Thursday, January 14, 2016

13 Half-Hours of the New Gadget Series Available on iTunes Canada in Standard Definition

I have an update on Australian iTunes and DVD releases coming later today, but before that, a quick mention of another country where the new TV series has been available on iTunes for a while: Canada. This release apparently comes directly from Teletoon, the Canadian network which ordered the reboot from DHX (or Cookie Jar at the time development started). It was published on iTunes on September 7 of last year, the same day the reboot started broadcasting on Teletoon Canada... and if memory serves, more episodes have been added to the package after that inital release date. It now totals 13 half-hours:

Unfortunately, in terms of picture quality, it is not as good a deal as Universal's Australian iTunes releases. The episodes are only available in SD (Standard Definition), whereas Australian iTunes customers can choose between SD and HD. Also, the iTunes Canada release doesn't follow the original production chronology of the episodes, but instead seems to use Teletoon Canada's broadcast chronology.

I haven't been following Teletoon's airing of the reboot very closely, but I do remember seeing the episode "Fountain of Cortez" (ep #17a in the original episode chronology) being advertised on their Facebook page only one week after the September 7 premiere. Teletoon was airing the series weekly, every Monday evening, during the initial launch - and as mentioned before, they aired two half-hours on the premiere day of September 7. Which means that episode 17, broadcast one week later, was the third half-hour to air on their channel. And of course, it is also "episode 3" in the iTunes Canada release of Season 1, Vol. 1; so it all adds up.

Why did Teletoon decide to mess with the episode chronology? I believe the answer is fairly obvious: By the time they premiered the Gadget reboot last September, the first 13 half-hours of season 1 had already been airing on Boomerang in most countries for many months (as well as received DVD releases in Australia) -- and the first 16 half-hours had been up on Netflix US for almost as long. Even if Canada didn't officially get any of those releases, Canadian fans certainly had a number of opportunities to watch those half-hours early. So what would the most attractive option for Teletoon be? To start off with episodes which have NOT been available globally for a long time, obviously. So after episode 1, "Gadget 2.0" - which is necessary to set up the series - they followed not with episode 2, but with episode 24... and then a week later, with #17.

The chronology does jump back to episodes from the series' first half after that, as we can see above, but this reasoning still makes sense to me as far as the first few premiere weeks go.

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