Crossroads releases on Video In   1988   to   mark   the   end   of   the   original   series   Central   Television’s   commercial   business arm   ‘Central   Enterprises’   joined   forces   with   Pickwick   Video   to   release   a   commemorative VHS. It was released under the Central Video banner. The   result   was   the   best   Crossroads   fans   would   officially   get   until   the   2005   DVD   releases began.   For   almost   twenty   years   anyone   wanting   to   relive   the   glory   days   of   the   Midland motel   had   a   choice   of   three   episodes   providing   nostalgic   highlights   from   two   of   the biggest storylines in the shows on-screen history. The Wedding of Meg and Hugh The   episode   which   brought   Birmingham   city   centre   to   a   halt   and   saw   Meg   Richardson (Noele   Gordon)   finally,   after   a   decade,   marry   businessman   Hugh   Mortimer   (John   Bentley) in 1975. While   it   was   a   landmark   episode,   showing   the   popularity   of   Crossroads   with   the   gathered   crowds   clearly   seen   in   the   programme,   it   wasn’t   the   most   exciting. The   problem   with   any   ‘best   of’   Crossroads   release   is   ATV’s   wiping   policy   of   the   sixties   and   seventies   with   many   of   the   actual   ‘best   of’   episodes   long   wiped. For   example:   Ruth   Bailey’s   (Pamela   Greenall)   hit-and-run   and   subsequent   miscarriage   would   be   more   dramatic?   Or   Marilyn   Gates,   full   of   dread,   taking   a   lift up   the   top   floor   of   a   tower   block   where   she   contemplates   suicide   after   being   falsely   accused   of   running   down   and   seriously   injuring   an   old   gent   is   another   of high   drama   or   Amy   Turtle,   following   the   death   of   her   son   and   a   shoplifting   charge,   wandering   the   late   night   streets   of   Birmingham   homeless   is   one   of   the most distressing sequences shot for any soap - but sadly all full episodes of these storylines are long lost in the archives. The Crossroads Motel Fire Acknowledging   the   Meg   and   Hugh   wedding   isn’t   exactly   gripping   Central   and   Pickwick   next   opt   for   one   of   the   best   known   editions,   the   1981   motel   inferno. The   fire   saw   the   end   of   Meg   Mortimer   as   a   director   of   the   motel,   and   everyone   at   the   time   thought   the   departing   motel   owner   had   perished   in   the   flames. After   a   long   running   bitter   feud   with   David   Hunter   (Ronald Allen)   the   last   viewers   had   seen   of   their   series   matriarch   was   snoozing   in   her   bedroom   having   told David ‘he’d won’, she was ‘quitting’ and then under a tranquillizer induced mind had a strange conversation with Adam Chance (Tony Adams). This storyline would see the series never quite the same again. Goodbye Meg The   final   episode   on   the   release   is   the   follow-up   to   the   fire,   a   week   later   in   the   original   transmission,   as   viewers   learned   that Meg   hadn’t   actually   died   in   the   fire;   she’d   had   a   news   blackout   and   was   oblivious   to   the   entire   thing.   Meg   had   spent   the   week visiting friends and family before her impending departure from UK shores. Daughter   Jill   (Jane   Rossington)   dramatically   rushes   to   Southampton   to   discover   her   un-scorched   mother   aboard   luxury   liner the   QE2.   Meg   has,   unhappy   at   the   motel   since   Sandy   (Roger   Tonge)   died,   decided   to   start   a   new   life   in America.   She’s   turned her back on the motel, her life there is finished. Cue the sad theme. The   last   impression   of   Crossroads   on   the   VHS   is   Meg   waving   at   anyone   and   everyone   from   the   back   of   the   Queen   Elizabeth   II while Jill cries uncontrollably covering her face in mascara. As   you   may   have   guessed   the   1995,   to   mark   the   30th   anniversary   of   the   saga,   Central   Enterprises   and   NTV   home   video   release   was   a   re-issue   of   the   80s version. It was however different in some respects. Firstly   there   were   edits   to   some   scenes   in   the   1988   release,   which   were   not   present   in   the   90s   re-issue.   Jane   Rossington   had   recorded   a   special   introduction on   the   first   VHS,   this   was   not   present   on   the   later   version   -   despite   the   sleeve   promising   an   appearance   from   Jane. And   finally   the   end   music   from   the   QE2 had   been   dubbed   over   with   the   regular   Tony   Hatch   theme   tune   on   the   first   issue,   this   was   not   present   on   the   Classic   Crossroads   NTV   video   with   the   as broadcast brass band version of Sailing (the Rod Stewart single) restored. While   they   may   have   been   limited   in   the   episodes   they   could   pick   at   the   time,   there   is   no   doubt   that   in   1988   the   VHS   gave   great   comfort   to   many   of   the elderly   fans   of   the   programme   that   missed   its   companionship   in   the   evening.   Sadly   promises   of   further   releases   in   1995   from   NTV   failed   to   materialise, mainly due to the sales of the re-issue. The problem being just that, it was a re-release and most fans already had the first version.
VHS Releases 1988 and 1995
Related Link: Crossroads   Collector: VHS Releases (external site)