Unfortunately I have yet to see a proper release notice about this from an official party, but it seems the BBC is re-releasing on DVD two of the best television shows ever made: Black Adder
and Fawlty Towers
I originally found this news on DVD Reviewer
, to be specific):
Blackadder:The Complete Collection is an alternate history lesson. The four series feature Rowan Atkinson as the devious B’ladder who helped shape this great country by using every low-life trick in the book and the occasional cunning plan. Aided by the malodorous Baldrick(Tony Robinson) he sheds a unique perspective on the past.
Written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, additional cast members include Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. This brand new limited edition boxset includes all four series with special extras, as well as Christmas Carol, The Cavalier Years and Blackadder Back and Forth, released for the first time ever all together in one boxed collection.
The Complete Fawlty Towers boxset features both series, and extras include interviews with John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs; commentaries by Producer John Howard Davies and Director Bob Spiers; Torquay Tourist Guide – A mini-documentary on the Gleneagles Hotel which was the inspiration behind Fawlty Towers; Artist Profiles; Who’s Who Guide To The Characters; Illustrated Book With Photographs and out-takes.
It seems the Fawlty Towers
set is simply the old set in a new package, but the news of a new Black Adder
set is particularly exciting, since it is the first true complete set... Or so we’re lead to believe. For those who are not completely aware of the show’s history, the footage consists of the following:
Seasons One through Four
“Blackadder’s Christmas Carol” (43 mins.)
“The Cavalier Years” (16 mins.)
“Black Adder: Back & Forth” (55 mins.)
But this is where it gets complicated. A few years ago BBC America released the poorly titled Black Adder: The Complete Collector’s Set
(note: the release date on that page is incorrect). This five-disc set included the first four seasons and all the specials – except one! It was missing the “Back & Forth” special! In the UK the BBC released a five-disc set by the same name, which included all four seasons, but only one of the specials: the “Back & Forth” special! Obviously, neither set was complete, and those who wanted it all were hard-pressed to make a decision between “Back & Forth” and the other two specials. (Who’s the brain behind these cunning plans, anyway – RCA/BMG?)
Now fast-forward to October 3, 2005, when the BBC is expected to release a new DVD set entitled Black Adder: The Complete Collection
. Now this is a six-disc set, but the information given on the BBC site states that it now includes two of the specials, but not “The Cavalier Years” (contrary to the DVD Reviewer’s site, which states it includes all three specials)! This is madness! The question now becomes, why does the new set require six discs, if it holds roughly the same amount of content as the American five-disc set? Is the BBC Shop site information incomplete, or is DVD Reviewer’s report inaccurate? Can anyone shed any further light on this issue?