DVD documentaries wrap

As the release of Red Dwarf Remastered DVD set gets closer and closer, the final two documentary contributions have been announced by TOS. One is, of course, Doug Naylor and the other has my excitement circuits in overdrive (just like Krytens!1).

To cut a long story short it’s Paul Jackson.

He was the only really notable absence from the series III documentary, so this is going to be a fascinating chance to see things from the eyes of the man so regularly painted as a drooling psychopath by many of the cast. He certainly came across well in the Red Dwarf A to Z (apart from the fact that he didn’t think a sci-fi comedy would work, the big divvo) so his inclusion in the series 1 and 2 documentaries is certainly near the top of my ‘Things to Be Excited About This Release’ list which, to be fair, has a lot of things occupying the joint top spot.

As for Doug, I am really, really looking forward to hearing what he has to say about the remastered episodes. I want to know the thinking behind the whole venture, what he thought of the finished products and whether he thought it was worth the time and effort. Andrew mentions frank answers from Doug, and as we’ve seen in previous documentaries, I can’t imagine this being an exaggeration. Doug’s made some… let’s say ‘interesting’ decisions with Dwarf in the years since series VI, so it’s good to know we’ll be due some definitive answers on one of his most contentious of ‘interesting’ decisions.

We’ve got to be at a point now where we can’t be far from knowing all the extras. Interestingly, nothing has yet been said about commentaries. Either they are going to be necessary absence to make way for material and to cut cost… or we’re set for a nice surprise. My guess is that after more than a little bit of fan pressure, Doug has realised that we REALLY want to hear him commentate on his episodes. No matter how much might have already been said in a documentary, there’ll always be new stuff cropping up during the episode and I personally think it’d be a massively worthwhile venture, especially if someone like Ed Bye or Chris Veale was involved to bring a production and remastering slant to proceedings respectively.

We’ll see, anyway. Never the less, Autumn can’t come quick enough.

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21 Responses to DVD documentaries wrap

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  1. There are few people better qualified to talk about British comedy of the 1980s than Paul Jackson. He also always seems to come off pretty well in talking head interviews, and for someone who’s had so much power and influence in the industry down the years, he’s got a refreshingly self-deprecating sense of humour. So I’m really looking forward to his contribution on this.

    And as for this :

    Most importantly, it allows an on-the-record response to years of debate regarding Red Dwarf: Remastered, the very episodes that will be appearing on these DVDs. What does he think of them now, what worked and what didn’t? Expect some full and frank answers.

    Can’t wait, frankly.

  2. Hopefully Rob Grant will be asked what he thought about the remastered episodes too.

    I would really like to there to be a commentary from Doug and/or Ed too and I can’t imagine it would take up that much room. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen though.

  3. G&T Admin

    > I would really like to there to be a commentary from Doug and/or Ed too and I can?t imagine it would take up that much room. I wouldn?t be surprised if it doesn?t happen though.

    Good point about the room (I was just thinking maybe they’d want to squeeze the doccos on the relevant series disc and would want to save all the space possible, but that seems unlikely after I’ve thought about it for more than a second) but I can imagine commentaries being quite expensive and probbaly the first thing up for the chop if money was tight. After all, they’ve already got a full set…

  4. Yeah, I’m not sure that they could squeeze an hour long documentary onto each disc. I would have thought that the 3 main documentaries will all be on the fourth disc and maybe the Chris Barrie stuff (or some of it) will be included on the first 3 discs.

    I agree that money could be a problem and I doubt very much whether they would pay to record commentaries on all 18 episodes.

    That said, I think that the extras will be an even bigger factor in people choosing to purchase the remastered DVDs than they were with the normal series DVDs. If they could just get Doug or Ed to commentate on a couple of episodes in each series then that would be an extra 3 hours of viewing for people which would obviously make it an even more attractive purchase.

  5. Commentaries are about the only thing that’ll get me to watch the episodes, that’s for sure.

    (don’t get me wrong, I’m buying the boxset. Day of release, if I’ve got the cash. But I’m treating this as “Red Dwarf : The Lost Extras” or whatever you want to call it. The eps are incidental.)

  6. I will buy the box set as well but my feelings are pretty much the same and ?20-30 is quite a lot to pay for extras no matter how good they are. I may sell it on again though if the first 3 discs aren’t particularly interesting.

  7. Well, you can squeeze something like seven [video] half-hours and a few odds & ends on a DVD-9 – more than that, and the quality’ll start to visibly suffer. I expect that, on that basis, you could put Bodysnatcher OR The End: TOA and commentary/ies on the RMRDI DVD, with one out of BS & ETOA having to be bumped to the RMRDII disc; and the Dad & such excerpts on the RMRDIII DVD along with commentary/ies.

