Warning: LONG POST ahead (but hopefully might be of some vague use to you, Baobab Archiver)
I’m a bit late to the party with this one (in fact, I’ve just signed up to this form purely to post this), but as a hardcore ‘A-Team’ fan and a pretty hardcore ‘Knight Rider’ fan, as someone who has multiple recordings of episodes from countless sources (and no life!) and is part way through ‘re-assembling’ them into 'as broadcast versions, thought I’d wade in.
Before we start I don’t yet have any Blu-ray sets as I don’t own a Blu-ray player; I though I’d never want/need one as I stopped watching telly a few years ago, and in terms of TAT/KR I have the DVDs and countless TV versions to suffice. It’s only when I saw the quality of these TAT/KR remasters that I’m considering buying one. However I have browsed the Blu-ray versions of affected episodes on various (ahem) probably not that legal streaming websites to assess what’s there and what’s not. I also watched (and recorded!) TV for the first time in some years when they started running TAT/KR, both the see ‘which versions’ they were showing (hey, I’m a nerd), but also to grab a few bits I needed for ‘repairs’ (which I generally already had but where useful as backups).
In teams of A-Team edits:
‘Jumping Jack Flash’ was edited out on both the DVD and Blu-ray releases as well (note this) as the version. currently shown in the UK by Channel 5/5-Spike/Forces. It is dubbed over with generic stock music, and looses a few seconds of footage of Murdock singing along. Note further that the Blu-ray version and current TV version, actually edits the sequence even a few seconds more to the DVD version, missing Murdock’s “yaahoo”, an additional shot of the jet, and a line from Murdock after Face has got his attention. This is likely to try and smooth the edit out, as the DVD version does rather crash in to the dialogue after the edit.
An old UK VHS release had this music intact; I also have various old ITV recordings, and a (ropey) UK Gold recording, with this footage still in.
‘A Small and Deadly War’ - the brief few seconds footage of Murdock singing is RESTORED on the Blu-ray/current broadcast. An old UK VHS release had it missing, as the did the DVDs. I never was sure if this was due to slight damage to the master tapes or for copyright issues - I suspect the former, as it is featured as a flashback, intact, in the second season episode ‘Curtain Call’.
‘When You Comin’ Back, Range Rider?’ - The TV 2-part versions and initial Blu-ray versions use a horribly trimmed version (as does the Pilot and all other 2-hour episodes). They later replaced the Blu-ray with the complete original version. The damaged line from Hannibal is due to master tape damage. Both the current TV and earlier BluRay version actually skip this scene, immediately after the brawl, for timing reasons; I haven’t seen the complete BluRay version as yet to see if the damaged line is present or not. I have an early ITV repeat of this episode (missing some other scenes!) and various other with it intact.
‘Cup A’ Joe’ has ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ replaced with generic background noise for the sequence. This is on the current Blu-ray version.
‘Beverly Hills Assault’ - a cover of ‘The Heat is On’ and ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’ both replaced on DVD version with a generic jazz number. The Blu-ray restores ‘The Heat is On’ but ‘Dedicated…’ is still replaced. Note that I haven’t checked the current TV versions of these episodes. (As always, I’ve got old ITV/etc. to patch in the original).
To note also with ‘The A-Team’ remasters (and this is getting nerdy, but I like everything to be EXACT as-originally-broadcast) is that some of the opening credits sequences and closing ‘Stephen J. Cannell Productions’ sequences are from the wrong episodes.
Primarily for the opening, this is for the third season. The opening credits originally contained the text ‘Created by Frank Lupo & Stephen J. Cannell’. About a third of the way into the season this was removed and instead place in episode (following the ‘Written by’ and ‘Directed by’ credits). Some current versions (and some previous TV versions) have these jumbled up - often the Created by credit will appear both on the opening sequence and IN the actual episode.
Regarding the closing Stephen J. Cannell productions sequence, as you’ll know there were a few used over the course of the series, but the BluRays / current TVs in a number of instances, use the wrong one for the wrong episode. I could probably list these off if you’re THAT bothered.
Also of note is regarding the third season episode ‘Showdown!’. The master of the music score track of this episode seems to have got quite badly damaged at some point. It is fine on the DVD version, but on the BluRay/current TV, about a third of the way into the episode (around the point of the start of the second act) it becomes noticeably ‘wobbly’, like an old tape recorder where the batteries were going! This also puts it out of sync with the picture and at a few points - noticeably during the make montage at the rodeo, it is edited to jump forward to keep up with the picture! Even more of note is the closing credits… the current TV version uses the correct original closing version, albeit still out of sync with the picture; but the Blu-ray version uses the wrong version of the closing credits theme (the alternate “pumped up” one sometimes uses in the third season)!
Returning to the subject of ‘wrong’ opening credits, the fifth season actually had a number of slight variations to the opening credits (and I don’t just mean the first episode episodes of the season which didn’t bill Eddie Velez). I actually logged these differences many years ago now on my long-defunct A-Team site. Different episodes use a few different shots (and sometimes in different places), as well as the wording Robert Vaughn’s exact billing varying a bit. I haven’t seen enough of the new Blu-ray/TV versions yet to compare these.
