Xtended Revisited: Duct Soup

ductsoup-featured

Welcome to our continuing series Xtended Revisited – taking a look at the differences between the broadcast and Xtended versions of the popular science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf. This time, we take a look at Duct Soup – an episode which not only contains problematic gender stereotyping, but also portrays Lister as a homophobic little shit.

You know the drill by now. Each section is transcribed, with Xtended material presented like this, followed by any technical notes, and then my opinion as to whether the extra material works or not. (Predictions on a fucking postcard, please.) Let’s get to it.

Opening Titles

00:00 – 00:30

Red Dwarf VII title sequence Notes: Much like Ouroboros, Duct Soup originally aired without a full title sequence – although at least a “Red Dwarf VII” title card was slapped on the front this time round. The Xtended version restores the title sequences to its full length. Just like Ouroboros Xtended, the title sequence is also bizarrely video-look, rather than treated to look like film like the rest of the series.

Opinion: Title sequences are good, innit. But the lack of film-look applied is ridiculous; even though I prefer the look of the titles here, it sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the series. Even when I disagree with something Red Dwarf does, I try not to bandy about words like “incompetent”, but I struggle to find another way to describe this. Why, goddamit? Just grab the title sequence from another episode and paste it on!

Maybe in 2025 we’ll get Red Dwarf VII Remastered, where they’ll remove the video-look across the entire series in order to improve the picture quality. Well, I can dream. YES, THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING I DREAM ABOUT.

Moose

08:42 – 09:20

Kochanski having a bad hair day because that's what happens to women when they're upset Some extra dialogue where Lister tries to comfort Kochanski:

KOCHANSKI is sitting eating peach slices, because that’s what women do when they’re upset. LISTER enters the room.

LISTER: Hi.

KOCHANSKI grunts, because that’s what women do when they’re upset.

LISTER: How’re you settling in?
KOCHANSKI: Great. Having a ball.
LISTER: We’ll get you some more clothes.
KOCHANSKI: Don’t worry – I can wander around in a sheet for the next fifty years. I’ll be fine.
LISTER: And
we’ll fix those pipes.
KOCHANSKI: If you could just make them go ‘nureek’ every time without any ‘squelookles’, I’d be so grateful.
LISTER: We’ll stop them completely.
KOCHANSKI: I’m not used to this – not having stuff. When I was fifteen my brother, Moose, used to kidnap my lipstick and hold it to ransom. He knew that if I didn’t look good I wouldn’t go out. If I don’t look good, I don’t feel good.
LISTER: How do you feel now?

KOCHANSKI whimpers, because that’s what women do when they’re upset.

LISTER: Don’t answer that.
KOCHANSKI: I know I’ve been spoilt. Brought up in the trendiest part of Glasgow…
LISTER: Yeah, the Gorbals, you said.
KOCHANSKI: Eleven years in cyberschool: perfect computer-generated setting, with perfect CG teachers and perfect CG friends. Now I can’t even have a bath.
LISTER: Come on. Come with me. I’ve got something to show you.

KOCHANSKI follows the man, because that’s what women do when they’re upset.

Notes: It’s a little thing, but you have to admire the way the original edit cuts off the word “and” in front of “we’ll fix those pipes”, in order to avoid a non sequitur due to the deleted dialogue. Top marks.

Opinion: Oh, look, it’s the awful bit of Red Dwarf that mentions a Moose, rather than the good bit. My favourite line is where Kochanski says if she didn’t look good she wouldn’t go out, because that’s what women do when they’re upset.

Squeaky Gibson

25:19 – 28:28

The crew settling down to listen to some Craig Charles standup Ah, the famous entire extra scene, placed just after the section where Kryten injects Lister to CALM HIM THE FUCK DOWN.

The crew are resting up in, surprisingly, a duct.

