Release: Mar 01, 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).
10 cuts = 24 minutes and 3 seconds.
1 cut with alternate footage = 45 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...
Then the opening credits.
After the opening credits, Terry is sitting on a couch. She is looking at several pictures on the wall. With the picture of Toddhunter, Terry leans over, takes a closer look at it and then turns around contemplatively.
Dr. Ackerman is on the phone with Dr. Eakins:
Ackerman: Is Jimmy there?... It's Dr. Ackerman calling! Thank you!.... Oh, Jimmy, my boy!... And what can I do for you?
Eakins: Well, it's more what I can do for you! You told me to call if I noticed anything odd about the janitor's re-exam! Harlan Williams!
3 min 26 sec
The shot of the tape recorder is longer. Then we see Jimmy and Ackerman at the diner:
Eakins: Well... He not only passed his eye exam, he passed it with flying colours! I might have let it go at that, except he asked me to dilate his eyes! He said a country expression, but it didn't sound like that!
Ackerman: What was it?
Eakins: Well, I was looking at him with the pupillary... He asked me if I saw anything green in there! Does that mean anything to you, Mark?
Ackerman: I can't say that it does! So, when you dilated his eyes, you said you saw less floaters in there, and that's not normal, is it?
Eakins: Well, it's not abnormal! Not any more than flunking a visual acuity test and then passing a retest is abnormal! Visual acuity seems to fluctuate!
Ackerman: Like blood pressure!
Eakins: No! Not like blood pressure! And that's the point! Blood pressure does fluctuate radically! Visual acuity doesn't! Well, not really!... The janitor also seemed very nervous! That's what got me curious! If it had been only one or two oddities! I might have let it go, but all of them together... You know!
1 min 20 sec
Eakins and Ackerman get up and leave. The man with the hat sitting behind them watches them leave. Then he gets up as well.
Gina is reading a book in bed. She then puts the book away and looks at Harlan who is sleeping next to her. She tells him good night, looks at two older pictures of him and her and turns off the lights.
Somebody shines a light at a body in a bodybag and says it was Redding. Someone else says the body should be removed.
Toddhunter is driving by. She then has a conversation with Rick.
Rick: No, Ma'am! Nobody followed Lt. McGiver out that night! Everybody... Oh, excuse me!
Toddhunter drives around the corner and stops. The security guard approaches her.
Rick: Good morning, Dr. Toddhunter! You're early!
Toddhunter: What time do you have?
Rick: Quarter to the hour!
Toddhunter: Only two minutes fast!
Terry: If I was you, I'd get a new watch!
Toddhunter: This watch belonged to my father! I will never be rid of it!
Rick: But if it's broken...
Toddhunter: Even a broken watch tells the correct time twice a day! Don't you see that?
Rick: Well, Sir...
Toddhunter: Time is the only enemy! Miss Spann understands that! Don't you, Miss Spann?
Terry: Yes! Tempus fugit!
Toddhunter: Indeed! Carpe diem!
Rick: Have a nice day!
Toddhunter: Spare me!
Toddhunter then drives on.
Harlan looks at himself in the mirror bcause he spotted some changes after the accident.
Gina: This has gone far enough!
Harlan: Yes, I heard! But, Gina...
Gina: No buts! You're going to the doctor! This morning! If that Ackerman is the only one you'll see, I guess he'll have to do for now!
Harlan: Don't you think you're making a kind of a big business over a few brown hairs!
Gina: It's not just a few brown hairs around your ears, and you know it! There's more! There, and down there!
Harlan: I think you're getting a little personal there!
Gina: It's not funny and don't make out that it is! You know what's happening as well as I do and it's not funny!
Harlan: Gina, honey!
Gina: You're getting younger!
Harlan: Gina, that's...
Gina: That's crazy? Yes! But it's happening! I don't know what they were playing with! I don't want to know! I just want you to get a medical discharge and treatment! For whatever this thing is! Treatment as far away from Falco Plains as we can get!
Harlan: Gina... Gina, people don't... They can't get younger!
Gina: Then what is happening to you, Harl?
Harlan: I don't know exactly!
Gina: I have lived with you almost my whole life! I could pick your face out of a room filled with men if I was blind and none of them were talking! I could do it by touch! You don't look the way you did two weeks ago! You look the way you did two years ago!
Harlan turns away from Gina contemplatively. She looks at him worriedly.
Harlan: I'll go see Ackerman! But what do you think is going to happen then, Gina?
Gina: They'll find out what's wrong and they'll stop it!
Harlan: You must still believe in Santa if you think it's going to be as easy as that!
Gina: What do you mean?
Harlan: You talk like they play square! Like they're just going to fly me off to the Mayo Clinic and make it all gone! Well, they don't play the game sqare! They play it as crooked as a drunkard walks! You think you're the only one scared? Remember that window I broke at the plant three years ago? There was a scar on my arm where the glass cut me! Hell of a magic trick, don't you think? Now you see it, now you don't? It was there on Monday! On Tuesday morning, while I was shaving I noticed it had lightened up some! On Wednesday, it was just a little white line you could barely see! This morning... gone!
Gina: My, God! That was when you were 67!
Gina sits on the bed. Harlan joins her.
Harlan: That's when I really started getting scared! All I'm saying is that there's no telling what they'll do! I'm no hot-shot doctor, no general and not even a bird colonel! I'm just an old man whi swabs floors and empties waste baskets! I could disappear without a trace! And so could you!
Gina: Harlan, that's crazy!
Harlan: Yeah, now you're getting the picture! That's how the government does business in places like Falco Plains! Crazy!
Gina: You want to just go on waiting! Is that it?
Harlan: No! I don't want to go on waiting! I'll go talk to Ackerman, like you want! Only, I want you to be ready!
