Thoughts on the Series XII Flipside Cover?

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  • #224601

    Renegade Rob

    Over this past weekend, I’ve been processing the reveal of the Series XII flipside cover. As someone who likes consistency but also wants each series to have their own identity, I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about the color. The pale red bunkroom and pale blue Starbug cockpit made perfect sense for X and XI, but the fact that the Science Room for XII, despite being an obvious choice, still nags at me a bit, so I’ve created this post more as a sounding board to help me work out how I come down on this very important issue.

    I really want each series to feel like it’s own distinct entity with its own identity, and up until now, they have. But let’s face it: the military blue Science Room XII cover is a little close to the ocean blue of the Starbug cockpit XI cover, so that’s 2 pale-blues in a row. Granted, they’re slightly different shades, with XII having more than a dash of light purple. But it’s the equivalent of making Series IV the officers Bunkroom and Series V the old III-V Science Room: same color scheme because of similar production design. If they had made XII yellow with the new Science Room at Yellow Alert, that would’ve been great. Or they could have, as I thought they might do, made XII pale-green with the Starbug 19 interior and echo the pattern of the original 6, so that a Series XIII cover would be even paler beige and so on.
    As it is, two light blues in a row, leaves me a little cold.

    But then I did some more thinking about the cover (What better way is there to spend a Sarurday night?), and the thought occurred that part of XII’s identity is the fact that it’s of a pair with XI. Thet were commissioned together, written together, share sets and even moved scenes, and were basically filmed together. This sort of was one long series split over two, more than possible any pair of series before. Now true, XII is, give or take a Timewave, way better than XI overall, as almost certainly it built off the momentum established by XI to be more bold and confident.

    In that light, it makes some deal of sense to have XI and XII be similar colors, because much of their identity is the fact that they’re intrinsically linked. Like those weird quasi-two-parters from Series 9 of Doctor Who. So I think I’m coming down on the side of “I get it and can live with it” but would have preferred something a little more distinct.

    Thoughts?

    #224602

    bloodteller

    yeah

    #224603

    International Debris

    Until BtE gets re-released with a reversed cover I’m having all my Dave era ones the ‘correct’ way around. So… yeah.

    #224605

    Renegade Rob

    That… actually makes a lot of sense.

    #224612

    Rubber

    Right but it still has all four of them rather than just Rimming and Fister like the others which is completely aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh.

    #224616

    bloodteller

    back to earth didn’t have just Rimming and Fister on the DVD cover

    #224617

    Rubber

    Is there a reversible BtE cover?! Show me!

    #224618

    Rubber

    Although I imagine it will be calling itself ‘Red Dwarf IX’ or some such thing.

    #224626

    GlenTokyo

    I made this one a while back, but it’s for Region 1, and I can’t remember if I finished the Region 2 one before I had a technical laptop shitting the bed issue</img>

    #224638

    International Debris

    I’ve seen a few BtE ones, but getting a nice printout, cutting it, putting it in a purchased DVD case, and then storing the other BtE case somewhere else is a lot more effort than bitching about a lack of official one here.

    #224649

    bloodteller

    well Back To Earth isn’t really a full series, is it? so it wouldn’t have the normal cover to match all the others.

    what i usually do to get around it is have my I-VIII and X-XI DVDs on my shelf all neatly next to each other in a row, and then i just chuck Back to Earth elsewhere on the shelf, usually sandwiched between Ghostbusters and Bottom Live 5.

    #224651

    Renegade Rob

    At some point I scratched my Series III DVD and had to order another one. So what I ended up doing was putting my BTE discs in the old Series III case and switched out the cover with a Series IX cover I made on photoshop. It’s not perfect but it does the trick, seamlessly connecting 1-8 with X and beyond.

    #224655

    Ben Saunders

    Do you think they’ll ever do a Just The Shows II eventually, and will it contain BtE?

    #224659

    International Debris

    what i usually do to get around it is have my I-VIII and X-XI DVDs on my shelf all neatly next to each other in a row

    You have a shelf of Red Dwarf DVDs that go I II III IV V VI VII VIII X XI? You are sick.

    Do you think they’ll ever do a Just The Shows II eventually, and will it contain BtE?

    I reckon after XIV we’ll get a Just The Daves box.

    #224660

    Rubber

    Home made covers 😰

    #224672

    flanl3

    You have a shelf of Red Dwarf DVDs that go I II III IV V VI VII VIII X XI? You are sick.

    You like a show that goes I II III IV V VI VII VIII X XI XII? That is sick.

    #224686

    Pete Part Three

    This goes up to XI.

    Ah, damn. XII now.

    Joke ruined.

    #224692

    Flap Jack

    Back to Earth being the only main series DVD spine that doesn’t match is a constant, very mild annoyance, but I still prefer to use the reversible covers over the standard ones. And I can’t countenance putting Back to Earth at the beginning or the end of the row – it’s just not chronological!

    In theory I agree with the “Back to Earth isn’t a proper series” idea, but in practice Dave/GNP insisted on calling the next series of Red Dwarf “Series X” so there’s no good in trying to argue that BtE isn’t Series 9.

    Random thought: for those of you who have it, where do you put The Bodysnatcher Collection on your DVD shelf?

    #224693

    Dave

    Back To Earth definitely *is* the ninth series of Red Dwarf, speaking literally.

    It’s just not called “Series 9”.

    (Or “Series IX”.)

    #224694

    bloodteller

    >Back to Earth being the only main series DVD spine that doesn’t match is a constant, very mild annoyance, but I still prefer to use the reversible covers over the standard ones. And I can’t countenance putting Back to Earth at the beginning or the end of the row – it’s just not chronological!

    just bung it on the other end of your shelf, maybe?

    #224697

    International Debris

    As ever, the French DVD of it calls it series IX. Therefore, it’s IX.

    #224705

    si

    Random thought: for those of you who have it, where do you put The Bodysnatcher Collection on your DVD shelf?

    My RD DVD shelf:
    https://twitter.com/bromley001/status/929030028670750720?s=09

    #224712

    International Debris

    I enjoy X, but four copies?!

    #224723

    si

    I like shiny things.

    #224724

    bloodteller

    where’d you get the US Pilot dvd?

    #224726

    si

    It’s a VCD that someone copied for me. Not great quality. Drew the sleeve myself.

    #224728

    flanl3

    Is it really series IX? Apart from the fact that it’s not, it’s not really even a series. If somebody asks me about the seasons of BoJack Horseman, I’m not going to go “Well there was season 1, the second season which was the Horsin’ Around credits, then season 3 which was the Christmas special, then the fourth season which they called season 2 and the fifth which they called season 3, then finally the sixth season which they called season 4.”

    Not everything has to be a season, and I am permanently annoyed with whomever designed that French cover.

    #224729

    Dave

    It is literally a series of three episodes. So yes, it is the ninth series of Red Dwarf. But that doesn’t make it ‘series IX’.

    #224738

    Ben Saunders

    I thought calling it Series X was a meta joke because I’m BtE Noddy calls Series IX the “best series ever”, and it would be funny if we never got to see it…

    Except he actually calls Series Ten the best series ever, which is a complete and total utter fucking shambles and I don’t know what they were thinking

    #224739

    bloodteller

    no he doesn’t

    #224741

    cwickham

    The series before Back to Earth was VIII and the series after it was X. Therefore, Back to Earth is IX.

    #224743

    Ben Paddon

    One day – some far off distant time way into the future which I hope to live long enough to see – people will stop arguing about whether or not the ninth series of Red Dwarf episodes should be called “series nine” or not.

    #224749

    International Debris

    it’s not really even a series

    Dictionary:

    a set or sequence of related television or radio programmes.

    It’s a fucking series.

    Miniseries probably works, but it’s still a series. Sherlock series are only three episodes long. Series 1 & 2 of The Thick of It were only three episodes long.

    #224750

    International Debris

    Anyone baffled by BtE being a series shouldn’t look at the episode listings for A Touch of Frost, they’ll get ill:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_A_Touch_of_Frost_episodes#Episodes

    #224755

    Ben Saunders

    Oh fucking hell, ignore my previous post, he does actually say “season nine” was the best season ever, hence the joke does work.

    I’m putting it down to the Mandela Effect, because I definitely heard him say “ten” on the docco.

    Also what kind of prick says “season” when referring to a British show and actually being British himself

    #224757

    Dave

    Imagine my confusion some years back when I started watching the new Battlestar Galactica from the start of season 1, and soon realised there had been a previous series before that, which I should have watched first.

    #224761

    si

    Who was it – Craig? Doug? – who suggested that series ten should be subtitled ‘The Hunt for Series Nine’?

    #224763

    Seb Patrick

    >Also what kind of prick says “season” when referring to a British show and actually being British himself

    Every Doctor Who fan for twenty-six years, for a start.

    #224765

    Ben Saunders

    It’s seasons of Classic Who, but series of New Who, and of Red Dwarf. I’m not sure why old Who is in seasons, might have something to do with The Sixties, either way hearing “season” is just one of those things that really grates with me, like people calling films “movies”… which is another thing Red Dwarf does. It’s just so American

    #224766

    flanl3

    a set or sequence of related television or radio programmes.

    Looking two lines later in this google definition lists “program” and “show” as synonyms, so this definition quite literally does refer to a whole show, not a British season equivalent.

