The Bodysnatcher Collection

Boris Karloff 'The Body Snatcher' poster

Blimey. So, the Red Dwarf Remastered boxset is no more – instead, it’s Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection.

In fact, we should have predicted something like this was on the cards – last week’s DVD Details article simply mentioned “the brand new Red Dwarf DVD box set”, rather than Red Dwarf: Remastered. Ever get the feeling Andrew does these things deliberately to see if we’re on the ball?

It makes perfect sense, to me. Of course, you can take the cynical view – that Red Dwarf Remastered, for a lot of people (but no means all) is not exactly an enticement to buy. And there is at least an element of truth in that. But it’s also true that Red Dwarf Remastered is actually a misleading title for a boxset. Calling it that would indicate to the casual consumer that this is a 2007 remastering. Imagine the disappointment when they got the box home…

But more to the point, perhaps – I think the new title more accurately reflects what a lot of people are actually buying the release for. I’m buying it for documentaries. Script extracts. The End: The Original Assembly. Bodysnatcher itself. It’s a marketing decision that I think is best for everyone – it accurately reflects what I think most fans are buying it for, and at the same time, it doesn’t mislead the casual purchaser.

Aside from the title change, we also get a few little extra hints on the other extras. For the documentaries, we are promised “rare, unseen footage, deleted moments, rushes, outtakes”. SERIES 1 AND 2 RUSHES I HAVE WET MY PANTS. And the mention of the awful audience reaction to the original recording of The End sounds fascinating. Car crash telly, anyone? And then there’s the final intriguing snippet: “We still have a few small details, plus a few huge ones, still to announce”. Bearing in mind disc space issues – surely we have to be getting some commentaries…

And finally, we get a Region 2 release date: October 22nd. (No decision has yet been taken on whether Regions 1 and 4 are getting it.) It can’t come soon enough, for a release that is pretty much coming across as a love letter to Red Dwarf fandom. If this release is the last Dwarf we ever get – and I sincerely hope that it won’t be – then at least it’s looking to be something truly special.

Thanks to our forum. I’ve transferred the forum thread to this post, so all comments are in one place. This is probably how we’ll do things in the future, so don’t worry about starting up threads about news items before we’ve had a chance to write about them…

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41 Responses to The Bodysnatcher Collection

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  1. I was rather surprised in finding that the name of Red Dwarf: Remastered has been changed to Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection. As much as I like this new name I can’t help but feel that it would only appeal to existing Dwarf fans, where as Remastered could have helped attract new ones.

    P.S. Does anybody else think that the decision to change the name was helped along by discussions we’ve had on G&T?

  2. ” was rather surprised in finding that the name of Red Dwarf: Remastered has been changed to Red Dwarf: The Bodysnatcher Collection. As much as I like this new name I can?t help but feel that it would only appeal to existing Dwarf fans, where as Remastered could have helped attract new ones.”

    I’m not so sure, ‘remastered’ to me says, altered, changed, slightly different to the original etc. In other words, nothing majorly new.
    Any sales pitch should push the ‘new’ material rather than the
    re-vamped side of things to attract new or part time fans in my view. The fact that we, a handfull of people, have been following progress on the release means we’ve already bought the idea, it’s those coming in to it fresh that need attracting.

  3. Well, it’s a gamble, but one both we and 2 entertain are very comfortable with.

    ‘Remastered Red Dwarf’ is a weird brand. What’s certain is that ‘remastered’ now describes their ‘name’, rather than their present condition. They’re a decade old, not recently remastered with the latest tech. We don’t want punters thinking we’ve only just done the job – we don’t want to mis-lead people.

    Which may cost us sales. But hopefully gain reputation, which ecourages buyers longer-term. Brand trust matters.

    Though they WILL, most likely, be directly named on the cover somewhere, the remastered eps are being sold as archive material, as historical document; we don’t want people thinking they ‘replace’ the originals, or – even worse – that this set simply includes exactly the same eps all over again. That it’d be like buying Just The Shows.

    Added to which, there IS a significant area of the fanbase who, while casual, know they don’t like the remastered eps. What they MAY like is the new docs, episode and other content. I’d hate for them to not even pick up the box becuase of its name.

    ‘Bodysnatcher’ peaks curiosity; you pick up to have a closer look, cos you know the logo but not the title.

    And, as a bonus, it hopefully leads reviewers to talk about the content in their reviews – if only to explain the name – rather than just dicussing the episodes and adding ‘also includes’ in their last line.

    But nobody’s fooling anyone. This is our last DVD, and it’s based on bonus material and remastered versions of episodes people have. It’s worth is to the interested, not to just anybody. Our gamble is that there are enough interested people to justify it.

