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  The Chatter Box : The Series
Messages 1 2 

Full Circle Edited by cycletourist on 7 March 2009 4:55am
I have finally begun to watch the US release of Full Circle on DVD and was greatly disappointed when I noticed several scenes were cut from the first episode (the only one I've watched, so far).

Should I expect more of the same?

They were quick cuts, but some of my favorite moments.

1. With the gold prospectors on the beach in Nome, Alaska, they completely cut the scene with one prospector who Michael jokes with about reporting his gold income to the IRS. It was good for a laugh.

2. In another scene he talks to an entrepreneur that wants to build a bridge (tunnel?) across the Bering Strait. It was amusing when the winds nearly blew a huge map out of their hands and off the porch as a storm approached on the coast. This scene did a lot to convey a real feel for the weather there - and it was completely removed. Why?

3. Michael is greeted by a "strange" host behind the desk at the hotel in Nome. This was an odd scene, but quite memorable and amusing - also completely cut.

4. While checking their luggage at the Air Alaska counter before flying off to Kamchatka, Michael jokes about the crew being worn out and tired as the camera begins to lean to the side and fades to black with sound effects of it crashing into other equipment. This was good for a very solid laugh and was one of my favorite bits. Why would they cut this trademark, Michael Plain frivolity from that scene. That's what makes Michael fun to watch.

It was quite maddening.

Are there similar, disappointing edits in the rest of the episodes?
Re: Full Circle Edited by Godfather on 8 March 2009 12:15am
I don't have it on either VHS or DVD, but I have heard a few cases like this where movies or documentarys have been snipped here and there by the time they make their way onto DVD. As you say, it is such an annoyance if you saw it the first time around and remember certain scenes.
Re: Full Circle Edited by the-g-man on 10 March 2009 4:33am
"Should I expect more of the same?"

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. I have the series on VHS that I taped from PBS in 98/99. In the 2nd episode the dragon boat races got cut, about half of the DMZ visit is gone, and I don't think the interview with the American at the Korean temple is there either. I'm not sure why they did that, but it does suck.
Re: Full Circle Edited by cycletourist on 18 March 2009 4:46am
Yes, it is really disappointing. When you pay to own something like this you should get more, not less. Are they going to try and release a "director's cut" one day and hope we buy them twice?

I'm greatly disappointed. I've been waiting a long time to get a fresh look at my favorite series of his, but it seems my old noisy VHS copies from PBS will just have to do. These DVDs were a waste of money. Phooey!
Re: Full Circle Edited by outbasket on 1 May 2009 6:14pm
On Amazon.co.uk they show that the DVD's have 560 minutes of play time. In American Amazon.com shows only 500 minutes, which is 50 minutes per episode. The VHS PBS tapes I think were 60 minutes of play time per episode. Anyone know if there is more footage on the UK version of the DVDs? My library has the VHS tapes and I remember the scenes you are talking about. Very disappointing.

I also noticed the run time on Pole to Pole is 445 minutes on the UK DVD according to Amazon and only 393 minutes on the America version. The VHS tape is listed at 386 minutes. Is there extra footage on the UK Pole to Pole DVD?
Re: Full Circle Edited by the-g-man on 4 May 2009 12:40am
My DVD's are the UK version, and the episode length is 50 minutes. There are a bunch of deleted scenes included with the UK DVD, which is where I suppose the extra 60 minutes over the USA version comes from. The strange thing is that none of the deleted scenes on the UK disc are cut from the original program. My VHS tapes recorded from PBS broadcasts have episode lengths of 54 minutes. I'm glad I have the VHS tapes, and I made fresh copies a couple of weeks ago. I'm also glad I bought the UK box-set back in '05, the US versions appear to be quite the rip-off.
Re: Full Circle Edited by mrsthing on 4 May 2009 1:10pm
Maybe you can find someone who can make DVDs from your VHS tapes. Our local record store (which actually had some records for sale!) did that. Though you might run into problems with copyright.
Watched Full Circle DVD by outbasket on 3 June 2009 7:18pm
Our library finally got a copy of the Full Circle DVD, USA version, so I was able to watch it. Previously the library had the VHS tapes which were getting quite worn. I did miss those scenes that were cut out, but I did enjoy the deleted scenes at the end of the tape, but I am not sure if they would have added much. I know nothing about filming so it amazes me that they were only getting 1 hour of film out of 1 month worth of travel. It must be a difficult job.

I did notice there are missing months. It seems Michael left in late August which would be day one. Day 121 was in late January, so there is about a month missing there. Day 158 was in May when he was in the Straits of Megellan, so another month or so was missing. Day 245 was in August again, which means about 3 to 4 months of the trip must have been on breaks. It did seem Michael got travel weary on Full Circle which I can understand. My first long journey lasted nearly 18 months and after 15 months I was getting travel numb. You see so much in such a short time, the wow factor diminishes.

It was an enjoyable watch. My favorites are still 80 Days and Pole to Pole.
Re: Full Circle Edited by orangecat on 11 July 2009 11:16pm
He and the crew definitely got travel weary. For one thing, they completely hopped over the Pacific isles, which is a shame since it's a vast area with a lot of different cultures. In South America they were tired and kept emphasizing how to get out the region instead of taking in the atmosphere. They should've just taken a flight over North America, I didn't see any point in the poor coverage they provided.
Re: Full Circle Edited by wloner on 2 December 2009 1:39am
If you are interested in the exact timings of the PBS broadcasts here they are:
1. Alaska and Russia 54:03
2. Japan and Korea 53:39
3. China 54:12
4. Vietnam and the Philipines 53:09
5. Borneo and Indonesia 53:58
6. Australia and New Zealand 54:38
7. Chile 53:14
8. Bolivia and Peru 53:46
9. Peru and Colombia 53:56
10. Mexico and USA 53:52

broadcast in the US on PBS from 15 September to 24 November 1997

Compare those to the DVD if you have it.
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