Tanya’s Newsround – 13/09/16

Rather excitingly, there was a BAFTA screening of Twentica AND Samsara last night, breathlessly livetweeted by @TORDFC. All the great and good were there, and Metro went along, too, judging by this article with its hilarious opinions. Apparently, Metro were sworn to secrecy. I count at least three spoilers, so it’s up to you, dear readers, if you want to waste your time reading that guff.

Amongst the rather pointless and ill-informed praising of the series having a ‘low budget’ (what exactly IS a low budget for a show backed by a major network, anyway?), is the interesting comment by Doug Naylor that Samsara was restricted in scope in order to provide more of the budget for Twentica. Not so much a ‘lol dodgy sets’ situation, and more a tactic that has been used in TV for most of its existence.

I’m sure Red Dwarf fans will be amazed by the sub-header “Good news – it’s the return of the lads”, as I for one was expecting an all-female reboot, Ghostbusters-style. Again, the fact that the main cast will be exactly the same as it was last series isn’t really a reasonable excuse to claim that ‘diehard’ fans prefer it that way. Also, the writer rather undermines their point in the next paragraph by mentioning that neither Holly or Kochanski are returning (based on the first two episodes) and claiming to be disappointed. Ok.

Point 6 of this article also claims that Danny John-Jules using some audience laughter to give him time to remember his next line is the live audience ‘basically creating the jokes’. Writers of sitcom down the years will be kicking themselves that they didn’t just rely on this great tactic, rather than actually writing jokes themselves.

So there you are. The great British media, ladies and gentlemen. Ganymede & Titan, as advertised earlier, will be reviewing Twentica when it’s available on UKTV Play on 15 September, and will be Dwarfcasting LIVE when the episode is shown on Dave on 22 September. We want YOU as a new recruit listening.

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24 Responses to Tanya’s Newsround – 13/09/16

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  1. With the news from the fan club tweets from Bafta that Samsara was originally titled “Lift Off”, I can reveal that guest star is David “Coppers” Copperfield who exits one of Red Dwarf’s sentient lifts wearing a special medallion and proceeds to act a bit like a cheesy john Travolta wannabe for a bit,

  2. If I had to guess I’d say the budget for XI is higher than any previous series.

  3. If I had to guess I’d say the budget for XI is higher than any previous series.

    Its apparently less then X but much better careful spending allows it to look more expensive

  4. It probably cost less than X because they’re averaging out the total cost of both XI and XII, which, due to them being shot back-to-back, will have had an overall reduced cost compared with if they had to remount everything, say, a year later to shoot XII.

  5. G&T Admin

    Yes, that sounds the most likely scenario. It’s still a long way from the ‘low budget’ idea the Metro journalist was attempting to convey, which is just silly.

  6. Appreciate that it’s difficult to summarise an event like this, particularly as the cast were speaking over each other at an excitedly fevered pace, but this article really took the smeg, didn’t it?

    It’s difficult to know where to begin…

    I’ll forgive minor errors such as calling Kryten an android, but for Pete’s sake, if you’re going to use roman numerals, learn what they mean: “a return to form after series IV”. What? Are you sure that’s what you meant?

    Praising the “low budget” and gleefully claiming that “the not overly fussy sets are back” – really?! The production values are second to none – as the trailers have shown; it’s clear that the crew have made impressive use of the budget they had to push the show forward.

    Misquoting cast and crew is unbelievably rife. Doug did not say that Samsara was “deliberately designed to be super cheap” – yes, he pointed out that, as is always the case, some episodes are written to be less expensive than others, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t say that to show how “it’s a complete and utter return to form” after “upping the spend” (another lie) on Back to Earth.

    If you’re not a fan and don’t recognise that the ‘moose’ joke Danny was referring to was from a previous series (not the episode you watched just 30 minutes previously), please don’t publish it.

    Apologies. I understand the above was blindingly obvious to all who have had the misfortune to read it, but this one really got my feckles, heckles, hackles, schmeckles up!

  7. I stupidly decided to read the article out of curiosity. Blimey! You were not wrong. I had to skim read it and scroll very quickly passed what appeared to be the start of several spoilers. I hope not too many unwitting fans read them by mistake. Bad bad Metro!

  8. Also, I’m pretty sure Doug said that Samsara was ‘originally’ designed to be cheap when it had the working title ‘Lift Off’, however when UKTV saw the script and liked the basic premise they suggested he should expand it and worry less about budgetary considerations. Either way, it was VERY funny!

  9. G&T Admin

    Well, it seems that almost anyone else attending the screening could have written a better article. Congratulations, Metro!

  10. Whoever said that the best things in life are free obviously never read The Metro.

  11. “I’ll forgive minor errors such as calling Kryten an android, “….

    [Pedantic Percy Mode] Actually, that’s one thing they got right. Kryten IS an android. Okay, he is actually a mechanoid, but I assume that’s a kind of android , since Kryten is referred to as both over the course of the series.[/Pedantic Percy Mode]

    I actually came across that article via Twitter, and I found the reference to the low budget as being a positive factor rather annoying. Don’t get me wrong, it can be, I guess, forcing a writer to write a good story and dialogue to overcome issues… but then again, shouldn’t a writer write well regardless of budget? And Red Dwarf has consistently looked good, anyway, with a few exceptions here and there…

    As for the spoilers, while I read more than I’d have liked, it didn’t bother me too much. Without spoiling too much myself one of the plot items struck me as being more at home in a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy story. I have mixed feelings about that, but l guess they could do some interesting funny things with the idea.

    Despite what they got wrong, I appreciate the article writer’s enthusiasm.