    Seeing as I don’t think this is getting resolved unless Doug himself speaks on it, I do have an interesting other question: what would we be fighting about if the first series after BtE had been entitled series IX?

    #224770

    Flap Jack

    That’s a fine shelf you have there, Si. Mine goes Series I-VIII, Beat the Geek, Bodysnatcher, Back to Earth, Series X-XII (i.e. strict release order). I figured that BtE already screwed up the spine continuity, so why not?

    On the subject of BtE, if Doug wanted the name of the first full Dave series to complete the joke of there being missing series, he should have called Series X “Series XI”. But he lost his bottle!

    Of course if the first Dave series was Series IX, then we would have all been happy to regard Back to Earth as a wholly non-numbered special. But that isn’t what happened.

    Yes, this is definitely important enough to warrant lengthy discussion.

    #224772

    Ben Saunders

    My DVD shelf goes Just The Shows, BtE, X, XI :(

    #224774

    International Debris

    Look at this loser ^^

    #224776

    Ali Green

    My DVDs are ordered I-VIII, X-XII, BtE, Bodysnatcher, Beat The Geek. My OCD still isn’t happy about putting BtE out of running order but I hate it so much that I don’t even consider it canon.

    I had the same feeling about the XII DVD being so similar in colour to XI, my way of accepting this is that XI and XII were both filmed back to back, but I really would have preferred a different colour perhaps the yellow alert science room or something with a pale green in keeping with the I, II and II colours.

    Also no mention of Norman being on the spine for a second time? I would have much preferred it to have continued the pattern of having a guest star on there, Talkie Toaster or the M-Corp lady maybe? Also I believe this is the only spine with black writing which is just bloody annoying compared to the rest! Very tempted to flip the reversible covers for X, XI and XII to the main covers so I can put I-XII in chronological order!?

    #224780

    Lily

    I don’t have a shelf as I’m sorta homeless, but this is my box
    https://i.imgur.com/XAPHMl1.jpg

    #224781

    Dave

    Ooh, you need to get the SPACED boxset for the third disc. It’s worth it.

    #224787

    Lily

    In hindsight I should have curated that a little more before posting. I’ve not even watched the second disc of Spaced – only watched the first few shows and didn’t really ‘get’ it. I had to rummage through another box to find Beat the Geek, another disc that’s never been out the box.

    I seem to be the only one leaving X and XI with their original covers. I didn’t like the way the pattern was repeating, BtE causes a break anyway, and I feel the Dave era -isn’t- the same as the original DVD releases so there’s no point in even attempting to be cohesive.

    #224789

    si

    My RD:USA cover.
    https://twitter.com/bromley001/status/931189958051758080

    Ooh, you need to get the SPACED boxset for the third disc. It’s worth it.

    The 2010 Dutch boxsets have a new commentary track. Which is nice.
    https://twitter.com/bromley001/status/931192484562112512

    #224791

    Ben Saunders

    Yeah Lily, seeing them all together like that, I-VIII definitely look like one cohesive unit, and adding to that would just make it look a bit awkward, with the Red Dwarf logo all off to one side. The spilt makes sense, honestly

    #224792

    bloodteller

    you’re right i suppose- the way i have my DVDs lined up means the Red Dwarf logo is off to the left, which will only look even more weird once XII’s dvd comes out

    #224801

    Dave

    The 2010 Dutch boxsets have a new commentary track. Which is nice.

    Didn’t the US set have different commentary tracks too (I’m sure I remember reading somewhere that they’d actually got Tarantino on to do a track for at least one of the episodes)?

    Does Spaced win the award for the sitcom with the highest number of alternate commentary tracks?

    #224803

    flanl3

    In the US, we never got reversible covers on the new ones, but at least as consolation we don’t have to have that ugly straight-up-and-down massive season number on the side.

    #224804

    flanl3

    Well, except for X.

    #224807

    International Debris

    I seem to be the only one leaving X and XI with their original covers.

    #224808

    International Debris

    Despite the odd issue with the reversible covers, I’m really glad they’re doing them though. They didn’t have to, but it’s a really nice thing to do for fans who’ll appreciate them.

    The only one better is the Doctor Who team, who started doing reversible covers as soon as the BBC logo changed and their classic range spines looked ever so slightly different to the earlier ones. The difference wasn’t dramatic, but they did them anyway, knowing that the show has a fanbase that would appreciate the whole collection being correctly aligned.

    Compare that with almost any other TV show, with which the DVD sleeve designs are all over the place.

    #224814

    Lily

    Even on the original 8 it bugs me how they made 4 unique spines, then clearly went ‘fuck it’ and copy/pasted the spine in appropriate colours for the rest.

    Shame the Dave ones can’t even line up the main logos though.

    #224821

    International Debris

    Yeah, the shape of the paint markings on VII and VIII have always looked bloody awful.

    #224822

    Lily

    It’s the same paint mark on 5 & 6, the edge is just hidden behind the logo.

    #224825

    International Debris

    Yeah, I think that they’re hidden means I can look at them fine. But that repeating jagged shape is so glaringly obvious.

    #224827

    si

    I seem to be the only one leaving X and XI with their original covers.

    That’s why I both both the BluRay and the DVD. Original Bluray covers, reverse the DVD sleeves.
    Also, I like to have things. Hence the two additional RDX Steelbooks.

    #224828

    si

    Although I haven’t got the XI steelbook yet, have I? Or the BtE bluray. Tch.

    #225408

    GlenTokyo

    BtE isn’t series IX in the same way that the Star Wars Holiday Special isn’t Star Wars Episode V.

    A stand alone, basically a pilot for Dave that we also got to see, it served a purpose but it’s not IX, it’s not even a series really. It’s meant to be one episode. You could call it a mini series I suppose but anyway, being called Back To Earth shows you that it’s not IX, otherwise it’d be called IX wouldn’t it?

    #225409

    Dave

    BtE isn’t series IX in the same way that the Star Wars Holiday Special isn’t Star Wars Episode V.

    That analogy would make more sense if The Empire Strikes Back had been billed as Episode VI when it came out.

    #225412

    GlenTokyo

    But Series IX is a thing in canon isn’t it? (as much as you can take Red Dwarf canon as reliable), it’s just we haven’t seen it, we know that it’s a transition series between VIII and the Dave era, maybe one day we’ll get a novel about it if not a series.

    #225413

    bloodteller

    i’d rather not see anything connected to VIII ever again

    #225414

    Ben Paddon

    Series IX and X are technically things “in canon”, but that has exactly zero bearing on the real world. You’ll note nobody has shot Cliff Richard as of yet.

    BTE is the ninth-produced series of episodes of Red Dwarf. It is followed by a series referred to by Series X, and itself follows Series VIII. Though we may not call it IX, it is the ninth series, and we need to just let that ghost lie. We’ve long since moved past debating whether there are raisins or chocolate chips and are arguing over whether or not the thing is a fucking cookie or not.

    #225415

    si

    You’ll note nobody has shot Cliff Richard as of yet.

    My sister hasn’t got a gun.

    #225416

    GlenTokyo

    Can 1 episode be a series? As written and as best presented it’s just the one, what would we do then? Advertising is the problem.

    I don’t see why it needs to be referred to as anything but Back to Earth to be honest, it’s only 3 syllables.

    #225417

    flanl3

    I don’t see why it needs to be referred to as anything but Back to Earth to be honest, it’s only 3 syllables.

    Same as “Red Dwarf Ix,” and more verifiably accurate.

    #225418

    bloodteller

    Back To Earth is Back To Earth though

    #225421

    Ben Paddon

    I agree, Back to Earth is absolutely Back to Earth. It’s not Series IX. But it is the ninth series of Red Dwarf, in the same way that there isn’t technically a series I and II, but we do have a first and second series of the show.

    #225422

    Dave

    Exactly.

    #225423

    Seb Patrick

    Why isn’t there technically a Series I and II?

    #225424

    bloodteller

    i think there is a Series I and II, isn’t there? it’s on my shelf, im sure of it

    #225426

    Dave

    That technically isn’t your shelf.

    #225427

    Timestone2000

    I love seeing how everyone displays thier DVD collection in an odd way!
    Here’s a pre-XI/XII photo of my Red Dwarf shelf

    I used the custom “Series IX” cover just for uniformity and the rest are customs

    #225428

    Timestone2000

    Also there is not a single bonus feature on the USA bootleg let alone 3 hours! I just wanted to put some “Bonus Material” text on the cover

    #225429

    Seb Patrick

    I’d have called the main pilot the feature and the promo the Bonus Feature, to get around that.

    #225430

    Seb Patrick

    >i think there is a Series I and II, isn’t there? it’s on my shelf, im sure of it

    Basically, there’s a long-running G&T argument that the first two series aren’t referred to by Roman numerals, because that way of naming the show only came in with Series III. As such, they’ve always been pedantically referred to around here as “Series 1” and “Series 2”.

    I have never agreed with this, because Roman numerals have been used for the first two series ever since the VHS releases. And the DVD spines refer to them as “Series I” and “Series II”. Whereas I’ve never seen “Series 1” and “Series 2” used in any official context, anywhere.

    #225431

    Ben Saunders

    Fucking hell, that’s right up there with the pillocks who refuse to refer to the original Star Wars as “a new hope” or “episode IV” despite not even being born before Return of the Jedi.

