The Colourised Bewitched -- sort of OK....... sort of!

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by anthony, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. anthony

    anthony Guest

    I was sent a review set of the Australian release of Series One of
    'Bewitched' -- here in Australia we're being offered only the
    colourised version.
    My natural preference would be for the original black-and-white
    version. But on viewing, I can say that the colourisation is a lot
    better than some other efforts I've seen -- a bit too brightly coloured
    at times, but dropping colour levels to about half normal produces a
    very viewable result.
    I know tonal values are different, but if colour is dropped altogether,
    the resulting black-and-white pic seems to offer good contrast levels
    and seems a pretty fair approximation of the original black-and-white.
    I'd rather have the real thing though........
    anthony, Jun 17, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. anthony

    free2002 Guest

    i only ever remember seeing color version on Tv so which season did they
    actually introduce the color episodes?
    free2002, Jun 17, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. anthony

    Guest Guest

    i only ever remember seeing color version on Tv so which
    Season 3.

    -- jayembee
    Guest, Jun 17, 2005
  4. anthony

    Mike Guest

    Season 4, season 3 was the last B and W season

    Mike, Jun 18, 2005
  5. anthony

    Scott Baker Guest

    And then they started to remake the B&W episodes...
    Scott Baker, Jun 18, 2005
  6. anthony

    muzhed Guest

    GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!

    The reason the original early season episodes of this series
    and just about anything made for television around that time
    were in B&W was because the producers couldn't see the
    need to do it any other way. Colour (color?) transmission
    in the US was a few years away and of course no-one had
    any conception of the way TV shows may come to be
    considered cult icons with seemingly endless repeats and the
    concepts of home (tape) video and ultimately DVD were
    WAY into the future.

    In 2005 Woody Allen or Spielberg or Joe Newby may make
    the 'artistic' choice to make a movie in B&W but I'd be sure
    the choice for the filming style of a weekly sitcom in the early
    1960's was 99% financially driven, i.e. colour was an
    unnecessary expense.

    So the way I look at it is if they can do a good job with the
    colorisation, and I think these days it is more than acceptable,
    just watch it (in colour), enjoy and forget about the colour

    Having risked running the gauntlet of a flame war I want to
    add that I have a different attitude to the film world,
    especially toward what are generally regarded as classic

    Indeed, Orson Welles famously stated, "Keep Ted Turner
    and his goddamned Crayolas (colorisation) away from my
    movie (Citizen Kane)." This, of course, ultimately represents
    an artistic decision by the director.

    In regard to a film like Casablanca while I would think cost
    was probably the main factor for its B&W it is arguably a
    better film because of it. So, I think there is a far greater
    argument that can be had about the application of
    colorisation in movies.

    Let the debate rage on.

    muzhed, Jun 18, 2005
  7. anthony

    Invid Fan Guest

    Most shows tend to end up remaking the earlier ones if they run long
    enough and run out of ideas.
    Invid Fan, Jun 18, 2005
  8. anthony

    Jeff Rife Guest

    muzhed () wrote in
    That's wrong.

    There were several color broadcasts of "real" programs in the US in 1955
    and they used the same standard that analog color broadcasts in the US use
    today. I know there were experiments before that using both NTSC and
    other standards.

    By the time "Bewitched" started in 1964, there had already been major
    real series television broadcasts in color:

    Sep 12, 1959 "Bonanza," TV's first full-hour Western color film series began
    Jan 20, 1961 Inaugural Parade of President John F. Kennedy is presented in
    Sep 24, 1961 Premiere of "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color," full-hour
    Sunday series of color TV programs ranging from nature stories
    to animated cartoons, from tales of adventure to famous
    classics and musical extravaganzas.
    Fall, 1962 ABC began the colorcasting of filmed cartoon shows "The
    Flintstones" and "The Jetsons".
    Jeff Rife, Jun 19, 2005
  9. anthony

    muzhed Guest

    While my grasp of the history US TV transmission I might not be
    as detailed as yours if I had put the words 'Full time' in front of
    "Colour (color?) transmission the US was a few years away"
    the point would have been better made. I think this quote I found
    in an article about the history of colour TV in the US sums it up:
    "But it was not until 1966 that NBC became the first network to
    show the color we all now take for granted on all of its programs."

