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At Last the 1948 Show (DVD) BFI


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This ground-breaking, splendidly silly and surreal comedy sketch series, written and performed by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman, also starring the lovely Aimi MacDonald, was a major milestone on the road to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Goodies and everything that came after.

This lovingly curated new deluxe three-disc set restores all the existing episodes from both series of the programme in the correct order, and is as complete as is currently possible. It includes all ten surviving episodes, two almost completely reconstructed episodes, and the complete audio of a further episode with fragments of film restored; all drawn from the vaults of the BFI National Archive, and proudly presented alongside an array of newly-filmed and archive extras.

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Special Features

Features the entire two series as they were originally broadcast on DVD for the very first time. Presented in as complete form as possible – with incomplete episodes carefully and lovingly reconstructed using audio recordings and shooting scripts – in the correct chronological order
Features previously unseen episodes, fully constructed for the very first time
Includes rare audio recordings that stand in where film footage has been lost, enabling the full 13 episodes to be released as completely as possible for the first time, with restored ad buffers and reinserted rare sound and image sequences
Something About the Year 1948 (2019, 32 mins): John Cleese on working with Humphrey Barclay, David Frost and Graham Chapman, At Last The 1948 Show and the path to Python
We Just Wanted to Be Silly (2019, 38 mins): Tim Brooke-Taylor recalls his comedy influences and the making of At Last The 1948 Show
At Last It’s Dee Time (1967, 12 mins, audio): the At Last The 1948 Show team’s unruly guest appearance on the BBC chat show
John Cleese in Conversation (2006, 36 mins): John Cleese joins comedy historian Dick Fiddy at BFI Southbank to reflect on At Last The 1948 Show
John Cleese Introduces At Last The 1948 Show (2003, 2 mins): an introduction recorded for the BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped event
Reconstructing At Last The 1948 Show (2000, 44 mins, audio): the BFI’s Steve Bryant in discussion with Aimi MacDonald, Tim Brooke-Taylor and audiophile Ray Frensham
Archive audio on-stage interviews with Tim Brooke-Taylor and Aimi MacDonald
Now and Then: Marty Feldman (1968, 26 mins): Feldman discusses the nature of comedy in this unedited interview, shot for a never-broadcast Bernard Braden documentary series
The Humphrey Barclay Scrapbook: rare photos and drawings from the legendary TV producer’s personal archive
At Last Some Pictures: image gallery of promotional material
Reproductions of two scripts for the incomplete episodes
Illustrated booklet with Not Quite 500 Words by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Steve Bryant’s account of recovering and restoring the programmes and a look at the show’s place in comedy history by the BFI’s Dick Fiddy, plus episode notes with transmission dates and credits