Would you say your boobs are a) too small…

Ask the fans for opinions, and you could end up with a Space Corps Directives mouse mat

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.

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53 Responses to Would you say your boobs are a) too small…

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  1. EDIT: Good piece, agree with the fan opinion statement. But sod It – here’s mine to ignore:

    Don’t shorten the opening or credits – don’t, don’t, don’t.

    Can you imagine ‘fun, fun, fun’ minus a verse?

    As for opening… I’m not totally opposed to Lister painting the ship, but the montage opening certainly gear’s up viewers.

    As for music? All Space# cues should be re-used, and use library music to fill the rest. Or hire me to compose a contemporary score featuring elements of old Dwarf music cues. Im not kidding.

  2. > do you know who does know how to make Red Dwarf? Doug Naylor.

    Good point, well made.

    I was pleasantly surprised, nay, thrilled to see these questions appear on my Twitter feed last night. And even if Doug ultimately decides to go with something he’s thought of at the last minute, it’s nice that he’s taken the time to ask us for our feedback. I think the general feeling from all of us, though, is that RDX is going to be great TV.

  3. G&T Admin

    I was puzzled to see the questions, to be honest! I guess you can’t claim that Doug hasn’t bothered to connect with the fans, though :)

  4. The one thing that did occur was whether this is because he genuinely wants to know what the fans would like, or because he has a way he wants to go and needs to justify his actions to Dave remains to be seen. Let’s not forget that in the run up to the recordings, Doug was tweeting asking for opinions on the inclusion of a studio audience. On that particular issue it always seemed that his mind was fairly made up already, though as he has said, the arguments with Dave continued. Either way, it has been an interesting insight into where the production is at right now.

  5. >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.

    Apart from this. Argh! It’s a paradox. The universe is exploding etc.

  6. Is he holding a copy of the Space Corps Directives he’s holding? Are we getting a new tie-in book, or is that just something he had made up for the studio audiences?

  7. >Can you imagine ‘fun, fun, fun’ minus a verse?

    Yes, easily. Was that supposed to be a trick question?

  8. Ooh, that’s a nice photo of Doug. I’m sure whoever took it must be… me.

    >Is he holding a copy of the Space Corps Directives he’s holding?

    Prototype mouse mat if I recall.

  9. G&T Admin

    From Doug:

    “Discovered today no money was put in the budget for music, apart from opening + closing credits. Me and a kazzoo for action sequences then.”

    i’d settle for library music. That still costs money though…

  10. Surely they could re-use existing musical cues for the show though, right?

  11. G&T Admin

    I’ve JUST asked Doug pretty much this exact question!

  12. G&T Admin

    Holy crap, they can’t!

    Doug replied just now:

    “Nope. Wouldn’t have a problem if I could.”

  13. G&T Admin

    The inclination to want to spend the next 6 months working on music for Red Dwarf is so fucking strong right now…

  14. Do it Danny. (and other musicians reading this)

  15. Do it Danny. (and other musicians reading this)

    While it’s an idea that i’m sure many of us would jump at, I question the quality of the music it would produce in production quality if nothing else.

  16. > should most music links be versions and variations of Red Dwarf theme tune as in days of old?

    YES! Little fills of the main brass theme just give it so much more ‘ooosh’ in the early series’. EPIC!

    > 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!

    Definitely opening titles – just a ‘Red Dwarf X’ title over the opening action would feel much less Dwarf-y. YES to faster closing credits if something’s got to go. However…surely the episodes have GOT to end with the classic ‘duh duh duh duh duh…’?

    > Opening titles: sombre (like S1 and S2) or montage of clips from the show like S3 – S8?

    A quick flourish of the brass theme then the rockkk montage!

    I think a good idea would be to have full titles and credits on the DVDs. That is if they DO have to be cut down for broadcast. Though maybe 2 versions would be a pain to produce…? These 34 minute, or so, cuts could be on the DVDs too rather than the, presumably required, 28-29 minute broadcast edits??

    It’s all so blummin EXCITING!!

  17. So there’s a rather strong chance that this series will have no music? Not good news, but there could be worse things I spose.

  18. I’m sure it’ll have music.

  19. How much do you think us fans would have to raise to get Howard Goodall? I’d happily make a generous donation to get him, and I’m sure others would too. Whether we’d raise enought, however, is another question.

  20. G&T Admin

    I would imagine crowd funding when it comes to TV has complications when it comes to licensing and rights? Does anyone who helped with the crowdfunding get royalties from DVD sales?

    Even if they did does the person who donates £5 get the same share of royalties as someone who donated £500?… Really crazy legal implications when it comes to crowd sourcing a TV show I would expect.

  21. G&T Admin

    Fuck that shit. A TV show should have control of its budget. If they screw it up, it’s not up to the fans to bail it out anyway.

    They’ll sort things somehow.

  22. G&T Admin

    Oh absolutely, but it’s not like they were asking the fans to fix the problem, we offered to help a programme that is notorious for minimal budgets and high production values.

