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23 April 2010 @ 05:56 pm
An Incredible Gift: The German DVDs  
Before the Icelandic volcano interrupted transit, my very dear friends [personal profile] batdina and [personal profile] leela_cat pulled off a transatlantic gift-giving coup.  With wonderful generosity, thoughtfulness and invention, they presented me with a copy of the German first-season FK DVDs and access to a multi-region DVD player.  It is so much fun that I hardly know where to start!  I initially snapped into a flashback :-) of me on the couch during spring break in 1996, my last year of undergrad, marathoning my very first tape-tree crack at first season, and falling in love with this story.

Everything is exactly as pj1228 described in her illustrated review of the Region 2 set, including the goofily mis-assembled booklets with the episode descriptions, and the way the dialogue in the extra scenes slips into German on the English audio track.

(Broken record: As you know, the famous "red light" bits didn't air in Germany, either, and were evidently left on the cutting room floor, but every German first-season episode does have a couple of minutes of extra footage.  The majority are set-up shots leading into scenes: a few seconds here, plus a few seconds there, of deeper alleys, higher buildings, more lingering sweeps of the Caddy on the streets, Schanke taking more steps across the squad room, Nick brooding a little more around his loft.  There are also several entirely new set-up shots, and a very few bits of new dialogue and action.  If you know FK well enough to spot these bits, you love FK enough to revel over them.  They are a blast.)

I'd seen the German episodes before, on tape-tree VHS, but it's been a long time.  I recalled that my personal favorite additional clip was Nick picking up a book sitting next to the answering machine on the credenza, reading a few pages, and setting it back down, but not what episode that was in.  I haven't located that one yet, skipping desultorily around the season, but there is a whole pile of books on the credenza in "Dance by the Light of the Moon," which is an episode very generously supplied with added shots, including a man stoking the fire in the medieval flashback of the meal in the hall, Nick lingering in bed after the alarm goes off, and one of Anne's coworkers working.  Because dialogue is so rare in the added scenes, I didn't bump into any examples of what PJ had observed with the language slip until I tried "1966" -- which amused me no end, because that's exactly where the characters would actually be speaking German!  That plus my schoolgirl German language skills made me almost miss that scene the first time through.  ("Wait! Go back! That wasn't English!")  That scene, as Bernard gets his tools, is also one of the rare ones where the extra seconds come in the middle of a familiar scene, instead of at the beginning or end.

Before the Region 1 DVDs came out, I believed that "Dead Issue" had the only substantively canon-affecting additional scene in the German airings.  These days, with the Region 1 DVDs as the standard (instead of pre-SciFi tapes), I think we must consider the Region 2 take on episodes like "False Witness," as we've demonstrated that the Region 1 DVDs are missing a few of the bits that aired on US television but not in Canada (right now, I'm thinking of that exchange between Nick and Lacroix about music and souls that isn't on the Region 1 DVDs but is on my VHS tapes).  I haven't checked that scene yet on the German DVD, but I'm looking forward to doing so.

The sound quality is exquisite.  However, I can't say whether that's the German DVDs themselves, or the less-familiar device on which I'm viewing them.  (I've been watching the Region 1 FK DVDs consistently on one player since they came out.)  One way or another, I'm hearing some customarily mumbled words and muffled sounds newly crystal clear.

Living in Region 1, I hadn't imagined getting a Region 2 copy, and so was taken entirely by pleasant surprise.  But of course the world is full of such devices as multi-region DVD players, and Amazon.de is as easy to use as Amazon.ca.  If you love first season as I do, I recommend buying them as soon as you have a little room in your entertainment budget.  The thrill of a new FK scene!  Even just five seconds long. :-)

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jo rittenhousebatdina on April 24th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
so glad you're enjoying them!
Amy R.: Thanksbrightknightie on April 24th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
I really am enjoying them, thank you. The English audio track on these is my new default first-season canon, even if I can't watch it from the exercise bike. :-)
Foxy11814foxy11814 on April 24th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
I'm so jealous!!!
Amy R.: Sunbrightknightie on April 28th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
Says the person going to Stratford. ;-)

Thanks! They are a lot of fun, and I really do recommend getting them if you know someone with a multi-region player.
greerwatsongreerwatson on April 25th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC)
Could you write this up for the FK Wiki? It's just the sort of article we need. (If you can do screen captures of any of the added bits, that would be extra nice.)
Amy R.: Historybrightknightie on April 28th, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
I can try a summary article after my fkficfest story is done. However, a truly comprehensive list of all the differences would probably take a very long time, and I'm reluctant to promise that.