    My own feeling is that the regular series DVDs would have sold half as well without their excellent reviews and reputation for bonus content. But how can you prove that? I take some solace in the VHS numbers – our top three selling VHS releases were Smeg Ups, Smeg Outs and Xtended.

    People, I think, want good, unseen material.

    > Does anybody else think that the decision to change the name was helped along by discussions we?ve had on G&T?

    I don’t think it, I know it!

    It was something I’d been mumbling about in the office since we began, but I didn’t take it to Doug until the G&T discussion happened, which really helped my clarify my opinion. At which point it turns out it was what HE’D been wanting to do as well!

    I think it’s absolutely the right decision. But what does everyone else think?

  4. Definitely the right decision I think. If the box set had simply been called remastered then some people may not even have bothered to look at it in the shelf. Now it is certain to grab people’s attentions because they may not have a clue what it is.

  5. Meh, I don’t know.

    Completely with the decision to dump Remastered from the title but half of me wishes it wasn’t completely defined by a single bonus feature, no matter how great the lost episode reconstruction may be. Pity it can’t be a 20th Anniversary Collection or something. Still absolutely delighted by the prospect of the set… am sure to pick it up no matter what.

    And what could these huge announcements be? Any clues, Andrew? :-p

  6. Thing is, the whole collection IS a kinda resurrected beast – the abandoned body of the remastered project, a doc showing how it was buried, the resurrection of The End’s original assembly, eulogies provided to Series I and II in documentary form…

    Plus a load of other stuff we, er, dug up. :-)

    > And what could these huge announcements be? Any clues, Andrew? :-p

    You wish!

  7. G&T Admin

    I take some solace in the VHS numbers – our top three selling VHS releases were Smeg Ups, Smeg Outs and Xtended.

    People, I think, want good, unseen material.

    This is really, REALLY interesting. I never knew that.

    It was something I?d been mumbling about in the office since we began, but I didn?t take it to Doug until the G&T discussion happened, which really helped my clarify my opinion. At which point it turns out it was what HE?D been wanting to do as well!

    This gives me a warm feeling inside.

    Inside my PANTS.

  8. I love the new title.

    I personally think the Remastered eps are abject vandalism, so if I didn’t have a clue what was in the boxset, I probably wouldn’t give two frigs until I took a look at the packaging up close. But the new title makes you go “Huh, what the fucking hell is this?” which eventually pursuades you to pick it up and take a look, and then fork over the cash once you’ve cleaned off the semen from your legs.

    I love that its being sold as a boxset of extras. It’s making my stomach go funny just thinking about this existing.

  9. G&T Admin

    I love that its being sold as a boxset of extras. It?s making my stomach go funny just thinking about this existing.

    Does anyone know of any other DVD release being sold like this?

    I don’t know of any…

  10. I remember a stand alone special features companion for the Prisoner DVDs that has since been amalgamated into the complete box set, but it was by no means as extensive as this.

    Given that the set is that it really is a companion piece to the pre-existing series 1-8 DVDs, does this mean that we’re going to see a continuation of the ship hull cover design? I’m guessing not, but it’ll still be interesting to see what it looks like…

  11. Seemingly Ricky Gervais is selling a box set of ‘Extras’

  12. This is great, really great. It makes the set feel new and not defined by the re:bastard episodes which frankly aren’t it’s biggest selling point. The worst thing would be for someone to see the set and think ‘well I’ve already got the Remastered videos and I didn’t like the episodes so I’m not getting this’.

    I’m completely stoked at how this is turning out.

  13. Wasn’t there a Pirates of the Caribbean standalone extras release?

    As for this… well, I’m glad I won’t have to walk into a shop and buy Red Dwarf Remastered. I’m glad that the fact that I’ll be buying this for the extras alone is justified by the fact that the focus has shifted onto the extras. I also think it’s good that the average person in the shop might be more likely to investigate if they spot a new title on the shelf (although let’s not kid ourselves that too many “average” punters will be shelling out for this).

    I’ll be slightly disappointed if the change in title means that the original Remastered boxart won’t be used – but I don’t know how much of a possibility that ever was/is anyway.

    It’s an interesting decision, anyway, but it’s not like it really affects my purchase decision (which currently stands at about 99.9%, pending an RRP announcement) in any way. Can I just state once again for the record, however, that I can’t believe that a production company is putting out a DVD so specifically aimed at the hardcore fans, with less regard for whether or not the casual buyers go for it? That’s fucking awesome, that is. It almost feels like some kind of reward…

  14. >Wasn?t there a Pirates of the Caribbean standalone extras release?

    Yeah, the ‘Lost Disc’. I think I mentioned this (somewhere on this site?) as a good avenue to go down.
    I guess I was rather negative about this release when it was first announced, but that was mainly towards my hatred of the whole Remastered project (did I mention it was a pile of complete shite?) and my annoyance that people actually wanted to see these releases celebrated with a DVD release. The build-up of extras has convinced me that there’s a place on the shelf for this. And now the “lost episode” is being kinda sold as the main feature, which I’m 100% in favour of.

