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Dark Shadows: The Beginning Disc Problems


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#1 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian Himes

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Posted January 30 2007 - 11:31 AM

I'm not sure how many folks here are members of the Dark Shadows DVD club, but I am and I would like to warn those that are getting the Dark Shadows: The Beginning DVD sets.

Well, the it seems that MPI has once again had some authoring issues with the company that they use to transfer these episodes to DVD. Everything goes along smoothly (at least on my set) until the last disc. There are five episodes on my 4th disc that just stop near the end of the episode. No end credits. The episodes just come to a stop and skip to the next episode. I've checked the disc in more than one DVD player and it happened in all of them. This isn't a fault with the player or the discs themselves. The episodes were just blatantly cut off in mid stream. I've sent my set back for a replacement but I fear that I may end up with the same problem. Has anyone else noticed this? The first episode that it happened on my set is the episode where Burke finds the bleader valve in the couch of his hotel room. He picks it up, and you can tell that we're about to get the 'dum da dum' last scene of episode music and suddenly the slate for the next episode pops up on the screen. It happens again sporadically throughout the 4th disc. At total of five episodes have been cut short.

I'm going to call MPI to let them know. Especially since I do not want them to send me another set until this issue is fixed. Maybe it just happened on my set, but something tells me (especially with their track record of messing up the episodes at the beginning of the first few sets a few years ago) that this isn't an isolated incident.

#2 of 105 OFFLINE   FranR

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Posted January 30 2007 - 05:13 PM

Brian,

I checked my disc 4 and, unfortunately, you're right that it isn't an isolated incident.

#3 of 105 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted January 30 2007 - 06:21 PM

They were probably trying to save a little space by stupidly cutting off the end credits, is all I can think of. The credits on those episodes were certainly in the vhs versions. MPI has made poor editing choices for its DS dvds; which they did not make for video. That burns me~~
 

 


#4 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian Himes

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Posted January 31 2007 - 06:03 AM

I also checked my VHS copies and there are at least the tags on those episodes.

Well, I spoke with MPI this morning and they were already aware of the issue. They claim that that is the way the episodes end. Just cut off like that. They had a statement from Dan Curtis Productions that states that the episodes ran long so there were no ending credits. I explained that I have the VHS versions and I have checked those and the episodes in question do have at least the "Dark Shadows is a Dan Curtis production" tag at the end even if there are no ending credits. I explained that the episodes just plain stop. Most of the time in mid ending music note.

This is definately an authoring or transfer error. Since I checked the VHS copies and I told them that I have, they are going to look into the situation. I'm not sure how much good it's going to do but if enough people speak up, they may get the problem corrected.

I'm so glad that I saved my VHS copies of this series. If worse comes to worse I'll just transfer them to DVD myself. That way I'm sure to get decent DVD copy of the series.

#5 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 01 2007 - 02:42 PM

Brian et al.,

Thanks for the information regarding the Dark Shadows: The Beginning disc four. My copy of DSTB (Collection 1) was shipped about four days ago (prior to February 1st), so I most likely will have the defective DVD in this shipment, with the corrected DVD to be shipped probably within the week or so.

I wrote to them today, and I received a response rather quickly. As you probably are aware by now, this message was sent to all DVD Club members:

****************

We have just sent an email in regards to this issue to all club members….the text of the email has been posted below:

“Dear Dark Shadows DVD Club Member,

MPI is pleased to be releasing the earliest episodes of Dark Shadows on DVD for the very first time as an exclusive to Dark Shadows DVD Club members. Dark Shadows - The Beginning DVD Collections 1 through 6 will feature original episodes 1-209 (June, 1966 - April, 1967), before the introduction of vampire Barnabas Collins.

We have discovered that Disc 4 of Dark Shadows - The Beginning Collection 1 is defective. Due to a manufacturing error, several episodes on Disc 4 are missing the closing credits and small portions at the end of the episodes. (Discs 1-3 are not affected.) We apologize for this inconvenience and we will be sending a replacement disc to Dark Shadows DVD Club Members who have had Dark Shadows The Beginning Collection 1 shipped to them prior to February 1st.

