Hancock on DVD Part 1 2000 - 2006

The Wrong Box 2000

The first DVD release features Hancock's last film appearance, The Wrong Box. Hancock only has a small role in this film. The DVD release is of the film only; there are no extras included in this release.










The Very Best Of Hancock October 2001 (Number BBCDVD 1061)

The first BBC Hancock DVD was released at a time when the BBC was beginning to experiment with the DVD format. The idea of releasing entire series was in its infancy and the bulk of the BBC releases of this time were compilations under the 'Very Best Of' banner. Advertised within the DVD box on a single sheet of paper were such delights as The Very Best of Steptoe & Son, Dad's Army, The Two Ronnies, Morecambe & Wise and, interestingly, the Very Best of Hancock! The other side of the sheet featured chapter headings for each of the programmes. Although billed as a Very Best of, the episodes chosen were effectively the entire seventh series minus the last episode and appeared on the disc in the following order: The Bedsitter, The Bowmans, The Radio Ham, The Lift and The Blood Donor. In addition to the episodes, the release contained an Artist Profile section and a 20-minute interview with Galton & Simpson, which featured, in addition to extracts from the seventh series shows on the DVD, extracts from The Missing Page and The Alpine Holiday. This was a great first release and a great introduction to Hancock.




Great Comedy Moments November 2001 (Number BBCDVD 1055)

The next release appeared the following month. Featuring 43 extracts from a variety of comedy programmes, the release featured three Hancock sequences, all from the previous 'Very Best of' DVD. The sequences were as follows: 1) 'A Pint' This is a 2 minute extract from The Blood Donor where Hancock wants his tea and Biscuits after giving his drop of blood. 2) 'Bedsits and Bertrand'. This is a 2 minute extract from the Bedsitter and features the sequence where Hancock is struggling to remember the characters from his fiction novel he is reading and then decides to read Bertrand Russell but keeps referring to his dictionary. The sequence ends with Hancock picking up 'Lady Don't Fall Backwards' and referring to the Dictionary again! 3) 'A Ham On The Radio'. This 3 minute sequence is not from the Radio Ham but from The Bowmans and features the delightful Joshua acting out his death scene. This superb DVD release served as an introduction to many archive BBC programmes some of which have never been commercially released elsewhere (for example 'Its Marty'). However, the four page booklet that accompanied the release includes an advert for a number of DVDs that were available including The League of Gentlemen, Absolutely Fabulous and One Foot In The Grave, all modern comedy shows. There were no adverts for any classic comedy.




The Rebel / The Punch and Judy Man 2003 (Number D038480)

Two years elapsed before the next release. Now deleted, this release, on the Studio Canal label, features both The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on the same disc. The release is quite basic, just featuring the films themselves with no extras such as trailers. However, this has been the only DVD release of the films and is a welcome release.









Great Comedy Moments 2004 (Number VFC28316)

This is an identical release to the 2001 release of the same name detailed above. It was given away free with The Sun and features extracts from The Blood Donor, The Bedsitter and The Bowmans.









Hancock's Half Hour Volume 1 (2004) and Volume 2 (2005) (Number BBCDVD1447 and BBCDVD1752)

The first 2 volumes heralding the start of the release of all of the surviving BBC TV epiosdes. Volume 1 features The Alpine Holiday, Air Steward Hancock The Last of Many, The Lawyer: The Crown v Sidney James, Competitions: How To Win Money and Influence People, There's An Airfield At The Bottom Of My Garden and Hancock's 43 Minutes. This was a particularly exciting release as these last two episodes have never been released on any format before and also hadn't been repeated by the BBC. In other words, they hadn't been seen by the general Public since 1957! Volume 2 featured Ericson The Viking, The Set That Failed, The New Nose, The Oak Tree, and The Knighthood. Again an interesting release in that the first episode had not been released before and had rarely been repeated. It's great to see it in all its remastered glory! Whilst there is no booklet with either of these releases, Volume 2 contained a 3 for 2 Special Offer on any three of the advertised audio titles. Under the heading Grab yourself 'very nearly an armful' of Hancock, the offer featured all 6 of the radio box sets, Volumes 1 - 3 of the TV CDs, Hancock's Happy Christmas, Hancock A Comedy Genius and The Very Best Episodes Vol 1.

The Blood Donor 2005 (Number VFA10276)

After the main DVD releases, it was only a matter of time before a promotional DVD hit the streets. The first was given away free with the Daily Mirror. The DVD wasn't included in the paper, rather it was available from Woolworth's in exchange for a voucher or available with 4 other comedy DVDs by post. The release contains the entire Blood Donor episode but without any incidental or theme music. In other words the opening and closing credits are included but there is silence where the music should be!! A most odd sensation! The paper indicated that the music wasn't included for copyright reasons but, as can be seen below, other promotional releases did feature the music so the reason for this being excluded on this release is unclear. The cardboard sleeve had a interesting episode synopsis; 'A pint, why that's very nearly an armful' protests our public spirited hero when he decides "to give so that others may live". But a deposit can all too quickly be followed by a sudden withdrawal.'




The Lawyer 2005 (number not known)

Issued free with the Sunday Mirror, this DVD release featured both The Lawyer and Steptoe & Son's The Diploma on one DVD - A great tribute to Galton & Simpson.










How To Win Money & Influence People 2005 (Number VFB09660)

The next DVD release was given away free with the Daily Mail. Like the previous release the DVD wasn't available in the paper itself, rather it was available from WH Smith in exchange for a voucher or by post with a dozen other DVDs including Steptoe and Yes Minister. This release features a montage of comedy sketches put to music at the beginning. This montage features Autumn 2005 releases from the BBC and doesn't therefore feature Hancock. Unfortunately, you have to listen to all of this montage before you get to the programme itself. On this occasion full incidental music is provided. An excellent release featuring a less well known half hour.







Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines HMV Exclusive 2005 (Number F1-GB 01033ST)

Released solely in HMV, this DVD of Tony's penultimate film is beautifully presented in the full cinema version which includes a blank 5 minutes intermission segment where the screen is blank and background music from the film is played! There are no extras but it's great to have a professionally mastered copy of this great film available.









Hancock's Half Hour Volume 3 Released 24/4/2006 (Number BBCDVD1857)

This DVD features all of the episodes from Series 5: The Economy Drive, The Two Murderers, Lord Byron Lived Here, Twelve Angry Men, The Train Journey, The Cruise, The Big Night, The Tycoon , Spanish Interlude and The Football Pools.









Hancock's Half Hour Volume 4 2006 (Number BBCDVD1858)

This release features every episode from Series 6: The Cold, The Missing Page, The Emigrant, The Reunion Party, Sid In Love, The Babysitters, The Ladies Man, The Photographer, The East Cheam Centenary and The Poison Pen Letters.









The Tony Hancock Collection (Number OPTD0655)

A new release of The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man, this time on two DVDs and with an excellent commentary from Paul Merton and Galton & Simpson to accompany The Rebel.










Please see Hancock on DVD Part 2 for the years 2007 onwards.

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