Release: Dec 05, 2019 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Comparison between the censored European DVDs by Sony (identical to the American DVD by A&E Home Entertainment) and the uncut British Blu-ray by Network on Air
- 2 deviations
- Difference: 58,4 sec
Censorship on MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS
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 Blu-ray.com 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 3
Now that we have compared all 13 episodes of the 3rd season in the old Sony DVD version with the new Network Blu-ray, we can state that this third season for deviations within of the episodes again the specification of "Reinstated content" in the special features doesn't fully cover it. Still, to a large extent, differences are only really noticeable here. Each episode is otherwise almost frame-accurate and the promised "Extended..."-material for 3x01 (Whicker's World) and 3x04 (Blood, Devastation, Death, War and Horror), 3x10 (E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease), 3x11 (Dennis Moore), 3x12 (A Book at Bedtime) and 3x13 (Grandstand) can only be found individually as a bonus.
In the 9th minute of episode 3x01 (Whicker's World) you can see a text board in yellow on a black background instead of white on a blue background. On 3x10 (E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease) the text "Syria 1203" is missing in the 23rd minute (but shown already 1,5 minutes before in both versions). In episode 3x13 (Grandstand) the film board is shown twice at the beginning, probably because something went wrong in the studio. Only this explains the runtime of this episode compared to the Sony-DVD (over 2 minutes longer).
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 3x09 compared here (The Nude Organist) actually offers a longer scene in addition. Once again, an animation by Terry Gilliam was cut in any previous releases. It probably only had to go for reasons of tightening. Curiously enough, there is a detailed off commentary in German, which probably comes from a local commercial. It doesn't really fit to the images, but of course it's an interesting puzzle piece to the original vision. As a bonus you will find an alternative soundtrack for the animation, which Gilliam also approved. Here the music of the old DVD version has been mixed under the advertising slogans.
By the way, once again in the Blu-ray.com thread there was an interesting statement from Paul Vanezis, who was involved in the production of the Blu-ray set:
Run time specifications are arranged according to the following scheme
Sony DVDs / British Blu-ray
In this episode there is a lot of laughter over the film board in the beginning.
25:24-25:51 / 25:55-26:22
After the (German) "Extra holt mehr Schmutz aus ihrer Wäsche. Sehen sie selbst..." (own translation: "Extra gets rid of more dirt out of your laundry. See for yourself...") the well-known old version changes to brass music.
On Blu-ray, the off-commentary continues instead over the initially still identical shots: "Zum Opernball zieht sich Herr Hahn das frisch gewaschene Frackhemd an. Doch da entdeckte er voller Schreck an der Manschette noch einen Fleck. Das Kochwaschmittel war zu schwach, bei Hahns kommt es fast zum Ehekrach!" (own translation: "At the opera ball, Mr. Hahn puts on his freshly washed dress shirt. But then, full of shock, he discovered a stain on the cuff. The detergent was too weak, almost causing a marital quarrel for the Hahns.").
More people start singing: "Ich bin der Extra Jumbo, bring Extra hier ins Haus. Denn Extra holt mehr Schmutz aus jeder Wäsche raus. Sehen sie selbst: Extra im Vorwaschgang, befreit die Faser. Macht jede Wäsche rein, weiß und gründlichst sauber." (own translation: "I am the Extra Jumbo, Extra comes to your house. Because Extra gets rid of more dirt out of every wash. See for yourself: In the pre-wash cycle, Extra frees the fibre. Makes every wash speckless, white and thoroughly clean.")
Note: As noted in the intro, in the bonus material you can find another third variation of this scene, where the music of the old DVD version was mixed with the advertising slogans to be heard here.
No time difference
25:51 / 26:22-27:21
Only on Blu-ray the animation is a little longer after the trees have come to a stop at an invisible border in space. They then walk to the left and make their way up a new path, while as a voiceover the German advertising announcements continue.
Speaker: "Oh, who would have thought that? That Extra would remove even more dirt? Forgotten is the marital quarrel, they happily go to the opera ball now."
Other speaker: "Whether pre-washing or main washing up to 60°, Extra gets rid of more dirt out of your laundry too."
Speaker (own translation!): "Extra gets more dirt out of your laundry, too. See for yourself: Before the big day, a big shock, there's still a butter stain in the school dress! The detergent was too weak, the mother now calls 'Woe!' and 'Oh!'. I am the Extra Jumbo, Extra comes to your house. Because Extra gets rid of more dirt out of every wash. In the pre-wash cycle Extra frees the colours. Extra makes every wash speckless, white and thoroughly clean."
Female voices: "Oh, who would have thought that Extra would remove even more dirt?"
The trees have now grown again on a new green area. A little man comes running up to the back and starts sawing. A branch tips over and the right tree falls down. This leads over to the text panel in memory of 1937, with which the well-known version 1 sec later also begins again.
Note: For the complete scene there is by the way no translation on the English subtitle track. Non-German viewers only get a short hint that German is to be heard here at the moment, without further explanation to the text being spoken.