    Like people will rank them “Empire > Star Wars > Jedi”

    #225432

    Ben Saunders

    The tone of that post makes it seem like every time I see someone refer to Episode IV as Star Wars I break out in a cold sweat and grind my teeth but it’s not that extreme

    #225433

    Dave

    Also, John Hurt’s War Doctor means that all subsequent Doctors must now be referred to by different numbers than they were previously known as.

    #225434

    Dave

    Anyway, I think the easiest way to solve the Back To Earth dilemma is to acknowledge that there are some undisputed facts about the name of the series, but that what you call it really comes down to personal choice.

    So:

    – It is the ninth series of episodes of Red Dwarf.
    – It has never been referred to officially as Series IX or Series 9.
    – The two series either side of it are series VIII and series X.
    – The official name of the series is Back To Earth.

    Given that we should all be able to agree on those things, who really cares whether we refer to it as Series IX or BTE or whatever in casual conversation or on homemade DVD labels. We all know what we’re talking about.

    Like the numbering of the Doctors, it only becomes an issue if overly-pedantic fans decide to make it one.

    #225435

    Timestone2000

    >I’d have called the main pilot the feature and the promo the Bonus Feature, to get around that.

    Bah! that’s a great idea really wish I’d done that now! :)

    #225436

    bloodteller

    >Fucking hell, that’s right up there with the pillocks who refuse to refer to the original Star Wars as “a new hope” or “episode IV” despite not even being born before Return of the Jedi.
    Like people will rank them “Empire > Star Wars > Jedi”

    this just makes me think of that old joke from back when the Phantom Menace came out about how the Empire Strikes Back was now the fifth of the four Star Wars films

    #225439

    International Debris

    – It has never been referred to officially as Series IX or Series 9.

    Shall I bring up the French DVD again?

    #225440

    Dave

    By all means. I think you’ll find that refers to it as ‘Saison IX’, so the statement is accurate.

    #225443

    Ben Saunders

    >Also, John Hurt’s War Doctor means that all subsequent Doctors must now be referred to by different numbers than they were previously known as.

    Nah because he wasn’t the Doctor, except he was, but no one called him that, except when they did, because he was a horrible person, except he wasn’t, who did terrible things, until he didn’t. Clear?

    #225444

    flanl3

    – It is the ninth series of episodes of Red Dwarf.

    No, it’s one episode that was split up into three parts for the broadcast, wasn’t it?

    #225446

    Dave

    No, it’s one part that was split into three episodes.

    #225448

    Ben Saunders

    Well, is Back in the Red one episode? Is Pete? Was BtE really just split into three episodes seemingly at random, or was consideration given to structure and breaks, etc? I think it was the latter, given the delete bunk scene originally intended for part three. Therefore, it was made into three episodes and broadcast as such, with the director’s cut coming later.

    It is both one episode and three episodes.

    #225451

    flanl3

    The idea with Back to Earth was that it was meant to be continuous with the director’s cut to be the definitive version, whereas with Back in the Red and Pete the plan with those, upon broadcast, was to leave those as the definitive versions, and they only combined three parts into the one for the DVD, if I’m not mistaken about all of this. Which I very well could be.

    #225452

    International Debris

    Anyway, as per my Frost link above, some shows have ‘series’ that consist of one episode. Given that BtE was broadcast and released on DVD as three separate episodes, it’s a bloody series. Given that it came between VIII and X, and no other material has been called series IX, it’s the ninth series. Given that all the other series are generally referred to by Roman numerals, and some people like continuity in what they say and write, it’s not an absurd leap to call it series IX.

    Anybody who genuinely thinks that is an issue needs a smack.

    #225454

    performingmonkey

    I remember Doug or one of the cast mentioning ‘series nine’ so that’s good enough for me. :p

    Also it IS ‘1’ and ‘2’ because they never had an official title, as opposed to the proceeding series’ which were actually known as ‘Red Dwarf III’ etc. technically all of them are ‘3’ ‘4’ etc. but people use the numerals for III onwards cause it was the actual title. Video releases MAY retcon that but whatever it’s still….a bone of contention (i.e. WRONG :p).

    New Doctor Who is officially classed as a different show to the classic series (granted, this is probably solely due to boring stuff like rights renegotiations etc.), so it is and always will be wrong to call it ‘season 27’ and on, despite the fact people continue to do so.

    fuck anyone in the face three times who disagrees bellend pricks suck

    #225455

    Dave

    Scoff all you want, but I’m greatly enjoying series 1,693 of Eastenders this week.

    #225456

    Seb Patrick

    Also it IS ‘1’ and ‘2’ because they never had an official title, as opposed to the proceeding series’ which were actually known as ‘Red Dwarf III’ etc. technically all of them are ‘3’ ‘4’ etc. but people use the numerals for III onwards cause it was the actual title.

    Wellllll only Series III uses “Red Dwarf III” onscreen – none of Series IV, V or VI do so. So is “Red Dwarf IV” any more correct than “Red Dwarf I”? Only if you give the Radio Times listing more authority than the onscreen title card.

    And even if you are going by the Radio Times argument, the “Red Dwarf [Numeral]” discussion is entirely separate from the “Series [Numeral]” discussion. I can understand doing this:

    Red Dwarf (series 1)
    Red Dwarf (series 2)
    Red Dwarf III
    Red Dwarf IV
    Red Dwarf V
    … etc

    … although I wouldn’t do it myself. But I can’t see any justifiable basis for this:

    Red Dwarf Series 1
    Red Dwarf Series 2
    Red Dwarf Series III
    Red Dwarf Series IV
    Red Dwarf Series V
    … etc

    … since, unless anyone wants to correct me, the first time “Series [Numeral]” was officially used to designate the series was on the DVD releases. And in that instance, they all used numerals.

    #225457

    Ben Saunders

    Now this is the kind of anality I signed up to this site for

    #225458

    Dave

    since, unless anyone wants to correct me, the first time “Series [Numeral]” was officially used to designate the series was on the DVD releases.

    Interestingly (no, really), the Red Dwarf Remastered VHS release of all three series refers to ‘Series I-III’, and predates the DVDs.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Dwarf-Complete-1-3-Remastered/dp/B00004CW30

    The individual Remastered VHS releases refer to ‘Series One’, ‘Series Two’ and ‘Series Three’ though, without numerals.

    #225459

    Dave

    Oh, and the VHS releases of the original unremastered series are labelled ‘Red Dwarf I’ etc., although not ‘Red Dwarf Series I’.

    #225460

    cwickham

    Apart from “Backwards” using “Series III” in the Star Wars crawl, the only other series to have the Roman numeral onscreen are the ones from after Rob left. I wonder if this was something Doug was particularly keen on? I wonder what the impetus for marketing the first series in over three years with a giant “VII” was?

    #225463

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Why did Doug combine three episodes of Back To Earth into one Directors Cut, though?

    #225464

    si

    Reading all these ‘three into one’ jokes is tiring me out. Whatever happened to the glory days of the Foaming Twat?

    #225465

    cwickham

    Should ‘three into one’ jokes have continued after being combined?

    #225467

    Katydid

    Foaming Cloche butter pun ***man Lov***.

    #225468

    performingmonkey

    But is that an ‘I’ or a ‘1’ ??

    #225469

    performingmonkey

    > Oh, and the VHS releases of the original unremastered series are labelled ‘Red Dwarf I’ etc., although not ‘Red Dwarf Series I’.

    But is that an ‘I’ or a ‘1’ ?? grrr

    #225472

    bloodteller

    it’s a I.

    #225520

    Me Own Stunts

    I keep my Red Dwarf DVDs in one of those album-style cases that hold around 60 discs. They currently share that space with my Quantum Leap DVDs.

    In other news, none of the reversible covers have ever done anything for me. They lack a silvered logo, for example.

    #225526

    Toxteth O-Grady

    This marvelous opus of pedantry must be kept alive, and so I’ll offer this:

    >… since, unless anyone wants to correct me, the first time “Series [Numeral]” was officially used to designate the series was on the DVD releases.

    Didn’t the BBC’s own adverts for the show use the roman numerals?

    I seem to recall a clip advertising the then-upcoming episode ‘Holoship’ using the “Sirs, they’ve taken Mr. Rimmer!” scene with the onscreen caption:
    Thursday 9.00 RED DWARF V

    #225527

    GlenTokyo

    Roman numerals were on the videos, I, II, III etc

    The only series without a numeral applied in an official capacity is Back To Earth which strangely given that it’s called Back to Earth is referred to as Back to Earth.

    #225528

    Dave

    The VHS used ‘Red Dwarf I’, rather than ‘Red Dwarf Series I’ – I think that was the distinction Seb was making.

    As far as I can make out, the only time the VHSs used ‘Series I’ was the remastered boxset of all three series.

    The only series without a numeral applied in an official capacity is Back To Earth

    *QI Siren*

    (French DVD)

    #225529

    GlenTokyo

    In France Jaws is called ‘The Teeth From The Sea’. I’ll stick to native language releases.

    #225530

    Ben Saunders

    That’s a bit xenophobic.

    #225531

    GlenTokyo

    Not really. Just think the releases in English are the ones to look at considering origin.

    #225533

    Darrell

    Back To Earth was called series 9 on BBC Store as well. It is frigging well Red Dwarf IX for BBC Worldwide purposes and they pay for the show to exist. That is why the 2012 series was called ‘Red Dwarf X’.

    And it is a series of three episodes, not a special.

