Red Dwarf XI: Bluray/DVD Review

Regardless of your opinions on the episodes themselves, the consensus concerning the way Red Dwarf XI has been handled by its various stakeholders seems to be that certain areas have been disappointing. The decision to premiere each episode on UKTV Play was… controversial, shall we say, leaks have been taking place left, right and centre (including the accidental releases of an episode and the DVD extras), the online store has been a heavily-delayed farce, and the rancid cherry on the top came last weekend when we realised what was printed on the back of the very Steelbook I’m about to review.

It seems that Howard Goodall and Ian GameDigits are currently the only ones successfully carrying the torch,  at least without getting bits of lighter fluid all down themselves and accidentally causing a series of small fires. It’s getting harder to ignore the cloud that’s gathering over this series, but there’s one area where Red Dwarf has always excelled: DVD/Bluray releases. The original releases of the BBC era remain unmatched by any other comparable show. The Back To Earth and Series X releases had a very different job to do, coming as they did so soon after broadcast, and XI is very much in the same boat. But despite the monumental cock-up affecting one of the three variants, is the content of these shiny discs good enough to distract from the recent shortcomings, and end this chapter of Red Dwarf‘s ongoing story in style?

Let’s find out. But first, we’ve got to get into the buggers…

The Packaging

I have all three variants of this release in front of me: the DVD, the standard Bluray and the special edition Bluray Steelbook. Firstly, long term G&T readers will be saddened to hear that there is not one sticker between them. However, the DVD and Bluray do share very similar covers, featuring the familiar promo shot of the crew below an encircled logo, with a small Red Dwarf to its right, the Dave logo in the top left, and the certificate and “2 Discs” logo in the bottom left. It all seems to fit rather attractively on the Bluray, with its smaller and squarer surface area; on the DVD, it looks a bit sparse and plain, especially as the design is considerably darker in the flesh than in the jpg published online. There’s a big gap at the bottom where the photo fades out – it looks like there should be some text there, but there isn’t anything, and it leaves it looking like a knock-off sold out of a bag in the pub, where the bloke’s inkjet printer has started to run low towards the end.

The Steelbook is a wholly different affair, featuring just the logo, over an eclipse and against a purpley starscape. This continues across the spine, which simply contains the words “Red Dwarf XI” and looks rather handsome of the shelf with its correctly-coloured Ds. The back cover features the crew photo on the same backdrop, and the whole thing comes in a slipcase that sadly conspires to ruin the whole thing. I don’t really need to go over the episode titles thing again, but amidst all of the excitement concerning the premature infodump, it’s easy to overlook just what a catastrophic error this is. The Steelbook for Series XI is simply wrong. It is fundamentally fucked. Steps are being taken to replace the offending copies, so on the plus side, a copy of the original version might be worth a couple of bob on eBay later down the line.

That big error would be bad enough, but there’s some other, smaller troubling things. The web address on the back misses the dot between “www” and “reddwarf.co.uk”. Not a massive or even particularly noticeable error, but a symptom of an overall lack of diligence. In addition to the Dave, Baby Cow and GNP logos on the front of the slipcase, there’s also a prominent BBC logo, and another on the rear. While 2|Entertain are indeed a subsidiary of BBC Worldwide, it looks very odd adorning a release of programme that wasn’t broadcast on a BBC channel. This is an oddity, and what’s more it’s strange that it’s present on the Steelbook but not the other two variants.

Oh yeah, don’t get me started on the strange inconsistencies across the range. The DVD and standard Bluray both have similar spines, whereby a tiny version of the logo appears in full, with a big old “XI” beneath. It’s not as elegant as the Steelbook, but I quite like the way it stands out on the DVD, a good distance away from the format logo and catalogue number at the top, and the Baby Cow, GNP, certificate and 2|Entertain logos at the bottom. On the Bluray, however, which you’ll remember is a lot shorter than the DVD, they’ve also added a Dave logo, complete with tiny “the home of witty banter” slogan. Why the inconsistency, and why put the extra logo on the version with the smallest amount of space to play with? It looks ridiculously cramped and totally indistinct.

The back cover of both of these editions are largely the same, with Starbug, the (correct) episode titles and a logo across the top, the same three photos underneath, then the series synopsis and list of extras. The DVD squeezes in credits for the cast and Doug, a couple of URLs and a row of logos before the technical details and whatnot, which are understandably omitted on the Bluray. That’s an inconsistency that makes sense. But why are the synopses in differing fonts, when everything else is the same? The Steelbook slipcase adds a third font, while the text on this and the DVD are fully aligned, but left aligned on the Bluray. The DVD and the Steelbook have asterisks denoting which extras lack sound, but the Bluray doesn’t. The synopsis on the Steelbook ends with a full stop. On the DVD, it’s an ellipsis. Annoying, but both are correct. The Bluray, however, splits the difference and ends with two dots, which isn’t even a thing. Argh.

Oh, and the two dots version is also used on the DVD’s alternate cover, which is otherwise a pretty decent and consistent addition to the classic oeuvre, although those with a sharper eye than I will undoubtedly spot some small inconsistencies. Asclepius is on spine duties, following in the footsteps of our lord Jesus as the second one-off guest to be awarded such an honour. The Starbug set has been given a very dark blue tint to provide the backdrop, and it looks pretty swish. The only snag is that the matte silver logo doesn’t really stand out compared to the foil-embossed renditions of the originals. Plus, it’s a bit disheartening when you consider the amount of space taken up by the list of extras, compared to releases from up to fourteen years ago. “Over 90 minutes” was expanded to “over 3 hours” from Series III onwards. That’s progress for you.

The Leaflet

Open up any of the three variants and you’ll be greeted by the same leaflet, advertising the Official Red Dwarf Shop. The fact that it’s the same leaflet across the board means that it doesn’t quite fit the clips inside the DVD case, and it’s liable to rattle irritatingly around. The leaflet itself is pretty enough, and features various t-shirts along with the mug and lanyard, although understandably it doesn’t feature a warning about the piss-poor service you’re likely to receive. The reverse is blank, save for a small Dave logo and copyright notice, which strikes me as a missed opportunity for some additional information about the series or the extras to be included, in lieu of an actual booklet.

The Discs

These follow the same basic design across the range, with the purple backdrop of the Steelbook utilised on both versions of the Bluray. The DVD gives the starfield a blue tint, which matches the reverse side of the cover and also correlates better to the overall aesthetic of the series itself. On all variants, Disc One is labelled “Episodes 1-6”, while Disc Two lists all the extras individually. Again – sorry, but this is an open goal – they wouldn’t have been able to do that for the first eight series.

The Menus

After the customary copyright notice and 2|Entertain logo, both Bluray and DVD viewers are greeted by the sight of Starbug flying through a red-tinted spacescape, before the Red Dwarf XI logo is etched on to the screen, ellipse-first. The logo then whizzes off-screen towards us, and we’re pelted directly into the hull of Red Dwarf, which fades to the actual main menu. This consists of a close-up of the ship, over which a montage of scenes from the series are projected. It seems to be a specially-compiled montage – although it uses many of the same shots as the trailers and title sequence, the edits are much looser. There’s an emphasis on action and effects shots, and it shows off XI’s broad range of locations and situations well. It lasts for the length of the opening theme, which plays throughout, and it’s mercifully free of those dialogue soundbites that become increasingly irritating the longer you lazily leave the menu running after watching.

The options (Play All, Episode Selection and a simple Subtitles On/Off switch) are written on a separate section of the hull, positioned across the bottom of the screen as a banner. On Disc Two, the menu is identical, save for Episode Selection being replaced by Extras. This is the first time there hasn’t been a unique menu for the extras disc, and also the first time we’ve been given the option to play all. On the Bluray, you navigate straight to the desired episode or extra from a pop-up menu, but loveable old DVD requires an extra page. A flaming logo provides a transition to a static menu: on Disc One, it has Lister and Kryten on the left and the list of episodes on the right, while Disc Two has the list of extras on the left and Cat and Rimmer on the right. It’s unremarkable, but functional and user-friendly, and I like the little ellipse used as a cursor.

There are no chapter menus to be found on either format, and as they’re not listed anywhere within the packaging or on TOS, these are the first Red Dwarf episodes ever to be devoid of amusing and/or interesting chapter titles. In fact, each episode only has four chapters this time round, when we’re used to double that. Admittedly, I very rarely use chapter points, and often the extra menu layer is a minor annoyance, but the old method added a layer of finesse which showed how much thought and care was being put in to the release. It’s another relatively minor thing, but they’re starting to add up.

The Episodes

As was the case for Series X, the retail release has come very soon indeed after the initial broadcast, and so there’s still so much fresh enjoyment and intrigue to be gleaned from each viewing. I’m still not sure what my opinion is on some of these episodes, but I’m grateful for the convenience of owning them all on a shiny disc, rather than faffing about with Sky Plus menus or UKTV Play interfaces whenever I want to dip back in for another assessment. There is no point trying to correlate a consensus as to the merits of these six episodes, but for the record, I currently stand at GREAT, BIT CRAP, GREAT, GOOD, GREAT and QUITE CRAP in that order.

I’ll wager that the majority of those reading this will have first watched these episodes in streaming quality, and thankfully even the plain old standard definition DVD is a big improvement on all of UKTV Play’s renditions, even the ones that download to set-top-boxes. The Bluray tops the Dave HD broadcast, with wonderfully crisp details and vibrant colours. It’s the best medium by far for showcasing the noticeable improvement in production value since the last series.

As has been the case throughout the Dave era, it’s logical to see these as the definitive versions of the episodes – the break bumpers that featured even on the UKTV Play versions are gone, with the two parts of each show seamlessly merged into one glorious whole. This removes the problem that several episodes had whereby the same music cue would be used immediately before and after a break – these are now one continuous cue, and a lot more satisfying to watch. Samsara in particular is greatly improved by the two angles on the door closing now being placed back-to-back, without the awkward and slightly jarring gap in the middle.

