Hi babes. Welcome to the second of our LONG-AWAITED – yes, LONG-AWAITED – series of analysing edits UKTV have made to Red Dwarf. Yesterday we took a look at Red Dwarf VIII; today, it’s the turn of VII, as shown pre-watershed on Sunday 9th September. ENJOY IT YOU SCUM, ENJOY IT OR I WILL HAVE YOU KILLED.
Firstly, however, please indulge me with an aside about the fascinating topic of break bumpers. Saturday’s showing of VIII was fairly standard in this regard; it simply used a shot of the ship going into and out of the breaks. (Admittedly, it was the WRONG ship – the 1-VII version, not the VIII model – and it generally looked a bit awkward, but you can’t have everything.) However, VII was broadcast with a complete mishmash. Stoke Me a Clipper, Ouroboros, Blue, Epideme, and Nanarchy used a shot of Red Dwarf itself, as per the VIII showings, whilst Duct Soup and Beyond A Joke transmitted with no break bumpers at all. Tikka to Ride, meanwhile? Well, they used this:
Actually a lovely, if old, design. And totally inconsistent with every other episode! (At least it didn’t have a UKG2 logo on the bottom…)
Now yes, I know the general audience won’t care about what break bumpers, if any, are used. But that’s not the point: the point is, it’s symptomatic of the generally crappy scheduling and transmission that is all over Dave like a rash. So little care is put into things like this, and it’s shameful for what is now one of Dave’s biggest properties. Slapped together with no thought. Pathetic. Even worse, Beyond a Joke managed to snip off the last word from Lister’s line going into the break. It all combines to make the channel look bloody awful.
(For the record, I would have snipped out the break bumpers entirely, and just had each segment have a tasteful fade to black. Reason? The gorgeous shots of the Red Dwarf X ship with the launch date over them which were transmitting that weekend already served as lovely little bumpers in their own right.)
Anyway, onto the edits. For VIII, only three shows were edited in some way; for VII, the total is five episodes: only Duct Soup, Blue, and Beyond a Joke were left completely intact. The irony that two of those episodes are widely considered to be the worst in the series is very much not lost on me.
Tikka To Ride
1) The end of the scene with a newly guilt-free Kryten was snipped; “So uptight!”, and the accompanying gulping of large amounts of alcohol are gone. Presumably due to the usual worries of imitable behaviour. Don’t want the show to be responsible for any dead kids, do we?
2) The following dialogue from when the Dwarfers first arrive in Dallas:
KRYTEN: That is not a giant pizza, sir.
LISTER: It’s eight foot across, man – don’t you think that’s giant? What kind of pizza house have you been going to? [The FatBasteria?
CAT: Hey, look at this! I think we just pulled the gunman out of the window!]
AGENT: FBI! Drop the gun!
3) Really not sure this cut from Kryten’s EXPOSITION-O-GRAM was necessary:
KRYTEN: President Kennedy was impeached in 1964 for sharing a mistress with Mafia boss, Sam Giancana. It was the biggest scandal in American history. Kennedy was sentenced to three years in an open prison in July, ’65. J. Edgar Hoover became president; he was forced to run by the mob, [who had pictures of him at a transvestite orgy.]
LISTER: So America had a president controlled by the Mafia?
Stoke Me a Clipper
4) The following cut from Lister’s jaunt to AR, purely to cut a shot of a shaking tent, of all things. (Which reminds me: the sex starts awfully fast, doesn’t it? Lister clearly made the Queen fucking soaking. Maybe he yelled out LUBEYCHEAT or something.)
KING: If he that calls himself Lister of Smeg has a grain of honour in his soul, that tent will part this very instant…
[Shot of tent, which begins shaking rhythmically.
KING: …and he will return to me my lady, and beg the King’s forgiveness!]
LISTER: Has anybody got any whipped cream?
(I am amused that a shaking tent is deemed unacceptable, but conjuring up the idea of spraying whipped cream all over Sarah Alexander’s genitals is FINE.)
5) A couple of seconds of the tent moving again, when we cut back to AR after Ace’s line “Understood computer. Prepare to jump.”
6) The entire scene with Kochanski putting the Cat in the microwave… sorry, Disintegrator. Definitely cut in case any kids were inspired to do a Hale & Pace. Out of all the cuts made to the series so far, this is the one that I think there is the strongest case for pre-watershed.
7) After the ad break, Kochanski’s line “I thought I’d lost you” is, erm, lost, and the scene starts with her kissing Lister. A pointless cut.
8) During the climax, both the close-up of the spear puncturing Kochanski’s leg is removed, along with her grimaced “Bastard!” The most irritating edit of the lot for me in this bunch: picking away at the impact of the climax of episodes pisses me off especially.
9) An absolutely bizarre cut, this one, from when the crew enter the Leviathan:
KRYTEN: It’s the Leviathan, sir. A 23rd century JMC supply ship. Engines are dead: power overload; looks like they were running from something. Wait! I’m picking up a lifesign.
LISTER: Are you absolutely sure?
[Cut to inside of chamber:
KOCHANSKI: I’ve never seen anything like this!
LISTER: You weren’t around for my last party, were you?]
KRYTEN: Look at their twisted, tortured faces! The sheer blind terror.
I can’t understand the reason for this edit at all – and it looks really awkward, as well. A quick fix to cover some video or sound damage, perhaps?
10) The following delightful dialogue:
LISTER: They just have a different perspective on pain, Kryten. [As would you if, every summer, you had to pour hot wax on your crotch and rip out half your thatch.
CAT: He’s right, I hate doing that.]
KRYTEN: The tests are complete…
11) Now, this is an interesting one. Kryten’s “Last week on Red Dwarf… something terrible happened to Mr. Lister! Watch this!” is removed. The section isn’t cut entirely though – just the dialogue is gone, whilst the music remains in the background. And what replaces the voiceover? This caption:
I have QUESTIONS about this. Who prepared it? Was it GNP, for overseas sales? If so, you’d have hoped they’d have done a better job; the text looks a bit awkward, and whilst the main one is removed, a slight bit of irrelevant audience laugh is still on the soundtrack. Ideally, there should have been a separate “Last time on Red Dwarf” voiceover prepared at the time for overseas/satellite sales. (Mind you… it does make you wonder why they didn’t just have Kryten say “Last time on Red Dwarf…” for all showings, and avoid the problem entirely.)
12) The opening of the Lister/Cat draughts scene. An especially odd edit, seeing as Cat saying “son-of-a-bitch” later in the exact same scene is left intact:
[CAT: It’s a real son-of-a-bitch about your arm, bud.] Losing an arm… that is one terrible thing.
LISTER: Your move.
And that’s your lot. No episode has been edited as extensively as Back In The Red – Part Two, and no episode has an edit made as irritating as removing some of the best jokes from Cassandra. But the edits are spread across more episodes, and it’s still bloody annoying. If they had to show cut episodes during the day, why couldn’t they have done a late-night repeat that showed the episodes in full?
Answer: because Dave clearly don’t care that much about these repeats. And when they’re pushing these Red Dwarf weekends as much as they are, and spending the kind of money they’re spending on Red Dwarf X, that’s frankly bizarre.