aeon flux vhs vs dvd: The Demiurge

demiurge650

screenshot from Bregna 2415 (resized, autoleveled)

In the '90s, MTV, between the "shitty music video" era and the "spring breakers" era, briefly hosted some trippy animation. Aeon Flux emerged then, under the direction of Peter Chung, who was 30 at the time, with all imaginative pistons firing. Shortly thereafter MTV released the three seasons on VHS tape, and in 2005 Chung remastered the tapes and re-released them on DVD. To the annoyance of some fans, he added new dialog to four of the shows. He claimed this was to bring the characterizations of Aeon Flux and Trevor Goodchild "into better continuity with the series as a whole." New dialog was also written for the character "Clavius," former leader of Bregna. Three of the episodes he altered (this one, "The Demiurge," "Reraizure," and "End Sinister") were directed by Howard E. Baker, a fourth, "Utopia or Deuteranopia," was directed by Chung himself. Here are some belated notes on the changes to:

The Demiurge
VHS DVD
Trevor: Light, in the absence of eyes, illuminates nothing. Visible forms are not inherent in the world but are granted by the act of seeing. Events contain no meaning in themselves, only the meaning that the mind imposes on them. Yet, the world endures whether or not the mind exists. I endow the lives of my people with meaning. I tell them to follow me and they come. But I can no longer stand the sleepless nights. I think I will stop worrying. I think I am learning to love the Demiurge. Trevor: Light, in the absence of eyes, illuminates nothing. Visible forms are not inherent in the world but are granted by the act of seeing. Though the world and events do exist independent of mind, they obtain of no meaning in themselves. None that the mind is not guilty of imposing on them. I bid my people follow and, like all good equations, they follow. For full endowment of purpose, they do submit. In turn, they resign me to a role inhuman, impossible and unaccountable. But I can no longer stand the sleepless nights. I think I am learning to love the Demiurge.
Trevor: On the whole, the engagement seems to have gone well. The Monican resistance has failed. The launch of the missile has been stopped. Now to dismantle that crude shell and let the Demiurge bring peace. Trevor: Ground engagement effective. The enemy resistance has failed. Monican launch effort has been scrubbed. Target payload is secure. Dismantle that cheap rig and let the Demiurge bring us to peace eternal.
Trevor: Yes? Damn violence... I know. But you’re alive, Rubio.
Rubio: I’m as good as dead, sir.
Trevor: You’re not as good as dead.
Rubio: I’m not as good as I would be dead?
Trevor: That’s not what I... You will understand.
Trevor: Yes? I didn’t want this either. But you’re alive, Rubio.
Rubio: I’m as good as dead, sir.
Trevor: You’re not as good as dead.
Rubio: I’m not as good as I would be dead?
Trevor: Understand why. What we’re doing here.
Aeon: Do you see how the blue light is making those patterns on the joints?
Nadir: Yes. It's beautiful.
Aeon [slapping Nadir]: It's dangerous!
Aeon: Do you see how the blue light is making those patterns on the joints?
Nadir: Yes. It's beautiful.
Aeon [slapping Nadir]: It's delusion!
Aeon: Stay here. Cover me. Aeon: I’m going out. Just keep me covered.
Aeon: No!
Trevor: Yes, the Demiurge! Now you will see.
Aeon: I don’t want to see.
Trevor: But you will see.
Aeon: No!
Trevor: Yes! It is that which is!
Aeon: It is not.
[Nadir has been killed and zombified due to Aeon's oversight]
Aeon [with concerned tone]: Nadir, how are you?
[Nadir has been killed and zombified due to Aeon's oversight]
Aeon [with guilty/ironic tone]: Nadir, uh, how are you?
Trevor: It could have changed everything!
Aeon: Change everything yourself!
Trevor: I will.
Aeon [flinging gemlike, forcefield-encased bullet away]: No one changes me.
Trevor: It could have changed everything!
Aeon: Not the ways that we are.
Trevor: Everything.
[Aeon silently flings gemlike, forcefield-encased bullet away]
Celia: You know something. Tell me what you know.
Aeon: The joints were too weak. The head is finally gone. But you can't tell what a man thinks when he's... But love doesn't solve anything.
Celia: You know something. Tell me what you know.
Aeon: What I know? He said the light was beautiful. Yes, it was. No use, see? Because the truth isn't even pretty. What else? Oh, right. Love isn't the answer, it's the problem.
Aeon: That bird. Then it's still here.
[Aeon traps bird in rectangular case]
[Aeon traps bird in rectangular case -- no dialogue]
[Additional footage and dialogue added to scene of Trevor drafting a speech using his tape recorder]
Trevor: Shedding our animal nature, we prepare a vessel for the advent of merging wills. We become like infants, primordial and innocent. The return to the womb... The rebirth... What the Demiurge offers is the opportunity to be made whole, to be one with the eternity residing within us. Trevor: Natural evolution should amount to nothing by now but a vicious cycle of obsolescence. A world unaccountable to its own past and doomed to repeat indefinitely.
Aeon: You don’t know what you’re doing. That thing...
Trevor: ...is your salvation, and mine.
Aeon: I didn't ask for it. I don't want it.
Aeon: You don’t know what you’re doing. That thing...
Trevor: ...is your salvation, and mine.
[Aeon doesn't reply]
Trevor: It is the everywhere, the everything, the every all.
Aeon: I won't argue over the color of skeletons when they were horses. Aeon: I'm not in the habit of arguing over the color of red herrings.
Trevor: And so, deprived of eternity, we're left to live in the here and now, amid our vanities, our fears, our petty flaws.
[Brief Nadir/Celia dialogue]
Trevor: But it is out there waiting for us, and it will not be denied.
Trevor: If but the cosmos could possibly have come about innocent of history and not wholly ignorant of all its potential, unprejudiced but aware...
[Brief Nadir/Celia dialogue]
Trevor: ...rather than that its only trial be performed at the mercy of all its error.

other comparisons: Utopia or Deutoranopia / Reraizure / End Sinister

Update: This is my own comparison and transcription, based on review of the VHS and DVD versions of this episode. After posting (sigh) I found this tumblr post. I made several additions to my chart based on that transcription.