See separate coverage of Missing Minutes from:
We've got screen captures of Fritz and Priscilla as you've never seen them -- oh, and Archie, too -- unless you're lucky enough to have seen a foreign telecast of the the uncut, international version of the series.
The original productions of most shows were several minutes longer than the version telecast in the US and were in wide screen format. Freemantle Enterprises has the overseas rights to this "international version," which has never been telecast or released in the US. Freemantle Enterprises lists the episodes on their site: http://www.fmescreenings.com/. This production version was created because at that time the European market, unlike the U.S., preferred a full 1 hour of content and in letterbox or wide screen 16:9 format.
Pearson/Freemantle has released many episodes (but not all) in Europe (PAL encoding only) with Dutch subtitles. Click here to reach the Amazon.co.uk page. The Dutch version, although excellent playing quality, has a few errors in labeling and not all episodes that were shot in wide screen have been released in wide-screen format on these DVDs. NB: these DVDs will only play on a DVD player designed for PAL encoding, rather than the US standard of NTSC encoding.
Widescreen/letterbox format: All episodes except the Pilot, The Golden Spiders, were shot in widescreen and & most aired throughout Europe. The only widescreen version released in the US on DVD (but never telecast) was The Silent Speaker.
Pfui's Photostream on Flickr has a variety of missing edges (wide screen version of scenes) and missing minutes, as well as screen captures from the Dutch subtitled version. Click here to see the Flickr site.
Missing Minutes: The producers used two methods for producing extended stories for Europe and shortening them for US telecast/DVD release:
- each episode has various scenes that were cut from the US version.
- two pairs of novellas were lengthened with footage consisting of scenes at the beginning, between stories, and at the end. These scenes tied the plots of the two stories together. U.S. telecasts and DVD releases do not include the connecting introduction and intermezzo footage. These were the Season One episodes:
- In Wolfe Steps Out (Door to Death and A Christmas Party), the plot of the connecting scenes is Lily & Archie dancing at the Flamingo.
- In Wolfe Stays In (Disguise For Murder and Eeny Meeny Murder Mo), the plot of the connecting scenes is the weekly poker game, this time in Wolfe's Living Room, with Fritz providing snacks to Archie, Saul, Orrie, & Lon.
- In Bad Taste (Poison a la Carte and Murder is Corny) (Never aired; the longer version of Poison a la Carte was broadcast in Europe, but not Murder is Corny or the combined show.) Read early script versions that Lee Goldberg & Sharon Doyle shared with us:
According to Mr. Goldberg, "An early draft of the two hour movie combined the Rex Stout novellas "Poison A La Carte" and "Murder Is Corny." The moie aired in the U.S. as two, one-hour episodes. Scenes that "connected" the two stories were not included in the U.S. airings." In Bad Taste seems to have not aired in Europe. The first half of it did air as Poison a la Carte in Europe.
In Season Two various techniques were used to “pad” episodes with additional footage:
- Immune to Murder: interview with each character regarding their thoughts on the case, almost ad lib in nature
- The Next Witness: expanded scene in Saul's apartment
- Before I Die: expanded scenes with:
- Beulah Page in the Plant Rooms
- Fritz in the kitchen with Dazy's assistant, "Archie," preparing spaghetti and tomato sauce and with Archie trying to console him about the kitchen mess and the great meat shortage
- Fritz ordering and picking up meat from Dazy’s contact, Tom, the meat black marketer
- Poison a la Carte: job interviews of "waitresses" with Lewis Hewitt as the judge
The remaining four novella stories from Season Two were produced in a version that met overseas requirements (they are listed on the Freemantle site), but were never telecast: Murder Is Corny , Die Like a Dog,. Help Wanted, Male, The Cop Killer.
Below is a listing of the packaging for the telecasts as well as some wonderful screen captures from friends across the waters.
See the LINKS PAGE for links to sites with more information and scenes from the Missing Minutes and "Letter Box Edges."
Thanks to Debby Montague, The Silber Family (Tina, Peter, & Daniel), David James, Mark Hood, Juelie Sires, Walter Finch, and all those overseas fans who contributed to the information pool on this topic.
- PILOT: The Golden Spiders (No extra footage was shot for international release and it was not shot in widescreen)
- The Doorbell Rang (No extra footage was shot for international release.)
- Champagne for One (No extra footage was shot for international release.)
- Prisoner's Base(Click here to see screen captures and additional information about some of the Missing Minutes (from IMDB)
- Wolfe Stays In
["Disguise For Murder" & "Eeny Meeny Murder Mo" are connected with vignettes of a card game between Archie and the three 'Teers in Wolfe's lliving room.]
- Wolfe Goes Out
["Door to Death" & "Christmas Party" are connected with vignettes of "Archie dancing at the Flamingo."]
View the flyer from the Wolfe Pack's 2011 Book Discussion of A Christmas Party.
- Over My Dead Body
- Death of a Doxy
- The Next Witness
(Click here to see the transcript of some of the Missing Minutes on IMDB)
- Poison A La Carte
- The Mother Hunt
- Too Many Clients
- Before I Die
- The Silent Speaker (this is the only episode released in widescreen format in the US—Season II DVD set, Vol. 5, "Bonus")
- Immune to Murder
- NOT AIRED OVERSEAS:
- Murder Is Corny
- Die Like a Dog
- Help Wanted, Male
- The Cop Killer