Production Order or Airdate

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by ZackR, May 5, 2004.

  1. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Hi,

    I am working my way through the Star Trek: TNG sets and I was curious how others handle TV series. Do you watch them in prodcution order or by airdate?

    I have so far watched TNG by airdate...which is the order they are in on the discs.

    What do you guys do?
     
  2. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I prefer production order whenever possible...reason being that some shows air out of order...Saved by the Bell is an obvious example of this. Although usually I just watch them all in whatever order comes up when "play all" is hit.
     
  3. Jimmy M

    Jimmy M Second Unit

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    Casey, by the same token, if you watch TNG in Production order, the first season will show Tasha Yar being killed, then alive again in the next episode
    . (Spoiler protected just in case...)

    So I'd say it would depend on the show.

    Jimmy!
     
  4. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I would say, generally, airdate order would be best, but for some shows (especially any first-run syndicated shows from the '70s or before), that production order would probably be best.

    Why? Because, prior to the widespread use of videotape by TV stations, syndicated series were "bicycled" from station to station in a chain: when the first station in a chain was finished with an episode, it was bicycled (sent) to the next station (and so on), which would mean the episodes would run on different dates in different cities.

    Space: 1999 is a prime example of a show that works best in production order, since it didn't have a uniform "airdate order" (episodes were shown in different orders in different cities).

    Another Anderson series, UFO, also works best in production order (due to the cast changes halfway through the run) except for the first two Paul Foster episodes, because they shot his "intro" episode after "first-shot" episode (when they decided to make him a regular and give his character an introduction). In that instance, it's better to watch those two episodes out-of-sequence.
     
  5. david_slater

    david_slater Stunt Coordinator

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    all i want is the way it was ment to be shown.
    to me this is in order. not airdate or Production order.
    the old shows was easy to know the right order, they pick up where they left off from the last show.
    lost in space was one of them as well as blakes 7, time tunnel and so on...
     
  6. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    That may be true for some older shows, but definitely not the majority, especially when it comes to syndicated fare (like the two Anderson shows I mentioned).

    Many shows (like 1999) were pretty much self-contained stories by design, due to the necessity of the "bicycling" arrangement of syndication. That's why first-run syndie shows were often self-contained, as they were fully aware of this (there were exceptions, of course, like "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman").

    Also, it's sometimes hard to tell what the intended order is. Take "Star Trek", for example. What is that show's intended order: airdate or production? Sometimes, networks make idiotic airdate choices (as they did with putting "Man Trap" first, which blew continuity out of the water by the time "Where No Man" aired as show #4). I'm sure that unlike "Firefly", the producers didn't have an intended order in mind, so how do you determine the "right" order on shows like that?
     
  7. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    As I Said, I am going through Star Trek: TNG right now. And to me, it should definitely be watched in order of airdate.
    For example, in Season 1, Tasha Yar dies in the episode Skin of Evil, however, the last episode she filmed was Symbiosis, so if you watch it in production order, she will die, then be back again without explanation.
    But, as mentioned, Saved By The Bell must be watched in production order to maintain what thin thread of continuity it has. Too bad we can't have a list of what order various shows should be watched in. [​IMG]
     
  8. Kevin Grey

    Kevin Grey Cinematographer

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    It varies by the series.

    On some shows, like Firefly, the networks change the air schedule to put perceived stronger episodes early in the run to try and build ratings. Consequently, the episodes may not air in the order in which the show producers intended and there may be some inconsistencies.

    Some series, like Babylon 5, change their production order based on factors like set and actor availability but the episodes shouldn't necessarily be viewed in production order. The first season finale of B5 was actually filmed 12th in production order to allow for more time to complete the effects but it should be viewed as the 22nd episode.

    The easiest thing is to do a search on the net for the series in question to get a definitive answer.
     
  9. Eve Brown

    Eve Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi
    I am very much for production order and try to look on sites such as tvtome and put tapes of episodes in the order.
    Some shows it makes little if any diffance, but i feel that they were filmed in the order for a reason. I really wish they had put saved by the bell in correct order because it makes little sense to have an episode talk about the first day of school when they were already in school in the pervious episodes.
     