    So my basic argument that the producers of Bewitched and other
    similar programs thought filming in colour was an unnecessary
    expense remains the same.

    muzhed, Jun 19, 2005
  10. anthony

    Jeff Rife Guest

    muzhed () wrote in
    That's as may be, but the reason wasn't because it wasn't already happening
    for other series. "Bonanza" had been showing in color for five years, and
    ABC (the network that showed "Bewitched") had several programs in color

    The same thing is happening today. Short-sighted producers are still filming
    in formats that aren't HD-friendly (in particular, editing on videotape at
    SD resolution), but the more intelligent ones are filming in HD even if
    their shows don't currently air in HD.
    Jeff Rife, Jun 19, 2005
  11. anthony

    Invid Fan Guest

    I'm sure budget has something to do with it, and if they feel the shows
    would last. Why bother if it won't bring in extra money down the line?
    Invid Fan, Jun 19, 2005
  12. anthony

    i'm good Guest

    I have on DVD colour video of an American TV show from 1965,
    the tapes were mostly wiped and only 3 colour episodes remain
    of Hullabaloo. The decision in 1966 was to go 'all' colour.
    I prefer the original black and white, preferring to see a show as it
    was originally shown, no 'improvements' are possible, just no cuts.
    If I did get Bewitched I would buy it from overseas.

    i'm good, Jun 19, 2005
  13. The problem with so many article written about past events, is the
    authors often weren't there and get their info from someone else -
    who often wasn't always there - and thus get it wrong.

    I saw my first NBC colorcast when the broadcast/journalism students
    made a field trip from U of Idaho, Washington State College [now
    WSU] to Easter Washington College of Education in Cheney - as it
    was closer to the KHQ TV transmitter in Spokane.

    We had lectures on how color worked, and an engineer had set up the
    TV set - it may have been one of the original 15" round RCA color
    tube units - but memory says it was a bit larger than that.

    To show us how to set it the engineer mis-addusted the set and then
    turned the settings so the red squares were on top of the others.
    Then he left.

    And when the colorcast started - NBC would show color on one major
    program every Sunday. The reds were diplaced by one unit on the
    original setup. The program was The Desert Song - and in close ups
    the red of the singers mouth was about one-mouth away from the real
    mouth. I still remember one of the commercials - adapated to the
    Desert Song theme. There was dune and suddenly 3 or 4 Oldsmobiles
    in parallel came hurtling over the top of one.

    That was with in the fall of 1956 or the fall of 1957. So your
    commnent about NBC, color and 1966 was almost exactly 10 years off.

    Before the '50s were over NBC had a daily color program - that ran
    at noon [Pacific time] - and was a live drama. It was done during
    the day so that stores could demo color. There was always a major
    program in color on Sunday, and during the nights there were
    occaisionaly color programs. And the cameras were HUGE. There
    were as wide as three of the normal tube-type cameras - as they
    were essentially three mono-chrome cameras operating in parallel
    after the image had been split by dichroic filters.

    On some B/W sets of the day you could tell when the original
    program was in color as the picture could be seen as being made up
    of dots instead of lines.
    As color adavanced many places started filming in color thinking of
    the future and being able to take advantage of the medium's future.

    I'd suggest going to a library and looking for archives of
    Broadcasting Magazine. I think it was orignaly Radio Broadcasting,
    became Radio/TV broadcasting, the TV/Radio Broadcasting, and the
    just Broadcasting. You'll get more accurate information by going
    to the sources than authors who often stumble with historical
    items, relying far too often on word-of-mouth which is often wrong.

    I can't give you any exact dates as I have exactly one copy of
    Broadcasting and that dates to the 1960s'. But as students that
    was one magazine we always read in our progress toward a
    broadcasting degree.

    Bill Vermillion, Jun 19, 2005
  14. 'Filming' in HD is not like 'filming' in the '50s and 60's where
    they used real film. The early video recorders weren't that great
    - but better than kinescopes.

    But going to tape for HD isn't that much more expensive than
    using real color film over b/w. That was a major cost.

    And anymore you don't have to worry if the shows will last - as
    there are so many cable/satellite channels there is not enough
    programming to fill them. You can syndicate almost anything that
    was worth running the first time - even if they didn't make it to a
    full season.

    Bill Vermillion, Jun 19, 2005
  15. anthony

    Bob Guest

    By 1966, all three of the major networks were producing virtually every
    program in color, but the big push really did begin around 1960--when NBC
    began broadcasting quite a few of its primetime programs in color. Unlike
    earlier efforts, this time the change was permanent, and onlly grew bigger
    with each passing season.

    By the mid 60s, NBC was promoting itself as "The Full Color Network." ABC
    was second in terms of colorcasting by that time, with CBS being the
    holdout. CBS' entire primetime schedule remained in black/white until either
    1965 or 1966--possibly because CBS had pioneered a competing, non-compatible
    color system in the early 50s, which was initially adopted but later
    rejected by the FCC. The FCC chose, instead, to eventually give the nod to
    the NTSC compatible color system that remains in use to this day, which was
    pioneered by RCA/NBC. In 1962, someone complained to the TV Guide editor
    that, "Color TV is here to stay, but CBS probably wishes it would go away."

    Lucille Ball recognized the importance of color, perhaps eyeing the
    syndication market, and "The Lucy Show" was filmed in color beginning with
    its second season, even though the telecasts were only shown in black/white
    over CBS for the next two or three seasons.

