25 fps is the correct frame rate for “The Muppet Show”, it was shot in the UK. I do think the idea of referring to the Disney upscaled deinterlaced streaming versions as “HD” is misleading (at best), though.
Chris Langham was a writer for “The Muppet Show” for three years, so if you believe that his creative work should be completely suppressed, you should be directing your anger at Disney for NOT blocking the majority of it.
Before you put too much more time into this project, you should know that they might finally be doing an official restoration (depending on how reputable you find this story; after posting, I saw people saying it’s more rumor than confirmed fact):
This is “Star Trek” we’re talking about, and this is the Internet. I’m 100% sure there are people out there who have already collected those laserdiscs and digitized those audio files.
For instance, here is a thread from a Star Trek BBS discussing. Granted, the conversation was ten years ago, but there are people in it who are still active on the site.
Before you go paying a thousand bucks for some laserdiscs, you should reach out to that guy ssosmcin and see if he is willing to donate his LD audio tracks to a fan preservation project. Or just post a request thread over there and see who responds.
Also note that from what they are saying over there, this still won’t be perfect, because the Japanese discs use the third season opening credits for all the laserdisc releases. So you’ll still need copies of the alternate mixes of the theme song. But that’s still a lot better off.
“The TC’s ending is retained for continuity with Ash Vs Evil Dead. I have always preferred the original post-apocalyptic ending over the S-Mart ending. I believe that the original is a more suitable ending for the trilogy,”
I always thought you could super-cut something together so that the “I slept too long” thing transitioned into Ash telling about his adventures in the S-Mart, since the people he is talking to don’t believe him anyway. I never tried it, I’m sure it would take a little bit of fiddling, but it would be fun to try and see if you could cut them both together (obviously, there’s no footage to get him out of the slept too long, but it worked in Baron Munchausen).
Is the plan to ultimately create audio files which sync to the bluray picture?
Kirk won’t be in the episode at all.
Ah, that certainly is a choice! To my mind, everything else in the movie is just an excuse to have Kirk, so I would certainly be curious to see Kirk cut out.
I still think the boat thing feels more like a Voyager opening than a TNG one. Maybe you could make a teaser out of the Enterprise B footage but without the TOS characters, just keeping Cameron as the Captain. That way you are still getting the glimpse of Guinan’s backstory somewhere, and it gives the opening a bit of mystery and action.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Blueaffalump! The 4:3 was an idea and then I polled the FE community and most had requested it so I thought I’d give it a go. Yes, the movies were not filmed with 4:3 in mind which has made the pan&cropping a bit of a nightmare, but I’m always up to the challenge.
If I ever happen to find any captures of the pan-and-scan versions of the movies, I’ll be sure to pass them along.
“Cut all Enterprise B scenes”
Reading through this, I don’t really understand this decision. It sounds as if Kirk will just show up at the end with insufficient set-up. And it also sounds like this episode doesn’t really have an opening (the boat scene feels like a post-credits opening; I don’t remember TNG having pre-credits openings which were character based rather than plot setup very often). I would try cutting together the Enterprise B stuff into a teaser; you can quickly set up Guinan and Soran that way, and then end it on Captain Kirk “dying”, and then roll opening credits.
I kind of feel like if “Insurrection” was actually a TNG episode, the Riker/Troi stuff would be a major B-plot and it could easily lead directly into the wedding, rather than saving that for “Nemesis” where it has nothing to do with anything going on. The show never would’ve had every character have things happen in the same episode, and Nemesis already has a major plotline for both Picard and Data, it doesn’t need a wedding too. You could do a thing early on where Picard tries to get through to Data by asking about the song and it doesn’t really work and then at the end Data is singing a song at the wedding, so it feels like some kind of pay-off rather than a random gag (which, admittedly, it makes me laugh, but I acknowledge that it’s character breaking and dumb).
Just my two cents, I’m sure that you have thought these things through and have reasons for the decisions you’ve made.
" Is this actually on the source or is it something wrong with the way I’m displaying it through my PS3 / HDTV?"
I don’t come close to actually understanding the technical side of this stuff, but from what I do understand, there is something (a codec?) which is used when creating the DVD master. Whatever this is, a codec, an algorithm, the point is that it is designed specifically for live action. In order to properly transfer animation, they have to use a different one. The reason so much animation is transferred badly is that the companies don’t remember to do this, they just use the default which is meant for live-action and known to cause issues with animation.
(Hopefully this strikes a chord with somebody who actually does understand this stuff and can explain it for us dummies.)
“They first produced a master ‘international’ edit, which runs to about 25m30s. These featured three fades for commercial breaks; one after the opening titles, one mid-show and one just before the end titles. The titles were centred. I am told these should be considered the definitive versions.”
