A bizarre question: "The Rebirth" on VHS?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Ultra Lagmus, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

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    This may (will) sound bizarre, but does anyone have (or know anyone) who has the G1 episodes "The Rebirth" on VHS? I'm not interested in buying or anything, but I am interested in the commercials. Commercials can be used to identify when an episode aired. The right ad or two can pin it down to a month+year and the perfect ad can pin it down to a specific day.


    I ask because "The Rebirth" has no less than 3 different airdates circulating around. Probably a legacy of Paszaz (the go-to source for episode lists of cartoons in the '90s, and the source for most other places that compiled episode guides for cartoons since then), which, instead of practicing sound research, just made up airdates using the template of start on labor day and run the season perfectly, no reruns, no errors, no flubs, til all episodes are done. From what I know about episode guides and airings, that's just not common. There's always a rerun, a 4 days a week + 1 rerun a certain week, the order gets mixed up a little (happened with Beast Wars, with their 9th, 10th, 11th episodes), or the rerun order isn't the same as the original air order (those same eps of BW). I've read elsewhere that G1 had in at least one place episodes reversed in Season 3 (Mon ep aired Tue in some areas and vice versa, making the premiere airdate for both those eps technically Mon), and Paszaz has all their airdates called into question by Thundercats. They look to be the source of the Season 2 lie, claiming the back 65 eps aired in Fall 1986, which is funny because all of those episodes have 1987, 1988 or later copyrights on them and some scripts were auctioned off and they had completion dates of 1988 on them. Yet the 1986 lie is so strong, even some Tcat fans tried to present the evidence to sites like IMDB and they refused to correct their errors (what happened was the studio couldn't meet all their orders so divided the 65 ep order over 3 seasons 20/25 [video] + 20 + 20. Tcats was in reruns for a whole season they were claiming these episodes aired. Weird, but tv broadcasting isn't perfect, things happen). So yeah, who ultimately knows what the airdate of many G1 episodes is going by online listings (because we don't know what evidence they used to prove that airdate is it).


    If by chance anyone has or has access to it, I would just like a listing of commercials. Go into some detail, like are holiday sales being talked about, what figures are being sold in that toy commercial, what news stories are being previewed for the news at 5, and if it's a sporting game (the holy grail), who's playing who and is it a home or a road game. That should help pin down an airdate for these episodes, though a possible issue is the taping being a 2nd airing, but hey, it would be a start.

    And if anyone has some Season 1-3 tapes that might be from their respective Falls (or Winter for the last few eps of the season), that would be cool too. I can decipher an air month, perhaps even an airdate from 'em.
     
  2. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    I definitely remember some of the commercials from the first time that the three part episode aired. I had parts two and three on tape. I didn't know that the three part story was airing. Otherwise, I definitely would've taped part one as well. I was only six years old at the time. I remember when I saw the opening, I nearly $hit myself. I was like "THERE'S A NEW TRANSFORMERS EPISODE AIRING!!!"

    Anyway, you wanted to know about what commericals aired. There was definitely commercials for Battle Beasts. Also, I definitely remember there being commercials for Captain Power. That commercial featured some Doogie Howser looking actor. And I seem to remember there being commercials for (I want to say that it was called) Laser Tag. There was some chick sitting in a moving chair telling people that they were out after being hit.

    That's all that I remember off the top of my head. I can't guarentee that those would be the same commercials nationwide. I don't know for certain that the commercials that aired in the Chicago market (where I live) would be the same as the ones that aired in the New York market , or elsewhere. Unfortuantelly, I no longer have the tape. It was recorded on EP (extended play). And after about fifteen years or so, especially given how much I watched that tape, I'm sure that it was toast. I threw out all those old vhs tapes that I had recorded on EP from the 80's. Hopefully, this is of some help to you.
     
  3. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I have the VHS, will have to see if I can connect a player. IIRC there weren't any commercials on the tape though - but the box art was showing Nightbeat and some of the other 1988 toys. The UK VHS cassettes did that for some. 95% certain I have a Nightmare Planet VHS with Skullgrin on the art.

    (Ah, my mistake - you mean taped from TV and not the "official" VHS release, my bad)

    The wiki does have the airdates as 9-11 November 1987, and they tend to be accurate with their info. I'd like to think Ben Yee had corroborating evidence in his review of the episodes, but that page is down right now.
     
  4. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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  5. sto_vo_kor_2000

    sto_vo_kor_2000 Banned

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    And I can verify [for the most part] that its the date the first part aired in NYC.

