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Pilot (Extended Version)




Air dateunaired

Running time55:49

Production code

Written byJonathan Nolan

Directed byDavid Semel

Images (3)

The right person in the right place with the right information could change everything.

— Finch

[[[Talk:Template:Ep/1x01EC|Suggest quote]]]

The extended version of the pilot is a 56 minute cut, available on the Season 1 DVD.  It includes footage not used in the broadcast pilot, and expands on several storylines, including how Finch recruits Reese, Fusco's testimony, Reese's rescue of an early POI, and Carter's extended interrogation of Reese.

The extended pilot is available both with and without commentary by Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman. In the commentary, Nolan notes that the original version of the pilot would have run nearly 70 minutes as shot. Some of the unused pilot footage was incorporated into other episodes, and much of the remainder was incorporated into this version.


Origin of the Title

Main Plot Points

Differences from the Broadcast Pilot

The broadcast pilot differs from the extended cut in two major ways: the extended cut contains new scenes not included in the final cut and many scenes, including some flashbacks, are longer versions of scenes that were broadcast. In addition, there is a minor sub-plot about the character Reese originally believed was behind the threat to Diane Hansen that was cut.

Jonathan Nolan and Greg Plageman noted that the original version of the pilot was nearly 70 minutes, but that some of the scenes filmed were used in other episodes. They also noted that much of what was cut was additional exposition that expanded the story when it was in written form, but wasn't needed on screen. Despite this, they lamented the loss of several scenes of which they were particularly proud.

This cut is not intended to be a definitive cut of the pilot, but rather to show DVD viewers some of what was cut. Not all of the footage available was used; some was incorporated into later episodes.

Pilot Script

In addition to the Directors' Cut, an early version of the pilot script was made available online. Most notable among the differences from the filmed pilot was the more overt portrayal of Reese as suicidal, something the pilot hints at, and Reese or Finch later allude to, but which Reese never openly admits.  

In this script, the episode would have opened with a scene of the derelict Reese climbing onto a bridge rail, then staring into the water.  He finishes a pint bottle of booze as we hear his well-known "no one is coming to get you" speech in voice-over.  He drops the bottle toward the water, watches it fall into the darkness, seemingly preparing to jump when fireworks begin, and the viewer sees it's the Fourth of July.  It's enough to make Reese shake his head at the irony, and in the next scene we see him encountering Anton and his friends on the subway, having decided not to jump.

Episode Notes

  • In this version, the apartment that is now used as Nathan Ingram's loft was given to Reese.
  • During early flashback with Jessica, Reese tells her that he is going to buy a boat and she can be his first mate, implying that he wanted her to go away with him. In the same flashback, Reese suggests that Jessica did not tell her mother about him because she was embarrassed that he was not an officer like her ex. Reese tells Jessica "I've been training my whole life for something that is never going to happen. Everyone is too damn rich to go to war. I'm obsolete and I love it."


Main article: Pilot_(extended_version)/Transcript

Start a Discussion Discussions about Pilot (Extended Version)

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