Trinity College Chapel

A Cambridge Spies Discussion Forum

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DVD release questions
mmebahorel wrote in cambridgespies
I just managed to score a viewing copy of the series - all the eps in full (five eps, as shown in the US, not four eps as shown in the UK), but none of the DVD extras because it's not technically the DVD. It's also the full series, NOT the BBC America cut down version (I'm just now, for the first time, watching Kim broach the homosexuality question with Guy in ep 1). But it's not letterboxed, while the BBCA airing was. So I'm a little confused as to why the viewing copy is both better and worse than what was actually aired.

Do the extras justify spending roughly $20 on the proper DVD release? If it had been a crap release with no real extras, it wouldn't be a question. But is the commentary any good? And the extras on the real Cambridge spies - trite or useful?

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My DVD didn't come with any extras on the real Cambridge spies. :( It only had commentaries on the first and fourth episode and a photo gallery. I can't recall much of the commentaries right now, but I do remember not being very impressed.

The commentary on the DVD release is so-so. You'd probably listen to it once and never again. They do talk about a couple of extra things relating to the spies in the commentary, but it's nothing overly exciting (and you'd find out a lot more if you could hunt down a book on them instead). There's a photo gallery of stills from the series, which is definitely trite. I don't think you're missing out on much (I didn't realise they cut things out in the American version - did they feel they needed to water it down a little for an American audience or something? In Australia we got the full thing).

It was due to time rather than anything in content. Because BBC America runs commercials, all my British programming from them is edited to some extent. Occasionally that means that we get 40 minutes for a sitcom or an hour and a half for a program, but usually it involves cuts. Cambridge Spies aired in 5 1-hour episodes rather than 4, but due to commercials, we still lost a few scenes, apparently.

Oh, and they mute every time anyone says fuck, and they generally cut naked breasts or penises, but occasionally one gets lucky.

It's not because of American audiences, it's because of FCC regulations as to content (pay cable such as HBO is exempt, but I think any cable that is supported by advertising rather than subscription has to comply) during prime-time hours and the need to fit that advertising in.

At least with Hustle, AMC airs full episodes, running an hour and 15 minutes with commercials, once a week, then reairs a cut-down, one hour version later in the week. Anything on PBS has no commercials but is liable to FCC regulations and may wind up edited that way (part of why they go after adaptations of 19th century literature, I think - no one can complain about nudity, sex, or language).

I've got a few of the bios - two on Blunt, one on Philby - so probably I know more than would have come out on any extras.

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