–Sir Humphrey. The Yes, Minister episodes continue with Jim Hacker moving to #10 Downing Street, bringing along private secretary Bernard and, of course, reuniting with the newly promoted Sir Humphrey (whose sentences seem to get longer with each episode). The audio level is better on this set than on the previous one. The cover artwork is not as clean (there are scan lines through the images), but the back cover is very nice with new photos of the three main characters (no photos on the inside as there were in the previous 4-CD set).
The 17 brilliant episodes begin with the 1984 1-hour Christmas special that illustrated the chain events elevating Hacker to #10. The special features include the Sir Humphrey’s lengthy review of the Yes Minister Diaries, “Christmas at the Ministry” clip, a 1986 Paul Eddington interview, Jonathan Lynn interview, and profiles on the main actors as well as others. A touching biography of Paul Eddington (Nigel Hawthorne was featured in the first set) in also included. The bio includes scenes from 1950s Dixon of Dock Green, Adventures of Robin Hood, and many scenes from The Good Life and some insight on what Margaret Thatcher thought of Prime Minister Hacker. Eddington’s wife, Felicity Kendal, Hawthorne, and Derek Fowlds are among those interviewed. It also includes very sad clips of one of Eddington’s last interviews when he was suffering through the last stages of the skin cancer that took his life. He handled his illness with much courage and the interviews with his friends and family reveals how fondly he is remembered and how many lives he touched. This set is a must-have for Yes, Minister fans. I have yet to search for the “Easter Egg” the box promises, so happy hunting.
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After watching all the Jeremy Brett “Sherlock Holmes” series, Ian Richardson in the “House of Cards,” and now Nigel Hawthorne in “Yes, Prime Minister, I can truly say it will be difficult for an American not to become a (British) flag waving Anglophile.
The pure pleasure of this satirical comedy is not something that can be found on American TV. I enjoyed hearing the beauty of the English language the way it should be spoken.
This program will not be for all audiences, however, if one appreciates a sharp wit, clever irony, and a hilarious display of political chicanery, this DVD collection is a treasure.
The majority of people are falling over themselves to watch brainless, charmless and incredibly annoying AMERICAN comedy like Friends and Will and Grace. I’ve just watched the entire second series and half of the first of Yes, Prime Minister. This is a satirical, well-observed 80′s comedy about the political machinations and workings of the British Parliment and the relationships between Minister’s and civil servants. Nigel Hawthorne, Paul Eddington and Derek Fowlds are all superb in this. Great acting, script, and message that puts most comedy to shame and doesn’t patronize the viewer or insult their intelligence.