Behind the scenes

Firstly, the ‘s’ should be capitalised on the back cover, at the very least. Secondly, it’s a huge shame that this documentary doesn’t have its own title, as it instantly sets it apart as being different from the others. At 52 minutes long, it’s certainly the shortest of the big series-specific documentaries, so it’s not a great first impression. Last time round, We’re Smegged absolutely spoiled us with its luxurious running time, unprecedented candidness and fascinating story of woe to tell.

The Series XI documentary is at an immediate disadvantage because it tells the tale of a production that ran pretty smoothly, and where everyone kind of just had a lovely time. There’s a temptation to speculate that the documentary has been sanitised in some way this time around, but quite apart from the fact that there’s no evidence to contradict the happy story it tells, let’s make one thing clear: We’re Smegged was a complete anomaly. Even at the time, it felt weird that such a warts-and-all portrayal was released so soon after the event, and that’s precisely because the production of Series X was so extraordinary. I’ve no doubt that had XI suffered the same problems as X, the documentary would reflect that. The fact is… it just didn’t.

So instead, this is a documentary much more along the lines of what we were initially expecting four years ago. While the original run was made with the benefit of hindsight, this effort’s main asset is the level of access, and the range of its participants, as well as their sheer number. Almost all aspects of production are ticked off the list, and you get an overwhelming sense that everyone who worked on the show this time around had a huge amount of affection for the series, and brought a huge level of detail to their work. Designer Justin Fullalove talks about how the layout of the sets were crafted to accommodate as many different set-ups as Doug could imagine. Make-up artist Vanessa White describes how she went back to the very start of the show to inform her choices for the latest incarnation, and how this approach made for a series of looks which are much more faithful to the original intentions. Kate Walshe from Millenium FX shows us the fresh approach they took with regards to the Kryten mask, as well as sharing all manner of interesting concept sketches and prototypes for their various creations throughout the series. The sheer preposterousness of the Rimmer Monster is a particular highlight.

The main cast talk passionately about how much they loved this series, and their enthusiasm seems genuine. Everyone seems so proud of the Archimedes scene from Samsara that I feel slightly guilty about not liking it. The guest cast are very well represented too, with almost all the key players interviewed about their approach to their characters. Elsewhere, there’s all manner of prop and model porn for us to gawp at, including a closer look at the various animations that adorn the sets, and an interview with their creators Jez Harrison and our very own Danny Stephenson. That’s right, look impressed. There are so many highlights, such as the curious tale of how Robert’s first day of filming was over before he’d even made it to the set, Doug describing how he contributed to the design of Snacky, along with footage of the little fella falling robotic arse over robotic tit on location, Robert discussing how he had to tone down the gurning because of his new mask, and Richard Naylor completely destroying a drone.

But it’s the little things too. The joyful face of Eddie Bagayawa, relating how he accidentally found himself playing the captain of the Samsara. Richard Naylor and Kerry Waddell throwing shade at each other’s Skutter-controlling skills. Doug helping to sprinkle snow over the cobbled streets of the Twentica set. Chris Barrie’s reaction to actually throwing a 1 and a 2 with a shit pair of loaded dice. Everyone corpsing at Dominic Coleman’s performance as Butler, and the high regard in which the main cast clearly hold him. DoP Ed Moore titting about with behind-the-scenes producer/director Nathan Cubitt’s camera. That camera was absolutely everywhere, and the man behind it has done an incredible job of picking out the highlights, and presenting us with a documentary that’s equally funny and fascinating from start to finish.

But. This isn’t quite like any of the previous documentaries. Rather than having clearly defined sections for each of the final episodes, the story is presented in an entirely linear fashion, from the first day of filming to the last. This means that the episodes are dealt with in the order they were recorded; there are captions to separate it into six blocks, but there’s a lot of crossover, and we deal with the location-based pre-records for various episodes in one go at the start. The result of this is a documentary that’s much more a straightforward depiction of the production process than it is an in-depth analysis of the finished product.

And that’s fine, because it’s a depiction that’s thoroughly entertaining and interesting. But you do feel a slight lack of emphasis on how the episodes work as pieces of fiction, with little discussion of the plots or characters. Interestingly, what bits of analysis there are mainly come from the cast and not Doug, and the lack of further extras or commentaries means that his voice doesn’t come across anywhere near as strongly as it has on all previous DVDs, which is a shame. His musings on his own work are often the juiciest part of most documentaries, and while we do get an insight into his thought processes on the bigger aspects of the production, he’s not afforded the opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty.

Which brings us back to the running time, and the sense that we’re getting slightly less than we’re used to overall. The documentary doesn’t feel short per se, as it makes the most of every last second by packing as much detail as possible, but it does feel somewhat rushed. Some episodes get more screen time than others, and there’s a period where it feels like they’re really whizzing through them. There’s also a handful of editing mistakes, such as disconcerting jump cuts, clipped soundbites and inconsistent captioning – only a small handful, but enough to make you notice.

So for the very first time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the documentary could have been better, but that barely detracts from the quality of what’s there. If your main reaction to a piece of entertainment is “I want more of that”, that reflects very well indeed. The documentary ends with a wide shot of the audience applauding at the end of the Twentica recording, which you’ll recall omitted the final scene of the episode. If you look carefully at a certain, brief point as the lights come up, you’ll see one man who’s not clapping, but is instead looking around slightly confused. That’s me. I’d loved what I’d seen before me, but was taken aback at how soon it was over. I’ve basically managed to portray my overall feelings about the documentary on the documentary itself.

Deleted Scenes

Now this is another feature that’s shorter than average, but this time it definitely feels short. It’s not a satisfying experience overall, as like the Series X DVD before it, there are no captions to provide context to each scene. There’s this breakdown on TOS, but as that’s written to exclude spoilers, there isn’t much detail to go on. And of course there’s no commentary from Doug like there was last time, so we’ve got no indication as to why these moments were cut, or why the decision was made to reshoot some scenes entirely. It feels like we’re missing the full story.

The scenes themselves are a pretty entertaining bunch overall, mostly comprising of extra gags that were perhaps not right for the episodes they were written for, but are funny in isolation. There’s a great bit about testicles worn as earrings, along with a less good bit where the Cat body shames Lister for having “moobies”. We learn that Samsara initially contained a subplot whereby the ship was partly populated by dangerous prisoners. There’s also the original popcorn-not-hot-dogs version of Lister and Cat watching TV in Officer Rimmer, a version of the Can of Worms opening scene set on Starbug’s Upper Deck instead of the mysterious Starbug 19, and a small snippet from Krysis that would have paid off Lister’s earlier ingrowing toenail line.

However, these are definitely not all of the deleted scenes from Series XI. I went to two recordings, and there were highly memorable moments from both that do not appear in this compilation. From Twentica, there was a bit where Kryten mimed a Howard Goodall saxophone solo, and an extension to the Officer Rimmer scene about Lister selling his genome revealed that it had been used to produce sex workers named ‘Dirty Dave’. Neither of those are here, and we don’t know why. It’s possible, nay likely, that deleted moments from the other four episodes are similarly missing. Like I say, it feels short, and that’s because it bloody well is. We’ve got no god-given right to demand access to every scrap of Red Dwarf related footage, and there are no false claims of completeness being contradicted, but it’s just that we’re never normally denied such access, and there’s no indication as to why it’s being denied now.

Smeg Ups

At least it’s hard to go wrong with Smeg Ups, right? They’ve been a vital component of Red Dwarf on home video formats since 1994, and the customary collection of gaffes, swearing, accidental slapstick, childishness and piss-taking are present and correct here. It’s definitely a winning formula, and yet something feels not quite right. It doesn’t help that all the best out-takes have also been used in the documentary, and often with more angles and extra context provided by the behind-the-scenes camera.

Again, it’s a shorter running time than normal, and on this occasion it’s due to a very finely trimmed edit. There’s very little build up or aftermath of the gaffes included, just cock-up, laugh, cut, cock-up, laugh, cut. We’re not seeing enough of the familiar camaraderie, or the personalities of the actors coming through as they break character. It’s cut like a web video rather than a DVD extra, with a super fast pace to keep your attention, when that’s not as much of an objective for this particular medium. There’s no doubt that a lot of production value has been put into the package, but I’d happily take baggy edits in exchange for that sense of getting a peek behind the curtain. That’s what’s lacking from this feature, and it makes for an underwhelming example of the genre.

Visual Effects

This is a series of short compilations depicting several computer generated sequences at various stages of completion. And by short, I really do mean short. One minute and thirty-nine seconds. No commentary, no captions, no context. It’s nice that it’s there, I suppose, but it doesn’t teach us anything, and I’m struggling to picture a scenario whereby I’d select this feature from the menu again.

Model Shots

This, on the other hand, is a bit more like it. A luxurious twenty minute running time provides the most complete and thorough feature outside of the documentary, and yet it’s the one that will appeal to by far the fewest viewers. Thankfully, I’m one of the tens who delights in things like this, and while it again lacks any sort of context, you only have to compare the footage here to the equivalent features on the original DVDs to tell the story of how things have changed over the years.

Much like the series itself, almost everything we see has a blue tint to it, with the models shot exclusively on bluescreen, rather than the physical starscapes from yesteryear. There’s also a mess of cables and wires everywhere – it looks like a slightly chaotic shoot, with harnesses and wires on display that look to my semi-trained eye like they’d be a nightmare to comp out in the edit. Nevertheless, it’s an opportunity to see the models themselves in all their glory, and they’re no less impressive close up than the ones from the golden years.

There’s some great footage to sift through, and one highlight comes right at the start as Starbug comes crashing down in the American desert only for its rear section to detach itself entirely. But the centrepiece has to be a series of shots featuring Starbug and a brand new Red Dwarf landing bay, which was not used at all in the final episodes. Will it eventually appear in Series XII, making this yet another example of something leaking early, or was a decision made to abandon the effect at some point, possibly due to the difficulty of combining chromakey and dry ice? Again, some context would be nice.

