47 Responses to Exclusive Series VIII DVD Review

Jump to bottom

  1. Not found the easter eggs, though? ;-)

    Well, in theory I have a separate page for Easter Egg stuff. I just… er… haven’t updated it since series IV.

    It’s on my list, though. Also, I’ve only managed to find 1 egg. How about yourself?

  2. I make the final score 6-2. Nice one, fella.

    Not found the easter eggs, though? ;-)

  3. of course there isn’t DUH!

  4. Interesting review… a little pointless mentioning the CGI though… what’s that got to do with the series (it’s a comedy DUH)!

  5. Interesting review? a little pointless mentioning the CGI though? what?s that got to do with the series (it?s a comedy DUH)!

    Well, it’s all about personal preference, really. If there’s dodgy special effects in a show, even if it’s a comedy, it can completely detract from the feel of the whole thing, and go a long way to ruining the experience. For me, anyway.

    I just happen to think that the model shots help create the sort of atmosphere I’m comfortable with, and that the CG used in VII and VIII pull me out of that comfy zone. If that makes any sense, what-so-ever.

  6. Is there a more pointless and irritating phrase in the world than “it’s a comedy DUH”?

  7. I can’t wait for the Skutter either. I have to wait a couple of weeks like everyone else, though!

  8. I never said it was the worst thing on TV ever. I said it was one of the biggest disapointments ever. The programmes you mention *are* worse, yes, but I didn’t really expect much more of them.

    And, “the thinking man’s Red Dwarf”? Tell me you’re having a laugh!

  9. How about the Skutter? I’m looking forward to that sitting on my desk. And flying off onto the floor…

  10. The worst thing on British TV Ever? Now that’s unfair to Series VIII – Obviously you haven’t watched much TV. Surely Captain Butler, Hyperdrive and the Eurovision Song Contest are worse?

    I quite like Series VIII – It’s the thinking man’s Red Dwarf

  11. Although, on second thoughts, I could see why a shitting dinosaur, CG dance numbers and juvenile knob, period and sex jokes would engage your average thinking man’s brain.

  12. And the period and sex jokes are some of the best stuff: ?To show how truly sorry I am, here?s two bags of self-raising. Something I didn?t need *any* help with yesterday.?

    Well my (probably incredibly floored) reason for disliking these jokes is that feel so completely out of place in Red Dwarf. You’re right, there’s some good gags in series VIII, but I think it’s the fact that it’s too far removed from how Dwarf used to be, for me to properly accept.

  13. I must admit, I’ve had a change of heart with VIII.

    Compared to I-VI, it’s not great. Compared to the best of TV, it’s not great. And I agree that there’s not much point comparing it to rubbish stuff, and saying “well, it’s better than that” – that’s just making excuses. And it’s got plenty of hideously embarassing stuff in it.

    Having said all of that, at least it has the decency to have some good jokes and performances in. (And some awful ones as well, of course.) And the period and sex jokes are some of the best stuff: “To show how truly sorry I am, here’s two bags of self-raising. Something I didn’t need *any* help with yesterday.”

    It’s pretty enjoyable on its own merits, as long as you don’t compare it with previous series. Without in any way confusing it with something of *actual* quality, like ‘Allo ‘Allo. At least I can watch it and laugh at it – something I tried to do with VII recently and nearly had a brain hemorrhage.

  14. I think that’s the key – I’ve managed to put myself in the position of *not* thinking of it as part of Red Dwarf. Then I can enjoy it a lot more.

    That’s not because of the changes in the show – I mean, I and VI are completely different – it’s just that it’s so vastly inferior to the first six series that the only way I can enjoy it is think of it as an OK comedy show – *not* as a work of genius.

  15. You know I’ve always loved Series VIII. You may also know that I’ve recently realised how disappointing it is. But, it has to be said, that there are some brilliant moments in VIII (as there were in VII, come to that), and I remember writing a letter to Doug Naylor after BITR1 praising him incessantly for such a brilliant show (and receiving a nice letter back – from the Casting Director…). And I must say, I thought VIII’s CG was fine – a hell of an improvement on the awful stuff in VII.
    Anyways, great review Cappsy – my anticipation of this release has been given even more of a boost.

