TOS Update by Royal Appointment

It’s a cheap pun and has little to do with the theme of the update. You’d think I’d do better than that considering I really don’t have to think too many of these up, but never you mind, let’s push on.

To say it was a lean update this week would be putting it a trifle accurately, but, you know, we get times like this and it’s made all the more bearable by the fact that The Bodysnatcher Collection will be plopping satisfyingly on your mats or into your hands in just over a week. You certainly can’t blame GNP for slow weeks, although you could have a pretty fair stab at blaming them for this… thing.

To fully demonstrate the new and improved site layout (separating quick news items from more weighty updates, which is a damn fine idea that all the very best websites use) we have a swift ‘Latest News’ item about a new run of Series III repeats on ABC2, which is apparently an Australian channel, wherever the Dickens that may be. So, that leaves the christening ‘Xtended News’ item to be the aforementioned and not-at-all dubious DVD Checklist. Yes, well.

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50 Responses to TOS Update by Royal Appointment

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  1. My trousers explode with excitement.

    I wonder…has anyone actually bought the 2-disc releases as well as “Just the Shows”?

    It seems that they want us to…

  2. Cappsy has, and I’m sure many other people have as well, for completeness’ sake. I’m not one of them, though.

    Rather off topic, but I’ve only just bothered to look through the Flibble interview archives. How the fuck did Andrew get interviews with Will Eisner, Bob Kane, Dave Gibbons, Matt Wagner, Stan Lee et al, and justify it in the context of a Dwarf website?

    Will fucking Eisner, for crying out loud!

  3. G&T Admin

    > I wonder?has anyone actually bought the 2-disc releases as well as ?Just the Shows??

    Only mentally ill people and reviewers. I fill both roles.

  4. “Until at least January” – so that’d be till the end of the Remastered series’ run, then. Doesn’t the ABC have the rights to the originals, or do they just not want to show them?

  5. G&T Admin

    I was royally pissed off with that check-list abomination. While only internet fuckwits genuinely think that GNP are ripping fans off with things like Just the Shows and Just the Smegs, this sort of thing hardly helps to allay those fears. Apparently, I’m not a proper Red Dwarf fan because I don’t own Just The Shows. Piss off.

  6. I wish I’d never suggested the In Depth/At Speed thing now.

  7. G&T Admin

    Me too, we’ve never heard the last of it.

  8. “Just the Shows” is brilliant because it makes it ever so much easier for me to talk people into getting DVDs and getting addicted to Red Dwarf. “You know, and if you want to watch the special features later, you can borrow mine!” … and stuff…

  9. Me too, we?ve never heard the last of it.

    Jolly good.

  10. I guess I’m not a fan either after doing that checklist thing. And this is despite buying Series VIII which is worse than a lot of crap that I wouldn’t even watch.

  11. I have free DVDs from newspapers I prize more than series VII or VIII.

    According to that check list I’m a pretty piss poor Red Dwarf fan too, makes me wonder why I’ve wasted 20 years bothering with the show at all.

    :-/

  12. Oh, you grinches.

  13. Maybe they should have a box where you can put how many copies of each DVD you have :P

  14. G&T Admin

    >I have free DVDs from newspapers I prize more than series VII or VIII.

    >According to that check list I?m a pretty piss poor Red Dwarf fan too, makes me wonder why I?ve wasted 20 years bothering with the show at all.

    >:-/

    Yes, that’s exactly what was intended. Obviously.

  15. Well, I can see two possible “intentions”:

    a) To promote sales of the DVDs by making people feel “unworthy” for not buying more of the set.

    b) To keep up the impressive weekly updates despite there being nothing newsworthy to write about.

    a) is lame. b) is excusable.

  16. What about c) I was asked to put a list of all the available UK DVDs on the website. Rather than just stick up a list we chose to make it slightly interactive.

    I don’t think the rankings scream ‘lousy fan’ if you don’t tick every single box. At all.

