Last of the Summer Wine – From the Beginning on Drama!

Sadly, Peter Sallis passed away recently – Sallis appeared in every single episode of the long-running BBC sitcom ‘Last of the Summer Wine’. So, what better way to celebrate Sallis’s career than to enjoy ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ from the very beginning? Drama Channel are repeating the show, from the pilot episode, from Friday June 16th, at 1pm and repeated at 6:40pm. With a choice of 295 episodes to show, and five episodes per week, it’s definitely one to put on series link!

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I’ve contacted UKTV to see if they plan on screening the Christmas Specials this time around as sometimes these are omitted. UKTV said they plan on screening “…some Christmas specials in August” and more at Christmas. From listings released so far, I can tell you that they’ll have reached the end of Series 3 by July 14th – which will be the 21st episode. Full details below of episodes confirmed so far, which may help.

Episode Number Episode Title Original TX Drama TX Confirmed
1 Pilot – Of Funerals and Fish 04/01/1973 16/06/2017
2 Series 1 – Short Back and Palais Glide 26/11/1973 19/06/2017
3 Inventor of the 40 Foot Ferret 06/12/1973 20/06/2017
4 Pate and Chips 20/12/1973 21/06/2017
5 Spring Fever 24/12/1973 22/06/2017
6 The New Mobile Trio 27/12/1973 23/06/2017
7 Hail Smiling Morn or Thereabouts 29/12/1973 26/06/2017
8 Series 2 – Forked Lightning 05/03/1975 27/06/2017
9 Who’s That Dancing with Nora Batty Then? 12/03/1975 28/06/2017
10 The Changing Face of Rural Blamire 19/03/1975 29/06/2017
11 Some Enchanted Evening 26/03/1975 30/06/2017
12 A Quiet Drink 02/04/1975 03/07/2017
13 Ballad for Wind Instruments and Canoe 09/04/1975 04/07/2017
14 Northern Flying Circus 16/04/1975 05/07/2017
15 Series 3 – The Man From Oswestry 27/10/1976 06/07/2017
16 Mending Stuart’s Leg 03/11/1976 07/07/2017
17 The Great Boarding House Bathroom

Caper

10/11/1976 10/07/2017
18 Cheering Up Gordon 17/11/1976 11/07/2017
19 The Kink in Foggy’s Niblick 24/11/1976 12/07/2017
20 Going to Gordon’s Wedding 01/12/1976 13/07/2017
21 Isometrics and After 08/12/1976 14/07/2017
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Boon Is Back!

Boon is Back!

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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.

Chris