Dear John... Page 4

Dear John..... Image shows from L to R: Kirk (Peter Blake), Kate (Belinda Lang), John Lacey (Ralph Bates). Copyright: BBC.

Dear John....

Sitcom following the trials of John Lacey, who joins a singles' club when his wife suddenly leaves him for his best friend

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 3rd November 2010, 1:25pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Buy it. The first series is a particular highlight.

Product artwork - buy at Amazon
Buy at Amazon
[p=http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/15476757/Dear-John-Complete-Box-Set/Product.html]
[h=14079]

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Dene Kernohan

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 2:00pm [Edited]
  • Northern Ireland
  • 103 posts

Hey folks - a query about 'Dear John....' if anyone can assist.

I only discovered this recently: Series 1 Episode 7, the brilliant ep where John first finds out about Kirk's alter ego, originally ran 35m. Instead of the usual 8.30-9pm slot like the rest of the series, it ran 8.15-8.50pm on Easter Monday 1986.

I don't think it was just relaxed scheduling - a chap on another forum who has access to the BBC's INFAX database pointed out these runtimes and that's where I first twigged. This link here seems to back it up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00h40yg

The following year's repeat was cut to the more usual 29m and this is the version that appeared on VHS and now DVD (29m 40s according to the BBFC). I don't know if the longer version has ever been shown since - I know G.O.L.D. show the series on occasion, but I have no idea which version they have.

Does anyone know anything further about this and what was chopped? Quite a lot obviously, 4-5m is a lot for a half-hour show.

Cheers if anyone can assist.

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Aaron

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 2:56pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Interesting! Wasn't aware of that. Hardly new for a BBC 1980s sitcom to have been cut. Hm. Nothing (as far as I recall) sticks out as 'missing' or out of place in the episode. Is it possible that the 35 minute runtime could have included a short news bulletin, as is sometimes the case with scheduling now? If that was indeed Easter Monday, it'd make sense with an irregular schedule.

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Marc P

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 2:59pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts

Fawlty Towers was also variable in length. I'm not sure any of them stuck to the traditional 30 mins?

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Aaron

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 3:03pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Ah, but Fawlty Towers has - AFAIK - always been repeated at its original wavering length, so not quite the same thing.

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Marc P

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 3:35pm
  • England
  • 17,698 posts

Yes true, I think there would be outrage if FT was played about with in the editing room. I should think it would be very very hard to do as well.

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zooo

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 3:36pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 69,202 posts

They could just cut the major out entirely! That'd get rid of any dodgy bits. ;)

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Dene Kernohan

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 4:40pm [Edited]
  • Northern Ireland
  • 103 posts
Quote: Aaron @ September 16 2011, 2:56 PM BST

Interesting! Wasn't aware of that. Hardly new for a BBC 1980s sitcom to have been cut. Hm. Nothing (as far as I recall) sticks out as 'missing' or out of place in the episode. Is it possible that the 35 minute runtime could have included a short news bulletin, as is sometimes the case with scheduling now? If that was indeed Easter Monday, it'd make sense with an irregular schedule.

I did think something like this to begin with, but the INFAX chap says it was 34m on its original broadcast and I'm inclined to believe this.

Would love to find out for sure but if it was just shown the once like that it's not that likely many people have it.

Edit: I just had another look at the DVD and I do actually remember something from 1986 that's not on it. John and Kate's drunken evening together at his flat carries on for longer - here it ends with John saying to her "or you could just get a minicab", but on telly I remember him debating with himself about what he should do, then pulling his zip down and saying "oh, what the hell" - or something like that!

Actually, tbh that's arguably a bit near the knuckle so maybe John Sullivan and co. trimmed it on purpose. I'm gonna go with it being the rest of that scene being chopped, it could've gone on another 3m+. And as it ends on the DVD, Belinda Lang looks as if she's going to say something else.

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Aaron

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 5:01pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

Yes, I suppose that would make sense. Maybe there was a complaint made against the series, or a particularly notorious sexual assault of some kind around the time of that first repeat. How disappointing to learn there's that chunk though.

And bravo to your memory, Dene. I can barely remember what I watched last night most of the time, and I don't even drink!

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Dene Kernohan

  • Friday 16th September 2011, 5:07pm
  • Northern Ireland
  • 103 posts
Quote: Aaron @ September 16 2011, 5:01 PM BST

Yes, I suppose that would make sense. Maybe there was a complaint made against the series, or a particularly notorious sexual assault of some kind around the time of that first repeat. How disappointing to learn there's that chunk though.

And bravo to your memory, Dene. I can barely remember what I watched last night most of the time, and I don't even drink!

Ha ha thanks Aaron! Well, I remember that bit got a huge laugh, and ended the scene. It is quite outrageous so probably that's what stuck in my memory.

Yeah, I reckon it was an editorial decision rather than a scheduling one. As you say, disappointing that it's not there and if those are the circumstances it seems pretty unlikely to turn up again.

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Steve Charlie

  • Saturday 17th September 2011, 5:46am
  • EN, New Zealand
  • 195 posts
Quote: Aaron @ September 16 2011, 5:01 PM BST

Yes, I suppose that would make sense. Maybe there was a complaint made against the series, or a particularly notorious sexual assault of some kind around the time of that first repeat. How disappointing to learn there's that chunk though.

And bravo to your memory, Dene. I can barely remember what I watched last night most of the time, and I don't even drink!


Maybe they had to edit out some 'sexual problems' - yah?

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Aaron

  • Saturday 17th September 2011, 8:26am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts

:D:D:D

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Saturday 15th October 2011, 3:02pm
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 5,565 posts

My mum hated this, but she hates most things except beer and penises. While I'm not a huge fan of John Sullivan, I used to enjoy this series, ep 3 being perhaps my favourite. Couldn't stand Kate though.

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Agnes Guano

  • Saturday 15th October 2011, 4:35pm
  • Tediumcester, England
  • 541 posts

Dear John was a real favourite of mine. Oh and if your mum's free next weekend do let me know.

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Aaron

  • Saturday 15th October 2011, 4:38pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,751 posts
Quote: Michael Monkhouse @ October 15 2011, 3:02 PM BST

My mum hated this, but she hates most things except beer and penises. While I'm not a huge fan of John Sullivan, I used to enjoy this series


But where do you stand on beer and penises?