Hmmm, interesting. Wanker of the Week Craig Charles’ 1997 Channel 4 sitcom is now available on 4oD and Virgin On Demand.

I honestly can’t remember whether the general attitude towards the show is correct, although surely it’s got to be interesting at the very least – who’s up for a comparison review between Butler and VII? But the important thing here is – this is exactly the sort of thing that we should be excited about. I’ve often complained that these new ways of viewing programmes weren’t doing anything DVDs didn’t do better – but here, along with some other shows on 4oD, we’re looking at programmes which are, at the very least, not guaranteed any kind of DVD release. It’s using new technology to deliver something new, and something that wasn’t financially practical before, rather than just repackaging the same old stuff – and that’s great.

The whole 4 On Demand setup has its problems – not least that I want to be able to buy these shows legally, not just rent them, and the DRM means that I can’t even play them on my Mac – but it’s a bloody good start. Anything which gets Sean’s Show to a wider audience has to be a good thing, although that really does deserve a DVD release.

(With thanks to Nick Ridley, who mentioned this on the Webboard.)

32 comments on “Captain Butler on 4oD

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  • I *think* (but don’t hold me to it) the Windows Media 10 DRM has been cracked, so I think you could strip it. But that’s not really the issue – I wish there was a way that you could legally just buy it.

  • Presumably this’ll make its way to torrent networks at some point. I might inflict it upon myself then.

    However, I do remember it being absolutely atrocious. For starters, it’s the cheapest-looking sitcom ever made. Not that cheapness is necessarily a bad thing. But… christ. It was awful.

  • Why would anyone bother ripping this exactly?
    Its too bad even to bother for nostalgic reasons, just leave it well alone!

  • I am extremely curious to see it again.

    But yeah, I also suspect that I’ll only need to see one episode…

  • For friday night TV trash it was ok. Heck don’t forget it was the same schedule as the Girlie Show so it wasn’t even the worst show on the channel on the nights it went out.

  • > and the DRM means that I can?t even play them on my Mac

    “I’m a Mac”
    “and I’m a PC”
    “I am a retarded piece of crap”
    “I am not”

    That is all. Peace. See. (Get it- PeaceCee PC!! BWUHUHUHUHUHUHUHU!!!!!*cough**splutter*)

  • The DRM will mean you can’t play them on anything but the set-top box, though, monkey. Even a PC.

  • Well, you can download them and play it using Windows. But only for a limited amount of time – the DRM time-limits it. Unless you strip it off, of course, but I really want to be able to buy this kind of thing legally.

  • A great example there of a moron critisizing something they know nothing about there, I wish Apple had kept Quicktime to themselves then I could say PCs were shit because thay could not play .mov files.

    I know this may not occur to some of you folks, but ripping it using an… *whispers* analogue capture method, would work ;)

  • Can you though? I mean just tape the smegger. I used to do that with Sky Movies but they started doing something to it that meant it wouldn’t record properly.

    …Either that or my VCR was on the blink.

  • There is Macrovision added to it, yeah – so I couldn’t directly record the stuff on Virgin On Demand onto my DVD player. (Same applies to VHS.) There are things you can get to strip it, though.

  • Christ people, scart passthroughs to get rid of macrovision have been around since before most of you had bladder control, everyone should own one imho.
    Get on eBay now you useless bunch of tits.

  • You *will* lose quality though obviously, doing it via analogue. You’d be better off stripping the DRM from the Windows Media file directly.

    Anyway, the real point of all this is – I wish stripping the DRM wasn’t needed in the first place. I want to be able to buy the files, not “rent” them – and I want to be able to play them on a platform of my choice.

    Still, as I say in the article – it’s not a bad start.

  • When are they releasing Pob on 4oD hmm? I want those on DVD. I loves the little wooden eared freakazoid!

  • Macrovision?

    I do love hanging around with you techie people. Techie, techie, TECHIE.

  • >and I want to be able to play them on a platform of my choice

    As do I, however I find getting hold of more current programs on Betamax is becoming increasingly difficult.

  • I saw one episode, when they first aired. It was the one with the mermaid.

    I thought it was mildly amusing, keeping in mind I was about 10 or 11 at the time. I remember it looked cheap as anything, and thinking that it wanted to be Blackadder…that’s about it.

    I’ll check it out again for the hell of it.

  • Ganymede & Titan is not responsible for any brain haemorrhaging that might occur from its readers deciding to “check out” Captain Butler.

  • (With thanks to Nick Ridley, who mentioned this on the Webboard.)


    I liked Captain Butler’s theme tune/title sequence.

    (And it turns out I joined this board a year and six hours ago.)

  • It’s only worth watching for curiosity value, and then only one episode. There’s one where Robert Llewellyn guests as Nelson as I recall, so maybe that should be the one.

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