Combat - Season One - Campaigns One and Two DVD Collections!!!!!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by JeffT., Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    I am currently in the process of watching Season 5 Invasion 1 and although I have yet to actually check the running time, knowing how the soundtrack was affected by being time compressed - you could always hear it "skipping" or breaking up - the final series does not exibit this and the video presentation is, quite frankly, very good. Scenes are nice and sharp and the color itself in a word - great. I personaly will find it somewhat difficult to view the earlier black and white episodes as I am now spoiled! It is the same effect when you see b&w shots from WW2 and then see them in color - sounds odd perhaps and now I find myself wishing the entire series was in color. Others may disagree of course but it is also a revelation to hear the audio unaffected by that lousy time compression.
     
  2. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    After watching one episode, the total running time came to 51 minutes, so with that in mind anyone who knows can perhaps mention if it is indeed uncompressed,which, given the 47 odd minute length of the previous seasons episodes it appears to be. The special feature on the fourth disc entitled "This Season In Color" ran 30 minutes and was quite informative, I really enjoyed watching it. It was the first part so I imagine Part 2 is on Invasion 2.
     
  3. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    How is the picture quality compared to the other seasons? Wasn't Season 5 supposed to be HD mastered ala Twilight Zone?
     
  4. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    - "Scoop In"

    Here's the reply from a Combat! Forum member that knows the "straight scoop" on the Combat! DVD's:

    [begin copy of reply from Combat! forum member]

    Scoop,

    As someone who works in broadcasting and has the true information on this issue, allow me to help clarify some issues about the DVD's since sometimes we hear about other forums, perhaps unintentionally, spread misinformation and rumors about the Combat! DVDs.

    Nothing is missing from one single episode of the 152 Combat! that have been in syndication for the past 20 years and are now on DVD. Not one scene, not one camera shot, not one line of dialouge etc.

    In the mid 80's Combat! was virtually dead as a marketable

    syndication product. There are many factors and reasons why but I will not bore everyone here with those reasons. The syndicator had most, MOST, not all of the 152 epsiodes time-compressed which was a technology coming into vogue at that time for reducing running times on old TV shows so that local stations wouldn't have to take time and effort removing content themselves so as to make more time for

    more commercials. It was a way to preserve old shows intact as so many had been chopped up before to the point where restoration was going to get much more difficult.

    Also, TC technology does not "speed up" the program or do any of the other things that some other web forum groups rumour about. They understand things in an analog way and refuse to understand that the process did not also include things like removing scenes and content etc.

    Bottom-line is that season 1-4 ARE the "syndicated versions" of Combat BUT they are scene for scene identical with the original versions only TCd to about 4 minutes less running time. Season 5 was released in real-time, i.e, from source material that was never TCd.

    [end of copy]

    I hope this helps clarify the "syndication" issue as it pertains to the Combat! series DVD's.

    Just my opinion, but I don't seem to have an issue with the "Time Compressed" issue as much as others might. This might be due to my hearing loss (no joke) but I can't tell that the Combat! eps in S1-4 are Time-Compressed. I guess I'd need to compare a VHS version as they originally-aired to detect it in the DVD versions. The important thing to me is that the DVD's are the un-cut versions.

    - "Scoop Out"
     
  5. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    Thanks to everybody who (kindly) responded to my inquiry!
    It sounds like the fifth season (1966-67) video transfers are in good shape so I'll keep my online order pending till sent.
    However on the topic of time-compression I've recently seen tv syndicated episodes of THE FUGITIVE (ABC 1963-67) and not only were the segments speeded up but there were also definite edits to the episodes as well. This may not apply to every such instance but it was certainly in evidence here.
    In addition to having been time-compressed I understood that the quality of the video transfers for the first four season DVD two volume sets of COMBAT! (ABC 1962-67) were in poor shape as well as sadly in need of restoration work and serious upgrading.
    Anyway at least the colour episodes are (apparently) worth getting afterall.
    Jeff T.
     
  6. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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  7. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    For folks who have both b&w and the final color season Combat DVD's and are trying to detect the difference between time compressed and real-time audio, try listening to the closing credits from both seasons. The tc'd credits will probably sound sped up, at least faster than the real-time final season credits. I haven't purchased any Combat DVD's yet, but the syndicated b&w seasons airing on Encore display this effect. On the whole, I think Combat fares better than some other time compressed shows in terms of clipping and distortion. But dialogue does occasionally seem unnaturally rapid and the character lines end abruptly in some instances.
     
