IT. IS. FINALLY. HERE.

WELL IAN HAD A LOT OF WORK TO DO AND HE TRIED TO DO THE REVIEW BUT HE DIDN’T HAVE TIME SO HE PASSED IT ONTO ME AND I HAD A BIT OF WRITERS BLOCK BUT I’VE SORTED IT NOW SORRY IT’S LATE SIR PLEEEEAAAAAAASEE DON’T TELL ME OFF I’M SORRY HONEST IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE

There we go. Based on a preview copy, so nothing on the packaging, collector’s booklet, or skutter as yet.

Erm, NIGHT.

32 Responses to IT. IS. FINALLY. HERE.

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  1. > just for Kryten’s line that Archie can “play dead and beg, but that’s about it”.

    That has quickly become my favourite line of the entire series and they cut the smegger.

    Unfortunately Mr. Hoare I didn’t share your dismay on viewing series VIII again. Of course, much of it still pisses me off no end but I somehow enjoyed BITR Xtended quite a bit. It’s been a while since I saw the series, and in the past I could hardly even sit through the three-parter (the Blue Midget scene is approx. the part where I usually go ‘why the smeg am I even still watching?’). The new scenes helped, even though there’s only a few, and it now feels like an episode rather than…a mash of shit.

    I don’t know. For every good scene in VIII there’s a shit one right around the corner to bring you down. It’s better than VII anyway, something which I’m now 100% sure of. Doug put his ‘good gag’ head on for most of VIII as opposed to 5% (if that) of VII. And you can tell this kind of format was a great boost for the cast.

    One last thing – the bunkroom scenes. On the whole I really like them. I confess I’m a massive fan of the series 1 & 2 Rimmer/Lister-heavy scenes (and of course Marooned), and even though the VIII ones don’t come close to them I still get a kick out of Craig and Chris interacting in a way that feels, I don’t know, nostalgic. It’s the kind of thing the series needed after the lack of the Rimmer/Lister dynamic for a long time.

  2. Hmm… 23 more days till the Region 4 release.

  3. (must compile that CD for the car…),

    Err, yeah. I haven’t done that. Ever. At all.

    (actually, I must get round to updating mine, as I did it when only series I-IV were out. Admittedly they have most of the best music, but I really need to at least get the Gunmen theme on there…)

  4. Did you notice that Pete Part 2 has the whole diahorrea speech from Hollister in it? That’s the episode co-written by Paul Alexander – the man who likes to make us say “urgh”

    Also – errors – Hollister is credited throughout the series as Captain. Except the Xtended ones, where he’s Captain Hollister :)

    As for the alternative ending – yeah, (no), the conga didn’t work, neither IMO did everyone saying Cesiumfrancolithicmyxialobidiumrixydixydoxhidexidroxhide, but I think the episode could have ended nicely with Rimmer’s wave.

    I really can’t stand Norman. I agree he shouldn’t have been edited out, but he just says “Oh, have I got a line in this one?” all the time. As he tells the others – stop moaning – you got paid!

    I like the Blue Midget dance music.

    it’s simply the way the sketches without fail turn into a discussion about “your local television station”

    Yeah… And then the mish mash of TV station names at the end to make up for it ;)

    Overall, I enjoyed the series more on this outing than before. Pete does have a certain charm to it, Cassandra and Krytie TV are excellent – it’s just Back in the Red that annoys me.

  5. Thanks John, a great review.

    “After the Starbug-based design of the last three series, these menus are all new”

    Surely it was two?

    “and some of the rubbish dino stuff cut out “

    I’m still curious as to whether Doug treats the dino with as much dismay as he did the alligator in Stoke. Funnily enough while he was really upset about the latter I accepted it as part of the parody, while the whole dinosaur sequence jarred on several levels for me.

  6. Still haven’t found time to watch any of this apart from the documentary. A slightly unsettling experience since there were so many godawful clips.

    Haven’t watched these episodes in atleast three years and assumed they’d be better than I remember. On first impressions, this is sadly not the case.

    Still. Doug Naylor; best. interviewee. ever.

  7. Yes, a great release, and I agree with you about the idea of including the library music in with the music cues (or at least giving us the titles of the pieces and letting us find them ourselves). That would’ve been good. Especially the Potato Virus music. I’ve always found that amusing.

    Also, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I don’t think the commentaries are as amusing or informative as usual, as they’re just too crowded, and so you don’t get to hear from the assembled cast, because there’s always somebody else talking! At the end of one episode, Norman’s talking about one thing, while other cast members are having a completely different conversation over the other side of the studio!
    Also, the continual references to Craig being on The Games, and starting on Coronation Street ‘in May’ make it feel a year out of date already. Still, no real problem, and certainly not a reason not to buy the bloody thing.

    Excellent stuff. Really.