  23. I just wish Doug was trying to please himself and *his* vision of Red Dwarf. If you try to please everybody you end up pleasing no one, and all that…

  24. i have never quite understood why doug does that as he at more risk of disapointing fans by asking what they want then by not asking what they want

    its a nice gesture that he is asking but i noticed a 50/50 split in appinion from fans about the opening while some want the montage others want the s1-2 version and which ever one doug chooses it may disapoint some fans who wanted the other, but if he hadnt of asked at all then no one would be any of the wiser

  25. Here’s something I wacked together – It’s a concept demo. BUT It features Howarwd’s themes, which – as far as I know – can’t be used without paying.

    http://snd.sc/xypjwT

  26. from Richard Naylor

    >Spent the morning listening to reddwarf series 1 music stings, so many brilliant ones that never got used. Now off to soho for a pre-grade

  27. Even if they did does the person who donates £5 get the same share of royalties as someone who donated £500?… Really crazy legal implications when it comes to crowd sourcing a TV show I would expect.

    I’m sure they could get around such concerns by sticking an “I agree to these terms” checkbox on the payment submission form, right beneath a big wall of text waiving rights to, royalties from, and ownership of the final product in any form.

    But…

    A TV show should have control of its budget. If they screw it up, it’s not up to the fans to bail it out anyway.

    Fucking 100% agreed. Whose job was it to keep an eye on the budget to ensure that they didn’t get to the end needing things that they can no longer afford?

    Because I think it should now become somebody else’s job.

  28. G&T Admin

    > Because I think it should now become somebody else’s job.

    Presumably the unnamed “producer” that Doug mentioned wanting to disembowel. I think he’s mentioned this person before in a similar but now deleted tirade.

  29. I personally really don’t like it when the creators of programmes or franchises get so intimate with the fanbase. I hate the thought that Red Dwarf is only being produced for the fans, and it’s going to be full of nods purely towards fans, even if the writing quality is great. I don’t know why but I much prefer it when the creators make the decisions, and don’t get involved with what the fans want, because, like as said in the article you won’t be able to please everyone, and fanbases can be some of the most picky people on the planet!

  30. G&T Admin

    > I hate the thought that Red Dwarf is only being produced for the fans, and it’s going to be full of nods purely towards fans

    This is definitely not the direction the show has gone in so I wouldn’t worry about that, but I think it’s valid for Doug to be getting opinions on peripheral matters like this. Especially since, as a number of people have said, it’s actually a way of validation a decision he’s already made.

  31. G&T Admin

    from Richard Naylor

    >Spent the morning listening to reddwarf series 1 music stings, so many brilliant ones that never got used. Now off to soho for a pre-grade

    Not sure if this suggests they now *can* use those stings, but the idea of having unused ones is a bloody lovely one, isn’t it?

  32. I agree with Cappsy. While it seems most of us agree with Ian’s very good point that these decisions are better left up to Doug rather than us, I don’t think we need to be so concerned that Doug does not know this. It’s brilliant that he seeks fan input, especially knowing that such thoughtful and eloquent people as the G&T posse will give him well considered answers. But after all these years making the show he will certainly have the chutzpa to go against fan consensus if necessary to make the best possible show.

    (Additional: I too am fighting the urge to shirk all responsibility and just work on Red Dwarf music for the next couple months.)

  33. Having written several things for many years with one other person, I wonder if Doug’s issue is that he worked with Rob for so long that even now, still, it’s difficult to do alone in a totally confident manner. Sure, there are other writers and such now, but if you get used to bouncing ideas off the same person for 30 years, it’s not always easy to find another sounding board that suits you as well as he or she had. I have someone I’ve written with for nigh on 15 years and I’m used to her input in a way I’m not sure I could get from someone else. So maybe this is why he solicits opinions from other people he thinks love the show almost as much as he does?

  34. I see this as an example of mutual respect between fandom and Doug. The fandom respects his wishes about secrecy (spoilers), and he now shows he values fandoms opinions. I am confident he knows how to make Red Dwarf, but it’s nice to be asked about the little things.

  35. Dave have put a budget up for the show, and they’ve got more material than required. Use it all, so it’s a 35 minute show in a 45 minute timeslot – so what?!

    Okay 30 mins is nice and tidy, but who gives a fuck? If the material is there, and its so good or vital that they’re even talking about dropping the credits to get it all in, Dave should accept six 35 min episodes of Red Dwarf – you paid for them!

    And if you gotta chop it down to 30mins for international sales, again, so what? The international versions were often chopped to pieces anyway weren’t they? (Source: Nothing.)

    If its only the scheduling issue that stops Dave saying ‘give us 35 minutes instead then’, they could always round up the other 15 minutes with Red Dwarf Confidential…

  36. But most stuff that is cut is cut for a reason. Yes, a lot of the deleted scenes we’ve seen are good, but there is often a fair reason why they’re not in – slowed the pace down, stuff didn’t quite work, timing etc.

