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Birds of Prey - Studio Updates Us About the DVD Set's Aspect Ratio & Unaired Pilot

In store - at long last! - on July 15th

Posted by David Lambert
In our most recent report about Warner's July 15th DVD release of Birds of Prey - The Complete Series, we added an update that said "the unaired pilot won't be part of the set, and Warner's press site currently lists this as Full Screen (1.33:1)." We said at the time we had an inquiry into the studio about these matters, and they have responded.

First, the great news: a Warner spokeperson informs us that "the unaired pilot will in fact be on the Birds of Prey DVD"! That's terrific news. For those of you not in-the-know about it, the unaired pilot was an alternate version that had Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) in the role of "Dr. Harleen Quinzel" (a.k.a. "Harley Quinn"). Fenn's scenes were later reshot with Mia Sara (Ferris Bueller's Day Off). There were alternate scenes with Barbara Gordon (Dina Meyer, Starship Troopers) ending a relationship, rather than starting it, an opening sequence which was completely reworked for the aired version, and other changes to scenes, score and sound effects. So now everyone will have a chance to sample that version, which is great!

Now for the update about the video format, which may or may not be considered "good news" (depending, ironically, on your personal point of view). The aspect ratio was initially reported as being "Full Screen" (1.33:1) in the studio's original announcement. We've learned that this is both right, and wrong, in a fashion. The studio has informed us that these episodes will be in a matted widescreen video format...essentially 1.33:1, but with black bars on top and bottom to simulate a widescreen broadcast appearance.

For those of you in-the-know about these technical terms, this is the so-called "letterbox widescreen" format, rather than the superious "anamorphic widescreen" (which provides better resolution). For more info about the differences, you can see examples here.

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