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Mr. Mercedes

1.01 Pilot

Comparison:

  • Amazon Prime (Starz)
  • Original Version
Release: Jul 29, 2018 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Compared are the censored Amazon Prime Version (e.g. available on Amazon UK or Amazon Germany since July) and the uncensored US Original Version (available via Video on Demand on Audience Network since August 2017)


- 18 cuts
- Length difference: 73.6 sec (= 1:14 min)



In 2014, Stephen King published his latest novel Mr. Mercedes which is about a killer who drove straight into a crowd and who is now being hunted by some washed-up detective. Said detective, Bill Hodges, then got to work two further cases in 2015 and 2016. In August 2017, Mr. Mercedes premiered on Audience Network. The mini series is an adaption of the very first novel. Since July 2018, a bigger audience gets to watch the quite decent mini series on the Starz channel on Amazon Prime - for instance in the UK or Germany.

Over the course of the (novel) events, the eponymous killer plans to blow himself up at some concert. Since there was a similar incident at a Ariane Grande concert on 05/22/2017 in Manchester, the decision to alter the storyline was being made (click). But then again, the part with the mad drive has occured for real in similar ways over the years as well which makes it rather surprising that the pilot episode is quite explicit here and also that the media did not complain about it when the episode aired.

It is possible that the Amazon Prime Version have been censored as some kind of preventive measure - not unlikely since the audience is much bigger on Amazon Prime. One way or another, there are numerous alterations in the Amazon Prime Version of the pilot. The actual mad drive is completely missing and the most violent footage at the crime scene has been removed as well. Certainly, the Amazon Prime Version is still watchable resp. the scene still works but cut is cut. And over the further course of events, further alterations have been made: Sexual implications are completely missing which looks like typical US TV censorship & there is alternate footage as well. It is at least possible that the Amazon Prime Versions are simply the official US TV Versions while the former Video on Demand releases were the uncensored ones.

At this point, it is still unknown whether or not US home theater releases will contain the uncensored versions. According to Amazon.com, a DVD will be released on 08/14/2018 - said release has not been announced officially though and a Blu-ray release would be more contemporary.
Further episodes have been censored for Amazon Prime but at least the length difference is not as huge as it is here.



Time index refers to
Amazon Prime / Original Version
The Video on Demand Original Version contains a warning regarding the violence at the very beginning of the episode.
Not considered as length difference.

9 sec




05:47 / 05:56-06:15

Subsequent to the high angle shot, there are missing shots of the killer driving in the crowd & people are desperately trying to flee. In the middle of the scene, Augie pulls Janice in her sleeping bag to the side. Someone bumps into him while doing so which is why Janice helplessly winds up in front of the headlights. Her head explodes bloodily.

19 sec




05:48-05:50 / 06:16-06:27

The Amazon Prime Version contains the close-up of Augie screaming "No!", followed by the black screen which is a little longer by the way.
In the Original Version, the killer runs over Augie as well he remains dead on the street with a blood-smeared face. The Original Version then slowly fades out.

Original Version 9.5 sec longer




05:52 / 06:29-06:37

Subsequent to the black screen, the tracking shot of the crime scene starts much earlier and shows further gory details.

8.3 sec




06:27 / 07:12-07:14

And again, the beginning of a shot with another body on the right is missing.

2 sec




06:28 / 07:15-07:21

Probably removed for continuity reasons: Shot of Detective Hodges, followed by a further victim with severed arms.

6.2 sec




06:33 / 07:26-07:29

This time, the camera zooms in on the body longer.

2.8 sec




06:49 / 07:45-07:48

Before Hodges turns his head in disgust, there is actually a close-up of the dead woman (resp. Janice).

2.3 sec




28:44 / 29:42-29:43

When Hodges checks out the killer's message on the computer later on, the head of Janice's baby (Patti) explodes at the end of the animation.

1 sec




Alternate
29:01-29:07 / 30:00-30:14

After the killer mentions he had been so excited he had even worn a condom, the Amazon Prime Version continues with an additional shot of Hodges. The Original Version contains a further computer animation with a penis instead.

As a consequence thereof, the killer's comment is shorter as well. The rather drastic part is still in the Amazon Prime Version though resp. the part after that is missing: "(I was afraid I might spontaneously ejaculate! And I'd have to worry about DNA. As for my two cents, I'm just missing the ending. You promised one, 'member?"

Original Version 7.5 sec lšnger

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




Alternate
29:14-29:21 / 30:21-30:33

Once again, the Amazon Prime Version contains an additional shot of Hodges while the Original Version contains a rather explicit computer animation. And once again, the killer's comment is shorter as well. With the white stuff on the monitor and a smiley on it, the versions are back in sync.

"I'm coming! I'm coming! Auntie Em, Auntie Em! (Hey, guess what?)"

Original Version 5.7 sec longer

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




33:51 / 35:04-35:05

When killer Brady turns his head, the Original Version contains an additional shot of what he is looking at: His mother's breasts.
Also in the Amazon Prime Version later on.

0.5 sec



As compensation for these 0.5 seconds, the shot is insignificantly longer in the Amazon Prime Version.



Alternate
34:51-34:52 / 36:05-36:12

In the Original Version, Deborah kisses Brady longer resp. licks his face. Then her panties one more time.
In the Amazon Prime Version, the subsequent shot of the two of them starts a little earlier instead.

Original Version 6.8 sec longer

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




34:55 / 36:15-36:16

Deborah longer when she grabs Brady's privates plus Brady with his hand on hers.

0.9 sec




Alternate
35:24-35:25 / 36:44-36:45

Alternate footage for the "Give Mommy a little kiss!" line: While the Original Version shows Deborah's panties one more time, the shot of Brady is longer in the Amazon Prime Version.

no difference

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




Alternate
35:38-35:43 / 36:58-37:05

The distance shot of Brady masturbating on the stairs is much longer in the Original Version (on-screen hand movements included). In the Amazon Prime Version, the shot from a closer distance (with the hand movements not being in the picture) starts earlier instead.

Original Version 1.2 sec longer

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




Alternate
48:52-48:53 / 50:14-50:15

Alternate footage when Hodges recalls the circumstances of the crime in front of the demolished Mercedes.

no difference

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




Alternate
48:56-48:57 / 50:18-50:19

While the first shot is identically equal, the two subsequent ones are not.

no difference

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




Alternate
48:58-48:59 / 50:20-50:21

Prior and subsequent to the identically equal shot of the vehicle, there is more alternate footage footage - this time it is Janice in the Original Version.

Original Version 0.6 sec longer

Amazon PrimeOriginal Version




Approx. 30 seconds afterwards, there is a quick montage. Interestingly enough, the Amazon Prime Version does contain footage of things like Janice's body or the penis animation.