My memory may be a bit hazy as well, but I seem to remember when the Pilot aired in '81 when I saw it, it did show the rescue (after which Lockwood said to Cam's remark about the risk being a result of extreme duress or something: "That means I'm entitled to two weeks 'leave of absence'... with pay."). It also included the phone call because I remember Lockwood negotiating THREE weeks off - with pay, "party of two" (presumably to include the woman in his apartment). It also had the bit in Probe Control where Lockwood mentions Dr. Laurent's "Stock options", all before showing off the new scanner that "was made even smaller". (I'd have loved to have seen the previous model!)
You are right in that WPIX was notorious for cutting anything they aired to shreds to fit in more commercials (they massacred the original 'Trek' re-runs), but if I do remember correctly, this particular airing of the 'PROBE/Search' Pilot had the full beginning, but had bits cut from other places in the movie.
From: John <actingman6@...
To: Probe Control <email@example.com
Sent: Wed, Jun 19, 2013 10:27 am
Subject: Re: [probe_control] No Search
It was WPIX. WNBC had the pilot from the time Search went off the air up
until the mid to late 70's. The version they had was very strange. It
started with the Warner's logo with the stinging end of the theme, then it
went to the Search version of the pilot opening titles, then when we saw
the establishing shot of the WS building and the theme ended, there was a
loud crack on the sound track (like a bad splice...but with no accompanying
visual of a bad splice) and it went straight into the phone call, which
(and I am hazy on this) an optical wipe into Lockwood entering the waiting
area, and the rest of the pilot. WNBC didn't cut anything, but for some
reason they did do commercial breaks in the middle of the scenes, and they
let the built in spinning diamond optical breaks just run back to back.
There was a long break when WNBC was not running it, and then suddenly WPIX
was running it, and they were running the version with the rescue, the
opening Search titles, and a dissolve from the WS buliding to Lockwood
entering the waiting area. And WPIX being WPIX, they did cut scenes. I
don't know when WPIX stopped running the pilot, but I know I never got the
chance to tape it once I was home from college with my nice VCR.
My question, and we may have discussed it before, but did any place in the
U.S. get in syndication the full version of the pilot (rescue and phone
call) with the Search titles? (My apologies to Don and Jim if you have
sent me such examples in the past.) The only airing I can think of that
had both scenes was the Australia airing we got from Trevor...and that had
the Probe titles (which is the same full, complete version the Warner
Archive has so thoughtfully released for us on MOD.)
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