  37. A Doctor Who-esq Red Dwarf Confidential could be a good idea. And if they’re overrunning on material they could entice the viewer into watching by the promise of an exclusive deleted clip!

  38. International versions are going to end up being cut ANYWAY, surely. 30 minutes of programme is an awkward number – generally, things are either 20-22 minutes for a 30 min slot, or 40-44 minutes for a 1 hour slot. Not many 40-45 min slots out there outside of the UKTV channels.

  39. Yeah, but the 40 minute slots are to suit BBC half-hours, with added adverts.

  40. Someone’s let Doug loose on the Twitters again. About ten past nine, he let this slip:

    Planning to show some rough edits to invited audience in April to record laughter on show sequences not so far seen.

    So who should be watching for invites? Those of us who saw episodes recorded? Those who were on the waiting list? Or just random anybodies?

  41. It depends on what network is running the program over here. If is our PBS stations, nothing needs to be cut. If it’s a regular Cable or Over the air channel then, yes a 30 minute slot is 20-25 minutes and a hour is 40 to 45 minutes. Too many commercials not enough program, IMO. And people ask me why I stopped watching TV.

  42. I dont really mind the show being cut to keep within the time limit – I know they need to add adverts into the time. They’ll add them for the deleted scenes, and I always enjoy them.
    And at least they are not fitting the show and adverts into a 30 minute slot like Back to Earth.

    Oh yeah,first post and all that jazz – hello all…

  43. So who should be watching for invites? Those of us who saw episodes recorded? Those who were on the waiting list? Or just random anybodies?

    From a purely selfish point of view, I’d like any set up that gives us a chance to go again frankly. I get the impression it’ll be a lottery again from Doug’s other tweet but I might be reading that wrong. Fingers crossed though.

  44. > So who should be watching for invites? Those of us who saw episodes recorded? Those who were on the waiting list? Or just random anybodies?

    Maybe those kind enough to make donations for the music budget…? ;D

    > And at least they are not fitting the show and adverts into a 30 minute slot like Back to Earth.

    > Oh yeah,first post and all that jazz – hello all…

    Welcome, Kelly! :)

    Yeah the 30min slots for BtE felt soooo short. The reasons it had to happen that way are perfectly understandable, but a repeat of that this time out, for single standalone episodes, would be really disappointing.

  45. Oh yeah,first post and all that jazz – hello all…

    Hello back & welcome. Throw the odd fuck into conversation or start a feud with a comedian and you’ll fit right in.

  46. >A Doctor Who-esq Red Dwarf Confidential could be a good idea. And if they’re overrunning on material they could entice the viewer into watching by the promise of an exclusive deleted clip!

    Or an extended late-night repeat, as is the BBC’s current gimmick?

  47. From a purely selfish point of view, I’d like any set up that gives us a chance to go again frankly. I get the impression it’ll be a lottery again from Doug’s other tweet but I might be reading that wrong. Fingers crossed though.

    As much as I’d love to go to the screenings, I think it’d be fairer to be offered to the waiting list… plus from an equally selfish point of view they could clear the wait list, so that should Series XI have an audience everyone would have a fair shot at tickets again.

  48. si / Thu, 2012-03-01 21:24
    Yeah, but the 40 minute slots are to suit BBC half-hours, with added adverts.

    I know. The point is that the UKTV channels in the UK (and then mostly only Dave & Gold) are pretty much the only advert-showing channels in the world who give half-hour BBC shows a 40 minute slot. Everyone else cuts them to fit a 30 mins-inc-ads slot. So whether they’re 30 or 35 minutes, international viewers are unlikely to see The Full Dwarf (indeed, they might have a better chance with 35 mins, since some channels would chance it and give that an hour slot!)

    locusceruleus / Fri, 2012-03-02 01:44
    Or an extended late-night repeat, as is the BBC’s current gimmick?

    That’s just panel shows, which shoot “live” for 90 mins+ anyway. They don’t do extended versions of scripted shows in the same way.

  49. As much as I’d love to go to the screenings, I think it’d be fairer to be offered to the waiting list… plus from an equally selfish point of view they could clear the wait list, so that should Series XI have an audience everyone would have a fair shot at tickets again.

    Oh agreed. As I say, that’s just me being greedy. Realistically, it’ll be nice if these screenings do manage to give people that missed out on tickets a second chance. How much of the waiting list can still be used of course remains to be seen, as there may well be a fair few that could make it before but can’t now, or are less interested in watching a screening than a recording.

  50. I wouldn’t say I’m bothered about screenings. What I loved about the Red Dwarf X recordings was that, unlike other shows I’ve seen such as The IT Crowd which is a what-you-see-is-what-you’ll-get recording experience, I was left with a whole lot to look forward to. I felt that even though I got to see pretty much the whole episode, I had only seen about a third of the final product due to lack of visual and sound effects, music, model shots, opening credits etc. that play such a massive part in the show.

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