  17. So, if someone knows the show extremely well, has all the videos but only one DVD, they’re a “Space Weevil”? Nice.

    I realise that this is all in jest, but you can see where we’re coming from.

    “Call yourself a Red Dwarf fan? Let’s find out.”

  18. > So, if someone knows the show extremely well, has all the videos but only one DVD, they?re a ?Space Weevil?? Nice.

    I’m pretty sure it says “DVD Checklist” at the top, that the entire thing is blantantly limited to DVD, and that there’s no mention anywhere in the piece of this making any statement of any kind about your status as a fan.

    If that were the intention, wouldn’t we include ALL merchandise from all countries? So being short so much as a single item would render you ‘useless’?

    I see where you’re coming from, but I think it’s a crazy overreaction to a simple bit of fun.

  19. > How the fuck did Andrew get interviews with Will Eisner, Bob Kane, Dave Gibbons, Matt Wagner, Stan Lee et al, and justify it in the context of a Dwarf website?

    Interesting, this. I didn’t do those interviews, just the write-ups. It was part of a GNP project that never came to fruition, but a crew (headed, I think, by Steve Bendelack) went out to the Comic Con and nabbed a load of interviews before it was packed in. (You’ll notice all the pictures are screengrabs.)

  20. >there?s no mention anywhere in the piece of this making any statement of any kind about your status as a fan.

    Forgive me for thinking that the ?Call yourself a Red Dwarf fan? Let?s find out.? statement in the introduction was implying that a REAL fan would have all the DVDs listed.

  21. G&T Admin

    there?s no mention anywhere in the piece of this making any statement of any kind about your status as a fan

    ?Call yourself a Red Dwarf fan? Let?s find out.?

    Look, the regulars here know full well that it’s not GNP’s intention for the fans to be hassled in to buying absolutely everything. We know Just The Shows are intended to appeal to different people than the individual releases. Those of us who follow TOS regularly will know that updates about Just the Shows/Smegs aren’t treated in the same way as the main series/Bodysnatcher releases, as they’re not part of the DVD Details section.

    But the way this checklist is presented, the way it ranks you from 0-13 depending on how many DVDs you own, the way you need to own both the individual releases and JTS in order to get full marks, and, crucially, the statement at the top linking your grade to your status as a Dwarf fan, just made me think… “oh, piss off.”

  22. You’re right. kicking off with that “fan” joke was probably a mistake. (Though I can’t imagine your reaction being different if it hadn’t been there!)

  23. G&T Admin

    I’d argue that this isn’t anything approaching an overreaction either. I was really angry about it but limited my comments to two sarcastic digs. Everyone else has made perfectly fair and perfectly un-histerical comments. The fact that they’re negative doesn’t mean it’s automatically an overreaction. Surely you could see why it would get people’s backs up a tad?

  24. G&T Admin

    You?re right. kicking off with that ?fan? joke was probably a mistake. (Though I can?t imagine your reaction being different if it hadn?t been there!)

    I’m not sure, it was a combination of various things leading to my being annoyed, rather than one specific thing. I’m glad you’ve not just dismissed this, though, Andrew.

  25. I think being ‘royally pissed off’ or ‘really angry’ IS an overreaction. But I take all the points.

    I see the reasoning. We – or, at least, I – have encouraged a certain amount of in-depth of analysis of what Dwarf does these days. It’s inevitable (and not unreasonable) that those criteria also be applied to things intended to be no more than harmless fluff. That people interpret the thinking behind the things we do is to be expected.

    The Amazon reviewer who’s convinced that the new DVDs are intended to replace Series I to III, for example, is doing the same thing. He’s wrong, of course, but he’s still angry. (We’ve also suggested that The Bodysnatcher Collection is the final part of your collection – the release of which seems to have annoyed plenty of people. But I stand by both for what they are – which is honestly-intended.)

    Still, it’s relatively few backs that have been put up with the checklist, and it’s not something that has cost anybody anything. Nor do I think it shows contempt for the fanbase. Though clearly a few feel otherwise, and I can see how they got there.

