Academy DVD Marked Down for the Holidays
A number of people have written in to report that Amazon is now selling the Wing Commander Academy DVD collection for just $7.99. It's not clear if this price reduction is in any way permanent, but with the holiday season fast approaching, this is a great opportunity to pick up some additional copies for gifts. Just this Summer, Amazon increased the price to full MSRP ($35) after their initial batch had sold out. It's been confirmed that the set is region locked to North America for licensing reasons, but overseas fans can pick up a Region 1 player for cheap, or explore more creative solutions.
Long-time visitors will know that you can watch Academy in three ways: storyline order, production order or by original air date. LOAF recently shared where he currently stands on the issue:
Yes, the episodes on the disk are in production order; that is, the order they were finished by Universal. With a live action show, production and continuity orders tend to be fairly similar... since shows are shot in a fairly linear fashion. With cartoons it's more complicated, since a swath of episodes are written and animated at once.
Order doesn't matter a GREAT deal on Wing Commander Academy. As AD notes, there is a proper 'timeline' order that you can watch them in, but much of that just won't matter.
Red and Blue comes first and the two-parted (Price of Victory/Glory of Sivar) comes last. The Last One Left should be second (since it's introducing the Tiger's Claw setting and several secondary characters) and then The Most Delicate Instrument third (since it introduces Archer's oft-referenced story arc.) Other aspects of watching in timeline order are more trivial... Blair mentions the events of Expendable in Chain of Command, Word of Honor in Recreation and so on.
I actually kind of like the production order regardless, though, as it gives you Chain of Command, the show's strongest episode, early in the run. When the show originally airead the early episodes were swapped around and you ended up having both the "they eject and are stuck on a planet" shows one after the other. Which sort of made manifest everyone's fears about fighter pilot shows, that they could only ever be coming up with excuses to get the characters out of the cockpit.
Another thing to note is that Red and Blue is by far the series' weakest episode... and it's very different in style and tone than the rest of the show. It's clearly FIRST, but you need to watch it with the understanding that that's not what the rest of the series is going to be like.