  15. Oh, lovely. A week after my birthday as well, which is nice.

  16. I was initially surprised to read in my email about the name. Which turned quickly into interest to confirm it was the boxset I had already been reading about and not something else being planned instead. And then after considering it I have to say I like the title, makes sense for ALL the reasons listed above and I think “collection” adds equal emphasis to all the content, where as something like 20th anniversary
    would date the thing quickly. Though opposite to this point it maybe the best way of refering to the episodes is calling them something like the 1998 remastered episodes?

    The Matrix revisited was another example of an add on dvd being released.

  17. The Matrix Revisited! Yes, great example. Also the Peter Jackson King Kong production diaries.

    I mean, I guess you COULD look at this as a double-dip if you were feeling especially negative – Series I-III again, only this time including material we didn’t put on last time. But I know people are, by now, aware that this wasn’t some dark marketing ploy.

    Still, I can’t deny that, with unlimited resources and optimism, Series I, II and III would have gone out as three-disc sets, at a higher price, but with the remastered eps, docs and and other content included.

    That said, we’re SO much better at this now. Seires I and II get the treatment they deserve – which we probably couldn’t have pulled off so well five years ago.

  18. >Also the Peter Jackson King Kong production diaries.

    LOOK THERE HE GOES AGAIN ELLARDZ IS COMPARING DWARF TO KING KONG EVEN THOUGH HE KNOWS FULL WELL THE COMPARISONZ DONT HOLD ANY WATER THAT BASTARD

  19. G&T Admin

    It’s a very weird concept isn’t it? Naming your collection after one “Extra” while the main “feature” of three series has been classed as the “add-on”. It goes without saying though, I’m not bothered about the title, I’m gonna buy it anyway, even when it was just going to be the ‘lost’ documentaries and the remastered eps. The current confirmed content we have so far is just amazing, what else could we POSSIBLY have on this AWESOME DVD?!?!

    I’ve said it before, and i’m gonna say it again…

    GNP… we are not worthy.

  20. > GNP? we are not worthy.

    Too true. This set really should come with a box of Kleenex.

  21. Red Dwarf: The Foaming Snatch Collection

  22. Glorious, totally glorious. Inspired title idea, brilliant boxset. Can’t wait!

  23. G&T Admin

    New poll.

    Comments are closed on it, as there’s no point discussing the same thing in two different places – so any comments, just put them here.

  24. A really good decision. “Bodysnatcher” is very obscure which is either going to be good or bad for sales, but it pleases me for not immediately evoking Dwarf. I was thinking Remastered shouldn’t be the selling point for the set and I might have suggested “The Rest” or something rubbish but “The Bodysnatcher Collection” is better.

    Not sure why I like it so much. Maybe because most people won’t know about that particular extra and if they did, they’d be less likely to know its title, especially not until a few months ago. It’s like you’re actually choosing the title based on the smallest feature, or the one that is least well-known or expected. In which case, I’d suggest…

    Red Dwarf: The “Souper” Collection

  25. > I?ll be slightly disappointed if the change in title means that the original Remastered boxart won?t be used – but I don?t know how much of a possibility that ever was/is anyway.

    I never wanted it to be, personally. It would mark a departure from the effort to create new, brilliant covers for all DVD releases. The original covers could be released as a joined-up poster though…

  26. I wonder if there have been any ideas for the cover art yet. hmmmm.

  27. >I wonder if there have been any ideas for the cover art yet. hmmmm.

    AND MENUS!

  28. Strange that people would vote “I don’t know – let me think about it”. Having thought about it you can’t then vote again. Why not think about it before voting? I don’t understand.

    > Red Dwarf: The ?Souper? Collection

    Brilliant! Particularly if the “souper” outtake was included as a hidden, not-advertised easter egg! I really like the idea of naming the entire set after the smallest and least known feature!

  29. >I really like the idea of naming the entire set after the smallest and least known feature!

    How is it the smallest OR least known!?!?!?

  30. >>I really like the idea of naming the entire set after the smallest and least known feature!

    >How is it the smallest OR least known!?!?!?

    If the box set were called “Red Dwarf: The “Souper Collection”, and the “souper” outtake was a non-advertised, hidden easter egg, then the set would be named after the smallest and least known feature.

  31. Oh right…I thought you meant that ‘Bodysnatcher’ was small and unknown.

  32. >Oh right?I thought you meant that ?Bodysnatcher? was small and unknown.