    I have my vcr tapes, most commercial's are edited out, but I had a habit of putting air dates next to the episode names.

    not the ink on the labels have gotton fuzzy but its still readable.11-9-87
     
  6. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

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    Sto Vo Kor 2000, that's a good habit to have. Really comes in handy years later for archival purposes. The 11/9/87- 11/11/87 was one of the 3 possible airdates I've seen. The others were in Sept 1987 & July 1987. It seemed to originate from the thought it was aired whenever it was done (Season 4 isn't much of a season. Hell, it was supposed to be 5 episodes but they were probably removing stuff from the animators' desks when the episode was being made and carrying the desk & the animator out of the office as he was drawing Scorponok...), which was the thought of July, or aired at the start of the season (Sept), but November matches up with at least the 1st GI Joe mini-series. Sweeps month. Look at 22 episode season syndication. It's Oct-Nov, Feb, May, and stray episodes usually go in Jan or March. It's built around sweeps, just like Galvatron's team.


    Captain Power was 1987 (some eps, heck, maybe he was the head writer, were written by JMS, the guy who came to write Babylon 5 and Spider-Man for part of the '00s), Battle Beasts was sometime in 1986 thru 1987. Not sure where the borders were between the 3 main series, though by late 1987, it was rapidly fading out. I think Laser Tag was the 'hot toy' of Xmas '86.

    I think first-run syndication sells ad space locally, though you have national buyers buy spots in many markets. The only nationwide ads would probably be promos for that show and associated shows (i.e. if Xena promos aired during Hercules' commercial breaks and vice versa). Then there are definitively local ads, which in Chicago's case meant Empire Carpet (588-2300 Empire!), Victory Auto Wreckers (that old Junkion is worth money!), Celozzi & Ettleson, Howard's Pontiac Elmhurst... on Graaaand Avenue. I've read WGN aired TF (I was too young to remember what channel it was on. I do remember Thundercats being on WFLD though) and WGN aired the Cubs & the Bulls. Nov would mean no Cubs, just Bulls. Of course, due to the Cubs not getting lights for night games til 1988, it meant their afternoon cartoons (like TF & GI Joe) would be pre-empted everytime the Cubs have a weekday home game.

    Edit: Episode schedules are supposed to be the same for weekday shows, though as noted before, individual stations sometimes screwed up, or sometimes the distributor screws up the satellite signal or the tapes sent out (not sure how many stations had satellite reception in 1987), which could mean the same episode (and sometimes the same show) not airing across all stations (a flub like that happened with Beast Wars. One new ep, many areas got Reboot). With once a week shows, the station gets to pick whenever they air it, but it's supposed to be the same episode across the whole country. Once a week is less error-prone than 5 days a week, though in many areas it's more subject to sports pre-emptions. Cartoons were rarely pre-empted by sporting events (most baseball teams switched to weeknight games once they got lights because there's more audience, both for attendance and on tv, at night than at 1-4PM local time) due in part to sports not airing in the morning or early afternoon on weekdays (unless it's Fox and you're on Hawaii, then the time zone difference kicks in).


    The sad part about VHS is how many tapes are thrown out. The commercials can be recorded off of them and uploaded to Youtube. That's how so much old stuff is archived on Youtube. It's history and a lot of it's been forgotten. Not every Empire Carpet ad is up there (despite some valiant efforts to catch 'em all). I've seen a few off of old VHS tapes. Maybe I'll get around to uploading 'em someday...


    Hey, Sto Vo Kor (your 2nd sig from "Blood Oath", "The Sword of Kahless", or "Once More Unto the Breach"?), got any other old VHS tapes of cartoons with airdates transcribed on them? Or perhaps a Beast Wars ep recorded between May and August 1997? (I've got the airing schedule for the entire run of Beast Wars except for 4 or 5 gaps in the 2nd season and that big gap in the 1st season. I have found the entire air schedule for the 6 day a week 3rd season, all 270-some airings or whatnot).
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  7. sto_vo_kor_2000

    sto_vo_kor_2000 Banned

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    thanks
    Not to many cartoon tapes left

    I have at least 1 Voltron tape left and maybe a battle of the planets, and a few sci-fi shows..I wasnt a big fan of the other toon series like heman, GIjoe or Thundercats.
     
  8. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    Oh believe me. I'm all too familiar with the Cubs causing my favorite cartoons not to air. Countless times as a child I turned on WGN to watch Transformers and G.I.Joe only to find that a Cubs game was on. Not that a White Sox fan needs any additional reason to hate the Cubs.
     
  9. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    I remember seeing some faint hints of the show's bumper animations on the VHS where the advert breaks would have been. I spent ages back then fiddling with the pause button during those fades to get a decent view of what those ghostly remnants were.