    #225536

    Ben Paddon

    #225537

    Ben Paddon

    That’s on BritBox, by the way.

    #225538

    bloodteller

    i don’t remember lister screaming directly into the camera being in Back To Earth- Part 3

    #225540

    International Debris

    Give it a few years and everywhere will be calling it Red Dwarf Series IX, including the re-released DVD (in time for the Just the Daves boxset), then everybody can eat their IX-hating hats.

    #225541

    GlenTokyo

    Why doesn’t someone Twitter at Doug. Get it straight from the horse’s mouth like.

    #225542

    flanl3

    I actually think they could still do Series IX once the show has found its footing again and do it well if Doug did it right. I fully expect the next comment to be “he wouldn’t do it right.”

    #225547

    Seb Patrick

    If we’re taking word of the author, then Doug is adamant that BTE is not Series IX. So there.

    #225548

    bloodteller

    hoorah

    #225552

    Darrell

    If we’re taking word of the author, ‘Liberation’ is the first Divine Comedy album, ‘Them’ is the first Jon Ronson book, and Star Wars is called ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’. Doesn’t make any of those things true either!

    #225554

    bloodteller

    Star Wars is called “Episode IV: A New Hope” though

    #225555

    Dave

    Well *now* it is.

    #225556

    flanl3

    If we’re taking the word of the author, Timewave is an episode of Red Dwarf, unfortunately.

    #225557

    bloodteller

    so’s Pete Part 2

    #225558

    GlenTokyo

    If we’re taking word of the author, then Doug is adamant that BTE is not Series IX. So there.

    The Lord hath spoke, BTE is not Series IX.

    Now that’s sorted, what was this topic about again?

    #225559

    bloodteller

    thoughts on the Series XII DVD’s reversible cover, i think?

    #225560

    Ben Saunders

    It’s just absurd to have the Star Wars films go I, II, III, Star Wars, V, VI and THAT’S IT THEY NEVER MADE ANY MORE

    #225561

    Ben Saunders

    Depending on how this December goes they might go I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, though, and I’ll wonder why they skipped one

    #225570

    Katydid

    Considering how fucking confused online stores get over something as simple as the Roman numeral series numbering, I don’t think you could treat BtE as not being the ninth series without just muddying the waters even further. If you listed it as a separate entity in streaming services, you’d just end up with a bunch of new fans skipping from VIII and X without ever realizing there was something in between.

    Regardless of what BtE is supposed to be, it’s the set of three episodes that comes between Series VIII and Series X, and it’s better for fans just discovering the series to make it as clear as possible that that’s where it goes.

    #225571

    Dave

    The Lord hath spoke, BTE is not Series IX.

    But it *is* the ninth series of Red Dwarf.

    #225574

    PFMC84

    I hate the placement of the “Series…” text o the spine of the DVDs. There’s plenty of space above or below the cast photo o the bottom to place a simple Roman numeral to indicate the series number. Instead, someone thought it was a great idea to plaster the text over the logo and not even have them the same size or location depending on what cover they designed.

    Those IX, Smeg Ups, Beat The Geek and USA custom covers look great though.

    #225577

    GlenTokyo

    <But it *is* the ninth series of Red Dwarf.>

    Not disputing that it’s the ninth outing of Red Dwarf, just the fact that it’s called Back to Earth not Red Dwarf IX.

    KyoSo I get your point but it shouldn’t matter, Netflix or whoever will put it in the chronological right place regardless. Only really a problem if you’re trying to torrent it or something or you’re setting up a Plex server and you’ve never seen Red Dwarf.

    #225578

    GlenTokyo

    *Not disputing that it’s the ninth outing of Red Dwarf, just stating the fact that it’s called Back to Earth not Red Dwarf IX.

    Damned lack of editing function

    #225583

    Jonsmad

    I’m gonna call it Back2Earth just to annoy more people.

    My DVDs (reversed covers where possible) have always sat within a cardboard hard back slipcase for the Ronnie Barker dvd collection. Which previously housed complete porridge and open all hours etc sitcoms. All my pre 1980s comedy’s i removed from their packaging and keep in a wallet system for space. But kept this box as a handy container for dwarf and long before the irony of mr vegas or that Geordie Jesus being in a new open all hours it has kept my dwarf DVDs together, I always felt doug would have approved of the porridge link. 12 series now fills it. So come series 13 I’m fucked. As I don’t see a larger barker box being released. He’s not likely to do a new series.

    #225588

    flanl3

    I’m gonna call it Back2Earth just to annoy more people.

    Back9Earth

    Or even

    BaIX to Earth

    Or even

    Series Back Nine Earth.

    Or even

    Red Dwarf, Series VIXCIIVI: Back Too Earth

    #225591

    Dave

    BAIX TO 9ARTH

    #225593

    Jonsmad

    We’ll I know some who probably call it BoIx to earth. But I liked it.

    #225597

    GlenTokyo

    Just call it Back 9 and you’ll get the gold crowd.

    #225600

    flanl3

    NINE 9 SERIES

    #225602

    Hamish

    Red Dwarf Deep Space IX

    #225603

    flanl3

    Red Dwarf IX Kampf

    #225604

    flanl3

    (Redolf Hidwarf, that is)

    #225605

    Ben Saunders

    Red Dwarf 9 From Outer Space

    #225606

    Pete Part Three

    PILE OF SHITE

    (Huh, same number of letters!)

    #225608

    Darrell

    Easy way to solve this:

    Why is Red Dwarf X not called Red Dwarf IX? Whatever the official answer is proves that Back To Earth is Red Dwarf IX. Because it’s clearly not “just as a joke”.

    #225609

    Ridley

    Red Dwarf Ecks

    #225610

    bloodteller

    Red Dwarf Ecks Vs. Sever

    #225611

    Dave

    The series between series I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and series X, XI, XII is definitely not series IX, ok? I can’t believe anyone would be foolish enough to think that it was.

    #225620

    flanl3

    Y’know Windows? Here’s a little story for you: a few years ago, around 2012 I think, a new version of Windows was released, and it was called Windows 8. A few years later, in 2015, a different version of Windows was released, they called it Windows 10. In between those two, only one main version of Windows was released. Theymust have called it Windows 9, right?

    Wrong. It was Windows 8.1.

    Have you ever heard of iPhone? I suppose you might have heard of iPhone. This year, they announced three separate goddamn iPhones. One was the iPhone 8, and another was the iPhone X (ten). If you announce 8, X, and another, you’d suppose that other would be the iPhone Nine, right? It always gets listed in the order of 8, the other one, X. It has to be Nine in some form, right?

    Wrong, it’s the iPhone 8 Plus.

    There’s this thing, it’s called an Xbox. Some of you have probably heard of it. Back in 2005, they came out with an Xbox that they called the Xbox 360. Then, in 2013, there was a new Xbox that they called the Xbox One. This year, they’ve come out with a new one. Well, technically, it’s a massive revision of the Xbox One, but it’s nearly one all on its own. I could compare it to the Game Boy Color, not entirely different from the Game Boy, but different enough. Anyways, you’d expect Xbox to follow the pattern and either call it the Xbox -358 or maybe the Xbox -178.5, either as a full next Xbox or maybe halfway along, to follow the pattern of decreasing by 359. But you know what they called it?

    Xbox One X.

    Xbox I X.

    Xbox IX.

    Tell me again how sure you are that nine is the one that comes between eight and ten.

    #225621

    Ben Saunders

    Xbox XI is just a souped up Xbox One, not a new installment in the Xbox franchise.

    They had to skip Windows 9 because of all the legacy programs that just look for the first number of the OS version in code, for example they’d see Win95 or Win98 and only see Win9x.

    Apple are stupid.

    #225622

    Katydid

    They had to skip Windows 9 because of all the legacy programs that just look for the first number of the OS version in code, for example they’d see Win95 or Win98 and only see Win9x.

    That is truly hilarious and I’d expect no less from Windows.

    KyoSo I get your point but it shouldn’t matter, Netflix or whoever will put it in the chronological right place regardless.

    Not if they were listing it as a separate entity called Red Dwarf: Back to Earth rather than as the ninth series of Red Dwarf. That’s something I could easily have seen happening when it was initially released, before there was any sign of a tenth series. Which is what my point was, about not designating the special as its own separate show on the listing the way they do with other specials.

    Seeing as how we’ve dug up the Series IX debate, I think we should definitely argue about Hyperdrive again. I liked it when I was 14.

    #225623

    flanl3

    Xbox XI is just a souped up Xbox One, not a new installment in the Xbox franchise.

    I’m assuming you mean IX, but are you telling me that Red Dwarf IX is…

    …Red Dwarf I Remastered?

    #225624

    Renegade Rob

    Lister reads off the literal cover of BTE which even on the physical copy IRL says it takes place after “series ten.” And that’s clearly bullshit because Series X is definitely continuing off plot strands established in BTE, like Kochanski being alive and all that. Which leads to my conclusion:

    The post-VIII series numbering of the BTE Earth universe do not correspond to “our series.” As funny as it might be to skip series IX, the reference to a “series ten” clearly reveals a separate continuity of series in that universe. So anyone saying IX already happened in the special can’t really be referring to a real series in “our” universe and are unreliable evidence of BTE being separate from IX.

    For “our” purposes, i.e. Real People, BTE is Series IX, as the ninth series produced and between VIII and X.