  16. Excellent review. I can’t believe you have the discs already…Austin and I are going to be among the last people in the entire world to get our hands on this.

    Good job of whetting my appetite. But I take issue with your conclusion… surely you still have the movie to look forward to, right…?

    >I quite like Series VIII – It?s the thinking man?s Red Dwarf

    I love series VIII. But never in a thousand years would I say it’s the most intelligent Dwarf series. In fact, it may well be the least. Not that that’s a BAD thing…but I can’t imagine it’s nearly the smartest stuff Naylor ever came up with.

  17. I’d agree it’s the least intelligent. Clever notions might be one thing, and while cliched by this time Cassandra and even the time wand could have been fascinating but it’s the lack of any context or reason to give them shape that makes the potential for intelligence in VIII fall flat. They feel like rejects from series V because nothing worthwhile is formed around them – and that’s where the intelligence would be.

    More than anything else it’s the form and rhythm of Red Dwarf VIII that’s wrong for me, to be honest. Decent Red Dwarf isn’t just about the humour or even good characterisation – it’s the shape of the episode and how it makes you feel as a result of that shape.

  18. I feel like adding (and I’m not going to start saying IMHO, you can assume that I’m not trying to represent humanity, get over it) that there’s too much time-wasting in VIII to make the episodes flow properly, and that GNP perhaps didn’t quite judge what worked about the bunk scenes in placing them so prominantly and in such large pieces in this series. The bluff is that the series is returning to its roots and people on amazon.co.uk keep saying so in its defense, but apart from the return of the mothership and crew, the glimpse of the grey bunk room set and costumes reminiscent of the old days there’s little to connect them. The bunk room scenes fitted into the pace of the old series, whereas here they actually often feel like they’re simply delaying the start of the episode.

    I wouldn’t mind much if series VIII seemed to know what it wanted to be, but I felt it never did. While I most wanted an extension of the filmic VII style into something even more thrilling and dramatic (the Star Wars parody trailer REALLY excited me), I would have gone for old-style Dwarf if it had apparently committed to that. If it had genuinely aspired to series I-II loveliness it would have been marvellous but it seemed like it was only doing that to a degree in order to appeal for the fans who wanted more bunk room. And then just as quickly, jarringly, in fact, to appease those fans who’d boycott Dwarf without at least a cursory nod to Dibbley. I wanted to feel integrity here but everything was lost in a stream-of-consciousness, like the escape from Red Dwarf focus: how about stickying with an atmosphere of our crew being isolated and alienated in a place familiar to them (how great would that have BEEN? – an ideal opportunity for the bunk room stuff and again I felt this was hinted at in the Star Wars parody trailer) – nothing, instead somehow everything flowed into claymation, then Rimmer whacking his old fella with a sledge hammer, then right boys back into bed with no supper.

    Again, if they’d committed to stream-of-consciousness Dwarf I’d have run with it. I enjoy the sleepy mood of things like The Mighty Boosh more than the whacky ideas and adventures that emerge, and I love the pace and rhythm created by Chris Morris’ editing of his Jam sketches. Contrary to belief on amazon.co.uk I don’t dislike series VIII because I’m scared of change. A lot of the BITR three-parter was psychotropically induced or whatever they called it and could have benefitted enormously from this kind of experimentation. But the stream-of-consciousness feel comes from bad episode structuring, that’s all, and so it all just feels lazy and messy.

    With series VII being so clearly an attempt to explore what they could do for the movie, what was VIII? How were they pushing the boundaries with that one? It just felt like they were scared of getting the same kind of hostile fan reaction again (the VII documentary shows they’re all really conscious of fans feeling the show was too slick) and wanted to step back into familiar territory. Which is a shame because I don’t think they knew what that familiar territory was.

    MUST… STOP… FINDING… EXCUSES… TO… RANT… ABOUT… SERIES… VIII…

    The large percentage of idiots putting reviews up on amazon.co.uk. THEY’RE THE ENEMY. There, hope that helps.