    Yeah, I'm kinda sad. :p 
     
  10. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

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    My habit as a kid/teen of keeping running episode guides as series helped with some '90s cartoons, though they're the ones that have good records thanks to the internet and being cool enough that many would want to keep track of them (Batman, Beast Wars, X-Men). From my tapes and memories, they match up (yep, I remember the special airings of Batman early on, on Saturdays and Sundays). It also left me a record of every time the Cubs (occasionally Sox?) pre-empted Hercules, Xena, DS9, Earth: Final Conflict, Sinbad (never liked Beastmaster, so can't say there) and where/when it bumped it to.

    11/9-11 sounds like pretty good corroboration with (some of) the existing records online. That part of 1987 was fairly quiet (after Black Monday or whatever day that was in Oct). Right around that time there was a huge November snowstorm on the East Coast (with thundersnow). Maybe some kids got to watch "The Rebirth" on a snow day?

    I'm not sure when the White Sox returned to regular tv broadcasts. The whole regional sports cable channel really got going in the '00s, had some games in the late '90s, though the White Sox were known for their failed pay-per-view experiment in the early '80s, though I think that was over by 1984. WGN never carried as many Sox games as Cubs games, and Komiskey having lights, they would have usually been night games. Shows on WPWR (Star Trek: TNG, B5, Highlander, Baywatch... and Voyager) were never pre-empted because they didn't have sports then, unlike many other parts of the country.

    I'm just imagining all the VHS tapes in attics or basements that have TF, GI Joe, He-Man & She-Ra, Thundercats, and a number of 1 season shows that could be used to confirm airdates, original broadcast order (esp. since cartoons don't have tv guides to fall back on to leave a printed record of what aired what week. It's how we can be more sure of Twilight Zone & Perry Mason's airdates than we can of GI Joe or TF despite the former airing 20-25 years earlier), just sitting there collecting dust or decomposing slowly in landfills.

    I've read during Season 3 (86-87), new episodes aired on Mondays & Tuesdays, while Season 1-2 reruns aired Wed-Fri (except for whenever FFoD was being reaired). Anyone vaguely remember that firsthand?
     
  11. Tuxedo Mark

    Tuxedo Mark Well-Known Member

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    I never did keep track of air dates as a kid. I wish I did. Of course, I didn't know that, a few years later, I'd create the first Captain N site on the Internet. I assembled the "original air dates" for my episode guide based on reader submissions and checking on online "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" episode guide. There were five episodes of Season 2 that I never got air dates for, so I threw them after the other Season 2 episodes in my guide in a fairly random (and completely arbitrary) order. Well, TV.com somehow got a hold of my episode guide and added "original air dates" to those five remaining episodes, using my arbitrary placement and merely spacing them one week apart from each other.

    Brian Ward, who produced the first Captain N DVD set (and who also produced the TF sets for The Shout! Factory) claimed that the TV.com order corresponds exactly to a list on old papers that he'd dug out of boxes that DiC had sent to him. Yeah, right. That's the most amazing coincidence in history.

    He claimed that it's very unusual for cartoons to air straight through without reruns. However, by endorsing TV.com's episode guide as authentic, he was admitting to Season 1 airing straight through without reruns.

    Also, since TV.com's guide has gaps with certain Saturdays where supposedly no new episodes aired, this openly conflicts with TV.com's "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" guide, which has the episodes airing straight through without returns (Captain N & SMB3 were paired in a one-hour block back then, so both series would have to have the same original air dates).

    So, anyway, yeah, I am highly skeptical of pre-Internet episode guides. Just what is the source for these "original air dates" and "original airing order"?
     
  12. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

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    DVDs are notorious for that kind of thing. Their 'research' just consists of going online and finding some site listing episode guides like TV.com or Epguides.com. I wish they wouldn't lie and would just admit they don't have documentation for the original airdates. That's how errors/outright lies get spread. I can't recall, but I think the Thundercats DVDs were pushing the 86-87 season myth too. Any unsourced cartoon airdates are essentially apocryphal.

    At least TF has reasonable guess airdates that are in the proper season or no more than a month or two from their true airdate, whatever it is. Thundercats has airdates that are off by 1~3 years for some episodes! And I've seen 2 different listing orders for "Lion-O's Anointment" (1 as a 5 day block, 1 as random air days over 6-7 weeks), though I wouldn't rule out the possibility of it airing over 5 weeks on the same day (like Monday or Friday). And not to mention some lists might just impose production order as air order (Anointment was made over a long time, Part 1 is like the 20th, Part 5 is like the 50th).