  12. Found a casting call which lists a few of the guest stars in Series XI and XII,

    [link removed – spoiler territory. Ian]

  13. Praising the “low budget” and gleefully claiming that “the not overly fussy sets are back” – really?! The production values are second to none – as the trailers have shown; it’s clear that the crew have made impressive use of the budget they had to push the show forward.

    Sounds like those awful Wobbly Set Activists who think Red Dwarf SHOULD look cheap, as if good production values are somehow a sin. Huge overlap with the people who think Red Dwarf is supposed to be a parody.

    Red Dwarf takes itself seriously and tells real stories. Low production values are a detriment to that, something we put up with because the writing is so good, and it makes no sense to look cheap when you can do so much better on the same budget. If you look fondly on the cheap look of the series for any other reason than nostalgia, I can’t imagine you’re taking the show seriously the way it’s intended to be. You’re supposed to be impressed with what they created with such little money, not laugh unfairly at how cheap it looks compared to something expensive.

    I don’t mean to rant, but that attitude seriously pisses me off. So many people just outright refuse to take Red Dwarf seriously because they can’t comprehend the idea that something both funny and low-budget can still be taken seriously. I’ve tried to introduce it to somebody before who would just go off about how cheesy the model shots were every time they appeared. Dude, just shut the fuck up and enjoy the good writing. Watching television shouldn’t be this difficult for you.

  14. > Watching television shouldn’t be this difficult for you.

    Well, apparently it’s gonna be too difficult for some people to type in ‘104’ or scroll 3 lines down a TV guide to watch the next series of Bake Off….. so is there hope for the world??

  15. G&T Admin

    The thing with the ‘wobbly sets’ myth is that it’s based on an idea of TV that’s 40 years old. People who trot this line out are the ones who look at TV & film made in the past and sneer that the model shots/special effects look different, or more ‘basic’ than nowadays. It’s simply ignorant to judge productions from the past without considering the context and time they were made in. Wobbly sets are actually not that common, even in sitcoms from the 60s and 70s, but if you’re recording as live because editing is so expensive and technically difficult, you may occasionally have your actors misstep or shut a door with rather more gusto than they should do.
    G&T have waxed lyrical about some of the effects from earlier RD series, because they were not only very good for the time, but they stand up very well today. Mind you, I’m almost biased in the other direction, because I’ve always had trouble being convinced by CGI effects.

    Anyway, whenever anyone comes out with that sort of thing, I find it’s a useful indicator that they don’t know what they’re on about.

  16. The thing with the ‘wobbly sets’ myth is that it’s based on an idea of TV that’s 40 years old. People who trot this line out are the ones who look at TV & film made in the past and sneer that the model shots/special effects look different, or more ‘basic’ than nowadays. It’s simply ignorant to judge productions from the past without considering the context and time they were made in. Wobbly sets are actually not that common, even in sitcoms from the 60s and 70s, but if you’re recording as live because editing is so expensive and technically difficult, you may occasionally have your actors misstep or shut a door with rather more gusto than they should do.

    G&T have waxed lyrical about some of the effects from earlier RD series, because they were not only very good for the time, but they stand up very well today. Mind you, I’m almost biased in the other direction, because I’ve always had trouble being convinced by CGI effects.
    Anyway, whenever anyone comes out with that sort of thing, I find it’s a useful indicator that they don’t know what they’re on about.

    Fantastically put, Tanya. You should write an article on this topic.

  17. I think some of the issue comes from the dramatic change that happened between VI and VII. I think in VII, the team went a bit too far in trying to make it look ‘cinematic’ and lost the sitcom feel of it somewhat, which made the show feel possibly a bit more detached than it did previously. I doubt many people using the term “wobbly sets” actually mean they enjoy watching the sets wobble, they just use it as shorthand to mean they preferred the show when it felt like a three-wall studio sitcom. From what we’ve seen of XI, it looks like it’ll match the classic series in terms of having a sitcom ‘feel’ whilst using the best special effects they have available.

  18. Yeah, but you also get people talking about Doctor Who’s wobbly sets and that wasn’t a sitcom. And they do actually say they enjoy the charm of it. And of course, Doctor Who rarely had wobbly sets either so I’m not sure what these people think they’re enjoying. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with VII looking more cinematic. The problem was there weren’t enough good gags, the poor CGI and some inconsistent characterisation.

  19. G&T Admin

    The thing with the ‘wobbly sets’ myth is that it’s based on an idea of TV that’s 40 years old. People who trot this line out are the ones who look at TV & film made in the past and sneer that the model shots/special effects look different, or more ‘basic’ than nowadays. It’s simply ignorant to judge productions from the past without considering the context and time they were made in. Wobbly sets are actually not that common, even in sitcoms from the 60s and 70s, but if you’re recording as live because editing is so expensive and technically difficult, you may occasionally have your actors misstep or shut a door with rather more gusto than they should do.

    G&T have waxed lyrical about some of the effects from earlier RD series, because they were not only very good for the time, but they stand up very well today. Mind you, I’m almost biased in the other direction, because I’ve always had trouble being convinced by CGI effects.
    Anyway, whenever anyone comes out with that sort of thing, I find it’s a useful indicator that they don’t know what they’re on about.
    Fantastically put, Tanya. You should write an article on this topic.

    Thanks, although it looks like I have already ;)

  20. Doug: “Very nice review of Show 2 of Red Dwarf XI in Radio Times, ‘a doozy of a plot,’ but major spoiler.”
    So, like Metro, the Radio Times would be something to avoid then.

    This interview is spoiler free though https://inews.co.uk/essentials/culture/television/red-dwarf-crew-blast-back-underclass-bbc/
    I quite liked this comment from Chris: “From my own point of view, Rimmer in many ways has been building up to this because even as a 27 year old he behaved like a 57 year old. He’s starting to fit his own skin.”

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