  19. You think I’m overreacting? Here:

    ————————————
    2 of 61 people found the following review helpful:

    The worst of Red Dwarf, February 26, 2006

    Reviewer: A viewer from Manchester, England

    Red Dwarf is usually a BIT worse than Doctor Who, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Edward Scissorhands. But here it is MUCH worse than them! The best thing about Red Dwarf is when Kryten says “Smee Hee”. I bought this DVD and Kruton doesn’t say Smee Hee even once.

    Was this review helpful to you?
    ————————————-

  20. Haha, I was going to post about that guy on OD, actually! It just *has* to be a joke, doesn’t it?

    And that’s one fine summing up of Series VIII right there, James. You’ve hit several nails into several heads. There’s a constant feeling that the show’s trying to hark back, but there’s just no magic there – nothing that even approaches the quality of what’s gone before.

    It’s a difficult point of view to get across, as it always seems like the belittling of people who enjoy the series… And usually I can understand different viewpoints on TV shows. But with this, I can’t understand how VIII could be viewed as anything but an inferior imitation of Dwarf.

    Almost three years and The White Hole finally get’s its first proper discussion! I’m so proud.

  21. I am desperately trying to approach VIII with an open mind. I have only seen pieces (of eight!) of certain shows (Pete Parts 1 and 2 and Cassandra)in the past and so like VII I am going to wait until May 2015 for North America to get the DVD until I make my final judgement on the series.

    Unfortunately with VII, after watching the episodes once, I found that the deleted scenes of ‘Rimmerworld’ were far funnier than almost anything else in the series. As a result my hopes are not high for VIII…

    So I will probably be purchasing the DVD purely for the extras again, which judging by your thorough and well-crafted review, should be well worth the price of admission alone.

    What a pity Series I and II did not get the same treatment…I live in hope for this remastered idea of Andrew’s to come to fruition to correct this anomaly!

  22. I’m in a bit of two minds about that. That I’d need to get the remastered series in order to get proper docs for 1 and 2 makes me feel a bit sick somehow. There’s also something of a progression with the cast/crew seeing the series in order and responding to them sequentially – it’ll be weird to see them sitting around again talking about the earlier series. You know what I mean? – there’s a lovely quality in the DVDs throughout the commentaries and documentaries of everyone remembering things together for the first time in ages as a group. But obviously decent docs are better wherever they are than not existing at all, and I don’t disagree that they’d be valuable. I just think that what’s wrong with my collection is that the series 1 and 2 DVDs feel more *empty*, what with the fewer hours of extras and the plain silver BBC discs, and new extras on the remastered discs to fill in the gaps won’t rectify that.

    I’m not complaining about the series 1 and 2 DVDs as they are. When they first came out they felt crammed and we’ve become greedy bastards what with man walking (nearly typed wanking which they probably did!!!) on the moon and the invention of the wheel (in that order). Ten years ago we were paying ?12.99 for three episodes on VHS and nothing else!! But yeah, just saying.

  23. In a strange way, I really like the marked dfferences between the different ‘phases’ of the DVDs. It’s nice to see the evolution of the sets and how problems were improved upon and strong points built upon. In my own strange brain, I find that more interesting than the DVDs being perfect from the start.

    So, if the gaps could be filled in with a re-mastered DVD release, then all the better. I’m dying to have a frank documentary about the varying issues surrounding the re-mastereds, though. There’s got to plenty of interesting stuff to talk about.

  24. That’s true and something I was thinking of saying. There’s something honest about the progression of the DVDs that matches the evolution of the series as a whole.

    And the remastered discs will have upgraded documentaries for the first two series! It’s like a special retread of that there history.

  25. Just a question, been looking through your interviews and wanted to check something:

    “Since the split of the writing partnership of Grant Naylor, Rob Grant has most certainly been the quiter of the two.”

    The quitter of them?

    And by the way, nails are hit *on* the head, not *into* them. At least from a public relations point of view.

