Lazy Cuntrags

VIII DVD Cover.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…

32 Responses to Lazy Cuntrags

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  1. > Creators: Rob Grand and Doug Naylor

    Rob Grand!

  2. You know, I like that so much I’m going to keep it.

  3. 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.

    I hadn’t noticed that. Fuck.

    At least we still get it before America.

  4. *the torch of the statue of liberty suddenly bobs up from beneath the surface of the water between Australia and the UK*

  5. Okay that means the statue of liberty is still attached and the entire land mass of America is with it and the whole bastard of the US is creaking into place to get its RD DVD before Australia.

    I made that hilariously clear above and you in no way presumed that I was suggesting the torch of the statue of liberty had snapped off somehow and was just drifting about in the aforementioned waters.

    You were not baffled by the post and you care about all of this.

  6. Good…that confirmed what i thought. There were a FEW endings to Series VIII, so how come we only get one alternate???

  7. There’s an excellent article on here somewhere (cheque to the usual place, guys) that outlines the different possible endings. To summarise :

    1. The Starbug crew succesfully create the antidote, and Rimmer refuses to let the rest of the Dwarf crew back onboard

    2. They fail to get the antidote, Rimmer is knocked out by the vending machine, and fades out of consciousness among the flames as the episode ends.

    3. As in 2., and Ace Rimmer shows up to save him.

    4. As in 2., and he knees Death in the balls.

    Of those, 4. was of course the actual (and worst) ending, but only 1. and 2. were also filmed (3. never was). On the DVD, we get to see the entirety of the first one (based on my own sneak preview, it’s infinitely better than what we ended up with) and apparently there are also snippets of the second one in the docco.

    There’s also “Earth”, of course, but that doesn’t count, great as it would have been.

  8. Ending #2 is basically what we got in the broadcast version, but without Death. Same footage and everything. It’s in the doco, but not the deleted scenes. Which is fair enough.

  9. The second one pretty much sounds the same as the third and fourth but without some kind of intervention to lighten it. I was expecting it to exist much like the actual ending to series VI where they just lopped the end off. So possible ending 2 is actually a differently filmed sequence? Should be interesting to see.

    I had a dream once that the resurrected series VIII Rimmer died about two-thirds of the way through Only the Good, and then with only the usual series VII crew remaining on Red Dwarf at the end they brought back Rimmer as a hologram (even though they hate him, and who was immediately hard-light, for some reason). And then it went on a bit and quite soon everyone just overlooked the fact that he wasn’t “our” Rimmer, and so he was. It wasn’t long after I woke up that the dream didn’t sound too unlikely a way to bring back the status quo, given the logic of series VIII.

  10. You see that, Symes, is you beating me to it with a post.

  11. What’s been done to version 2 within the documentary to make it feel like an end? Some kind of fade and then the music?

  12. What’s been done to version 2 within the documentary to make it feel like an end? Some kind of fade and then the music?

    Yeah, it fades out the picture and sound to a caption just reading “The End”. It’s good.

  13. The end the smeg it is, or just “The End”?

  14. Just “The End”. Before Doug Naylor’s family decided it depressed them too much.

  15. Funny they would think of putting that caption there at all though. “The End” and actually meaning it. It’s one thing to end it hanging but The End actually seems to mean the end of all the series, not just that episode or even VIII. Probably that (with the unresolved nature of it all) was what was depressing for them, rather than the ambiguity of Rimmer’s health and any resulting “darkness”. A Rimmer nobody really cared about because he wasn’t the real one.

  16. Just to clarify something – there is no ‘final’ version of the ‘Rimmer Dies’ edit. What’s presented in the doc (and why it belongs there) is Doug’s approved version of ‘how it would have gone out’, not an actual existing rough-cut – no such tape exists.

    VHSs being taken home to watch – the only things played off that early in a cut would be on VHS- would have been offline edits, rough-cut, with NO captions or titles, and likely no fades or mixes. It would simply have dropped out on the shot of Rimmer’s burning note.

  17. > Some things change. Some things change back again.

    Great way to start a review.

    > Although the percieved wisdom is that Red Dwarf was rubbish in its later years, these episodes dispel that myth.

    No.

    > 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)

    This is what I expected. Although I’ll probably enjoy the stuff with Norman.

    > Starring: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Norman Lovett

    So, Chloe and Mac are stuck in the Trek mirror-universe then? Or perhaps hiding under an invisibility cloak for the entire series?

    > turning the show into a kind of Dirty Dozen in space.

    Fuck off.

    > 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.

    All of that it wrong.

  18. As I’ve said many times before, I’ve always liked series VIII. Apart from the second half of ‘Only The Good…’, truly the worst episode ever.