KRYTEN: Well, everything considered, we made good time.
CAT: What if we’re down here for days and end up having to eat each other like those dudes from that plane crash?
KRYTEN Those were exceptional circumstances sir. Their only other choice was airline food. It won’t happen to us.
KOCHANSKI: Good, because there’s no way I could ever eat a person.
KRYTEN: No way I could ever cook one either. Not without my slow cooker.
CAT: What about drinking your own urine?
KRYTEN: Well that’s absolutely out of the question; you should never serve urine with white meat.
LISTER: I hate the dark. It reminds me of being back in the orphanage school. The dorm was always pitch black. The tight sods didn’t allow so much a a night light, just to save electricity. I remember one night, the lights went out, and as usual Squeaky Gibson’s bed started up – “squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak”. We all picked up our shoes and threw them at him: “Shut up, Gibson! We’re trying to sleep!” Anyway, we all settled back down, and after a while, his bedsprings started up again – “squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak”. More shoes, football boots, trainers, everything! But there was no stoppin’ him – just got faster and faster: “Squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak-squeak”. So I got up, snapped on the light, and there, under a mountain of shoes, was poor ol’ Squeaky having an epileptic fit! Managed to wedge one of my trainers into his mouth. Probably saved his life.
KOCHANSKI: Cyberschool was so different. We’d arrive on the first day of term, put on our total immersion suits and get connected to the mainframe – and, suddenly, there we’d be, in a perfect replica of a girls’ boarding school. We had Miss Brody for English, Mr Chips for maths, for history they brought in Disraeli and Genghis Khan, for literature they let us talk to Shakespeare and Dickens.
CAT: Can’t wait to hear what they did in sex education class.
KOCHANSKI: At 18 when I finally got out, I kind of went off the rails.
KRYTEN: How ‘off the rails’?

KOCHANSKI holds up her hands.

KOCHANSI: There are the rails…

KOCHANSKI moves her hands to the left slightly.

KOCHANSKI: …there’s me.
KRYTEN: That’s way off the rails!
LISTER: So? What did you do?
KOCHANSKI: You name it.
LISTER: No, you name it. What did you do?
KOCHANSKI: Well…
LISTER : Yeah?
KOCHANSKI: What, you want me to write you a list?
LISTER: Yeah.
KOCHANSKI: Okay, I, er… Well, I, I smoked cigarettes, sometimes. I wore skirts that were quite short. I went to the library and was really noisy…
LISTER: Really.
KOCHANSKI: No. Not really. I was in the real life for the first time! No protectors. I went insane.
LISTER: Really?
KOCHANSKI: Yeah. I was a retro-punk.
LISTER, CAT AND KRYTEN: Wow!
KRYTEN: They always say the hardest part about leaving Cyberspace is realising the whole universe does not revolve around you.
CAT: Sure doesn’t! It revolves around me.
KOCHANSKI: Absolutely.
CAT: I’m serious! Look at the evidence.
LISTER: What evidence?
CAT: Take food. Until I bite into it, it has no taste. Even when I know what I’m gonna say, it never bores me!
LISTER: You and you alone.
CAT: And here’s the clincher. All of the interesting things that ever happened to me, happened when I was in the room! Coincidence? Get outta here!

The others are unimpressed.

Notes: The addition of this material required some tricksy editing to join it together with the following scene. Two shots are duplicated from earlier in the episode (the previous scene, in fact) – an overhead shot of Kryten, followed by the crew crawling through the ducts. To disguise the reuse of footage, however, a different section of the second shot is used, featuring Cat rather than Kochanski and Lister. Why not amaze your friends with this excellent piece of information?

Opinion: You know, it’s odd. I’ve heard so many different opinions of this scene – in some ways it seems to be rather better liked than a lot of this series, with Craig Charles having gone on record as saying it’s his favourite scene in the whole of VII. Predictably, I generally dislike it: it feels rather too much like Craig Charles has stopped proceedings and is doing his stand-up act. Mind you, I get this horrible feeling that in any other series I’d really like Kryten’s line about never serving urine with white meat, but the atmosphere of VII just kills it stone dead for me.

On the other hand, I admit that Kryten’s “That’s way off the rails!” is very good indeed.

Conclusion

I was genuinely surprised writing this article at how few changes there were to Duct Soup Xtended. Ignoring the opening titles, the only changes are one scene having extra dialogue, and an extra scene being added – although admittedly, the additional scene is a whole three minutes long. Indeed, the three Xtended episodes of VII end up having quite different approaches: Ouroboros just has extra dialogue peppered throughout, Duct Soup‘s extra material is mainly just a brand new scene added to the show, and TIkka combines the two, having both extra dialogue and an entirely new scene.

