Ever since the DVDs were announced, hardly a day goes by without us speculating about what extras we’ll be seeing on future releases. This document is a collection of our thoughts and hopes so far, as well as an evaluation of whether we got what we wanted on the discs released since the article was first published.
From sources such as the BBFC and the official website, we already know that the Series II disc will include an interview with Doug Naylor, the full length version of Tongue Tied, trailers, model shot footage and the Red Dwarf A-Z. It would also be good to see full-frame versions of Androids and Channel 27 News. In a geeky, purist way, we’d like to see Parallel Universe as originally broadcast, i.e. without an on-screen title or title sequence, which were added for the original VHS release.
Well, we got the full-frame Androids sequence that we craved, and what’s more; it contained footage that was deleted from the final episode. Presumably, such footage doesn’t exist for Channel 27, which is why it was omitted. Fortunately, Parallel Universe was indeed presented as originally broadcast.
We’ve already seen one deleted scene from this series, the Poker scene from Marooned, and we are told about several scenes cut from Timeslides in the Programme Guide. Robert Llewellyn’s first ever scene, in which he uses his thumb as a cigarette lighter, was also cut, and so should be included. It would be excellent if the script for the infamous Dad episode was included in this release. We also anticipate forwards versions of all the speech from Backwards, for fans who lack the technology to reverse it for themselves! The isolated music cues should be good in this series; Craig Charles wrote three songs for Timeslides alone. Interestingly, the VHS release of Polymorph contained a slight cut. The word ‘weeks’ was cut from the opening announcement, so it started: ‘This Red Dwarf contains…’. Obviously, it will matter not one iota which version we get, but the original would be preferred.
Sadly, we didn’t get to see the Timeslides scene, due to the rushes tape not being available. The same was true for the Marooned tape, but we did get to see the scene from Smeg Outs. Not only did we get forwards versions of the speech from Backwards – we got the entire episode reversed! And a full version of Craig’s ‘Cash’ (wasn’t he in The Royle Family) made it on the
We didn’t, however, get the script to Dad. Then again, we got a new 80-minute documentary, a tribute to Mel Bibby, footage from Dimension Jump X and shitloads more. And yes, the original broadcast version of Polymorph was used. The same is true of Backwards, which came complete with plinky-plonky sounds on the PJP logo.
Can’t think of too many specifics for this series, so maybe a miscellaneous feature, such as Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg or Universe Challenge, should be put on. There is, however, an alternate ending to Dimension Jump, which is a freeze-frame of Rimmer’s face as the kippers come tumbling down on him, which should be included. We know that footage filmed at the 2003 convention Dimension Jump X will be included on either the Series III or IV DVD. Perhaps the series containing the episode with the same name as the convention will be preferred.
Chronologically, both Red Dwarf US pilots should be put on this disc, but rights issues will most definitely scupper these dreams, no matter how hard Andrew Ellard tries to get hold of it. However, there’s no reason why a full-length version of Holoship can’t make its way onto the extras disc. We’re told in Son of Soup that over ten minutes worth of stuff was edited out, so it’d be great to see those scenes in context rather than have them separate, although if it was a choice between the broadcast version or an extended version, we’d plump for the original every time. The Programme Guide tells us that the explosion effect we see in Demons & Angels actually lasted over a minute. It would be great to see all of this. It is also hoped that more shots of the beautiful Holoship model are included, as well as unused shots of the Self-Loathing Monster and the Despair Squid. In 1995, Back to Reality was repeated on BBC2 as ‘The Best Red Dwarf Ever’, along with an introduction recorded especially by Craig Charles. For a sense of completeness, this introduction should be included.
We fully expect the original ending, as seen on Smeg Ups, to be included, along with the original ending to Rimmerworld. We know that at this point Robert Llewellyn had started to bring his camcorder along with him behind-the-scenes, so if the footage still exists it would be excellent to include as an extra. It was at the recording of Psirens that the crew made their contribution to Comic Relief’s version of Bohemian Rhapsody. If the camera rushes survive, it would be good to have the whole song as mimed to by the crew. If not, the broadcast version, which includes footage from countless other BBC programmes will suffice. This series went on to win an Emmy, so it would be great to have the awards ceremony footage for this.
