Fool’s Gold

UK Gold pre-launch caption As we ramp up inevitably towards September, there’s probably some news we should be reporting. Like, for instance, this early screening at Edinburgh of the first episode of XI on the 24th August. (With a strict embargo on spoilers, and it ruining the first watch of the show as a shared experience, it’s not really worth it for us even if we could wheedle ourselves in.) Or as noticed in our forums, it seems the DVD for XI has a provisional release date of the 8th November in Region 1. (We deliberately haven’t reported on Craig Charles’s foot injury, because nobody needs a tedious stream of Thanks for the Memory quotes.)

Anyway, we don’t care about all that. What interests us is the repeats of Series III, which started on Gold last night. Which is perhaps a bit of an odd thing in itself. If UKTV are trying to cement Dwarf as a Dave show, how does it make sense to start a repeat run on Gold? If it confuses hardcore fans, however dumb we are, surely it’s also confusing to the more casual viewer? I can’t help but feel this repeat run would be far better suited to just being on Dave.

Still, Dave, Gold, whatever – a repeat of Series III on a UKTV channel means only one thing: the never-ending game of Marooned Remastered. We previously reported on this last year – with the inevitable disappointment – but we’ve been talking about it for years. (Bonus points to anyone who can be arsed going through G&T’s archives and finding out when we first talked about it.)

Well, Marooned has its latest repeat showing tonight at 11:30pm, and whilst it’s possible that the correct version of the episode may be shown, past experience shows that this is exceedingly unlikely. Which means more wailing from us, more gnashing of teeth, more abusing our genitals in dismay, and PRECISELY NOTHING CHANGING.

There may, however, be a way we can use the upcoming Red Dwarf XI to our advantage. With a bit of luck, there’s perhaps a bit more of an eye on us from UKTV than is usual. So instead of hiding the problem behind arsey articles which assume a certain level of knowledge, instead let’s do a public service announcement.

ATTENTION UKTV!

Hello there. We’re Ganymede & Titan, a Red Dwarf fansite. We think there’s something you may be interested in about your repeats of the show, which have just started again on Gold on the 18th July.

The series you are repeating is Series III, which was originally transmitted on BBC Two in 1989. In 1997, a new version of the first three series of Red Dwarf was created, primarily for overseas sales, with a different title sequence, different effects shots, a film effect applied to the picture, and many other edits and amendments. The end result is a batch of episodes which look very different to the original version – despite the name, this isn’t a cleaned up picture, but an entirely different edit of the show, with many different creative ambitions and decisions.

These new edits were released on VHS, and even broadcast by BBC Two, but are not now considered the canonical version of the episodes in the UK. The DVD releases of the episodes in the UK were of the original 1989 versions, and you yourselves now broadcast the original versions of every single episode… bar one.

For the last few years, whenever Gold or Dave have repeated Series III of Red Dwarf, the original versions of the episodes have been – correctly – used for five of the six episodes. However, for the second episode of the run, titled Marooned, the Remastered version of the episode has been shown instead.

Needless to say, this is very strange. It’s extremely odd to show the original versions of every single episode in the series aside from one of them. As this single episode looks very different from the rest of the series, from the opening title sequence onwards, it makes the channel look peculiar at best.

Please could you source a copy of the original version of Marooned for any future repeat runs?

Best,
Ganymede & Titan

P.S. Thanks for commissioning new episodes of Red Dwarf. We love you really.

There you go. It’s unlikely to have any impact on tonight’s showing of the episode – if by some miracle it’s the original version of the episode, it will have been ready to air long before today – but maybe somewhere, somebody will notice this article, and get it corrected for the next repeat run. We can only hope.

Never let anyone tell you that G&T isn’t trying to make life better for everyone. Although to be fair, never let anyone tell you we aren’t a bunch of absolute arseholes, either.

UPDATE (25/07/15): Well, here’s a turn-up, and no mistake. It seems things are happening with this behind the scenes. Zoe Clapp – Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of UKTV – has been in in touch with us, and it seems a rogue tape has been identified.

Many thanks to Zoe for taking the time to look for us, and also thanks to Graham Kibble-White for putting us in touch. We have nothing more on this for now, but let’s keep our fingers crossed for the next repeat…

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18 Responses to Fool’s Gold

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  1. Thanks for being on the ball guys. Lets hope someone on Dave will be too and show the latest series prior to the new series airing. Also on a another note I wonder how long before the new series are released on Netflix and Google. I was a studio audience member for 4 eps and find myself in high anticipation mode. We truly are in for a treat sirs.