    #225625

    Ben Saunders

    >Nick Frost and Miranda Hart as leads
    Oh dear.

    #225631

    International Debris

    As funny as it might be to skip series IX, the reference to a “series ten” clearly reveals a separate continuity of series in that universe.

    Imagine if Doug had only written in a reference to series 9 in BtE, and then carried on with 10, that would have been the most wonderfully meta thing about the whole story.

    I’m sure he said in an interview that he won’t be doing a series 9, but might be doing a 10, “which makes sense if you watch Back to Earth” or something. Which annoyed me as it makes no more sense then.

    #225632

    flanl3

    I mean, I do think they called Series IX “the best yet” while they did not call Series X “the best yet”

    #225633

    Ben Saunders

    All they say is Back to Earth happens after Series Ten, which I guess is possible, they just de-age a little at some point and then re-age again

    #225640

    Seb Patrick

    >If we’re taking word of the author, ‘Liberation’ is the first Divine Comedy album

    It is. Fanfare for the Common Muse is an album by a different band that also happens to be called The Divine Comedy and also happens to have Neil Hannon as one of its members.

    #225642

    Ben Saunders

    Just like how the last blink-182 release was Dogs Eating Dogs in 2012, and the fact that there is a more recent album out called California, also by a band calling themselves blink-182, doesn’t change that fact. And all of the members of Weezer died in 2002, etc.

    #225646

    Dave

    Actually Rivers Cuomo just kicked Death in the nuts when he came for him.

    #225647

    Lily

    Imagine if Doug had only written in a reference to series 9 in BtE, and then carried on with 10, that would have been the most wonderfully meta thing about the whole story.

    You mean like “That’s Dave Lister’s bath from season 9. Best season ever if you ask me. Awesome season, best by miles. You were in that remember, when Kyten ran in and told you that Kochanski had been sucked out of an airlock”

    Strange that it’s season and not series though. When Lister read off the back of the box he says “Back to Earth. Takes place after series 10.” etc etc

    #225650

    International Debris

    Indeed. If series 9 was truly a ‘lost’ series, then it would make sense of BtE not being 9, X coming along. There would actually be a joke in the numbering of the series, which is about as meta as it comes.

    It is. Fanfare for the Common Muse is an album by a different band that also happens to be called The Divine Comedy and also happens to have Neil Hannon as one of its members.

    Nope, it’s been officially acknowledged as the first DC album for some time now:
    http://thedivinecomedy.com/music

    #225651

    GlenTokyo

    You have to think that series/season IX would be fucking horrible to watch then. Love of man’s life is suddenly and violently killed and then he has to deal with it.

    Sort of glad it doesn’t exist if that’s the story arc haha

    #225655

    Seb Patrick

    I might have been not being entirely serious about the Divine Comedy thing anyway. But yes, I figured when he did Victory that was the point at which he was finally acknowledging Fanfare as a thing rather than brushing it away.

    As for Weezer, they have made three great albums post-2002, so nyeh.

    #225657

    Seb Patrick

    Indeed. If series 9 was truly a ‘lost’ series, then it would make sense of BtE not being 9, X coming along. There would actually be a joke in the numbering of the series, which is about as meta as it comes.

    This is the point, though, isn’t it? BTE contains dialogue that refers to a mythical series 9 that we haven’t seen and will never see. Then the show comes back for another series, and it’s not series 9, it’s series 10.

    That’s the joke. That’s absolutely the joke. I’ve always seen it as deliberate.

    #225659

    Ben Saunders

    I actually like post-2002 Weezer (for the most part), it was just a joke

    #225668

    Lily

    >This is the point, though, isn’t it? BTE contains dialogue that refers to a mythical series 9 that we haven’t seen and will never see. Then the show comes back for another series, and it’s not series 9, it’s series 10.

    But BtE also refers to series 10?

    #225671

    International Debris

    But BtE also refers to series 10?

    Exactly. If only 9 was mentioned in BtE then it would be possible to consider it canon (just canon we’ll never see). Instead, to consider it series 9 then we have to consider that there are two separate series 10s, with BtE in the middle.

    I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X BtE X XI XII
    Not a chance.

    #225672

    GlenTokyo

    If Derek from work left and was replaced by Clive, would you call Clive Derek 2 or Clive?

    It might make sense to call Back to Earth Red Dwarf IX if BtE wasn’t given a name, for example if it had just been called Red Dwarf as some sort of special semi reboot thing, but it was called Back to Earth, it’s not a tongue twister, it’s easily shortened and is as quick to say as “Red Dwarf IX” because you say “I’m going to watch Red Dwarf IX” not “Im going to watch IX” and with Back to Earth you just say “Back to Earth”.

    The only thing if doesn’t do is tell you where it comes chronologically, but we know where it comes, so why so we have to call if IX? And nobody else outside this thread gives a shit so why not just call it Back to Earth?

    #225673

    Hamish

    If you are appealing to apathy now though, why not just let people call it Series IX?

    #225674

    Lily

    >Exactly. If only 9 was mentioned in BtE then it would be possible to consider it canon (just canon we’ll never see).

    I’ve got ya now. I was reading your “if only” as a wish, rather than indicating exclusivity. However, that still precludes BtE from being referred to as 9 if you consider the events of BtE as canon.

    Considering it was all a hallucination though, it would be fair to say that the actual contents of BtE is irrelevant and it’s still series 9, being after 8 and before 10.

    #225675

    GlenTokyo

    If you are appealing to apathy now though, why not just let people call it Series IX?

    Because it’s called Back to Earth, but I’d never presume anyone pays attention to what I say anyway.

    #225676

    Pete Part Three

    The only half-way decent meta idea in the whole thing and they fuck it up by mentioning X within the story.

    Ah, well. X is not actually 10, but “unknown” because no one knows how many series we’ve had by that point. of series. XI is unknown +1. And so on.

    #225677

    Pete Part Three

    All I want for Christmas is an edit button on the forum.

    #225678

    Ben Saunders

    >Ah, well. X is not actually 10, but “unknown” because no one knows how many series we’ve had by that point. of series. XI is unknown +1. And so on.

    Series XI would be unknown -1, meaning the thing that came before the first unknown series, Series X. This would be Back to Earth, hence making BtE Series XI.

    Sorted.

    #225679

    Ben Saunders

    Series X would be unknown ********************************
    Hence making BtE Series IX ********************************

    >All I want for Christmas is an edit button on the forum.
    I concur

    #225685

    Dave

    If Derek from work left and was replaced by Clive, would you call Clive Derek 2 or Clive?

    If Derek from work left and was replaced by someone else called Derek, and this happened so many times that you had a Derek 1 all the way through to a Derek 8, and later on you also had a Derek 10, 11 and 12, and the bloke between Derek 8 and Derek 10 was also called Derek, what would you call him?

    #225686

    bloodteller

    okay but what if after Derek 8, there was a new guy called Back To Derek? you wouldn’t call him Derek 9 would you, you’d call him Back To Derek. because that’s his name

    #225687

    International Debris

    Has this thread been nominated for Hall of Fame status yet? Because it bloody deserves it. Thus I nominate it for Hall of Fame status.

    So, is BtE IX or XI then?

    #225688

    Ben Saunders

    Back to Earth is Series 11 and Series XI is Series 9

    #225689

    GlenTokyo

    okay but what if after Derek 8, there was a new guy called Back To Derek? you wouldn’t call him Derek 9 would you, you’d call him Back To Derek. because that’s his name

    Back to Derek would keep asking to be called by his correct name, to responses of “fuck off you’re Derek IX” and then he’d go home to his wife and cry, eventually he’d take it up with management, “we know you’re called Back to Derek, but you did come after Derek 8, so there’s nothing we’re willing to do about it”.

    At the highest court in the land Back to Derek the right honourable Douglas Naylor rules he should be awarded £50million of compensation and henceforth any reference to him as anything but Back to Derek be a crime in itself with a punishment of 120 hours of community service.

    #225691

    Ben Saunders

    I can imagine Doug reading this thread and just laughing to himself maniacally. He knew what he was doing

    #225692

    flanl3

    Also, don’t pull that Britbox crap on me. It can’t even decide if QI is hosted by Sandi or Sandy Toksvig, or in fact occasionally by anyone at all.

    #225695

    Dave

    okay but what if after Derek 8, there was a new guy called Back To Derek? you wouldn’t call him Derek 9 would you, you’d call him Back To Derek. because that’s his name

    But what if he was called Derek and was the ninth Derek but insisted on calling himself ‘Derek: Back To Derek’? You’d say “no, stop being pretentious, this is silly, you’re called Derek just like all the other Dereks. I’m happy to call you Back To Derek but it doesn’t stop you from being Derek 9”.

    #225696

    Pete Part Three

    I am not a number, I’m a Derek.

    #225697

    Dave

    Now I’m hoping that the next series of Inside No. 9 has an episode entirely based around Back To Earth.

    #225699

    flanl3

    Fine, maybe the ninth Derek has got a middle name, and insists on going by it. You call him Derek Joseph, or DJ for short. He has specifically asked not to just be called Derek. You can’t call him Derek IX, since he has told you that’s not his name, and you can’t call him Derek Joseph IX, since he’s not the ninth Derek Joseph, unless he was, in which case whomever is responsible for hiring at that company needs to be audited to see if there’s any sort of bias towards people called Derek or Derek Joseph.

