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Horrible Histories: Series 2 on DVD

While we’re waiting for this afternoon and the new, exciting series of Horrible Histories, let’s write a few words about the DVD for series two, which is out today. Hooray! Well, actually, I had it on pre-order with Amazon so it arrived last Friday. I’ve had all weekend to watch it.

Or rather, that’s what I did on Friday evening after work. Couldn’t pass up the opportunity of watching deleted scenes and outtakes!

The series two DVD comes with the twelve episodes from TV, outtakes, deleted scenes, a quiz (haven’t tried it yet), and “Savage Songs” (aired on TV as episode 2.13), which is a collection of nearly all the songs from the series with the addition of the four King Georges’ Born to Rule from series one.

The outtakes is a basic gag reel, where the actors fluff up lines, get the giggles and such. The one that made me giggle the most was Jim Howick as a viking drummer losing his drumsticks.

It’s how he rolls … literally! (Source)

The deleted scenes were the biggest seller for me. Previously unseen material! It’s about half an episode’s worth, actually. There’s a Scary Stories about Mother Shipton, Queen Victoria visiting the PR man (Whitely, is it?), a Stupid Death with Sweden’s king Adolf Fredrik who ate himself to death, and a whole series of medieval peasants visiting the surgery of doctors Do’om and De’ath. And a few others.

I’m not entirely sure why some of these were cut, to be honest. The Scary Stories bit doesn’t feel very different from the ones that were aired, for instance. Queen Vic who wanted people to know she was actually quite foxy when she was younger wasn’t exactly hilarious, perhaps, and honestly, half of the contents we already know from the song British Things.

I’m guessing, sad as it is, that they cut out Stupid Deaths because most people wouldn’t get what on earth a “semla bun” is anyway, and why eating fourteen of them would give you indigestion and cause an old monarch to die. The Squeeze said the bun on TV didn’t look much like the semlor he’s had since hooking up with me, but as I pointed out, at least it was a sliced bun with whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar. The rest I think we can forgive them, based on the Horrible Histories team being British and not (we guess) having Swedish spouses.

Even Zippy thinks they’re to die for!

The Dr. Do’om sketches all follow the same pattern: a peasant comes to see “Dr. Doom”, has his pronounciation corrected (“the sign is mis-spelled, it’s Do’om”), and shows the doctor a very minor injury such as a scratch. The doctor calls on his partner, Dr. De’ath in a very similar get-up as in Stupid Deaths (different actor, though), the peasant freaks out and wonders if he’s going to die, to which the doctors laugh and reassures him no, no, no, he’ll be fine … and then by the end changing their minds to something like “yes inevitably, sorry”, and Dr. De’ath takes the peasant away and Dr. Do’om yells “Next!”

There are a few of these clips, so I’m guessing they decided against the whole concept in the end and cut them all out. Perhaps because they’re not terribly funny (amusing, though, they really are) or the concept didn’t quite work. I don’t know which. I’m just glad they had nearly a quarter of an hour worth of previously unseen sketches. It bodes well for series three!

Get yours here for £6.99: Amazon.co.uk, HMV, Play.com (yes, other retailers are available :P)

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on. Might get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

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