The cover art for the Red Dwarf X DVD has been released, and with it, of course, the confirmed list of extras. The art itself is decent, if a little underwhelming compared to previous releases. I don’t like that publicity shot and the awful Photoshop filters that have been applied to it, but it does at least scream THIS IS RED DWARF to the casual HMV browser.
As for the extras, well, given that we’re getting a two-hour documentary for a three-hour series, it would be churlish and petty to complain about the extras, right?
Welcome to G&T. Now then, the first thing that struck me about the cover art was how short the extras list is. A tiny box-out as a footnote, rather than a huge list that takes up most of the back cover. Given the length of the documentary, I imagine it’ll include all manner of behind-the-scenes footage that might otherwise have been separate features. Indeed, from the itsy BITC screenshot, we can see that the doc includes lovely rehearsal footage. But…
Where are the isolated music cues? Where is the raw effects footage? Promotional interviews/appearances? Trailers, idents and continuity? Archive of web exclusives? I’d have thought there’d be the bloody Vindalunar promo on there at least! Are we not getting a collectors’ booklet? Will the menus be animated? PLEASE GOD, LET THERE BE A WEBLINK.
This is all stuff that the production has gone out of their way to find for previous releases, but there wasn’t any archive trawling required here – all this stuff is sitting on the same servers as the episodes themselves, let us have them!
Like I say, the documentary will include a hell of a lot of this stuff and more, and I know we’re not entitled to demand this material be included in full. It’s just a surprise, and a bit of a disappointment, that a series made in 2012 isn’t getting the same treatment as series made in 1988. Nor indeed a mini-series made in 2009. Don’t get me wrong; I’m completely grateful for the documentary, and I’m fully aware that two hours of original material on a DVD release is no mean feat. It’s just… odd.
But we do also have a large dollop of smeg ups and deleted scenes, with an optional Doug commentary on the latter. Which raises another disappointment – no commentaries on the episodes. Presumably the timings didn’t work out for getting the cast together; you have to catch Craig on a day off, and Danny’s been in Guadeloupe for a couple of months. But it’s a real shame that Doug’s not done one, considering how great he was solo on Back To Earth and with chums on The Bodysnatcher Collection.
Moan moan moan. But the thing is: We’re Smegged is clearly worth the price of the DVD/Bluray alone. Just think how brilliant the docs for I-VIII were, then add the factor of the documentary-makers being there for every single step of the production. There’s no way that it’s not worth buying the Red Dwarf X DVD, I just wish that it felt more… complete.
Other bits and bobs: there’s a previously-unseen picture of Kryten berating a dispensing machine on the back cover; a feature running time of 178 minutes means that the average episode length is over 29 minutes; that length of deleted scenes is ludicrous and brilliant; seeing the episodes listed like that, in that font, really brings it all home; did they really have to post a screenshot of Chris Barrie looking so bald?
Elsewhere on TOS, treachery’s Seb Patrick has added little mini episode guides for all of Series X, four of which feature brand new photos. Firstly, Fathers and Suns features Lister, Kryten, a bottle of champagne and a framed photo of Lister performing fellatio. Entangled has a shot of Lister floating around without his keys, while Dear Dave shows Lister with one of the vending machines that he’ll presumably have sex with at some point. And finally, The Beginning provides a clearer look at Rimmer’s ‘Battleplan Timetable’, whilst also featuring The Cat playing with a piece of dangling cable. You can see him doing this in The End: Original Assembly, and now he’s doing it sixty episodes and twenty-five years later.
Six days to go, people. SIX.