Yesterday Time-Life exclusively gave us the press release
for The Six Million Dollar Man - The Complete Series
, in advance of tomorrow's official distribution of that document. This was a "thank you" to TVShowsOnDVD readers, whose votes here propelled the series to the #4 spot on our site's list of most-wanted unreleased-on-DVD shows. At the time we had a USA link
for pre-orders of the 40-disc set, which lists for $239.95. Our fans north of the border were interested in pre-purchasing the set as well, though, so we're pleased to provide you with a Canadian link
to pre-order the same set if you live in Canada. The cost there is CA$239.95, list price. Our thanks to reader Duane Stammers for his help with that! Using either of those links also helps to support TVShowsOnDVD, and keep us around to continue doing what we do.
And for those of you who have any trouble paying that all at once (hey, the economy is what it is, right?), please keep in mind that Time-Life DOES have an installment plan, where you can purchase the set in 5 easy payments of just $47.99 each. That's less than fifty bucks per season set, with each season containing multiple discs (hey, Season 4
alone contains 9 DVDs!). Plus you also get the 5 bonus discs, of course, which the press release shows is chock-full of must-have goodies! And we also understand that this set is exclusive to Time-Life for at least a year, before Universal can put out any individual season sets (which will not contain all of the extras, by the way). Also, while we can't officially vouch for coupon codes found online for Time-Life's website store (and whether they work for this release, or work in the USA but not Canada or vice versa, or how long they work before they could possibly expire, etc.), but if you hear of any of those in the various discussions out there, don't be surprised, and be sure to give it a try and maybe save a bit that way. Your mileage may vary, of course...it's not for us to say. But in the end, though, as several of our readers have pointed out, a $239.95 price for a 40-disc set comes to just $6 per DVD. It's truly hard to think of that as "expensive," especially considering all the work, love and attention that Time-Life has put into this remarkable collection.
So what sort of work DID Time-Life put into it? We're pleased to tell you that we helped the studio recruit several Bionic "mega-fans" to help advise them with the release, and those fans in turn recruited other "mega-fans" to also help with the project! These people, several of which are regular contributors at the Home Theater Forum
website, had varying amounts of participation with forming this set. The goal was to make EVERY fan who wants to buy this set happy, and we would like to give shout-outs now to Matt Hankinson (named "Chief Creative Consultant" for the Six Million Dollar Man
DVD project), Brendan Slattery, Paul Bisson, Mark O'Neill, Herbie J Pilato, Rod De Luca, Jim Sherrard, and Joseph "Joe" Burns. If you see any of them over at the HTF website, be sure to thank them for their efforts, whatever that may have been!
But then there's the big question: the press release contained a note from the producers which informs fans that, "Despite best efforts, Time Life was unable to locate the original master for 'Welcome Home, Jaime - Part 1,' therefore, the syndicated version appears on these DVDs.
" Does this mean that the episode will appear with the "altered" opening credits of The Bionic Woman
, rather than the as-originally-broadcast opening credits of The Six Million Dollar Man
? Yes, it will have titles and credits in the style of The Bionic Woman
. Matt Hankinson comments that this is the major change to the episode; it otherwise is the "full 50-minute version." Matt also comments that "for a show with 100 episodes and 6 movies, having just one episode not being 100% in its original form is not all that bad.
" We have to agree with that! Since Time-Life's restored version of the episode is the one provided back to Universal for inclusion as a bonus on their own DVD release of The Bionic Woman - Season 1
, we're confident in saying that this is the same version of "Welcome Home Jaime, Part 1" that you'll see on that set as well.
What efforts did Time-Life make to try to get "Welcome Home Jaime, Part 1" in it's original form? After Universal (who they licensed the show from) was unable to provide the original version among the source material for the rest of the show they otherwise furnished, Time-Life checked in with the Library of Congress, with the Paley Institute and even the UCLA archives...none of these had a copy of it in the original form. Time-Life prevailed upon Universal to look further for it, and checked in with their fan consultants as well. Matt Hankinson describes that "Universal contacted all of their international licensees, distributors, syndicators, video divisions, etc. to verify which version they had, with the hopes of finding the original
Six Million Dollar Man version. Alas, it was not to be found anywhere.
." Joe Burns also points out that another fan who was brought into the project, Jim Sherrard, collected some ¾" U-matic tapes of the original broadcasts (which, reportedly, Lindsay Wagner's mother recorded!), but "Welcome Home, Jaime" was not among them. The consultants even tried to look into whether any of the overseas DVD releases (such as perhaps the one in France) might have had the correct original-network-version of that installment, but unfortunately they were unable to get anywhere using that route. It's too bad that all of these attempts didn't get anywhere, but I think we can all agree that this does represent "best efforts" from Time-Life! But in the meantime, Time-Life and their fan consultants went to extensive efforts to bring you the original versions of every other episode, crossover episode and all six telefilms. You can thank them, for example, for getting a fully restored "Wine, Women and War" version that has never been presented that way on home video, anywhere, until this release.
As a fan of The Six Million Dollar Man
since the show's first broadcasts, I know I'm grateful to Time-Life and their entire staff of regular employees and consultants for what looks like will be a "dream effort" to get the entire series on DVD at once (with no concerns for fans that only a few seasons could get released before somebody changed their minds!). The love and effort which has gone into this package (such as including the alternate "syndicated cuts" of the six telefilms!) will surely make it heads-and-shoulders above any version of the show which has been released outside of North America. I know that I'm desperately looking forward to getting my copy of it. Are you? Be sure to pre-order your copy now!