As I’ve watched the first series of “Last Tango in Halifax” (UK BBC aired version plus the DVDs) enough times, I began to notice when full scenes (even if short) or parts of scenes, were dropped during the PBS airing in September/October 2013.
I regret that I didn’t get round to writing up about the missing scenes in the first three episodes of Last Tango in Halifax when they were aired on PBS, but it wasn’t really something much that I’d picked up on until later on. There were a couple of scenes here and there that were slightly altered – in particular, I remember a scene in the second episode where Caroline had come home after work, John was in the kitchen cooking and making a mess, and he said “I’m cooking!” and Caroline replied with, “No shit, Sherlock” before turning to her sons. This reply from Caroline was dropped.
I was half-tempted to go purchase the Region 1 (PBS Broadcast version) DVDs, just to review the first 3 episodes again but I decided against it as I already have the Region 2 – UK/Europe – discs. So, until such time as I do get round to checking them out (such as through library rental), here are the missing scenes from episodes four through six of series one of “Last Tango in Halifax”.
Dialogue and images included herein belong to Sally Wainwright, Red Production Company and BBC. The dialogue changes have been marked in bold italics where PBS dropped them from the original UK release.
These are the ones I picked up on this week. So, bits left out in PBS version tonight: -
When Caroline wakes up at Gillian’s in the morning after lying on the couch, the diffused early morning sunlight is coming through the window shining over the room. Caroline gets up from the couch and heads over to the window. This is just before she heads out to join Gillian on the stone wall for a chat. No dialogue in that part of the scene, just some gorgeous imagery.
Scene in entirety; now most of this scene is actually aired, but there’s a little bit towards the end that was left out, but it would only make sense with the whole conversation/scene intact.
[John typing away on his laptop and Caroline comes into the house]
John: You must be exhausted.
Caroline: Did you send the boys to school?
John: No, they’re both asleep in front of the tele. How’s Celia?
Caroline: Fine. A bit wobbly. Shock probably. She wanted to stay over there, so…It’s a weird thing to happen.
John: Can I make you some coffee?
Caroline: Uhm…no, thank you. I’m going to go to sleep for a bit and then I’m going to try and go in to work.
John: Surely no one’s going to expect you in today. Could I…?
John: I wanted to say something…tell you something.
[John gestures to the family room off the kitchen; Caroline collapses on the couch and puts a pillow behind her.]
John: I hate what’s gone wrong between us. I don’t know if you’re ever going to forgive me but I made this deal with myself that I would never lie to you ever again or deceive you in any way, shape or form, in the hope that one day you would possibly. So I wanted you to know, purely because I felt responsible…guilty…God knows…sorry for her because she’s so…pathetic, I leant…gave Judith some money for her rent.
John: This morning. But I made it clear that there was no more where that came from. And…and I’ve told her that I’d be telling you all about it. She ran out begging…begging. She’s got almost no grasp on the realities of life.
Caroline: Poor bitch.
John: I wish she didn’t exist. Which is a terrible thing to say about someone.
Caroline: I’ve been thinking…
Caroline: This can work here. We can be civil, can’t we, for the boys? And like, you said there’s room for everyone.
John: Sure. So…?
Caroline: I’m seeing someone.
John: [voiceless] You?
John: You are?
John: You? Who? When?
Caroline: It’s not…I don’t know if it’s what I want entirely yet but…I won’t know if I don’t try.
Caroline: Doesn’t matter.
John: It matters to me.
Caroline: I’m not going to tell you who it is, John, so…Phhh [gives him the two-fingered salute.]
John: Someone at work?
Caroline: Possibly…possibly not.
John: It is.
Caroline: You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.
Caroline: I’m going to bed.
Caroline: That’s the deal.
John: Hang on. I’m not living under the same roof while you’re having it off with somebody else. [John follows Caroline as she leaves the room and starts up the stairs.]
Caroline: [turning back to face him] Well, you know where the door is. [She turns to head back upstairs]
John: Are you lying, Caroline? Are you lying?
Caroline: I don’t do lies.
John: Who is it then?
Caroline: No one.
John: Why is it a secret?
*** Caroline: [Turning back around again to face him] Because I didn’t want to have to listen to any of your opinions and comments and fucking* rubbish. [heads back upstairs again. *on the UK DVD – on the UK broadcast version she says inane rubbish] ***
John: So, it’s someone I know.
Caroline: Maybe…maybe not.
William: [Coming from another room out to see the argument between his parents] What’s going on?
Caroline: Hi kids!
William: What’s up?
John: …seeing someone.
John: Some…I don’t know. Does she bother with anyone in particular, at school?
*** [William has a think, and fondly remembers his mother’s and Kate’s interactions the previous day during the exam – this is not shown in the PBS broadcast version.] ***
William: [lying to his father because he wants to see his mother actually happy.] No. Don’t be stupid.
John: [heads up the stairs after her] Caroline.
