Sykes – The Complete Series DVD Review
Released Monday June 26th 2017
And now, courtesy of Network DVD – you can watch Sykes, the classic BBC sitcom – starring Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques. Network DVD’s catalogue is full of great titles – my shelves are bursting with Benny Hill, On The Buses, The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club and many more. Sykes is another gem for any TV collector.
The last time ‘Sykes’ had a repeat run on TV was on early mornings on GOLD, but that was at least a couple of years ago. BBC2 screened a selection of episodes back in the mid 1990’s – and that’s when I first came across the series, and loved it instantly. I don’t understand why the show isn’t repeated now on Drama or Yesterday, instead of the same few classic sitcoms they do repeat. Having watched these DVD’s, I can assure you, it’s as funny as ever.
The first colour series was released by Network many years ago, and then deleted – with no further episodes being released for a long time. Thankfully, that’s now changed. 68 episodes are available on this release, containing all seven colour series from the sitcom’s run.
Now to clarify something which a couple of people had asked me about whilst I was reviewing this title. There was a previous series, ‘Sykes and a…’ which ran from 1960-1965. 59 episodes were made in monochrome, but only 25 of these survive. However, these are not in this boxset, the episodes included start from 1972. But, bear in mind that 43 of the Sykes colour episodes were remakes of scripts from the 1960’s series!
Series One even includes some DVD extras, just like Network’s original release did. The behind the scenes footage from 1972 is absolutely brilliant, and this continues throughout the three discs of Series One. There’s also a short feature to show how Series One was restored by Network, before being released on DVD – a great deal of work going into the original Series One release.
From Series Two to Seven (the series never before commercially available), there are no extras. But all of the classic episodes, including the Christmas Specials throughout its run.
My favourite episodes are ‘Six Million Dollar Sykes’ from Series Seven – who shows Sykes as the Bionic Man! Stranger from Series One, featuring Peter Sellers is an absolute classic. ‘Window Smasher’ is another favourite of mine.
One of the show’s great characters was neighbour Mr. Brown, played by Richard Wattis – who sadly passed away before the fourth series was made. Derryck Guyler was also brilliant as Corky, the neighbourhood policeman.
Hattie Jacques, who starred along Eric Sykes, sadly died the year after Sykes ended – on 6th October 1980, aged just 58.
There’s over 32 hours of comedy in this boxset – RRP is £89.99. You can purchase the series at http://networkonair.com/coming-soon/2604-sykes-the-complete-series