The edit for Series X is well and truly underway, and as usual, the best way to find out information is to follow people with the surname ‘Naylor’ on Twitter. While Junior is busy revealing that each episode is currently running at around 34 minutes and speculating as to the broadcast order, Naylor Classic is asking the fans for opinions…
We might as well toss our twopenn’orth on to the stack while we’re here, so:
Given a choice between opening titles or an extra 20 secs of show or more show and faster closing creds what would it be? Vote now!
Well, it would be a massive shame to lose any of it, and it should be avoided if possible. I don’t think 20 seconds worth of material is worth the cost to the viewing experience. The opening titles set the mood for what is to come, and the closing credits provide vital thinking time to soak in the denouement. I’d imagine that if an extra 20 seconds was required to tell a story, it could be accommodated by trims and tightens elsewhere. If push came to shove, however, I’d rather have the end credits truncated than the opening titles. I don’t think Red Dwarf ever suits a cold opening (ooh, pardon) – the starts of Ouroboros and Duct Soup always seem very odd.
Next question: should most music links be versions and variations of Red Dwarf theme tune as in days of old?
Now, this is very interesting. One’s first thought is OHMYGOD THEY’RE DOING NEW ORIGINAL MUSIC PLEASE LET IT BE GOODALL PLEASE. But Doug could be asking: shall we reuse the original cues, or get library music? To which the answer is: whatever suits the scene in question, obviously. Generally speaking, a flyby of Red Dwarf should be the old dur-durdurduuur-durdurduuuuuur, but you’d hope for something unique for chase sequences, incidental music and whatnot. Although, if one’s first thought is correct, and they are recording brand new music, the answer is: DO NOTHING. PRESS NOTHING. GET GOODALL. He’ll answer all your questions and more.
Opening titles: sombre (like S1 and S2) or montage of clips from the show like S3 – S8?
Well, judging from what I’ve seen at the recordings, the show would definitely suit a montage better. It would be a fair old change of pace to go from the old Lister-painting-the-ship sequence straight into a scene full of movement and dynamic camerawork. Wait a minute, something’s not right here.
It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into the editing process, and to get an insight into what issues are troubling Doug’s megabrain. It’s also further proof, if proof be need be, that the production is going all out to give the fans exactly what they want. But here’s the thing – why should Doug listen to us? It’s not exactly gone swimmingly before, when the backlash to Series VII gave us the even-more-backlash-worthy Series VIII. If you listened to one handful of fans, Red Dwarf should be nothing but Dibbleys and Polymorphs and Aces and Kryten wailing like an idiot. If you listened to another handful, there’d be nothing but Lister and Rimmer having in-depth conversations about the bleakness of existence. Most fans would like somewhere in the middle, but there’s very rarely a consensus within any fandom as to what’s best for the show.
And why would there be? We’re fans for a reason – while we all know what we like when we see it, the vast majority wouldn’t know the first thing about how to make a television show. But do you know who does know how to make Red Dwarf? Doug Naylor. He should have the confidence in his convictions to make any decision like this based on what he thinks is the best way to go, rather than what will please the most number of people. Because there’s certain things – the style of the opening titles being the most obvious example – that he is the best qualified person in the world to make a decision on. No fan, regardless of how much material they’ve seen at the recordings, will be able to judge things like that better than the person who wrote and directed the show.
This has all got a bit out of hand, so I suppose I’d better wrap it up in some sort of point. Basically, Doug – thank you very much for letting us in to your world, but please don’t pay that much attention to what we say. Take it on board, of course, but every single decision you make on the show should be based on what you think will make the best piece of television. And if you get it right, all of us will be happy.