Image Gallery

I have two main bugbears when it comes to galleries on DVDs. One is when the photos don’t take up the maximum amount of screen space due to unnecessary clutter, and the other is when they appear as a video slideshow, constantly moving and crossfading so that you lose control of the navigation. This feature avoids the first by having the pictures appear alone in a full frame, and just about swerves the second – it is a video, but the stills are indeed still, and hard cuts are used. These cuts are fast too, seemingly designed to be watched with your finger over the pause button, like an infoburst you used to get at the end of TV shows in the VCR era.

And with a running time of five and a half minutes, this technique means that a hell of a lot of shots are squeezed in. You could easily spend a luxurious hour sifting through it all. There are some photos we’ve seen before, but a majority that we haven’t, and plenty of alternate angles for familiar set-ups. Best of all, there are several storyboard sequences included – by no means a complete set, as that would take forever, but a fair number of key scenes from across several episodes. It’s going to take me ages to process all of this information.

Trailers & Promos

This is a collection of trailers and promos, although far from a complete one. It goes all the way back to the initial reveal of the “XI + XII” logo, through to the web teaser for the main trailer, and of course the main trailer. But none of the shorter versions of that trailer, or any of the variants with substituted dialogue. Three short social media clips are included, even though these are just scenes from the episodes with big subtitles over the top, but not the second trailer that debuted halfway through the series, the ‘scents of humour’ UKTV promo (which admittedly featured other shows, and so may not have been clearable), or even the promo for the merchadise and mobile game, which surely would have made commercial sense to include.

All of which leads me to conclude that there was a cut-off point for when this feature had to be finished, and that as such it only includes what was available at that point. I’m fully aware that all the missing stuff is viewable online, and that this isn’t a marquee feature, especially not so soon after the broadcast window. But surely the whole point of including trailers at all is to provide a permanent, physical archive of this stuff, to be revisited years down the line when it’s become an artifact of a bygone televisual age. Who’s to say that Youtube, Twitter and Facebook will still exist in ten or twenty years time, or even if they do, who’s to say that the same links and indexes will work, or that these clips will still be online and searchable? This is the point of completism – it’s not just about wanting everything, it’s about wanting everything kept safely in the same place.

What’s Not There

Yes, this section is making its second consecutive appearance in a G&T’s DVD review. You have to give credit for addressing some of the shortcomings of the Series X release – we didn’t have effects footage, trailers or a photo gallery last time, and while there may be issues with them, they’re a very welcome addition here. But despite this, there’s still the sense this package represents less value overall than there was last time. The two hour running time of We’re Smegged left room for a multitude of topics that would previously have been given smaller features of their own, but with this documentary running at under half the length, it’s more noticeable that the little bonuses aren’t there.

As I touched upon in discussing the documentary, it’s Doug’s voice that’s the most missed, and a commentary would definitely have helped on that score. It’s a sentiment seemingly echoed by Doug himself, who has at least tweeted that he has “a solution” for their absence. If this involves some sort of online audio release, that would be very welcome indeed, but it’s still a shame that not everyone is together in one package. Similarly, we may have Howard Goodall’s soundtrack albums to make up for the lack of isolated music cues, and even though these albums are a work of art in their own right, we’ve never had to pay extra to hear the score before.

And so, nearly five thousand words later, we’re left with the first ever regular Red Dwarf series DVD that I’d classify as “disappointing”. Even though the Back To Earth and X releases were so very different to their eight older brothers, they were produced in very different circumstances and they were both pretty much as good as we could hope for. The fact that this release is in the same vein as those two, but falls short of their quality, means that standards are slipping.

I can see why drawing this conclusion may seem ungrateful, considering how much the media landscape has changed in the 14 years since the first Red Dwarf DVD hit the shelves. Streaming and digital delivery were in their infancy at a time when half the country was still on dial-up, and the same developments that lead to the series being debuted online have lead to a decline in sales of physical media, and less emphasis being placed on the medium as a creative endeavour. I totally get why time and money are in shorter supply when the commercial rewards are worth less. But I don’t have to like it.

The frustrating thing is that Red Dwarf XI is clearly a programme with so much care put in to it, as demonstrated by the contents of this release’s main feature. So when things are incomplete, or inconsistent, or feel rushed, or when the wrong bloody episode titles are slapped on the back cover, it’s Red Dwarf XI that’s being let down. I don’t feel angry or upset as a fan, but I’m frustrated on behalf of a production that cares enough about this stuff to incorporate a full time behind-the-scenes producer in the first place. The contents of this disc are undoubtedly entertaining, and indeed essential viewing for anyone with more than a passing interest in the show. But the potential was there for so much more.

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113 Responses to Red Dwarf XI: Bluray/DVD Review

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  1. Great review.

    I suppose it comes down to the fact that the X DVD actually had tons of expected extras missing from it but I finished it thinking ‘what a brilliant, worthy release’. This was the same but I felt like I’d been bundled out the door and into a taxi halfway through.

  2. Yeah, Nice work on the review there, pretty much echoes my own thoughts.
    The problem is, of course, as we’ve all said on more than occasion, that we’ve been spoilt rotten with the s1-VIII DVDs, which all had, what, 7-14 years of archive to cover? As opposed to the few months for this.
    Shame non-audience members have had to miss out on what sounded like great deleted scenes, but for those at the recording, it’ll be a precious memory.
    And at least I’ve got all the Trailers recorded on a VHS at home, a format which will be the best around in the Twenty-Third century.

    For me, as a general DVD/Blu-ray release, probably a 7 and a half, maybe even an 8 out of 10.
    As a Red Dwarf release, however, probably only a 6 or 7.

  3. Here’s a thought about Disc 1 having ‘episodes 1-6’ rather than episode titles.

    Presumably a lot of the production of the DVDs happens parralell to the production of the series, even if it’s just prep work that happening during the post production phase of the series itself.

    I’d guess that disc design perhaps had templates made up with place holders and at some point the episode titles were meant to be changed when the titles were settled on. Somehow the extras content was updated, but not the episode titles.

    Given the cock up with the titles ont he steelbook it wouldn’t surprise me there was another cock up along these lines. I’d hazard to guess different people were involved with design the DVD/blu-ray and steelbook cases for a start, given the differences. Would seem there wasn’t a proper checklist as such shared between the different people involved to ensure consistency and that all parts of the job were done properly, i.e. Missing episode titles on the disc.

    That’s all conjecture of course but that’s where my ever so slightly hungover brain has gone this afternoon.

  4. OK, I have the U.S. Blu-Ray, it only contains one disc and no leaflet. Any reason this is the case, since it appears to have the same bonus materials.

    Also, this might have just been my tv, but I noticed that during some of the space shots of Red Dwarf, the stars shimmied. I’m not talking twinkling stars here and there, ALL of them flickered in and out, as if a screen was being passed in front of them. Was wondering if anyone else noticed that.

    Third, I don’t know if anyone else is having this issue, but Samsara, particularly in the opening scene, looks as though it was filmed by a drunk Parkinson’s patient. I was literally getting seasick as the camera swayed around. Whoever thought “handheld” was the way to go with high-def recording should be flogged.

    But at least the Behind the Scenes didn’t make me want to cut myself like the Series X one did. Jesus, that was just depressing, it seemed like everyone was just miserable making the tenth series.

  5. Yep, Samsara deliberately homages Marooned’s handheld but 25p renders it a fairly nauseous experience, especially in the bunkroom scenes at the start. Glad it’s not just me who finds it difficult to look at.

    As for the Disc One thing, it did occur to me that they could package the first disc of X, XI and XII together in the future to create a budget 3-discer vanilla Just The Shows-alike. Or indeed, add them to the 30th anniversary DVD box set (for BTE they could either reauthor a DVD5 of a stripped version or even drop it entirely, but given that it was the only Dwarf not repeated during the XI promo campaign, and the reductionist way Doug’s spoken about it recently, the latter’s not impossible). Keeping future options open would definitely be my guess though, in that they’ve theoretically authored both Special Edition and Just The Shows versions at the same time…

  6. Has anyone else noticed that when you select Samsara on the DVD, nothing happens for a really long time?

    I mean plot-wise.

  7. Glad to see I’m not the only person annoyed by the two dots “..” thing on the reverse of the DVD sleeve. Shocking proofreader work.

  8. As pointed out, most of the little errors and missing things aren’t necessarily bad on their own, but put together it definitely seems a bit lazy in comparison to what’s come before. It’s a definite shame, because it will always be sat next to better DVD packages on the shelf. My only thought is that we get a deluxe edition some years down the line. Although I don’t have high hopes really.

  9. The menu background is a straight up re-use of the Red Dwarf render created for the Series I DVD cover.

    It’s a tad too shiny, uniform and turn-of-the-millenium CGI-ey, I dunno why they didn’t use a close-up image of the model hull.

  10. The menu background is a straight up re-use of the Red Dwarf render created for the Series I DVD cover

    It’s actually quite hilarious how often that background gets used in promotional material, 14 years down the line. Whoever made it should get royalties or something.

  11. Chris Veale, isn’t it?

  12. The menus are a bit of a shame. The Series I-VIII DVDs do take a bit of time to get to stuff, but they do show just how much effort and love went into them. (For my money, the best DVD menus are the ones used on The Simpsons from season 5 onwards – really clear and accessible with no waiting ages through transitions after you select something, but with lots of specially made animation and tying the whole set together with a unifying theme.)

    I picked up my DVD of the animated version of “The Power of the Daleks” today, and there was a very pleasant surprise – a booklet with FOURTEEN BLOODY PAGES of production notes (covering both the original production and the animated version) by Andrew Pixley. I would love to see something like that on the next Dwarf release – it feels like that would cover a lot of the shortcomings Ian details here.

