Amy R. (brightknightie) wrote,
Amy R.
brightknightie

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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