How I found SEARCH in 16mm on eBay
- "How I found SEARCH in 16mm on eBay"
by Don Harden
Actually I found it by accident. I was looking for Star Trek and Outer Limits
episodes on 16mm, found nothing and said to myself, "OK, let's try 'Search
16mm' and then BINGO!"
I ALMOST did not find it! Luckily there was only one other bidder and he
dropped out as soon as I put in my bid, otherwise "herbie" would have gotten
For those who want to see how the bidding went, try this link:
(Be aware this link won't last beyond 30 days of auction end.)
Here's how the first few minutes of this 16mm SEARCH film goes (which arrived
on two 1600 foot reels):
1) Countdown leader (which has "Probe" and production #23008 printed on one
frame of the film). Handwritten and printed on the countdown leader is:
"Part 1 R'LS 1-2-3." Evidently the 35mm original is on three reels.
2) Fade in to scene where Lockwood rescues the diplomat amid commando fire.
This scene is complete.
3) Goes smoothly to SEARCH opening credits.
4) Abrupt splice just before the "directed by Russell Mayberry" credit can
fade out. (About 15 to 20 seconds of the end of the Probe theme is cut--along
with the footage of the outside of World Securities Bldg.) I think every
print of SEARCH I've ever seen has had a different bad splice at this point
due to the name change from PROBE. The Unicorn video of PROBE is the only
version that seems to have the opening credits intact, although that video is
missing the "spinning diamond" fade ins & outs.)
5) It splices directly to the World Securities sign with Dr. Laurent's
complete line: "It's an emergency assignment, from the board of directors!"
(This line does not appear in Jim Alexander's copy of SEARCH--his picks up
with Cameron's line: "...Cameron, do not hang up...") The rest of this scene
is complete and wipes to Lockwood about to enter Probe Control.
The rest of the film is in nice shape except for the occasional splice. There
are a large number of splices during the scene where Lockwood presents the
torn card to the hotel clerk, but nothing major is missing. A couple of lines
are garbled at that point. Most of the "spinning diamond" fade ins and fade
outs are in there, but a couple of them are gone.
There are only a few small lines here and there and no fake "changeover cues"
some prints have just before the commercials. The closing credits are intact
and include the old Warner's logo at the end as the closing theme ends.
Jim Alexander wants me to time the print next chance I get. My brother will
be here to see it sometime over the next couple of weekends, I'll try that
To say the least, this was quite a find! Sometimes I see 16mm stuff on eBay
described as "Armed Forces" prints. I hope that one day we can see and bid
for one of the SEARCH episodes on eBay (or one of the other auction sites).
Let's all keep a lookout for those plus other prints of the SEARCH/PROBE