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Strange observation about The Gathering

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  • Strange observation about The Gathering

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned.

    The first time I watched A Call To Arms on DVD (region 2) it was a mates. Recently I bought a copy (again, region 2) and I noticed that there where very deliberate changes made to the film. By that I donÆt just mean missing little clips but changes to the content, through editing, etc. They where both stand alone movies (not box set) and the packaging is identical.

    There a few differences but it was most noticeable around the whole Lyta and Kosh thing.

    In the second version when she is going into the isolation chamber to read his mind, her voice is dubbed over (while wearing a breather) so she can explain that she will see things through his eyeÆs but it will be her body she sees. ThatÆs not in the original.

    When Kosh (now Lyta) extend the hand to shake the false Sinclairs, itÆs all fuzy and glowing so you canÆt make out any detail û again this is different from the original where you can clearly see a male human like hand being extended.

    Other changes included the editing out of all the weird aliens (never again seen) in the middle of when Sinclair is giving Lyta a tour of the Alien section, And GÆKar ôinvoking privacyö that weird light, when talking to Lyta about telepath genetics, although the conversation itself is still there.


    I know it was the pilot, and therefore it would contain elements that might not be picked up for the subsequent series, but why the deliberate ôtidying upö and editing of the content, weird.!!

  • #2
    You are referring to the changes between The Gathering (not A Call to Arms) and the special edition remake of The Gathering that aired on TNT. There are a number of substantial changes.

    Here in the US, the original pilot version has never become available on DVD. The only version is the "special presentation" version. It seems like JMS does a bit of "Lucas-izing" his past, but it doesn't bother me in this context. The story is the same, the plot is the same, and there aren't any major "Greedo shoots first" moments. Instead, the pacing and characterizations are greatly improved.

    I did scrape up the original pilot ep on Ebay. Columbia House was releasing VHS tapes of the show way back when. It is, IMHO, very weak. I'm surprised that the show got made based on THAT version of the pilot.

    It has made me more open and accepting of other show's pilots and first seasons, though. Patience can pay off in the long run.

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    • #3
      <Slaps head> <in fact slaps it again very hard> yeah, of course, sorry, I was referring to The Gathering. So there was a Special edition made, didnÆt know that. As I said the packaging of both the DVDÆs are completely identical and make no mention of it, and the changes where relatively few and far between.

      Does raise the vaguely interesting question though, as to what (if any) differences there may be in content between different regions, or different release dates.

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      • #4
        Actually, JMS never really wanted the original to be released in either video cassette or DVD form, he only wanted the Special Edition released. A few have escaped, though. See, The Gathering was the first time JMS was responsible for the editing of a show and so he went ahead and approved the Driector's Cut. Later, he regretted that and jumped at the chance when TNT gave it to him to re-edit it.

        There's not a whole lot of changes to the story. As you noticed, the 'alien zoo' is gone and he tossed out a lot of waste shots in order to insert/expand on character moments. It's been a while since I've watched the two close together but iirc, the scene with Sinclair talking about the Battle of the Line was expanded. In the original, WB had disliked Tamlyn Tomita's delivery and made her loop her lines to a softer approach and JMS tossed that out and replaced the original dialogue. And, of course, the Special Edition was rescored with Christopher Franke's music.

        Would you like for me to edit the thread title?
        Jan
        Last edited by Jan; 04-25-2006, 11:52 AM.
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #5
          LOL.
          Yes please. <one last slap>

          Thanks for the heads up as I was wondering about that. So my mate has a rare copy of B5, now to swap it without him noticing.

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          • #6
            All edited. And watch with that slapping, you hear? I don't allow people to abuse the posters here. <stern motherly glare>



            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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            • #7
              AOL's In2TV website thingie still has the original version of The Gathering in the B5 section.
              RIP Coach Larry Finch
              Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
              Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

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              • #8
                In case you're ineterested in some of JMS thoughts on the re-edit, here are a few posts I found in the archive:

                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-3694
                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-3556
                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-17193

                One even talks about the George Lucas effect.

                Some further comments on the alien sector
                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-1316
                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-15236
                Last edited by WorkerCaste; 04-26-2006, 06:33 AM. Reason: More links
                "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                • #9
                  I'll have a look at them, thanks.

                  One of the main reasons why I noticed it was that a couple of the "filler" shots, which had a few ship images, where missing, and I needed them for the site IÆm working on (link below - currently limieted to Internet explorer - that's in the fix list) as they didnÆt appear anywhere else in any of the later seasons, guess IÆll just be nicking my mates copy again.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Number6
                    I'll have a look at them, thanks.

                    One of the main reasons why I noticed it was that a couple of the "filler" shots, which had a few ship images, where missing, and I needed them for the site IÆm working on (link below - currently limieted to Internet explorer - that's in the fix list) as they didnÆt appear anywhere else in any of the later seasons, guess IÆll just be nicking my mates copy again.
                    Beautiful site, #6!

                    // IamS
                    Interstellar Alliance - Sweden's largest Babylon 5-club
                    http://www.babcon.org/

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                    • #11
                      The original version - THE NON SPECIAL EDITION - is still available from Amazon Germany, I bought it about 6 months ago.

                      I think this is the correct link...

                      http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASI...923783-5662629
                      http://www.lddb.com/collection.php?a...er=dgtwoodward
                      Yes, I still collect Laserdiscs!!
                      47" Phillips 1080p 46" Samsung 1080p Toshiba HD-30E (2 both Multi Region) PS3-80G 120G BR Multi-Region Maidstone MD-BR-2102 Sky-HD Freesat-HD Pioneer DVL-909 CLD-D925 CLD-2950 (AC3) CLD-D515 CLD S315 Yamaha ADP-1 Meridian 519 Pioneer 609 (DD/DTS) x 2 Speakers & subs Jammo M/S Pioneer Technics Sony Eltax Akai Aiwa

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                      • #12
                        @ iamsheridan
                        Cheers, that was the 2nd version, the third (and final) will be more browser friendly, already looks a LOT nicer with a fair bit more info and graphics plus a episode guide with pics, plus it will cover every ship from the remaining films and Excalibur, hence the disappointment with the missing images.

                        @ Lightstorm
                        No credit cards LOL. But a quick scan of my mates copy should find the images IÆm after.

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                        • #13
                          In the UK they still sell original "The Gathering" on DVD: both separately and as part of "Complete Universe" set. I'm not sure if this is good, really.

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