Ah, the run-up to VIII? Great time for us to get lazy!
Just to keep you updated, then. TOS have published their final (probably) DVD Details article – detailing, of course, VIII’s deleted scenes. If I may engage sucking-up (or just suck) mode for a second, it is testament to how great GNP are towards the fans that such a project was followed through – sure, a few reports might just sell a few more DVDs, but 90-odd shows real commitment, and goes way beyond simply good sales technique. Although clearly the fact that the R4 release date has been put back to the 20th April means that they’re actually a bunch of bloody stupid poms, mate.
Meanwhile, Cappsy has done an excellent VIII DVD review. For those of you waiting for ours, we should have it up by the end of the week. But if you’re interested in our VIII review, it’ll be up by Friday. Ian is right in the middle of coursework at the moment – why he just doesn’t do what I did and flunk uni because of the internet I’ll never know.
Finally, SFX has also got a review. Sickbags on standby:
Red Dwarf Season Eight
The swansong series.
1999 • 12 • 240 minutes • £22.99 • 27 March
Creators: Rob Grand and Doug Naylor
Starring: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Norman Lovett
3 Stars Extras: 5 starts
Some things change. Some things change back again. After season seven’s experimentation with a filmed look and no laughter track, season eight was again vid-com recorded in front of a studio audience. Format-wise, the show had another complete overhaul. Lister and co find themselves prisoners on board a nanobot-built copy of Red Dwarf, complete with the full original crew. There they because enrolled with the Canaries, a task force of criminals sent into dangerous situations, turning the show into a kind of Dirty Dozen in space.
Although the percieved wisdom is that Red Dwarf was rubbish in its later years, these episodes dispel that myth. The shows not at its best, sure, but it’s still going great guns. Yes, there’s an over-reliance on set-pieces that don’t come off, and the multi-part episodes show a more flaccid approach to plotting. On the other hand, the classic bunk scenes with Rimmer and Lister bitching at each other are back, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud lines (“I’ve discovered something that’ll make your hair stand on end,” says Holly. “Brylcreem.”) and in “Krytie TV” the season has a true stand-out classic.
DVD Extras: Another superb package – and not just in terms of quantity. The documentaries are slickly produced and feature some surprisingly frank views. The cut scenes and bloopers are enormous fun. The commentaries on each episode may be a bit overpopulated (they talk all over each other and Norman Lovett’s whinging gets on your nerves), but they remain entertaining. Add in a Dwarf-themed rock video, raw FX footage, a radio sketch, and impressive animated menus and you’ve got an impressive and reasonably-priced DVD. Dave Golder
i No fewer than four endings were considered for the final episode. One (unfilmed) had Ace Rimmer turning up. Another (filmed but dumped) had the Starbug squad assuming control of an empty Red Dwarf.
VII HAD A LAUGH TRACK, YOU FOOL. Besides, that, it’s reasonable review, with deserved praise of the extras – but a rather more positive one of the series than I would give. And comparing it to his II review makes you wonder just what planet he is on – Series II’s effects get criticised, but VIII’s don’t?
Oh, and Krytie TV is a half-hour bit of fun – but nowhere near a “classic”.
Aaaanyway, must dasheroonie. More later tonight, hopefully – and there’s a couple of articles in the works, too…