    “Almost three years and The White Hole finally get?s its first proper discussion! I?m so proud.”

    That’s what you get for posting your review so early. View this as the Holoship to transfer to from Ganymede & Titan’s Red Dwarf because they’re not EXACTLY TRYING ARE THEY.

  26. ?Since the split of the writing partnership of Grant Naylor, Rob Grant has most certainly been the quiter of the two.?The quitter of them?

    Oh, for a decent proof reader… As you may have noticed while reading my past stuff, my writing has improved quite a considerable amount in the last few years.

  27. But you do think Rob Grant was the quitter of the two? If you had to choose between them?

  28. Ignore me. I’m being a cunt. Bored at work.

  29. Rob Grant is lazy and selfish… he ruined everything, then had the audacity to say “we had reached a stage where we were doing nothing else except Red Dwarf” right after the hyporcrite quit the 10%ers.

    And I wonder if he gets a cut in series 7/8 dvd sales??? OF COURSE HE FRIGGIN DOES!!!!

    WHAT A SELL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Doug is the genious writer!
    Doug is the one who gets all the shit from people who write CRAP reviews like you do about series 8 just because it is different to the ‘same old’ RD dwarf 4,5 & 6!
    Which ironically if he would have kept it the same as series six (oh a Derelict space ship with some crazy droid on it, but what about space core directive 48474..blar blar blar) he would of been accused of not being original!

    Yet the only argument you can put together to Criticise series 7/8 is… OH I Hate CGI!! Oh they shouldn’t have got rid of Rimmer! Oh the jokes aren’t like the old ones…!

    CHRIS BARRIE LEFT!!!!!!!!!!! BLAME HIM!
    THE BBC FX GUYS COCKED THE WHOLE THING UP… BLAME MIKE TUCKER/PETER WRAGG!!!!!!
    WHY BOTHER REPEATING THE SAME F*****g JOKES FROM OLDER SERIES!!!!???

    Pathetic!

  30. Albert, hello.

    Rob Grant is lazy and selfish? he ruined everything, then had the audacity to say ?we had reached a stage where we were doing nothing else except Red Dwarf? right after the hyporcrite quit the 10%ers.

    You make a good point ? but you make it very badly. If Rob wanted to move away from Dwarf then you’d think he’d jump at the chance to work on something different with Doug… but he didn’t. However, this suggests other, deeper running problems with the partnership, which you have no idea about and so have no right passing judgment.

    And I wonder if he gets a cut in series 7/8 dvd sales??? OF COURSE HE FRIGGIN DOES!!!!

    WHAT A SELL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rob Grant co-wrote, co-created and co-produced the show. He has every right to earn money from anything related to it ? even a series he didn;t help to write. After all, you wouldn’t complain about Doug Naylor getting money from merchandise like t-shirts just because he didn’t make them personally, would you?

    Also, the argument that Rob Grant is a sell out for leaving a commercially successful franchise is *very* flawed. And stop shouting.

    Doug is the genious writer!

    Doug is *a* genius writer, yes. Why do you think Rob Grant is worse? You don’t make this clear.

    Doug is the one who gets all the shit from people who write CRAP reviews like you do about series 8 just because it is different to the ?same old? RD dwarf 4,5 & 6!
    Which ironically if he would have kept it the same as series six (oh a Derelict space ship with some crazy droid on it, but what about space core directive 48474..blar blar blar) he would of been accused of not being original!

    He gets perfectly understandable criticism for his work. Something that even Rob Grant gets. It’s something EVERYONE gets and it’s what reviewers should be doing.

    And personally I wouldn’t care what old formulas he used, as long as it was actually funny and interesting.

    Yet the only argument you can put together to Criticise series 7/8 is? OH I Hate CGI!! Oh they shouldn?t have got rid of Rimmer! Oh the jokes aren?t like the old ones?!

    No. I’ve made more arguments than that. Most of which are summed up at the start of my VIII DVD review. Did you actually read it? I do hate the CGI but there’s far more worrying problems in the writing and performances which get to me more.

