Re-Mastered

Well hello there. I’ve been called upon by Mr. Capps (White Hole top guy, best mate, taxi service and occasional dancing partner) to write a piece about why I like the remastered episodes more than the originals. There are few who seem to agree with my position on the subject and Capps especially is of the opinion that this article would be more appropriately displayed in an edition of Gruesome Tales From the Crypt than on his website. Having said that some may argue that the whole of my life, and everything that’s in it, is a gruesome tale to be told over the flickering embers of a campfire. A tale to instill terror in small children. A story well deserved of Alfred Hitchcock or Jim Abrahams.

Red Dwarf and me then. I’ve been watching the show for rather a long time, too long perhaps, and have a rather neat collection of all 6 series taped off the television. People keep telling me they made another two series but I wouldn’t know anything about that in a similar way to the fact I know very little about York ‘s sewerage system. I’d probably know more but I don’t carry a poking stick around with me very often. “What’s your favourite series?” I hear you all cry. Well it’s Series 2 and I like it best because, well, I enjoy watching it more than the others. Queeg is my favourite episode and it’s my favourite episode because, well, I enjoy watching it more than the others. It’s got the best lines, lots of Norman , and a final scene which I ascribe to be almost perfection (so long as I’m watching the remastered episode of course).

So why do I like the remastered episodes better? I’m not keen on the CG ships, I’d have preferred model shots any day of the week. I don’t like the skutters whizzing along the foreground in The End and they shouldn’t have touched Series 3 at all! So why? Well for starters I enjoy the superior audiovisual quality of them. I’m finicky about such things and I like to hear the little noises that are unavailable in the originals. They give the show just a little more depth for me, there’s more there to convince me that what I’m watching isn’t just a bunch of blokes on set, and as a result I enjoy the episodes more. They had a little more Norman too which is always a plus point.

Of all the changes that took place, though, the one that drives it home is the new music. I say this to people and they look at me funny; “But it’s not the original, it’s not Howard” but to me it IS the original. Up until very recently I’d only ever watched the remastered episodes and as a result it is the new score that is forever linked with the first two series for me. It’s the new score that accompanied me through what are my two favourite series and all the great moments that go along with them. When I finally got a butchers at the originals the music seemed totally out of place, totally alien (well it is sci-fi I guess), and far less moving than that I had grown up with. It felt like I was watching the episode in Welsh. Besides the fact I think the new music is better composed for the show, it suits much better the oft melancholy feel, I think it’s my familiarity with the remastered episodes that sways my opinion in their favour. Ostensibly when you watch The End for the millionth time you’re not enjoying the episode itself but the memory of the first few times you watched it. The first few times I watched Series 1 & 2 they were remastered and from that point onwards they will always grab me in a way the ‘originals’ never can.

Oh and it was Capps that suggested Howard didn’t do the remastered music. I can’t be bothered to look such things up so if there’s an error in this premise then it’s all Capps’ fault for not knowing enough about Red Dwarf. Great site he has though isn’t it? Wez Rules!

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