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Wish list for DVD extras...


Beyond the rim
I was thinking about the upcoming DVD release, and what extras it contained. It started me thinking about what extras I would like to see in the future season releases. If I were wanting to see some specific extras for future seasons, they would probably be:

1. JMS (and director) commentary for every episode
2. Additional cast commentary for every episode, with rotation between cast members.
3. Screen and make-up tests for the actors.
4. The bloopers reels for each of the seasons... I was very disappointed that Season 1 didn't get the blooper reel added as an extra. I assume there was a reason for this - clearance problems and the like? (Joe, do you know?)

Deleted scenes!
I would love to see Lennier arguing with Kosh in the Season 2 episode 'Comes The Inquisitor...'
My personal wish is that for the Season 2 DVDs they replace Anna's original message with Melissa Gilbert. (I've heard rumors that they did film the message with her . . . anyone know the truth of that?)

And yes, deleted scenes. I hadn't heard about the one with Lennir and Kosh. Bring it on, says the fan of the Confusing One. Maybe we'll get to see the Ranger getting killed by the Shadows in, oh, I forget which one -- was it "Interludes?"
Definately deleted scenes. The only ones I know about are from Season 5s, Day of the Dead - I read an interview with Neil Gaiman (writer of that Ep) and apparently they filmed quite a few extra scenes of Rebo & Zooty doing mad things. That would be good to see.

Zooty, Zoot Zoot /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Granted you said this was a "wish list", but the only way to really respond to it is in terms of actually doing it. (If it is just a wish list, all I can say is, "Yeah. Good idea. As long as we're dreaming, I'd like my copy hand-delivered by Pat Tallman, Fabiana Udenio, Andrea Thompson, Mira Furlan, that Nightwatch babe and the woman who played Dr. Kirkish." /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif)

1. JMS (and director) commentary for every episode

Impractical. You're talking about over 90 hours of material, plus the TV movies. And commentary tracks are like any other voice recording work - they're rarely done in one continuous take. People sneeze, cough, get tongue-tied, change their minds about what they're saying. The film gets rewound and they start again. In some cases a film or episode will be aired twice, with a running commentary recorded each time, and then the best moments from each are edited into a final track for the disc. All of this could easily double the recording time needed for the tracks. JMS would have to make recording these things his full time job if he were to complete all five seasons plus the TV movies by the time the last of it is locked, probably mid-2004. As it is, he barely found time to record two of the four commentary tracks he wanted to do for S1.

2. Additional cast commentary for every episode, with rotation between cast members.

Again, a track on every episode is impractical. The actors are all over the map doing other things, and commentary tracks cost money to produce. Studio and screening room time are not free. Projectionists and recording engineers also cost money. I do agree that having cast/crew commentaries on selected episodes is a very good idea. From what JMS has said, I believe some attempt was made to set these up for S1, but those didn't work out. I hope we'll have better luck in subsequent seasons. I'm especially hoping that they have Michael O'Hare do a commentary track for "WWE" in S3, since that would give him a chance to discuss his entire experience with the character of Sinclair. I suggested commentary tracks by actors, writers and crew on selected episodes (and even suggested appropriate episodes /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif in a letter to Warner Home Video in 1998.)

Some commentaries should be done by two actors at once, as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to hear Peter Jurassik and Andreas Katsulas do a joint-commentary on a key Londo/G'Kar episode, and Richard Biggs and Jason Carter on one of the Mars Mission episodes - both pairs of actors play off one another wonderfully, and are very funny in joint convention appearances by all accounts, and I think having them do joint commentaries would be great. (Of course, I'd also want Andreas and Peter to do solo commentaries on episodes that focus more specifically on their characters.) And I wouldn't consider the set complete without a Harlan Ellison commentary on at least one episode, just to hear him rant about TV and SF generally for about 40 minutes.

I'd also push for commentaries from some of the freelance writers - especially the original Trek alumni, David Gerrold and Dorothy Fontana.

3. Screen and make-up tests for the actors.

Interesting idea, assuming the material was preserved. We may see a bit of this in the behind-the-scenes documentaries.

4. The bloopers reels for each of the seasons... I was very disappointed that Season 1 didn't get the blooper reel added as an extra. I assume there was a reason for this - clearance problems and the like? (Joe, do you know?)

Massive clearance problems. The blooper reels as finished and edited (which is what gives them most of their entertainment value) are not covered by the actors' contracts. That means dozens of individual contracts would have to be signed, and the actors paid, in order for the reels to be used. Pretty much any actor could veto the whole thing by refusing to sign - and several have indicated that they would, because they don't want millions of people to see them screwing up and swearing. Also the studio would have to pay for the rights to the music used for each reel - original recordings of popular songs, which are intermixed with the dialogue. It may not be possible to separate those songs from the words and sound FX on the finished reels, since it is likely that only the finished tracks on the actual reels survive. Music rights can be hideously expensive. Shows like WKRP in Cincinnati are being kept off DVD because the old contracts don't permit use of the music included in the broadcast version on home video, and getting the DVD rights now would cost a fortune.


