Will Fugitive be time-sped too?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mark To, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Now that we have established that Image put out Combat with the time-sped tapes that Worldvision produced in the mid-80s, I'm afraid that whoever eventually decides to do The Fugitive will take the same route. Unlike the Combats, some of which run much longer than 46:30, all of The Fugitives have a uniform running time. I just hope that since that is a more popular and well known show, they (whoever they turn out to be) will go back to the original films.
     
  2. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    The source elements provided for the COMBAT! (ABC 1962-67) DVD sets were taken from the tv syndication video copies that are time-compressed for additional commerials.

    However in the case of THE FUGITIVE (ABC 1963-67) the tv syndication video copies were not time-compressed (at least when it aired on the A&E Network back in the early to mid-1990s and wherever I saw it on tv throughout the 1990s for that matter) so there should be no problem in this respect.

    But who says that THE FUGITIVE is going to be released on DVD? Have I missed something here?

    Jeff T.
     
  3. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    I don't know where your information is from. I recorded several A&E episodes to fill in my complete series and the running time was 46:15. The real time of the episodes is about 50 to 51 minutes. All Worldvision shows were compressed for syndication in the mid-80s: Invaders, Fugitive, Ben Casey, Combat, etc. I taped all of these things when they ran. The uniform running time is 46:30, although A&E snipped 15 seconds more for some reason.
     
  4. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    Are you taking into account the fact that A+E has always been pretty notorious for cutting several minutes from episodes of old shows? I wouldn't go by the running time of a syndicated print, especially from cable airings like A+E, Sci-Fi etc.
     
  5. Videowack

    Videowack Agent

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    The Fugitive was NOT time-compressed when shown on A&E. However, the episodes WERE edited, with approximately 3-4 minutes of footage removed. A sharp eye can easily detect many of these cuts, even though they are digitally edited these days as opposed to the old splices in film of years ago.
     
  6. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    The episodes on the 5-volume series of FUGITIVE laserdiscs (released by Worldvison/Nu Ventures/Image Entertainment in 1991-92) were time-compressed. I believe the 6th Image LD, with the two-episode FUGITIVE finale, "The Judgement", was un-cut and non-compressed, however.

    So there's room for worry, although COMBAT is licensed from Disney (from its ABC/Selznick library), isn't it? If so, it sounds like Disney is supplying sub-par material here, similar to its licensing of non-anamorphic (and sometimes pan & scan) masters to MGM (HELL IN THE PACIFIC, CHARLY, A MINUTE TO PRAY...A SECOND TO DIE, etc), while I assume THE FUGITIVE is in Paramount's hands now (or will be soon).
     
  7. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    The reruns I taped off the briefly-lived TV Heaven channel in the early 1990s (it was a free-to-air station on C-band) were definitely EDITED, not time compressed. The reason I know they were edited was that I compared the TVH airing of "Vikor" to my store-bought Worldvision/ABC Video VHS tape of the same episode and at least one scene was removed. If time-compressed prints had been available in 1990, I'm sure that's what would've been used rather than the station having to edit scenes out itself.

    I'd say it's more likely that the time-compressed prints were made available in the mid-to-late '90s, not the '80s. I don't even think that time compression technology had emerged until the 1990s anyway.

    The 12 Worldvision/ABC Videos (on the Goodtimes label) were definately not time compressed, so Worldvision did have uncut materials in the late 1980s at least. These even still have the "Next, The Invaders in Color!" opening bumpers intact!
     
  8. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Paramount acquired Worldvision several years ago and syndicates The Fugitive (just as it does The Twilight Zone and Combat!--check out the web site www.paramounttv.com). But as an ABC TV show originally, the actual source material for The Fugitive should reside with Disney, just like Combat!

