Series III DVD Preview: Byte Two

Quite a lot has appeared in various places about the III DVD since our last article – and we’ve thought up some more rantings. Here we go…

Firstly, easter eggs. We know there will be four of the damn things. One of them will obviously be a Polymorph animated snippet from Six Of The Best, like the first two DVDs. The BBFC listing reveals that this will be 11 minutes 17 seconds – a lot, considering the one on Future Echoes was 2 minutes 26 secs, and the one on Dimension Jump will be a mere 1 minute 40 secs.

Secondly, in our interview with Andrew Ellard, he revealed that there is one at the end of Marooned; tacked on so the episode could be re-classifed by the BBFC as a 12 rather than kept as a 15. The episode is 16 seconds longer than the original episode, which might give you a clue as to its length. Ahem. As for what it is, well, Andrew wasn’t saying – but there’s no prizes for guessing that it’s probably something to do with Marooned itself. Perhaps something that isn’t a behind-the-scenes viginette, but something that fits in with the episode itself? Pure guessing, there.

As for the other two – well, take a look at this section of the BBFC listing for the Series III extras:

00:11:17:16 | RED DWARF - POLYMORPH
00:00:24:17 | BONUS DELETED SCENE - POLYMORPH
00:01:16:09 | UNTITLED
00:00:16:17 | UNTITLED
00:00:35:22 | UNTITLED

Bonus Deleted Scene – Polymorph! Well, that’s one taken care of. As for the other – well, presumably the last two untitled ones are the two trailers, leaving a 1 minute 16 second egg that we know nothing about. A rushes snippet? Some original continuity? Hmmm. Whatever it is, Ellard has promised that “the easiest to find are also the most predictable content-wise. The cooler ones are tougher to track down…” – and this DVD Details article has promised the eggs will be rather more cunningly placed than the first two DVDs…

Right – deleted scenes. As we’d hoped, an excellent DVD Details article has appeared detailing these. These seem even more exciting than the ones for the first two series. It’s difficult to pick out the highlights, but the eight unused episode intros from Hattie will be fascinating – we didn’t even know they considered having a Series I/II style introduction to Series III. As the rest of the intro went unrecorded, the decision to drop it must have been taken as soon as they saw how it was turning out. Even the caption to it pictured suggests Rob and Doug thought it was rubbish. Other excellent scenes should be the “full, uncut growth of the polymorph model”, the hologram box scene (also pictured in the article), and “Holly’s drunkenness takes its toll on her processors”.

And, of course, we’re intrigued by the promise of the dialogue explaining why the audience can explain Rimmer’s forwards talk in Backwards. The weird thing about this is that the Backwards script in Son Of Soup contains no such explanation – though it does contain the amusing cut Cat line “Just how is he gonna do this one? Mirrors?” Seeing as Son Of Soup contains many cut lines and sections, it was either removed deliberately, thought up on set, or perhaps is just a different version of the script. Hmmmmm. (There’s many anomalies with the various scriptbooks that we’ll be exploring in an article shortly. For example, the Me² script in Son has quite a few changes to the cinema scene, missing out the brilliant “Ah, that’s Citizen Kane, alright! Unmistakable.” Of course, many scriptbooks have these kind of differences in – what would have been nice is a set of footnotes.)

The loss of the tapes featuring Robert Llewellyn’s first day, and the odd bit of dialogue from Marooned is sad – but it’s difficult to feel too upset about it when you see all the other stuff that is there. The majority of the rushes have survived, which is more than can be said for a lot of sitcoms from 1989…

Interestingly, the deleted scenes article reveals that one deleted section of Bodyswap – “Rimmer persuading Lister to swap bodies” – was cut because “it became clear that the audience were ahead of the story and knew what Rimmer was about to suggest”. The Time Hole article on the production of Series III reveals: “Regardless, the final edit – complete with dubbed voices – was played to a small audience at the Paris Radio Studio, London to provide a laugh track.” Does this longer version exist any more? Even if it does, there might not have been room on the DVD for it (there are over 3 hours of extras) – and we doubt many other changes were made. Still, it would be interesting to see, if it does exist – if only for Bodyswap without a laughtrack as much as anything else.

A couple of other things. Andrew Ellard in our interview revealed that All Change – the documentary about the making of Series III, is his favourite extra on the disc. For some stills of it, see the Mr Flibble Ross McGinley interview – it looks magnificent. The model shot still backgrounds are such a perfect way to present the interviews. (Oh, and we know it’s not relevant – but we still find the Mr. Flibble questions hilarious after god-knows how many interviews.) This is the one feature that takes our minds off the fact there aren’t any production/crew commentaries. It’ll be fantastic. Secondly, a DVD Details article detailing the chapter points has been published since our last preview. We think we can safely say that Polymorph‘s “Twat It” is the best chapter title of all time. (The rest are rather evocative, too.)

Finally, here’s an interesting little curio. Look at the pictures for the episode selection in this DVD Details article – specifically, this image. Notice the problems? The minor point is that Bodyswap is spelt Body Swap – a mistake that we even make here at G&T at times. And the major one? Timeslides and Bodyswap are the wrong way round – in the order of the video release! Now, the video release order was changed purely because the powers-that-be thought that Timeslides was a better title for the video. Obviously there is no such problem for the DVDs – can we assume that Digital Deluxe simply got it wrong and used the video order – and this will have been corrected for the final release? (The article was published early September, and all other information coming out of GNP, such as the cover, or the chapter listings have the episodes in the correct order, and spelt correctly.) It doesn’t really matter if it isn’t – it’s hardly a major point – but it would be odd.

We’re fairly excited about this release…

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