I just wanted to discuss the new release a bit, particularly the extra bonuses. I was thinking of pre-ordering it from Amazon, but I realized there's at least two different retailer-specific special bonuses - also, most places seem to be charging ~$28 for it right now, with the retail price supposedly at $40.
Best Buy's release well have a special on-pack music CD with selections from the show's soundtrack, not bad. Peter mentioned earlier than the Musicland stores (Suncoast, Sam Goody, Media Play) will have production model sheets he personally selected. Assuming they don't charge the full $40 for it, I'll probably opt for this one on Tuesday.
Are there any other special bonuses out there not mentioned above?
― Nhex, Saturday, 19 November 2005 00:36 (fifteen years ago) link
Unfortunately I'm having the DVD set ordered and delivered to my address in the US, and won't get to see it till the end of next summer. Oh well, anticipation ought to make it sweet.
― Matt Rebholz (Matt Rebholz), Monday, 21 November 2005 06:20 (fifteen years ago) link
Matt, being in Japan there, did you experiece any of the earthquake?
― Barb e (Barb e), Tuesday, 22 November 2005 03:36 (fifteen years ago) link
― Matt Rebholz (Matt Rebholz), Tuesday, 22 November 2005 03:48 (fifteen years ago) link
― Nhex (Nhex), Tuesday, 22 November 2005 06:38 (fifteen years ago) link
Some reviews here. Aeon is finally getting her due, it seems.
― Peter Chung, Thursday, 24 November 2005 03:28 (fifteen years ago) link
Actually, to get it right, Kenny does his dying in the best Aeon Flux tradition. Also, If this article's hint about the special guest voice doing Clavius is true, well... wow. And weird.
― Matt Rebholz (Matt Rebholz), Thursday, 24 November 2005 04:11 (fifteen years ago) link
― skyknyt, Thursday, 24 November 2005 04:49 (fifteen years ago) link
― Syra (Syra), Thursday, 24 November 2005 07:44 (fifteen years ago) link
I read escapade52's Nov 23 entry with some frustration:
Since End Sinister is one of the episodes lacking a commentary track, I decided to explain my reasons for the changes. I mailed him the following message, which I'm posting here also:
I read with interest your complaint about End Sinister on the monican spies board.
Well, you've got it backwards. The old broadcast version is the revisionist one.
What was originally broadcast is a result of MTV demanding changes, often over the objections of the writer and director. The broadcast versions of the episodes may be the versions you are familiar with, but they are definitely not what was intended by the show's creative staff. Apparently, you presume that what made it on the air 10 years ago was never the result of network meddling. You are mistaken.
Sorry you're disappointed in the changes, but your stance is one that agrees with the network execs, not the artists and writers.
MTV usually insisted that Trevor be portrayed as plainly evil, the better for Aeon to appear the hero. In End Sinister, as broadcast, he was willing to kill the weak to leave only the strong survive. That was MTV's preferred motivation. They wanted him to be Hitler, basically. You may think that it's a copout to "soften" Trevor's actions, but by making Trevor a Nazi, Aeon's motivation for opposing him become a matter of moral imperative, not personal choice. Aeon's actions were rendered soft in the process.
The original premise of the episode as I wrote it was that Trevor would set in motion a chain of events that would affect the course of human development. He would achieve this by setting up a series of earth shaking events timed to go off every few hundred years. Sorry to disappoint you, but there was never anything about committing genocide in my premise. He went on a trip into space traveling at near light speed. When he returned, he would have barely aged while time on Earth would have advanced a thousand years. He would then enjoy the higher state of humanity that he was responsible for. Meanwhile, on Earth, Aeon uses a hibernation chamber to wake up every time Trevor's "history trigger" was set to go off and disables it, preventing Trevor's influence from affecting the world's course.
In the process of trying to make the story fit in a 22 minute running time, many directions were pursued by both Peter Gaffney and Japhet Asher, as I was busy working on the Purge with Eric Singer. P. Gaffney's first draft focused on the evolution of sexual behavior over a thousand years in the future. It was a funny, but episodic script, with, again nothing in it about killing the weak to allow the strong to thrive. MTV demanded a rewrite.
