC series originally ran on British television from 1980-1982, with one hour-long special in 1984. Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington), a man who could be described as mediocre in all things, is the Minister of Administrative Affairs. Ever conscious of his popularity with the voters and concerned with his career, Hacker tries to assert his own agenda but finds himself constantly thwarted by the realities of the form of his Permanent Undersecretary of State, Sir Humphrey Appleby. Sir Humphrey (Nigel Hawthorne) is a veteran civil servant and bureaucrat by distinction. His job is to serve the Minister, but his role is to guard the status quo and the welfare of the Civil Service. Jim Hacker promised the voters change; his right-hand man will do anything go prevent it. The results are hilarious as these two try to outmaneuver one another. The Minister's Private Secretary, Bernard (Derek Fowlds), is caught in the middle, from which he never fails to correct any mismatched metaphors that his colleagues toss at one another.

"Yes, Minister" mines the English language's large and curious vocabulary to great comedic effect. The characters' sparring and obfuscation are all verbal. I can't imagine how many takes it took to make some of Sir Humphrey's tongue-twisting dialogue intelligible. "Yes, Minister" produced more memorable one-liners than I could count.

Writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn have assured their place in comedic history. "Yes, Minister" was the favorite television program of Margaret Thatcher while she was Prime Minister of Great Britain. In her words, "Its closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power has given me hours of poor joy." She's not the only one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The halls of power have never been so accurately, smartly, and...
Here it is... the ultimate look at the workings of the highest halls of power. "Yes, Minister" succeeds above and beyond the limits of a sitcom: I would understand if... Read more
Published 11 days ago by PGM
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series -- one of the very few that ...
I love this series -- one of the very few that is worth a second, third and fourth viewing. Whenever there is nothing else worth watching, we go to this one.
Published 1 month ago by Margotd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Mac McGinty
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this series, but would have loved it more if it came with subtitles.
Published 1 month ago by Pecan cookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Stoic British humour.
Published 2 months ago by D Crowder
5.0 out of 5 stars want a laugh
if you like English humor and want to find out what government isn't telling you just this collection. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Reiner Kirsten
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best British Comedy shows of all times.
This series and Yes Prime Minister are among the best of British comedy shows of all time. They are witty, erudite and have great chemistry between the three leads.
Published 4 months ago by David Blanchard
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner!
Paul Eddigington and Nigel Hawthorne are perfect together. Well cast, well written, entertaining, what more can I say! My only complaint is that they didn't do more. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Fine Knots
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Political Humor
This series is timeless and brilliant. I appreciate the intelligent insightful humor. It does sadden me however because it magnificently presents how malignant government has... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Fairred
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Yes!
This is my second purchase of the same series. I love it so much that i thought it would be a great gift for a friend. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Marcelita Ang
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