    CHRIS BARRIE LEFT!!!!!!!!!!! BLAME HIM!
    THE BBC FX GUYS COCKED THE WHOLE THING UP? BLAME MIKE TUCKER/PETER WRAGG!!!!!!
    WHY BOTHER REPEATING THE SAME F*****g JOKES FROM OLDER SERIES!!!!???

    Right, now you’ve pissed me off. If you’re going to SHOUT at me and slag off my opinions, then get your fucking facts right. Mike Tucker and co. did NOT fuck any effects up. What they shot for series VII was made unusable by Doug’s late re-writes and none of the CG work I dislike from VII or VIII was anything to do with them (apart from the new Dwarf model). So, no, I wont blame them, because that’s a stupid thing for you to say.

    And I didn’t expect Doug to just repeat older jokes (in fact, ironically, the over repeating of jokes is another problem I have with VIII’s writing) I just wanted it to be, you know, funny.

    Your reaction to my review has been both perplexing and infuriating.

    Pathetic!

    Yes.

  31. 1 – 0 to me!

  32. What the hell was all that? A reaction to your review or did I summon him from the undergrowth with my flippant “quieter/quitter” comment?

  33. Forgive me for asking this question across forums but I strung this in with a load of others at G&T which means it was overlooked. But I *am* interested. Precisely how does the CGI Red Dwarf shape relate to the old one? Has the ship kept its overall mass but become longer and thinner (ie more streamlined and tidy), or is the old model basically the first third of the CGI ship (ie the Remastered/Series VIII vessel is 300% longer)? The latter option make sense in the pre cut-back sense – previous to pondering this I just assumed they’d completely remodelled Red Dwarf to make it look generically more sleek for “teh late-nineties”.

  34. Okay, for some reason my little diagram of letters didn’t appear, it just cut off after the first “D”.

    So never mind.

    *retires to rug and gnaws at bone*

  35. By 300% I’m not including the scoop, obviously. Just the body of the creature from thorax down.

    Hey look, these help my cause but they sure as hell will catch on as emoticons the world and a half over:

    D

  36. “I noticed you had no argument to back up Chris Barrie leaving?”

    We all know Chris left, what the fuck are you talking about? Nobody needs to prove it.

    “Andrew Ellard is right – what?s the point in writing a review if you can?t give the series a chance?”

    Cappsy gave the series a chance. Read the review.

    “You only hate the series because that is what ?THE FANS? are meant to do! Would you still have hated the series if Chris Barrie hadn?t have left?”

    So do you think Chris Barrie left or not? He’s present in VIII which is the series Cappsy is reviewing. You’re getting tedious and I’m starting to wonder why I’m even replying to someone who’s so obviously being deliberately obtuse.

    “Does the shape of Red Dwarf really have anything to do with the show?”

    What does this have to do with anything? I was asking a question because I was curious, I wasn’t using it to slag off the show. I’m genuinely curious as to whether the CGI ship is supposed to be the original ship + an extra back section, or simply a complete remodelling.

    “Why do ?sex? jokes in series eight affend you so much? Are you a bit of a prude????????”

    HAHA! What a punchline, and so well sculpted. No wonder you think we should all be taking you seriously with comedic mastery like that under your belt. No but seriously (can I be?), I think possibly puerile humour can only be fully appreciated by a certain kind of person. It’s a category most of us here can only aspire to. You may therefore wish to relocate elsewhere.

  37. Sorry, that’s my fault – the comments systemn would have thought you were trying to write HTML.

    As for your question, I’ve always assumed they meant the ship is now completely differently proportioned (length AND height increase), as they mention new ‘decks’ and I assume the addition of decks means extra depth as well as length… or something.

    Basically, the whole re-shaping thing was deeply misguided and pointless.

  38. I noticed you had no argument to back up Chris Barrie leaving?

    Andrew Ellard is right – what’s the point in writing a review if you can’t give the series a chance? You only hate the series because that is what “THE FANS” are meant to do! Would you still have hated the series if Chris Barrie hadn’t have left?