Japhet incorporated some of Gaffney's sexual stuff (which survives in the finished episode in the form of the mental "alien" sex) and made it a story about affecting evolution by altering human biology. I argued at the time that Trevor shouldn't be willing to kill masses of people to achieve his goal. I'd tried to keep the moral balance between Aeon and Trevor as level as possible throughout the series, and I couldn't see the point of tipping it now. He agreed with me in the end, and we were set to revise it. In the meantime, MTV had read Japhet's draft. Not only was it well received, it was now their favorite script. They liked it precisely because Trevor clearly sets out to commit mass murder. It's up to Aeon to save the day!
I tried to convince them that this is not Trevor as I envisioned him, but they would not let it be changed back. Howard Baker was set to direct this, and I was behind schedule on the Purge. I let it go.
I frankly never liked this episode that much because of Trevor's actions. I watched it during post-production, but not once after we delivered it. It was only this year that I forced myself to do so, and I was pretty depressed afterwards. (To be fair to Howard, I had a similar reaction upon revisiting Utopia or Deuteranopia.) It was then that I proposed to MTV home video (none of the execs who were involved in 95 are at the network anymore) the idea of recording dialog that would bring the stories back to what we'd intended to do in the first place. They were very supportive --"director's cut" label, etc. I was just relieved we could finally undo some of the damage.
I'll just mention a few more of the "changes" (more like restorations):
In Utopia or Deuteranopia, the actor who played Clavius originally was never my choice, but was forced on us by the network because they wanted an American accent.
I hated all of Aeon's whining "I don't want it" lines from the Demiurge episode because, well, it made her sound whiny. I never wrote those lines from the earlier version. They were added at MTV's insistence to signal her opposition to Trevor. They are completely out of character for Aeon, who'd never feel she owed anyone an explanation. That's why they're gone now.
Also in the Demiurge, Trevor's ending voiceover (dictated by the network) was previously clunky and pretty heavy-handed. The new lines are more poetic, more thoughtful, and just plain cooler.
OLD (network-approved):TREVOR (V.O)And so, deprived of eternity, we are left to live in the here and now amid our vanities, our fears, our petty flaws. But it is out there- waiting for us. And it will not be denied.
NEW (written by Mark Mars in his lucid mode):TREVOR (V. O.)If but the Cosmos could possibly have come about innocent of history and not wholly ignorant of all its potential. Unprejudiced, but aware! Rather than that its only trial be performed at the mercy of all of its error.
In the broadcast version of Reraizure, Aeon's reaction upon seeing Rorty capture a narghile was "what's that?". That made her seem stupid, since she spends the first sequence of the episode delivering a narghile into the prison. Also, Rorty's plan to blast the narghiles into the sun is demented. Aeon's reaction now is more sarcastic, consistent with how she would reply to someone babbling insanely.
You aren't the only one who is lending credence to network meddling by a "purist" position. I appreciate your passion, but really, it's not what you think it is.
― Peter Chung, Thursday, 24 November 2005 12:35 (fifteen years ago) link
But of course his take on it all is that strong *willed* people are more important than weak willed ones. How can he advance them instead? Queue the crazy ray gun action! He goes to sleep thinking he's doing great deeds, advancing the good of everyone over the "meek."
Meanwhile, in typical Aeon-esque reaction, she opposes him based on the idea that she'll preserve individual freedom.
And in the end, both sides don't understand the whole picture, not even close to it, leading to tragedy at every turn. The message of the episode, even now, (at least to me) is, "Don't meddle in things until you understand them."
In their flailing to change things for the better, Trevor and Aeon both commit the same crime, mass murder by means of Aldus B. This could be construed as similiar to drug companies releasing drugs that result in death, perhaps, or any well meaned by poorly executed plans to 'save' people, that just end up killing them.
I didn't feel, even during the original run, that Trevor's actions in End Sinister were 'evil.' Misguided, of course! But his actions are (almost) always misguided, and it made his reversal at the end that much more powerful. He had understood the error of his ways and gone that extra step in repairing the damage he caused by working in a creche.
― skyknyt, Thursday, 24 November 2005 17:44 (fifteen years ago) link
I guess the writer wasn't paying much attention to my answers though...
