Last updated: February 2010.

This is a list of differences between Pirates of Dark Water (the episodes currently on the air on a select few TV stations worldwide) and Dark Water (the original 5-episode miniseries that introduced the series in 1991). After Dark Water aired, it was edited for its rerelease as the beginning of the new Pirates of Dark Water series in 1992.

  Dark Water Pirates of Dark Water
Niddler was voiced by Roddy McDowall, whose voice is deeper and masculine and less animated, and he portrays Niddler a bit more roughly. I feel it's a very fitting rendition, because Niddler's 20 years old and this actually makes him sound closer to his age. Frank Welker, the man who voiced his more animal-like sounds already, revoiced Niddler, after McDowall left because his request for more pay was declined. Welker does his voice in a more animated and cutesy way, making him the comic relief almost from the very beginning. It works, but McDowall's interpretation is much more convincing in some scenes, and he made Niddler actually seem more clever and "conniving," while Welker's was a bit simplistic, making Niddler out to be cowardly and food-crazy all the time.

The Quest:
Opening scene: The sky is reddish-black. The sky is reddish-orange. This was most likely changed for consistency, since subsequent shots show a reddish-orange sky.
Ren at the top of the lighthouse: Just before the wave rears up and crashes through the window and throws him back, a wisp of white cloud flashes quickly across the window. There isn't any wisp of cloud before the wave hits the lighthouse.
Brigmaster's death: After Bloth drops him into the pit, his scream is cut out totally, as is his falling into the pit, and it goes straight from Bloth letting him go to just seeing his hat flutter down the pit, and Bloth shouting, "Eat well, my pet!" The "eat" was clipped a little bit, so you can tell there's a bit missing.

(NOTE: this could have also been an editorial choice made by the TV station this aired on. I saw a copy that aired on YTV in Canada.)
That scene is added back in, which includes the man falling (towards the "camera;" you don't actually see the constrictus eat him) and screaming.

(NOTE: the only full version of PoDW I've seen was on Cartoon Network. Versions shown on other TV stations may vary.)
Niddler grabbing Ren: Just after Jenna shouts, "Ren!", you can hear Niddler squawking/hissing (the sounds he was making as he broke through the window to begin with). Just after Jenna shouts, "Ren!", Niddler's squawking/hissing is cut back considerably. You can even hear it cut off abruptly just before Jenna calls out after them.
Ren and Konk on the Maelstrom: After Ren and Konk play their brief game of "peek-a-boo" and Ren sends Konk and his axe flying, the sound effects of them hitting the pole with the rope don't line up with the actual impacts. The sound and the action are properly aligned.
The Maelstrom's crow's nest: After the nycra (acidic octopus-like creatures) dissolve through the mast and it starts to fall, when Ren topples out of it and Niddler grabs him, the crow's nest freezes in midair. As Ren falls and Niddler grabs him, the crow's nest topples (though it still moves a bit too slowly).
"That doesn't sound very appetizing..." This line happens while Niddler's carrying Ren away from the Maelstrom, and Ren lies and tells him that he can find food at the Abbey of Galdebar, and he muses over the name "Galdebar." The sound and the images don't line up. The line matches up with the animation.
Pirates in the Abbey of Galdebar: Along with running sound effects, there was a repeating track of random shouts ("Over there!" "Get him!" "Down here!" "That's him!") repeating as the pirates broke through the wall into Alomar's chamber and down the stairs. The shouts are taken out, so the pirates are (eerily) silent as they run into the chamber, though the sound effects of their footfalls are still there.
Ren kicking the pirates away from Alomar: There's a scene (which is mistakenly animated in slow-motion, it seems) where Ren does a sideways jump/kick that knocks a bunch of pirates at Alomar's side out of the way. There's no sound to go with this impact. There's a proper sound effect to accompany this now.
Alomar's last moments: He's lying still for a moment, and when Ren reaches his side, Alomar coughs, says his line, and dies, and Ren leans forward, startled. The first thing we see is Alomar's cough, and after he says his line and dies, Ren blurts, "No!" (they time it with when he leans forward, but Ren's mouth doesn't move), and bows his head, and then looks up as Bloth says his "50 gold pieces" line.
Niddler and the archer: As Niddler attacks the archer who was about to shoot a fire-arrow at Ren, and the archer grabs him and tosses him aside, he doesn't squawk when he's thrown. Niddler squawks as he's thrown aside.
"Now's our chance! Come on!" Ren says this, with Niddler's name right before it, after he dumps the archer that was shooting fire-arrows into the bubbling pool. And Niddler responds with a rather harassed-sounding, "I can't!" In his next scene, when we see that Bloth has him by the neck, his tone changes very abruptly as he begins to beg, "Please, Bloth!" After dumping the fire-archer into the pool, Ren says this line exactly, and Niddler responds by whimpering, "I can't just yet!" This tone of voice works really well with when he begs for his life from Bloth in the next scene (and he starts it off with, "Oh, please, Bloth...").
Learning that they just stole the Wraith: Ren blurts, "What?", and so does Niddler immediately afterwards. Niddler's response is changed into a startled squawk.
"We need less sail." Just after Tula's revealed herself aboard the Wraith, while the Maelstrom's still giving pursuit at the Dragon's Maw, Tula suddenly declares this, and it's almost random because she doesn't explain why she wants to trim the sail. Just before this line, Ren says, "We must slow the Wraith," which explains why Tula took action, and which makes her immediate response and knowledge of sailing all the more impressive.
The First Treasure: Immediately after Bloth's fireball destroys the pinnacle where Niddler's trying to free the First Treasure of Rule, Ren shouts, "Niddler!", we see the pinnacle with the top completely gone, and there's a quick fade-out/fade-in. We then see Ren and Tula staring ahead in shock, and they spin around abruptly upon hearing Bloth roar, "Boy!" After Ren shouts and we see the destroyed pinnacle, there's no fade-in/fade-out, and while Ren's staring ahead in shock, Tula's looking at Ren, and she begins to move forward and open her mouth to say something, but Bloth's shout causes them both to spin around.
Niddler and the First Treasure: When Niddler lands on the Wraith, he reveals that he has the First Treasure in his mouth.

