Identity Within

Set your faces to stunned. Teh Ellards has been billing this as the biggest thing ever for quite some time, and I think he has a point. Chris Barrie has recorded the entire script, stage directions and all, complete with impersonations of the cast, music, sound effects and even storyboards to accompany the audio. And he’s in character as Rimmer, for the first time nearly seven years. Bloody hell.

As has already been speculated over on OD, this could be the start of something massive. How excellent would a series of Who-style audio dramas be? Even if it leads to bog all, it’s still going to be a fantastic extra. Even though most of us are already familiar with the script. Ahem.

The piece was recorded on the 9th May. How the *fuck* did GNP manage to keep it to themselves for two months?

35 Responses to Identity Within

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  1. YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ahem.

    Sorry, it’s just that I didn’t get to read the script before it was removed from the site, so this is all the more awesome for me.

  2. A thought: how would it be if they did the same thing for “Earth” on the VIII DVD?

  3. I honestly doubt this will lead to more Dwarf audio plays, as nice as that would be. However, Antipodean has one hell of a tempting guess regarding “Earth” for series VIII.

    Ellard was quite right to get us worked up over this. In the back of my mind I was pretty much convinced that the “mystery extra,” regardless of how good it was, would disappoint compared to all the hubbub.

    But no. This is the real magilla. And what a magilla it is.

  4. It would make a lot of sense to do ‘Earth’ for the VIII set. You never know, it may have already been done… Chris may have recorded the two scripts. That is unless something like a TV special to wrap up the series is planned.

  5. > It would make a lot of sense to do ‘Earth’ for the VIII set.

    It would do…but sadly that script was never written. It was only ever a concept, ruled out fairly early on during producing (note: not pre-production!) when the ridiculous cost of doing it became clear.

  6. “producing”

    That shoudl say ‘production’, obviously.

    * * *

    BTW, Doug says that the ‘Mc’ from Kryten was taken out after the episode shoot (but pre delivery to the Beeb, I think) on advice from the lawyers.

    As you may or may not know, all scripts go through a legal check because…well, what if there really was a vindictive restart officer named Pauline or a hotel owner named Fawlty?

    *awaits this mythic MP3 with baited breath*

  7. “shoudl”

    And that should say ‘should’. Christ I need a holiday…

  8. I’m very glad to see Andrew encouraging my ILLEGAL DUPLICATION OF RED DWARF AUDIO.

    Ahem.

    The mythic mp3 should be up by the beginning of this coming week. I’ll be picking up the tape Sunday.

    Rest assured, if the “Mc” is not present, I’m going to feel very, very bad.

    But I must have watched the episode dozens of times on that video and I have a CLEAR memory of its existence.

    Keep waiting.

  9. I just noticed Andrew’s League of Gentlemen reference. Wheee, we share a common interest! (another one, I mean to say)

    Speaking of which, anyone out there who has seen the League movie…I don’t want spoilers…but for my own reasons I’d like to know one thing: does Charlie Hull make an appearance at all?

  10. > I have a CLEAR memory of its existence

    But a lot of UK viewers have that, which is why I’m sceptical – Chris’s mouth says it, the rhythm implies it…all because it was THERE. I think people’s brains have tended to retro-fit the sound.

    Still, if what you have on tape is an unremastered, original episode, and yet it has a Mc…well, I guess someone at the Beeb got lucky in not getting caught shipping the wrong tape!

    > does Charlie Hull make an appearance at all?

    As in Charlie and Stella? I don’t remember them being there. Certainly I was disappointed not to see the Dentons.

    But I really enjoyed the film, despite some negative (or, at least, mediocre) word on it. It encouraged me to go back and watch the DVd of Series 3 again. (Nobody does commentary better than The League.)

    One thing you can say for those boys – nothing’s old hat. No Little-Britain-esque laurel-resting for them. Hell, the movie actually managed to give dimension to Herr Lipp – a character originally DESIGNED to be one-note!

  11. >As in Charlie and Stella? I don’t remember them being there.

    Ahhhh well. I was really pleased with the way they explored his personality (and sexuality) in series 3…I thought it was a brilliant job…and I wanted to see where they’d take it next.

    Rats. Gotta wait for the DVD I guess.

    >> I have a CLEAR memory of its existence

    >But a lot of UK viewers have that, which is why I’m sceptical – Chris’s mouth says it, the rhythm implies it…all because it was THERE. I think people’s brains have tended to retro-fit the sound.

    Fair enough that you’re skeptical…and rightfully so. But things have slipped through the BBC before (including a completely different edit of a Dr. Who episode according to John) so I’m not giving up until I get that blasted thing this weekend.

  12. > It would do…but sadly that script was never written. It was only ever a concept, ruled out fairly early on
    > during producing (note: not pre-production!) when the ridiculous cost of doing it became clear.

    Fuck.

  13. I’ll second that last comment, I always thought that Earth was a script lying out there waiting to be discovered. :(

  14. Though remember a few of us hoped The Identity Within would be included as a script since it had never been filmed…and they surprised us by having Christ record it.

    MAYBE (just maybe) for the series VIII DVD Doug will finish / will have finished the script for Earth especially for an audio play? Just a really hopeful thought.