    #225701

    International Debris

    DJ IX spins some good tunes.

    #225702

    Dave

    You can’t call him Derek IX, since he has told you that’s not his name

    Imagine my surprise when I found out that he *does* call himself Derek IX, but only when he’s travelling on business in France.

    #225703

    Ben Saunders

    >Imagine my surprise when I found out that he *does* call himself Derek IX, but only when he’s travelling on business in France.

    Ha.

    #225705

    bloodteller

    so is Derek USA called Derek 5.5, I wonder?

    #225706

    Ben Saunders

    We don’t talk about Derek USA.

    #225707

    GlenTokyo

    Imagine my surprise when I found out that he *does* call himself Derek IX, but only when he’s travelling on business in France.

    He does but only due to Derek de retour sur Terre being the name of an infamous serial killer in France

    #225715

    Ben Saunders

    What do you call the second attempt at Derek USA?

    #225720

    Dave

    Shite.

    #225721

    Hamish

    What would you call it if you combined nine separate Dereks into one though?

    #225724

    Renegade Rob

    Wowee! A thread I’ve started has been nominated for Hall of Fame status! Even though I made stupid typos in the opening post that I don’t know how to fix, and even though the conversation drifted into things completely separate from what the thread was originally about, I’ll take it!

    X being “unknown” instead of ten is something I could possibly get behind to settle the dispute. Even though the past couple series have clearly been called ten, eleven, and twelve (not x, x+1, or x+2). But you’re onto something here, because of course the Dwarfers would have at least a couple full “series” of adventures during the nine year gap.

    It sort of reminds me of one of the few things I liked about that stupid miniseries Heroes Reborn, which took place five years after the original Heroes run ended at season four, which was how the showrunner explained that this series was functionally “season ten” because the heroes have actually been having five seasons-worth of adventures during that five year gap, it’s just that we the audience haven’t been privy to those.

    My proposed solution, if you can call it one, that keeps the sequential numbers intact in both continuities, is to employ imaginary numbers. It actually makes sense because the crux of BTE is just a hallucination/alternate reality, as are the “series nine” and “series ten” mentioned within, so the term imaginary is apt. If you think of the joy squid reality’s post VIII-series as imaginary, then the mentioned nine and ten become “Series 9-i” and “Series 10-i” completely separate from “our” series nine and ten. Still with me? Good.

    So here’s my thought: In this paradigm, BTE is a complex number, in this case “9 + 11i”. It’s 9 because it’s clearly the 9th series produced in our world between 8 and 10, and it’s 11i because it takes place after the series 10i mentioned in the hallucination universe on the DVD cover. BTE occupies two different points on the series numerology depending on which reality’s continuity you’re using.

    So saying it’s Series IX is correct in many ways. Saying it takes place “after series ten” is also correct in the context of the special. Both are right. But if we’re just dealing with “our” universe of produced series, then undoubtedly BTE is Series IX. But from a god’s eye view, the proper series numeration for BTE is “Series IX +11i.” I have thus solved the BTE/IX debate for all time. Q.E.D.

    Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to contribute something even slightly pertaining to the original topic I started this thread about, so um… The possible good thing about XII being pale blue even though XI is a similar pale blue is that there’s a continuity of color between II and XII, both blue and sharing the “II.”

    Eh. Whatever. It still nags at me, the double-blue. I’m just running out of ways to rationalize it…

    #225725

    Renegade Rob

    Wow. Fucked that up.

    Block quote fail. Don’t know how to go back and fix it.

    Sorry :(

    #225727

    GlenTokyo

    You can’t fix it, the edit button doesn’t do anything, our mistakes live forever on the G&T Forums

    #225729

    Ben Paddon

    I’m really really really glad this conversation is happening.

    #225731

    International Debris

    On the up side, the Guinness Book of Records phoned up and nominated us for Longest Discussion of Series Numbering in a Sitcom.
    On the down side, the Guinness Book of Records phoned up and nominated us for Longest Discussion of Series Numbering in a Sitcom.

    #225740

    Warbodog

    The Black Adder
    Blackadder II
    Blackadder the Third
    Blackadder: The Cavalier Years
    Blackadder’s Christmas Carol
    Blackadder Goes Sixth

    #225744

    International Debris

    You missed out Blackadder Back and 4th

    #225760

    Katydid

    Nobody has this debate when Blackadder to Earth came out. Why does our fandom to have to so wrapped up in this argument my side was clearly winning?

    #225761

    Katydid

    Guinness Book called again. Apparently we have the longest non-functioning edit button in forum history.

    #225762

    flanl3

    Never mind when BoJack to Earthman, Earthrested Backvelopment, The Back Earth Theory, and Backmastearth came out. Guess the Red Dwarf fandom are just a bunch of pricks.

    #225763

    Katydid

    Then again, look at Blacktoearthula. That film got ravaged.

    #225764

    flanl3

    By the way, the Book have called me for most failed attempts at making a joke on a single internet forum.

    #225765

    Katydid

    I’ve never seen so many depressed record-holders in one topic before.

    #225767

    Ben Saunders

    Guinness just called and they say they’re combining all of our records into one “saddest fanbase on the internet” accolade, and only printing one certificate

    #225768

    Seb Patrick

    The Blackadder the Third Goes Back and Forth II

    #225769

    International Debris

    No he doesn’t.

    #225776

    Captain No-Name

    Surely

    The Blackadder the Third Goes Back and Forth II: The Cavalier Years

    #225777

    Captain No-Name

    Also, Upstart Crow is set in the same continuity as Blackadder II, so maybe that wants bunging in too..?

    #225780

    Pete Part Three

    No.

    #225787

    Katydid

    I hope we get a new Complete Series DVD that comes out right after they announce four new series to be shot in two back-to-back blocks.

    #225789

    GlenTokyo

    Get it on Blu-ray. Find the model footage and scan it in HD. Episodes and other extras in SD but on the same disc, updated interactive menus. Cast commentary for the Dave episodes. Laaavely

    #225790

    Katydid

    They’d probably excise the original bonus features entirely, crop all the old episodes into 16:9, and accidentally include the Remastered version of Marooned but with the audio track of the unaltered episode. It claims to feature brand new commentaries, but they’re just segments of the Infinity audiobook pasted over the top of Series I episodes.

    There’s one new documentary, but it’s just 52 minutes of Doug Naylor uncontrollably sobbing.

    #225794

    GlenTokyo

    Haha, 3 hour long series 8 documentary of just the cast saying it’s the best dwarf they’ve ever done, interspersed with the rapiest moments.

    It’d be great if they did a TNG if they could find the model shoot film, redo any video effects and have the models in HD re-edited into the existing episodes.

    Can you trust it not to turn into remastered 2 at that point though.

    #225835

    Lilly Queen

    You could if I was in charge of it. Also Back to Earth interlaced correctly and 5.1 audio on XI and XII. And every missing raw model shot included. And commentaries with Rob and Doug on everything. Rob proceeds to praise the Dave episodes but says he prefer VIII.

    The negatives of those model shots must be out there. What was it Doug once said? The BBC lost them? That seems really odd to me. They don’t lose anything. They do junk things, but only pre-1976. I bet it’s buried somewhere in the archives. Someone needs to get on the case.

    #225836

    GlenTokyo

    I’d love Rob and Doug commentaries for 1-6 but I think making Rob do everything after is a bit perverse.

    Ed and Doug maybe, Ed has previous when it comes to talking about episodes he wasn’t involved with on Six of the Best.

    Yeah Doug said on the BtE commentary that they’d lost them around then, so between 2001ish and 2009, assuming they had access to them for the DVDs and didn’t use something they had at GNP, a highish quality (good enough for DVD) betamax or something.

    I wondered if they’d found some due to the old model shot in Skipper which seemed of no worse quality than the rest of the episode when viewed at 1080p but no-one engaged on that at the time.

    It’s a shame. I’d hope that for the 30th something could be done. Get a PI. I bet Doug is planning like crazy for the massive 30th Blu-ray mega box set.

    #225838

    Lilly Queen

    I still need to analyse that Skipper shot. Side by side with the raw fx shot from the dvd. It could be an upscale but I’m not sure. If it does mean a new hd transfer has been made, then there is much to be excited about.

    But the dvd raw model shots are definitely from a telecine transfer. Unmistakably. If they were from a videotape source they would look as shit as they do in the episodes. So the negatives were available within the decade Back to Earth was made. That seems even more unlikely that they would be lost in that time. It also begs the question of why an HD transfer wasn’t made at the time that they had them.

    Also, if that is an upscale in Skipper, with how good it looks, it makes me wonder why they just didn’t do that for Back to Earth.

    #225847

    bloodteller

    isn’t there a bit in the XII documentary where they explain exactly how they ended up with the old model shot in Skipper? i don’t actually have the XII dvd to confirm that, it’s just something i read

    #225848

    Lilly Queen

    No, there was nothing like that. Although I haven’t watched the font or lighting featurettes yet, but I doubt it would be there.

    #225933

    Ben Paddon

    We know Red Dwarf I-VIII were, for a while at least, planned to receive a BLuray release before Doug killed it. If so, is it possible they were able to find the original model shot film and scan it in HD for a possible remastering? Considering the project was killed, it isn’t against all reason that the film may have been put to use in “Skipper”.

    Mind you, my money is on a simple upscaling of the original footage.

