Birds of Prey: Season 1, Episode 0

Unaired Pilot (2 Oct. 2002)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Drama
7.2
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Title: Unaired Pilot (02 Oct 2002)

Unaired Pilot (02 Oct 2002) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Maria Quiban ...
Newscaster
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Young Dinah (as Amanda Michalka)
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Mother
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2 October 2002 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Actor Bruce Thomas who played Batman in the pilot episode previously played Batman in a series of commercials for Onstar that featured the character. See more »

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User Reviews

WB hated the original pilot but picked up the series for 13 episodes
25 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What's interesting about the unaired pilot is seeing what the original concept of the series was before the WB network started dictating changes for the short-lived series. Co-Executive Producer/Writer Hans Tobeason has said that it was a wonder that the show developed die-hard fans because it was a constant struggle between the WB network, DC Comics, the Warner Bros. TV and Warner Bros. movie divisions, and the Tollin/Robbins production company about the direction of the show and the way they wanted the characters portrayed.

The WB hated Oracle/Batgirl being in a wheel chair and wanted to push the younger Huntress character to attract the young adult audience. The writers didn't know what to do with the Dinah character, since she didn't have any super physical abilities, and they debated writing her out of the series. DC Comics nixed the use of any of the major DC characters, and the writers could only reference minor ones. The Warner Bros. movie division told the TV division hands off Batman and the Joker. The TV division had them shoot on the Warner lot instead of Toronto, which limited the scope of what they could do. Stories with non-meta villains were vetoed. The writers were exiled from the set and the production offices. The network wanted Harley Quinn dropped at one point. On and on.

The pilot differs from the first episode in a number of interesting ways. The biggest change is the re-shooting of all of Sherilyn Fenn's scenes with Mia Sara as Harley Quinn. Fenn is obviously miscast, reciting her lines as if comatose, and showing none of the required "evil genius" qualities that Sara brilliantly brings out in the broadcast version.

The opening of the pilot is more hard-hitting than the aired episode. The introductory sequence uses a newscaster reporting the break-up of the Joker's crime syndicate in New Gotham and the murder of Selina Kyle, also known as Catwoman. Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, sees this report on the TV and hears a knock at the door. She assumes it is Kyle's daughter Helena coming to her for help, but instead the Joker is there with a gun, shoots her, and leaves her for dead.

The visuals for the beginning are basically the same in the broadcast version, minus the newscaster footage, but the sequence is softened by having Alfred the butler narrate the events as if they were a flashback sequence.

The pilot then pretty much follows the same path as the first episode with a bit of editing here and there, and the insertion of the new scenes with Mia Sara as Harley Quinn. A major variance is an early scene where Barbara Gordon is actually breaking up with her boyfriend of six months, Wade Brixton, while the broadcast version substitutes a scene where Wade is asking Gordon out for the first time, thus creating a romantic sub-plot for the 13 episodes. This break-up scene was actually used in a later show to save money.

A minor variance is that in the broadcast version, a grown-up Helena Kyle blurts out that her father is Bruce Wayne in a session with Harley Quinn while in the pilot, Kyle is much more elusive and doesn't name names.

Although there's not a great deal of difference between the two versions, overall, the pilot pulls the viewer into the world of New Gotham quicker, while the broadcast version tries to explain things more, which is what the network insisted on.

This pilot showed great potential and succeeded in creating a fully realized comic book world. The various pressures put on the writers pulled subsequent shows in the direction of Smallville with freak-of-the-week plots and Helena Kyle coming to grips with being a meta-human in much the same way as Clark Kent has to embrace being Superboy.

After the series was officially canceled, the writers were relatively free from interference, and the show finale "Devil's Eyes" brought the series back to where it started, as an exciting super hero comic book show.


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Message Boards

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Why the Show Failed? Kclanning
This show had very good potential, svgbtz1
This series needs to be started again pachilles
At first I liked the show.... Optimus3202
Why cancelled and is it worth buying? Ysquare
No masked for the Huntress? svgbtz1
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