    After that, for disc four, if the RDI & RDII documentaries are up to scratch with the later series docs, they’ll be three hours between them. Might be a bit of a stretch, given that, for the Remastered documentary to be much more than half-an-hour… certainly not more than 40 mins.

    *will wait until he can get a heavy discount before getting it, given that he’d be doing so for the extras as well*

  8. Will the DVD Box set ever be heavily discounted though? None of the other DVDs (including Beat the Geek)have been as far as I’ve seen.

  9. > My guess is that after more than a little bit of fan pressure, Doug has realised that we REALLY want to hear him commentate on his episodes.

    Him AND Rob. Come on, you know this would be great. We’d get Rob’s view on Remastered, and whether he feels it’s closer to the way he and Doug originally wanted it, or closer to the feel of series VII and VIII. Doug and Rob on commentary, together. Would be brilliant. Come on Andrew, you just need trick them to enter the booth through separate doors at the same time, lock both those doors, and with the room wired up to record every sound they make, just play the remastereds at them. How hard can that BE?

  10. >It’s funny to think this may be the last time we do this. But what a way to end a remarkable journey.

    WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE

  11. > WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE

    I think it’s fair to say I feel comfortable describing this – the last TV series DVD project with 2 entertain – as the end of an era.

    As with the series continuity, a movie DVD would be the start of something new.

    Commentaries are difficult to fund/organise – but they ARE easy to fit on a disc. Audio is, relatively small to fit on. (Hence the 18-odd language tracks movie DVDs happily contain.)

    > Will the DVD Box set ever be heavily discounted though?

    Well, you could always get the series DVDs for ?13.99 online, despite an RRP of ?19.99; so no matter how you look at the new boxset price, it’s likely to be cheaper than the RRP by a decent percentage.

  12. I got one of the series (VI, I think), in a shop, for ?7.99 at one point. You can’t get them at that price now, but timing’s everything.

  13. > Doug?s made some? let?s say ?interesting? decisions with Dwarf in the years since series VI

    To be fair, the change from Series V to VI was quite “interesting” as well – dropping a character, changing the setting, adopting a more formulaic story format…

    Anyway, on topic: If this doesn’t come out in Region 4, somebody is going to get hurt.

  14. > Will the DVD Box set ever be heavily discounted though?

    Well, you could always get the series DVDs for ?13.99 online, despite an RRP of ?19.99; so no matter how you look at the new boxset price, it?s likely to be cheaper than the RRP by a decent percentage.’

    Yes but RRP means very little doesn’t it. ?13.99 is still pretty expensive for sitcom DVDs that were released a few years ago. Most are reduced far more and I guess that it’s due to the high sales of Dwarf’s that they haven’t been.

  15. >To be fair, the change from Series V to VI was quite ?interesting? as well – dropping a character, changing the setting, adopting a more formulaic story format?’

    The big difference though is that Series VI is generally considered to be comfortably superior to some of the other ‘interesting’ decisions which Doug has made. That’s not to say that it’s necessarily the most popular series but it seems to rank much higher than Series VII, VIII or the remasters.

  16. Look, everyone knows that remastered episodes COULD be fantastic and I don’t think it was a bad decision by Doug to try it; and while I look upon VII and VIII with disdain, I don’t think Doug was in the wrong to go for it, particularly with VII. Six series’ of a show is more than what most British sitcoms get. Coming back after four years for a seventh and not shaking things up a bit would have been lazy anyway. And the movie was being planned then, eleven years ago.

  17. > Look, everyone knows that remastered episodes COULD be fantastic

    How? What angle do your glasses have to be?

  18. > I got one of the series (VI, I think), in a shop, for ?7.99 at one point. You can?t get them at that price now, but timing?s everything.

    Yeah I got one for that price. I think it was a Sainsbury’s, where both IV and V were ?7.99 but I’d already bought V the week before for full price :( Still I later managed to steal series II and III so can’t complain!

  19. I don’t mean the remastered episodes that we have could be fantastic, I mean the idea itself is good and with a lot of money it could work. The remastered Star Trek episodes have worked well.

  20. Is the idea really good though? Even if G.N.P. had had unlimited funds then they still would only have been able to change certain things. Changing the models was never likely to improve the episodes as they are seen as being the best looking things about those early series. The things which most people would argue that look worst about them are the sets and some of Lister’s costumes. I’m not sure how any remastering process could have changed them.

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