    No, sorry for the misunderstanding. However I would argue that the name “Bodysnatcher” evokes other things than Red Dwarf, and if you don’t know it’s the name for a “lost” episode it does seem obscure. Indeed, to put the entire set of things that have nothing to do with bodysnatching under that umbrella is quite odd isn’t it (not necessarily odd in a bad way)?

    “The Bodysnatcher Collection” also took me by surprise in that while I knew there was a lost episode to be included, I’d completely forgotten this was called Bodysnatcher. So it’ll allude a few people – you need to have kept an eye on the news of this release to know anything about it. So it is *relatively* unknown, and it’s not going to be the largest item on the set. And by this logic, and going by the fact I like the “odd” aspect mentioned above, I’d just as quickly go for “The “Souper” Collection”, as it’d be the least advertised and the smallest extra on the box set.

    For the record, the selling point of the set for me are the overviews on the historical aspect that haven’t been covered much so far – primarily the documentaries on Remastered and anything featuring Rob Grant. Other documentaries follow, as do commentaries if there will be any, and quite low on the excito-meter for me are the Original Assembly and Bodysnatcher. That’s just me mind. I’m sure they’ll be brill.

  33. G&T Admin

    Strange that people would vote ?I don?t know – let me think about it?. Having thought about it you can?t then vote again. Why not think about it before voting? I don?t understand.

    This is a fair enough point. I suppose I was really gauging people’s inital reaction, rather than anything else.

  34. Anyone voting for ‘something else entirely’ should be made to post a different title. BY LAW. :-)

    > to put the entire set of things that have nothing to do with bodysnatching under that umbrella is quite odd isn?t it

    Possibly. No, actually, almost definitely. But see my post above – there IS a thematic thing going on. Death, and life after it – that whole bodysnatcher/Frankenstein/reurrection theme we’re roughly leaning towards – is RIFE in Dwarf as a theme: TWO funerals in the pilot script, holograms, nanobotc revival, the skeletons of Kryten and the Series VII promo image…

    ‘Souper’ is funny, though. Even more specific – one line in an ep – but certainly has a giggle factor.

    Regardless, I don’t see this as much different from calling the VHS tapes after episode titles. ‘Confidence and Paranoia’ or ‘Stasis Leak’ doesn;t mean anything to anyone who doesn’t know their Dwarf or who goes on to read the sleeve? The title can be interesting without being familiar. (Especially when the ‘familiar’ title ain’t necessarily a popular one…)

    > the least advertised and the smallest extra on the box set.

    Sorry, what? The souper line is in the remastered ep of Me2. Or is this based on posting-board chatter about the missing smeg up?

  35. > Or is this based on posting-board chatter about the missing smeg up?

    Yes.

  36. G&T Admin

    I forgot about that smeg up.

    The best near-corpsing on screen has to be on Meltdown right after Lister’s “SHUT! UP!”

  37. > Regardless, I don?t see this as much different from calling the VHS tapes after episode titles. ?Confidence and Paranoia? or ?Stasis Leak? doesn;t mean anything to anyone who doesn?t know their Dwarf or who goes on to read the sleeve? The title can be interesting without being familiar. (Especially when the ?familiar? title ain?t necessarily a popular one?)

    There is a subtle difference though – the bytes of Dwarf on VHS weren’t called “collections”. If byte two of series one was called “the confidence and paranoia collection” one would expect that to represent more of a theme.

    > is this based on posting-board chatter about the missing smeg up?

    Not posting board chatter about the missing smeg up as I don’t visit those boards. But I’m kind of expecting that smeg up to be a hidden easter egg – it would be daft not to include it, and I suspect it’ll be hidden in a really nice, clever way on the set. It’ll be something of an event to find it, given it’s absence so far. It’ll be the moment of “Hooray! The Dwarf DVDs really ARE complete now!!” It’s with all this in mind that I was thinking of “The “Souper” Collection”.

  38. I think it should be called the “20th Anniversary” Boxset. I know it’s a year early, but it’s better than Tomb Raider – they were a year late for their 10th Anniversary celebration.

    EDIT: Hmm, editing the post moves it to the bottom of the page. Interesting.

  39. we must have some sort of psychic link……..that or its just a huge coincidence. I prefer the first idea.

    Edit: Hmmmm…..so it does.

  40. >Not posting board chatter about the missing smeg up as I don?t visit those boards. But I?m kind of expecting that smeg up to be a hidden easter egg – it would be daft not to include it, and I suspect it?ll be hidden in a really nice, clever way on the set. It?ll be something of an event to find it, given it?s absence so far. It?ll be the moment of ?Hooray! The Dwarf DVDs really ARE complete now!!? It?s with all this in mind that I was thinking of ?The ?Souper? Collection?.

    All interesting thoughts. I agree with you. I’d vote for the souper collection if the bodysnatcher title hadn’t already been decided.

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