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The Little Drummer Girl

03 Episode 3


  • Original version
  • Director's Cut
Release: Feb 28, 2023 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Muck47 - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the original version (as 6-parter e.g. included on the German DVD from Universal / BBC / Amazon) and the Director's Cut (exclusively included in Korea as Blu-ray-/4K-UHD).

- 102 differences, incl. 8 audio changes, 38x alternative material
- Difference: 57.7 sec

Original version: 56:38 (56:03) min // Director's Cut: 56:35 (54:00) min

Park Chan-wook's THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL in three different versions

South Korean director Park Chan-wook is, of course, best known for his films like Oldboy (and the other two parts of his Vengeance trilogy) and The Handmaiden. He describes John le Carré's The Little Drummer Girl as one of his favorite novels, and in 2016 The Night Manager, also based on an original novel by John le Carré, ran quite successfully. When Park Chan-wook heard that an adaptation of The Little Drummer Girl was also planned, he jumped at the chance and took over the directing duties for all 6 episodes. As expected, the British-American co-production from the BBC and AMC is a visually appealing and fairly routinely executed spy drama, with Florence Pugh, Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon shining in the lead roles.

At the end of 2018, the episodes ran on British and American TV, followed by the identical release in Germany the following year. An interesting side note was that in the following years, for example, HBO Max and Apple TV also showed the series, but here it was divided into 8 episodes with ~ 45 minutes each compared to the original 60-minute 6-parter. These versions were also available to us, and in fact you can discover small differences here. But they only affect the scenes where the episodes end in the 6-part as well as the 8-part version. For a better exit/entry you can find exclusive alternative material here.

Things got considerably more exciting on December 16, 2022 in Korea, however, as Plain Archive released the worldwide UHD premiere of the series, promising a "Director's Cut" in the process. There was a 4K Steelbook, a Blu-ray Steelbook, and a Collector's Premium Box with both media plus other goodies - all editions are sold out by now. We were able to get the 4K edition and indeed: all 6 episodes are available here in extensively re-edited versions.

Episode 3: Differences in the Director's Cut of THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL

The present comparison deals with episode 3, where minus the different credits it can even be stated that the original version runs about one minute longer. But with more than 100 changes, here again the episode was reworked in every conceivable way and you can identify about 10 minutes of exclusive material per version. In itself, the basic tendencies are again similar to what was already described in detail in the report on the first episode: The DC is somewhat less conventionally structured and should thus please fans of the director better.

A striking feature this time is a presumed censorship in the original version that was reversed in the DC. When Charlie inspects the unconscious, naked Michel, she takes a clearer look at his genital area here. Cuss words can otherwise are also heard sporadically in the original version intended for TV release, but such full frontal nudity was probably a bit too much.

Running time details are arranged according to the scheme
Original version / Director's Cut

1 of 2
00:18 / 00:18-00:20

Charlie turns the radio dial a little earlier.

1.9 sec

00:28-00:33 / 00:30-00:43

In the Director's Cut, the long shot is played out much longer, and after Becker exits, he says, "I ask you to do this, Charlie."

The original version instead switches to a close-up of Becker, where the identical dialogue begins immediately.

Director's Cut 8 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

00:36-00:38 / 00:46

Charlie looks at Becker for a moment longer in the original version.

+ 2.1 sec

00:49-00:52 / 00:57-01:00

An alternate take of Charlie.

No runtime difference

Original versionDirector's Cut

00:56-00:58 / 01:04

Charlie hesitates a bit earlier in the original version at the beginning of the shot.

+ 2 sec

01:31-01:53 / 01:37-02:01

Becker gives the money to Charlie in alternate take.

Director's Cut 2.6 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

02:11-02:16 / 02:19

The last shot of the troupe in front of the cars is a bit longer in the original version.

+ 5.2 sec

Only in the original version, the 60 sec long opening credits follow as usual.

03:17-03:18 / 02:19

To re-enter, the original version has a first shot of Charlie.

+ 1.6 sec

03:58-03:59 / 02:59

Charlie looks at her fake diary in amazement a little earlier in the original version.

+ 1.1 sec

04:27-04:34 / 03:27

Here, some dialogue was shortened in the DC.

(Charlie: "Where are they?)
Becker: "I do not permit you to carry them with you."
Charlie: "Shame. Could've done with a saucy read."

(Becker: "You have kept them in a safe place in your home.")

+ 6.6 sec

04:51-04:52 / 03:44-03:47

Additional shot of Becker. For this, the following close-up of the car driving off starts insignificantly earlier in the original version.

Director's Cut 2.2 sec longer

04:57-04:59 / 03:52

The car drives away insignificantly longer in the original version.