Before the series aired, the special effects were featured in How Do They Do That?, a BBC programme asking how various people do various things. This could and should be included as an extra. Also, as it was recorded between Series Seven and Eight, any remaining programmes from Red Dwarf Night should be on here. We know for a fact that Robert Llewellyn’s behind-the-scenes footage for this series is still available, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be included. We’ve already seen many deleted scenes in the Xtended video, and they were just from three episodes, so the deleted scenes for this series could be immense. We also expect there to be the full-length version of the Rimmer Munchkin Song, as seen on the Xtended vid. It would be good to have a featurette detailing all that happened between Series Six and Seven, for the benefit of newer fans. Similarly to Parallel Universe, Ouroboros and Duct Soup should be shown without title sequences. The Programme Guide tells us that a new ship, White Midget, was made for this series, but never used. Footage of it should be included on the DVD, along with all the other model shot footage that was filmed, but couldn’t be used due to late script changes.
In November 1998, the Red Dwarf crew appeared in a short sketch for Children In Need. This offered a sneak preview for Series VIII and as such needs to be included on this disc. A short time before Series VIII premiered, Norman Lovett appeared as Holly on Tomorrow’s World, in a feature about computers with Artificial Intelligence. As Tomorrow’s World is a BBC programme, we are sure this appearance could be included, especially as an older edition of the programme was used on the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy DVD. Back when the series first aired, Grant Naylor Productions announced a ‘making of’ video to accompany the series. The video was eventually scrapped, but we understand that a significant amount of footage was filmed for it. This is because Robert Llewellyn has reported that he was unable to film his own behind-the-scenes footage for the series, due to GNP’s cameras already being present. Given the effort that GNP have put into the DVDs so far, we hope that they will get hold of this footage and finally produce the ‘making of’ feature that we were promised in 1999. If there is room on the extras disc, it would be good to have the original hour-long edit of Back In The Red, including the sequence set in a different AR suite set that might actually make the story make sense (although this will almost certainly make it into the deleted scenes anyway). The Series VIII script book reveals many deleted scenes, notably the Chummy/Saddo sequence from Krytie TV and the original ending of Only The Good… in which Rimmer is left to die. Not included in the script book, are details of another alternate ending, in which the crew take control of the ship, and, more alarmingly, the original ending to Pete (Part Two), in which Archie flies right up Hollister’s jacksie. Footage of this would probably bump the certificate up to a 15, but for God’s sake, it would be worth it.
As previously mentioned, the fans would love to see both pilots for Red Dwarf USA released. However, if it doesn’t materialise, we can presume that this is for rights reasons. The same goes for other independently made spin-offs, such as Danny John-Jules’ promotional video for Tongue Tied and the fan-made Red Dwarf: The Other Movie. We would love some Dave Hollins Space Cadet episodes from Son of Cliche to be included, as these are much sought-after and are part of Red Dwarf’s history. We can also dream for script versions of unshot footage to be included, such as the afore-mentioned Dad, Series Eight’s Earth, the episode removed from Series I at rehearsal stage and the quite alarming episode written for Series Seven in which The Cat has to have sex or face death. For reasons of completeness, all of Red Dwarf Night should be included at some point. General extras that are expected for each series include Cast Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Smeg Ups, Model Shots Footage, Trailers, Isolated Music Cues and Stills Galleries. It would be nice to have a Writer(s)/Director commentary that isn’t taken from the Six of the Best CD for at least one series, but if rumours of feuds between the three chaps involved are true, it’s unlikely – although a crew one would be excellent. A Peter Wragg commentary, anyone? It would also be good to have as much variation as possible in the animated menus. Although it is vital to get the feeling that the series is a collection rather than eight individual releases, it would be a little samey to have the drive room and the bunkroom for each series. Finally, it would be good to have the original continuity announcers, and rushes from the series (such as on the Hitch-Hikers DVD).
The level of effort and care that Grant Naylor Productions is putting into these DVDs is amazing. They are clearly trying to create a damn-near-perfect set of DVDs, rather than ripping the fans off with sub-standard releases. For these reasons, we are sure that most of the hopes and expectations listed in this document will be fulfilled as far as possible.