In May 2017, I wrote a piece for On The Box about the first two QI boxsets, covering the first seven series.
As I had heard from the show’s researchers, the QI elves, that I was mentioned in these boxsets for my pedantry, I decided to cover them in a pedantic way. I have now done the same with the two most recent collections, covering Series H-J and Series K-M respectively.
The first thing to mention is that the extras in the Series K-M boxset do mention my aforesaid pedantry. One of the features is “The QI Quibble Awards” which feature the best corrections submitted by viewers to the programme. I myself was given the prize for “Advanced Pedantry”, for correcting Josh Widdicombe when he talked about the legend of the “hairy hands of Dartmoor”, which he wrongly claimed drove people off the B3021, when in fact they drove people off the B3212 according to the myth.
There are plenty of extras across both boxsets. Both contain over 40 minutes of previously unreleased material each. The Series H-J boxsets also includes a unreleased live show recorded in Kent which was hosted by Sandi Toksvig (it was her first time hosting QI), and featured Phill Jupitus, Jo Brand and Harry Hill alongside her and Alan Davies. There is also a short film of QI’s creator John Lloyd discussing the philosophy behind the show, and outtakes of Stephen Fry’s warm-ups during the show. The other extras on the Series K-M boxsets are the elves talking about their favourite questions, and footage of Toksvig’s first day hosting the TV version of QI.
These boxsets do have some improvements over the first two collections. The chief one that has been made is that while there is no “Play All” feature, if you do select an episode it does automatically play the next one afterwards, rather than going back to the main menu where you have to select it yourself.
However, there are still some things that are missing. None of the “VG” highlight editions are included in these boxsets for example, and in one episode, “Little and Large”, they removed some subtitles. When the episode went out there was a section about the parachutist Felix Baumgartner, and when talking about his record breaking parachute jump they put on screen a correction saying that his record had since been broken after the episode had been recorded. This caption has since been removed.
The weirdest problem however is in the “Middle Muddle” episode, where for a brief moment something goes wrong with the disc. Hopefully it was just an issue with my collection, for the briefest of moments one of the frames suddenly flashes. It’s not on for long, but it’s noticeable.
Hopefully that covers everything, but if I have missed anything, feel free to pedantically correct me.
“QI: H to J” and “QI: K to M” are out now, released by Network.