  8. I found Norman’s bitterness in the commentary pretty funny. I like the way he sometimes says something that makes everyone else go silent (I pissed myself when Chloe said ‘I can’t remember this’ and Norman said ‘well that’s because you were drunk for most of the series’ *silence* and when he said Danny had worked with Cliff Richard). It’s obvious that he thinks the later series are shit, and that even though he was in VIII (and would happily be in any future Dwarf, if only to get paid…) he was dismayed with the way it turned out.

  9. At least we won’t have to listen to Norm’s David Ross ‘Are You Legit?’ story again.

    AGAIN, I say.

  10. ‘And we’re talking about a show that for the first six series, apart from the odd dodgy line, I don’t feel put much of a foot wrong.’

    Well, I don’t know about that. For one, Demons and Angels is shit.

    But anyway Series 8 – I mainly agree with you. I watched Back in the Red Extended and I saw a really good one hour episode, bits where I would have cut, things that didn’t feel right and really enjoyed the bunkroom scenes. I think there’s something that anchors it to the original series, something of the original feel. Plus, they’re funny.

    Oh and this is off Norm’s website:

    ‘Series 7 allowed Doug to try out different writers to take pressure off him but although it was an entertaining enough series it didn?t quite match the standard of the earlier series.

    Series 8 was written by Doug and I felt Red Dwarf was back on course again. I was glad to be back although I didn?t have a huge amount to do which was frustrating at times.’

    So, there you go. He didn’t get much and his ‘Nostrilomo’ gag was rubbish, remember. So em… yeah.

  11. >For one, Demons and Angels is shit.

    Well, I have to say I disagree with you there. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of dodgy stuff in the first six series. White Hole is at times a crashing bore and there are certain episodes in series 3 that can become pretty tedious after repeated viewings, but Demons and Angels is really quite funny and fantastic visually.

  12. Well, could we say that unlike most of the other series on the whole which have their flaws, Series 8 is an artistic failure?

  13. >Well, could we say that unlike most of the other series on the whole which have their flaws, Series 8 is an artistic failure?

    Brilliant – Oh and great review John; I may have to wait longer for the DVD than Gordon Brown for Blair’s resignation, but somehow the anticipation just isn’t the same without the G & T review….

  14. Well, read the review.
    For what it’s worth, I think it’s the most well balanced, lovingly written review I’ve read so far on any of the DVD’s..

    As for the series, my views havn’t changed that much and if anything, I like it even more…

    Yes, there’s some dodgy moments and one I cant get my head round at all but overall I love it.

  15. > Demons and Angels is shit.

    No. That stuff that comes out of your arse – that’s shit. But no Dwarf episode is shit IMO. Even eps I don’t like such as ‘Confidence & Paranoia’, ‘Parallel Universe’, ‘Legion’ and ‘Nanarchy’ I wouldn’t class as complete shit (although let’s be fair, the Legion costume IS crap). Even the worse episodes have their saving graces, such as the Tongue Tied opening to Parallel Universe… and Norman’s return in Nanarchy (I’m sure after listening to the VIII commentary some people wish he HADN’T returned!)

    Speaking of Norman again, I think he was pissed off that he wasn’t really a main cast member when he returned.

  16. Does his grumbling reflect mostly his lack of involvement in the series or his preference for Dwarf 1-2 over VIII?

  17. ‘That stuff that comes out of your arse – that’s shit.’

    He’s right! :)

    Fine then, comparatively…

  18. A proper Blackadder DVD set would be fantastic, didn’t the US get the best release? Then again the most interesting thing they could put on it would be the unaired pilot, would love to have a decent copy of that, just like the RD US pilot.

  19. >A proper Blackadder DVD set would be fantastic, didn’t the US get the best release?

    I don’t have the Region 1 version so I can’t compare, but I read the Amazon information that John linked to and–as far as I can tell–the bonus material matches up. Except for the fact that you guys have 6 DVDs in the set and we have 5. What might be the reason for that extra disc I cannot imagine.

  20. I meant to say I don’t have the Region TWO version. Of course I have Region 1…that’s my region.

  21. Having bought the then ‘complete’ set 1-4 at ?54.00, followed by Back and forth and Christmas Carol at another ?15.00 (aprox) each, I’m a tad annoyed there’s a boxed set at ?42.00 now……
    Mind you, I’ve done the same with Fawlty Towers and the Python films……

    Will, I ever learn….

    Nah.

  22. Hmmm – two interesting things. One is that the American release has a few (fairly paltry-looking) extras, whereas the UK box doesn’t. (Mini-eps and the Back and Forth stuff aside.)

    Second thing is this: User ratings of four and five stars on Amazon for that Adder box set. I’m rapidly realising that extras production is a losing battle. Give nothing, the review will just rate the shows. Put a stack of extras on and you’re just encouraging people to point out what’s missing and what’s wrong!

    How bleak…

  23. >Put a stack of extras on and you’re just encouraging people to point out what’s missing and what’s wrong!

    I’m actually not sure which is true, Andrew…it’s a guessing game with people, and, sadly, not an easy one. I agree with your extras production argument…and I’ve seen it proven over and over again with these sets (I remember someone refusing to give VII five stars, on the grounds that “There’s nowhere to go from there.” So fucking what? Is it everything you wanted? Then five stars it is…arrrgghggh)

    But I’ve also seen people in reviews deduct stars or points right off the bat for not having any extras, which I think is absurd, but there you go…

    Just remember your team HAS produced the best release of a television series to date. There’s a genuine care and fondness on GNP’s part that shows through clearly on the DVDs. It would be wonderful if more people could just admit that to themselves, but, as it stands, just take solace in the fact that you’ve made many, many fans happy by giving them (for the most part) more than they ever knew they wanted.

  24. Oh, and the region 2 Blackadder actually has LESS material than region 1? Now what on earth accounts for that extra DVD?

  25. Hey. There’s something really really depressing about series 8, i’m not sure why. I remember being so damn excited watching that trailer on bbc2 in 1998, being 12 years old and not really having discovered sex or alcohol, it looked awesome. And then I watched it and felt a bit cheated. The truth is it’s just not that good. The jokes are mostly poor, bits of it just look tacky (midget dance,dino etc..),there’s no emotional involvement with any of the characters, no depth to the script or stories, it’s just all a bit crap. And that ending….If they could just shoot a one off special, make it really good, and tie up the story once and for all, it would give a good show like Red Dwarf the send off it deserves, and that we all deserve.

  26. > Oh, and the region 2 Blackadder actually has LESS material than region 1? Now what on earth accounts for that extra DVD?

    For whatever reason, the Region 1 edition has the Xmas Carol special included on the series 3 disc. (A very tight squeeze, but just do-able.) We get it separate.

  27. >Give nothing, the review will just rate the shows. Put a stack of extras on and you’re just encouraging people to point out what’s missing and what’s wrong!

    Don’t despair Mr. Ellard. I am a huge fan of Blackadder and have been since the day Series 2 was first released, but I have never purchased the set because a show as great as that deserves so much more than just being dumped onto DVD format. So, I have no intention of upgrading my VHS copies until I see something worth buying…

    After all, I am like most people on a limited budget for DVD purchases and I can assure you that Red Dwarf has taken priority over the last few years as a must have, precisely because each release has been so superbly done.

    Now when I buy Series 8 over here in Region 1, I will have completed a set worth watching and rewatching for years to come and I’m sure I am not alone in this: This is GNP’s and your legacy Mr. Ellard – you should be damned proud!

  28. Looking at TOS, 20th Anniversary of Red Dwarf in 2008?! I’m getting old…

  29. I think what’s bleak, is the fact that very few if any DVD’s have been given the care and attention afforded to us as fans by GNP and the Beeb…
    Whilst I have no idea how sales would compare for extra laden DVD’s and vanilla releases, I would suggest Blackadder for instance would have sold a whole lot better with something new added.
    We’re all fans of a wide variety of programmes and I suspect most of us have DVD’s of these programmes, the fact everyone (as I can see) have declared the Dwarf as the best series of DVD’s ever sums up the appreciation of us fans.
    Thankfully, most of us buy DVD’s based on our own thoughts and not those of the magazine writers as the reported sales figures backs up…

    As the BBC/2ENT are backing future optical media planned by GNP, not it seems, based on the ‘shows’ as such, also suggests the ongoing GNP efforts are more than worth it from everyones point of view…….

    Chin up, it’s not bleak, we all love you for it
    (but not in a sexual way possibly)…

  30. Is this playing up again?

    I think what’s bleak, is the fact that very few if any DVD’s have been given the care and attention afforded to us as fans by GNP and the Beeb…
    Whilst I have no idea how sales would compare for extra laden DVD’s and vanilla releases, I would suggest Blackadder for instance would have sold a whole lot better with something new added.
    We’re all fans of a wide variety of programmes and I suspect most of us have DVD’s of these programmes, the fact everyone (as I can see) have declared the Dwarf as the best series of DVD’s ever sums up the appreciation of us fans.
    Thankfully, most of us buy DVD’s based on our own thoughts and not those of the magazine writers as the reported sales figures backs up…

    As the BBC/2ENT are backing future optical media planned by GNP, not it seems, based on the ‘shows’ as such, also suggests the ongoing GNP efforts are more than worth it from everyones point of view…….

    Chin up, it’s not bleak, we all love you for it
    (but not in a sexual way possibly)…

  31. Series 8 is currently on Play’s bestseller list…

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