While revealing the Treasure in his mouth, he says, "Ha!"

Ioz, "shot" with an arrow: As Ioz is revealing that the arrow actually hit a golden goblet he had hidden underneath his robe, he assures he's okay them by calmly and congenially saying, "It's nothing, really..." He opens his robe and shows the punctured goblet. "Just a flesh wound." Ioz just says, "It's just a flesh wound."
Ren cutting the sail down: This is during the ship chase through the catacombs in the Island of the Atani. Ioz and Tula look startled when Ren cuts the sail down. Somebody (Ioz? A male voice that doesn't really sound like any of them) says, "Ren!" as it happens, though nobody's lips move.
The cut scene: After Bloth snarls, "Make speed, you slugs! They're getting away!", there's a full scene that follows. (Click the link to read the synopsis.)

The episode ends with Bloth snarling the above line.

In pursuit of Konk's scout ship: After Ioz comments on Konk having more fat between his ears than around his waist, Ren says, "He'd sink his own ship before giving up the Compass and the First Treasure." Ren says, "That Konk," before the rest of his line--presumably to ensure that the viewers know he's talking about Konk and not Ioz. ;o)
The first appearance of Dark Water: It's black, orange, and looks like a very animated blob, to the point of looking almost like a joke and not very menacing. It's all black and grey, making it look more ominous. When they show a brief scene of the Wraith sailing towards it just before it turns, it's still orange-colored. (I think this is the only episode where there's any orange or yellow color in the Dark Water; after this it's all shades of black and purple.)
"Ioz, snap out of it! Look to the riggings!" As Ren shouts this at Ioz right after they notice the Dark Water, we see Ioz on his hands and knees, angled toward the left, staring in horror at the Dark Water...except that his bum is sort of up in the air and facing the "camera." (Heh, gratuitous Ioz fangirl moment!) Ioz's body is facing forward, but he's up on his knees and looking to the right instead. (He's facing left in the next scene, though, so this was a mistake.)
"There are other Treasures! Stop before it's too late!" This is when Niddler is clinging to Ren's arm and begging him to not go to Pandawa. Ren looks at him, and we see a closer view of their heads and shoulders. Ren looks down at Niddler, still zoomed out so we can see him turning the wheel, but he turns away, and looks up and ahead again.
"Konk is full of surprises!" Konk chortles this as Ren and his friends are giving pursuit through the streets of Pandawa--this is when he unscrews his pegleg and throws it at them, and it has a little sharp-bladed propellor on it. Konk also adds, "Eh, Ren?" and an extra chuckle onto the end of this line.
Ren trying to help the monkeybird Queen: The bystanders are shouting at him--"Fool!" "You won't live long on Pandawa!" "Slave-lover!", and their voices are muted so that when Ioz interrupts them and shouts, "Ren! I told you, young mate, no more ale!" (etc.) a moment later, his voice comes through more clearly. All the voices are normal volume.
Ren apologizing to Ioz: As the two of them and Niddler walk up, to the right, and away from the viewer, a humanoid character goes in the opposite direction, closer to the viewer--it's very silly-looking, with a strange face, very exaggerated features, and a really bouncy gait, and it immediately attracts the viewer's attention, instead of having us focus on the main characters. The strange character is replaced with a much more nondescript man.
Cornering Konk in the alley: As Konk and the Lugg Brothers spin around and see Ren and his friends coming, Konk blurts, "Noy Jitat!" They spin around and Konk doesn't say anything.
Niddler cheering over their escape: After they manage to get away from the Securitat and the slaver guards, Niddler stands on top of the building, proclaiming gleefully, "And that's just the beginning, you--dunder-mullets!" (He says this in such a way as if he's looking for exactly the right phrase to describe them.) And if you want more, we'd be happy to--" Ren interrupts Niddler, by grabbing him and dragging him offscreen, and Niddler squawks. Niddler says, "dundered mullets," two words, with no hesitation. And when Ren drags him offscreen, he hisses, "This isn't the time, Niddler--not now!"
The Wraith's been stolen: After Ioz fumes, "Some thief's stolen her!", Ren retorts, "Takes one to know one, eh, Ioz?", and Ioz's eyebrows shoot up and his mouth becomes an O, and he looks really goofy and effeminate for a moment--it's a very out-of-character and giggle-worthy moment. Ioz just lifts an eyebrow and gives Ren an affronted frown, which fits his character much better while still retaining the humor of the moment.
"we stay together as a group now, or we end it. Choose." When Ren asks the others whether or not they'll stay to help the monkeybird rebels, Niddler states, "I'm staying." Niddler states, "Well, I'm staying."