    I think you're right about economics being the reason behind the early
    black/white episodes of shows such as "Bewitched." Personally, those early
    black and white episodes are my favorite episodes. The writing was
    marvelous, and the lack of color doesn't bother me in the least.
    Bob, Jun 19, 2005
  16. .....

    The Korean war kept the CBS color-wheel system from being the one
    we use today.

    RCA's NTSC wasn't a good as the CBS version when the the FCC
    approved the CBS version.

    The Korean war meant there was a moratorium on issuing contruction
    permits for new TV stations so very few stations ever transmitted
    the CBS version. On some sets the CBS version just gave a
    scrambled picture, on others it gave 4 smaller pictures on the
    screen, but overall it was incompatible.

    During the moratorium RCA 'perfected' [and many agree it's far from
    perrect] their NTSC. So it was easy for the FCC to approve a
    system that was compatible with B/W rather than have viewers
    replace all their B/W receivers or get convertors to handle
    the CBS system since there were so few receivers and transmitters

    Some of the protype pictures I remember were truly bizarre. Since
    the wheel had to be spun in front of the screen it had to over
    twice the width of the screen and as the wheel got larger the edges
    of the wheel moved pretty fast. I saw one photo of a proto-type
    that helped overcome this by putting the set inside a rotating

    One of the more ingenious methods for having large screnn 3'x4'
    color TV in your home in 1960 was an article in one of the hobbiest
    electronic magazine that fascinatted me.

    It involved by the guts of the discontinue Philips projection
    system that used [from memory] a 1" [or maybe it was 3"] tube and
    was in a cabinet that projected upwards.

    The guts were available for $99 each. The design were for coffee
    table units to give you a 3'x4' projection unit.

    There were two approaches. One converted the NTSC signals to
    field sequential and you built a rotating disc to go in front
    of the Philips tube to view NTSC as a field-sequential

    The other approach was to put three of these devices into the
    coffee table, and split the color signal into 3 pieces and feed
    each to one of the units. I can imagine convergance could be a

    It was probably about 10 years after these article that the first
    prouection units came out - with very expensive tube/lens
    combinations - as the 21" color sets were still about $1000 then.

    Things surely have changed since the days of John Logie Baird and
    his early work.

    Bill Vermillion, Jun 19, 2005
  17. anthony

    Bob Guest

    Thank you for this posting, most of which I've clipped for brevity. The CBS
    system was introduced just a few years before I was born, so my earliest
    memories are of NTSC colorcasting.

    Many years back, I used to enjoy going to the public library and browsing
    magazines from the 40s/50s. One day I ran across an issue (possibly "Life,"
    I'm not completely certain) that published a couple of still photos that
    were taken from a screen of a television receiver that was designed to work
    with the CBS mechanical wheel color system. The color/clarity in those still
    photos was absolutely astounding, and it indeed was far superior to anything
    that RCA's NTSC system would have been capable of at the time.

    I'm happy we never had to live with a television receiver that contained a
    whirring disc (the earliest B/W sets in our household broke down with
    alarming frequency anyway), but CBS had a winner in terms of image quality,
    judging from those photos.
    Bob, Jun 19, 2005
  18. anthony

    Invid Fan Guest

    I'm not too sure about that, just going by a memory that while the
    first season of Star Trek wasn't highly rated on it's own, it was one
    of the highest rated color programs that year ('66). If everything was
    in color at that point, the two ratings lists would have been almost
    the same.
    Invid Fan, Jun 19, 2005
  19. The CBS system used sequential scans of each colour. The first colour
    picture tubes were in development in 1951, these used one gun
    "dithered" though a magnetically-controlled mask to strike one of
    three rows of colour pixels. Under consideration was a method of
    charging then discharging special long-persistence phosphors so as to
    display all three colours at once for a very low flicker, pleasant,
    full-colour display. While based on radar technology already in use
    this would still have been a very expensive technology just for
    "premium" units, so the mass-market sets would have had cheaper
    non-storage picture tubes with sequential scans of each colour on each
    phosphor. By 1953 the shadow mask tube would have been coming to
    market, (as they did for the NTSC service.) In the late 1950s a form
    of static bubble memory was being developed which would have been able
    to dynamically store one scan of one colour, the output of two memory
    stores could thus be matrixed with the third live scan to provide a
    non-sequential colour picture. All this is to build up to the fact
    that the colour wheel was only a short-term solution to the CBS
    Sequential SANS memory system. The Secam system was developed when it
    had become practical for all home sets to cheaply store at least one
    LINE of colour (nowhere near the full field needed for the CBS method)
    and thus Secam was designed with the short-term memoery as part of the

    ... Steve ..
    Steve(JazzHunter), Jun 20, 2005
  20. anthony

    Guest Guest

    By the time "Bewitched" started in 1964, there had already been
    Not to mention that TV shows were being shot in color as far back
    as 1950. THE CISCO KID, a syndicated series of that time was shot
    in color, even though it was broadcast only in B&W for years

    -- jayembee
    Guest, Jun 20, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.