Looking for verifiable info on Pilot first release/screening

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wallydanger
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Looking for verifiable info on Pilot first release/screening

Postby wallydanger » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:15 am

I've heard many different things about the pilot. I'm now searching for authoritative information on when the pilot was first seen by the public across the globe. Word has it that people in Europe saw it long before it aired on American television.

I'm working on submitting info for a page on the "European" version of the Pilot on the IMDb website. There used to be separate listing for it and the shorter version aired on TV in the USA, but the page, with it's info, was lost in a recent change of the TV episode database, and the two versions were merged into one listing. I want to restore a seperate listing.

Here's an IMDb post on this subject by a very knowledgable fan:
About the 'Euro Version'

by ___________________ ( Mon Apr 16 2007 11:45:16)

I once talked to a person who saw the stand-alone version at a Spanish festival screening in 1989, but I can't corroborate that on the internet. However, I did find a Usenet post from a person who saw the pilot (probably the broadcast version) at a film festival on February 10th, 1990. Go to Google, hit "more," select "groups," and enter this in the search field:

"Kyle McLaughlin an FBI operative"

What I know is partly based on similar posts that didn't make it through the archival process. Relevant information between '92 and '95 just isn't there anymore. And the alt.tv.twin-peaks newsgroup obviously wasn't around before April of 1990, so that also makes it tough. But you can search it and see that the video was out in Europe at or before the time of the pilot's first US airing on April 8th, 1990. A person from Norway describes it on April 17th. Go back to Google's newsgroup search and enter this:

group:alt.tv.twin-peaks "I recently saw" "here in norway"

Here's the story as I know it: The pilot finished filming in March of 1989, complete with footage for the foreign video release. Post production was completed in time for the networks to pick up shows for the Fall season, a process that ends halfway through May. No one picked up the show, and Lynch eventually went to film Wild at Heart. He later learned on set that Twin Peaks might make it to television as a midseason replacement. So there was roughly a year between the pilot's completion and its American broadcast premiere. During that entire time, Warner Home Video had the finished film as well as distribution rights. With a need to recoup production costs and no logical reason to wait, I believe Warner put the movie out as soon as possible.

Many fans seem to think the stand-alone version was released only because the show became a hit, but that money-grubbing maneuver didn't happen until 1991, when the foreign version was released in North America. If, as so many claim, Warner Home Video was under an obligation to suppress it if the show aired, then there would have been no release. For obvious reasons, there may have been a clause about domestic sales, but the overseas deal was inherently separate. When the show premiered, people were going crazy about the mystery, and the existence of the "Euro version" was widely reported because it revealed a murderer. Once more, go back to Google's newsgroup search and enter this:

group:alt.tv.twin-peaks "star reveals twin peaks killer"

And check out this Entertainment Weekly article from April 6th, 1990:

http://www.lynchnet.com/tp/articles/ew1990c.html

An American magazine was able to get a copy of the tape, write up a description, and publish it before ABC aired the pilot. That leads me to think it had been available for a while. Warner had no reason to wait for the show to air. Except for smash hits, the markets were separate, which was the very reason for making a stand-alone version. It was made for people who were never going to see the series, so there was no motive to coordinate the network premiere with foreign distribution.

Of course, maybe back then it simply took a long time to get a video overseas. In any case, it's clear to me that the tape came out before the US broadcast, but I'm not sure how you'd find the exact release date. The stand-alone version, as far as I know, was never aired in Europe or anywhere else. I often hear that it had a foreign theatrical run but haven't seen any convincing evidence.

But this is all only hearsay, though it sounds pretty accurate. Does anyone have links to sources of info about the pilot or can corroborate anything said above?


Thanks guys.
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Fatso the wombat
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Postby Fatso the wombat » Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:29 am

The pilot episode was submitted in the UK to the BBFC (the people who classify films and videos/DVDs) in November 1989:

Click here

Of course, this does not necesarilly mean that it was released quickly after this, but is at least an indicator that this was the sort of time they were thinking of releasing it.

The date on the classifcation report would also mean that the UK release was not before 6th Nov 1989, as until classified it would not be able to be released.

I'm pretty sure the pilot episode was released in the UK before we got the series - in the UK it screen from late October/early November 1990, and Season 2 followed pretty much straight after Season 1 (and I have it in mind that by the end we'd caught up with the US transmission, and screened a couple of episodes first).
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Postby Fatso the wombat » Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:33 am

Incidentally, as per the post you quoted, I too have never heard of any confirmed cinema screening of the Euro version of the pilot - I was always under the impression it was a VHS only release.
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Postby dugpa » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:07 am

I saw the Euro version with both endings on the big screen at the Seattle Art museum several years back. It was a print from David's personal collection and probably the best way to experience this film. Although I have never met anyone who can confirm any screenings in Europe.
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Postby iar » Tue May 01, 2007 2:47 am

I'm really confused. Can someone finally clear this up for me please? There's all sorts of talk on imdb.com, but I dont trust anything that comes from there!