  15. “Though remember a few of us hoped The Identity Within would be included as a script since it had never been filmed…and they surprised us by having Christ [!] record it.”

    I think Cappsy guessed about them doing an Identity Within audio play because I remember thinking “what a good idea”. Somewhere on Observation Dome within the last month.

    “MAYBE (just maybe) for the series VIII DVD Doug will finish / will have finished the script for Earth especially for an audio play? Just a really hopeful thought.”

    Not like he’s got anything else to do…:)

  16. Wow, did Cappsy really guess the extra? Way to go with the ESP, mate.

  17. Who would be up for Doug doing a complete write of ‘Earth’ for a BBC special that wrapped up the series? I’ll never accept Only The Good being the last Dwarf episode. Not that I wouldn’t prefer series IX and X, but that’s just pipe dreams. Actually, a special is also just pipe dreams…..shutting up, sir.

  18. I think it’s a shame it can’t be a whole cast audio dramatisation. I don’t like Chris Barrie’s impersonations of the RD crew.

  19. Really!!? His impersonations are definitive.

  20. Say what you will, but his impersonation of the guy who plays Rimmer is bang on.

  21. Of course his impersonations of the RD crew are definitive – who else is doing them?!

    And yes I was being serious when I said I don’t like his impersonations of the RD crew. I find them too reductive and due to the closeness of the microphone, everything (including “shouting”) is done in a kind of hushed manner. Don’t like.

  22. *clears throat*

    I’ve just read the following on another board: “They should’ve just filmed the whole thing.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an extreme case of both looking a gift horse in the mouth, and having absolutely no idea about TV/DVD production whatsoever.

  23. Well it’s not so great an extra if we’re all going to calm down a little. It’s just Chris Barrie doing rubbish impressions for what will probably be about half an hour. I doubt anyone will actually sit through the whole thing. Like that novelty Japanese remastered episode on the series 1 disc…

  24. > It’s just Chris Barrie doing rubbish impressions for what will probably be about half an hour.

    Wrong. Whatever your opinion on Barrie’s impressions, it certainly isn’t just that – it’s effectively an entirely new episode, just done in a different (admittedly cheaper) way. (See the latest update on TOS for more good stuff – I’ll do a pointless report later.) Were the talking books just a series of impressions? Clearly not. They’re, erm, a great story.

    > I doubt anyone will actually sit through the whole thing.

    Balls.

    > Like that novelty Japanese remastered episode on the series 1 disc…

    Loads of people watched all of that anyway.

    Whether they’d watch it twice or not is a different matter…

  25. Okay, so few people will bother to listen to it *twice*, does that make it a GREAT extra?

    I agree that it may be intriguing, but it will ultimately be little more than Chris Barrie doing a bunch of impressions one after the other in what will amount to an episode from series seven, ie a bit crap if we’re to be perfectly honest.

  26. Chris Barrie’s impressions always came off like parodies of the RD cast. A bit of a laugh off camera but to use them to represent the actual crew on audio recordings?! Absurd. If they had Rory Bremner in to do it everyone would rightly think it was crazy even though the voices would be more convincing. Why didn’t they get the whole cast in to do it, and don’t say because of the money.

  27. In my humble opinion, the series VII and VIII DVD’s need all the help they can get. I would never buy these simply for the episodes, due to the significant drop in quality from series I-VI. As a result I am impressed, not necessarily by each individual extra, but by the obvious pulling out of all the stops by GNP to attract hardcore fans like myself to purchase the complete package of the series VII-VIII releases.

    This extra is a prime case in point. On many DVD releases to simply make this unused script available for viewing would be a pleasant surprise. To have arguably the most important character and best actor (and it is arguable I know) read the script is more impressive. To add storyboards at the rate of 4-5 per minute (200+ / 45 minutes) plus audio effects and background score is simply beyond the pale of the vast majority of DVD releases.

    Yes, series VII and VIII were poor in many fans opinion (although not please note in the minds of the general public – check the ratings for these series and talk to the many fans who first found Red Dwarf through them), and Chris Barrie by himself may seem a little drab compared to the costly fantasy of bringing in the entire cast, crew, writers etc. But by God, it’s better than simply reading through the pages or hearing some unrelated personage drone through a reading.

    Now having said all that, I’m heading off to my cabin in the mountains to ramble even more insanely to myself…….

  28. > Why didn’t they get the whole cast in to do it

    Because of the money.

    > and don’t say because of the money.

    Oh.

  29. Incidentally, if anyone is wondering why I haven’t commented on how good Chris Barrie’s impressions are, it’s because I haven’t actually *listened* to the audiobooks properly. Shame mode, or something.

    I’ll dig them out today, have a listen, and report back.

  30. Ozbington/Isalteba – saying the same thing twice under different pseudonyms doesn’t make it any more true.

  31. It is laughable to suggest that this will only be listened to once. I will probably listen to it for about a week, still not bore of it, have a break of about two days and then continue my worship of it. To even compare it to the almost entirely pathetic excuse for an extra that is the Japanese extra is beyond belief. This is the best thing to happen to Red Dwarf in a long long time. *Proper* new material we thought we’d *never* see. The people behind it deserve unreserved praise. Oh, and Barrie’s impressions are excellent.

  32. Do two people using the same computer suddenly make one person nowadays? For frick’s sake.

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