Customer Review

402 of 419 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wiped clean by A&E, May 28, 2006
This review is from: The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus 16 Ton Megaset (DVD)
As some of the other reviews have pointed out, some bits from the original series are missing or dubbed over. Those writers noted changes in the Summarizing Proust and Australian Philosopher sketches. Add to that list the removal of most of Terry Gilliam's religious animations from the "Not Being Seen" episode. (The show ends with a fast-forward summation of the episode and you can see a glimpse of what was expunged.)

I saw all of these episodes uncensored in Canada when they were originally broadcast -- now 35 years later A&E decides what we can and cannot see, even as we pay to own the set. It's disturbing for many reasons that BBC comedy that pushes the boundaries with religion and philosophy is wiped clean by the hand of A&E.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 11, 2007 9:32:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2007 9:32:49 PM PST
Just not going to buy until the FULL set is available uncensored.

Posted on Nov 8, 2008 7:34:21 AM PST
W. Williams says:
It wasn't A & E that required the edit, it was censored by the BBC after it was initially broadcast.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 4:00:53 PM PST
Balkaster says:
What W. Williams said. These changes were made before initial broadcast by the Beeb, or before international resyndication (Gilliam's "religious" animation depicting linemen stringing telephones cable across the crucifixes at Calvary, was actually aired for years in the US, but disappeared before MTV began airing the series in the 1980s, so presumably other forces imposed additional censorship after the fact. It's a shame that the producers of the DVD set weren't able to replace the missing bits, as footage does exist for some of the missing material.

Posted on Dec 27, 2009 8:15:27 PM PST
I had a feeling Wikipedia was wrong (it says the Proust bit was edited after broadcast, while I have audio tapes of the series somewhere from when I was like 12 years old). Clearly, the Proust bit got through on PBS in the 80s. I don't recall seeing the Calvary scene by Gilliam though. Weird. Perhaps I'd know it if I saw it. I don't know why they'd censor that. If they can show live breasts on television (no word of any of those scenes being cut), why can't they show a cross or say the word "masturbating?"

Posted on Dec 29, 2009 3:52:57 AM PST
K. Croteau says:
Same type of issue exists for many DVD box sets (i.e. Will & Grace, Northern Exposure's soundtrack, etc.) and I appreciate the "heads up" regarding this one as well.

Posted on Jan 13, 2010 10:34:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2010 10:38:46 PM PST
Sadly, it's not only the A&E release that's edited in this way. The same edits that appear on the Region 1 discs are also on Sony's Region 2 release. In addition, there's still no "play all" option, AND the video quality has suffered. In addition, the videotaped segments now look as though they were originally shot on film, then left to moulder in someone's garage for a few years; picture quality overall is grainy and washed-out.

I hate to say it, but the A&E discs, flawed though they are, may be as good as we're going to get.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2010 4:40:36 PM PST
Guys, as a literally life-long fan, I agree that these little edits are annoying and unforgivable...although my VCS copies from the 80's (taped from my local station) have ALL the same edits so these must have been made well after the shows were aired and those changes are now on the masters. A&E themselves are on record saying that they just released what the Beeb gave them.

That having been said, there is SO much entertainment on these discs that holding off because of a few missing seconds is just silly and anyone who does is really missing out here...just my 2 cents, no need to flame.

Posted on May 1, 2010 2:38:06 PM PDT
Thanks for the warning! Why in hell get the complete set when the episodes are not complete?? The editorial review goes on about how daring and naughty the Pythons were, what groudbreaking achievements they made in television, along with warnings of possible offenses, yet no warning of the offense of censorship? Disgraceful....

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2010 6:16:41 AM PDT
Yes, I agree. That's just silly. Extremely silly. And I abhor cannibalism, too.

Dear Sir,

I am glad to hear that your studio audience disapproves of the last skit as strongly as I. As a naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is the RAF who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And what do you think the Argylls ate in Aden. Arabs?

Yours etc.
Captain B.J. Smethwick (in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic)

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 12:10:34 AM PDT
M. fox says:
i heard it was john cleese himself that decided to edit out bits of dvd
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