I was hoping to give an unqualified recommendation to today’s release of Duckman: Seasons 3 & 4, a moderately-priced 7-disc, 48-episode set that completes the series. But CBS/Paramount has been up to their old editing tricks, cutting out little snippets of music and singing wherever they think they can do so without anybody noticing. I haven’t gone through the whole set yet, but I have counted at least two glaring cuts so far:
– In “Role With It” (Duckman and family go to a therapy group led by Dana Delaney, or at least her voice), a scene of Cornfed in the car with Fluffy and Uranus has been cut, because they were singing “Abba Dabba Honeymoon.” Instead Duckman just mentions that they’re in the other car, and there’s an awkward dissolve to the next scene.
– In the Star Trek parody “Where No Duckman Has Gone Before,” the following scene of Duckman singing “Mr. Tambourine Man” is now gone. The DVD just cuts from him saying “Oh, girls!” to the girls screaming and kissing him.
I’m still glad I have a copy, and would still recommend it to Duckman fans, because at least some of the episodes are uncut; this show didn’t use that much licensed music, and at least some of it (like the songs sung by Coolio and Joe Walsh in their guest appearances) is intact. But this casual snipping of a scene here, a scene there, anything that saves the tiniest bit of money is in some ways even more annoying than wholesale, obvious music replacement — if only because it’s so surreptitious, done with the assumption that people who haven’t seen the episodes before won’t notice anything is wrong, and therefore won’t complain.