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Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Complete Series (Limited Norwegian Edition Blu-ray)

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Monty Python's Flying Circus

4.03 Le War (The Light Entertainment War)


  • Old DVDs (Sony / A&E)
  • Blu-ray (Network)
Release: Dec 09, 2019 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Comparison between the censored European DVDs by Sony (already a bit longer compared to the American DVD by A&E Home Entertainment) and the uncut British Blu-ray by Network on Air

- 2 deviations
- Difference: 130,8 sec (= 2:11 min)


A few years before the Pythons became immortal with their movies, they rose to fame on British television with Monty Python's Flying Circus. The British original series ran for 4 seasons, while the first three still had 13 episodes each and the final one without John Cleese only had 6 episodes.

After a first US DVD set by A&E Entertainment, Sony 2006 took on the series and released it on DVD in e.g. Great Britain and Germany. On some episodes this meant a clear added value compared to the American DVD release. In Episode 3x05 a well known censorship of the word "masturbate" was finally added in again and Episode 3x12 was even about two minutes longer than the first DVD edition. Nevertheless, among eager fans and thanks to recordings of early TV broadcasts and literature from the Pythons, further censorship and cuts are known. These have been added over the years, especially through syndicated airings in the 80s, but some were even done right after or during the first broadcast. A small summary can be found in the appendix of the two cut reports, in the thread e.g. here further examples were collected.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 show some specials were now produced in Great Britain but the big surprise was the announcement of a Blu-ray premiere. Since 04. November 2019 it's now available in Great Britain and the US. We're now diving deeper into the promise that the episodes will not only be elaborately restored, but also "complete and uncut on Blu-ray for the first time". In a Q&A session under their own Facebook post Network on Air wrote "the episodes have been restored to the original UK broadcast length". Shortly before the release, the listing of all special features also showed in more detail which episodes can be expected to contain new material.

The differences in season 4

Now that we have compared all 6 episodes of the 4th season in the old Sony DVD version with the new Network Blu-ray, two reports came out of it thanks to quite extensive extensions. But there is also quite a lot of bonus footage for all 6 episodes to be found separately in the special feature. This is especially interesting for the very last episode, because with "Ursula Hitler" a completely new sketch was discovered. More about this in the appendix of the cut report for episode 4x05.

There is still one general peculiarity throughout the whole box set. At the beginning of each episode there is a roughly 30-second recording from the TV studio of that time. Here a countdown for the studio audience runs down and occasionally some nice comments from the Pythons can be heard in the background. By default the Blu-ray jumps directly to chapter 2 right afterwards, but this is part of each video stream and explains the longer runtime.

The episode 4x03 compared here (Le War aka The Light Entertainment War) has had a number of cuts in the past. In several sketches trims were made, obviously to save some time. Possibly the version that was preserved before came from later syndicated airings in this case. The moments are not too spectacular, but of course it is nice to see the complete version again. Interestingly enough, these extensions are also not highlighted in the special features list and therefore they are a pleasant surprise in the end.

Run time specifications are arranged according to the following scheme
Sony DVDs / British Blu-ray
In this episode there is nothing special to be heard in the usual film board.

30 sec

12:27 / 12:57-13:01

After the close-up of the picture, the old DVDs lacked a medium long shot of the room, where Eric Idle comments "It seems to be working". Curiously enough, this is subtitled in phonetic English.

4.4 sec

12:47 / 13:22-13:26

Further war archive material with a text fade in, right before the "Coming Soon" reference.

4.2 sec

16:18 / 16:57-17:37

Chapman and Jones comment in more detail at the end of the scene.

Chapman: "We certainly ought to show something what, like, which, what we are about, to... Oh, sorry, I got lost in that sentence. Mrs. Elizabeth the third, could you help me out?"
Jones: "Oh, certainly, how far have you got?"
Chapman: "How far had I become."
Jones: "Oh, of course, so sorry. How far had you become. What? Hello.
Chapman: "Hello?"
Jones: "How far?"
Chapman: "How far what?"
Jones: "What?"
Chapman: "Let's just watch the motorway."
Jones: "Yes, let's."
They turn to the TV and Chapman says after a moment: "I think that was the gist of what I was just about to be done being saying that I was."
Jones: "Oh, don't start again, dear, please."

39.8 sec

18:48 / 20:07-21:10

The confused discussion at the table is a lot longer, one always goes away from the topic again.

Chapman: "I've been in light entertainment, L-E, for the last 25 cakes. Years. Well, I'm fed up with pusillanimous, chocolate, pompous asses, like you, who doth donut, donut, jamming them in."
Gilliam: "It's terrible trouble at studio five, sir!"
Jones: "Never did like cripples, too damn disturbing."
Chapman: "Chuffing fun."
Idle: "Good television though."
Jones: "Really?"
Palin: "My auntie had a budgie. Funny little chap, what was his name now? Philemon?"
Aus dem Off: "Chocolate!"
Palin: "Aristotle, Gripping? Cripple, Cripple that's it. Half a beak, no wing, funny little chap. He died, of course, she trod on him. Terrible noise, he went - waaah."
Idle: "What?"
Palin: "Sure."
Idle: "Blind people are the worst, tapping on the legs with their sticks. Not very funny."
Gilliam: "It's a world war, sir."
Jones: "No, no, no, cripples're the worst. Those damn wheeled chairs. They only do it to attract attention, you know. Hangdog expressions."
Idle: "Mind you, I should know. The wife's in an iron lung."
Palin: "I married an iron lung!"
Idle: "No, I married an iron lung."
Jones: "And mother makes iron lungs."
Man: "God's truth, iron lungs."

63.4 sec (= 1:03 min)

21:00 / 23:22-23:27

After the man in the animation has woken up in another place and immediately fallen over, you can hear him snoring a little longer on Blu-ray.

5 sec

25:50 / 28:17-28:19

When Chapman joined it, Palin said, "Urp?"
Chapman: "What's up?"

2.2 sec

26:18 / 28:47-28:49

The scrolling text appears a little earlier...

1.5 sec

26:23 / 28:54-29:13

...and longer. It is also read out completely.
Afterwards the ladies are dissatisfied with the program and let Gilliam change the station by giving him some more electric shocks. The Flying Circus can be seen on the telly, but that doesn't make the ladies happy either.

18.9 sec

26:28 / 29:18-29:25

The end of the shot is also missing with a coarse jumpcut, in which Gilliam's position changes in the background. The following shot also starts a bit earlier.

7.1 sec