First scene: As Caroline is getting out of her car, she places a call to Kate asking her to come to her office. (As is).
*** Dropped scene: Caroline walks down the corridor towards her office where she’s stopped by Beverley, her office admin, and Kate comes towards her from the other end of the hallway.
Beverley: Caroline, we weren’t expecting you. How’s your mum?
Caroline: Fine. Yes.
Beverley: Is she traumatized?
Caroline: Uhmm…[opens office door for Kate to go through into her inner office; looks over Kate as she passes before turning back to Beverley]. Don’t know. I don’t think so. I was…I feel well…[looking wistful] something else now…exhilarated.
Beverley: Shock, possibly. Can I get you some tea? I think Allison’s just made a pot.
Caroline: Oh has she? Oh good. Yes, thank you. [She turns and heads into the outer office and into her inner office. When she closes her inner office and closes the door and Kate asks ‘What?’ is where we rejoin what PBS airs when Caroline comes over to kiss her. Not sure why they dropped that bit – as it makes more sense when she says Beverley will be in with the tea.] ***
Caroline’s conversation with her mum on the phone seems to have left out part of the conversation. Celia asks Caroline to get her some knickers and a nightie and her toothbrush, like a little overnight bag, that sort of thing. The rest of the full conversation goes as such. The first part is as aired in PBS version with the bit of the UK version added on at the end. I’ve noted where the PBS version drops].
Caroline: Well, I would but I’ve got a school to run.
Cellia: You’ve not gone to work? You’ve been up all night.
Caroline: Can you get Alan to pop in to Halifax? They’ll have an M&S surely.
Celia: Oh right, don’t worry about me.
Caroline: Well, I would but…
Celia: I get the picture.
Caroline: Can I ring you later?
Celia: If you’ve time…
Caroline: Is that okay?
Celia: It’ll have to be.
Caroline: So, I’ll ring you later.
Celia: I could have caught a chill last night. I could have caught pneumonia.
Caroline: yes, but you didn’t.
Celia: All the same, I should be taking it steady instead of traipsing into Halifax.
Caroline: You’re in a pub.
Celia: What do you want for your birthday?
Caroline: Can I ring you later?
Celia: Only I never know what to get you.
Caroline: Yes. Can I ring you later?
Celia: And if I don’t get you anything you’ll be saying I’m being off with you.
*** [this is where PBS drops the scene; this is what remains:]
Celia: How old are you this time?
Caroline: Mum, I’m in a meeting.
Celia: Who are you in a meeting with?
Caroline: Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Celia: Oh, that smarmy beggar. Well, you can tell him to f-off from me.
Caroline: Right, I’ll ring you later. Bye.
Celia: Don’t knock yourself out.
Caroline: I will ring you later.
Celia: Think what you want for your birthday.
Caroline: Get me something from Marks when you go buying your necessaries.
Caroline: Bye-bye. [hangs up phone and turns to Gavin, the Governor] She sends her regards.
When Caroline turns up at Kate’s, when they’re just about to kiss when Caroline’s phone rings. Caroline actually says ‘shit’ and it breaks the moment and she nearly drops her phone trying to get it from her purse.
Changes: there’s a change in music – the music follows the UK DVD edition, rather than the UK broadcast edition – likely due to copyright permissions.
Caroline & Kate’s conversation after Caroline returns from the emergency department with Judith, after Caroline’s birthday dinner gone awry. They skipped over the bit where Kate and Caroline hug. Here’s the whole conversation; it’s marked where it gets cut off:
Kate: How did you get on?
Caroline: I stitched her up. Took her back to her flat. God, what a dump. He left me and the boys and this house to go live in that squalid little hovel with her.
Kate: Well, love is blind…and a form of madness.
Caroline: Was William all right?
Kate: He’s asleep. I think they both are… So, do you want the bad news first or the even worse news?
Caroline: Oh, just as it comes.
Kate: Gillian rang. John’s been over at her place.
Caroline: John has?
Kate: Telling your mum all about us. And she got upset apparently, your mum did, and she’s on her way over, here, now, with Alan.
Caroline: They can’t drive over here in the dark. They can’t see properly, either of them.
Caroline: And anyway, John doesn’t know all about us, specifically…I didn’t —
Kate: Well, my name was mentioned. And the thing is, Lawrence took the call. So now he knows as well.
Caroline: So…well… what did he…?
Kate: Shocked. Subdued. Certainly didn’t want to hang around me much after that. I said you’d pop up to look at him when you got in.
Caroline: It didn’t go straight on to Facebook?
Kate: No, no, nothing like that. But it sounds like your mum took it…quite badly.
Caroline: What the hell was John doing at Gillian’s?
Kate: Shit stirring by the sounds of it.
Caroline: It’s so far below the belt…It’s…Even for him…I mean, God, she’s 75.
Kate: Yeah, well, he’s lashing out, isn’t he?
Caroline: I better go look at Lawrence.