  2. That Edinburgh screening sounds amazing. I hope Doug’s Q and A will be released at some point. I could listen to him talk for hours.

  3. P.S. May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman. Love, Neil.

  4. just watching sorry you lot its same old same old

  5. G&T Admin

    For the record, the showing was at 11:20pm, not 11:30pm as stated in the article.

    I think changing it now would be slightly ridiculous, so it can stand as a testament to my inadequacy.

    Also: Remastered shown. Blech.

  6. I hope Doug’s Q and A will be released at some point. I could listen to him talk for hours.

    My gut says it’ll wind up on the DVD/Bluray.

    UKTV has now been showing the remastered version of “Marooned” for, I believe, 15 years at least.

  7. 15 years?!? Well when you put it like that, why break the habit of a lifetime?

  8. It’s got to have something to do with the re-rating and/or that added shot of Starbug in the snow.

  9. Good point performingmonkey.

  10. G&T Admin

    With a bit of luck, folks, we may be on our way to an answer:

    https://twitter.com/ahoy_zoe/status/755799531468521475

    Considering this article is written in G&T’s trademark slight arsehole style, I’m especially impressed they’re bothering rather than just folding their arms and calling us a bunch of knobs.

    (I’m unconvinced that it’s anything to do with the DVD re-rating, as I don’t think the DVD sales and broadcast sales stuff would be mixed up, even though they’re both BBC Worldwide. I suppose anything is possible, and I’m willing to be proved wrong. Bodysnatcher was released in 2007 – I guess one question would be, have UKTV been showing Marooned Remastered from *before* then? Or did the mistake happen at exactly that time, which might indicate a link?)

  11. Could it just be as simple as the Remastered version could be broadcast without editing for pre-watershed so they’ve just used that one rather than going back and editing the original. Or perhaps the original tape was damaged and they’ve just always used the Remastered rather than source a new tape of the original.

    After all as you’ve went over before John, the versions they used are always pre-watershed edits regardless of where they are airing. The tapes that they use seem to go way back to the UK Gold 2 days going by Epideme (or was it Nanarchy?)

  12. G&T Admin

    Could it just be as simple as the Remastered version could be broadcast without editing for pre-watershed so they’ve just used that one rather than going back and editing the original.

    I don’t think this is the case, because last time Marooned Remastered aired, it wasn’t cut at all from the version released on VHS/DVD. So it included all the potentially dodgy stuff – including Lister losing his virginity when he was 12.

    After all as you’ve went over before John, the versions they used are always pre-watershed edits regardless of where they are airing.

    This was the case during the Red Dwarf Weekends in 2012, but was definitely not the case last year. (I’ll do a proper comparison of this year’s repeat run when I get a chance – they’re sitting on the Sky box.)

    The tapes that they use seem to go way back to the UK Gold 2 days going by Epideme (or was it Nanarchy?)

    Though different tapes (well, archived versions playing from server of what was on those tapes, technically) could come from entirely different eras. Difficult to judge exactly when a particular episode was transferred.

    Basically: all this is very tricky to figure out, with no easy answers. I find it tricky, and I work in the business! (Though, I should point out, not on any UKTV channels…)

  13. G&T Admin

    I’ve just added an update to this article.

    Short version: yay Zoe, rogue tape, *crosses fingers*.

  14. Given that no commercial release survives, and the UKTV screenings of Marooned were all that was left, you are, technically speaking, and in a very real sense, The Man Who Killed Red Dwarf Remastered.

  15. According to Dave’s Dwarf page (http://dave.uktv.co.uk/shows/red-dwarf/episodes/) the next showing of Marooned is on 7th September at 3.30am. So if anyone wants to stay up until the middle of the night, midweek, to find out what version of a show from 1989 is being aired then…probably time to re-evaluate some things.

    Also noticed that they’re using a different Kryten pic on there to the original promo shot, don’t think I’ve seen that one before.

  16. noticed that they’re using a different Kryten pic on there to the original promo shot, don’t think I’ve seen that one before.

    Ooh, good call. Probably got fed up of people moaning about Kryten’s head.

  17. Hard to believe that they didn’t go with that one originally, would have saved a lot of unnecessary bother.

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