I’ll Ask The Audience!!!!!!!!!1111111

Interesting one, this. Watch Series III, and note that the audience laughter is really very prominent at times – the shrinking boxer shorts, the Toffee Crisp and Milkshake, Hudzen 10 breaking a brick with his willy, and so on.

In Series IV, however, the audience reaction seems quite understated. I can’t think of any standout reactions like the above (can any of you lot?) – but also the audience just seems far more quiet throughout the episodes. For some reason, White Hole stands out to me – it’s widely regarded as a classic episode, but it gets relatively little audience reaction. Particularly the “A White Hole?” scene – one of the best ever moments in Dwarf, but hardly anything from the audience. Presumably it was shown on monitors, as it relies so much on editing, but even taking that into account, surely it warrants more of a response than it gets?

Is this just a question of how the sound was mixed in the edit suite? Or did IV genuinely have less of a reaction from the audience? I wanna know!

32 Responses to I’ll Ask The Audience!!!!!!!!!1111111

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  1. There’s at least one young woman who was present in the audience for probably all of series IV. Once you recognize her easily distinguished laughter you’ll start noticing it all over the series. The double-polaroid scene from DNA occurs to me as having an extreme audience reaction…but it could just be the brain-damaging shrieks of that particular girl.

  2. It’s obvious that the editing of audience laughter was changed from series IV onwards. It went more sitcomy and probably more ‘professional’ i.e. laughter in exactly the right places. In earlier series the audience seem to have free rein and sometimes don’t even laugh at things. However, things like the boxers scene are just what makes filming in front of a live audience so great. Stuff like the ‘a white hole?’ scene were probably done in pre-record because of the cutting. I might be wrong though.

    I HATE the laughter in series VII & VIII. They should have got the bankers in from Series I to do the laughter for these – it would have been more realistic. Instead we seem to get people wetting their pants at shit jokes. Forced laughter. It crops up all over shitty BBC sitcoms like My Hero and Eyes Down and *shudder* Carrie and Barry.

  3. You’re right about the double polariod scene. I’d forgotten about that.

    I’ve heard some people say that they can hear some of the same laughter noises throughout VII – for want of a better term, that the laugh track was ‘sweetened’ somewhat. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know.

  4. I remember hearing somewhere that the audience reaction for White Hole actually was poor.

  5. And the winner of the ‘most annoying member of a Red Dwarf audience’ goes to…

    That bint who gives a loud groan during ‘Tikka to Ride’ when Lister says “Be a second gunmen…the gunmen behind the grassy knoll”…

  6. “Shriek as if in pain”

  7. I was talking to an acquaintance last night about – what else – RD. He said that he was a friend of Jane Killick (SF journo, a major contributor to the late, lamentented smegazine), and would be seeing her next week.
    That holds little import, I just thought it was interesting.

    Anyway, he was telling me that he went to the recording of DNA, and, like Robert Llewellyn’s nephew (it was his nephew, wasn’t it? Correct me if I’m wrong), was very disappointed not to see Kryten in the flesh.

    It reminded me of when I received an invite from Grant Naylor Productions in the autumn of 1996 to attend the audience screenings of series VII.

    My mum wouldn’t let me go. I still hurt. :'(

  8. Probably has something to do with III being recorded in a Manchester TV studio that was permanently set up for audiences (seating and microphones), rather than the Shepperton sit of IV, which had to be kitted out every year. And probably in never quite the same way twice.

    Also of note – any examples from Bodyswap should be considered carefully, as it HAD not audience until the later screening.

    As for the Series VIII laughter…well, we were there, we laughed. It’s as real as it gets. Sorry about that.

  9. > Probably has something to do with III being recorded in a Manchester TV studio that was permanently set up for audiences (seating and microphones), rather than the Shepperton sit of IV, which had to be kitted out every year. And probably in never quite the same way twice.

    I hadn’t thought about that! I’m sure you’re right. It got a bit better by VI I think.

    > Also of note – any examples from Bodyswap should be considered carefully, as it HAD not audience until the later screening.

    Forgot about that as well. In that case, the milkshake/Toffee Crisp reaction is a fantastic one to get from just watching it on a monitor.

    > As for the Series VIII laughter…well, we were there, we laughed. It’s as real as it gets. Sorry about that.

    It’s amazing how many people still think that canned laughter is ever used in sitcoms.

    Still – do you know if VII has some bits of the track sweetened with additional laughter? I don’t mean that in an unpleasant way or anything – there could be any number of reasons why it was done – I’m just interested.

  10. >Still – do you know if VII has some bits of the track sweetened with additional laughter?

    Heh. Certainly no more than any other series – laughs can be shuffled, but always, so far as I’ve been told, come from the audience track recorded, and always during the main sessions, not warm-up or ad-lib. (Also, that way GNP/BBC ‘own’ those laugh performances.)