If ya'll want bloopers pm me and maybe i might know where someone might know where they can be found.
The problem is, I have already downloaded the MPEG copy, and loved it despite matchbox resolution. I would be absolutely amazed if they could be published legally. Some time after the publication of S1, I will consider ways for informing Warner of this appreciation...
1, 2, 3 - a given for me /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

4. Who wouldn't want to at least see the 'sex dance' bloopers from "Acts of Sacrifice" where Ivanova 'sexes' the Lumati Ambassador /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif Man, I wonder how many times they had to reset for that one scene!
I will have to agree with Joe pertaining to a Michael O'Hare interview. Season 1 is missing this very feature. Why Michael didn't do an interview is beyond me.

in the lurkers guide (i think) JMS states that it only took either 2 or 3 shots. Pretty good considering the silliness of it.
I don't recall where I heard this -- Lurker's Guide, I believe, but I'm quite possibly wrong -- but I heard that JMS and his entourage looked high and low for O'Hare and simply couldn't find him. With no way to get in touch with him it made it awful hard to get him in for an interview . . .
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
but I heard that JMS and his entourage looked high and low for O'Hare and simply couldn't find him.


Actually, Warner Bros. did finally track him down. (I think it was Sandy Bruckner of ISN News who finally provided them with a current phone number, after they'd struck out with JMS, SAG and even O'Hare's former agent.) They left a message on his answering machine, and he didn't return their call. Nobody knows why. (But that he got the message and decided on his own not to call back was reported by Ruth O'Hare, as good a source as you can get for something like this. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif)

I think kingfish knew all this and was wondering why Michael chose not to be interviewed for the S1 set documentary. I have urged Ruth to urge Michael to reconsider if he's asked to participate in the third season set, or a special edition of The Gathering if Warner Bros. someday decides to reissue the first two TV movies.


Yes I did know the story of how but I was interested in why he chose not to do the interview. B5 season 1 is definately missing something without his participation.

Assuming that jms can only do 2 commentaries per season, (now that Jeremiah's gotten the go-ahead and if his current workload stays the same) which episodes would people like him to do in upcoming sets(assuming future seasons get released of course).
Here's my picks:
S2: The coming of shadows or the long, twilight struggle;
and the fall of night.(if figure we need 1 shadow war episode and 1 earth civil war episode)
S3: no contest- severed dreams and z'ha'dum
S4: this 1's tough- Whatever happened to Mr G and The face of the enemy or Endgame.
S5: Sleeping in light definitely and The fall of Centauri Prime
I'm not sure I'd make the assumption that two episodes is going to be his limit for the balance of the seasons. That was partly a matter of scheduling and the short lead time to produce S1, rather than absolute workload. With better planning he may be able to do more for subsequent seasons. However, if 2 is all we get:

S2: "Points of Departure" and "Confessions and Lamentations" I'd like to see him address the change in commanders and the shift from introducing the situation and characters in S1 to the looming Shadow War of S2. "Confessions" is such a great breaking of SF and TV conventions with the Doctor not pulling off the miracle cure at the last second. It is also an important episode for Delenn's character, and for her relationship with Sheridan.

S3: Can't argue with "Severed Dreams". "Z'ha'dum" is also a good choice, of course, but I'd be interested in a commentary track on "War Without End Part 2" - partly to clarify the time travel issue for those who think the Sheridan of 2260 physically travelled to 2278 or who thought this was some kind of "parallel universe"/"possible future" story.

S4: Nobody's mentioned "Into the Fire"???? That would definitely be one of my S4 choices. "Deconstruction" might be the other, or maybe "Atonement"

S5: "SiL" of course. Hard to choose a second, there are a number of good candidates but none that is the obvious choice.

I certainly hope they're able to get other folks, especially the freelance writers, to do commentaries. I'd also like to hear Walter Koenig do a commentary on a Best episode. He can be a very entertaining speaker.


Here is an off-the-wall question, from someone who doesn't own a DVD player (mainly because he doesn't own a DVD player compatible TV).

How do audio commentaries actually work? Are they just spoken over your viewing of the episode in question or what?

Yours, seeking enlightenment

Yes, that's correct. The audio track of the episode is turned very low, and the audio commentary track is played while the images are played. Usually they are recorded as the commentator is viewing the episode at the same time.
What about a special music video in season five, composed by Franke and recapturing the best moments in the series? something... say 8 or 9 minutes long /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
how about 10 minutes of narn opera /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

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