The Paper Chase

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by BobGassel, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. BobGassel

    BobGassel Auditioning

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    Any rumours about this semi-classic coming to DVD? Obviously I'd like both the CBS and Showtime seasons included.

    Since the series hasn't been rerun in at least 15 years, I can't imagine there would be much of a demand...a shame.
     
  2. LaurenceGarvey

    LaurenceGarvey Second Unit

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    I'd be second in line after you to pick up this great series.
     
  3. ChrisMahoney

    ChrisMahoney Auditioning

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    I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I taped a dozen or so episodes during the Showtime run, but those videotapes are looking a bit weatherbeaten.

    Any idea who has the rights?
     
  4. JeffWld

    JeffWld Stunt Coordinator

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    20th Century Fox owns the show, so unless they are prepared to sub-license it, it isn't looking like a strong contender.
     
  5. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    The show started out on CBS, right, and then moved to Showtime? Anyone know many episodes/seasons were produced for each network?
     
  6. ChrisMahoney

    ChrisMahoney Auditioning

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    I'm working from memory here, but the original CBS season ran 21 or 22 episodes.

    The first Showtime season (called "The Second Year") ran about 6 or 7 episodes. The second Showtime Season (still called "The Second Year") ran 13 episodes, I think.

    The third Showtime season (called "The Third Year") again ran about 13 episodes. The final Showtime season ("The Graduation Year") only ran 5 or 6 episodes- including a 2 hour series finale.
     
  7. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I thought I would point out something I noticed about the season one set that none of the early reviews have mentioned.

    18 of the 22 episodes run 47 to 48 minutes. The transfers are fine. Not restored, but perfectly watchable.

    The other four episodes look gorgeous. They look like they have been restored. Yet, they only run 46 minutes.

    I don't know if these were the syndication cuts, and full length versions couldn't be found, but I thought I should mention it.

    Never having seen the episodes before, I couldn't tell what, if anything, had been cut. And I don't believe this should be any reason to NOT buy the set.

    But, the episodes looked so good, some may wish they went with the shorter versions of the whole series.

    Does anyone have any background on if the syndication cut for this show was only 46 minutes?
     
  8. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    I have just seen the first of these great quality 46 minute episodes, and I can state that the reason for the short running time is due to a simple case of speed-up, not syndication editing. The theme song "The First Years" is sung and played in a higher key than the normal speed and the voices have that tell-tale higher pitch.
     
  9. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

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    I've just finished watching the first 8 episodes of this wonderful classic series, and I think the standout episodes for me so far have been the Pilot, "Nora", and "The Seating Chart". It's funny, I never paid that much attention to the show as a teenager when it aired on Showtime, but now as I am rediscovering it on DVD, I am really enjoying the stories and the characters and the performances.

    I'm a little disappointed with the prints Shout is using from Fox on these. Many are clearly lifted from 16mm prints, and others appear to be a little higher quality, but shorter, syndicated prints. Not really seeing anything in the way of time compression, however, nothing really seems all that sped up to me compared to shows that I actually have seen it done to. I am grateful to Shout for acquiring the rights to release it nonetheless, and hope we can get the Second Year sometime soon.
     
  10. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    The shorter prints aren't edited, they're sped up. The giveaway is the higher pitch of the theme music.
     
  11. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

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    Generally with time compression (unless its expertly done) not only do you have higher pitched, sped up dialogue/music, but the characters also move around in a sped up fashion, and scenes with cars driving seem especially fast. There also tends to be more 'jerkiness' in the film itself. With Paper Chase, aside from the sped up theme, I didn't notice any of these things. They must have used some really good compression experts over at Fox before they handed the prints off to Shout.

    Usually time compression bugs the crap out of me, but for some reason here it didn't.
     
  12. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

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    Great news: TV Shows on DVD is reporting that season 2 is coming December 15th. This is the first of the Showtime years, after CBS cancelled it in 1979.


    I had bought this on a blind buy and have been thoroughly enjoying it, and highly recommend it to any fans of great dramatic storytelling, with solid performances and enjoyable chemistry between the leads. As I've mentioned before, the prints they use are a little rough but they do not detract from my enjoyment of this wonderful show.
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    That is great news, Jeff. I loved this show when it originally aired, and my wife and I really enjoyed watching the first season on DVD, despite the lackluster A/V quality. This will be a definitely purchase for me.
     
  14. DonGillikin

    DonGillikin Auditioning

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    Another possibility is that film masters for those episodes no longer exist and that PAL transmission masters telecined at 25 fps prepared for use in the UK or Australia were converted back to NTSC and used instead.

    When watching those episodes of the Paper Chase, I am reminded of watching my R2 DVD of the DOCTOR WHO telemovie from 1996. The picture is sharper, the color is more intense and the music and voices are slightly speeded up and higher in pitch, but not as much as with typical time compression. A lot of people can't detect the PAL speed-up effect on filmed material because the difference is too subtle for most people's ears to detect or for their brains to decipher.
     
  15. younger1968

    younger1968 Cinematographer

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    I love this show as well. I just seen the packaging and it looks good. The only problem is that i believe some of the cast members were replaced or did not return. However, the main people are still there like Hart, so, i still think it will be good dvd. The 3rd and 4th season are short and i would not be surprise if these two season are packaged together. It would have been interesting to see them roll how the students did after graduation or even if they included this as additonal information on future releases.
     
  16. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Any idea why Deep Discount still doesn't have season 2 available yet?
     
  17. younger1968

    younger1968 Cinematographer

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    there looks like a delay until Dec 22, 2009. I order my copy from Amazon.ca and received info that the release has been pushed out.b
     
  18. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    I didn't even know season 1 was out on DVD. I remembering liking this show when watched during it's original airing. I'm in for season 1 and 2. Hopefully, they will be able to get a combined season 3 and 4 out in the future to finish it off.

    Everytime I think I've picked up most of what I want, another shows up out of no where. My TV section is now almost as large as my movie section. I never anticipated that when building my wall units. I have enough space to build two more. I'm not sure what I will do after that.
     
  19. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    This is one that I might get down the road. I have dim memoris of watching a few epsodes when it aired but the movie is one that I have in the collection.

    I know what you mean, Brad. My TV/DVD collection is catching up fast. I have about 240 movies vs 190 TV/VD sets. I'm still getting by with a wall bookshelf but it's about 75% full.
     
  20. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    Jeff,

    I'm probably in the 900 range for movies and 275 for season sets. My shelving is now about 99.9% full. I have enough room for the Smallville sets and that is it.
     

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