** The Cut Scene: In Dishonor, Episode 2, there's a full scene at the end that wasn't included in Pirates of Dark Water. I've heard conflicting accounts about what this scene actually contains, though; different TV stations most likely made different cuts, and a few people remember somewhat different versions of what Tula tells Ren when the two of them are talking alone.

I was able to rip a copy of the scene from one of my Japanese-language VHS tapes, and have posted it to YouTube with subtitles of the original English dialogue (the Japanese is an almost perfect translation). I will also be putting up the original English-language copy, now that I've found my original Dark Water YTV-recorded VHS tape! A transcript of the dialogue is also available below the clip.


The Wraith's following Konk's scout ships. Dagrons are in the air, following the ship as well but flying ahead of the Wraith.

"Ioz! Tula! Keep that sail as full as possible--we've got a Treasure to steal back!" - Ren, from the helm with Niddler next to him

Scene switches to show Ioz and Tula doing something with ropes and other stuff on the deck. They straighten up, glance at each other, and run over to Ren at the helm, who looks at them calmly but curiously, smiling a little. Scene changes to show a head-shoulder shot of them.

"Ren, Tula and I--ee--erh--" - Ioz, stumbling over his words

"Well, go on--he won't bite you." - Niddler, looking amusedly at them

"We just wanted to thank you for what you did for us back there." - Tula, gratefully

"Ahh... *punches Ren's shoulder, and Ren grins a little* you've got the right stuff, lad--you wouldn't know Dame Fortune if she jumped out of a cake, but you're a good man for all that." - Ioz, kind of with gruff admiration

"*laughs* I'll take that as a compliment because I'm too tired to fight." - Ren, smiling but sounding sort of worn out

Scene changes to an angled overhead shot of the bridge. Ioz turns and goes back to the deck below. Tula starts to turn, but Ren takes hold of her arm.

"Tula, what were you hoping to find among those maps? It could've cost you your life!" - Ren, curious and somewhat concerned

Angle changes to focus on Tula. She turns away from Ren, sobering considerably.

"For some, even that's a small price." - Tula, softly, glancing at him and looking down again

She departs the helm. Ren sits down on a trunk just behind the wheel and kind of slumps forward, Niddler still next to him.

"She's hiding something, Niddler. What, I don't know. *hesitates, and sighs* How am I ever going to gather the Thirteen Treasures of Rule if I can't even unite the four of us?" - Ren, sounding puzzled, frustrated, and actually seeming somewhat similar to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars: A New Hope

"Oh, Ren, don't be so hard on yourself--a few days ago you were just a lighthouse keeper!" - Niddler, stumbling on his words to try and console Ren

Scene pans out over the deck, showing Ren and Niddler in the back looking down at Ioz and Tula in the foreground.

"Ioz is just in this for himself, and Tula's keeping secrets. *scene changes again to profile Ren* You and I may have to continue without them." - Ren, glum but pensive

Quick "eyecatch" of the scout ship and the dagrons before returning to the Wraith.

"If the wind keeps up like this, we'll catch that cob-keeled son of a sea pooch before daybreak, Ren!" - Ioz, heartily

"Lighthouse keeper...maybe that's all I should ever have been..." - Ren, frowning