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Special edition - extras worth it?
on 12 November 2005
This is the extended version with 10 episodes rather than seven. In fact, the old first episode is now lengthened into 2, so the boys don't depart until episode 3. It is interesting to hear more detail about the problems they faced getting it all together, plus more footage of their Scotland trip and pre-project trip to Australia.
All other original episodes are present, except the last, which has been extended to 2 epsiodes to cover the North American traverse in more detail. Again, this is welcome, although the challenges to the bikes here seem to be more of the human variety, rather than the natural variety as in Mongolia. Added footage includes more of Alaska (bears, including a debate between the boys about the morality of shooting bears), a visit to the Harley factory and more words from the boy's better halves.
The final episode is more of a one year on retrospective and is a fitting conslusion, providing an insight into how the series was received and how it changed the crew's lives.
The other extras, on top of those on the original DVD are interesting, mostly of interview footage, but include comments from the cameramen, director and producer. They make interesting viewing for fans of the series. After viewing this, you understand more of what they whole team went through and a little more detail about some of the events.
Overall, this Special Edition is exactly what it says, and is worth buying if you already have the original and became hooked. It is clear that the producers wanted to utilise a little extra budget to produce a better product (which they couldn't do first time around as they didn't realise how popular it would be). The inclusion this time of subtitles in several languages is also welcome - even if some of the more expletive comments don't translate too well. I shall always enjoy lip-reading Charley when he says how he intends to show KTM what a mistake they made.
The other members of the crew, and Ewan and Charley's wives and relatives all get a little more coverage - which is interesting, as well as providing clarification of some issues that cropped up. It also emphasises the human side of the whole endeavour - and how much of an undertaking it really was, as well as featuring some of the other sponsors who helped the project.
I would also recommend the book to anyone who enjoyed the series - it provides details that aren't incuded in the DVD.