Release: Mar 05, 2016 - Author: Eiskaltes Grab - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Compared are the cut US DVD by Artisan Entertainment (Not Rated / Movie Version) and the uncut German DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment (FSK 16 / TV Version).
5 cuts = 23 minutes and 20 seconds.
1 cut with alternate footage = 1 minute and 38 seconds +Movie Version.
In an experimental laboratory, janitor Harlan Williams gets contaminated by mysterious chemicals set free by an explosion. Due to radiation, he slowly mutates in a mysterious way. The government intends to figure out what happened to Harlan at any cost so they assign their best and most cold-blooded agent. Harlan, his wife Gina and the wonderful and young head of security Terry are in grave danger. They run from the brutal killer while Toddhunter, head of science and a totally obsessed professor, keeps experimenting. He intends to finish his secret object successfully, no matter what the cost.
The miniseries produced for US TV is based on an idea by Stephen King who also wrote most parts of the screenplay. All in all, 7 episodes with a total length of more than 6 hours were produced (among them a two-part episode). The ratings were not exactly satisfying though and they got lower with every episode. For that reason, the decision not to continue the show - as originally planned - was made. Unfortunately, the last episode ended with a cliffhanger because further were originally planned - as already mentioned. For the VHS and DVD release, a second alternate ending that ends the story was shot. Also, the running time of more than 6 hours was lowered to almost 4 hours in order to release it as a feature film. Apparently, the studio did not want to "torture" the audience with a feature film longer than 6 hours one more time. As for the actors, there are some quite familiar faces in Golden Years - such as Frances Sternhagen, Ed Lauter and R.D. Call. Especially fans of The X-Files should not be oblivious to the last two actors.
The Movie Version with a lack of story elements and an actual ending is available on VHS and DVD worldwide. In the Netherlands, the longer TV Version has been released on DVD by Video/FilmExpress. In Germany, it has been released on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment. It is doubtful that the cliffhanger ending from the TV Version is available in the bonus features somewhere...
Missing recap and opening.
Right after that, the TV Version shows Captain Marsh and his men standing on the bridge, looking down at the stolen squad car. They believe Terry, Gina and Harlan are still in the car. Marsh contacts Andrews on the radio and informs him that they have found the suspects and that they are most likely armed. Moreover, Marsh is waiting for further instructions how to proceed. Before Andrews can answer that, Crewes shows up and asks Andrews what he was doing there. Burton gets up and informs Crewes that the Secretary of Defense ordered Andrews to find and apprehend the suspects. They argue about it for a little while. Then Andrews informs Marsh that his men should aim for the tires and body of the stolen squad car until the trio gets out. Marsh says that somebody could get hurt if shtoguns were used. Andrews emphasizes that the old man may not get hit under any circumstances. As for Marsh's question regarding the other two, Andrews tells his men to kill them. This order causes an arguement between Andrews and Crewes during which Crewes calls him a butcher. Marsh rechecks as well because he is not sure if he was serious. When Marsh confirms it, one of his men wants to know if they were actually supposed to shoot those people. Marsh explainss if Andrews wanted to see someone dead, he should do it himself and Marsh adds they were no murderers.
Marsh orders his people only to aim for the tires and nearby. They are not supposed to hit anyone in the car. He also makes it clear that if he found bulletholes in the body the person or persons responsable were going to scrape dead people off the road for several years. He then tells his people to go down and get in position. When he gives the signal, they are supposed to open fire but they ought to watch out for the gas tank. Now, his people get in position.
The cops are sneaking up on the car and take cover. They point their weapons at the car and when Marsh gives the signal, hell breaks loose. They fire shots on the ground, at the tires and one of them even hits the light on the roof. Marsh is not happy about that. Marsh then tells the trio in the car to get out with their hands up. When nothing happens, Marsh says he was about to go down there himself but his colleagues say it was too dangerous because someone could fire at him out of the car. Marsh tells him to shut up and goes down.
Marsh walks straight up to the car with his hands up. He says he was unarmed and he just wanted to talk. His men are still taking cover and aiming for the car. Marsh gets to the car and takes a look inside. He seems surprised by what he just saw. Then he informs Andrews that the suspects were not in the car. Only three scarecrows with name tags arounds their necks the trio left behind. During that, a shot of the scarecrows inside the car is being used. Marsh also jokes around that the scarecrows in the car had been named after his men. Marsh and his people are having a good laugh. Andrews is not amused at all though throws his radio away. He then says it was a good thing that Crewes was already gone because he would have gone on at him if he wasn't. He also points out that they had gotten screwed by Terry and the others again. At the end, he even apologizes for the radio incident and explains he had lost his head. Before he leaves, he explains it was the last time that they got screwed by Terry and adds he needed some time to think.
Gina, Harlan and Terry are sitting on a bench.
Terry: Think you can handle it, Harl?
Harlan: I'll be fine! And it's the best way!
Gina: It's nuts! That's what it is! I didn't come all this way to be separated from you now!
Harlan: They're looking for three people, Gina! An elderly woman, an elderly man and a beautiful younger woman!
Terry: I don't remember anything about beautiful!
Harlan: Can't you see how scared she is?
Gina: I'm not scared! It's just...
Harlan: What they're not looking for... is a man all on his own and two women, mother and daughter, taking the bus to Chicago!
Gina's and Terry's bus arrives at the station.
Gina: I just don't want to be separated from you! It feels wrong!
The bus driver (Stephen King) opens the door. Terry is about to get in, Gina and Harlan stand a little apart. They are looking each other straight in the eye.
Harlan: We'll be together again at our daughter's house!
Busfahrer: Is anybody getting on here? I've got a schedule to keep!
Terry: Hold your horses, Mac!
Gina zu Harlan: You promise?
Harlan: I promise!
Gina and Harlan hug and kiss each other goodbye. Then Gina and Terry approach the bus. Terry tells Harlan to be careful. When they get on the bus, Gina looks back at Harlan with sadness. They enter and get to their seats. Harlan goes to Gina's window and tells her he loved her. So does Gina, then the bus drives off. Harlan remains standing there for a momen and watches the bus leave with sadness.
18 min 23 sec
Toddhunter is working on the electric in his lab. His colleague Felipe shows up.
Felipe: I finished with the rewire on panel 4!
Toddhunter: Very good! We'll download the database in the morning! I stll have some calculations that I want to do tonight!
Felipe: What shall I do now?
Toddhunter: Nothing! That's it for today! You can go home now if you want to! Good night! Thank you!
Felipe: Alright! I'll see you in the morning!
Felipe: Yes, Sir?
Toddhunter: Lock the door when you leave!
Felipe: Yes, Sir!
When Felipe has left, Toddhunter intends to connect two cabels. But the cables are too short so he calls someone and asks for an extension. The person he is talking to asks what the cable is needed for. That question upsets Toddhunter: What it's for? It's for my work, you idiot! I am not about to allow the advancement of scientific endeavour grind to a halt because I am two feet short of a proper connection! Now get it over here immediately! Toddhunter hangs up.
The Movie Version here contains the scene with Terry, Harlan and Gina at the bus stop instead.
Movie Version: +3 min 20 sec
TV Version: 1 min 42 sec
We see Toddhunter in his lab again. Someone is knocking at the door.
Toddhunter: What do you want?
Mann: I've got your cable!
Toddhunter: Oh, good!
He rushes to the door and opens. A guy with the requested extension cable is standing there.
Toddhunter: Give it to me!
Mann: I need your signature on some forms!
Toddhunter: No time!
Mann: I can't release this without the proper signatures!
Toddhunter: Do you have a pen?
Toddhunter signs the sheet. Then the guy flips the page.
Mann: This one's for Accounting!
Toddhunter signs that one as well and the "cable delivery guy" flips the page again.
Mann: This one's for Major Moreland! Over here, please!
Toddhunter: This pen's running out! Do you have another pen?
Toddhunter: Let me hold this for you!
Toddhunter grabs the extension cable and pushes the guy out. Toddhunter shuts the door and goes back to his workplace. The man outside keeps knocking at the door. Toddhunter is annoyed and tells him to go away. When Toddhunter attempts to connect the extension cable with the two other cables, he realizes he has the wrong extension cable plus it is not long enough.
1 min 20 sec
Being annoyed, Toddhunter signs the remaining sheets. He then takes the right extension cable and connects it. A light starts blinking and some computer voice says: Warning! This is an improper connection! Please check the wiring sequence book for proper installation! Improper connections can result in serious... Toddhunter pushes a button, the computer voice becomes silent.
1 min 45 sec
Terry's bus conversation with Gina is longer:
Terry: What are you looking at?
Gina: Just the end of the day!
Terry: You're worried about Harlan!
Gina: Harlan can take care of himself! He once beat a man to his knees because the man, who was standing outside a bar, made suggestive remarks about my legs!
Terry: Harlan was very protective of my honor!
Gina: And he was very young, of course!
Terry: He must have loved you very much!
Gina: We loved each other very much! It seems to me that in those days, the world was filled with love! We didn't have a pot to you-know.what in, or a window to throw it out of, as Harlan used to say, but we hardly noticed! He was young and strong, and we both believed there was time for him to go to college, after his sisters finished their schooling! He practically raised them, you know!
Terry: You told me!
1 min 11 sec
Extended shot of Harlan. Then a freeze frame, followed by the end credits.