    Much like the main picture recording, tweaks and tidys always happen with the laugh track – because of special FX noises and music which would be added later, because of audiences inconsiderately laughing in the ‘wrong places’… (By which I mean places that sound innapropriate after the fact – say, during a Lister ‘aren’t humans poignent’ monalogue, over a feed or plot line.)

    So sure, things get tweaked and moved. Usually from take to take, though – like the audience reaction to the reveal in Back to Reality (show edit is a combination of takes one and two, but the laughs are from take two becuase they were too stunned to laugh the first time).

    Of course the laugh track for VII didn’t have a ‘take two’, though I believe that over several audience screenings, most episodes were played more than once. So I suspect – but cannot say for sure – that the best laughs would have been taken for any given scene.

    Also, VII was a nightmare in the edit due to people laughing over feed lines, no matter how long the actors pauses were…

    Finally, laughs get shortened as well as shuffled. The boxer shorts scene and the leg-crossing in Krytie TV (deal with it) both had the full laugh truncated.

    More on this in the doccos (probably)…

  11. Excellent. Ta for that.

    > leg-crossing in Krytie TV (deal with it)

    Hey, I like that bit! I don’t hate all of VIII by any means – there’s individual moments that I think are some of the funniest stuff ever in Dwarf, even if I don’t think the series or episodes hang together that well. And I do have a bit of a soft spot for Krytie TV. “To make up for it and show how truly sorry I am, here’s two bags of self-raising. Something I didn’t need *any* help with yesterday.”

    > More on this in the doccos (probably)…

    Hooray! Whilst you’re here – is there going to be anything about the film effect applied to VII on there?

  12. > is there going to be anything about the film effect applied to VII on there?

    Not really. Naturally the general glossyness is covered – but we’ve not gone into the field removal process as it’s a bit…hmm, what’s the word…?

    Anyway, no. That and the white lines on Kryten’s mask are the only two bits I can think of that we’ve not hit on.

    *is still trying to get the doccos down to a reasonable 90 minutes each*

    BTW, big, huge, fantastic DVD extra now a definite. Can’t reveal until July, but it’s a belter…

  13. > what’s the word…?

    The sad thing is, I’d probably be *interested* in seeing Rimmer’s photo collection of twentieth-century telegraph poles.

    > BTW, big, huge, fantastic DVD extra now a definite. Can’t reveal until July, but it’s a belter…

    *unzips fly*

  14. “BTW, big, huge, fantastic DVD extra now a definite. Can’t reveal until July, but it’s a belter…”

    Ooooh!

    Let the speculation begin, then. I’ll start us off. The ‘Earth’ script?

  15. Footage of Chloe Annett’s foaming twat?

  16. Twattage of Chloe Annett’s foaming foot?

  17. Annettage of Foot’s foaming Chloe?

  18. You forgot the “twat” part there, John.

  19. Annettage of Foot Twat’s foaming Chloe?

  20. “*is still trying to get the doccos down to a reasonable 90 minutes each*”

    Don’t feel too obliged, I’m sure we won’t mind if they’re longer! ;)

  21. 90 minutes is still about 15/20 longer than the others, though!

    If these turn out to be the best DVDs then I’m going to drown in a pool of my own… irony.

  22. “90 minutes is still about 15/20 longer than the others, though!”

    Well, yes. There’s 2 extra programmes a series to cover you twit :P

  23. “Well, yes. There’s 2 extra programmes a series to cover you twit :P”

    There’s only 5 stories, though :P

  24. Im VIII, that is. Fair point about VII.

  25. “There’s only 5 stories, though :P”

    Five, you say?

  26. In VIII there’s only 5 stories, yes. Back in the Red, Cassandra, KrytieTV, Pete and Only the Good.

  27. *smacks head on desk*

    It’s a quote from BITR Pt.3

  28. “It’s a quote from BITR Pt.3”

    Listen to me Kirk… look, just shut up, just shut up

  29. You step through this door and you’ll get enough wattage up your jacksy to light up the whole of Bootle.

  30. The only bit of audience laughter that sticks in my head is the bit after the following line from Legion:

    KRYTEN: Listen to some of the physicists involved – Heideger, Davro, Holder, Quayle…

    The reason why it sticks in my head is because I don’t know what the hell they’re laughing at.

  31. What could that huge extra be? An interview with Rob Grant saying how shit he thinks the series is? Or maybe it’s just 30 minutes of Doug screaming into the camera ‘I’M SORRY!! PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR THIS SERIES! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, IT WAS THE FUCKING BBC! AND CRAIG, HE WROTE THE SCRIPTS NOT ME, THAT’S WHY THEY SMELL OF HEAVILY SOILED UNDERPANTS AFTER A TRIPLE FRIED EGG SARNY (WITH CHILI SAUCE AND CHUTNY)!!! I’M SORRY!!!!!! By the way, the movie is out next May.’

    Episode III – the dialogue sucked, the action ruled. Fuck the world.

  32. Also: “two pound black ribbed knobbler”.

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