National Geographic DVDs

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Paddon, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    For the first time ever I bought a National Geographic DVD, a two pack featuring a recent special on the Great Pyramids but of more interest to me was a vintage 1982 documentary on Egypt narrated by Richard Basehart, that I had frequently rented the VHS release of for use in a class I teach. I thought it was nice that something this far back in National Geographic history was getting a DVD release since the trend is usually to see only recent specials and documentaries come out.

    Imagine my displeasure and disgust upon popping this in to see that the entire prologue sequence of the documentary, along with the original opening credits featuring the best orchestral arrangment of the Elmer Bernstein composed National Geographic theme, had been snipped completely from this presentation, instead opening only with the main portion following the prologue and credits, and with some out of place modern graphics with the title and narrator name superimposed. To me, this is a disgrace that the original presentation has been tampered with this way and made the documentary far less enjoyable for me to watch. I wish I'd saved the receipt because to me there is no reason to stop using the VHS version if this is how they're going to treat their classic documentaries.
     
  2. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    A little addendum to the above. Going further through this, I discover that this version is not "60 minutes" as the packaging states (that would be true of the original length) but runs exactly 43 minutes including repackaged end credits. That means over 12-15 minutes of program content got snipped from this because Warner and National Geographic decided instead to put out on DVD a cut down in the 90s version that I assume they still use on cable TV today. This is roughly akin to putting out cut down for syndication versions of a TV show on DVD instead of giving us the original full-length versions and as I said before, it's a disgrace that Warner and National Geographic would do this. Classic documentaries have as much right to be seen in their complete original format as do the great TV shows of the past.
     

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