The Blu-ray versions have a number of the opening trailers missing which is very disappointing (and I’m assuming, the current TV versions, as from what I’ve seen these are often missing, although back in the day channels would often lop these off for timing reasons, so who knows). On the DVDs, the fourth season on Region 1 had a number of them missing but the Region 2 version had them all intact (despite this being vice versa on, I think, the first season DVDs).
Onto ‘Knight Rider’ (still awake?)…
I’m a pretty hardcore KR fan but can’t reel the exact songs used in episodes so freely off the top of my head. The list of music replacements given sounds about right though. As regards to ‘Always on My Mind’, of the MANY versions of the Pilot I’ve seen/got (old ITV versions, Channel 5, original 1980s VHS releases, later 2000s DVD releases, etc.) I’ve never seen this and have no reason to believe it exists. However, I do recall the song being used in another episode. I’ll try and track it down for you…
Opening credits variations:
The first season DVD versions very much used one generic first season opening credits sequence after the Pilot, and for many of the episodes this served as incorrect.
The original broadcast versions had billings “Also Starring Edward Mulhare” “Patricia McPherson”; about halfway through the first season, this was amended to “Edward Mulhare” “Also Starring Patricia McPherson”. The DVD versions use only the latter version. (I’ll have to sit an pin-point at which episode this originally changed on original broadcasts). Additionally, the exact positioning of the opening narration and sound effects (some versions had more sound effects than others, with the gunshot sounds, jet exploding sound, and more sounds of KITT generally appearing through the season) varied on different episodes. …Maybe I’ll have to sit and draw up a list of this too (sits and foams at mouth).
Additionally regarding the first season opening credits, ‘Deadly Manoeuvres’ (first episode broadcast after the Pilot) does not originally have the opening narration, the only episode after the Pilot to lack it*. It is not present on the DVDs, but on the current TV version it is incorrectly there (to be confirmed if it’s there on the BluRay versions or not).
- The episode ‘Not a Drop to Drink’ has this narration, but on the version that was repeated by ITV and later Channel 5 in the 1990s, it is lacking it.
In terms of the slight different versions of the second season opening credits, I assume you’re thinking about the positioning of the second half of the opening narration, which varied different episodes (becoming more decided a few episodes into the season).
I do have the rare ‘proper’ opening credits sequence of ‘Knight of the Drones’, both from a watchable but not crisp ITV recording (from an adjoining ITV region when mine didn’t rerun it, so picture quality about 95% acceptable), and from the Channel 5 broadcasts (crisp but a bloomin’ channel logo stamped on!)
I can confirm that the DVD version of ‘Drones’ is the unedited feature-length version (albeit with wrong opening intro), and the Blu-Ray uses the cut-down two-part version (initially, at least, unsure if it’s like TAT where replacements can be obtained).
In terms of Knight Rider, I have literally just a couple of old ITV recordings, later 1990s ITV recordings season 1-3 (for some reason they, nor Channel 5, reran the fourth season) from adjoining ITV region (LWT opted not to rerun the series in the mid-90s, all of mine are from Meridian which would vary with weather but typically %95-%99 quality… wow that takes me back, the lengths I’d go to, to make recordings), as well as all of the Channel 5 ‘Milkshake!’ recordings (plus DVDs).
Don’t forget regarding KR that the first two seasons were also edited into horrible 23-minute (half hour) versions (apparently to fill the gap left after ‘MASH’ finished in the States, very popular half-hour programme which they could resell into a lot of markets). ITV ran these butchered-beyond-comprehension versions following completion of their initial first run of KR circa 1987 (would vary depending on ITV region); they were later also repeated by Channel 5 in various slots. I only have a couple of these remaining, I decided I didn’t want them as they were so hacked up (in an age when videotapes were at a premium) but actually now wish I had kept them just for interest of comparison.
(As an additional (yawn) “fun” note, when Thames TV showed the latter stages of the fourth season, by which time ratings of the series had dipped, the showed the last few episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 5:15pm, edited into two-parters! The played these last few episodes out before beginning with the butchered US half-hour versions).
Regarding the ‘Back to front’ scene in the Pilot, I have a repeat broadcast of the Pilot from Thames TV in about 1990ish, where this is indeed the case. Michael leaves Devon to set off in his mission, driving along at dawn, suddenly cuts to Michael being asleep, music playing as KITT tries to wake him up etc., cuts BACK to KITT talking for the first time and the ensuing sequence, drive off, then cuts BACK to Michael being asleep again. Unsure if this was like it in the previous two airings of the Pilot, I’d wonder if ITV’s version of the Pilot got damaged and they ‘reassembled’ it incorrectly, or if it had previously been trimmed for time and they had inserted the scene back in the wrong order (both of which I have seen in imported shows of the era on other occasions!)
When the series was first shown on ITV in 1982, it was in the original feature-length format. (Note though, that each region showed the series and selected episode in their own time-slot throughout the course of the run, and it’s likely that not all ITV regions broadcast the Pilot on the same date).
One of my longest posts anywhere ever (I’m lying, no it’s not) but hoped some of these trivial notes might be of use when re-assembling the series. And that’s before I even get STARTED on my reassembling ‘Magnum, p.i.’ and ‘Airwolf’ and the edits and different versions on THOSE series!! 😃