Gina: For what, Harlan?
7 min 2 sec
Ackerman walks by the kitchen sleepily, in th direction of the head. But he turns around and takes a look into the kitchen because he heard a noise in there. He enters and finds Andrews making bacon.
Andrews: See if we can cut through the preliminary bull here, Doc! The part where you ask me what I'm doing here and I tell you I'm going to ask you some questions! Then you tell me to get out you'll call the police... All that stuff!
Ackerman: Who are you?
Andrews: Well, that's as good a place as any to start! Jude Andrews, DSA! We'll skip the part where you say you didn't see me with the DSA team and they're gone anyway and you have to call General Crewes and so on! You didn't see me with the rest of the team because I'm here on a special assignment! You didn't see me leave with them for the same reason!
Andrews: Got any orange juice, Doc?
Ackerman opens the fridge and says: You're sharp, aren't you?
Ackerman cracks some eggs into the pan.
At the hospital:
Terry: I can take it from here! Thanks!
Nurse: Dr. Ackerman didn't say you'd be in this early!
Terry: He probably overslept!
Nurse: Shouldn't you wait for him?
Terry: I work better alone!
Terry enters the room where Dr. Redding is supposed to be but he is not. She goes to his empty bed and looks at it confused. She then spots green color on her gloves from Redding's mattress.
2 min 33 sec
In Crewes's office, Terry checks out the fish in the aquarium. The next scene follows. Toddhunter is standing in fronf of a glass box with the contaminated mouse in it. He gets it out and sheds some light on it.
Harlan approaches Rick on a bike.
Rick: Hey, Harlan!
Harlan: How you doing, Rick?
Rick: Wouldn't do me much good to complain!
Harlan: No, I guess it wouldn't!
Rick: You look like you're feeling okay! (Harlan logs in) Rick: I didn't expect to see you back full-time so soon!
Harlan: Everybody's got to be somewhere!
Rick: What's your secret, Harl?
Harlan: What secret?
Rick: Well, you sure got well in a hurry! Want to tell me what kind of vitamins you take?
Rick: Vitamin C! That's it?
Harlan: That's it! That's my secret! See you around, Rick!
Harlan keeps driving on his bike, Rick watches him leave.
In the Movie Version, a sequence from earlier in the TV Version now follows. It is the one where Harlan and Gina are having a conversation (please see cut at 8 Min).
Movie Version: 1 min 51 sec
TV Version: 1 min 6 sec
After Ackerman talks to Andrews on the phone, the shot him is longer. Then a change of scenery. Harlan is walking across the hall and Billy engages him in a conversation.
Billy: Hey Harlan! You going to move those lockers?
Harlan: As soon as I make a phone call, Billy!
Billy: Hey, how did your exam go?
Harlan: All right, I guess!
Billy: You sound kind of down! You sure everything's okay?
Harlan: Yeah, I'm fine! I'm just a little tired, that's all.... Why don't you go find the long dolly, Billy?
Billy: You bet, Harl!
Harlan: And find Phil and Roger while you're at it! You mention lockers and they disappear!
Billy: Yeah! Hey, Harl! I've got a good joke for you! Are you ready?
Billy: Why did the man tie his watch to a bird?
Harlan: I have no idea, Billy!
Billy: Because he wanted to see time fly!
Billy walks away with a smile on his face. Harlan, who does not consider the "joke" funny, says: I'll be sure to use that one, Billy!
The following scene shows Harlan on his way to the phone.
1 min 23 sec
After the conversation with Harlan, Gina hangs up the phone. In the following scene, Ackerman's conversation with Andrews is shorter.
Andrews: First Point: Williams cut his arm about three years ago in an accident! That scar is now gone! Same way Redding's were!
Ackerman: Yes, that was the first thing that jumped into my mind!
Andrews: Any photographs?
Ackerman: No, but there would be an X-ray! And there would be reports of the accident! Enough for any medical man in the world to confirm a resulting scar!
Moreland: So, I'm sure you see the problem!
Terry: Yes, I think I do!
The cop is looking for Dr. Ealis in his practice. He calls for him as well. He keeps walking shines into Ealis's office where he finds the doc's body.
Gina is reading a book. Music is playing in the background. Harlan comes in dancing and Gina's book away.
Harlan: Dance with me, Mother!
Harlan: Come on! They're playing our song!
Gina gets up and dances with Harlan.
Harlan: The rug won't bleed if you cut it a little! It'll make you feel better!
Gina: I'm fine!
Harlan: It'll make me feel better!
Gina: What's the worst that could happen? I mean, if we don't leave, what's the worst?
Harlan: We could just disappear! I... hear things from time to time! I guess all janitors do! Janitors are the world's invisible men! The Shop is supposed to have places where people can disappear! There's one in Maui! Another in Idaho! One in Vermont!
Gina: But wouldn't they try to find out what was wrong with you? Wouldn't they try to find out if it was about that experiment that went wrong? Wouldn't they try to help you?
Harlan: Well... They'll try to study me, all right! That I'm sure of! But help me? I don't think so, Gina! I think they'll just sit back and let it, whatever it is, run its course!
Gina: Isn't there some little part of you that wants to get younger?
Harlan: Good God! No! It's unnatural! And besides, where does it all end? Cheer up, Gina! Everything's going to be all right!
Gina: You promise?
Harlan: I promise!
Harlan lets go of Gina and dances in front of her while saying "Shake it like we used to, Mother!". Gina goes along, then the continue to dance. Harlan dances faster now. After a moment, Gina stops dancing and takes a little break. Harlan would like to know what was going on. Gina explains she could not keep up and she was too old for that. Given that response, Harlan simply looks at her contemplatively for a while. Then the end credits.
4 min 35 sec