― Peter Chung, Friday, 25 November 2005 10:19 (fifteen years ago) link
I won't try to convince anyone that the restored version of End Sinister is a better episode than the broadcast version. Honestly, it's not one of the stronger scripts in either form. Though I will insist that Trevor's character is not consistent with the series as a whole in the old version.
Apparently, some viewers prefer conflict to be based on clear-cut, black-white morality, same as what the network forced on the show when it was being broadcast.
MTV preferred to make the moral stances of Aeon and Trevor reflect good vs. evil. They even used to run a ridiculous disclaimer before each episode saying "Aeon Flux is an animated fantasy about good and evil. It contains graphic depictions of extreme behavior. Viewer discretion is advised." That was done in spite of my repeatedly explaining to them that Aeon is not the hero and Trevor is not the villain.
Anyone who prefers the old versions of the other 3 restored episodes however (Utopia, Demiurge, Reraizure), can only be reacting out of an attachment to familiarity. They are unquestionably superior in their new versions.
― Peter Chung, Sunday, 27 November 2005 22:40 (fifteen years ago) link
― natham, Monday, 28 November 2005 03:19 (fifteen years ago) link
― Patty Voorhees, Monday, 28 November 2005 03:21 (fifteen years ago) link
I find myself missing 'ol Charles Martin's comments, as well as the other real regulars from the Lusenet forum. If anyone knows his or others whereabouts, please do invite them here. This is a time to celebrate.
And these posts on this column are awesome, Peter. Thanks!
― Barb e (Barb e), Monday, 28 November 2005 05:49 (fifteen years ago) link
It's funny how we as fans come to feel that we own the object of our fandom. For you, I imagine that's got to be both flattering and frustrating. There's nothing more inspiring or more hurtful than a devout fan. Love makes us say crazy things, I guess.
Personally, I'm glad you had the opportunity to release the episodes in their intended forms. Purists will always have the previous releases to fall back on, so I don't understand the vitriol over the "new" differences. I think it's great to have both versions out there--it makes the Aeon universe that much more interesting to ponder.
Thanks for your perspective on the executive meddling involved in the broadcast releases. Any fan considering getting into the creative side of TV or film needs to be aware of all of the filters that one's work goes through along the way. As fans, we have the luxury of getting cranky over what we watch. Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, you're fighting to retain the creative integrity of your work before it hits the screen. I'd say we've got the easy job in the deal. Too often we forget that.
It's clear you care about this work. Peter. Thanks for taking the time to chat about it.
― Randy Johnson, Wednesday, 30 November 2005 20:24 (fifteen years ago) link
I'm glad to hear that the episodes are now available in their original forms. I haven't seen the "director's cuts" yet, and it's been awhile since I've seen the broadcast episodes, so hopefully I won't find the changes disappointing. But it probably would have been nice if both versions had been released on the DVD set.
I think it's understandable that the network might have wanted to mold the show in a way that made Aeon more moral and more obviously so, rather than more or less morally equal with Trevor, if only because the show's title is Aeon Flux (rather than, say, Aeon/Trevor). Anyway, I read in an article that a second season was planned but never came to fruition. I was wondering if there's ever been discussion of reviving the show or at least the premise and characters under a different title (which perhaps illustrates the morally ambivalent duality of the two main characters, or the name Berognica--just my thoughts), possibly for broadcast on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim", for instance?
― I. Lee Williamson, Friday, 2 December 2005 00:44 (fifteen years ago) link
― I. Lee, Friday, 2 December 2005 00:48 (fifteen years ago) link
MTV: "When we hired you, Peter, we were getting the best man in the business. You're the only one that can accomplish this task."
Peter: "We'll need another - his methods are... unconventional."
MTV: "We trust you can control him?"
INT. SMOKEY BAR, BACK ROOM.
Peter: "I need you. This mission can't go through without your help."
Mark: "NO PROBLEM MAN, I'LL BE THERE."
Peter: "I'm counting on you."
Mark: "I SAID NO PROBLEM, NOW GET OUT OF HERE SO I CAN PLAN... PROJECT DEATHTOY!"
