Fans of The Fugitive
have been dying to know what the music situation is on The Fugitive
"The Complete Series: The Most-Wanted Edition," the 33-disc set coming on November 1
. We reached out to CBS for an answer on the music situation, but instead of simply providing us with an answer, they set us an early set so we can check it out ourselves. The set was comprised of "check discs" that will be identical to the ones in the DVD set, and wasn't totally complete.
If you've followed The Fugitive
on this site, you may remember the uproar when Season 2, Volume 1 was released in 2008; most of the score that fans loved was replaced. Jon Burlingame at The Film Music Society
had an excellent article that explained what happened at the time. In early 2009 CBS released a replacement set for Season 2, Volume 1 which restored much of the original score, but not all of it. Fans were happier, but they wanted ALL the original music.
Since I'm not an expert on the music in The Fugitive
, I reached out to a Fugitive
fan who helped us identify the amount of music changed on the replacement discs, David Alan Hall. I allowed him to control my DVD player in Canada and stream the material over the 'net (thank you Slingbox!) to the US, where he watched episodes and took notes. While he didn't watch the entire set, he focused on many of the heavily-edited episodes from the original release, including:
- Escape to Black
- Landscape with Running Figures
- Ballad for a Ghost
- The White Knight
- The Brass Ring
- Man in a Chariot
- The 2130
- Fun and Games and Party Favors
- Set Fire to a Straw Man
The missing footage from "Ballad for a Ghost" has been restored, and there were no instances of score replacement in any of the episodes David spot-checked; he also examined "The White Knight" cue by cue, and it was intact. Now, it's possible there could be a piece that's been replaced in the set, however the spot-checking of episodes that contained a ton of replacement music turned up nothing at all. Background music, such as music heard on a jukebox in a bar, isn't the original music from the episode, however the vast majority of fans said they didn't care about that music, they just wanted the score back.
I'm extremely happy that CBS took the time to correct the music issue with the show, and are providing fans the opportunity to own it in the complete series. I knew the answer before asking, but there are no plans to offer replacement discs for the previous seasons, fans will have to purchase the complete series (currently $136.99 at Amazon.com
) if they wish to own the new versions of the episodes. Normally these complete series sets are a cash-in for the studio, as they're simply repackaging what has already been released, but CBS had significant costs associated with putting this set out, which is why it wouldn't be feasible to offer a trade-in for previous customers (my interpretation of the situation, I was simply told there wouldn't be replacement discs made).
The set also features an "Original TV Soundtrack" CD (47 mins), and a bonus DVD featuring the following:
- Extended pilot with commentary by Walter Grauman, produced by Chris Soldo
- David Janssen on The Mike Douglas Show (10/28/1976)
- Promo with David Janssen
- Fugitive Around the World
- Series Promo
- Finale episode epilog (8/29/67 and 9/5/67)
- Joey Bishop interview with David Janssen (8/29/67) - Audio clip
- Memories of a Maestro: Composer Dominic Frontiere
- The Sound of the chase
- Dinah Shore Show skit with David Janssen and George Gobel (10/17/64)
- "Spotlight on Barry Morse"
- "Merely Players" featuring Barry Morse
We'll have a review of the set before the release date, we just wanted to get information about the music out to fans early, since so many have been asking.