In Red Dwarf VII, three episodes are represented by two separate yet equally important versions: the original broadcast episodes, and extended versions released on VHS in 1997. These are their stories.
This must be some kind of record for G&T. Eight years ago, I wrote an essay detailing the differences between the broadcast and Xtended versions of Tikka to Ride, with the promise the rest of the episodes would follow. I thought it was about time to follow through on that promise. I may not be fast, but I get there in the end. I THINK HOLLY SAID THAT IN AN EPISODE OF RED DWARF.
So, we turn to Ouroboros Xtended. As before, each relevant section is transcribed, with Xtended material presented like this. There then follows any technical notes on the sequence, and finally my opinion as to how well the additional material works. If you’ve hung around on this site for longer than five seconds, you can probably guess what my opinions are likely to be, so please feel free to skip those bits if reading me rant on about VII makes you want to come round to my house and smash my head in with a golf club.
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Let’s be perfectly clear. Generally, when talking about deleted scenes – whatever the given TV show or film – the quality of the scenes themselves doesn’t actually matter. When I pop in a DVD, I don’t care how good they are. It’s how interesting they are which makes them entertaining. A scene can be absolutely appalling, deservedly cut… and still be one of the best extras of the lot.
This perhaps doubly-holds for Red Dwarf. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are with deleted scenes being included on the DVD releases; you only have to check your shelves to see which other sitcoms from 1988 include such things for the proof of that. (Mind you, sadly these days, budget cuts across DVD ranges mean we’re lucky to get them for a sitcom made today.)
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Red Dwarf is blessed with a good number of tie in books, both official and unofficial, but not quite *enough* to have any tension over which will be included or not included in a list such as this. As such, they’re pretty much all here, but since it’s been a while since we’ve talked about any of them in any great details we thought it would be worth taking stock of the pulped tree based tie-ins and sort out the good from the garbage. As always this is just my opinion and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve taken more than a few liberties with the ordering anyway so don’t let it worry you too much.
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Nearly a decade ago, we embarked on a mission to record commentaries for every single episode of Red Dwarf. Progress is slow, and occasionally entire years will pass without an update, but we’ll get there eventually. However, getting a high proportion of G&T staffers in the same room at the same is a rare, nay freak occurrence, and so when we actually get a chance to blabber through an episode of our favourite show together, we usually want it to be an episode we actually like. Luckily, two men with strong stomachs and erratic sleeping patterns are on hand to wade through the shit bits when all others have gone home or fallen asleep…
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Reports are emerging that Craig Charles has landed in Australia, in order to appear on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!. Tweets report that he’s been spotted at Brisbane Airport, and the Mirror have quotes from Craig himself.
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It’s over fifteen years ago now that Red Dwarf Remastered was unveiled to a waiting public. Ever since then, Dwarf fandom has debated: is there something good about it, something laudable? OK, OK, we’ve never fucking liked it. But is it time, perhaps, for some quiet re-evaluation? Are the new CGI effects maybe not as bad as we thought? Does the film effect make the show look better? Maybe that cut dialogue was actually a pretty good idea in retrospect?
Well, no. Much as I’d love to be a contrary little shit, I’ve just re-watched all nineteen episodes and nearly died of a brain haemorrhage. Sure, maybe there’s some good changes that people have forgotten – and we’ll get to those later. But most of them still leave me blinking with bemusement, or shouting at the telly, or blinking with bemusement and then shouting at the telly.
Yet… there’s a part of me that feels an article like this is somewhat graceless. After all, from a UK perspective… we “won”. The original versions were those first released on DVD. Repeats on TV are always the original versions as well (aside from when Dave screws up and shows the Remastered version of Marooned). Doug Naylor himself has admitted that the project didn’t go as well as he’d have liked. At this point, sneering at Remastered doesn’t seem quite as useful as it did fifteen years ago, when it genuinely – if unintentionally – felt like these versions were indeed replacing the originals.
But then, G&T has never really worried about being graceless. So don your pixel-proof gloves, as we present: The Top 10 Worst Things About Red Dwarf Remastered.
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Exiting news for fans of Gerry Anderson, puppets, models and big bastard explosions as the aforementioned Kickstarter for Firestorm is STORMING towards the funding date after not only reaching its target but securing two stretch goals. On top of the base minisode that is now already entering pre-production, we’re also getting a whole extra set and scene and, to the undoubted delight of a certain Mike Tucker, “A HUGE EXPLOSION”. If I was a betting man I would put money on that explosion being closely and devastatingly related to that tasty new set…
Since there’s still 9 days left to pledge, it’s more than a little likely that the third goal will be met, providing funds for a new puppet and if something remarkable happens, and a further £69,000 is pledged in that time, then we can look forward to a full 22 minute episode. I think what we’ve learnt here is that this stuff is severely expensive, so if you want to see more Firestorm then don’t be as tight as Rimmer would be in this situation!!!!!1
It was exactly two years ago today that Red Dwarf X burst onto our screens, heralding a brand new era of regular new series, sensible production schedules, and crystal clear communication with the fans as to the show’s future. In a change to your scheduled programming, High & Low looks back on the very best and very worst Series X Scenes. By sheer coincidence, all six episodes have at least one representative in the top ten, although the same even spread does not apply for the bottom five, with one episode taking up 60% of those spaces. What episode could that possibly be? Bearing the usual “only this writer’s opinion, not that of G&T as a whole” caveat in mind, read on to find out…
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An exciting new project has appeared on Kickstarter – Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm, a sci-fi pilot to be filmed in Ultramarionation, which is a modern evolution of the style used for Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray. That means, as the Kickstarter page proudly boasts, practical effects, physical sets, miniatures and puppets. This would all be incredibly exciting even without all the Dwarfy connections. Our old chums The Model Unit are involved, with Mike Tucker listed as providing Model Effects. He’ll be joined by Red Dwarf X alumni Bill Pearson and Steve Begg, as Model Supervisor and Effects Supervisor respectively. That’s a hell of a pedigree right there. The very finest model makers in the land will see their shit blown up by one of the greatest shit blower-uppers in the business.
Having launched only this morning, the project is already at the halfway mark of its original goal, so a 5-8 minute minisode seems extremely likely to be produced, with a further strong chance of the stretch goals to provide much longer versions being reached. We really hope this happens, both because the concept of the series looks great, and because it’s always good to see hard-working talented folk like The Model Unit being rewarded with projects they’re guaranteed to excel at.
Fans of how Robert Llewellyn pronounces “terror” rejoice as our critical DwarfCasting eyes have finally fallen on the mildly underrated series V episode Terrorform. Join television’s Ian Symes, Sweden’s Danny Stephenson and disappointment’s Jonathan Capps as they discuss Kryten’s metaphor hunt, Chris Barrie’s slippery pliance, uneven leg joints and, as a special ‘treat’, the remaining deleted scenes from the Series V DVD.
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