What was awesome was that on the commentaries, he was just like the guy we know and love from the forums.
Other favorite commentary moments (potentially paraphrased from my memory):Mark Mars: "She's gonna die!"
Peter Gaffney: "I'd just like to make one thing clear: everything else in this series is a drug reference except this episode."
Drew Neumann: "So can you explain the blue guy, Peter?"Peter Chung: "Uhh... [blue guy licks Aeon's feet] ...I'd rather not."
― skye, Sunday, 4 December 2005 06:47 (fifteen years ago) link
― Lady Morgan (Lady Morgan), Monday, 5 December 2005 01:44 (fifteen years ago) link
― Nhex (Nhex), Monday, 5 December 2005 07:19 (fifteen years ago) link
― Barb e (Barb e), Saturday, 10 December 2005 21:59 (fifteen years ago) link
But I can't think of anyone else who could have written a seduction scene like:Sybil: We knooow what we're talking about, what we're thinking and what we are doing!Trevor: Well, "moderation in all things", you know.Sybil: Moderation is not abstinence. Moderation necessarily connotes USE.Trevor: Use...?!Sybil: So uuuse me, Trevor. You must. Trevor: I've no choice.Sybil: Lest you abandon your argument.Trevor: Abandon - all argument?
And here's some of Eric Singer's work on the Purge which I felt sorry to have to cut for length:
Hostess Contessa: (pointing to the guns) "Nothing like a little judicious levity" - I always say....Trevor: Welcome. Welcome all over again.Aeon: What is this? What's going on?Trevor: Ask yourself the questions: can you give yourself your own evil and your own good? Can you hang your own will over yourself as law. Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law?Hostess Contessa: You think you think; therefore you think you are... But do you really know? Are you really sure?Aeon: Don't make the mistake of fencing with me... I know who I am and what I'm still capable of.Trevor: Yes, you have a very black mind indeed... You and your Comrades nearly ruined everything. But now that I have you in my custody, I may do with you what I please.Aeon: I thought you already had...Trevor: I had, I have, I will, I did. Don't I? Isn't that right, Comrade Judy?
In any case, the word is getting out. (I know, shameless of me- but there is the upside):
― Peter Chung, Thursday, 15 December 2005 08:22 (fifteen years ago) link
(To think I used to really like the sound of her name...)
― Peter Chung, Saturday, 17 December 2005 01:48 (fifteen years ago) link
― Peter Chung, Saturday, 17 December 2005 02:09 (fifteen years ago) link
― Barb e (Barb e), Saturday, 17 December 2005 03:46 (fifteen years ago) link
It opens in the UK Feb 17, 2006
Series DVD not yet available.
― Peter Chung, Sunday, 18 December 2005 20:48 (fifteen years ago) link
I'm also glad that I didn't offend anyone with my... errr "interpretation" of how Mark got on the show. It really would have been a lesser show without the odd personalities of everyone involved, and watching the commentaries certainly made that clear.
That extended scene would have been awesome - I think it's a shame so many good ideas got nixed by MTV. The unusual ways in which stories became images became the show really are part of what made the show great.
One more great commentary moment:(On screen, "You are three increments from hooligan status!")Someone (can't remember who): "Hooligan status!"Everyone: *cracks up for the rest of the scene*
― skye, Tuesday, 20 December 2005 00:14 (fifteen years ago) link
― Peter Chung, Wednesday, 28 December 2005 11:27 (fifteen years ago) link
― Anthony Hudson (fabhappyfruit), Thursday, 29 December 2005 03:01 (fifteen years ago) link
― Barb e (Barb e), Thursday, 29 December 2005 16:47 (fifteen years ago) link
― Nhex, Saturday, 24 October 2009 00:09 (eleven years ago) link
Holy shit! "Heat" and "Aeon" on blue-ray the same month? :D
― nalle, Saturday, 24 October 2009 00:16 (eleven years ago) link
uh oh. no longer available...
― Nhex, Friday, 6 November 2009 22:52 (eleven years ago) link
Damn. Any news about this? Region 2 Blu-Ray, please?
― StanM, Thursday, 3 June 2010 15:29 (ten years ago) link