    You’ll notice that when you go for your rank, you don’t get a list of the discs you’re ‘missing’ with ‘click to buy’ options or anything like that. There’s no advice line saying ‘not good enough, go back to HMV’.

    Maybe the regular, non-interactive checklist currently going out by email (and included in the DVDs as flyers) is less offensive as it makes no judgement. Me, I find it less fun – and I think it’s safe to say that the less demanding sections of fandom take the website version for what it was meant to be: a giggle. We thought the rankings were fun, that’s all.

    Still, if it makes you angry, it makes you angry.

  26. G&T Admin

    For what it’s worth, it didn’t bother me in the slightest. But I can see why it would annoy some people, and there’s things that bug me that people blink at me and wonder why the hell I’m so annoyed.

    Ouch. Fence.

  27. > You?ll notice that when you go for your rank, you don?t get a list of the discs you?re ?missing? with ?click to buy? options or anything like that. There?s no advice line saying ?not good enough, go back to HMV?.

    There IS a link to the merchandise section though. I didn’t have a problem with this. In fact I spent too long clicking different numbers of things to see what all the ratings were called. Then I dismissed it as a piece of marketing fluff aimed at the first-time or occasional buyer, the subliminal messages didn’t effect must buy the Just The Shows box sets me at all.

  28. > In fact I spent too long clicking different numbers of things to see what all the ratings were called.

    Exactly, and it was FUN to do… !

  29. Anybody who is annoyed by this is taking it way to seriously.

  30. >So, if someone knows the show extremely well, has all the videos but only one DVD, they?re a ?Space Weevil?? Nice.

    “The first bite is with the eye?”

  31. I didn’t even think it was something to be angry about until I saw the fuss people were making about it here. I don’t own either volume of Just The Shows, nor do I intend to buy Just The Smegs, and I didn’t see any reason to get uppity over whether or not this calls into question my Red Dwarf Fandom. because it doesn’t. It’s just a checklist on a website, after all.

  32. G&T Admin

    I’ve only just got the headline reference.

    I am a prick.

  33. >I?ve only just got the headline reference.

    >I am a prick.

    Care to enlighten a fellow prick?

  34. G&T Admin

    RIMMER: Well, you should have known better, shouldn’t you? You actually expect something to go right for me? Arnold “Schmucko” Rimmer? Tosspot by Royal Appointment?

  35. *Doh*, that’s actually really clever, it’s just been far too long since I’ve seen that to have made the connection, either! About time for me to break out the ol’ DVDs and start watching some Dwarf again, methinks (not that I haven’t already been thinking that, especially with the further impending DVD releases). :)

  36. Watched Holoship last night. And Quarantine. And Back to Reality.

    And Mike still groans when he sees his name come up as “Mike Turner” in the credits. Twonks. At least it’s put right in the later issues of the Programme Guide (after he pointed it out to them). He reckons there’s some of his best work in Series V.

  37. It’s just occurred to me how obscure the “Just the Smegs” release is. Just The Shows makes perfect sense to appeal to the casual viewer, but dedicated blooper DVDs?

    Surely they’re for major fans only? And they already have 99.99% of the bloopers on the series releases, don’t they? Am I missing something or is the appeal just a bunch of mildly amusing links by Robert Llewellyn and lashings and lashings of Tongue Tied?

  38. You’re forgetting that exactly the same arguments could have been made back when the VHSes came out, though.

    And yes, back then, the bloopers weren’t already out there – however, bear in mind that those releases sold fantastically well, and not just to hardcore fans. They were the first mega successful bloopers video series, they added the term “smeg ups” to the vernacular (cf that Little Britain sketch), and I would wager that to your casual, Just the Shows-buying fan, of all the DVD extras the one that would appeal to them would be the smeg ups. I reckon it’s those fans (and those fans like the G&T crowd, who care about completeness and getting all the original links) at whom this release is most squarely targeted.