This means, ultimately, how much you like Duct Soup Xtended depends on how much you like that additional scene. I don’t, but unlike Ouroboros Xtended, at least it feels a meaty enough addition that it was worth doing, rather than adding a load of extraneous dialogue to very little effect. For that reason alone, it deserves to exist, alongside Tikka to Ride Xtended – whereas I’m really not sure Ouroboros Xtended does.

It’s worth noting that if Red Dwarf had been made in the 70s or early 80s, these separate Xtended versions would never have existed, as programme durations were allowed to be rather more flexible. One Fawlty Towers episode – The Psychiatrist – runs to 35 minutes, as do many Young Ones episodes. These Xtended versions would have just ended up being the normal, broadcast episodes. Though, of course, with a laugh track added, as these longer versions would have been the ones shown to an audience.

Speaking of that audience, one thing I’ve not touched on very much in these last two articles is the lack of audience laughter on Xtended. Conventional wisdom, as I mention in my piece on Tikka Xtended, is that the lack of laugh track hurts the Xtended episodes. The two main complaints are the extra pauses left in the edit for laughter that never arrives, which feel awkward, and that certain punchlines suffer for the lack of response from an audience. Maybe I’ve become harsher in my condemnation of VII over the years – I’m far more positive in that 2007 Tikka article than I ever would be now – but I’m less fussed about the laugh track issue in Xtended these days… as I don’t think the atmosphere works in either version. Whilst the broadcast versions with the laugh track probably work better, it’s difficult to care too much about the issue when neither of them really feel right for me.

And on that pleasant note indicating that I’m definitely the right person to be writing this series of articles, that’s it for what ended up being quite a simple edition of Xtended Revisited. Join me next time for the thrilling climax, where I take a look at Back in the Red Xtended – something which nobody has really written much about before. I will no doubt prove exactly why this is the case.

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23 Responses to Xtended Revisited: Duct Soup

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  1. We had Miss Brody for English

    Pretty sure that’s Brodie (as in Jean Brodie).

    I like the way these articles save me having to go through the deleted scenes for movie references for that stupid list I decided to keep on Letterboxd.

  2. This article is racist, sexist, homophobic, ductist, waterist and blogist and I want it removed right now.

  3. All pictures selected are superb! Someone tell Ed Bye to sort out those ridiculous Kryten dummy heads in the edit.

  4. I really like the extra scene. Because I’ve never seen it. And it reads quite well. I can imagine it fitting in to an earlier series (I or II) quite well. Nice bit of pathos.

  5. Do you feel Rimmer telling the story about Uncle Frank snogging him in last day, to be a moment of Stand up? I think if squeaky Gibson story had been in Queeg for some reason, like Queeg had turned the lights out at 9pm or something, it would fit in fine, along side the, Smart Shoes, “Miss foster weird noise”, or the Space scouts stuff, it’s just classic Dwarf bantering moment. Duct soup overall is my absolute bottom episode, I’ve watched nearly all the others many more multiples of times compared to that episode. It’s lack of Rimmer, it’s solo kochanski pipe noise cringe worthy intro, the utter lack of logic in the layout of Star bug to suggest such massive water based corridors, and all for a weak emotional journey story and more kryten whinging that we’ve got elsewhere. I always thought the last minute nature of the writing showed how unthought through this one was, and suffering it all, is made slightly tiny bit better by having this extra scene for me making the fact that they are trapped, slightly worth it for just that bit. It’s unique, in that it’s the only deleted scene where I would keep it in and delete the actual episode that aired.

    John Next, There is an extended audio version of Bodysnatcher. I think you should do that, cus a) for completeness and b) you deserve to write about something you like after suffering articles about VII and VIII.

  6. G&T Admin

    Do you feel Rimmer telling the story about Uncle Frank snogging him in last day, to be a moment of Stand up? I think if squeaky Gibson story had been in Queeg for some reason, like Queeg had turned the lights out at 9pm or something, it would fit in fine, along side the, Smart Shoes, “Miss foster weird noise”, or the Space scouts stuff, it’s just classic Dwarf bantering moment.

    I would argue that a) Squeaky Gibson is longer, and b) Rimmer still feels like Rimmer in that section, whereas Craig’s delivery just feels more like Craig Charles rather than Lister here. But I admit it’s always difficult trying to pin down exactly *why* you don’t like a certain bit of comedy. and “it feels like stand-up” is shorthand for a lot of things I dislike about the scene which I find difficult to put into words.