The pilot confuses me. I have Region 2 Series 1 boxset, which obviously includes the pilot, unlike the US version. Now, I didn't realise until recently that there are 2 different pilots yes? Or at least, 2 different endings?
Some people have said that the pilot will ruin the rest of the series if you watch it. But, I did not find this to be the case at all....Therefore, has the Region 2 DVD got the shorter version pilot on it? As opposed to this longer one that was meant to be a film, and which reveals the murderer?

As far as I can remember, the pilot i have ends with Sarah Palmer having a vision of someone picking up the necklace after it has been buried by Donna and James.
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Postby Shelly_Johnson » Tue May 01, 2007 6:42 am

Iar,

my understanding of why there are two different versions of the pilot is because in the first verson it left kinda of an open ending, for the series to pick up where the pilot left off.

( now this is where my information gets sketchey )

For the europe version of the pilot, they chose to make it more like a movie, where it came more to a "close" then for the american version. I believe the thought behind that is due to the fact that they were not certain that europe would run the series on tv....

( if someone elce has better/more information please correct me )

also, i have another puzzlement over the pilot issue...i have a pilot dvd by it self, bought it off the internet several years ago ( sorry i can't recall where i got it from ... ) but now i keep hearing people ask when the pilot is going to come out on dvd....is this a newer version that is going to come out, perhaps a "sharper image" kind of thing? ... just wondering...
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Postby dugpa » Tue May 01, 2007 6:56 am

The European Pilot ending is available on youtube. Might be considered as a spoiler unless you have watched the entire series and FWWM.

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCX9btvgR8o

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue-PwHC6oPQ
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Postby barryconvex » Tue May 01, 2007 3:43 pm

Fatso the wombat wrote:Incidentally, as per the post you quoted, I too have never heard of any confirmed cinema screening of the Euro version of the pilot - I was always under the impression it was a VHS only release.


It was shown in a few German cinemas. I'd like to elaborate on that a little more, but unfortunately I can't... I only recall that TEMPO, a German lifestyle mag - reported that in 1991.
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Postby Audrey Horne » Tue May 01, 2007 6:46 pm

I believe the ending was shot for the pilot -excuse me, an ending -to fulfill contractual obligations with the financers -there was no garauntee that the pilot would be picked up by a network.
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Postby iar » Wed May 02, 2007 12:15 am

dugpa- That ending is definetely NOT on the Region 2 DVD...thanks for that! I cant believe I had no idea. Been trying to avoid any spoilers until I've watched the second series. Still not finished so I havnt watched that clip in its entire.

Is this ending available anywhere except on the internet? Is this what they're going to put into the US pilot? It looks pretty great, but something that shouldn't be watched until after Series 2 and FWWM.
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Postby Fatso the wombat » Wed May 02, 2007 12:34 pm

Audrey Horne wrote:I believe the ending was shot for the pilot -excuse me, an ending -to fulfill contractual obligations with the financers -there was no garauntee that the pilot would be picked up by a network.


That was exactly my understanding too.

If it wasn't picked up for a series, there would still have been some sort of a "complete" product to sell to recoup the money spent in making it.
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Postby Fatso the wombat » Wed May 02, 2007 12:36 pm

iar wrote:dugpa- That ending is definetely NOT on the Region 2 DVD...thanks for that! I cant believe I had no idea. Been trying to avoid any spoilers until I've watched the second series. Still not finished so I havnt watched that clip in its entire.

Is this ending available anywhere except on the internet? Is this what they're going to put into the US pilot? It looks pretty great, but something that shouldn't be watched until after Series 2 and FWWM.


You may be able to pick up VHS copies on eBay. IIRC the cover (at least the UK version) has a picture of James on his bike on the front of it.

As far as I know, the Euro version of the pilot has nver officially been released on DVD.
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Postby AllThisPaperwork » Wed May 02, 2007 12:36 pm

The interesting about the the European ending, that no one ever mentions, is that the whole thing (Cooper waking up, going to the hospital, Meeting mike and bob, the shooting of bob, and the red room sequence) is the content Cooper's dream in episode 2!

We only see bits and hear Cooper summation but what he's describing IS the European ending in its entirety. I think that's neat and no one ever mentions that.
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Postby droopy » Fri May 18, 2007 10:24 am

According to Robert Fischer's German Book "David Lynch - Die dunkle Seite der Seele" (= the dark side of the soul) the Pilot (the "Series-Version") costed 3.8 million dollars, was shoot in March/April 1989 on location and at City Studios in Los Angeles and had it's premier on the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado in September 1989 and was first aired on TV on 8th April 1990 (ABC).

This information should be accurate as Robert Fischer talked many times to David Lynch.

The "standalone/longer" Version was first sold in Great Brittain in November 1989.

For more detailed information you should refer to dugpa or issues of "wrapped in plastic"
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Postby uncle_fugly » Fri May 18, 2007 11:58 am

Does anyone else prefer the European ending over the American TV one? I think the image of BOB crouched at the foot of Laura's bed is far more effective than Jacoby's hand pulling up the necklace.

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