So I checked online - Amazon.com versus Amazon.co.uk. And there - (just as several reviewers have noted) the Region 1 DVD was an hour shorter! The NorthAm broadcaster, A&E, apparently decided to cut it to fit in their ads, but kept the cut version for the DVD. You'd think that they would be able to figure out that anyone willing to pay to see several hours of overblown historical drama (mostly sex and melodrama, but also the aforementioned Exclusion Crisis) would kind of like to see the other episode. But apparently not A&E - they are convinced that because three hours of wigs is enough for them that all North Americans just have smaller attention spans. And because they have a monopoly, I can't get a Region 1 DVD of the whole series (4 hours) anywhere. So, other than sending off furious emails to A&E (done), is there anything that can be done to stop this kind of butchering by NorthAm distributors? Can we bomb the A&E with crinoline until it collapses under the weight of exquisite and historically accurate reproductions? Can I appeal to the BBC to start selling Region 1? Or should I just invest in a Region 2 player and tell my continent it can take its crappy cut films and go to a hell of 24 hour infomercials. All this has inspired me though - there may be a untapped market in pirated BBC historical miniseries - this may be my big break.
Furious George: how to destroy A&E? I really enjoyed the BBC miniseries about "Charles II: the power and the passion", called "The Last King" (inaccurate title) in North America, and so when I saw the DVD at my local store, I got it (hey, when you feel like an Exclusion Crisis, you need an Exclusion Crisis). Only when I got home, I realised that the number of minutes sounded low.