  13. Time for an official 30th anniversary retrospective book with a good ol’ trawl through Doug’s filing cabinets.

  14. I was hoping for a standalone production art/ design documentary personally, they did some amazing work judging by instagram and twitter posts. A tour of the sets would have been nice too, seems a shame to do all that work and not take advantage with some gratuitous close ups.

    I agree that Doug seemed quiet too, and what the cast said was all very nice but not very juicy. I think it’d nice to have some kind of green room video diary or something if we get another series, so we can get some live reaction from the cast, it would be something new.

    No easter eggs either afaik, they should shoot some. Put a GoPro inside Kryten’s monitor and have it as a special feature or something.

    The animated menus were missed too, would be nice to see them return. Hopefully for XII if they’ve got a bit of time to make the Bluray. Tempted to have a go myself and send them an .obj file haha

    Overall though, I can’t say it wasn’t good, it just says a lot of the quality of previous releases that this was slightly disappointing.

  15. GoPro inside Kryten’s chest, genius!

    Although it would be a bit of a dirge to get through twenty minutes of Robert struggling to appear interested when Chris is discussing the pros and cons of using machined valves versus refurbs in his 1970 Bentley T1 Four Door Saloon acquired from the 2006 Cheltenham Classic Car Auction of which he’s only just got round to because he was having terrrrrrrrrrrrible trouble trying to get parts for the passenger locking mechanism of his 1965 left-hand drive Volkswagen Karmann Ghia 1600.

    Or something.

  16. We used to have an identical red plastic beaker to the one that Lister drinks Dog’s milk from in Kryten. Yeah, look impressed.

  17. Big deal. I’ve got a DVD of Back to Earth exactly like the one in Back to Earth.

  18. > Big deal. I don’t.

    Tbh I don’t either.

  19. No sticker, no buy.

    No…stick-ker no buy.

  20. I picked up the US Bluray release over the weekend, which was a nice surprise considering we didn’t even know if we’d be getting the Bluray until the day of release – Amazon were only taking preorders for the DVD, and TOS spoke in decidedly vague language about the US release, so it was looking for quite a while like we wouldn’t get it at all.

    The Bluray, and presumably the DVD release as well, comes in a cardboard sleeve. The front cover, though, does have one significant addition: That blue space at the bottom has the words “The Complete Eleventh Series” atop it, capitalization and all (I’d have preferred ALLCAPS, but that’s just me). This is in contrast to RD X, which doesn’t have any comparable text and just lets the logo do the explaining.

    The text on the back was lifted out of one of the early press releases and, uh… well, have a look (click to embiggen):

    Maybe they felt it was necessary considering XI didn’t have the advantage of airing on a network over here before release, but it lends the whole thing a “Chinese bootleg” kind of feel.

    We also get the BBC logo, which isn’t surprising considering BBC Video / Warner Bros. handles the US releases. No 2|Entertain splash when you put the disc in, though – we get the “explosion in a rainbow factory” logo, followed by a trailer for Sherlock. Alright then.

    Keen eyes will note that we did get a sticker on the back, though – a Canadian rating! Smug mode. My copy also had a Best Buy sticker on the front, but I peeled that one off. I’m no sticker hoarder, I’m quite content with the one, thanks.

  21. G&T Admin

    It should be “Slough’s Pinewood Studios”.

  22. It continues to boggle the ol’ skull.

    Why isn’t there one guy in Grant Naylor who is on the ball when it comes to these releases? You set up a template that suits the dimensions of each format, you get your basics sorted in terms of spacing, logo dimensions, margins, font sizes, kerning, absolutely everything that will be on each and from there you can start to do your regional covers and different languages. You get the fundamentals locked down on your R2 and looking great before you start to do your regionals.

    It feels like they’re literally slapping these covers together with not a moment of thought to how each element sits on the cover and with each other. Text, logos, graphics, legalese, it’s a fucking mess. Each cover seems to be created new without adherence to a common template.

    Look at the US blu-ray sleeve, look how the text is centre justified. Your eyes are scanning back and forth looking for the next line and where it starts. The gaudy buffer of nothingness at the top of the sleeve, the barcode that could use a crop and re-positioning, the weird glow around a hexagonal extra box.

    Shit sandwich.

  23. Oh, and here’s the front for completeness sake. Pardon my stubby nails; it’s been a rough year what with the election ‘n’ all.

  24. I love the fact that, yet again, Danny’s not completely made the cover in that pic.

  25. It continues to boggle the ol’ skull.

    Why isn’t there one guy in Grant Naylor who is on the ball when it comes to these releases? You set up a template that suits the dimensions of each format, you get your basics sorted in terms of spacing, logo dimensions, margins, font sizes, kerning, absolutely everything that will be on each and from there you can start to do your regional covers and different languages. You get the fundamentals locked down on your R2 and looking great before you start to do your regionals.
    It feels like they’re literally slapping these covers together with not a moment of thought to how each element sits on the cover and with each other. Text, logos, graphics, legalese, it’s a fucking mess. Each cover seems to be created new without adherence to a common template.
    Look at the US blu-ray sleeve, look how the text is centre justified. Your eyes are scanning back and forth looking for the next line and where it starts. The gaudy buffer of nothingness at the top of the sleeve, the barcode that could use a crop and re-positioning, the weird glow around a hexagonal extra box.
    Shit sandwich.

    Octagonal.

  26. Seeing as my webhosts are playing silly buggers, here are those images again:

  27. Speaking of the BBC logo, I’ve always been thoroughly bemused by the DVD of Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive, a show that first aired on the BBC’s old pre-iPlayer service, then got a run on BBC Three, got repeated a couple of times in graveyard slots on (I think) Dave, and saw its DVD release through… ITV. It’s literally the only ITV-branded thing I own and it just looks so oddly out of place.

    Literally no idea why they released it and the BBC didn’t, but series 2, which for a while you could only get in a Brydon box set and thus I don’t have, appears to have the Universal logo rather than BBC or ITV.

  28. I think ITV also released the first series of 15 Storeys High before the double disc set came out.

  29. I think ITV also released the first series of 15 Storeys High before the double disc set came out.

    Also IIRC Bonekickers was released by ITV. Likely out of shame on the Beeb’s part.

  30. “the 14 years since the first Red Dwarf DVD hit the shelves”

    Dear Christ NNNNOOOO!!!!111

    I’m sliding toward my grave.

  31. Red Dwarf I was literally the first DVD I ever bought, before I even had a DVD player. I watched it on a player in the library at college.

  32. I think Red Dwarf I was the first DVD I ever watched.

  33. The first Red Dwarf DVD was the best Red Dwarf release for about seven years and then things kept getting better

  34. Red Dwarf I was literally the first DVD I ever bought, before I even had a DVD player.

    Ditto. Watched it on my little brother’s PlayStation.

  35. I bought Red Dwarf VI out of the local Safeway in 2004 for a sweet tenner. It was the first time I ever used my chip and pin and I was in love with the detail of the documentaries and the sheer number of extras. I could probably recite the cast commentaries back considering the amount of times I’ve watched them. I went on to buy all but Series I in a matter of weeks.

    Of course, my ex has all my original DVDs now so in a glut of self-conscious back and forthing, I re-bought them all for as little as two quid in CeX. Each time that I cracked the joke that I was onto my second copy of the DVDs, the helpful but ultimately awkward store assistant would smile and practically scrape the discs into the casing as is the rules in any CeX.

    Strange what you remember.

  36. I’d been a fan since watching Polymorph broadcast, watched every subsequent episode go out but didn’t amass a huge VHS collection. I caught some episodes on repeat and I did get the first 3 episodes of I on video but when I and II came out on DVD while I was at uni, that was the first time I’d ever seen Waiting for God, Confidence & Paranoia, Me2, Kristen, Better than Life, Thanks for the Memory, Stasis Leak and Queeg.

    The excellent DVD releases rekindled my love of Dwarf after having felt very let down by VIII.

    I bought the I DVD from WHSmiths in Bangor, North Wales. Every other DVD release was bought on the day of release.

    With the exception of XI. Not a comment on the quality of the series (which I happen to think was all over the place), just that I don’t feel a burning desire to rewatch it yet.

  37. I’m really looking forward to the XII release blowing this out of the water! *hint hint* :p

    It’s not bad though! at least we GET extras, and it IS on Blu-ray (unlike some series’, which are not deemed worthy of a Blu-ray).

  38. I’ve now seen the XI DVD out on the shelves in Asda, Tesco and HMV, and I don’t know whether it’s the composition, the print intensity, or the fact it’s not got a slipcase like a lot of other Christmas releases around it, but it’s so dark and has so much empty/dead space it’s almost invisible next to other titles. It’s practically camouflaged.

  39. It’s not bad though! at least we GET extras, and it IS on Blu-ray (unlike some series’, which are not deemed worthy of a Blu-ray).

    The fact that 30 Rock and Parks & Rec probably won’t ever get Bluray releases in the US or UK frustrates me immensely – I love those shows and I want them on my shelf in the highest-quality format available. As it is I’m having to make do with DVDs.

  40. I was heavy shitting it after Park & Rec S6 but 7 was immense.

  41. 7 was immense. I know that some shows just don’t sell well on DVD but I think when a show ends and it comes to complete boxset time, there should definitely be a Blu Ray option. I’d love Community and Parks & Rec on Blu.

  42. I was thinking about this earlier, and it occurs to me that there will be a point where I won’t be able to have all the Marvel movies on Bluray because they’ll have shifted to 100% digital releases. One day there’ll be a “last” Marvel Bluray, and a “last” Doctor Who box set.

    For me, that’s heartbreaking. I’m a big fan of physical media. I like being able to go to my shelf and thumb through my DVDs and Blurays to see what I’m in the mood for.

