Boon is Back!
In January 1986, ITV first screened ‘Boon’ starring Michael Elphick. The show would run for seven series… and now, it’s back with repeats on the Drama Channel (Freeview Channel 20). Repeats of Series 1 can be seen at 8am, 3pm and just after midnight Mondays to Fridays.
To my knowledge, I reckon it’s a good fifteen years since the show was last repeated (I think the last repeat was on satellite channel Granada Plus, anyone care to correct me?!)
Whilst it’s great to see the show back, it’s a little disappointing that the episodes have been edited to fit into Drama’s tight schedule. Drama works on programmes starting at the top of every hour and so each episode of Boon has been edited down to 45 minutes. Take Episode 1 from Series 1 – ‘Box 13’… this was originally over 52 ½ minutes long, meaning 7 ½ minutes has been edited out of the 2017 repeat. Another 7 minutes out of Episode 2. With 93 episodes made, this would mean a lot of time edited out over the course of the repeats.
The problem is when the show was first aired back in 1986, there was less advertising on television. The shortest episode in Series 1 is 50 minutes and 29 seconds… and the longest episode is 52 minutes 49 seconds. Nowadays, there’s three commercial breaks in an hour instead of two breaks… and the only solution would be to give Boon a longer timeslot, which wouldn’t fit into Drama’s scheduling remit. Of course, some edits have to be accepted – on the BBFC website, Series 1 was given a ‘PG’ rating, but Series 2 and 3 was given a ’15’ rating, Series 4-6 were given a ’12’ rating… therefore it’s inevitable that some scenes from those series will not be suitable for daytime broadcast.
I have contacted the press team at Drama and suggested an uncut late-night repeat – if nothing else this would have meant viewers could record the show and at least see the series unfold as originally intended. Drama are certainly not the only channel to edit shows – ITV4 use edited versions of ‘The Sweeney’, ‘The Professionals’, ‘The Saint’ and ‘Minder’ with no uncut late-night offerings. Drama were kind enough to reply, and said “…the episodes have been slightly edited to fit the slot, you’re right. I’m afraid the repeats will be the same versions as the earlier ones.”
I’ve also asked Drama if they will be showing the feature-length 90 minute special from 1991 called ‘The Night Before Christmas’ – and the good news is the channel will be screening this episode, Drama said “…it hasn’t been placed in the schedule yet”. One way to catch the whole, uncut series is to purchase the series on DVD, available from all usual stockists.
Either way, tune into Drama each weekday – I’m guessing repeats will continue till May 26th so plenty of episodes to come.