    It doesn’t make much sense if you’ve got the I-VIII DVDs, no (although many of us will buy it anyway). But if you’ve only got the shows, and you want the classic Smeg Ups… well, they sold well enough on video, which suggests they’d sell well on DVD as well.

  39. Absolutely – the key factor is that the Smeg Ups and Smeg Outs aren’t DVD extras made large, they’re 50-minute ‘specials’ in their own right, intended for home release to be watched sepatarely from the TV seires.

    The Smegs VHSs sold better than any other Dwarf tape has ever done. Which means, I guess, that there are people who own one of them but not a single episode of the TV show. It’s a strong indicator that they don’t conform to the pattern of ‘normal’ series releases. It’s more like a stand-up DVD or something. It’s a popular thing, for the public en mass.

    Bodysnatcher for the fans; Smegs for everyone.

    For the hardcore, sure, it’s a load of unreleased links and shots, plus a chance to watch the outtakes in a ‘director’s cut’ sort of way, as they were originally intended to be compiled. or something.

    But for people who own no Dwarf at all, or – as Seb says – just the Just the Shows boxes, it’s an appealing budget-price DVD.

  40. I have the DVDs with all the extras, and I’d still been crossing my fingers that they’d put the Smegs on DVD altogether. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not the same just seeing a few thrown together as extras as it is seeing a proper show’s worth of all different ones from various seasons along with the fun in-betweeny bits (which were necessarily absent from the individual DVDs).

  41. >As far as I?m concerned, it?s not the same just seeing a few thrown together as extras as it is seeing a proper show?s worth of all different ones

    Correct.

  42. >The Smegs VHSs sold better than any other Dwarf tape has ever done.

    Interesting, if bizarre. I guess this is all the justification needed really. I’ve never really seen the appeal of this sort of thing, but you can’t argue with popularity.

  43. Well, I own those Smeg Ups / Smeg Outs VHSs, but only two VHSs with episodes on them. Ahem.

    I also have that Making of Tongue Tide VHS. I’m weird like that.

  44. G&T Admin

    Are there any sales figures for the Dwarf VHS releases made public anywhere? I know it’s supposed to be sensitive information, but with the time that’s passed, plus the fact that it’s now a different distribution company who release Dwarf, it’s perhaps not as important any more.

    Actually, I’m sure I read something about Dwarf DVD sales, but I can’t remember where now.

  45. The only Dwarf VHSs I own are Smeg Ups/Outs.

    And although I own series I-VIII on DVD I will still be buying Just the Smegs because if you want to watch Smeg Up’s it isn’t practical to keep swapping discs for each series.

  46. G&T Admin

    From the Just The Smegs press release: “The Red Dwarf Smeg Ups and Smeg Outs have previously sold over 550,000 on VHS”.

    Presumably that’s including all three VHS releases: Smeg Ups, Smeg Outs, and then the dual cassette featuring both.

  47. >>The Smegs VHSs sold better than any other Dwarf tape has ever done.

    >Interesting, if bizarre. I guess this is all the justification needed
    >really. I?ve never really seen the appeal of this sort of
    >thing, but you can?t argue with popularity.

    I guess it’s logical really, the Smeg Ups/Outs were unbroadcasted material, while a lot of people would have taped the series themselves when they were first broadcast, not bothering to buy the VHS as there would be no reason to.

    It’s amazing actually how much people used to pay for VHS, 3 episodes on a tape at around ?12.99 each. DVD, especially for TV series are so much better value for money.

  48. >DVD, especially for TV series are so much better value for money.

    Part of the reason the format took off the way it did, I’d bet. I remember holding off as long as I could just because I didn’t want to replace my existing videos of things. Then I realized that DVDs were actually cheaper…or, at the very least, the same price but with more/better features.

    It’s one of the few complete format changes that I really think was for the best, and I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking so. Competitive cost really helped to shape that attitude.

  49. That’s the reason I didn’t buy any VHS tapes of TV shows…

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