  8. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I have the entire series of Combat! when it was released in the 2-part "campaign" sets. Does anyone here have the entire series box set? I'm curious as to the differences in any Extras, Interviews, etc, since from a quick search at Amazon and DDD, the prices (when using Amazon's current discounted prices for the individual sets) are the same for the entire box set vs buying all of the individual sets. Usually, the online stores offer a discount when buying an entire series box set, or maybe that's not the case with most season sets vs single-season sets?
     
  9. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I suspect that ALL of the COMBAT! episodes from all seasons on DVD are shown in their original uncut form and are not time-accelerated, so comparing running times between a syndicated or 1990s Action Channel rerun is pointless. If anything, I'd expect the cable airings were complete since they don't have commercials (other than promos for their own shows) on the Encore channels so they wouldn't be concerned with running times.
    I was thinking the same thing before I read the other Jeff's post above: Has anyone purchased the entire series box set of COMBAT! ? Fry's and Best Buy both sell it for $200. I haven't been able to find it for less (I don't have a Costco membership).
    Anywhere I can get it cheaper? [​IMG]
    By the way, Jeff, looking at the packaging at the Fry's store the other day it looks like it has all the same extras but not comparing that with the individual half-season releases I can't be certain. The complete series box lists all the extras on the back and it's packed with commentaries and documentaries, which is why I believe they're the same.
    Each of the 5 seasons in the complete set are in one box each this time, not two....so the discs are likely packed in thin cases given the size of the box.
    Maybe it would be best if a new COMBAT! topic was started, because this one is so old a lot of it is dated regarding individual season releases -- particularly the thread title.
     
  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Stunt Coordinator

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    I never watched a single episode of the series but from what I have read it is the best war drama that ever aired on television. While hearing about the TC is a little disappointing, I may not even notice it since I never saw these shows previously. At least there was no cuts to actual content.

    A question to those that bought any of the Campaigns. How bad is the video quality anyhow? Aside from this thread, I read the review provided from the link within and also comments from those on amazon.com (no one at amazon.com really had anything negative to say about this). Of course for Campaign one the reviewer states...

     
  11. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    All of the Combat! episodes I saw in TV reruns always looked great visually, with no noticeable film artifacts (except of course for the occasionally used stock WWII film footage).
    Even the first season episodes were sharp, so I wouldn't expect any less from their DVD transfers.
     
  12. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    As a weekly drama, “Combat!” was probably the best of the shows of the 1960s that used World War II as its backdrop, though many would argue that Quinn Martin’s “12 O’clock High” was its equal (and I’d love to see that series come to DVD). Because it’s television, the show was small scale and many of the German military vehicles shown are simply U.S. surplus military vehicles with a new paint job (just like “The Rat Patrol”). But it’s the great drama of soldiers doing their job and trying to survive the war that make this series a standout, with a consistently great performance by series co-star Vic Morrow as “Sergeant Saunders.” The series had four black & white seasons, finally changing to color in the final season to comply with the networks switch from black & white to color. Rick Jason, who co-starred as “Lieutenant Hanley,” had this to say about season five in his autobiography “Scrapbooks of My Mind” . . . . .
    “I never felt that the quality we had in the first four years was upheld in the fifth. Color lost that gritty feeling you can get with black and white. I recently watched one of the color shows and there I am, in my wonderfully pressed green jacket in a combat situation and it looks as if the jacket has just been returned by the dry cleaner.”
    As far as the time compression issue is concerned, it depends on who you talk to and what their recollections are. I saw “Combat!” as a child when it was originally broadcast in the 1960s on ABC, and had only seen a sporadic episode over the ensuing years until the DVD sets were released. The only thing that I noticed was the opening and closing theme/credits seemingly played a bit faster than I remembered . . . but that’s all . . . I really couldn’t detect any “speed up” of the shows themselves, though it is there for all of the episodes of seasons one through four; the running times are definitely shorter (by 3 to 4 minutes) than season five, which is not time compressed. Frankly, if you’ve never seen the show before, you probably wouldn’t even notice. I also think the reviewer you cited was being overly critical of the show’s picture quality; yes, there is definite (and expected) grain in the real World War II combat footage, but overall the show looks very good for an early to mid 1960s production and the audio is fine. The time compression issue aside (a non-issue for me), Image Entertainment did a first class job with this series and packed it with great extras, including numerous episode commentaries from cast members, directors and writers.
     
