I, too, lament the fact that the current DVD release of this excellent series only has eleven episodes. But apparently, in the late sixties/early 1970s, the BBC had a policy of wiping archive material and reusing the tapes to save money. Indeed, the late Peter Cook often told of how he offered to buy every single episode of 'Not Only, But Also' a comedy series he co-wrote and starred in with Dudley Moore, as well as giving the BBC a brand new tape for each episode bought.
However, the Corporation muttered some feeble excuse about 'copyright' issues and declined Pete's proposal. Thus, for a goodly while, a few blinkered Philistines at TV Centre were able, by dint of their elevated and self-righteous positions, to consign some of the most significant comedy of all time to the trashcan.
How I DO hope that this sort of cannibalism will never be brooked again.
As for 'All Gas & Gaiters' the lost, and what we have of it Absolutely brilliant in every respect.
All the characters are clearly defined, the detail most accurate and everything so typical of the ethos prevalent in that wondrous age. Consequently, my sincere thanks to: the writers, Pauline Devaney and Edwin Apps, the dearly departed Frank Muir, who had the insight to promote a one-off 'Comedy Playhouse' and bring us this marvellous series in the first place, and no less the fine British players William Mervyn, Robertson Hare, Derek Nimmo, John Barron and Joan Sanderson - who were so quintessential in making 'AGAG' what it truly was.
I can strongly recommend this set and, while I'm on the subject, openly confess that I now make a habit of snapping up all the 'old stuff' as soon as it's released, before some short-sighted accountant decides I am not to have it ever.
Given the above, a commendable strategy meseems.
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