  43. I never thought that would happen and then it happened to The Simpsons. Gut punch.

    Saying all that, the supposed death of physical media and its replacement with buy-to-keep downloads is massively overstated and a bit of a bogus narrative. What’s really happened over the last 6-7 years is a lot of distributors trying to force a format shift by putting their weight behind digital in advance so as to not get left behind. Sometimes this works (DVD, HD), sometimes it doesn’t (3DTV), but the jury is still out on the future of home entertainment. There are way too many eggs in way too many baskets at the moment, and from what I can see the pieces aren’t necessarily falling where they’ve been scripted to land. Look at the music industry – who’d have thought CD of all things would start recovering? There’ll always be a market for ‘stuff’, other than that… nobody knows anything. And there’ll be TV shows on shelves in plastic boxes for longer than you think. Though it used to scare me, I’m fairly zen now with the idea of home video being in flux and am just enjoying watching what happens next.

    I do think 4K is the New Coke of home entertainment though.

  44. Totally agreed – in the UK last year, CDs outsold downloads 2:1 in terms of album sales, and yet we’re regularly sold the idea that nobody buys them anymore (or, even more bizarrely, people only buy vinyl now – which counts for around 2% of album sales). The gradual shift from physical to digital has slowed to a crawl, and I think we’re entering a stage where most people have chosen how they consume entertainment. People who are still buying DVDs, CDs etc after 10+ years of decline. are likely to continue doing so for some time.

    DVDs aren’t something I’m massively bothered about. The only ones I buy these days are Red Dwarf and Doctor Who, although when I move to a bigger place I might splash out on a few other series box sets. But most TV series and films I’m happy to have on the computer as I’ll likely only watch them a couple of times anyway.

    I don’t own a BluRay player yet, and literally the only thing tempting me at the minute is the ability to listen to Max Richter’s Sleep in its unbroken entirety without having my computer on. I’ve seen stuff on an HD TV a couple of times and wasn’t really blown away so it’s not something I’m excited about otherwise.

  45. Personally, I think 4K is only worth it as an option for certain movies. I’d love see Close Encounters or 2001 in 4K (given that Close Encounters’ visual effects sequences were shot on 70 mm and 2001 was entirely 70 mm), but I do not need to see Star Trek TOS in 4K. While it makes sense to remaster TV shows shot on film in HD, I doubt most stuff would hold up at all in 4K and the sheer level of additional detail would do nothing but damage to anything not shot with the intention of being seen in extremely high levels of quality. Like 2001.

    The problem with 4K is that there are so few things that truly deserve it simply because so few films overall were shot on extremely huge formats like 70 mm. Movies that were absolutely warrant a 4K release, but they’re far from common. Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu looks amazingly better in HD than the DVD (which I suspect was the result of a bad SD scan), but I don’t think would hold up any higher than that. Same for any other film that’s heavy on the grain. I love the look of genuine film grain but I think it’d start detracting from the picture if you jumped from Blu-Ray quality to 4K. Keep in mind these things were supposed to be projected onto a giant screen which would diffuse it a bit, not viewed ultra-sharp in a little rectangle in people’s living rooms.

    4K has a lot more place than those stupid 3D TVs that looked like moving ViewMasters or those even stupider Quattron TVs that seemed to disappear suspiciously quickly (which I’m sure had nothing to do with the primary selling point being a lie), but its use is limited. It cannot become a ubiquitous format because things that look good in 4K are an extremely small subset of the content ever produced in the last hundred and twenty-odd years. It’ll be a few years before it gets big, and only because they’ll be releasing all the new movies and some of the new shows onto it. But I think for a very long time it’ll be that high end format that people with more disposable income than us will buy because they couldn’t properly make out every single soldier in the army of thousands of robot testicles in Transformers 7 on that blurry-ass Blu-Ray.

    I wonder if they’ll rerelease the Red Dwarf Movie in 4K. I’m drooling over seeing the ship split in half in so much more detail. I hope it holds up.

  46. Has anyone done a comprehensive off-TV recording/DVD comparison yet? Side-by-side comparison kind of thing?

  47. I always find it ridiculous that PAL DVD and broadcast HD are only actually 144 pixels apart in height. Once different types of compression are taken into account, they’re close enough to each other that it actually hurts my brain to think about for too long. I mean, even a basic upscaling algorithm on a DVD player can make up the difference there.

    That’s the crazy thing though. ‘Standard definition’ and ‘high definition’ are such subjective, nebulous terms. “High-def video” referred to a modified, *very slightly* better version of PAL for a very long time. ‘Standard definition’ can be used to label anything under 720, yet ‘high definition’ can be used for anything over 480. If people can’t agree what HD is, or more importantly not notice the differences between its flavours, then no-one needs 4K at home. I mean, there’s still debate on what ‘broadcast quality’ means…

  48. Let’s not forget that resolution means nothing without a decent bitrate to back it up.

  49. I think 4K is here to stay because it’s not expensive for TV manufacturers to make a 4k TV. You can go and buy one now from the high street for about the same price as a big 1080p one. So you might get a 43inch 4k one for the price of a 49inch full HD one.

    They’re not going to go backwards on an obvious and cheap improvement. 3D was an expensive and questionable improvement, which required glasses for most Tv’s and reduced image quality and resolution.

    The more people buy new Tv’s that will by default be 4k in the coming months and years, the more they will want 4K content to play on it. Everything Netflix and Amazon make is now 4K. Sky have joined in too, I think Planet Earth and stuff will be available on UHD Bluray too, and a lot of films are already shot in 4k, so the content will be there for it to be a thing.

    I agree with not everything needing to be 4K though, and upscaling engines in media players and Tv’s should be improved to counter the need to remaster everything, just make sure 1080p doesn’t look stretched out on 4K panels and leave it.

    Also agree on the bandwidth comment. The resolution is nothing if it’s compressed to buggery fuck, but there are some great new codecs in development making this less of an issue. Fibre broadband becoming more widespread also helps in this regard.

    I don’t think any Red Dwarf will be released in 4K though. Was BtE filmed on a Red? From memory X was, and it was filmed higher than 1080p but they used the extra res to be able to crop in, so if they released the high res version it’d be framed poorly. Now I think about it I remember a similar bit of info from a BtE featurette, so that rules that out too, plus I don’t think they have access to BtE digital sets and effects to rerender them all.

    I’m interested to see what the old episodes look like on Bluray though, aren’t they due mid 2017?

  50. BtE was filmed RED but it was definitely mastered in 1080p or they would never have been able to do that massive zoom on Katerina in part one. A 4K version would require remastering the whole thing. You know the regular usage of the term and not the connotations it has in this fandom.

    There are _bits_ of Series XI I think would look really good in 4K – the street scenes from Twentica for instance – but there’s no need for it 99.9% of the time. And the model shots absolutely wouldn’t hold up. I haven’t seen the Behind the Scenes yet but they might have been shot in 2K like the models in X, assuming I’m not remembering that completely wrong.

    I haven’t seen the BtS yet because I figured the joy of getting a series of Red Dwarf that I don’t have for Christmas, something I haven’t experienced in more years than I care to count, is worth more to me than buying it on release day.

    I’m interested to see what the old episodes look like on Bluray though, aren’t they due mid 2017?

    Since it’s impossible to get any more resolution out of a video tape than the DVD presents, I imagine the only differences will be progressive scan and a higher bitrate. At the absolute most MAYBE they would grade the first two series to look consistent with the color quality of those beyond them, but I highly doubt it.

    Honestly, I’d like to see series one alone treated to the bring down the grey until it matches Series II, which looks so much better in the color department. No overly vibrant Remastered-type stuff.

    …OK, I don’t care what Ed Bye says, putting big dramatic orchestral library cues over Series I doesn’t make it feel more expensive, it brings out the cheapness even WORSE. It’d be like if you took a cartoon with really bad voice quality and redid ONE character in amazing quality. All it’s doing is perpetually calling attention to how shit everyone else sounds.

    I’m sorry, I said “Remastered” and it slipped out.

    3D was an expensive and questionable improvement, which required glasses for most Tv’s and reduced image quality and resolution.

    It also NEVER LOOKED REAL EVER. Like I said, moving ViewMaster (oh my god, I had one circle of slides with dinosaurs – that was the SHIT when you’re 7); even with stuff shot in 3D everything looks like a flat layer placed into 3D space. Even as a kid I remember thinking 3D stuff always looked wrong somehow but I couldn’t articulate how.

    TRON: Legacy, not only did you take one of the most visually unique movies in history and make it a sequel that looks like EVERY SINGLE OTHER FUCKING SCI-FI MOVIE MADE IN THE LAST DECADE (and was just as generic and terrible in all other ways), your ACTUAL 3D is what I would imagine the fake stuff would look like. ViewGoddamnMaster.

    There’s a reason 3D keeps dying out and reappearing: everyone realizes it’s shit so it goes away for twenty years until not only do people forget it’s shit but there’s a new movie-going generation who has no idea. Big in the ’50s, died out. Came back roaring in the ’80s, died out. Came back in the 2000s but it still hasn’t died again yet.

    You know, maybe VR goggles could make 3D movies work. If they actually made me feel like the screen was a window into the movie I would be raving over 3D movies, and I think VR since there’s no need to incorporate both the left and right eye images into the same picture and all the problems that presents (i.e. Jaws 3D’s resolution being extremely poor and yet still one of the strongest parts of the movie).

    I fucking love cinema. I want movies to be presented in the format best suited for them without question. And watch them in proper aspect ratio. Cropping is a sin, but if you squeeze the picture I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN AND FORCE YOU TO EAT YOUR CHILDREN.

    Figuratively of course. Obviously I’d never go beyond the pets.

  51. I really like the music during the three million years section of The End. I have literally no idea about HD stuff, but I wanted to add that.

