Fans of Tony Jordan’s Spooks and Hustle who re-watch the two shows on Netflix UK may find themselves puzzled at the absence of some favourite scenes and lines of dialogue.
When both shows aired in the UK, each episode ran for 60 minutes but when the BBC sold the series abroad it cut down the episodes to accommodate local broadcasters’ need to include adverts.
This is a real shame because the deleted scenes include a lot of the character moments, and in some cases also include some major plot points, and their removal leaves the episodes feeling a little disjointed.
When the first series of Hustle was released on DVD in the UK the discs included the international edits by mistake and the distributor was forced to issue a rerelease with the full episodes on them.
It’s not clear in this instance whether the fault stems from Netflix’s global business model or the BBC’s failure to offer the original edits of the episodes, but either way these groundbreaking British shows are being offered to audiences in a way which robs them of much of their style and appeal.