Kate: Yeah, listen Caroline, I’m going to get off home…unless you want me here, when your mum…
Caroline: [shakes head] No, not yet. [ Kate walks up to Caroline and they wrap each other in a prolonged hug].
Kate: I’m sorry. It’s not been much of a birthday.
Caroline: Doesn’t matter.
Kate: Night then.
[Finally break hug and Kate brings her hands up to Caroline’s face].
Kate: Ring me.
Caroline looks after Kate as she heads towards getting her coat and leaves, then looks up at the ceiling and sighs. She then goes up to see Lawrence, which is where PBS picks it up again after this scene.
After the scene with Caroline and Lawrence it’s back out to the Gillian’s farm, where John wakes up in Gillian’s bed on his own. He’s still got some of his clothes on. He looks out the window to see Gillian at her new used Land Rover, installing the clutch. He heads out of the house, which is where PBS picks it up again.
After Caroline’s conversation with Celia with regards to agreeing to meet Kate for dinner, there’s a scene that was eliminated by PBS where Caroline and Kate have a walk & talk conversation at the school.
Kate: Will…John…be there?
Caroline: God, no. I’ve taken care of John.
Caroline: Judith. She came round on Saturday afternoon, offering to clean up the blood off the car, by which time I’d already done, so she said, ‘Well, if there’s anything else I could do for you,’ so I just texted her…just now and asked if she could keep him occupied on Wednesday evening. And she’s just texted me back saying, ‘Consider it done.’ [Caroline walks into Kate’s unruly class and slams the door and hollers at them in full head-mistress mode]: “What part of Felicitas Sapientia et Integretas do you people not understand?!”
After Caroline’s argument with Celia in the other room during the dinner, when Celia leaves the house, and Kate tells Alan and William she’s going to make a quick call, there’s a bit left out that goes as such:
As Kate heads to make her call, Alan pats William gently on the shoulder. Caroline heads back to join the dining room, and Alan stands up.
Kate: (on phone) Yeah, Can I order a cab please?
Alan: (to Caroline): I’ll…uhm…she’s gone back round next door. I’ll go and see if…well, if she’s uh…
Caroline: I didn’t even serve the second course. Hardly anything to eat.
Alan: Well, it were very nice…the starter.
Caroline: Where’s Lawrence?
Alan: I think he’s…uhm [points to upstairs]. And look. Thank you, Caroline. And I’m sorry. I’ll…uhm… [Kate passes behind them and heads towards the front door].
Caroline: yeah, thanks.
Alan: No, that’s a…night, love. [holding Caroline’s hand.]
Caroline: Yeah. [As Alan’s walking towards the door.] Sorry, thank you. Night night.
Alan: Night, William.
William: Night. [Then to his mum, he adds]: When you were shouting. We could hear every word you and Granny said.
Caroline leaves towards the front door that Kate just left from to go after her.
Following Caroline’s argument with her mother in the kitchen the next day, towards the end of it as Caroline is leaving the kitchen to head upstairs, she drops the “F-Off bomb” at her mother, just before John tells her not to talk to her mother like that.
Conversation btw John and Celia follows after Caroline storms upstairs to have a cry.
John: Why don’t you…?
Celia: Sit down. [She’s guided to a chair in her own adjacent flat]
John: Can I…shall I? …Do you want some tea?
Celia: I don’t want anything.
John: I’m sorry I said what I said at Gillian’s. It was stupid and selfish and horrible.
Celia: But true.
Celia: Did you know?
Celia: I did.
John: [nods] Are you all right? Can I get you anything? Is there anything I can do for you?
John: Well, just ring. I’m just next door…if there’s anything.
Celia: Yeah. [John leaves, and Celia’s there pondering all the crap that’s gone wrong.]
PBS airs a very short clip of Celia pondering but that’s it, not the preceding conversation.
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Thank you! I’ve just recently become obsessed with Last Tango in Halifax. Started watching a couple of weeks ago on Netflix. So sad that some of the scenes were cut. I have a couple of questions for you. To see the missing scenes in the actual context of the show should I order the dvds? If so, UK or US or does it matter?
Last Tango is pretty damned brilliant!
UK discs. The US discs still have the content missing as they’re released by PBS – it wasn’t put back on the DVDs. If you’re in North America, you can pick up an inexpensive region code-free DVD player from Amazon Pretty cheaply. Make the investment. Then you can order any DVDs from the UK and have them play.
Hello! I found this blog today. Wow. Fantastic. Not sure i’d you are still writing it.
Loved your pinpoint attention to LTIH. The missing scenes! Ah, yes. Terrible.
I think I’ll go poking about here to see if you are still writing. I hope you are. Also, if you are so inclined, may I recommend you join a Facebook group called Last Tango in Halifax Super Fans. “Super Fans” is the key term since there are other pages.
Bye for now
Still writing occasionally. I work full time night shifts as a nurse, and in btw paint and crochet, so writing sometimes takes a backburner. LOVE LTIH though. 🙂