    If any episode of VIII has to be deemed a ‘stand-out classic’ (and, truth be told, I’m not sure that *any*of them do), it’d probably be Cassandra, as it has a decent story, and plays with the audience a little. Plus it’s funny.

    So there.

  19. Cassandra feels the most like a Dwarf episode. I think it’s one of the only episodes in VII and VIII where the cast actually work OK together as a whole. The only others I can think of are Tikka and Duct Soup. Maybe I’m just being narrow-minded.

    I keep thinking about that person that went up to Ed and started slagging off the use of the Time Drive in Tikka… Yes, I absolutely hate how it completely negates the joke in Out Of Time, but I’ve got to stop being so anal and nitpicky about the series, particularly VII and VIII. From now on I’m gonna be happy with what the fuck we’ve got and enjoy the VIII release, even though it’s the series I hate the most.

    Here’s a question – if you had only ever seen Dwarf from Tikka onwards would you consider it a classic show, or even consider it funny? I think you’d find it funnier because there would be no better episodes to compare it to.

  20. The first series I saw was VII and I found it very funny.

  21. > ?22.99

    Rip-off. I got my DVDs for cheaper than that (when you take into account the exchange between pounds and dollars)

  22. I can assure you none of us are paying ?22.99 either. In fact, considering the DVD wars in the UK at the moment, I’d be surprised if anyone would pay over ?16 for the vanilla release.

    Let’s face it, the skutter version is only ?16.99 on Play.com (and Sold Out – on Pre-release!)

  23. “> Some things change. Some things change back again.

    Great way to start a review.”

    Sounds like something out of one of the Matrix sequels to me.

  24. There’s a photo on TOS of the Red Dwarf crew (I mean Lister, Rimmer et al not the production crew) all looking grumpy around one of the cell bunks, but Rimmer has an H on his forehead! How come?

  25. I would presume (although I’m sure Andrew will clarify either way) that it was a pre-broadcast publicity shot; and that in much the same way as the Comic Relief short had the series VI/VII Rimmer in Blue Midget with the VIII crew, GNP and/or the BBC wanted to keep the reason for Rimmer’s “return” a secret. Having him without the “H” would have led people to the correct assumption pretty darned quickly.

  26. A wonder whether bringing back the whole crew was originally conceived as a way to bring back Rimmer. GNP may well have started with that premise and fitted the pieces together until they ended up with the imprisoned on Red Dwarf scenario. In itself not a bad idea.

    Can anyone help me figure out how the old model Red Dwarf is reconfigured as the new CGI one? Without any sense of comparison with surrounding objects (the ship always being set against distant stars and nebullae) it’s quite difficult to work out scale. I was always thinking before that the new one was a *long thin* version of the former, basically with the same mass but longer and thinner. But now looking at the two images side by side it appears that maybe the old model ship represents the front third of the CGI model. In other words the new one isn’t thinner, it’s just longer by about 66%? But this would make it absolutely massive. Anyone know for sure? Someone gives statistics in one of the series VIII episodes but I didn’t listen to them properly, just presuming they were a babble of figures. I’ve never given much thought before now to precisely how the two versions of the ship relate to one another, just saw them as different and knew which one I preferred.

    Any ideas? What have other people always taken for granted?

  27. Any ideas? What have other people always taken for granted *specifically about this*?

    Just to clarify that.

  28. “it’s just longer by about 66%?”

    I meant 300%

  29. “Just to clarify something – there is no ‘final’ version of the ‘Rimmer Dies’ edit. What’s presented in the doc (and why it belongs there) is Doug’s approved version of ‘how it would have gone out’, not an actual existing rough-cut – no such tape exists.”

    My query here then is whether the caption “The End” was something Doug was thinking of adding after the “Rimmer Dies” sequence (and which subsequently became “The End… The Smeg it is!”), or whether the people editing the documentary added “The End” as a counterpoint to the caption closing the actual episode.

  30. “My query here then is whether the caption “The End” was something Doug was thinking of adding after the “Rimmer Dies” sequence (and which subsequently became “The End… The Smeg it is!”), or whether the people editing the documentary added “The End” as a counterpoint to the caption closing the actual episode.”

    Well, as I say, it’s in line with what he now thinks may have gone out…but I’d suggest that said caption would have been followed by The Smeg It Is. (The example we cut into the doc is illustrative, not definitive. It can’t be anything else.)

    But it’s just as possible that, speaking to the Doug of 1999, NEITHER caption would have appeared. Or maybe just To Be Continued. The decision was never made, because the change was brought up before the edit was finalised.

  31. Impatient, aren’t you James?

  32. Think so.

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