    #225940

    GlenTokyo

    All he said was the quality wasn’t there so who knows, they weren’t for us though were they? Didn’t they turn up on non UK Amazon first? I got the impression it was for foreign markets as a slightly better looking just the shows, and so they could give better versions to TV channels. Not sure the scope included rescanning film and re-editing stuff.

    #225996

    Ben Paddon

    In fairness, the model shots were shot on film and the show proper was shot on video. Upscaled video is almost always going to look a bit rubbish. Frankly, even though the picture quality is a little better, I’m still shocked that they bothered putting out Doctor Who series 1-4 on Bluray at all.

    #225998

    Ben Paddon

    Frankly I’m still a bit shocked that “Shada” is getting a Bluray release.

    #225999

    GlenTokyo

    Since it’s Doctor Who I imagine they just thought they’d get a bit of money out of it.

    I think everyone is aware of the one inch tape related issues, I just want stuff on one disc to be honest, and it’s an excuse to re release the Bodysnatcher Docs with the early series.

    #226000

    GlenTokyo

    Aren’t they redoing all the model shots for that? Well it looks like it from the Model Units Instagram anyway. I’m sure they’ll take advantage of the extra resolution.

    Mike Tucker’s tash needs to be committed to Blu-ray for future generations.

    #226003

    Ben Saunders

    Mike Tucker the Starbug fucker

    Cool dude

    Much of pre-S5 Doctor Who looks like somebody smeared vaseline on the lens and the lighting is dreadful

    And some of the “wacky” editing – looking back on it makes me cringe, and I wonder if non-Who fans were as forgiving of it as we were back then or if they knew how shit it looked from day one

    #226008

    Captain No-Name

    I’m intrigued. Example of “wacky” editing..?

    #226011

    Ben Saunders

    Any moment where they speed shit up and do the wooshy motion blur stuff. I wish I had an example on hand, I really do. The End of Time and Voyage of the Damned both have bits in it that are just hard to stomach now. Some of it just feels so low budget, like School Reunion looks like it was made for 25p. I think part of it is just how quickly the TV-tier CGI aged, and how we’re used to much better looking shows now like Heaven Sent and anything directed by Rachel Talalay.

    It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what just looks so off in series 1 especially – the lighting, the resolution, the way it’s shot? The way all the lights catch the camera and flare. People have said “out of focus” and used the lens smeared with vaseline line, but I just don’t know.

    I thought it looked pretty good when I actually watched it going out live, which makes me wonder if it looks worse with age or always looked bad.

    #226013

    GlenTokyo

    The first episode of Ecclestone Who was like Zzzapp made a sex tape with EastEnders and someone who really wanted to be Edgar Wright directed it.

    My memories of that first series include lots of quick pans and whoosh noises

    #226014

    Ben Saunders

    Don’t forget farting aliens and WALES

    Man what a time

    #226017

    Ben Paddon

    I just want stuff on one disc to be honest

    Which won’t happen, mostly because of Bluray formatting standards. The BDA doesn’t allow pure SD content (i.e. not upscaled) on Bluray discs.

    #226023

    Captain No-Name

    The BDA doesn’t allow pure SD content (i.e. not upscaled) on Bluray discs.

    I always think it’s a shame they don’t just release SD content on Bluray disc but marketed under a different name. Exactly the same technology, but market them as super-duper DVDs with lots of space. Only the boffins would know it was a bluray disc with SD content on. Normal people would just think of them as DVDXs or whatever.

    I mean a disc’s a disc. They contrive the boxes to look slightly different and stick a bluray logo on it, but the actual plastic disc just looks like a CD or a DVD.

    I suppose it’s not a sound marketing idea. You can sell me 12 series of Red Dwarf across multiple discs, with a release per series, or you can sell me all 8 series of BBC Dwarf on a single disc, and all 4 Dave series on a second disc…

    #226025

    Pete Part Three

    *cough* NAS

    #226026

    Captain No-Name

    *coughcough* what does NAS mean?

    #226028

    GlenTokyo

    Network Access Storage?

    Anyway, as with season 1 of NuWho which was SD but released on Blu-ray, as long as the content was better than DVD, could they do it? Was Red Dwarf broadcast at 576 lines? That’s better than DVD quality if they can release it at that resolution, would that qualify? Wouldn’t the higher bandwidth also help? Not that I’ve noticed any compression on the DVDs but someone might have.

    #226030

    GlenTokyo

    Oh apparently you can have SD DVD content on Blu-ray, they’re just called SD Blu-ray. Concert DVDs release on them with SD picture but a lossless audio track and apparently there are some benefits regarding compression and bandwidth.

    #226031

    bloodteller

    >Frankly I’m still a bit shocked that “Shada” is getting a Bluray release.

    saw this in Sainsbury’s the other day, is it any good? i looked on the back of the box and its all mixed in with weird Flash animation. surely that won’t gel together well?

    #226033

    Ben Saunders

    The alternatives are a 199X VHS featuring old Tom Baker just telling you what happened in the bits they didn’t film, in character, which is weird, or a Big Finish audio production with Paul McGann, Lalla Ward and John Leeson, which I haven’t seen.

    I watched the VHS. It’s alright – it’s not a brilliant story, it’s only reached mythical status because it was never seen by most people and it was WRITTEN BY DOUGLAS ADAMS (who admits he was phoning it in) – but it’s worth your time if you’re a completionist, I’d say.

    The “flash animation” features voiceover by Baker and Ward, I think, so if anything it will be a more cohesive version of the story compared to the VHS, but less cohesive than the audio – but to be honest, if you’re a completionist, the audio won’t satisfy you, because it’s essentially a remake, and you don’t get to see any of the original footage, which for me is sort of the point.

    Tom Baker pretending to be an older Doctor in character (The Curator, in a way) is quite something, so it’s up to you. I’ll watch the DVD eventually but having just watched Shada, I don’t feel like it any time soon.

    #226034

    Captain No-Name

    Network Access Storage?

    Ah right. Not a disc format then.

    Oh apparently you can have SD DVD content on Blu-ray, they’re just called SD Blu-ray.

    Interesting. Didn’t know that.

    its all mixed in with weird Flash animation. surely that won’t gel together well?

    I bought this yesterday, and am looking forward to watching it over Christmas.

    A few years ago I saw the legendary unofficial Levine version (which was similarly part-animated) and I found it to be a perfectly satisfying way of completing the story. As Ben says, the only real alternative is that 1990s version with Tom Baker narrating across the gaps, which I’m not a fan of.

    I enjoyed the McGann webcast, but it had a completely different cast (apart from Lalla Ward) so it’s very much it’s own beast.

    The Gareth Roberts novelisation is without doubt the most I have ever enjoyed a Doctor Who novel, and is probably the best version of the story. Not least because it gives Douglas Adams’s script that final polish which it needed.

    But you know what, I can’t join in with the naysayers who reckon Shada is only well-regarded because of its incomplete status. I think it’s Douglas Adams’s best DW story. I know it’s sacrilege but I prefer it to City of Death, which I is all good fun but curiously overrated.

    Douglas Adams didn’t think highly of Shada, but then he didn’t think highly of the TV version of H2G2, and I think that is a joy from beginning to end, personally. Sometimes creators can’t see how good their stuff is, because they are fixated on the gap between their imagination and the (imperfectly-realised) version that actually got made.

    #226035

    Ben Saunders

    Here’s a bombshell for you: I don’t think Douglas Adams is good at writing Doctor Who. City of Death is only the most highly regarded Who story because it’s the one most people saw (17 million, I think) by a long-shot because ITV were on-strike at the time.

    His tenure as script editor provided us with one of the worst seasons of the show, and coupled with Tom Baker turning into a gurning maniac (partly due disallowing the show to continue down its horror-fueled path, leaving them to turn to comedy as there was nothing else left).

    City of Death is FUN, very enjoyable as a comedy, but doesn’t have that great of a story behind it, and neither does Shada, and Shada isn’t as fun. It might be a better story, but it doesn’t have lines like “you’re a very beautiful woman, probably”.
    The Pirate Planet was alright too, and features an uncharacteristically good performance from Tom Baker given the period it was made in. Tom was great to begin with, became a clown at some point, then started taking it seriously again and put in some great stuff on his final season.

    #226036

    Ben Saunders

    I love Hitchikers, by the way, and do not deny Adam’s talent, I just don’t think he was a good fit for Who. If they made another show starring Tom Baker written by Douglas Adams it would have been glorious, but not Doctor Who.

    #226038

    Captain No-Name

    Here’s a bombshell for you: I don’t think Douglas Adams is good at writing Doctor Who.

    I gather that was in fact the consensus view of Doctor Who fandom circa about 1980.

    Personally, while I love a bit of Warrior’s Gate, I also love a bit of Shada. I see the shift from Season 17 to 18 as just a change from one type of Who (which I enjoy) to another type of Who (which I enjoy). There’s good and bad in both. Tom Baker’s Season 18 burgundy costume is definitely a trade-off for the worse, but the opening titles are all spangly and new so…

    The one thing I take issue with when people criticise Douglas Adams Who is this idea that comedy is a bad thing that needed stamping out of the programme. I just can’t understand that. Give me “undergraduate” one-liners over dialogue about Charged Vacuum Emboitments any day.

    #226039

    Captain No-Name

    Incidentally I don’t yet own a DVD of Red Dwarf XII (that’s coming at Christmas) so I have yet to face the dilemma of which spine will allow me to sleep easiest at night.

