Let’s take each at a time, then. I suggest you read both TOS articles if you haven’t already, because I’ll just be commenting on stuff, not rewriting them. First up, new stuff that appears as separate items on the DVDs:
Daytime UK Interview: Do I win a prize? Clue: no. Actually, the amazing thing is that out of all my Infax articles, the Daytime UK clip is the one I most wanted to see. (Footage of Rob and Doug talking together about the show is incredibly rare.) And as for the Rob and Doug commentary… wow. Has anything like this even been done on a DVD before? Truly incredible – the kind of thing you wish for, but never think would actually happen.
For anyone wanting a sneak preview of the kind of thing we’re going to be witnessing, then see here…
Remastered Promo: You know, I’d completely forgotten about the little trailer for the series tacked onto the start of The End Remastered, broadcast the day before Red Dwarf Night. But the inclusion of two longer versions with an Ed Bye voiceover? Fascinating. It really will be interesting to see how the series was pitched to the people who were actually going to buy the show – again, a little piece of the jigsaw of the Remastered series that slots into place…
Tongue Tied: Howard’s full demo! We said at the time it was a shame we didn’t get the whole thing… and here it is. Marvellous. Also included is the original Son of Cliché version , as heard in the last episode of the first series of SoC, first broadcast on 11th October 1983. I kinda prefer it, but then the Dwarf version has lost its appeal for me somewhat, due to over-exposure outside the context of the actual episode.
We’re also told that “Sadly clearance issues have prevented us from including the version released into the charts by ‘The Cat’ in the early 90s.” This is indeed sad for completist and historical purposes, but at least there isn’t a chance that I might accidentally select the menu option and actually hear the fucking thing again. Although I’ve never actually heard Danny’s version of the Dwarf theme…
Pete Tyler 8mm Film: Crikey. Shown at last year’s DJ, this is fascinating stuff. The best bit is behind-the-scenes stuff for the Starbug/rocks/crash sequence in Dimension Jump – which, incidentally, answered one of the questions I always had about Dwarf model shots. The tale always goes that in Gunmen, the VFX team asked Rob and Doug to change the water planet to a lava planet, because they couldn’t get the water to look right, because of the scale issues. Which is fine, but it always made me wonder – “But they managed it in Dimension Jump…
The answer? That the Dimension Jump sequences weren’t shot on the usual model stage, but in a huge water tank (at either Pinewood or Shepperton – can’t remember which) – which was already filled for an existing film. Presumably, they couldn’t do it for Gunmen, as it would have cost too much to refill it from scratch. A happy accident, really, as a lava planet works so much better, considering the western theme.
Lovely to hear that Pete has recorded a voiceover for the piece as well, in much the same way Mike Tucker did for his V footage. It’s truly amazing that we’re getting this kind of stuff for the Dwarf releases. There must be all kinds of behind-the-scenes footage like this for other shows – but very few DVD sets get them dug out for inclusion. Which is a huge shame.
Next up, is stuff appearing within the context of the three main documentaries:
I, Lovett and Wrinkles Clips: Lovely stuff. It’s amazing how a few well-chosen clips here and there really open out the doccos – the III and IV ones feel really claustrophobic now, although it’s important to note that they didn’t really the time. Incldentally, GNP aren’t using our copies of the episodes for the clips – suggesting that they have another source elsewhere. Which is good news.
Movie Test Model Footage: Oh. My. God. I mean, seriously, OH MY GOD. Who the fuck knew about these? We all knew that there were shitloads of storyboards for the film in existence – but actual test footage of the ship, using the same model that was scanned in for the Remastered CGI? Blimey. It’s simultaneously fascinating, and absolutely agonising that the production got this far at one point…
Certainly, the pictures do look great – especially the second one. And it definitely looks better than the CGI version, as you would expect. But whilst it looks like it works in close-up, I remain unconvinced that I’d like it in a wide shot, as one of my problems with that version of the ship is its overall shape, not just the CGI. But close-up, at least, it does look rather marvellous – from the stills, anyway.
Incidentally, Andrew has confirmed on the Webboard that the footage is included in the docco at full-length, not just a snippet. Excellent.
End Credits Pass: Shot for the Remastered end credits, but not used, this has also been shown at DJ. As I recall, I remember it looking a hell of a lot better than the CGI version – but even so, it’s understandable why it wasn’t used. You can’t have a CGI version of the ship for most of the episode, and then end it with a model shot version, considering the state of the CGI – it would make the series look even weirder and disjointed than it actually does.
Again though, I remember sitting at DJ when this was shown, thinking “Fucking hell, if only I had a copy of this.” And here we bloody well are.
CGI Cargo Bay Shot: Blimey. This is hugely interesting – and you can see exactly what they were trying to do. But, from the still at least, you can see why it was rejected – it just doesn’t look right, the integration of the live action especially. As I’ve said before, the problem with the remastering of Dwarf is that it’s very difficult to turn a 1988 BBC sitcom into something it isn’t – especially when you’ve not got the biggest budget in the world to do it. But how lovely is it to see that this kind of thing has been dug up and included. Does it work? No. Is it fascinating? Abso-bloody-lutely.
As obvious as it may be to say it: what did we think we were going to get when the Remastered DVD was announced? Series 1 and 2 documentaries, yes. A Remastered documentary. And yeah, some other little TITbits sprinkled around the discs. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we’d get all the stuff that’s been promised since then – as much for budget issues than anything else. It’s just incredible. And a lot of this stuff we only found out existed during the past year – and some of it only when these articles were published! It’s amazing to think that at the high-point of Dwarf fandom in the 90s, so much of this stuff just wasn’t known about. Which is testament to how deep the DVD releases have dug to include this stuff.
And what does that second DVD Details article leave us with?
“Is there more to reveal?
More DVD Details will follow soon…”
Fuck me. What the hell else can they include? Guesses below, please.
And finally, some good news for our Australian chums – the boxset is now confirmed for a Region 4 release in December. No word yet on a US release – it really would be ironic if it didn’t get a release there, considering that worldwide sales were one of the main reasons for the creation f the Remastered series…