+ 2 sec

05:06-05:08 / 03:59-04:03

In the original version, Becker and co leave for a moment longer. The DC shows Charlie reaching for the cigarette lighter earlier in the car in an additional close-up.

Director's Cut 1.8 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

05:38-05:41 / 04:33

Becker practices Michel's handwriting a bit earlier in the original version.

+ 3.1 sec

06:01 / 04:53

Here, once again, a note on the location deviates.

Original versionDirector's Cut

06:38-06:40 / 05:30

Salim sits in his cell a little longer in the original version.

+ 1.7 sec

07:09-07:18 / 05:59-06:02

The original version shows longer and in one through how Kurtz sits down with Salim. The DC shortens this with a short close-up of Salim and then jumps right to a later moment in the shot.

Original version 6 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

07:30-07:35 / 06:14-06:17

Same story.

Original version 2.2 sec longer

07:57-08:01 / 06:39-06:43

In return, the original version stays a bit longer in the next close-up of Salim.

No runtime difference

08:39-08:41 / 07:21

After "You are not made for this fight" Kurtz adds Salim's name again only in the original version.

+ 1.6 sec

09:17 / 07:57-07:58

Kurtz goes to the door a moment earlier.

0.8 sec

09:21-09:53 / 08:02-08:42

At the end of the scene, the DC stays longer with Kurtz, who comments "Come on" again. In a long shot from above, we see him slowly coming out of the cell, turning off Kurtz's tape recorder and leading him by the hand.

In the original version, we switch to Salim instead. As he pulls himself together, Becker comments off-camera, "It's okay."
How Salim then comes out can also be seen from different perspectives at the beginning.

Director's Cut 8.5 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

Audio change
10:04 / 08:53

In the original version, Kurtz comments, "The photo of Khalil.... It was put together by the talented Mr. Schwilli from photos of your family and you. You already know the rest of the team."

In the DC, he says instead: "We used this picture of your brother ???. The one that was said to most resemble Khalil. It was taken shortly after my team first met them."

Image for orientation

Alternativ / Re-cut
11:02-12:08 / 09:51-11:14

Once again completely stupid and extensively changed: During the questions about Salim's motives, the shots of the playing children outside have been shifted a bit. An additional slow-motion effect in between is exclusive to the original version. How Salim then gives in is only accompanied in the DC with short flashbacks to the bombing from the first episode.

Director's Cut 16.8 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

During 12:21 / 11:27 the original version switches to the other perspective a bit earlier, ultimately without any time difference.

12:36 / 11:43-11:49

At the end of the scene, the DC again shows the distraught Salim in retrospect.

6.4 sec

12:54 / 12:07-12:08

Dr. Alexis shoves the fork into his mouth a moment earlier.

1.5 sec

13:00-13:02 / 12:14

In return, you see him a little longer in the original version.

+ 1.5 sec

13:25-13:30 / 12:37

Another trim shortly after, before Kurtz says "If I were you" - which has been moved around a bit on the soundtrack in the DC.

+ 5.4 sec

The insert for Kutina/Yugoslavia shortly afterwards was moved back a few seconds in the DC.

14:27-14:33 / 13:34

In der original version Charlie asks: "Where are you heading to? Did you ever make it to Delphi?"
Rachel: "Yeah, we did. We did, actually. It was really nice."

+ 5.6 sec

15:12-15:13 / 14:13

When Charlie says "In Greece," the original version briefly shows her from the front. The DC removes this short shot and moves the comment over the end of the previous detail shot of Scrabble on the table.

+ 1.2 sec

15:18 / 14:18-14:20

For this, the DC now has a short shot of Rachel in addition.

1.7 sec

Alternativ / Audio change
15:41-15:51 / 14:43-14:53

When Becker fills out the telegram, the DC stays in the shot longer, while the original version switches to Salim earlier.
This also eliminated part of Salim's comment: "(I send a telegram) to my lawyers in Zurich, (twice.)"

No runtime difference

Original versionDirector's Cut

16:39-16:52 / 15:41

The car drives up much earlier in the original version and passes a town sign.

+ 13.4 sec

17:13-17:15 / 16:02

Again, a shot of the street starts a little earlier in the original version.

+ 2.1 sec

The sign of the Austrian-Hungarian border is only translated in the DC with a corresponding text overlay.

18:38-18:42 / 17:25

When Charlie's car is checked, the original version has an additional reaction shot of her.

+ 4 sec

Audio change
19:04 / 17:47

When the officers retrieve the alcohol from the trunk, their comment was erased from the audio track: "Smuggling moonshine is doubly illegal."

Image for orientation

19:25 / 18:08-18:17

The dolly shot over forest/road is much longer.
The follow-up recording begins insignificantly earlier in the original version.

