Recently I watched through a miniseries on the History Channel called The World Wars. The premise of the series is that many of the major figures from World War 2 had defining experiences during World War 1. Through reenactments and historical footage, the series showed the transitions they went through from their younger selves prior to and during the first war to their older selves in the second. A day after I finished the series, I saw a commercial for a rerun of the series on H2, the History Channel’s sister channel, however what was going to be shown was an extended version with extra scenes that did not make the cut in the original showing. This reminded me of how the Lord of the Rings movies had the theatrical versions which you saw in theaters, but when they came out on DVD you could get the extended editions of the movies which included footage that was cut from the theatrical versions. Thus, I have decided to call this phenomenon of showing one version of some sort of media at one time, and then showing an extended version at a later point, Lord of the Rings Syndrome, or, more shortly, LOTR Syndrome. Although Lord of the Rings was not the first film to do this, it is the one that stands out most in my mind, and therefore it gets the honor of having a syndrome named after it.
Unlike DBZ Syndrome, LOTR Syndrome can potentially be a good thing. If the original version was solid, and the additional material is actually meaningful, then an extended versions can be a nice bonus to the experience. If, however, the original version was not so good, then the best an extended version can hope to do is salvage the experience somewhat. I’m still debating whether or not I will watch the extended version of The Worlds Wars, not because I didn’t like the series but because I don’t know if I want to dedicate the time to it. If I do, I’m hopeful that what I’ll get will be the good sort of LOTR Syndrome.