Today, I sat down to watch one of my most eagerly anticipated releases for 2004, Flicker Alley’s 2-Disc Set of Louis Feuillade’s 12-episode Silent Serial JUDEX (1916-17). While I thoroughly enjoyed the film and was somewhat surprised at the rather satisfactory quality of the print/transfer itself (especially in comparison with the Image/Water Bearer DVD of Feuillade’s preceding serial LES VAMPIRES [1915-16]), my enthusiasm considerably abated when both discs froze up on me: Disc 1 in the middle of Episode 3 (entitled “The Fantastic Dog Pack”), exactly at the start of Chapter 3 (“The Pursuit”); and Disc 2 in the middle of Episode 9 (entitled “When The Child Appeared”), right at the start of Chapter 3 (“The Awakening”)! I managed to continue watching the rest of both discs after pressing the fast-forward button on my control for a few seconds, but I was disappointed – to say the least – by the presence of these glitches on my copy of JUDEX! I did eject the discs to check their surface for any visible anomalies but there seemed to be nothing wrong with them. I suspect that both instances occurred at layer changes but I’m not sure. So do you think that I have been saddled with defective discs or is it just my Pioneer DV-535K which is unable to tackle the layer change smoothly? Should I try to have it exchanged at Deep Discount DVD (where I had pre-ordered the set)? I abhor having to fast-forward through those particular scenes every time I decide to watch the film in future. Another thing I was baffled by was the fact that while the Prologue and the first 2 epiosdes were time-coded, the rest of the film reverted to a simple “PLAY” function which does not allow one to determine the length of any particular episode! Actually I tried to do a search on the net to see if anyone else has encountered similar problems with their copies but, alas, discussion of this truly excellent film seems to be very sporadic indeed (which is a pity)!