I don't have any proper screen capture ability, unfortunately. I suppose I could take photos of the screen on pause at the added scenes... how '80s! :-)
greerwatsongreerwatson on April 28th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Every little bit helps. (And photos can be cropped.)
PJ1228pj1228 on April 28th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
What a wonderful gift!
Have you noticed that "I will repay" has a slightly different title sequence? The music begins already while the action still takes place, and there's an additional scene with Nick and Schanke pointing their guns during the title sequence.

I had forgotten that I observed this also on my VHS version years ago, but it came back to mind when I watched the German episode recently.

By the way, did you not mention an additional scene where Nick talks to the officer whose gun had been fired in the precinct? That scene is not in this episode version. I don't recall having ever seen it.
Amy R.: Tracybrightknightie on April 28th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
I haven't yet watched "I Will Repay" on the new DVDs. I will keep an eye on the title sequence!

>"By the way, did you not mention an additional scene where Nick talks to the officer whose gun had been fired in the precinct? That scene is not in this episode version. I don't recall having ever seen it."

Yes, that was a conversation with abby82. I believe that the conversation is in "False Witness," not "I Will Repay." She took screenshots from the Chiller marathon to show us that the same young officer is in both "I Will Repay" and "False Witness."

The Region 1 DVDs do not have an officer firing in the precinct in "I Will Repay." Chiller is airing the original CBS, US-only cuts, which are the shortest of all, and yet have some footage that didn't make it into the other versions.

Gracious, but it would be nice to get a single consolidated version with all the existing footage!
PJ1228pj1228 on April 28th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
>The sound quality is exquisite.<

The sound quality of the German audio track varies from time to time. Sometimes it's crystal clear, but in some scenes it's really blurry.
I haven't checked the English track yet except for the pilot.

It was the pilot that has so many additional German parts in the English audio track. I haven't checked the other episodes yet.
Amy R.: Nickbrightknightie on April 28th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
And I haven't rewatched the pilot yet. :-) We'll meet in the middle, perhaps.

Edited to Add: Actually, calling "Dark Knight" the "pilot" is misleading, and I would like to retract that. Nick Knight is the pilot, and "Dark Knight" is the premiere. For the record, if anyone happens to be reading who could be confused by that...

Edited at 2010-04-28 06:24 pm (UTC)
PJ1228pj1228 on April 28th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
>I'm thinking of that exchange between Nick and Lacroix about music and souls that isn't on the Region 1 DVDs but is on my VHS tapes<

Are you sure that this scene is missing on the Region 1 DVDs? It seems so familiar that I don't recall missing it.
It's, however, definitely on the Region 2 DVDs.
Amy R.: Faithbrightknightie on April 28th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
Yes, the "music and souls" conversation in "False Witness" is definitely truncated on the Region 1 DVDs. I have a VHS tape of the CBS (US-only) airing with a longer version of the conversation; I looked it up a while back (conversation in comments here).
LC: I should play again, but I'll never compare to them. Why do you suppose that is, Nicholas? Is it because they have a soul?

N: And you do not.

LC: We do not.


However, I have not yet compared the Region 2 version to the VHS version to see whether Region 2 is completely complete, or just more complete than Region 1.

Edited at 2010-04-28 06:17 pm (UTC)
PJ1228pj1228 on April 30th, 2010 01:13 pm (UTC)
I checked it out on the Region 2 DVD. The dialogue goes as this:

LC: I should play again, but I'll never compare to them.

N: I could listen to her for the rest of time.

LC: Perhaps music isn't the only mortal pleasure you yearn for.

N: Lacroix, music feeds the soul.

LC: It's a pity that music is one of the only things mortals excel in. Why do you think that is, Nicholas? Is it because they have a soul?

N: And you do not?

LC: We do not.

Now I have to check my Region 1 DVDs again for comparison(by the way, they are really region 0, because they play on region 2, as well).

If the CBS version goes as this:
>LC: I should play again, but I'll never compare to them. Why do you suppose that is, Nicholas? Is it because they have a soul?<
Then there's also a lot missing and they cut two different speeches into one.
PJ1228pj1228 on May 9th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
>Yes, the "music and souls" conversation in "False Witness" is definitely truncated on the Region 1 DVDs.<

Now I'm completely confused. I just checked my Region 1 DVDs and the scene goes exactly as I have described above.
Don't tell me there are two different sets of Region 1 DVDs out there?