BBC Series Releases From Network

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Shoestring: The Complete Series
£39.00

shoestring-the-complete-series.jpg


Shoestring: The Complete Series

Just wanted to ask anyone's opinion about this release?

I've got some Amazon e-vouchers but £45 is just so steep as a base price. Would anyone recommend that I just wait and see if it drops in price (the UFO boxset did), or should I panic buy just in case it sells out and shoots up in price thanks to greedy sellers?

I mean, the follow up show (Bergerac) is 27 discs and £35!

Thanks!
 
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Sarah7

Well-known Member
I expect the price will drop within approx 6-12 months time - happens to pretty much all releases - and probably only the book will be limited in availability, so if you want the book just be a little careful that you don't leave it too long before buying!
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
Just wanted to ask anyone's opinion about this release?

I've got some Amazon e-vouchers but £45 is just so steep as a base price. Would anyone recommend that I just wait and see if it drops in price (the UFO boxset did), or should I panic buy just in case it sells out and shoots up in price thanks to greedy sellers?

I mean, the follow up show (Bergerac) is 27 discs and £35!

Thanks!

The price may well come down and Network sometimes have sales on but it may sell out if it's a limited run. It depends how badly you want it.

Bri
 
If you're a big fan and want the book I'd go for it now.
Network have grown wise to people "waiting for the sales" and they now appear not every often and then it's rarely a sitewide sale and instead offers discount on certain types or categories only.
If you can do without the book you are guaranteed to get it half price at some point although how long that takes is a mystery .
Is it confirmed this release has no music cuts? That was the reason it was said the release would never happen although I know something has changed in the last few years regarding music - although the lazy BBC have not taken advantage of that to release a restored Only Fools and Horses which has lots of cuts and changes for music
 
Is it really a "lazy" BBC? The music changes may have been a rights issue.

Bri
It WAS a rights issue. But what I'm saying is that things have changed ( which is why Shoestring is out more than a decade after it was postponed) which I believe means they could reissue them if they could be bothered. They have spent so much time butchering them in terms of PC and music so that they have a one size fits all version now that can be shown on tv at any time of day yet they could easily fully restore the series for a dvd reissue.
I suspect they will at some point as its the one and only way they could get punters to buy it all over again.
And now that John Sullivan is no longer alive they have no obligation to keep the uncut version of Royal Flush hidden away. Sullivan cut 20 minutes from it around 2005 and that was the version released on BBC dvd and is shown on tv. Fortunately the magazine/dvd issue of that episode came out before Sullivan had access to his scissors
 
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brian s

Distinguished Member
It WAS a rights issue. But what I'm saying is that things have changed ( which is why Shoestring is out more than a decade after it was postponed) which I believe means they could reissue them if they could be bothered. They have spent so much time butchering them in terms of PC and music so that they have a one size fits all version now that can be shown on tv at any time of day yet they could easily fully restore the series for a dvd reissue.
I suspect they will at some point as its the one and only way they could get punters to buy it all over again

The video release rights were often dependant upon the original actors agreeing to the release. My son was an extra in a couple of episodes of Byker Grove. We had to sign an agreement that his appearance could be included in any use including video releases. This wasn't thought of before a certain point so the BBC had to get everyone's agreement to release old shows on video. I remember my mother complaining about a missing bit from her Horses VHS/DVD. It had Del Boy saying how bad a singer was in the club he was in. This wasn't on her tape/DVD. I assume this was because the singer refused to allow her singing to be criticized so didn't sign up to the use of her voice for the video.

Bri.
 

Sarah7

Well-known Member
Shoestring appears to have been cleared without cuts, so far as can be judged based on expected timings for episodes, however any details of music substitutions remain to be confirmed and probably won't be known until after release. There was 1 substitution IIRC on the former BBC/2E release of series 1 so it'll also be interesting to see if Network release the same again or have been able to restore the original music to that episode.

The problem with Only Fools & Horses is presumably that it's too mainstream, so that it sells regardless of how bad the releases were; too many buyers simply don't know or don't care about all the cuts and edits.
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
My copy of The Crunch has arrived. It comes with a viewing notes booklet. There's not a lot in it but it's a nice touch.