  13. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I agree with Bob's post. The xfrs, although not as clear as some other 60's shows on DVD, are fairly good considering the vintage of the show. As for the TC issue, Bob said it all for me. As stated earlier, these DVD's are the un-cut versions of the series, no scenes/video is deleted from the eps. I can't detect the TC issue but I do realize that it's an individual thing as far as hearing the TC. If anyone hasn't seen the series previously, you most likely won't detect anything with the TC.

    I did see these when they originally aired (the 1st 2 seasons' memories were too faint to recall but I remember a lot of the eps from S3-S5), and the DVD's are very good. I have the separate seasons sets and not the complete set. Image did a great job with the overall presentation of this series with interviews and other Extras in the set. Bob, do you have the complete set pack or the individual season sets? We were wondering if there were any differences between the sets regarding Extras.
     
  14. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Individual season sets . . . too good a series to wait for the whole thing to be released! While I haven't made any attempt to compare the extras of the individual releases with the complete series release, I'd guess that there wouldn't be much of a difference, if any . . . Image really loaded the individual sets with plenty of extras and, given the vintage of this series, there probably wouldn't be a lot of extra material to put in, unless there are more commentaries and/or newly produced material.
     
  15. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    We have the same disagreement with Combat! as we do with The Fugitive. [​IMG] Color is better because it's more realistic and real life is not in B & W -- no question. Although the B & W shows are very entertaining too, that isn't what it's all about. Gritiness is maintained just as easily in color, providing the scripts and acting remain in top form. And besides...this is a TV series, where you know the leads are coming back and will be completely healed next week. [​IMG]
    But with Combat the only problem with that was that Selmur Productions and / or ABC only had so much in the budget to purchase the occasionally required color stock film footage shot during WWII and there certainly wasn't that much compared to B & W. More importantly, the series couldn't go on for another year or else the series would exceed the entire run of the war. After all, the Korean War only lasted 4 years yet M*A*S*H lasted 11 seasons (although they had much higher ratings than Combat!)....
     
  16. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Same reason that I didn't wait for the series set [​IMG]
    Looking at the price comparisons, I'm a little surprised that the complete set isn't priced lower but I might eventually get that set for shelf space reasons. I'll post the Extras question over at the Combat Forum and let you know what they say about the comparisons.
    Does anyone have that "Viewers Guide" book by Jo D? It's a cool "view-along" read [​IMG]
     
  17. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    "Color vs B/W". It always gets the threads going [​IMG]
    Well, I look at it this way. For the Combat series, I prefer the B/W seasons to the color season but that may be due to IMO, the series was at its peak in S2-4. If the color seasons had been produced earlier in the series run, I'd have preferred them. For some reason, I felt that S3 may have been the series best season with a close 2nd-vote to S2 & 4. I didn't prefer S1 to the later seasons since, I felt, that the actors hadn't hit their stride with the character protray'als as much in S1. Season-voting for Combat is fun, but this is one series that I knew I'd be getting all of them [​IMG] I'm still in S3 viewing [​IMG] , but that's due to 2 reasons: 1) I have many TV/DVD sets in progress, and 2) Combat is in my top-5 list of all-time series favs, and I like to "savor" it and make it last a little while [​IMG]
     
  18. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I agree with you there, Jeff. In one way the first season was less gritty because they had a platoon comic Braddock (played by comedian Shecky Greene). There's nothing wrong with injecting a bit of humor into tense situations, but Shecky just didn't fit into the no-nonsense Combat! mold.
    But I prefer the improved version of the theme music introduced in Season 3 (?). [​IMG]
     
  19. Cheetah

    Cheetah Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I just put an order in for the complete series. This should be great.
     
  20. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    When it comes to fictional WWII series, now someone has to
    get started on the first season of 12 O' Clock High. [​IMG]
     

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