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22 July 2007 @ 10:00 pm
DVD versus Broadcast Footage  
[Crossposted from forkni-l. Backdated. In reply to a post speculating that there were more scenes on television than on the DVDs.]

When the first-season FK DVDs first came out, we all scrutinized them very hard, and determined that they are the full Canadian cuts.  If you have seen the German broadcast cuts, or in a few cases the "director's cuts" tapes that got into fan hands, then you may have seen a little more footage than is on the DVDs.  But if you saw only North American broadcasts, probably not.

The German first-season editions do not have many bits that would count as full extra "scenes," and they have almost no extra dialogue.  Instead, they have many longer establishing shots -- the camera sweeps longer down a hallway, higher up a building, Nick takes more steps toward a table, Schanke lingers longer at a door ... that kind of thing.  The German version of "Dead Issue" does have an additional flashback scene (a flashback within the flashback) in which the painter actually assaults Ilsa; it's very disturbing to me, and I see entirely why it was left out of the North American versions, though that did leave the story open to debate, given the exact words of the dialogue, whether the painter was personally hurting her or allowing others to hurt her (which is a subject of additional special scrutiny because Bosch is a real historical figure, and no such incident is laid against him in the historical record).  Of the first-season German episodes I've seen, that is the one additional scene that made an impression on me.  Another Germanh episode has Nick pick up and put down a book next to his answering machine; the title is not visible on the cover, and I don't remember which episode it was.

The original US CBS airings were cut all to heck, as we all know, missing scenes right and left.  My favorite missing scene from that is the bit in the alley "False Witness" when Janette learns Lacroix is dead -- US fans didn't get that!  Also, the scene of Nick kissing Lacroix's ring in "Dark Knight, the Second Chapter" was not seen in the US until it was repeated in "I Will Repay" (which may have been why it was repeated?).  The CBS airings were even shorter than the eventual SciFi editions, which are also very much cut.  My favorite missing SciFi scenes are from second season, actually, in "A More Permanent Hell," when Natalie's reckless behavior at the Raven and Janette's intervention are trimmed down, but first-season is much worse cut because it is longer to begin with.  I think the SciFi edition of "I Will Repay" is the most clumsily trimmed, around the precinct scenes and Schanke's call to Myra.

However, the original CBS airings did very occasionally sometimes include a scene that was not in the Canadian version (perhaps meant to summarize other cut content?).  For example, in "Last Act," the scene with Erica's ghost in the caddy was missing from a Canadian airing, while other scenes with her ghost were missing from the original US airing.  (I was very concerned about that on list back in '97, if I remember correctly, because I'd only seen a Canadian copy of that episode at that time, but I saw a fan vid someone made that included that scene, and it took a while on list to puzzle out, between people correcting each other, that we were all looking at tapes of different airings, and that the broadcast airings had differed.)  I believe we got all the Erica scenes on the DVD, thank goodness.

In a better, more FK-friendly world, someone would have compiled all the differences into tidy, comparative, extra features on the DVDs.  Ah, well.  I'm so grateful to have the DVDs at all!  Silly packaging, no extras, whatever.  For so long, it didn't look like we would ever get anything.