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Bri
 
The video release rights were often dependant upon the original actors agreeing to the release. My son was an extra in a couple of episodes of Byker Grove. We had to sign an agreement that his appearance could be included in any use including video releases. This wasn't thought of before a certain point so the BBC had to get everyone's agreement to release old shows on video. I remember my mother complaining about a missing bit from her Horses VHS/DVD. It had Del Boy saying how bad a singer was in the club he was in. This wasn't on her tape/DVD. I assume this was because the singer refused to allow her singing to be criticized so didn't sign up to the use of her voice for the video.

Bri.
Permission from actors to get stuff out on video changed ages ago. I think things were adjusted more in line with the tv repeats change from the late 90s whereby no actor vetos are permitted as long as a set fee is paid. This is why Martin Shaw was able to prevent ITV from repeating The Professionals when ITV still had an interest in showing it and why it suddenly appeared in the late 90s and has not gone away since. Unless it was in the actors original contract the power of veto is gone - although those rules do not apply to BBC1, BBC2, ITV1 and C4 where permission is still required (not sure about C5).
It was a sensible decision as Equity began to realise that repeat fees were going to be a major source of income for actors even after they retired.

Likewise a few years back the rules changed for home video of archive shows. Obviously home video releases have been part of the contract for a long time now but for the shows from the days when it wasn't it made video release expensive and difficult when permission was sought so the rules were changed there too. I did hear from one friend who was acquainted with an actress and when he told her of the dvd release of a show she made in the 70's it was actually the first time she even knew about it.

Music was a separate issue. But just as rules changed for tv broadcast some years ago - hence the BBC4 repeats of full unedited Top of the Pops from the 70's onwards that has also changed which is why Shoestring went from a no hope release to being real.

Which is why I believe OFAH could be restored.
The music changes date from a few years back. One of the Grange Hill releases was edited to remove a disco scene featuring music of the time.
I think the change happened round about the time Just Good Friends got a reissue and the 1984 Xmas special was seen for the time since 1984. It was never repeated and never appeared on home video. The problem was a party scene of about 10 minutes with Rolling Stones music played at the party but unlike most shows where the music is on a separate track making it easy to change , for some reason the Stones music was played live onto the set and is part of the dialogue track. So it was impossible to replace.
I think it was Eureka who came up with the idea of removing the offending parts of the track, and then presenting the dialogue that also goes as subtitles. The barmy thing is that the Stones music is replaced by cover versions of the same tracks during these moments.

Not long after the proper version was included on the Australian release of the show but as far as I know Eureka have not changed the UK version which still has this very strange change - although I guess it was better than not releasing that episode at all
 
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Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Amazon have a link in their listings called, "tell us about a lower price?"

Have just informed them of Network's £39 price for Shoestring, so if they do decide to price match that then you've all got me to thank!;)
 

Sarah7

Well-known Member
Network clarification regarding music substitutions and cuts for their new Shoestring release:

'Shoestring' heavily relies on contemporary commercial tracks playing in the background and sometimes used more pertinently within episodes themselves. The sheer volume of commercial tracks prevented a DVD release of any kind until relatively recently and has prevented a release of the second series for the same reasons.

However, and without going into too much contractual detail, we have been able to clear the vast majority of the commercial recordings used in series 2, including some very obscure tracks which fall under the same restrictions. Even with these clearances a small number of tracks remained which continue to be unclearable for the time being and we have made some substitutions in those rare cases but aside of that, the series has been released completely uncut.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Network clarification regarding music substitutions and cuts for their new Shoestring release:

I don't really understand the fuss about all this?

Isn't it just incidental music, not stuff that is essential to the plot or script or anything?
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
I don't really understand the fuss about all this?

Isn't it just incidental music, not stuff that is essential to the plot or script or anything?

There was a similar fuss over the Equaliser release. That show had quite a few records playing in the background every now and again. I think one release had different music to that in the original broadcast. I gather it did make a big difference to many fans. I don't know Shoestring well enough comment on the difference it might make. I can understand that the fans would want the original versions though.

Bri
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Brian - in my world I like something but I don't obsess about anything!

I have fond memories of the programme when it was first broadcast, but I really can't remember much about it at all.

But then, music is my first love (and it will be my last!) and I'm a huge fan of remixes and cover versions, so I guess I am not the typical fan of slavish originality. I'm just happy it's getting a release at all.
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
Brian - in my world I like something but I don't obsess about anything!

I have fond memories of the programme when it was first broadcast, but I really can't remember much about it at all.