Club members do not need to contact MPI to receive the corrected disc. We will be sending the corrected disc to all club members who have received Dark Shadows The Beginning Collection 1 through the DVD Club.

Club members who have yet to have this collection shipped through the club will receive the corrected version in the set when they are on this installment.

Thank you for your understanding and your interest in Dark Shadows.”

Sincerely,

MPI Home Video

#6 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 01 2007 - 02:55 PM

Hello. Can anyone please tell me how I can edit my Profile? I can't seem to find it anywhere on the Board. Thanks. Posted Image

#7 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian Himes

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Posted February 02 2007 - 05:45 AM

Thanks for the update from MPI. I just got the same email.

The real bummer is that I've already sent my set back. I should have waited and not been so hasty. Oh well, at least my replacement set will be correct.

Glad that MPI did actually look into this and not just assume we were all a bunch of lunatics.

#8 of 105 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted February 02 2007 - 08:36 AM

What fascinates me is that they responded to the problem and reacted with replacement discs so quickly. That's awfully rare--! Didn't it take the Tom & Jerry people about 2 years to fix their disc? lol Now if only MPI were in charge of the Dark Shadows Revival dvd, and could bloody well re-release it full screen, as it was meant to be seen---
 

 


#9 of 105 OFFLINE   Jack Cleveland

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Posted February 02 2007 - 11:40 AM

I believe Jim Pierson works for MPI Video w/ their classic TV shows. He has been a long time DS fan, and I imagine he was instrumental on getting this issue resolved so quickly.

I have the early shows on tape and have been meaning to transfer them to DVD for a while. Is there anything in the way of extras I shouldn't live without?

Jack Cleveland

#10 of 105 OFFLINE   Jack Cleveland

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Posted February 03 2007 - 05:06 AM

Can't anyone help me w/ the question in my previous post?

Jack Cleveland

#11 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 04 2007 - 02:57 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the update from MPI. I just got the same email.

The real bummer is that I've already sent my set back. I should have waited and not been so hasty. Oh well, at least my replacement set will be correct.

Glad that MPI did actually look into this and not just assume we were all a bunch of lunatics.
Brian,

You're welcome. I hope the wait isn't too long. I'm waiting for my replacement disc as well, but didn't send anything back because I received their Email before I got my set. I watched the first nine (Disc 1) episodes over the past two days. I am very, very pleased with the menu, the color scheme, etc. And I'm also pleased that they elected to leave the Collector's Series production slates intact for the DVDs.

Quote:
I believe Jim Pierson works for MPI Video w/ their classic TV shows. He has been a long time DS fan, and I imagine he was instrumental on getting this issue resolved so quickly.
Jack,

I have been purchasing Dark Shadows VHS tapes from MPI for several years. Those at MPI (particularly Mike and Julie) have been extremely helpful. I even asked them if they would ship me thin cases for the (post-Barnabas) episodes, and they did, complete with correctly-fitting DVD inserts. I heard from them that they are going to be issuing only the thin cases (yay!) from DVD Collection 10 onward.

Quote:
I have the early shows on tape and have been meaning to transfer them to DVD for a while. Is there anything in the way of extras I shouldn't live without?
Are you asking about extras in the way of the Collector's Series, or in general? If in general (you probably already own these) I would suggest you get Bloopers and Treasures and the Special Edition DVDS. I like both of them, but I prefer the Special Edition a little more. I have yet to purchase Reunion, although that will happen soon.

#12 of 105 OFFLINE   Jack Cleveland

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Posted February 04 2007 - 05:11 AM

Jack,

I have been purchasing Dark Shadows VHS tapes from MPI for several years. Those at MPI (particularly Mike and Julie) have been extremely helpful. I even asked them if they would ship me thin cases for the (post-Barnabas) episodes, and they did, complete with correctly-fitting DVD inserts. I heard from them that they are going to be issuing only the thin cases (yay!) from DVD Collection 10 onward.