    Paramount's web site notes that the syndicated The Fugitive does indeed run 46:30 per episode on average. It has a generic statement that the episodes have been edited, but it doesn't indicate if it's through cuts or time compression. (And various time-compression techniques have been around since well before the mid-90s. It was just usually more obvious to a trained ear familiar with the content.)
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    The only example of "time-compressed" material I've ever experienced with one of my VHS tapes (or DVDs) was the VHS version of 1957's "12 Angry Men", which was definitely "sped up" -- to the point where it's quite noticeable in some places of the film -- esp. when Ed Begley and Lee Cobb are speaking, making their deep bass voices sound different/higher in pitch. John Fiedler, whose voice is "up there" to begin with, can really sound like one of 'The Chipmunks' if his dialogue is sped up too much. [​IMG]

    That VHS of "12 Angry Men" runs only 92 minutes. Those 92 min. contain the FULL 95-minute movie. The DVD version seems fine (and not compressed at all).

    Re. "The Fugitive": I have some Fugitive VHS Tapes from "Republic Pictures", and those don't seen compressed to my ears. Run time is 49 minutes per episode (including the "preview" portion at the beginning of each episode, a portion that I'm hoping makes the transition to disc once this excellent TV series finally makes its debut on the DVD format).
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I am curious as to why these episodes are edited ?
     
  11. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    This is a case where everyone's correct (regarding THE FUGITIVE). There are versions of the episodes that are time-sped, some are edited, some are modified, and others 'normal'.

    When the show was rerun by A&E, the openings were modified for better flow, I suppose. Following the teaser, the opening monologue would run minus the "Tonight's Episode" proclamation. Instead, the episode title was printed on-screen with the rest of the episode credits ("Directed by:", etc). Though it was very evident to me, I suppose there are those who thought this more seamless. I'm not sure of why it was done, other than perhaps A&E (who ran them in the daytime), didn't want the word "Tonight" blaring from the screen. It shaved a few seconds, but I don't think it was done for time. As I recall, these episodes were also time-sped to allow for more commercial time, and remastered to videotape.

    Sometime later, THE FUGITIVE aired on the WOR cable network. This was a substitute feed for the satellite viewers of WOR New York, eliminating the more expensive syndicated shows, and only allowing through things like Mets broadcasts and WOR's newscasts. I rememeber them airing in the mid-'90's, nightly at 9 PM, which is where I taped the vast majority of episodes. These were predominantly time-sped, but the openings were as they appeared on the ABC network.

    I also purchased the entire 20-tapes that were issued by Nu-Ventures Video. These featured Barry Morse giving intros to each episode, and these vary as to how the content was presented. Some episodes ("Nightmare At Northoak" for example) were sourced from time-sped videotape, while others ("Landscape With Running Figures, 1 & 2) were sourced from what looks like grainy 16mm prints at normal speed (containing original ABC-TV bumpers!).

    I can only hope that whenever these inevitably find their way to DVD sets, that someone takes the time to remaster them properly, fully, and at the correct speed.

    Harry
     
  12. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    TV shows then ran longer than they do now. By editing them (or not editing them, but time-compressing them by speeding them up slightly), stations or networks that currently air them can have an extra commercial break (usually 2:02). So a half-hour show might have three commercial breaks, instead of its original two, or an hourlong show 5-6 breaks instead of four. It means more money for the station or network and an easier sell for the syndicator--and a problem for us when those modified syndicated episodes hit DVD instead of the originally aired versions.
     
  13. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Hi Harry & Randy

    Thanks for the thorough explanations.

    Cheers

    Oscar
     
  14. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    The next question should be, will anyone buy an "altered" version of the show if it is released to DVD that way. I doubt I would.
     
  15. Videowack

    Videowack Agent

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    No, I certainly wouldn't buy an altered version of this, or any other show. The problem is, how do we know if it IS, in fact, altered, until we get it home and play it? I doubt any of these studios will be putting a disclaimer on the front panel of the jackets warning us that the episodes are either edited or time-compressed. I guess all we can do is hope for the best and keep our feelings public (such as chat boards like these) so the word can get out.
     

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