  52. Yeah, I think XI was filmed well below 4K, 2K I think, and it wasn’t on RED cameras either afaik, I’m sure I read somewhere it was filmed on Arri cameras. Doug was a lot more confident in his direction this time round, so he didn’t really need the crutch of being able to crop in I suppose.

    As for the model shots, they definitely wouldn’t hold up in 4K, some of them barely hold up at UKTVPlay resolution haha – especially anything involving Starbug, which in my mind is an awful model this series. Hoping and praying Doug agrees and gets The Model Unit to sort it out for XIII if we get it.

    I’m not sure which ones are coming out on bluray, whether it’s I-VIII or I-VI or just I-III for now, but yeah it would be nice for just an upscale to 1080 vertical but still remain 4:3 obviously, and then a sensible grading just to bring up some colours.

    3D is arse on TV’s. I tested so many 3D TV’s when I was training for my job and without a shadow of a doubt they were all shit. It’s like the cinema really, IMAX is good 3D but not really immersive in any way, but RealD is a waste of money, it’s as you said, just planes and no real depth, and since 3D TV is mostly polarisation like RealD you get a crap result, plus it’s half resolution and too dark because you’re wearing sunglasses. Awful all round. The last film I saw on a 3DTV was Star Trek Into Darkness and it made me feel ill because of the parallaxing being weird and motionflow being on. Nice to see some love for Tron: Legacy, I love that film.

    VR could be interesting for films when the screens get better, I’ve got access to a couple of the high end VR headsets and the resolution isn’t there yet, but I could see films in the future making use of it and doing high quality stereoscopic stuff for live action and VR experiences for CG films. We don’t have the tech really to film live action VR compatible films though, and CG ones would have to run in realtime to have tracking and stuff but in the future, I’m sure we’ll have the processing power to do that cheaply.

    I’d like VR set tours personally. Hi Res 3D scans put in a game engine like Unity or something, and then released on Steam. You could even scale the models up if you did that, so you could place the Starbug cockpit inside the Starbug model and walk to it in one motion.

    International Debris, do you mean the remastered The End song? The sort of violin-y one with key change in the middle? Also used on the remastered trailer that Ed Bye narrates? If so, yes, that’s a beaut. Really memorable bit of music, not sure if it’s on anything though, I haven’t bought those Howard Goodall soundtracks yet, if it even was one of his.

  53. especially anything involving Starbug, which in my mind is an awful model this series

    I really think that’s down to the way it was shot. The photos of the model all look great, especially the landing pad stuff. I think the problem is that there are no longer scores of easily accessible model experts to take care of this kind of work.

    Maybe things will be better in XIII & XIV in response to this. Obviously XII is going to look about the same, though I pray we get more unique establishing shots of Red Dwarf. I cannot believe they would go to the trouble of building that giant model and then use it as little as they seemed to for XI. Hell, really it felt like XI overall used a pretty small collection of shots, repeating a lot of them a few times each…but then so did the older series. Maybe I’m just noticing it here because it’s new stuff I’m not used to seeing.

    When I get my hands on the Blu-Ray at Christmas, assuming I can rip a Blu-Ray, I’m going to take those model shots and see what I can whip up with them. I imagine it’ll look a LOT better than the stuff I did with the VII bluescreen shots in CompositeLab Pro seven years ago.

  54. International Debris, do you mean the remastered The End song? The sort of violin-y one with key change in the middle? Also used on the remastered trailer that Ed Bye narrates? If so, yes, that’s a beaut. Really memorable bit of music, not sure if it’s on anything though, I haven’t bought those Howard Goodall soundtracks yet, if it even was one of his.

    Pretty sure it was library music – Goodall didn’t record anything new for Remastered.

  55. ‘Trilogy’ by Chris Elliott. (Chappell 198, Track 1.)

    Gee, if only there were some easily accessible official online resource of some kind where one could get information about library tracks used in Red Dwarf episodes. Some sort of “Complete Guide” if you will.

    And no, Howard had nothing to do with Remastered. Considering they were so gung ho about replacing his music with library tracks, some of which were ill-fitting at best, that shouldn’t be surprising.

  56. KyoSo, the model does look better stationary but even then I still think it’s a poor man’s Starbug. The proportions are off in my opinion, see tiny feet and tiny landing thrusters, but even ignoring the actual model itself, the paintjob is naff.

    The old model, even the tiny ones had so much more in terms of detail, greeblies and weathering were fantastic. Lots of intricate airbrushing to give the illusion of panels and scorch marks, the airbrushing on the engine cowls, the interior of the cockpit, and the consistency of the ‘STARBUG’ decal across scales. The new one has a very flat paintjob and inconsistent decals, and the weathering is poor. There’s a shot from the fan screening of the model and I’m assuming that’s a screen used one, and you can see the weathering, it looks like oil paints just gunged up in the creases.

    I know I’m probably one of only a small amount of people looking at stuff like that but it does disappoint me. As you say it’s probably due to skilled model makers getting older and retiring which drives up prices as it gets more specialist.

  57. I wonder whatever happened to Hoguey’s map.

  58. Yeah, that definitely seemed to be leading to something. I honestly thought, upon watching The Beginning, that, should there be a XI, it would feature somewhat in the story. Maybe we get it in XII. It seems like a pretty daft thing to ignore, even by the show’s usual standards.

  59. Yeah, that definitely seemed to be leading to something. I honestly thought, upon watching The Beginning, that, should there be a XI, it would feature somewhat in the story. Maybe we get it in XII. It seems like a pretty daft thing to ignore, even by the show’s usual standards.

    That’s the interesting/frustrating thing about the transition through the last half of X into XI. Give And Take is designed to follow straight on from The Beginning, yet in other areas (Lister’s promotion attempt, the search for Kochanski, Hoguey’s map) there’s a II-to-III/VIII-to-BtE sized gap. I wouldn’t mind if we were just led to assume that four years’ worth of groovy offscreen mishaps have been occurring in the meantime that we’ll never be party to on telly, but there’s also a deliberate segue attempt which really confuses things (and the rubbish episode resequencing confuses it even more).

    We’ve had two arc resets over a period of three or four episodes (after Entangled and at the start of XI), and I find that I feel a little less invested in the saga of it as a result. I know it’s not supposed to be Deep Space Nine, but I don’t think it should be The Simpsons either – I like to feel that it’s moving in a constant direction. If I want a cryptic ongoing story that makes no sense and endlessly frustrates, with unexplainable off-screen gear changes, and that abandons all of its running arcs whenever it gets bored with them, I’ll watch Steven Moffat Doctor Who.

    More seriously though, taken to extremes – if the circumstances of the characters start being implied not to matter, then the characters start not to matter either. As an example, I care about Lister considerably less now than I did during X, precisely because I’m losing a handle on what motivates him and what he actually wants, and his two self-immolating story arcs from X are entirely to blame. That’s not a small thing – the entire heart of the format is that you care about what happens next to Lister. They’ve thrown the whole man away with those two stories.

    My biggest fear is that the success of the gags about the Only The Good resolution in The Beginning (which are brilliant and were the *perfect* way to tie that off) have been taken on board a bit too much as a licence to go joyriding on a larger scale. A few small things need to be sacred or you’re basically daring the audience not to care about anything they see. As an example, look at the format changes they made between the first and second series of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – the first run was much too wacky/flippant/too-cool-for-school in tone which caused problems whenever it needed you to emotionally invest in something, for the second series they really grabbed the reins whenever the whimsical/meta stuff was in danger of harming the characters and as a result it had about ten times the heart. And Red Dwarf definitely needs a bit more heart back – XI didn’t always seem to like or care about its main characters at times (Krysis being the exception proving the rule). When a GELF that appears on screen for three minutes is more likeable than Lister or Rimmer are in three hours, something needs oiling.

    (Don’t quite know how I got onto this tangent, but evidently my thoughts on XI are crystallising a bit now…)

  60. Yes, BtE / X felt to me like the rediscovery of the characters and setting of the classic series after they were all but lost in VII and VIII, and XI feels like the rediscovery of the show’s adventurous, risk-taking format, but a mid-ground really feels necessary. As many have pointed out, Lister feels incredibly small in XI, which he never has before, even in the Rimmer-heavy V. There are still moments – mostly in Gave & Take and Krysis – but in general, while XI has character-related plots, there’s not quite enough pathos to keep the heart of the show beating as it once did.

  61. As much as I enjoy XI, even Can of Worms (to me the episode flaws are more than outweighed by the stuff I really truly like), the reason Krysis felt like a treat to me is because the series had been light on pathos. I’m really hoping XII has a truly character-based episode that sheds the adventures and monsters for the week the way Dear Dave did, even if the circumstances surrounding that particular episode’s production prevented it from being the gem it so easily could have with more time and (any) money.

    If nothing else, XII’s finale needs to be on par with or outdo The Beginning. Can of Worms being a normal episode is understandable considering the next series was already in the can when it aired, but now we have another potential “last episode ever” on our hands and I want to get excited at what I’m seeing as I watch it. I try to have no expectations of what I’m going to get from a Red Dwarf episode since they always surprise me, but unfortunately the XII finale is going to get built up in all our heads and have way more pressure to deliver than any of the eleven before it.

    I’m an optimist about this show. I just want to think that the same way BtE, X and XI have each progressively recaptured more and more of the feel of the show we all love that had been totally lost by VIII, XII will continue the trend (hopefully by going heavier on the pathos). If nothing else I can reasonably assume it will be on par with XI, and I’d be more than happy with that.

    Plus some of the set reports sound really weird and experimental and I love that.

  62. >I never thought that would happen and then it happened to The Simpsons.

    Er, no it didn’t. All ten seasons of The Simpsons were released on DVD.

  63. Yah boo! Yeah, it goes chronically bad halfway through 10, no sane person would argue otherwise, but that stinky stretch only actually lasts a couple of years. Halfway through 12 it starts to recover, and by the end of 13 it’s firing on all cylinders again. Give or take the odd complete howler, 14-18 is a rock solid run of form. After that it ebbs and flows (the early 20s are pretty good too). Admittedly, the last two or three years have been yer *actual* dog tods, I think it is actually broken beyond repair now. But it wasn’t last decade!