    With cartoons, I agree. Tv shows have their titles listed in tv guide, which like I said is how we can be fairly confident Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Beaver, Munsters, I Love Lucy, etc and beyond aired when it did. In fact, there's a site or forum topic out there which had such amazing detail about the Twilight Zone, the person seems like they're from the Twilight Zone (meticulous notes about reruns, what pre-empted it certain weeks, even the 1965 filler reruns, and some quite interesting observations about "Eye of the Beholder"'s original broadcast or whatever the heck you want to call it, changes in the opening sequences). With cartoons though, there's a whole lotta guessing, at least thru the early '90s. X-Men, Batman, Spider-Man, Beast Wars and series from then on have good airdate listings.

    The main error is transcription errors, where one site copies the dates wrong for an episode or two. That can easily be solved by comparing the dates to another site's or just figuring they screwed up the +7 rule (airdates should always align like this: 1/8/15/22/29, 2/9/16/23/30, 3/10/17/24/31, 4/11/18/25, 5/12/19/26, 6/13/20/27, 7/14/21/28). If it aired on a special day/time, some site should note the special airing, but I'm not sure that was common if a series was pre-empted on short notice. They would just air the episode the next week or weeks later on the schedule (as happened with the Fri-Mon eps during the JFK assassination news coverage). Usually off-day airings were with series getting used as filler or pushed around as opposed to solid shows. Of course, that changed sometime in the '80s or '90s.



    Oh, and a read a little into it. "The Rebirth Part 3" did probably air on what was a snow day for much of the Eastern Seaboard with big snows from DC up to Boston and very messy, up to a foot or more of very heavy wet snow, icing, and a surprise blizzard because everyone was asleep at the switch, not to mention catching many off-guard because of how early it was (mid Nov). Wasn't a snow day for some kids in Maryland (in incompetent school districts). They were snowed into their school and had to spend the night at the school!
     
  13. JonnyT

    JonnyT Well-Known Member

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    Corroborating the November airdates are the entries for "The Rebirth" on the U.S. Copyright Records website, which list effective publication dates (i.e. airdates) for the three episodes across the 9th to the 11th.

    Trawling through the copyright database will yield other airdates for many other series that don't have the correct dates complied into an accurate list anywhere else on the internet, such as Challenge of the GoBots for instance. Some series/seasons seemingly never had this information compiled however, and the aforementioned example of ThunderCats' subsequent seasons is one of them, so those particular airdates remain totally unknown at present.

    Yeah, after the embarrasing Prime Targets debacle with the G1 Transformers DVDs, which amusingly resulted in Hasbro enforcing a late-in-the-day re-ordering of episodes for the third season DVDs (too late to even change the packaging!), I can wholeheartedly believe Shout! would spout nonsense like that with regard episode ordering, without consulting someone with the necessary knowledge.
     
  14. Ultra Lagmus

    Ultra Lagmus Well-Known Member

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    When does the distributor submit episodes for copyright with the airdates? It would be better than made up guesstimates but if anything changed between the submission and the airdate, it wouldn't be recorded, like the usual flip-flops and surprise reruns in syndication. A good test would be comparing series that had last minute changes (drawing a blank at the moment) to see where errors might lie, though weekday syndication was a lot more error-prone than once-a-week syndication and network broadcasts. Copyright dates would at least be the "originally scheduled" airdate, what they wanted to follow.
     
  15. Tuxedo Mark

    Tuxedo Mark Well-Known Member

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    What Prime Targets debacle?
     
  16. JonnyT

    JonnyT Well-Known Member

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    When preparing the new G1 DVDs, Shout! utilized neither airdate nor production order for the episodes, their episode order in fact coming from the unofficial Prime Targets book, wherein the author rearranged most of season two and all of season three into his own personal preferred order. Shout! bizarrely insisted that this was the "official" order for the episodes, seemingly sanctioned by Hasbro.

    Only...it clearly wasn't, and once Hasbro were aware they were cribbing from an unofficial guidebook of questionable quality, they quickly ordered Shout! to stick with airdate order only for season three. The edict came so late in the day that all of the original Shout! packaging materials for season three referred to the intended Prime Targets episode ordering, while the episodes on the discs themselves were in airdate order, leading to many understandably confused customers.

    Bit of a missed opportunity all round really, as the best episode order would probably have been the production order, with a few tweaks where necessary for the sake of continuity.
     
  17. Ryan F

    Ryan F Transform and Roll Out! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Off-topic now, but I know the guy who wrote Prime Targets, a dude named Lars Pearson.

    Thankfully he's now moved into publishing, and he gets other people to write his books these days, rather than doing it himself!

    His company, Mad Norwegian Press, is well-renowned for its lack of a proof-reader or spellchecker. Even when they put out a decent book (they've done a lot of volumes on the subject of the British TV show Doctor Who), it's usually beset by typos, weirdly-constructed sentences and other mistakes.

    For example, one of their books was published with an entire page missing, which meant they had to provide the missing page as a .pdf file on their website. Classic!
     

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