A while back I wrote up a post entitled Last Tango in Halifax – Missing Scenes (Eps 4-6), that covered the sections of episodes that were cut from the original BBC broadcast version in order to air it on PBS in the United States, allowing for US public broadcasting advertisements. At the time I had written the post for episodes 4-6, I hadn’t really realized how much was actually being cut until I remembered specific scenes from the original that were not included. The cutting of the scenes seemed rather random. By the time I had thought about covering the first three episodes for this blog, the episodes for streaming from the PBS streaming video links had been deleted. Leading up to series 2 airing currently, PBS also re-added the episodes from the first series.
Now, on with the show.
Series 1 – Episode 1
There was only one scene in episode one that was shortened in the PBS broadcast. In this scene, Celia and Alan have gone to a café to discuss all that had gone on that day with meeting up after sixty years, Alan’s car being stolen, then found, the crashed. The part dialogue that was eliminated from the American broadcast on PBS is marked in red text.
Celia: Oh, it’s hopeless. You can never get hold of her at school. She’s always got it switched off. I’ve left a message anyway.
Celia: And if I get desperate, I can always ring John. Well, who’d have thought it…us here today, like this?
Alan: Were you really [leans forward] in love with me?
Barrista: [Interrupting conversation] What can I get you?
Celia: Oh…um…[picks up her glasses and looks at the menu board] Ahhh….oh. What do you suppose a crappuccino is, Alan?
Alan: [looks at the board then back to Celia] Isn’t that an ‘f’?
Celia: [looks around the room] Is it? Where?
Alan: [looking puzzled] On the board.
Celia: Is it?
Barrista: It’s frappuccino. Coffee with ice.
Celia: They’ve always to muck everything about these days, haven’t they? Still, if you’re not taking risks, you’re not living. That’s what our William says…and he lives in his bedroom, so what does he know? [Alan laughs]. Oh, go on. I’ll have one.
Alan: Well, following that impeccable logic, I’ll have one as well. [Barrista leaves to go back to counter to place their order]
Celia: I’d forgotten you were a comedian.
Alan: I’d forgotten you were one. You knew damn well that didn’t say crappuccino.
Celia: Well, people bother with you more if they think you’re senile. I mean, look at that policeman. Well, either that or they run a mile, which can be equally entertaining.
Alan: Were you really in love with me?
Celia: Uhm hum. I used to think about you, when I was so miserable with Kenneth. I used to wonder what you were up to, and who you were with. And how different things might have been if I’d married a lad like you. Did you think about me? When you were with Eileen?
Alan: [nods] Now and again. I don’t think I ever stopped thinking about you.
Celia: [Sighs]. We missed a trick, didn’t we?
Alan: I can’t believe Eileen didn’t give me that letter.
Celia: Well, we can’t change it.
Alan: It’s such a big thing not to have done. She must have known.
Celia: Well, you’ve got Gillian and Raffy. And I’ve got my lot. And I don’t regret that. Do you? Whatever else might have happened.
Alan: No, no. I’d…Of course not.
Series 1 – Episode 2
Most of this episode is exactly the same from the BBC full broadcast to the PBS version, as it was one of the series shortest episodes.
About half-way through after Gillian sleeps with Paul, and he leaves, Gillian’s fixing herself up in the mirror. Most of it that scene is intact, except at the end of the scene Gillian says, “You twat” to her mirror image for giving in and sleeping with him.
Following the scene where Alan and Celia arrange for the car purchase and for it to be delivered on Saturday for their engagement party, there’s a phone conversation between Celia and Caroline, and Celia and Alan drive back to the farm.
Caroline: Mum, where are you? Are you all right?
Celia: Oh, I’m with Alan, in Halifax.
Caroline: What? What are you doing in Halifax? [She walks through a set of doors at the school and down a flight of stairs.]
Celia: Nothing [looks over where Alan is driving].
Caroline: Are you all right?
Celia: Yeah. I’m never better.
Caroline: [stops mid flight as she meets up with Kate before they part ways again without saying anything.] Right…well, ah, drive carefully.
Celia: Yeah, I will. Bye-bye.
Celia: Bye-bye. [Celia hangs up and turning to Alan, she laughs].
Shows Caroline walking down another hallway.
Caroline returns home in the evening and John’s been cooking and the kitchen is a mess.
John: I’m cooking.
Caroline: No shit, Sherlock.
Rest of the scene remains intact.
Series 1 – Episode 3
The first scene that has stuff eliminated is when Alan and Gillian are at the police station to collect Raff, who’d been cautioned by his Uncle Robbie for assaulting Paul Jattry. The first bit when Alan and Gillian were talking remains the same, so I’ll not add that here. Taking up where Robbie and Raff appear.
Robbie: Done and dusted. [Turns to Raff] And next time give the weenie little twat a wide berth.
Gillian: [to Raff] Are you all right?
[Raff doesn’t say anything and walks right past her.]
Robbie: What were it about? Gillian?
Gillian: You know as much as me, Robbie.
[Gillian walks off, then Alan follows as Robbie looks on.]
Gillian and Alan leave the police station and Raff is standing in front of Gillian’s Land Rover
Gillian: What did he say? The inspector?
Alan: I’ll see you back there.
Gillian: Right. [Turns back to Raff] And what was Paul Jattry saying?
Gillian: What kind of shit?
Raff: Can I go in the Lexus with Granddad? [Heads towards Alan] Granddad, can I go with you? [leaving his mum behind]
Alan: You okay?
Raff: Sorry to spoil your party.
[Alan puts his hand up for Raff to not worry. Gillian heads to get into her vehicle as Alan’s car pulls away.]
John: The ironic thing is…
John: Oh, I had this fling thing…affair, fest, embarrassing mistake thing with this Judith…four…three months ago. Tell me when I get boring. [Gillian covers her mouth a little] Well the point is…she…I was in the house, by myself…our house…mine and Caroline’s…and she turns up, Judith, and I can’t get rid of her. William comes home from school early because he’s in the middle of his A Levels. He assumes we’re up to stuff, which we’re not, absolutely not. All over, thing of the past, big bad mistake, desperately grateful to be back with glorious, snotty, mad Caroline, albeit in the spare bedroom. But now she’s gone all berserk, and says I’m out on my ear again… Shit. [He continues drinking his wine; he’s already quite drunk.]
Gillian: I’ve just got to pop upstairs and see if Raffy’s okay.
After Caroline and John’s explosive argument in the kitchen, in the PBS version, it moves on to Gillian’s farmhouse. But in the BBC broadcast version, the scene continues on where Alan and Celia had been listening in on the argument from Celia’s granny flat.
Celia: It’s not funny. [They’re both laughing, however.]
Alan: Hey, how do you fancy dropping over to Buxton’s Ridge?
Following this shot are glorious comparison shots of Caroline and Gillian in their respective homes. There’s no dialogue but the set up and framing of the scenes is brilliant to show both the comparison and contrast of how the women try to cope with the complexity of their family lives.
I will be doing the same for series 2 as it’s broadcast on PBS (this time I’m recording them on the DVR) at present, though I may just do up one full post at the end of the six episodes. Or, potentially will do them in two posts (1-3 and (4-6); this time in actual order. 🙂
*** All images and text are property of Red Production Company and BBC. ***