    I think what kills the double-digit seasons for people over here is that the first really sub-par batch of episodes arriving coincided with Simpsons fatigue due to the UK mainstream catching up with the first 8 years of the show (plus all the merchandise/tat) in an extraordinarily short space of time. The UK at large did eight years in one. That’s going to have repercussions.

    So yeah, *I* wanted s18 on DVD even if nobody else did. I blame Gervais.

  64. I think what kills the double-digit seasons for people over here is that the first really sub-par batch of episodes arriving coincided with Simpsons fatigue due to the UK mainstream catching up with the first 8 years of the show (plus all the merchandise/tat) in an extraordinarily short space of time. The UK at large did eight years in one. That’s going to have repercussions.

    An interesting theory, that fails to account for two things. Firstly, it doesn’t account for US-based Simpsons fans who feel the quality of the show started to wane around season 9/10.

    Secondly, what you’ve just said actually isn’t true.

  65. There *was* a massive relaunch and cramming session in the UK in 97/98 though. The BBC buying the rights was a gateway for a lot of people to go through the catalogue very quickly, and suddenly the shelves flooded with merchandise. We all overate.

    I did also say that I felt objectively that the show tailed off quality-wise at that point, and I don’t think the US mainstream kicked it out of bed in the same way we did. The UK never fell back in love with it again like it did after that marathon catchup period and I really don’t think that was solely down to s10 stinking. The market was saturated, and not just by the Simpsons – in a very short space of time Sky One launched Dilbert, Futurama, The PJs and Family Guy as “the next Simpsons”, and at the other end Nickelodeon were pushing hard at their edgier Nicktoons with a similar flavour. The BBC ratings for the classic years started to tail off as well, as did the video sales which had previously been nuclear. There was too much Simpsons in too short a space of time. By the millennium it was already old news.

  66. I stand by my main point that a lot of dislike for post s9/s10 Simpsons is fuelled not just by judgement on its quality, but resentment that the series got too much to handle too fast. Portion control was impossible.

  67. I never watched it religiously, and never had the faintest idea what series was what, but when I came to looking them all up on wikipedia a few years ago I noted that all the ones I felt weren’t very good were from season 11 onwards, with the ones I felt were definitely not up to scratch were from 10. I’ve seen a fair few from later seasons since and they have routinely failed to make me laugh. I’ve also come across a lot of Americans whose opinion on the show seems to correlate with hating Zombie Simpsons as well.
    So it might be that seasons 14-18 are actually very good, but it’ll take a lot more persuading than that to make me try them.

  68. There was nothing wrong with Saddlesore Galactica until the third act and anyone who actually thinks it’s the worst episode ever is only saying so because they heard other people say it.

    Plus that recent one where they go to Kang and Kodos’ planet WITHIN THE REALITY OF THE SHOW AND NOT WITHIN A FRAMING DEVICE OF ANY KIND was easily the worst episode the show has ever done.

  69. Plus that recent one where they go to Kang and Kodos’ planet WITHIN THE REALITY OF THE SHOW AND NOT WITHIN A FRAMING DEVICE OF ANY KIND was easily the worst episode the show has ever done.

    Definitely – I don’t know what to think about that being a cutdown of the abandoned second Movie. A cabal of all the top minds in Simpsons writing history sat down to put that together. Still rather watch that than the Gervais episode, mind.

    That s14-18 recovery period is well worth getting stuck into – they were doing the box set commentaries at the same time for the early seasons and it kind of acted like Simpsons school and reset the series in tone/quality/style.

  70. I stand by my main point that a lot of dislike for post s9/s10 Simpsons is fuelled not just by judgement on its quality, but resentment that the series got too much to handle too fast. Portion control was impossible.

    My dislike for post s9/10 Simpsons is fuelled by the fact that it’s fucking shit.

    10 contains the first episode that I actively hate (Kidney Trouble), although 8 and 9 each have episodes that are slightly on the weaker side among some genuine classics. 11 is the first season without a single episode that I could ever imagine finding myself choosing to rewatch.

  71. I don’t know what to think about that being a cutdown of the abandoned second Movie. A cabal of all the top minds in Simpsons writing history sat down to put that together.

    Are you serious? I mean I was shocked enough by the episode being credited to Al Jean and David Mirkin. I mean Mirkin was the showrunner in season five, which everybody can agree was 100% fantastic.

    Good point about the commentaries possibly being a factor in the recovery. I haven’t watched them nearly as much so I can’t say this with 100% certainty but I have the feeling that season 15 was the strongest of any made well past the golden age, and enough of the original creative staff still had a hand in the show at the time. Nowadays it feels like has a different sense of humor and style of pacing entirely (one that often falls flat for me in a way the show never used to even in its lesser years between season 10 and 14), but that was inevitable with creative team turnover.

    And for the record, blame Mike Scully all you want for the decline in quality and increasingly wacky plots as the dark age set in0, but don’t forget he penned such classic and often very down-to-earth character-based episodes as “Lisa’s Date With Density”, “Marge Be Not Proud”, “Lisa’s Rival”, “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds” and “Lisa on Ice”. The man knows how to write Simpsons episodes and the way many people talk like he was a hack who single-handedly ruined the show pretty deeply bothers me. And really, seasons 11 and 12 aren’t nearly as bad as people their reputation would have you think, they’re just pretty inconsistent in quality in a way the show never was in its prime and feature a lot of stuff it never would’ve done in the early years. I think it’s just that when you have a show as absolutely perfect as The Simpsons was in its prime (season four was the absolute peak for me), becoming pretty inconsistent in quality is a much harsher crime than it would be for some other shows even if the best material, i.e. “The Mansion Family” penned by John Schwartzwelder or “Behind the Laughter” penned by a shitton of classic writers including George Meyer, is still pretty fantastic.

    Judging from all I’ve seen online, usually the most hated episodes are hated for their overly ridiculous plots moreso than a dip in the humor (though that is always cited when speaking of the era in general). “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes” has plenty of quality jokes, but a plot that features Homer being kidnapped to a secret island in a parody of The Prisoner and replaced at home by a German man disguised as him because the clickbait bullshit he wrote for his website about a secret conspiracy to put mind-controlling additives into flu shots just to get visitors turned out to true has no place in this show. Eight seasons earlier we had stuff like “Duffless”, a heartfelt piece about Homer struggling to quit beer for a month and now we have German doppelgangers and underground jockey elves. I mean that’d be like if Red Dwarf had an episode all about a dinosaur running loose on the ship so Lister decided to feed it curry for some reason and then it shits all over the place.

    On a final positive note, season 18’s “24 Minutes” is an absolutely phenomenal episode. It manages to be a fantastic parody of 24 that holds up perfectly well even if you’ve never seen an episode of the show – I liked it so much it’s what got to me to try that series out in the first place, and it ended up being another favorite. Completely in of itself it’s great, but the parody is so on-point and they don’t just go for the obvious gags that many lesser shows would focus on. They don’t just parody a specific 24 plot either, they craft their own utilizing the tropes the show was known for. They even nail the music. THIS IS HOW YOU DO PARODY, JUST LIKE THEY DID IN THE GOLDEN AGE. As my dad remarked, “What is an episode this good doing in season 18?”

  72. I stopped watching the Simpsons many, many years ago, but if they did a great ’24’ parody episode then I might have to check it out.

  73. Great post KyoSo.

    Yeah, it’s true that the Kang/Kodos episode was The Simpsons Movie 2 – the other thing that emerged from its wreckage was that Maggie Simpson short film.

  74. Great post KyoSo.

    Thanks. In case it’s not blisteringly obvious, this is one of the shows I can discuss on the level I do Red Dwarf.

    Having been watching the classic era literally since I was born, I’d have to say it’s probably had the biggest influence on my sense of humor of anything period, though Dwarf has influenced my actual writing style more (especially thanks to the novels).

    Even though season 20 is the last one I’ve seen every episode of, I do remember being very pleasantly surprised when I saw season 23’s “The Book Job”, which featured a plot about Homer, Bart and some others attempting to get rich writing a teen novel that shamelessly combines every single popular fad of the day into one glorious whole completely lacking a drop of artistic integrity, and when Lisa discovers their plan she tries to compete by attempting to write and get her own book published to prove that writing with heart to it always wins out over soulless schlock.

    You might notice this actually sounds like something you could imagine happening on an episode of The Simpsons and does not feature drastic breaks from reality as a core part of the story. Plus as writing is my passion and will hopefully become a career, the subject matter was especially appealing to me.

    the other thing that emerged from its wreckage was that Maggie Simpson short film.

    The difference is that was actually good. The Kang and Kodos episode managed to be the epitome of sparse, awkward modern-day Simpsons humor and go beyond the worst excesses of the reality-breaking plots of seasons 11 and 12. I still cannot believe came from people who were working on the show throughout its golden age. I mean, for the love of god, Mirkin was IN FUCKING CHARGE OF SEASON FIVE. I CANNOT OVEREMPHASIZE THAT.

    Am I establishing myself as a G&T commenter yet?

  75. Say “cunt” a couple more times then, yeah, you’re more or less there.

  76. Cunt cunt cunt cunt Iain Lee. Wasn’t Pete rubbish? Remember when we thought there would be a simulant in Back to Earth? White card. GAYSPACHO SOUP, AMIRITE?

  77. Lost Our Lisa is the only episode post 1997 that I’ll stick up for. I gave up watching it regularly in about Season 15 when I came to the conclusion that I was watching it out of obligation to how amazing it had once been rather than because of any enjoyment. I drop in occasionally when there’s an episode that garners attention (such as the 24 parody, the Kudos & Kang shitfest and Holidays of Futures Passed) but never see anything that persuades me to tune in the following week.

