“I don’t understand these changes, Illya.”
Many of the blog’s favorite television series have made it to home video over the past decade — but not exactly as they appeared during their original run.
Some of this is a given. “Bumpers,” where we’re told the show will be back after a station break, and previews for coming episodes are usually clipped before going out for home video.
Still, sometimes changes are made for other reasons. Here’s a look at the differences between the shows as they appeared first run and what you get on home video.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68): When the series made its home video debut in 2007 some musical changes were made.
For example, some first-episodes use a different version of Jerry Goldsmith’s U.N.C.L.E. theme. The Project Strigas Affair, the ninth episode aired, uses the version of the theme (arranged by Morton Stevens) utilized for most of the second half of the season.
There are similar substitutions in other first-season episodes, though why they were made isn’t apparent.
One plus, however, was the third-season set included one “bumper” (for The Abominable Showman Affair) in which veteran cartoon voice June Foray told the audience the show would return after station identification.
Another plus is how the first-season set included the original color version of the pilot, when the plan was to call the series Solo.
However, it doesn’t include another, black-and-white version of the plot which has a short presentation by star Robert Vaughn explaining the show and its format to network executive and potential advertisers. Bootleg versions of that have circulated among collectors for years.
Hawaii Five-O logo in the main title
Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980): In the first season, James MacArthur’s title card read, “With James MacArthur as Danny.” Starting with the second season, it said, “With James MacArthur as Dan Williams.” However, in the home video versions of seasons two through four, the first-season title card remains.
The second-season set, meanwhile, doesn’t include the episode “Bored, She Hung Herself.” That episode aired only once and has never been repeated on CBS or shown in syndication. That ban has continued into the home video area.
The 11th season set has episodes that involve music clearance issues. The two-part story Number One With a Bullet involves the Kumu, the Hawaiian mob, trying to force its way into Hawaii’s disco business.
Both parts include disco hits of the late 1970s. In the home video version, the original hit songs are only heard in Part I while “generic” disco music is substituted for Part II.
Another episode, The Execution File, included a rendition of “If You Think I’m Sexy” performed by a Rod Stewart soundalike. But in the home video version, it gets cut in favor of generic disco music.
The FBI logo from the main titles.
The FBI (1965-1974): For a number of seasons, lead sponsor Ford Motor Co. got its logo in the main titles. This was clipped when the show went into syndication.
As a result, most of the home video episodes also don’t include the Ford logo. However, there a few episodes in the season two, three and five sets that include the automaker’s familiar oval.
Another change occurs in the end titles, starting with the third-season set. During the 1967-68 season, Warner Bros. changed its logo from the familiar WB shield to a shield with a single W. In other seasons, Warners changed the logo a few times.
With the DVD release, all of those alternate Warners logos are gone, except for a couple of third-season episodes with the single W logo. Almost all of the alternative company logos were replaced with the old WB shield that the company went back to a number of years ago.
The biggest plus for the home video release is in the second half of the first season. It includes an episode never aired on ABC, The Hiding Place. According to Jonathan Etter’s book Quinn Martin, Producer, Ford didn’t want the episode aired for fear it would spur a boycott.
Filed under: The Other Spies | Tagged: ABC, CBS, Hawaii Five-O, The FBI, The Man From U.N.C.L.E | 1 Comment »