Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

The Morecambe & Wise Shows: Series 1 and 2 - The Surviving Episodes

DVD Review from 2007

Front cover

B/W first series

King Arthor sketch
At last, Morecambe & Wise in all their glory, full episodes complete with musical guests and everything.

There are mixed feelings about this first, in what looks like a full set of series releases, form 2 Entertain. It's great that we get the only remaining footage (25mins) of the first black and white series from the BBC, and brilliant we also get the full second series, but…

Yes there is always a but isn't there.. In this case it is the lack of inner sleeve and features. Both could have been put to good use explaining why we only get the remaining footage from series one. There is no mention of what happened to the other shows, how this one came to be recovered or what bits are missing. For the casual fan it would seem all a bit unclear.

For the more discerning fan though, the complete lack of extras is somewhat of a bemusement. Considering the amount of documentaries there are, it wouldn't have been hard to slip one in and move the set on to 3 discs. There is no commentary, no bios, no photographs. Let's hope things change for any future releases.

On the bright side… we were pleased at the overall release,and amazed at how much clearer it looks compared to our old VHS copies. There are still some, what appear to be, video glitches from time to time, but we can put up with that if it means we can at last get rid of those old tapes.

Series one was written by Sid Green and Dick Hills, the writers of Two Of A Kind for ATV. The difference between that and the second series is plain to see. Eddie Braben joined the boys and things really start to fly.

The second series is still brilliantly funny to watch considering it was made in 1969, one of my favourites parts being the Peter Cushing play in episode one.

So, overall, well worth getting. It will certainly be getting plenty of usage here, and let's hope they keep up the good work with series 3 (but please give us some extras!)

NOTE: If you are tempted to skip past the musical guests using the chapter skip function of DVD players, beware! The chapters don't end at the right place, so you will end up missing a lot of material. An example of this is the Peter Cushing episode. Using skip, you miss the complete introduction sequence and jump straight into the play.

NOTE 2: The DVD cover mentions Susan Hampshire as being one of the guests. This is incorrect. Susan appeared in the 1969 Christmas show which is not incuded in this set.

NOTE 3: They spelt John Junkin's name wrong! They call him John Junction!

Extras: None!!!

© 2007

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The Morecambe & Wise Show : Series 3
Series three from the BBC

The Morecambe & Wise Show : Series 4
Review of series 4 DVD from the BBC

Morecambe & Wise - The Complete Christmas Specials
DVD of the BBC Christmas shows.