    More laughs and enjoyment from watching Rosebud, Lisa’s Rival and Homer Badman for the 97th time than watching a new episode just once.

  78. More laughs and enjoyment from watching Rosebud, Lisa’s Rival and Homer Badman for the 97th time than watching a new episode just once.

    For all I defend the lesser parts of the show, yeah, that’s what it boils down to. The golden age is to me the most insanely rewatchable collection of episodes of any TV show in history. It’s an anomaly and I don’t know if I’ll ever see something like it again.

    Rosebud’s easily in my top 10 list. I cannot believe how many Citizen Kane references the show used to just throw in for fun and draw no attention to while lesser shows all but scream “WE ARE MAKING A REFERENCE TO X” at the audience every time they spoof or parody something.

    On one of the commentaries I remember them joking that you could recreate the whole movie from Simpsons clips.

  79. Incidentally, I don’t think it’s *just* wacky plots that are the problem with newer eps. Deep Space Homer was season 5, after all. And surely nobody has a problem with You Only Move Twice.

    Maybe there’s an issue if they’re not more regularly balanced out with a Lisa’s Pony or an I Married Marge. But for me, the moment the show really hit its stride was when they did start to allow that surreal lunacy to creep in.

    It’s just that they’re not as funny now. And the voices sound wrong. And it’s not likeable.

  80. “You Only Move Twice” is probably the greatest episode of The Simpsons ever made, but one of my favorite moments will always be Homer escaping from the Candy Convention with Gummy Venus de Milo. The Pop Rocks ‘n’ soda explosion is amazing.

    I don’t have a problem with The Simpsons doing surreal or questionable reality. I have an issue with it not being funny, and that’s frequently where the show lands. There’s a lack of nuance in some of the performances these days – listen to how Harry Shearer delivers his lines as Skinner now compared to the golden age.

    Plus the animation quality has taken a real dive. In 2007, my opinion had been that if you got the current animation team to redo classic bits from the show, it wouldn’t look ‘arf as good. Then EA Gamesactually had them do that for The Simpsons Game, and Christ. There’s just no charm anymore, and part of that is because Fox refuses to let the animation team go off-model. That wonderful, beautifully-animated heart attack sequence in “Homer’s Triple Bypass” simply couldn’t happen in the show now. It couldn’t happen.

    The Simpsons used to be this wonderful, brilliant television program made with love and passion by everyone involved. Now it’s just… on, and people watch it because it doesn’t challenge them. It’s the Garfield of television programs.

  81. blu-ray.com lists the US release as 1080i as opposed to the 1080p it says the UK release is. Is this bullshit accurate?

  82. It is 1080i. SERIES TEN GOT 1080p, WHAT THE HELL, AMERICAN RELEASE!? Interlacing a Blu-Ray is a relic from an older time when 1st generation Blu-Ray players weren’t powerful enough to do 1080p. I don’t understand why they’d do it in 2016, especially when four years ago the previous series got progressive scan.

    I really hope you can’t see interlacing on Blu-Rays the way you can so easily with DVDs. Can somebody vouch that it doesn’t look like shit?

  83. All the Dave episodes are 1080i full stop. There are interlaced bits – mostly the end credits and the opening captions, but also a couple of virtual camera shake effects in X which use the full temporal resolution (they look weird but that’s another story).

    They’re shot progressive but all the post-production is done within an interlaced workspace.

    Also, you shouldn’t be able to see interlacing on DVDs unless you’re watching on a computer and it hasn’t been configured correctly.

  84. The US release looks fine to me.

  85. Also, you shouldn’t be able to see interlacing on DVDs unless you’re watching on a computer and it hasn’t been configured correctly.

    …I might have been thinking of that.

    As you were.

  86. Got my Dwarf DVD for Christmas, waited.

    Great Xmas present as I spotted myself as well in that final Twentica audience shot in the documentary too,
    (And spotted Jo in an earlier que scene) well done Danny do we get an article on what graphics they used? Etc.

    So glad both Eldon ad libs are on the disc. Nice review, yes i understand how it measures up against
    Previous efforts. Still liked what we did get. Yes shame the sax solo moment hasn’t made it , music licensing???

    Funny that this doc starts with “so we learnt and
    Sort production help” i here by dub this documentary
    “Were Smegged now happy cow.”

  87. “Everyone seems so proud of the Archimedes scene from Samsara that I feel slightly guilty about not liking it. ”

    Ditto. I’ve not be so different page since “everyone loved the monkey”
    Especially when Craig started calling it greatest in decades etc,

    Then I thought if wilma flintstone speach or the virginity banter in marooned
    Had suddenly turned up in the 20th minute of thanks for the memories plot would we
    have hated on it in a big way as material? Its a pete and dud sketch in the wrong place
    and maybe the wrong mouths.

  88. Got it for Christmas myself, alongside the Power of the Daleks DVD. Not watched either yet but I have a couple of excellent afternoons lined up for later in the week…

  89. I got Power of the daleks too, so yeah more excellent afternoons here.

    so this is a Simpsons thread then? Do i have to go back to the digital release thread to find documentary comments.

  90. Krysis is *really* short, isn’t it? Only noticed when I’ve actually got the time elapsed showing on my DVD player, but we roll credits at 26 minutes in – is this the shortest single-part episode ever? And Officer Rimmer also comes up a bit short, which makes the abrupt ending even more baffling.

  91. The behind the scenes is actually rather good, isn’t it? The short run time isn’t so obvious when you’re watching, because there really is a lot of stuff in there. But yes, much as the technical stuff and footage is wonderful, it definitely fits the title. It’d be nice to have more about the writing and the concepts behind the stories themselves. It’s sad to think that, unless we get a revival of DVD extras in the future, these episodes may go relatively un-discussed in terms of their scripted subtleties. Especially given Doug’s directors commentary, only two series ago, which was wonderfully enlightening.

    The rest of the extras are fine too, although it’s once again a bit upsetting to get to the end of the whole 2DVD set in one evening. 1-BtE had 2-3 evenings worth of material, including the commentaries. But hey, the whole thing was less disappointing than my expectations, so it’s all good.

  92. I got it on Christmas too. I enjoyed every extra but found myself feeling shortchanged by the length when they ended. I don’t see why we only got five minutes of Smeg-ups, and Behind the Scenes really glossed over a lot of things I would’ve liked to to hear about in more detail. Every episode segment seemed to focus on one or two aspects of that episode rather than the whole I was expecting.

    It’s absolutely fine and reasonable to do it this way, I’m just a selfish bastard spoiled by We’re Smegged. If we could get get downloadable Doug commentaries that would more than make up for this. Cast would be fun, but honestly I’d want a Doug commentary to learn about the creative and production sides of each episode first and foremost.

    That said, the model shots collection was nicely comprehensive even if it missed out on the Starbug from behind shot that got used several times across the series, I wish the CGI feature had been an informational featurette actually going into detail about putting together the shots rather than just ninety seconds from clips in variously completed states, cool as that was. And it did confirm the use of a CGI Starbug which I actually hadn’t suspected. In fact for the shot of it flying into the Give & Take station I specifically assumed was a model bluescreened over CGI because the flying movement looked composited to me.

  93. One thing that’s just struck me it would be quite nice to have as an extra – where the ad breaks were in the original versions. Just a little selection of the relevant clips, like the 25th Anniversary re-release of The Five Doctors which included all the title sequences and end credits for the serialised repeat version of the story.

    Or is that a bit too sad?

  94. One thing that’s just struck me it would be quite nice to have as an extra – where the ad breaks were in the original versions. Just a little selection of the relevant clips

    Just imagine that same exact establishing cue playing an extra time or two per episode and you’re good.

  95. That is literally something which would only sell to people on this website, and I don’t think they need any help with that.

  96. I liked on The Twilight Zone Blu-Rays they included the ad bumpers at the end of the show with Rod Serling telling everybody which cigarette brand is the best and then the announcer saying when Gunsmoke is on. More releases should do stuff like that.

  97. That kind of stuff is way more noteworthy with a show from fifty years ago, though.

  98. I can’t think of any other release that does it whether the show is from 50 years ago or not. I still think the context of 20 years ago is noteworthy.

    I’d love it on Red Dwarf for those Blu-Rays that they seem to have cancelled. Having them include the option to have bumpers and some of the BBC adverts would bring back great memories of watching my off air copies. Still remember a really brilliant animated Match of the Day trailer, a trailer for The Addams Family (60s one), and Quantum Leap. I’m not sure if BBC trailers were more memorable in 1992 or if it is just because of how much I’ve seen them.

    Also I want the announcer to tell me after the end titles that Danny John-Jules will be appearing in the theatre.

    I know how unlikely, in fact how non-existent the possibility of such a feature is. But I’m sure me and the other three people who watched these episodes off off-air recordings and are still big fans today have that fond nostalgia for the context of the broadcast.

  99. I’d like it to include an entire evening of BBC2 programming so that I can accurately recreate the feeling of sitting impatiently through the last ten minutes of Top Gear waiting for an episode of Series VI to start.

  100. The ones I look forward to the most are the Documentaries, Smeg Ups, and Commentarys. Sadly Documentary too short. Smegs Ups too short. And no commentary at all once again from Cast and Producers. So yes although the documentary and smeg ups are very good they are lacking. Kind of getting used to being disappointed with no commentaries. Maybe when the Series finishes completely and we get one big boxset maybe they will decide to do all commentaries then. But as for the others just way too short. Good quality but too short.

  101. How come that shot of Starbug from the rear isn’t in the model shots? That showed up a couple of times, and they seem to have everything else and then some in the reel.

    Come to think of it, they really didn’t vary the Red Dwarf fly-bys much considering how many they filmed. Series XI actually has one very distinctive Red Dwarf fly-by above all others, which I don’t think you can say for any other series.

    Hopefully Series XII will vary it.

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