I have always heard it explained that they prepared one cut for the market with fewer commercial breaks and one cut for the market with more commercial breaks, so I’m not really sure I understand why they would create a master edit which was longer but had all of the extra commercial breaks and never actually aired anywhere (at least in its intended language).
But, to be honest, this is why the most desirable thing to me is just to have as much footage as possible from the multiple cuts whenever possible, because it still feels like calling any cut definitive is speculating.
“There are a few other changes, an entire extra guest in one episode, a different Waldorf and Statler balcony scene at the end of the Harry Belafonte episode, and possibly other differences.”
It seems like they only did one version of the German language end credits, which means that any episode where the proper cut has unique video under the end credits will be changed in Germany. When the Waldorf and Statler balcony end bit references the unique end credits, they swap it out for a more generic one.
Also, there’s a song sung by a mouse in a teacup in Waldorf and Statler’s balcony in Ethel Merman, there’s extra dialogue on the start of the sketch in German that doesn’t have any English dialogue on the audio, so I think that was also German specific.
If you want to get fine-toothed-comb about it, there are a lot of episodes missing single frames (or sometimes with doubled frames), I believe that was done for syncing purposes – the audio mixes are too clean around those for them to all be glitches.
You’re right, I always flip that because at heart I still think from the on-stage perspective.
“Two dollars and a potato is two dollars.”
“I love The Muppets and TMS, however I’m actually not super familiar with all the changes done to later broadcasts and DVDs.”
The big problem is that there is no single definitive version to start with. From the very beginning, there were two different cuts for every episode. The primary difference is the inclusion of the “UK spot”, but there are other little changes for transitions, generally small adjustments for timing. At least one entire song was reshot. Usually, the shorter US cut has short extensions (from a few frames to a second or two), where the longer UK cut will have extra shots. (Note that the masters for both are still PAL; NTSC conversions were always done to the PAL footage, nothing was shot in NTSC for the show.) At some point, a primary cut was created, and they made the strange choice of combining the two cuts rather than staying pure to either one. They took the US edits and cut the UK spots back into them, creating what would technically be a third official edit, and the one which has become the most commonly circulating.
The end credits are theoretically worth a whole separate discussion; the "UK edit"s have credits which are right-justified where the "US edit"s have credits which are centered. The centered ones block a lot more picture, but (as noted above) have become the standard. Foreign language versions generally have a single end credits which is used for all episodes, even episodes which had “unique” end credits. And the final note played by Zoot (the “Zoot tag”) has been replaced numerous times over the years; there are two original versions (the first two seasons and the other three), both of which have US and UK variants. And then there are five or six episodes which have episode-specific unique “Zoot tags”, none of which have broadcast since sometime around 1981, most of which are not currently circulating. [There are about a half dozen more with unique audio, but the unique audio was retained, only the video was replaced, because of repeatedly replacing the superimposed company credit.)
As far as the DVDs goes, Season 1 has issues no matter where you buy it, but the German release is 98% complete and has the longer “UK edits” (mostly with German language credits). Unfortunately, it also has much worse picture quality than any of the other releases. But it has songs from five or six episodes which were cut from other releases. Season 2 is intact (although the Elton John episode has an extra song), and Season 3 is intact except for a few missing unique Zoot tags.
Just so you know, the following episodes should be considered of lesser priority because complete PAL DVDs already exist for them (just in case it makes things any quicker or easier for you):
401 - John Denver
405 - Kenny Rogers
406 - Dudley Moore [unless you have the original unique “Zoot tag” with the robot from an old broadcast]
409 - Liza Minnelli
414 - Christopher Reeve
415 - Lynda Carter
416 - Mark Hammill / Star Wars
420 - Andy Williams
423 - Diana Ross
503 - Shirley Bassey
505 - Brooke Shields
506 - Glenda Jackson
508 - Roger Moore
510 - Paul Simon
516 - Gladys Knight
520 - Debbie Harry
522 - Johnny Cash
524 - Gene Kelly
Thanks a lot! I’m looking forward to your PM!
I believe we have now confirmed that the issue jon describes above on Disney Plus applies worldwide, and not just in North America, but if you think I’m wrong, if the show is in proper PAL masters in Europe, please let us know in the thread.
IIRC, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” has a teaser that takes place right after the first “Avengers” movie.
Isn’t there also some oddity with “The Cage” where it has been edited shorter with each subsequent re-release?
Also, if you really want to be thorough, my understanding is that the complete series blu-ray has the worst copies of the episodes of any release, so any episode which is included on “The Roddenberry Vault” or other non-complete compilations would be worth checking for superior video encodes.
Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” is only available in the unrated cut on laserdisc (but that will probably be on blu-ray from Criterion at some point)
Peter Bogdanovich’s “Texasville” director’s cut
I know that William Friedkin’s “Jade” director’s cut was released on VHS, if it was released on LD that would probably be the best official release it’s had
James Cameron’s “Piranha II” director’s cut
“It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” roadshow cut - I forget the distinction here, but there’s something about this cut that is different than either of what’s on the Criterion disc
“Spartacus” - theatrical edit pre-restoration
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” - theatrical edit pre-restoration (early copies)
“Lawrence of Arabia” - pre-restoration video edit
William Friedkin’s “Cruising” - my understanding is that the theatrical cut was modified in some way for all the home video releases, but whatever you want to call that “initial video cut”, it is unavailable now.
exclusive bonus features (besides commentaries)
Ghostbusters - at least one deleted scene
This is Spinal Tap - has an early TV appearance by Tap, never released elsewhere
sex, lies and videotape - this LD is the only release of Soderbergh’s short film “Winston”
there’s a bunch of exclusive commentaries that are already floating around on-line, I don’t want to list them all right now.
Just want to make a note that even though this was a US show, it was shot in the UK and is actually native PAL. An ideal restoration would be in PAL if at all possible.
“The crew saving JFK sounds silly, but would have been interesting to see. Let me guess, they’re going to say that in the real timeline Kennedy always survived?”
I got it a bit wrong – apparently, the idea was that the Klingons changed history via the Guardian of Forever, seemingly so that the human race doesn’t exist (not explained in the articles, but I’m guessing – from both context and because it’s Roddenberry – that this involves them interfering with the Cold War rather than the simpler thing to go back and interfere with evolution). The Enterprise (not sure why it hasn’t changed) goes back in time to stop this, but accidentally crashes in November 1963. A UFO crashing is big news, and so JFK cancels his trip to Dallas. It sounds like Gene was planning on going with “Tomorrow is Yesterday” time travel logic, and that when Kirk fixed whatever the Klingons did, the rest of it would just kind of fix itself. When they get back to the present, everything is fixed except McCoy is married now. But then there was a subsequent rewrite where they leaned more heavily on being a “City on the Edge of Forever” knock-off and felt that the crew needed to kill JFK to fix history. There seem to be quite a few people making the claim that there was an actual draft where Spock was the gunman on the grassy knoll.
To be honest, I would kind of love it if this movie existed, but I don’t think we would’ve gotten any more if they ever made this one.
One I’ve been interested in for a while now is Elaine May’s “Mikey and Nicky”. Paramount took the film away from her after she spent too long in post-production, and released a theatrical cut which she more or less disowned. Over the course of the next decade, one of the producers somehow re-acquired the film from Paramount, and hired an editor to approximate May’s cut as best they could. Although I don’t think May was actually involved in the edit, she did approve the final cut; it appears to have premiered at a film festival in 1986 or so, after which only this cut has ever been seen.
From what it sounds like, the theatrical cut wasn’t as good, but I believe there is alternate footage. I don’t know if there is any release of the original cut; if there is, it would have to be a pretty old VHS or LD (or out-dated format). Wikipedia also adds a new wrinkle – it makes the unsourced claim that the “director’s cut” released by Criterion on blu-ray is different than the 1986 director’s cut. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, I hadn’t heard anything, but information on this movie (especially from the pre-Internet era) seems very skimpy on-line.
Regarding ‘The Godfather, Part III’, the reason that the original theatrical cut has never been released in any format is contractual. Paramount had set the theatrical release date before shooting even started, and rushed every part of the process to meet that date. As the date was looming, Coppola realized he wasn’t going to finish editing the film. He had final cut, so he could’ve pushed to delay it, but he was only making the movie because he needed a hit, so he wanted to play ball with the studio. So he agreed to approve a cut for release with the understanding that by the time the video release came along, he would have finished editing, and that final version would be the only version of the film made available moving forward [at least until the recent “Coda” re-edit].
Keep in mind that Roddenberry was unhappy with every “Star Trek” movie because he wanted the Enterprise crew to go back in time and save JFK, and the studio consistently rejected the idea.
I have to assume Roddenberry would’ve wanted them to cut all references to Kirk hating Klingons, because Kirk can’t be a bigot, which would completely remove his whole character arc.
Any chance they’d be willing to share the Ullman show recordings somewhere? As you say, it’s a super-rare show, I’m sure people would be interested. I’ve always been unsatisfied with a lot of the Simpsons shorts that are circulating.
I found a few different rips floating around on Soulseek. The problem is, I’m not familiar with the DVDs, so I don’t know where to look to see which versions they are. I saw another post by you where you said the missing song in “Red Sees Red” is in the opening scene, and the version of that which I found had no song there, so presumably that one is useless, but there are a few sources from season 1 & 2, I don’t mind pre-checking them so as not to waste your time but I don’t know what I am looking for.