    Does the shape of Red Dwarf really have anything to do with the show?

    Why do “sex” jokes in series eight affend you so much? Are you a bit of a prude????????

  39. I think James and Cappsy are right, and Albert is a stupid cock.

    I will, however, stand up for purile humour to the death. Done right, it can be extremely funnny.

  40. I noticed you had no argument to back up Chris Barrie leaving?

    Beacsue I have no argument about that. It’s a totally irrelevant point. Yes the show was hit by Chris’ decision to leave, but that didn’t have any impact on my other reasons for disliking series VII. Chris should not be blamed for leaving, beacsue he had very good reason to – he was working non-stop on two shows at the same time and he couldn’t cope any more.

    Andrew Ellard is right – what?s the point in writing a review if you can?t give the series a chance? You only hate the series because that is what ?THE FANS? are meant to do! Would you still have hated the series if Chris Barrie hadn?t have left?

    Andrew Ellard never said that.

    And I take offense at the fact that you just assume I dislike the series because it’s in some way ‘cool’. You completely off the fucking mark and should maybe try to put across your opinions in a reasoned, adult manner so I can actually take them seriously.

    Does the shape of Red Dwarf really have anything to do with the show?

    Yes. It has something to do with the feel of show. The effects have a massive impact on the quality of a show, especially when there’s so many.

    Why do ?sex? jokes in series eight affend you so much? Are you a bit of a prude????????

    Sex jokes don’t bother me. Rubbish sex jokes, do. Also, I feel that Dwarf’s humour doesn’t suit the over use of sexual or peurile humour. But that’s my personal opinion and is whole point of a review!

    I don’t want to be seen as someone who attacks people with different opinions to me (I have a big problem with the way you’re making your opinions known, though) so I’m going to throw the floor open to you. Write me a well thought out review of series VII and VIII and I will publish it.

    And stop being an arse.

  41. Okay everyone it is now time to stop feeding the troll. I can’t see how this guy is genuine, to be honest. He’s playing at being thick, he’s being aggressive and contrary for no reason, he’s deliberately ignoring the review and comments here so his attacks can be utterly detached from what we’re saying. All adds up to someone stirring up trouble for the sake of it.

    If he posts here again while I’m not here maybe someone could just say fuck off to him from me, otherwise that’s it.

  42. I can’t see why people hate it when shows change from when they first started watching. I don’t know why so many people think they know how to make shows better than those who have been making them for so long. If VIII was the same as 4-6 or 1-3, then people would complain that it’s just retreading and nothing new.
    Even the Simpsons has a go at fans who think they own a show.
    While overall it’s not the best series of Red Dwarf, 8 has one of the best ever episodes, being Cassandra, as well as many very funny and original jokes. If you don’t like series 8 as it is too ‘different’ from all the other series, then be boring and only watch the other series.
    I don’t think 8 has humour that can be considered more purile than any other season (Polymorph comes to mind, with an editor calling it smut and putrid filth).
    As for the special effects (not all of it was CG, and I doubt many people could actually tell what was CGI and what was minituares without being told), VII was put together at the last minute by the BBC, and for VIII, the BBC effects crew put their prices up so they could make a profit, and they turned to other sources. And they did a great job. The dinosaur looks better than any other dinosaur I’ve seen on TV.
    And when their budget was smaller than most sitcoms, it’s amazing what they did with how little money they had – less than a season of ‘Dinnerladies’. All series of Red Dwarf have better effects than most other shows and movies – including Pearl Harbor.
    It is also the funniest show I’ve ever seen, with Futurama second, followed by Monty Python, Family Guy, The Muppet Show and Stargate SG-1 (which has not very many jokes and bits of humour, but all are funny).
    Most comedies are just not funny at all, and you might laugh up to twice an episode, but only the first time you see it. And that includes most episodes of the Simpsons, but the simpsons is one of the only shows to have other redeeming features.
    Red Dwarf VIII is still funnier than almost anything else around.

Jump to top / Jump to 'Recent Comments'

Leave a Reply