Release: Feb 26, 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).
7 cuts = 9 minutes and 9 seconds.
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...
While the Movie Version starts with the opening credits, the TV Version shows parts of the lyrics from David Bowie's Golden Years plus the title.
Movie Version: 45 sec
TV Version: 16 sec
General Grewes looks at the monitors and sees a car driving in the parking garage. The car stops. Crewes leans over to the intercom and tells his secretary: I'm going down in the infirmary! Let me know when Toddhunter shows up! His secretary says: Yes, Sir, General! Grewes gets up and leaves his office.
Gina's conversation with the General at the hospital regarding her husband is longer. When the General tells her that her husband was asleep, she adds: I don't need to talk to him! I just want to see him!
General: If you want to wait a couple of hours, when the doctors say you can see him!
Gina looks concerned, the General explains: He's really all right! I've seen him myself! There's nothing for you to worry about! Are you hungry? I can have some food sent down! We have a good restaurant in the building!
An exmployee in a protection suit walks by. Gina watches his passing by, then she asks the General about it. The General would like to know what se meant and Gina explains a man in protection gear had just walked by. The General thinks about it for a moment, then he says: It's just a precaution against... infection!
Terry to Gina: Mrs. Williams, would you excuse us for a moment?
Gina sneaks into the room with the infected. She looks around and sees two men in protection gear standing at a patient's bed and making notes.
Toddhunter is sitting on the couch in the waiting room and asks the time.
Secretary: It's five minutes later than the last time you asked!
Toddhunter: I thought I had an appointment!
Secretary: I'm sure the General will see you as soon as he possibly can!
Terry and General Grewes are on their way to his office.
Terry: I don't appreciate being treated this way!
Grewes: What way?
Terry: Being lied to! You son of a bitch!
They enter his office.
Terry: You owe me an explanation!
Grewes: If we'd spent more time together, this wouldn't have happened! What about dinner tonight? I bet you have a big appetite!
Terry: This is serious, Louis! I can't do my job if I don't know what's going on! Talk to me!
Grewes: You want to go non-reg for a minute?
Grewes: This is a mess!
He poors a drink for her and hands it over.
Terry: I'll drink to that!
Two doctors are with Dr. Redding.
Doctor #1: I'm increasing the dose to 10 ccs! I want you to call if anything changes! (He injects something in the patient's arm.)
Doctor #2: Yes, Sir!
The recently deceased Dr. Redding is being taken out of the infirmary on a stretcher.
A cut to General Grewes office, where a conversation between him, Toddhunter and Terry takes place, follows.
Toddhunter: My guess is that we lost a cooling unit!
Terry: And if you lost two cooling units, would this place be in the jet stream?
Toddhunter: For the last time, General, I must object to these irrelevant insults!
Terry: They're not irrelevant!
Grewes: Terry, I'd like to keep you from scratching each other's eyes out! That's enough!
Toddhunter: A light green gas had begun to fill the tertiary and secondary feeders! I had noted a bare glimmer in the main tube when Jackson told me that we had a red-no-go light on the secondary delta override!
Grewes: Prior to that, you had a green board!
Toddhunter: Of course we did!
Terry: I'm hoping to have that verified soon!
Toddhunter: The telemetry records, of course! Assuming there was no EMP to wipe the board!
Grewes: The pulse almost certainly did wipe the board, so we're out of luck!
Terry: Actually, it's from Dr. Redding!
Toddhunter: Redding? I thought he was...
Terry: Why would you assume that? You yourself are fine! Not so much as a scratch!
Toddhunter: Is he conscious?
Toddhunter: That's too bad!
Terry: Isn't it?
Toddhunter: I'd like to remind you both that I was halfway across the room! I didn't actually see that the boards were green!
Grewes: You were told you had a green board?
Terry: If you had a green board, what went wrong?
Toddhunter: System failure, the same thing that always goes wrong when the government's footing the bill!
Terry: If the equipment screwed up, DSA investigators will find it!
Toddhunter: Shoddy workmanship, bad wiring, bad solenoids, bad switches... This isn't the first time this has happened!
Terry: Save the sermon, Doc!
Toddhunter: We are playing here with enormous forces for enormous stakes! The government knows this! It has knowingly sanctioned the risks! After 12 years of theoretical work with particle acceleration, I have two aborts and one explosion to show for my time! Not to mention the loss of a life! And why? Because the equipment is shoody! It doesn't work! Do you read me? Are you following this reasoning?
Terry: Sounds pretty crazy to me!
Grewes: Apologise for that last crack! Shut up and sit down, Richard! Toddhunter sits down. Grewes: Miss Spann?
Terry: Sorry, Dr. Toddhunter! I was way out of line!
Toddhunter: I... I really must ask you to excuse me, General! I'm... I've had a very trying day!
Grewes: All right! We'll continue this...
Terry: We ought to find out a bit more about what happened! While it's still fresh in his mind!
Toddhunter: It all happened very fast, though! Redding.... no, Jackson! Jackson yelled... Redding really didn't pull his weight! When things got hairy, Jackson yelled we had a red no-go light on the primary delta override!
Terry: I thought you said it was the secondary delta override?
Toddhunter: Yes, of course! I'm confused! I'm tired and confused! It was the secondary, and them the primary! There was an explosion like a small firecracker! I saw one... no... I saw two instrument panels blow out! And that's when I yelled for them to shut down, but... But they froze! Watching them was like watching a bird hypnotised by a snake! Then the door to the turbine room blew open! I yelled to dump the board before we lost the turbine! That woke Jackson up! Redding never moved! Redding was completely useless! He never moved! That's when I went for the fire extingguisher! It saved my life! Because the door swung shut behind me! It shielded me! Don't you see? The next thing I knew was... Someone was shaking my arm! Asking me what happened!
Grewes: And that's it?
Terry: What about the janitor?
Toddhunter: What janitor?
Cut to the following scene. Gina's husband Harlan is lying in the hospital bed. A green light shines out of his ears. The camera zooms out and then pans to Toddhunter who is taking a cage with a rat in it.
5 min 45 sec