But then, music is my first love (and it will be my last!) and I'm a huge fan of remixes and cover versions, so I guess I am not the typical fan of slavish originality. I'm just happy it's getting a release at all.

The Equaliser issue was quite a while back and I can't remember the exact details. It maybe that well known hit records were replaced with poor lift style muzak.

Bri
 
Pop songs in films and tv shows has been a problem ever since the dawn of home video. The theory is that permission was given to use the music for a tv broadcast and nothing more so once home video came along there were problems.
Early video releases for films like Jaws, Airplane, 16 candles etc all had music quietly changed and at the time nobody seemed to notice.
When dvd meant complete series of tv shows was possible the problem became even worse. Well known shows are the most notorious and Only Fools and Horses is rife with substitutions and edits. Usually the releasing company would ask for clearance to use the music which could be refused or require an unrealistic sum to be paid. Usually music is a separate track and its easy to replace the music with something different but with shows made on video tape there often won't be a separate music track in which case the whole scene is just removed.
In the US there was a series called Werewolf announced for dvd release but for some reason there was no music only track so the entire release had to be cancelled and its never come out.
I don't know the precise legalities but something changed several years ago. I'm assuming its a similar thing to when Equity removed the power of veto from actors so if a broadcaster pays a reasonable set fee then the music can be used although there are always exceptions and I believe music from The Rolling Stones and The Beatles are 2 of these exceptions.
The Performing Rights Society changed something which finally allowed the BBC to air original unedited Top of the Pops where previously they had to show TOTP2 style compilations. I think it is something similar which has freed up the home video problem.
Obviously different organisations in the US but they too got somewhere which meant the films I mentioned and many others got dvd releases unaltered. Quantum Leap was badly messed about with on dvd but the recent US Bluray seems to be totally original with all music intact.

Many of the tv shows simply have music in the background playing on a radio or in the case of Grange Hill at a school disco and it's silly stuff like this that has caused the problems over the years. Networks comments make it sound like the issue hasn't 100% gone away though
 
The Equity change came around 1998/99. Mentioning a book reminded me that in the case of tv shows that are adaptations of books adds another level of complications. When Network originally released Armchair Thriller they released it out of order because they had no problems with the stories that were written for the series but some of the stories were already based on books and these required extra clearances.
Second Sight have just announced the cancellation of their forthcoming release of the 1989 Toms Midnight Garden serial which is odd because it did come out once before courtesy of Readers Digest
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
By pure coincidence we watched the very last episode of the BBC series Sink Or Swim on the Network DVD. It had an original snippet of a Hazel O'Conner number then went into an awful instrumental version of I Am Sailing. I suspect that was how it originally went out as it was in exactly the same style as the closing theme music.

Bri
 
Yes, the odd thing is that often if a song gets removed it will be replaced by a cover version so its the performers rather than the songs that seem to be the issue although I expect there are exceptions.

Anyone else sampled the bizarre presentation of the Just Good Friends Xmas special on the UK dvd set?
 

Sarah7

Well-known Member
I've read about it (entire scene muted with dialog subtitled). There's now an R4 release of Just Good Friends which doesn't have that issue.

Sink Or Swim is amongst the titles in Network's latest 40%-off sale which started yesterday although at £16.79 it's still cheaper from Zavvi with a discount code.
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
I've read about it (entire scene muted with dialog subtitled). There's now an R4 release of Just Good Friends which doesn't have that issue.

Sink Or Swim is amongst the titles in Network's latest 40%-off sale which started yesterday although at £16.79 it's still cheaper from Zavvi with a discount code.

A muted scene with subs beggars belief. We thoroughly enjoyed Sink Or Swim.

Bri
 
I've read about it (entire scene muted with dialog subtitled). There's now an R4 release of Just Good Friends which doesn't have that issue.

.
I got the R4 set several years ago as it came out almost the same time as the UK complete series so I wonder if the issue is not relevant in Australia or whether the Eureka release has crossed with the change and it was too late to correct it
A muted scene with subs beggars belief. We thoroughly enjoyed Sink Or Swim.

Bri
The muted sequence of 10 minutes was the only way it was possible to present the scene. The fact that nobody had done it before was the reason it got shown Xmas 1984 and never appeared again. It never got a BBC repeat which was very unusual, a UK Gold repeat was billed in the Radio Times then cancelled and this is its first ever appearance on home video.
I think the idea was that its better than nothing and after the party scene the rest plays normally
 

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