    John Next, There is an extended audio version of Bodysnatcher. I think you should do that, cus a) for completeness and b) you deserve to write about something you like after suffering articles about VII and VIII.

    I had forgotten ALL ABOUT that. An excellent point. Consider it high up on my list of articles to write for G&T…

  7. For me this thread has been far from pointless. I feel enriched, wiser and somehow bonded by it in a way that I never felt possible.

  8. > I think if squeaky Gibson story had been in Queeg for some reason, like Queeg had turned the lights out at 9pm or something, it would fit in fine, along side the, Smart Shoes, “Miss foster weird noise”, or the Space scouts stuff, it’s just classic Dwarf bantering moment.

    Nah.

  9. Another great article. :) It’s a shame it had to be shorter really, but as we know, there aren’t many changes made to the episode.

    Sorry if anyone doesn’t agree but the dialogue is mostly atrocious…across the majority of VII really. The Kochanski lines from that first scene… it makes me want to cry tears of blood….(I guess if Doug was writing it, and I was a woman, that would be because I was menstruating atm…:P)

    Parts of Tikka and Stoke aside, VII remains the worst Dwarf in existence, laugh track or no.

  10. >> I think if squeaky Gibson story had been in Queeg for some reason, like Queeg had turned the lights out at 9pm or something, it would fit in fine, along side the, Smart Shoes, “Miss foster weird noise”, or the Space scouts stuff, it’s just classic Dwarf bantering moment.

    >Nah.

    Or, Yeah. For my dollar pounds worth of opinion. Rarely a level exchange rage with your own valid currency,

  11. >…extended audio version of Bodysnatcher.
    > I had forgotten ALL ABOUT that. An excellent point. Consider it high up on my list of articles to write for G&T…

    Hoorah :-)

    And on the other point, yeah the delivery of the squeaky story would have probably benefited from a rimmer reaction,
    Or Involvement of some kind at the end, maybe thats why you feel its more isolated and feels all on lister/Craig. Also thinking about it now is this the only reference to lister being at an
    Orphanage? Cus a dorm story feels more Rimmer childhood than listers.

  12. G&T Admin

    Parts of Tikka and Stoke aside, VII remains the worst Dwarf in existence, laugh track or no.

    I agree.

    Including Pete.

    Part 2.

    You heard.

  13. G&T Admin

    Jonsmad:

    Hoorah :-)

    Indeed, Bodysnatcher will now be the final part of Xtended Revisited. GIVE YOURSELF A BISCUIT.

    Back to Squeaky:

    Or Involvement of some kind at the end, maybe thats why you feel its more isolated and feels all on lister/Craig.

    Actually, yeah, this is definitely part of it. It feels weird because it just… stops.

  14. Red Christmas

  15. Point of interest, you SHOULD NOT put an object in a person’s mouth to try and stop an epileptic fit. It can cause more damage than if you just let them ride it out.

    Just like how you totally SHOULD sign up to the bone marrow register because it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever have to undergo any unpleasant procedures.

    What an excellent track record Doug has with spreading medical misinformation. At least this one was never aired.

  16. G&T Admin

    Point of interest, you SHOULD NOT put an object in a person’s mouth to try and stop an epileptic fit. It can cause more damage than if you just let them ride it out.

    Just like how you totally SHOULD sign up to the bone marrow register because it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever have to undergo any unpleasant procedures.

    What an excellent track record Doug has with spreading medical misinformation. At least this one was never aired.

    This is my favourite ever post about Duct Soup.

  17. >Parts of Tikka and Stoke aside, VII remains the worst Dwarf in existence, laugh track or no.

    Agreed as well. Though I’d toss most of Blue into the list of asides.

  18. Interesting that the chat about cannibalism from Cat didn’t bring up a reference to Tikka in some form, where he and Lister had already eaten parts of a human. Kryten saying he couldn’t cook a human without a slow cooker is a decent joke, but he didn’t need one in Tikka either, he BBQ’d the body.

  19. Kryten in Tikka was operating without his guilt chip. He could’ve cared less about how he cooked a human. With his behavior protocols in place, he would’ve known that a slow cooker is the only way to adequately prepare human flesh.

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