To understand what went wrong with the Sony release we have to start back at the very, very beginning…
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman premiered on January 5th 1976 (at least on stations which were early adopters of this syndicated soap opera spoof). It ran weekdays (i.e. five episodes per week) with continuous new episodes through Friday, July 2nd 1976. At which point, having been on the air for 26 weeks and tallying up 130 unique episodes, it reached the end of “season one.” It was now time for cast and crew to take a well deserved break. Producer Norman Lear announced that videotaping of season two would begin in early August 1976, with the season two premiere occurring on Monday October 4th 1976. Unfortunately for rabid fans of the show, this left a gap of 13 weeks from the end of season one until the premiere of season two. Obviously re-runs from season one would be broadcast during the gap, however with a slight twist. An editor took the best (or most important) sequences from the original 130 episodes and created a new digest version of season one, condensed down to only 65 episodes. This digest version of season one allowed new fans of the show, to catch up on all that had transpired previously, and created a very nice build up as well as smooth transition right into season two.
In 2007 Sony released the first volume of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman on DVD. Their intent was to include the first 25 episodes of season one, complete and unedited. However, three episodes on the DVD set were mistakenly substituted with digest versions from 1976. This unfortunate mix up occurs on what should have been episodes 22, 24 and 25. Owners of the DVD set can rest assured that the remaining episodes are all complete as originally aired. One can easily distinguish original early episodes by their end credits which crawl up the screen. The end credits on the digest versions fade in and out.
I sent the above info to Shout Factory to hopefully keep them on their toes. As long as Shout Factory does not accidentally transfer any of the digest versions, things should be fine. I'm very much looking forward to this release!
Edited by Mark Tay, August 29 2013 - 08:24 AM.