Are you asking about extras in the way of the Collector's Series, or in general? If in general (you probably already own these) I would suggest you get Bloopers and Treasures and the Special Edition DVDS. I like both of them, but I prefer the Special Edition a little more. I have yet to purchase Reunion, although that will happen soon.[/quote]


I was wondering what extras are on the new Pre-Barnabas DVD's that are availlable directly through the MPI club. As I said I have these early episodes already on video tape, and wonder if it is worth while to repurchase them on DVD.

I have not purchased any of the DS collections currently on DVD. If my memory serves me correct, if I have the video tapes of the first year shows, I need to pick up with Volume 2 of the DVD's and skip volume 1 completely, as it has duplicate episodes.

Has anyone bought the new book "Dark Shadows- The First Year" availlable from the fan club? What is it like?

Thanks for your help-

Jack Cleveland

#13 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 05 2007 - 05:43 AM

Quote:
I was wondering what extras are on the new Pre-Barnabas DVD's that are availlable directly through the MPI club. As I said I have these early episodes already on video tape, and wonder if it is worth while to repurchase them on DVD.
Jack,

I see. There is a new introduction by Alexandra Moltke (Victoria) on Disc 1. She spends about 2-3 minutes bringing viewers up to speed. She introduces characters such as Victoria, Elizabeth, Carolynn, David, Roger, Joe, Burke, Bill Malloy, Sam and Maggie Evans, etc. Her recap is set against the backdrop of clips from various episodes. Each of the other discs also has bonus material on them. I am presently only on Disc 1, so I can't comment on that material yet.

Quote:
I have not purchased any of the DS collections currently on DVD. If my memory serves me correct, if I have the video tapes of the first year shows, I need to pick up with Volume 2 of the DVD's and skip volume 1 completely, as it has duplicate episodes.
Interestingly, I read over at Amazon.com (this was about six or so months ago) where one reviewer of the early Dark Shadows DVD Collections (from episode 210 onward) said that the DVDs contain more footage than the VHS tapes. He made a compelling argument (length of episode/time-wise); however, I have not been able to confirm this. I've compared the DVDs against the tapes, and have yet to find this footage of which he speaks. Every now and then when I'm watching the DVDs, I believe I see a scene or two that I have never seen before, but this could just be a result of my failing memory. Posted Image

Quote:
Has anyone bought the new book "Dark Shadows- The First Year" availlable from the fan club? What is it like?
Yes, I purchased two copies over the holidays--one for my daughter (she's twelve and an avid fan of Dark Shadows), and of course, one for her father. Posted Image It's quite good. It gives excellent synopses (not scripts, per se) of each episode 1-209. The episode synopses conclude with the hand of Barnabas coming out of the coffin and choking Willie. The book also contains many photographs and sketches (some of which I have never seen before); various floor (staging) plans; sets; a few pages of scripts with numerous edits in them, etc. If you're a Dark Shadows fan, I would definitely pick this book up (from Maplewood, N.J.--I think I got it from the DarkShadowsFestival.com site). It's published by the Blue Whale Press! Posted Image

Quote:
Thanks for your help.

Jack Cleveland
You're welcome. I've been watching Dark Shadows for almost forty years. It never gets old for me....

#14 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian Himes

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Posted February 05 2007 - 06:54 AM

Quote:
I have been purchasing Dark Shadows VHS tapes from MPI for several years. Those at MPI (particularly Mike and Julie) have been extremely helpful. I even asked them if they would ship me thin cases for the (post-Barnabas) episodes, and they did, complete with correctly-fitting DVD inserts. I heard from them that they are going to be issuing only the thin cases (yay!) from DVD Collection 10 onward.

So Scott, if I call MPI up I can get the slimmer cases for Post Barnabas DVD sets 1-9 with the correct inserts? I'd love for my entire collection be in the same type of cases.

