Now that we've had a little time to explore the Peacock version of Wing Commander Academy, LOAF has put together a report on the show's audio/video quality, missing footage and other errata. The results are pretty good! Based on the sound alone, this is probably the current definitive edition for your next watch party. Read on for more findings!
I've finally had a chance to take a close look at Wing Commander Academy streaming on Peacock and can provide some nerdy details as it compares to other ways to watch. My verdict: good but not perfect!
Here's a comparison, the DVD and then the Peacock stream. For my money, the DVD seems compressed and looks slightly better, though Peacock's higher resolution source files might be better if we could ever access them directly.
Another visual comparison, DVD then Peacock. Audio is another story: several parts of the DVD suffer from BAD mixing where the music drowns out dialogue. The great news is that that is not the case at all on the Peacock version. Clear audio throughout.
Now into the weeds. The broadcast version had an audio bug in "Word of Honor" that made certain parts of the GI Joe-style Repleetah flashbacks hard to hear. This is fixed on both the DVD and the Peacock versions. Drill tanks, baby, drill tanks!
Additionally, the material cut for the Arabic localization in 2003 IS present here and on the DVD. Which is to say, the shot of Archer's pajamas and the whole scene where Dr. Singh wears a bikini (you know, the worst possible things in a story about a genocidal scientist).
Captions! I was excited about this but am only half pleased. The DVD has no captions so this is automatically an upgrade... but while they're mostly pretty good, they are someone doing them by ear today and NOT the original broadcast captions. Most errors are Kilrathi names:
Here's the most interesting/unfortunate one: when we did the DVD I had to track down a broadcast tape of "On Both Your Houses" because about 20 seconds (shots of Archer in her cockpit) were missing from act 3 of the master. You can tell from the slight quality dip on the DVD:
Apparently our work DID NOT make it back to Universal because they replace the missing shots with this goofy looking still of Blair, which is very noticeable in the middle of the climactic dogfight! But that does tell us the Peacock version is from the master and (not) ripped from DVD.
Strangely, the most exciting thing about Peacock for Wing Commander obsessives may be that it also includes SAVAGE DRAGON. Savage Dragon is a monster who is also a cop, which is the precise opposite of how that works in real life.
Season 2, Episode 8 is part of an insane crossover in which Michael Dorn played a space viking named the Warrior King who visited four different cartoons on the same day. The Savage Dragon episode has only been available as an off air VHS dub until now!
That's everything I've found so far! I'll leave you with what you came here to see; the Warrior King and the Savage Dragon chowing down on some Chicago hot dogs: