IT. ISN’T. HERE. YET.

Yes, folks. This is quite a good update. Ten days before the release of the Series VII DVD, we have a review!

I should explain. Last week, I got an e-mail from GNP, asking if I’d like a review copy of the set. Apparantly, G&T is a respected organ of the press, although I’m not at liberty to divulge which organ. Unsurprisingly, we decided to take the discs. I got them at about nine o’clock this morning. I have been sat in front of a screen since then. Since these are review copies, they came without the on-body disc design, the proper case, the proper cover or the Collectors’ Booklet. Expect an addendum to be published within the next ten days. And yes, we will be reviewing the sticker, if applicable.

I’ve tried to make the review free of major spoilers, but there’s inevitably quite a few, particularly regarding the easter eggs. Despite the fact that GNP did us a tremendous favour by giving us an advance copy, you’ll find that the review’s as impartial and honest as ever. For the record, though, a heartfelt and genuine thankyou to Andrew, Rachel and everyone else at Grant Naylor.

128 Responses to IT. ISN’T. HERE. YET.

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  1. One essential question: are the commentaries timed for the broadcast version (leaving big gaps in the Xtended commentaries) or for the extended version, meaning no commentaries or abridged commentaries on the broadcast versions?

  2. The Xtended versions. The original versions of Tikka, Ouroboros and Duct Soup have no commentary at all.

  3. >Last week, I got an e-mail from GNP, asking if I’d like a review copy of the set.

    God I hate you Ian. I hate you so much.

  4. >Some of the [deleted scenes] are brilliant […] mixed in with some pretty awful stuff.

    Curiosity has me. Any examples of the dreadful scenes?

  5. It’s not so much deleted scenes, as deleted lines. Some truly awful jokes were cut out. Far too many extended similes, and rubbish characterisation.

  6. Totally. I haven’t read it yet but I love it!

  7. (my comments, as posted on the webboard today)

    A splendid review as always,

    However, I have to voice a little surprise
    that this has come out quite so early, especially
    with view to the ‘easter egg’ comments.
    I also feel a certain irony, in the fact
    that the most vocal Ser VII put-downers have
    had access to the discs early.
    Describing the series as ‘shite’ in the
    opening lines sums it up really.

    I suppose, speaking so highly of the ‘package’
    despite a dislike of the series is a great
    advert in itself.

    This is further proof in my mind, that the
    excellence of the DVD packages has now
    surpassed the episodes themselves in the
    way of interest for many fans…
    [end]

    More power to your elbows eh! :-)

  8. You Jammy Bastard.

    But, yes, a great review, I can’t wait.

    And, re the fan films montage: what do you see of mine?!

  9. My Polymorph! It’s loose!

  10. >My Polymorph! It’s loose!

    That was actually Mike Reddy, a lecturer of mine from last year.

  11. Do they go into a satisfying depth re the depature of Rob Grant? And does Robert Klewellyn talk about the much-easier-to-wear costume and mask?

    And finally, do you get the impression at any point that the cast and crew feel a drop in standard occurred between six and seven with hindsight? Danny reading a newspaper is telling – is there much more? And are they honest about the fan reaction?

  12. DVDAnswers just posted their review – the slowpokes. “Extras: 9/10”? Gosh, what more do they want??

  13. The features maketh the DVD now? A good buy for a perspective fan, a fine and in depth review as always…But shouldn’t a review at least contain some information of the actual episodes? I’m sure there must be a container full of fans who haven’t actually seen any of the episodes yet and will still have no idea reading the review…I’m not having a go at this review at all, it’s very well written and exectuted in such a short space of time. But the features amazing as they are, shouldn’t really make the single episodes a second best add on…

  14. G&T has never posted reviews of the episodes, the theory being, if you haven’t seen the episodes, you shouldn’t be here.

  15. From DVDAnswers:

    A common misconception is that Red Dwarf VII was shot on film. In fact, the usual videotape was merely treated to appear as such (according to Robert Llewellyn in the commentaries, this involved removing one frame in every twenty-eight).

    Robert Llewellyn talking nonsense there.

  16. G&T has never posted reviews of the episodes, the theory being, if you haven’t seen the episodes, you shouldn’t be here.

    I totally agree, and the reason given, but again when given the opportunity to review the “set” as said, why were no episodes mentioed? it doesn’t have to be how bad they think they are in retrospect, but what has DVD done for the episodes, does it look clear to the eye, the sound, any artifacts? surely these are important features to be reviewed?

  17. The main reason we don’t review sound/picture quality aspects of the discs are:

    a) We don’t *really* know what we’re talking about when it comes to that, and
    b) Even if we did, we don’t have good enough equipment to judge it anyway.

    It’s far better than a lot of DVD reviewers, who go on about “stock” for five minutes when they’re talking about a videotaped series.

    We might as well concentrate on the stuff we’re good at.

  18. Excellent review, as usual.

    Unfortunately, I’m now really pissed off that I have to wait until January, as usual.

  19. I’m really interested in this alternate Rimmer Experience. A horrendous version of one of the best scenes in the whole series? Bring it on!

  20. However, I have to voice a little surprise
    that this has come out quite so early, especially
    with view to the ‘easter egg’ comments.
    I also feel a certain irony, in the fact
    that the most vocal Ser VII put-downers have
    had access to the discs early.
    Describing the series as ‘shite’ in the
    opening lines sums it up really.

    I suppose it’s much better, then, to give review copies to the various corners of the media that feel the need to just slag the programme off irrespective of what series it is, eh?

  21. ‘DVDAnswers just posted their review – the slowpokes.’

    We actually got this about two weeks ago (smug mode cancel) and I’ve been sitting on the completed review for the last few days as it felt a bit too far away from release. Since Ian had posted his thoughts (and Cappsy has done since), I thought I’d better not delay any longer.

    “Extras: 9/10”? Gosh, what more do they want??’

    Well, as I said in the review; some commentaries from Doug Naylor would be lovely. Some more input from Ed Bye (one of the best interviewees in the wonderful documentary) on the disc wouldn’t go amiss either. I *really* did want to want to give it 10, but where do you go from 10 points? And there’s one more DVD left…

    “Robert Llewellyn talking nonsense there.”

    Yeah, I wasn’t entirely convinced about this. He was quoting Ed Bye though. It was an interesting statement and one I found rather intriguing. I included it, so someone (aherm, Andrew?) could come here and either verify or deny.

  22. Cpt-D:

    However, I have to voice a little surprise
    that this has come out quite so early, especially
    with view to the ‘easter egg’ comments.
    I also feel a certain irony, in the fact
    that the most vocal Ser VII put-downers have
    had access to the discs early.
    Describing the series as ‘shite’ in the
    opening lines sums it up really.

    I see their offer as a recognition of G&T and The White Hole being the two leading DVD-reviewing fansites, regardless of our opinions on the series. Plus, the fact that they know me and Cappsy hate VII, but gave us the DVDs anyway, shows they didn’t expect or even want us to be all-positive.

    Si:

    And, re the fan films montage: what do you see of mine?!

    A shot of the Polymorph scuttling across, various morphs, the Geordie bloke screaming on the floor, “My Polymorph is on the loose!” and a shot of you with a throbbing chest.

    Ed:

    Do they go into a satisfying depth re the depature of Rob Grant? And does Robert Klewellyn talk about the much-easier-to-wear costume and mask?

    And finally, do you get the impression at any point that the cast and crew feel a drop in standard occurred between six and seven with hindsight? Danny reading a newspaper is telling – is there much more? And are they honest about the fan reaction?

    Yes, not that I recall, in some cases, depends on your interpretation of such things, yes. In that order.

    James:

    The features maketh the DVD now? A good buy for a perspective fan, a fine and in depth review as always…But shouldn’t a review at least contain some information of the actual episodes? I’m sure there must be a container full of fans who haven’t actually seen any of the episodes yet and will still have no idea reading the review…I’m not having a go at this review at all, it’s very well written and exectuted in such a short space of time. But the features amazing as they are, shouldn’t really make the single episodes a second best add on…

    As Kirk says, this is somewhat of a specialist site. Not in an elitist way – we’re delighted with every single visitor we get, regardless of their Dwarf knowledge – but our target readership is people who know the episodes so well that they already know what they’re like. Besides which, people who haven’t seen VII would be less likely to buy it if I’d have included my in-depth opinions of the episodes. John’s covered why I didn’t mention the picture/sound quality. The only way I can view DVDs at the moment is on an LCD laptop screen or a PS2 through an old mono telly. Neither of which I trust enough to give a true representation of the quality.

    Kirk:

    Robert Llewellyn talking nonsense there.

    Quite. I think he’s misremembering the technique behind Field Removed Video. He says something about removing one frame in every 25, whereas FRV involved removing half the lines from each frame.

    Phil:

    I’m really interested in this alternate Rimmer Experience. A horrendous version of one of the best scenes in the whole series? Bring it on!

    Not so much an alternate version of the scene – it’s just an unused CGI shot of the track…

  23. “I see their offer as a recognition of G&T and The White Hole being the two leading DVD-reviewing fansites, regardless of our opinions on the series. Plus, the fact that they know me and Cappsy hate VII, but gave us the DVDs anyway, shows they didn’t expect or even want us to be all-positive.”

    I’ve yet to read a review that’s all-positive (outside of the main site) and I’d rather read a review here or fan written than one of the face-less mag articles that always seem littered with miss-informed facts.

    I’m just a little surprised that given the fact, any G&T review (or Cappsy) is bound to contain a dig at the actual series, Andrew is prepared to stick his ‘love spuds’ on the line, by giving you the opportunity. It’s probably a brave move on his part, but I suspect he may be getting a tad fed up of the ‘glowing’, ‘gushing’, ‘we love you’ type comments he reads on a daily basis via the webboard. OK, it’s probably very nice to be thought of as DVD god, but it may not give an honest overall picture…

    At least here, he gets an honest picture and nobody is going to argue with the writing skills involved even if some of the comments may seem to some, to be a tad overboard in condemnation.

    Like I say, more power to your elbow etc…

  24. I think it’s fair to say that; even to the people who appreciate it a great deal, Red Dwarf VII is not considered to be the ‘best’ series by many people. It’s rare to find someone who rates it above all the others. This opinion is acknowledged by Doug in the VIII scriptbook and the cast in the commentaries. So, even reviews that are positive about the episodes are unlikely to be ‘all postitive’, even if they will be slightly more generous than the fanboys who aren’t so keen.

    “Andrew is prepared to stick his ‘love spuds’ on the line, by giving you the opportunity.”

    I’m sure Andrew knows that his contribution to this release is fantastic. Seeing the criticism that could be levelled at the episodes will be an irritation (since he works for GNP and likes the eps himself) but it’s not exactly an attack on his work, surely?

  25. I’d go as far to say that Andrew’s contributions to this DVD (which I’m not entirely sure what it extends to, but I’m willing to bet it’s a fair chunk) is faultless.

    I think the whole point of Ian (and myself) mentioning our negative opinions on the series is to enable us to demonstrate just how much the extras make this set worthwhile. For that, I think GNP should be pleased that we have that outlook on the set. It’s a massive compliment to the DVD.

  26. “Robert Llewellyn talking nonsense there.

    Quite. I think he’s misremembering the technique behind Field Removed Video. He says something about removing one frame in every 25, whereas FRV involved removing half the lines from each frame.”

    He’s also the one who thinks the model shots from series VI are CGI.

  27. “I suppose, speaking so highly of the ‘package’
    despite a dislike of the series is a great
    advert in itself.

    This is further proof in my mind, that the
    excellence of the DVD packages has now
    surpassed the episodes themselves in the
    way of interest for many fans…”

    Did anyone actually read this bit in my first post?

  28. I was with you all the way up to “I”.

  29. ‘Git’
    :-)

  30. Slightly off topic, but has anyone seen the new barclays advert yet? starring the voice of norm lovett as an intelligent yet slightly inept computer? I thought I was dreaming!

  31. So ALL of your dreams are Red Dwarf related?! I’d hate that!

  32. Your DVD page only goes up to series IV.

  33. Yes, we’re shit. Sorry. We should do something soon…

  34. > I also feel a certain irony, in the fact
    > that the most vocal Ser VII put-downers have
    > had access to the discs early.

    That’s just us not discriminating. Also, it’s us sending out DVDs to places that will take them seriously. If there were a pro-VII site already out there that also reviewed DVDs properly, we’d have sent there, too.

    > Describing the series as ‘shite’ in the
    > opening lines sums it up really.

    The greatest disappointment has been, for me, that nobody is taking the chance to re-evaluate the series. That said, I wasn’t EXPECTING that from WH, G&T or DVDA – but I’m hoping some of the less hardcore reviews (which, admitedly, won’t care so much for extras) will use the opportunity to looks at the 8 episodes anew.

    (This isn’t an invitation to VII-bashing, BTW – but whatever your opinion I find it astounding that is present company they can’t even be acknowledged as decent TV.)

    > Well, as I said in the review; some commentaries from
    > Doug Naylor would be lovely. Some more input from Ed
    > Bye (one of the best interviewees in the wonderful
    > documentary) on the disc wouldn’t go amiss either. I
    > *really* did want to want to give it 10, but where do you
    > go from 10 points? And there’s one more DVD left…

    How irritatingly fair and reasonable. All quite correct – A Doug and Ed chat track might have tilted the balance, as would more footage taken at time of filming. But neither being available to us, we do what we can.

    Anyone know what DVDA extras HAVE received 10 points. What are we up against? I’ll take a guess that the LOTR special eds are up there. (Despite annoyingly making their trailers exclusive to the threatrical cuts, these sets ARE damn near perfect.)

    > Plus, the fact that they know me and Cappsy hate VII, but
    > gave us the DVDs anyway, shows they didn’t expect or
    > even want us to be all-positive.

    The reviews from the guys have always been harsh but fair. We disagree, of course – but they only give praise if it’s earned. Which makes a positive review all the more significant – a glowing review only means something if you trust the authors to be honest.

    > Quite. I think he’s misremembering the technique behind
    > Field Removed Video. He says something about removing
    > one frame in every 25, whereas FRV involved removing
    > half the lines from each frame.

    Exactly. There are two fields to each frame, one set gets removed for the ‘film effect’.

    It’s something that rears its head a lot when people do screengrabs from DVD – they forget to use the Photoshop (or whatever) video filter to deal with the interlacing, making for an image that seems caught between two frames.

  35. From DVD Answers:

    > The picture occasionally lacks sharpness and clarity,
    > particularly in the CGI sequences which all suffer from a
    > nasty blurring effect. It should be noted that none of this > is direct fault of the DVD; rather the fact that the less-
    > than-perfect stock material is now eight years old. ?

    The blurring on the CGI, as has oft been noted, was done in post-production to the non-blurred original effects shots. Not a great move, maybe, but not new to the DVD – it’s always been there.

    *wanders around*

    Hey, G&T people, where’s the update on Friday’s news and stuff?!

  36. > Hey, G&T people, where’s the update on Friday’s news and stuff?!

    Tonight, promise, sir!

  37. “The greatest disappointment has been, for me, that nobody is taking the chance to re-evaluate the series. That said, I wasn’t EXPECTING that from WH, G&T or DVDA – but I’m hoping some of the less hardcore reviews (which, admitedly, won’t care so much for extras) will use the opportunity to looks at the 8 episodes anew.

    I do actually plan to do exactly this (but then, I plan to do a lot of things, and never get round to it – but I *will* try with this one). I don’t think it’ll be a very positive re-evaluation – but I will give it a fair chance.

    VIII is the series you’re most likely to get something vaguely positive out of me, though.

  38. “Anyone know what DVDA extras HAVE received 10 points. What are we up against? I’ll take a guess that the LOTR special eds are up there. (Despite annoyingly making their trailers exclusive to the threatrical cuts, these sets ARE damn near perfect.)”

    Well, it’s worth remembering that on that site alone, there are over twenty reviewers all with their own very individual opinions. Personally, I’ve never given a full 10 on extras (it helps that I’ve had to review a lot of crud) but, indeed, ‘Fellowship’ scored 10/10 for extras in its special edition review. I couldn’t possibly comment as LotR never really grabbed my attention. So, if you?re interested, Red Dwarf VII has the best extras in my 300 disc collection. Such an auspicious accolade previously belonged to Shaun of the Dead; a one-discer which is crammed with a vast array of hugely entertaining extras. It didn?t have a ninety minute documentary, though?

    “The greatest disappointment has been, for me, that nobody is taking the chance to re-evaluate the series. That said, I wasn’t EXPECTING that from WH, G&T or DVDA – but I’m hoping some of the less hardcore reviews (which, admitedly, won’t care so much for extras) will use the opportunity to looks at the 8 episodes anew.”

    Ouch. I watched the series again prior to writing the review (as I’m sure the others did) and decided that; no, it hadn’t really improved in eight years. That said, I’ve been *more* negative about the series in the past than I really needed to be (I?m a joyless bastard) and was slightly more positive in this review simply because I?m sure a more general audience doesn?t want to hear some fanboy whinging and swearing like I usually do. Yes, I mention that it?s not as good as I-VI, but I think you?ll find this is a pretty widespread opinion and not just restricted to these sites (even Norman mentions it on his website). I gave it a pretty respectable score of 6/10 and declared it ?extremely groundbreaking for a BBC sitcom?.

    I think the only way you could judge any of us had re-evaluated the series is if we were suddenly singing its praises. I doubt that will happen in any of the reviews, I?m afraid.

  39. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SCI-FI ONLINE REVIEW

  40. > I think the only way you could judge any of us had re-evaluated
    > the series is if we were suddenly singing its praises. I doubt that
    > will happen in any of the reviews, I?m afraid.

    Indeed, nor would I expect that. But the series got some great reviews on initial release, and the viewing figures were up to scratch (indeed OVER scratch). Someone must be liking it.

    As a general point, I still maintain that a) Doug had an impossible job trying to do an impression of an ended partnership, so wisely decided not to try and found his own voice, b) It’s damn near impossible to live up to the scripts for II-VI; and c) if Series VII had, more or less, been the first series of a brand new SF comedy on BBC2, it would be revered as knockout stuff by a lot of the people that now trash it.

    But that’s just me. *shrugs* Regardless, just as there are those who dislike the series, there are many who throughly enjoy it. The difference, I think we’ll find, is that very few of those are journalists…Which is a bit of a shame.

    (For the record, my old Series VII and VIII reviews can be found in back issues of BTL – just in case anyone thinks this is just me towing the company line or something.)

    > I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SCI-FI ONLINE REVIEW

    Mmm. Indeed. *ahem*

  41. “I owe my life to him!”

    Amongst all the VII slagging-off, I do have to quote one of my favourite lines from the series. The whole Rimmer Experience is just genius.

    If *only* the rest of the series had been up to that standard, gag-wise.

  42. Re-evaluation of VII has never really been an issue for me, because despite my thoughts on the series, I actually give VII about the same airing as the rest of the series… I know it sounds odd, but I’m an anal fan-boy and I can;t bear not to keep dipping back into VII and VIII. My opinion is not just a knee jerk reaction to a few viewings, it’s born of constant comparisons with the other series.

    Still, I did briefly touch on a re-evaluation of sorts in the deleted scenes part of my review. There was some great stuff there, and through that I could see editing decisions that have just let the series down, in my eyes.

    I plan to do a monstrous VIII review, though. Summing up the series of DVD and I’ll devote more space to looking at the episodes, too.

    And less swearing, obviously. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

  43. Amongst all the VII slagging-off, I do have to quote one of my favourite lines from the series. The whole Rimmer Experience is just genius.

    The deleted Rimmer Experience stuff is classic.

  44. The thing is, whenever I compare VII to earlier series of Dwarf, I *almost* manage to convince myself it’s as good. Because I really, really want it to be. I take no joy in not liking it as much.

    And then I’ll go and watch something like The Thin Blue Line, shriek with laughter for half an hour non-stop, remember VII, and then get slightly depressed.

    But then, that’s me. I’m a gag merchant. I’m sure people who aren’t as gag-mad as me appreciate the series more.

  45. I remember very much enjoying series VII on its first run here in America…mainly because it felt like so long since I’d seen the ending of VI and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Rimmer’s departure was the only thing I truly disliked about the series the first time through.

    Subsequent viewings, however, have opened a few holes in quality so that I no longer enjoy it as much as I once did. That said, Ouroboros, Blue and Nanarchy are classics and I will defend them to the bitter end.

    Now VIII is commonly lumped in with VII by people who don’t enjoy it, and I don’t think that is fair at all. VIII, again, I loved the first time I saw it, but my appreciation has remained pretty steady since. Not the best series, but it genuinely has some of the biggest laughs of anything in Dwarf.

    It has its share of stinkers, though, but…be honest…are there ANY series in which you laugh at every joke?

  46. Oi – Ellard. Why does reddwarf.co.uk leave you with a blank main panel? (Yes, http://www.reddwarf.co.uk works, but since I never, ever type the www. if I can help it – i.e., where some spam or porn site has bought the http://www.-less version – I went ages before I tried the www.)

  47. Oddly, I think there’s been a slight softening of attitude towards series VII anyway, There’s a huge gulf between ‘Shite’ and ‘Not liking it so much’ for a start. It wasn’t that long ago the words ‘no discerning quality whatsoever’ were used…
    I’ve always said a ‘below par’ Dwarf is still better than ‘most’ of the dross served up these days..
    Changing the subject slightly, clearly everyone is a fan of comedy here, and John mentioned ‘Thin
    Blue Line’ earlier, which got me thinking (always
    dangerous).
    I loved ‘Thin Blue Line’ first time around and along
    with programmes like ‘The Detectives’ they made
    me cry sometimes with laughter, yet having watched
    repeats of these shows, I find them a little flat
    and I would never consider buying them on DVD.
    With Dwarf, Blackadder and Fawlty Towers for
    instance, I can watch them over and over again and they never seem to loose their appeal.
    I have no idea why this is, It’s easy to say I
    prefer Dwarf, Blackadder and Fawlty, but I probably
    found TBL and The Detectives just as funny on first
    viewing….
    Why do some shows loose their flavour quicker?

  48. Hmmm, that last post just shows what I can do when I post after midnight having just come from the pub…
    Oh dear…

  49. “And then I’ll go and watch something like The Thin Blue Line, shriek with laughter for half an hour non-stop”

    I know what you mean. Perhaps just hearing Rowan Atkinson say the word ‘Habib’ is funnier than the whole of VII. VII just isn’t funny…or, more fairly (and I’m always fair), it’s largely less funny than previous series of a very funny show. There is no getting away from this fact of life. However, for me this doesn’t lessen the appeal of owning the DVD at all. I would be owning the DVD if we were only getting half of the extras that are on it.

    And Dwarf isn’t just about the humour. Characterisation and sci-fi elements make up a large part of the show. Unfortunately, in VII…I don’t really need to finish the sentence. Forgetting all this tot, I think the question that should be focussed on is which is the better series, VII or VIII. Which do you prefer, the ‘resolution’ of the VI cliffhanger in Tikka, or the end of VIII ‘cliffhanger’ in Only The Smeg…

  50. >Which do you prefer, the ‘resolution’ of the VI cliffhanger in Tikka, or the end of VIII ‘cliffhanger’ in Only The Smeg…

    The latter. By a lot. Because there are a LOT of things wrong with Lister’s opening speech in Tikka, but the only thing wrong with the end of Only The Good is “The Smeg It Is.”

  51. Whacking Death in the balls is fairly wrong too, in my opinion.

  52. I thought it was funny!

  53. The kneeing Death thing I like a lot, but I think it’s undone by the direction. Last-minute or not, I don’t think Joe Public got that this wasn’t ‘literally’ happening, that it was indicitive of Rimmer’s internal emotional process. And that could have been expressed visually with no script changes at all.

    Otherwise it’s really funny – subverting Bergman the way Polymorph subverted Alien…or something.

  54. Whacking Death in the balls is fairly wrong too, in my opinion.

    You would rather rip his nipples off?

  55. >Last-minute or not, I don’t think Joe Public got that this wasn’t ‘literally’ happening

    To be honest I kind of liked the resulting ambiguity…and until I started to read about the other ways in which series VIII could have ended, I assumed it was intentional.

  56. Oddly enough,whilst many thought this may have kick started Death’s acting career, I’ve only seen him doing bit parts and Lager adverts since..

  57. I first of all felt that the rubbishness of series VIII was an ambiguous demonstration of which sequences in BITR were the imagined ones, until the crapness gradually spread into the real life Dwarf bits.

  58. “VIII, again, I loved the first time I saw it, but my appreciation has remained pretty steady since. Not the best series, but it genuinely has some of the biggest laughs of anything in Dwarf.”

    Wow, opinions differ don’t they? I can’t think of one moment of VIII that made me laugh out loud, let alone any that might represent the biggest laughs of the entire series. I know what you mean though – I feel Python’s The Meaning of Life is a bit hit and miss (and is therefore less strong as a complete film than Holy Grail and Life of Brian) but has amongst its hits the best bits of Python ever. VII has a few moments (I’d put the end of Blue on my best-of-Dwarf-ever compilation tape), even a couple of episodes that from start to finish don’t make me cringe once, whereas I couldn’t really ever watch VIII without my fingers in the way. I’m just struggling to think of any gems. What are they, in your view? Just curious.

  59. “The writing lacks discipline, as does the direction and editing, failing to siphon out the fat and tighten up the reins with the actors rarely asked to go above and beyond, as with no audience present to incite them to riot and better their rivals they simple deliver their lines and do little else to engage our attention.”

    Erm… yes. Think maybe posting the first late-night draft of that review was a bad idea. Good on the whole though.

  60. Aided somewhat by the move to a closed set and superior film stock as a result of the single-camera format

    NO.

    The first and by far the most entertaining is a faux-documentary looking at the attempts to secure funding for the Red Dwarf movie, with the writing/acting team doing a wonderful job and making a fine observation on Doug Naylor in particular. One scene is hugely reminiscent of the Orange movie-pitch shorts we see in cinemas and I wonder who came up with the idea first, as they gained more than a few laughs out of this viewer.

    YES

  61. According to Andrew’s booklet, most of VII wasn’t even single camera. Either no one knew that previously, or I haven’t been paying attention.

  62. They didn’t use any cameras? i think the most overiding thing that hasn’t been said is the total overuse of make-up on Danny througout the series, and i’m not talking about the experience dream sequence.

  63. Yeah everyone’s covered in vaseline in series VII I think, not just Danny.

  64. The first fanfilm featured is the highlight of the disc, and it displays it’s genius director’s incredible talent and creative flair.

    Do I get a prize?

  65. “…because the light bee sequence at the end is certainly in need of improvement, particularly when the light bees are seen, totally out of scale, through Starbug?s cockpit windows.”

    Far be it from me to defend what is, arguably, the worst CGI sequence ever, but they’re not actually light-bees but cannisters containing light-bees.

  66. >The best episode of the eight in this series is the Rimmer-less Duct Soup. As well as being a character study on a par with Series 3

  67. Oh joy – a chance for a rant!

    > there?s a good chance you?ll fail to notice presence of the
    > Xtended episodes.

    What with them only being mentioned on the front cover, back cover, booklet listing AND booklet episode details. Plus being the versions played with the cast commentary. *sigh*

    > The Trailers listing in fact contains only one trailer, plus
    > Robert Llewellyn?s original links for this season?s smeg-
    > ups. Wouldn?t it have been more sensible to list these
    > links under the Smeg-Ups menu, with a choice to ?Play
    > All With Intros? or similar?

    It says Smeg Ups for the TENTH ANNIVERSARY. Plus the Xtended intros. So not exactly, no.

    (Oh, and sorry about that missing intro – for some reason it got lost in the edit. If we ever do a Remastered release I’ll have to include this and Souper as Easter Eggs…)

    > Finally, you?d expect an extra entitled Music Featurette to
    > be a featurette about the series? music, wouldn?t you?

    Not if you’ve read the booklet or, y’know, seen a single Dwarf DVD before now. (Oh, and ‘Music Featurette’ is the description, not the title – it’s entitled ‘Burning Rubber’…mostly.)

    Aah, this was one to look forward to…

  68. > it’s entitled ‘Burning Rubber’…mostly.)

    They mostly get it right… mostly.

  69. Hey, I’d just like to say well done to everyone involved in the making of the two fan films on the DVD (I know you’re here somewhere.) To be honest I expected rubbish but at the end of the day I enjoyed both immensely. The way in which the Grant Naylor offices suddenly transformed into the Starbug cockpit for a loving tribute to the Out of Time ending was genius. “Speak, Doug. How can we change what’s happpennning” really made my day. The voicework on the killer hand one was also awesome – “yeah, dudes.” Bravo!

  70. > Bravo!

    Please, these guys don’t need their cocks sucking any more…

  71. I think it’s safe to say we’re all extremely proud of the end scene.

    It probably took longest overall – longest to shoot (not just because of the corpsing) and Ian and I were certainly playing about with it in the edit for quite some time…

    Didn’t take that long to write for some reason… ;)

  72. Yeah I was pleased when it ended, too.

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  73. At risk of sounding like a moron (Which you already think I am) but what’s “TM:YNYN”?

    The subs are pants with facts anyway… In this seires Todhunter is called “Todd Hunter” which says it all about the subs respect for contiuity.

  74. >At risk of sounding like a moron (Which you already think I am) but what’s “TM:YNYN”?

    ‘The Movie: Yeah, No, Yeah, No’, Observation Dome’s winning fanfilm. The bastards.

  75. Ian, you still haven’t reviewed the sticker! This is keeping me awake at nights…

  76. Finished watching every last thing on the set. For me, it’s the most impressive yet, without a doubt. IDW is the best extra in the history of ever. Back From The Dead was great, with Doug’s comments about the series being most interesting (I liked what he said about Chris being too used to doing Brittas). If you watch the doc you wonder how the fucking series even got made!

    Because I’d abstained from watching VII for a long time and was determined to look at it on it’s own rather than comparing it to what had come before, I found myself…enjoying what was onscreen more. I somehow liked Blue and Beyond A Joke more, but hated Nanarchy EVEN more (didn’t think that was possible). I think Back From The Dead and the commentary helped me appreciate the series. After all, a mediocre series is better than no series at all. And if there was no VII we wouldn’t have this DVD set.

  77. >Finished watching every last thing on the set.

    What? Only just? I’d more or less done this time *last week*!

  78. Hey, I didn’t get it straightaway, and haven’t had much time on my hands (I spent at least two solid days masturbating over Chloe’s pic on the spine…).

  79. “where do you go from 10 points? And there’s one more DVD left…”

    BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS – how will series VIII out-do this release?

    No IDW. Nothing about the gap from doing no Dwarf for ages, ie nothing about the leaving of Rob and Chris. No fan films. No extended/remastered option loveliness.

  80. > No extended/remastered option loveliness.

    Well, there is the all-edited-together-into-one-part versions of Back In The Red and Pete to look forward to.

    But I think Andrew’s said he thinks VII will be the best of the releases. I don’t care – what’s on offer for VIII will be more than enough. I’m looking forward to the deleted scenes most for this release, I think – there’s more than any other release, apparently…

    (G&T update coming later today, for everyone who thinks WE’VE FORGOTTEN the site.)

  81. >No IDW.

    Fingers crossed for some sort of presentation of Earth…

  82. >(G&T update coming later today, for everyone who thinks WE’VE FORGOTTEN the site.)

    That’d be me, then.

  83. Did anyone see the Gorillaz performance that was on the Radio 1 digital stream yesterday? They used the same technique as the ‘flame from the locker sequence’ in Blue that Mike Tucker talks about on the series VII DVD to create projections of the band, pretty cool stuff, theres more about it in this article

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1856928,00.html

  84. >(G&T update coming later today, for everyone who thinks WE’VE FORGOTTEN the site.)

    >By John Hoare on 13-11-05 @ 10:04

    You LIED.

  85. Technically, yes.

    Although I’ve not gone to bed yet. Should be up soon. Can you STAND the EXCITEMENT?

  86. I’ll give you till half one…

  87. I’d go to bed now, if I were you. It’s taking ages because I’VE FORGOTTEN HOW TO WRITE.

  88. Shame on you.

  89. I’m going home to bed now. You should be ashamed of yourself, sir.

  90. Come on, chaps, we can’t stop so close to 100…

  91. 97…

  92. 98…

  93. 99…

  94. >Come on, chaps, we can’t stop so close to 100…

    There we go. How’s that?

  95. Have you nothing better to do, Si?

  96. 102 is clearly a better number than 100.

  97. 103 rules your face.

  98. 104 gets my vote.

  99. >Have you nothing better to do, Si?

    105. Nope.

  100. Is this 107? Does it look even remotely like a 107?

  101. After reading that last night, I thought:
    ‘Surely, no-one will be able to beat that.’

    I was right.

  102. 110, by the way.

  103. Did you know that most people actually have more than the average human number of legs? There are, after all, more one-legged people in this world than there are three-legged ones. Three-legged: 111.

  104. Two legs and a very long pubic hair: 112

  105. One normal leg, a big knob, and a leg with a very knobbly knee: 113.

  106. That second leg’s a bit deformed, obviously.

  107. Why, does he have a big knob?

    (116)

  108. 117

  109. Hundred Eighteen

  110. I just put the Dave Hollins sketches on the VII DVD on and read the scripts on this site. I thought he was saying “vulva wars”. Now I’m trying to imagine what a programme called Vulva Wars presented by Craig Charles could be like.

    119

  111. 120!

    WHISKEY!

  112. 121

    We’re back into palindrome territory. My favourite of these was 1991 which still feels like yesterday. 2002 I didn’t like as much, in fact it totally slipped me by. WE WON’T GET ANOTHER ONE FOR AGES. Actually we were fucking lucky to have had two of them, I hope you bastards realise.

    When I was under the age of 12 (I know this because I shifted into a different bedroom at that age) I’d have to sit transfixed looking at my alarm clock if either 11:11 or 22:22 happened to be showing (midnight didn’t count because it only had three 0s). When they moved onto the next minute I could look away. I was great at creating special superstitions for myself that would ground me into doing stupid tasks for a while.

  113. Did you really? What a lovely story.

  114. Ah, that quote regularly makes the rounds in my house. Usually when either me or Tanya has said something particularly unpleasant.

  115. I hate it when people respond blindly with a quote from ANY programme. It feels to me that someone isn’t listening properly to what makes that moment different from any other time they’ve responded with that quote.

  116. 125

    Keyed into a calculator and turned upside down creates .

    It’s good to try too hard.

  117. That should say [a wine glass holding a walking stick]. I now know that putting something into those pointy bracket things makes it disappear.

    126

    As above but somebody has sealed one half of the wine glass from the other. (Wine glasses sealed diametrically allow Jesi to separate water from wine and with a swift 180 degree rotation trick thousands into switching their faiths. In case you were wondering.)

  118. “I hate it when people respond blindly with a quote from ANY programme. It feels to me that someone isn’t listening properly to what makes that moment different from any other time they’ve responded with that quote”

    That’s lovely. Thank you very much.

  119. > I hate it when people respond blindly with a quote from ANY programme. It feels to me that someone isn’t listening properly to what makes that moment different from any other time they’ve responded with that quote.

    Don’t panic!

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