Director's Cut 9.1 sec longer

19:28-19:31 / 18:20 bzw. 18:25-18:29

The original version has another shot of the car ride - but that also comes in the DC shortly after (slightly extended).

Director's Cut 1.1 sec longer

20:01-20:04 / 18:54-18:56

While the original version shows the window again, in the DC the shot from above is a bit longer.

Original version 1.2 sec longer

20:17-20:23 / 19:09

Charlie catches her breath for a moment in the original version before she exits.

+ 6.4 sec

21:01-21:04 / 19:47

Only in the original version the shot of Charlie in front of the car door is briefly interrupted by a cut to Becker.

+ 2.7 sec

As she walks across the court afterwards, a few insignificant frames deviate in the DC.

22:27-22:28 / 21:09

The original version is insignificantly longer as Charlie says thank you.

+ 1.7 sec

22:31-22:33 / 21:12-21:14

Charlie drinks her shot in the DC in a quick long shot. The original version remains with Becker throughout.

No runtime difference

Original versionDirector's Cut

22:55-22:57 / 21:36-21:37

As Charlie drives away, the original version switches again to the close-up shot of Becker. The DC zooms in on him a bit in the previous perspective.

Original version 0.7 sec longer

Audio change
23:17 / 21:56

Different off-comment: Only in the original version does Shimon still say "No, that wasn't the plan" and Becker replies: "She'll need me."

Image for orientation

23:31-23:36 / 22:10-22:24

In the original version, the camera moves to the right of the statue. In the DC, the camera moves in the exact opposite direction and closer to the window in the background.

Director's Cut 7.3 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

23:40 / 22:28-22:32

The DC stays with the car a little longer and has one more shot from above.

3.5 sec

Audio change
24:33 / 23:24

When the observers notice the second car key, their comment was re-recorded in a slightly different way.

Image for orientation

24:44 / 23:35-23:36

Rossino is seen for a moment longer.

1.2 sec

24:46-24:53 / 23:38-23:46

Instead, Rossino's next shot starts 4 sec earlier in the original version - and is 5 sec longer in the DC. Mischief as usual.

Director's Cut 1 sec longer

24:58 bzw. 25:09-25:13 / 23:51-24:02

Rossino wipes his neck in another shot. Here you can already hear Shimon's "Welcome to the fight", which comes in the original version in the shots after that. The camera moves back from the window - this part is shown a bit shorter in the original version after Rossino has put on the helmet.

Director's Cut 6.4 sec longer

25:13 / 24:13

In the shot of the car, a black binocular border has been added in the DC - which fits better with the shots immediately afterwards, where this effect is also present in the original version.

Original versionDirector's Cut

26:51 / 25:51-25:52

Another "Let's move!" at the end of the shot.

0,7 sec

In the following overpowering of the woman there is a striking audio change, as the original versionuses ominous score over the long shot. In the DC it remains almost silent and you can only hear noises from the actual scene.

27:30-27:31 / 26:31-27:20

The Original version inserts a short cut to the approaching Rachel.

This long shot is actually, i.e. in the Director's Cut, significantly longer. There is thus much more scuffling to be seen. Anna tries to escape and is only caught again with a lot of effort.

Director's Cut 47.9 sec longer

In the following close-ups, where Anna is overpowered, one shot is an insignificant 6 frames longer - but without a censor background.

29:43-30:02 / 29:32

In the original version, Charlie goes up to Becker and he comments, "Because you are the type."
It remains silent for a bit and when Charlie gets up, the DC starts again.

+ 19.5 sec

31:03-31:04 / 30:33

Charlie sits in the bathtub for an insignificant moment longer in the original version.

+ 0.9 sec

31:50-31:52 / 31:19-31:21

The Original version has a final close-up of Charlie falling asleep in the bathtub. In the DC, the shots before and after are insignificantly longer.

Director's Cut 0.5 sec longer

33:01-33:04 / 32:30-32:32

The Original version has another close-up of Charlie, now asleep on the bed, at the end of the next scene. In the DC, the shot of Becker before that is insignificantly longer.

Original version 1.2 sec longer

33:09-33:22 / 32:37-32:50

How Kurtz greets Charlie can be seen in (quite similar) alternate take.

No runtime difference

Original versionDirector's Cut

34:19-34:23 / 33:47-33:52

The original version briefly switches to a different perspective focusing on Charlie. The DC remains in Kurtz's shot throughout.

Director's Cut 1.5 sec longer

Original versionDirector's Cut

35:01 / 34:30-34:33

After a few insignificant frame differences shortly before, the DC has an additional close-up of the unconscious Michel here.

2.6 sec

1 of 2