  10. david_slater

    david_slater Stunt Coordinator

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    thats what im talking about. geting shows out of order.
    airdate or Production order has nothing to do with being in the right order.
    i talking about the way the order are shown.
    iv seen some episode lists that are way off online.
    i wish they get it right before releaseing DVD sets.
    i hate it when there out of order.

    like someone being dead in one episode then alive the next or someone talking about something that has not happen yet.
    Please! [​IMG]
     
  11. GarySchrock

    GarySchrock Second Unit

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    I'd definitely say it should be in the order it was intended to be in, assuming of course that can be determined. That means it might not be production or airing order. You can't trust the networks to air things in the correct order, and sometimes there were reasons why episodes would be produced out of order (episodes with lots of special effects would be one reason that might be done, or timing with potential guest actors).

    Just give it to me the way it's supposed to be. And I know I'm asking for too much.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Also, ST:TNG S4, at the beginning after the conclusion of Best of Both Worlds, Picard goes home to recuperate and the Enterprise is in spacedock getting repaired -- "Family", I believe. But "Suddenly Human" (IIRC), the next episode, which shows Enterprise leaving spacedock, was produced first, so when it was aired here, they blindly followed production numbers and we got screwed up continuity.
     
  13. Deb Walsh

    Deb Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    With a show like Wonderfalls, that had a 13-episode commitment to film before it aired (too bad they didn't get a air commitment of 13 episodes), watching production order would be a mistake. Tim Minear has specifically said that the second aired episode was actually among the last to be filmed, but his intent was always that it be the second aired episode.

    Production order can be dodgy too in large ensemble cast shows - sometimes production order is based on who's going to be available to take point in an episode rather than the actual order of the series. You see that happen a lot on shows that have two units and two episodes filming concurrently. And for the life of me, I can't think of a specific series off the top of my head, but I know it's happened ... oh, getting old bites ... :?
     
  14. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    If a show has a boatload of "2-Parters", then the "air date" order would be preferred. (Because, surely, networks aren't silly enough to "break up" a two-part episode and stick in a totally-unrelated ep. in between the 2 parts....are they?)

    A good argument for "Air Date" order to be utilized on DVD boxed sets is the series "Good Times". During Season 2, the two-parter "J.J. Goes To Jail" (or some title like that) is broken up on the DVD set by one other episode, because the DVDs go by Production Dates.

    Therefore, if you like using "Play All" on your TV viewing sessions, you'll get "Part 1", followed by a completely-unrelated 1-Part program, then "Part 2" of the two-parter. That's not a good thing...I think all you "Play All" advocates will concur. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Luckily, all the many Dick Van Dyke Show "2-Parters" will play consecutively (as aired), even though those sets go by "Production" order as well.

    The only time on the DVD-on-DVD sets you're going to notice a fairly obvious "out of order" scenario while watching the shows in the disc's arrangement will be in the upcoming 5th Season -- when the last ep. aired, "The Final Chapter", will be the next-to-last episode on Disc # 5 of that boxed set (followed by "The Gunslinger", which was the last show filmed).

    Although (technically-speaking), it's never really revealed during "The Last Chapter" that it IS indeed the final Van Dyke effort ever...it stands to reason (by the title and the show's content, with many "looking back with nostalgia" film clips of previous episodes) that this episode should be viewed last.

    Just noticed that TV-Tome has the Van Dyke eps. all scrambled into an odd listing. For part of the list, they show "Air Date" order; then suddenly switch, for some reason, to "Production" order. Curious. [​IMG]
     
  15. david_slater

    david_slater Stunt Coordinator

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    i have seen them do that... nothing surprises me anymore.
     
  16. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Batman: The Animated Series has two-parters broken up in both production and airdate order.
     
  17. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Doesn't this seem just a tad .... odd???
    A "2-Parter", I always thought, should be watched "back-to-back" (aka: consecutively).
     
  18. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    When the show started, they were running during the weekdays and on Saturday moring as well. "The Cat and the Claw part 1" aired on the first Saturday, then part 2 aired the next Saturday. If a two-parter aired on a weekday, the second part was shown the day after the first part.
     
  19. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    By being a passionate fan of Futurama, I've learned it's best to think in terms of production order and not broadcast.

    Lots of variables can prevent a series from being broadcast sequentially, so I just stick with the order in which the producers made 'em.

    Futurama will live on DVD for a long time, and those sets are presented in production order. At this point, does anyone even care what order Fox used? "Original broadcast date" might be interesting in a trivia sense, but that's about it.
     
  20. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    The only important order is the order the makers of the show intended. There are lots of reasons why either/both the production or broadcast order may be wrong. Shows may be aired in the wrong order, shows may be produced early to accomodate a guest star or allow time for extra effects work.
     

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