#15 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 05 2007 - 07:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Himes
So Scott, if I call MPI up I can get the slimmer cases for Post Barnabas DVD sets 1-9 with the correct inserts? I'd love for my entire collection be in the same type of cases.
Brian,

I think so. At worst, you might have to pay for the cases. I Emailed the Webmaster and the response was very positive. By 'Webmaster', I mean I replied to the automatically-generated Email that comes out every other month when our next DVD Collection is ready to be shipped.

If you happen to get a rejection of your sent message, try the other EMail address. There are two addresses, and I cannot recall which one you can't send messages to--sorry. But it is definitely one of these. Here they are:

webmaster@mpimedia.com

webmaster@mpihomevideo.com

Scott

#16 of 105 OFFLINE   Brian Himes

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Posted February 05 2007 - 11:00 AM

Thanks Scott. I called customer service and I was able to purchase cases plus the inserts for sets 1-9 for $3.00 each. Since I am a memeber of the DVD club, I get free shipping. So, I pruchased them. I want my sets all to match.

#17 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 05 2007 - 12:02 PM

Brian,

You're welcome. That's awesome. For the past year, I have been getting thin ones, and then thick, and then thin. I didn't even know I had a choice until recently!

BTW, is there a Dark Shadows Board that you recommend? I can't imagine we should all talk about the series here--or is that okay?

#18 of 105 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted February 05 2007 - 12:24 PM

Pardon my asking, but as a guy who remembers watching DARK SHADOWS from the very beginning when it was relegated to a poor-signaled UHF station in Philly, and kept with it to the very end with "Bramwell" et al.; and then watched the whole thing over again in the '80s when the local New Jersey Public stations ran it; and then watched a good deal of it over again when Sci-Fi aired it in the mornings:

When do you guys find the time to watch the show on VHS and DVD? No-one was a bigger fan than me, and I really enjoyed the series on the two+ runs I watched, but I remember being surprised that they were even considering releasing the whole thousand+ episodes on tape.

I can certainly understand the want, perhaps need, to upgrade the tapes to DVD, but the sheer number of them would seem to be prohibitively expensive, especially to have bought them TWICE!

Again, I admire your dedication, but can't conceive of when in the world I'd ever get the time to view the episodes if I had them, and thus couldn't begin to justify the expense.

Sorry - I don't mean to threadcrap here, but I had to ask.

Harry
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#19 of 105 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted February 05 2007 - 12:57 PM

Quote:
When do you guys find the time to watch the show on VHS and DVD? No-one was a bigger fan than me, and I really enjoyed the series on the two+ runs I watched, but I remember being surprised that they were even considering releasing the whole thousand+ episodes on tape.
Harry,

Well, I'm writing a book and working on a recording, so it isn't easy. But I watch it on the weekends with some of my children, and late at night whenever I get the chance. Posted Image

Quote:
I can certainly understand the want, perhaps need, to upgrade the tapes to DVD, but the sheer number of them would seem to be prohibitively expensive, especially to have bought them TWICE!
I own about 100 of the tapes, and six boxed sets thus far. I plan to get all thirty-two of the boxed sets. I guess I collect DVDs. I pick and choose what I spend my monies on, and Dark Shadows is a priority for me. But I understand not everyone wanting to purchase the entire series.

Quote:
Again, I admire your dedication, but can't conceive of when in the world I'd ever get the time to view the episodes if I had them, and thus couldn't begin to justify the expense.
I guess I just make the time. I also watch a ton of Trek (all six series and films), so I understand the difficulty of making time. I have to squeeze it in around playing the works of J. S. Bach, but I manage. Posted Image

#20 of 105 OFFLINE   Harry-N

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Posted February 06 2007 - 12:14 AM

Thanks for the reply. I guess we're all individuals with our own tastes, priorities, etc., and it's great that you can find time to watch these old shows, not only for your own entertainment, but with your kids too.

Harry
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A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".


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