    #226041

    Ben Saunders

    Some of the gags are good, but when the show is JUST gags, I start to take issue. Doctor Who used to have pretty good plots and some nice serious messages back in my day.

    By my day, I mean Pertwee’s era, even though I’m only in my 20s and only watched it last year. Ssh.

    The burgundy coat 100% suits the tone of the season, like the Doctor knows he is going to die and is a whole lot more sombre. The first episode of Season 18 looks like a million dollar movie compared to the last of 17, even though it’s still fairly low budget.

    I still don’t know if I’m getting XII for Xmas, but when I do get it, I’ll probably stick with the spine it comes with. Because I don’t have the individual DVDs of 1-8, yet. When I do, I’ll probably try to make them all look lovely and nice together.

    #226045

    Captain No-Name

    I dunno. I get what you’re saying, but I’m not convinced it is that sombre. The high socks, the snazzy diamond waistcoat, the question marks on the collar, the purpley palette… I see it more as JNT’s first attempt at creating an iconic “costume” look for the Doctor, rather than as a reflection of the character’s mortality. I think the 5th/6th/7th Doctors all suffered sartorially because of a similar approach.

    You’re tight Tom’s mood is sombre for much of season 18. He looks unwell, his hair is greyer and needed straightening. The scripts keep referencing entropy and decay. But I find it hard to imagine this version of the 4th Doctor going “I’m due a fabulous iconic wine-coloured makeover!” It seems more likely he would just look like an increasingly dishevelled and shabby version of his younger self. As if he’s let himself go and needs a new lease of life.

    I don’t have the individual DVDs of 1-8, yet. When I do, I’ll probably try to make them all look lovely and nice together.

    Good luck with that endeavour. Many before you have tried and failed, as this thread attests.

    #226046

    Ben Saunders

    He IS unwell for much of the Season, actually, and in at least one episode he had to have his hair permed to bring back his signature curls.

    Yes, out of universe it was JNT wanting to make his mark, but in universe I think it works.

    Fuck the question marks though. I like Peter and Colin’s outfits because that’s just what they wore when I was growing up, I can imagine as a fan in the 80s I would have been fucking mortified.

    #226047

    Captain No-Name

    he had to have his hair permed

    Yeah that’s what I meant. I said straightened. I meant the exact opposite.

    Peter and Colin have utterly dreadful costumes. McCoy’s is good, but spoilt by the pullover, which should have been confined to Season 24. If he’d had a waistcoat from Remembrance onwards that would’ve been perfect. The TV Movie 7th Doctor looks a bit too “English gent.” He should be more like a slightly threadbare academic to my mind.

    #226049

    Ben Saunders

    I really don’t like McCoy’s first costume, and I don’t think he liked it either. But then I don’t like McCoy himself in much of his first season, so that might explain it.

    #226050

    Warbodog

    Pointing out for fairness that “Douglas Adams’ City of Death” was co-written by David Fisher and Graham Williams, not that they’re ever acknowledged even on the BBC book (however much or little they contributed, I don’t know).

    I love the Pirate Planet, and silly late-70s Who over tedious early-mid 80s Who any day. A shame they were too boring to make his “too silly” Krikkitmen story at the time, it’s not like they didn’t put out loads of unintentionally ridiculous stuff already.

    #226051

    Ben Saunders

    True, they are allowed to talk about it on the DVD. Although if I remember rightly David Fisher really only supplied the genesis of the story, and then Adams and Williams spent a weekend in a house staying up all night writing like mad, or something.

    I know the accepted consensus on Davison was “he was the boring one”, but he does have some great stories. It’s just when they’re boring, they’re BORING.

    It depends if I want to be bored to tears (Four to Doomsday), or physically offended by Tom Baker making a stupid joke right down the camera lens in a story that is shit anyway (Underworld)

    #226052

    bloodteller

    haven’t actually seen much Doctor Who (the only one i can really remember is that slightly weird movie where the Doctor befriends a chinese kid, and then they have to stop the Master’s slime from stealing a clock or an eye or something) but i take it Tom Baker is considered the best one to watch?

    #226053

    Ben Saunders

    Jesus, you’ve only seen the film?

    Tom Baker is the most popular “classic Who” Doctor, somewhat deservedly. David Tennant is the most popular “new Who” Doctor, no comment.

    Tom Baker’s first couple of seasons are really, really good, and he is a very good Doctor. Most people probably start with him, which is fine. I quite like Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton, as well. And Peter Davison. And Colin Baker, on audio. And Matt Smith. And Peter Capaldi. Yes.

    When I was getting into Classic Who I just picked a “top 10 episodes of Classic Who” article and watched all those, the general consensus on what’s good seems to be pretty spot on honestly.

    #226054

    Ben Saunders

    Tom Baker is also supported by the just wonderful Elisabeth Sladen for most of his good stuff, which helps. She was a phenomenal actress.

    #226055

    Captain No-Name

    Warbodog – yeah, it’s curious how Douglas Adams is made to look like the sole author. I think Ben’s account sounds right, and Adams didn’t use any of David Fisher’s original script, but wrote something new which was superficially similar, and Graham Williams had a hand in guiding it. I doubt Williams’s contribution to City of Death was as significant as Adams’s was to Destiny of the Daleks for example. And Adams is never credited as co-author of that story.

    I was surprised when I learnt the third Hitch-Hiker book was a rewrite of Adams’s unmade “Doctor Who and the Krikketmen” script. I can’t quite image it. Presumably you know there is a Krikkitmen novelisation coming out next month, adapted by James Goss? I’ll be getting that. I thought he did a decent job of novelising Pirate Planet.

    Ben – there are a load of reasons why I’m not a massive fan of the 5th Doctor’s era, but boredom isn’t really one of them. There are very few DW stories which are actually boring. The Space Museum (from episode 2 onwards) jumps to mind. What little exists of the Celestial Toymaker tested my patience too.

    bloodteller – Tom Baker is generally considered the best, yes. But in part this is simply because he did more years than the other Doctors, so he worked his way into the public consciousness. In addition, the long run means his era encompasses quite a broad range of styles and approaches (and several companions) so there is something for everyone to like. But Tom has clunkers and classics, it’s true.

    #226056

    Captain No-Name

    the general consensus on what’s good seems to be pretty spot on honestly.

    It’s all a matter of opinion of course, but I find some parts of accepted Who fan wisdom to be misleading personally.

    The McCoy era is better than a lot of fans claim. I genuinely think Time and the Rani is the only poor McCoy story. People write off Season 24 but Paradise Towers is glorious, so long as you don’t get hung up on the stagey-ness of its execution.

    Conversley, Davison’s era seems to be held in higher regard than it deserves. I mean yeah, Kinda is very good (although if we’re docking points for stagey-ness, what the hell is that forest!?) but I just do not understand the love for Tegan. Tegan’s presence automatically makes me like a story less.

    Wow we’re really off topic now aren’t we?

    #226057

    bloodteller

    >Jesus, you’ve only seen the film?

    i’ve seen various actual episodes over the years, but the film is the only thing that really stuck in my mind and i can actually sort of remember the plot of. i did watch some of the newer stuff a while back, but i couldn’t really get into it and there was some annoying nob called Rory who wouldn’t go away.

    i suppose i’ll try watching some of the Tom Baker stuff, my uncle said that he was quite good. but then he also said Red Dwarf VIII was great, so i wasn’t sure whether to trust him.

    #226060

    Captain No-Name

    i couldn’t really get into it and there was some annoying nob called Rory who wouldn’t go away.

    Ha ha!

    Throughout the Amy/Rory years I felt like the programme was actively trying to get me to dislike it. I’m not surprised to hear some newer viewers found it hard to get into. If that was my first exposure to Doctor Who I think I would’ve run a mile.

    The advice I give to anyone who is new to Doctor Who is: wait for a new Doctor and start with their first episode. If you like what you see, then think about going cherry-picking some older episodes.

    So really, all that matters now is Jodie Whitaker.

    Eccleston/Tom Baker/the rest are all water under the bridge.

    #226061

    International Debris

    City of Death is my favourite Who story, and I had literally no idea how well rated it was before I saw it. I just enjoyed it more than the others, and still do to this day. It’s an utter joy on every conceivable level.

    I’m a bit of a philistine who doesn’t enjoy the Hinchcliffe era that much, though. I like Who to be weird and/or amusing, and the gothic horror thing didn’t really do either. Not a fan of Who treading too closely on traditional horror stories. The Brain of Morbius is way too Frankensteiny for my taste, for example. I watch it for something new and surprising, not horror tropes rehashed with a sci-fi explanation. I love the Graham Williams era, it’s up there with Pertwee & UNIT and McCoy’s last series as far as my favourite classic Who goes.

    New series, if it’s not got Donna, Amy & Rory or Bill in it, there’s more chance I’ll dislike it than like it. There are episodes here and there that I like, but the earlier RTD stuff was way too broad for my taste, and the Capaldi & Clara era stuff was mostly conceptually interesting but really blandly portrayed. Probably doesn’t help that Jenna Coleman only has two expressions and her character was appallingly underwritten. I don’t hate her QUITE as much as a lot of fans do, but she’s certainly in my top 10 least favourite companions of the whole show.

    #226063

    Ben Saunders

    Oh hang on, it might have been Anthony Read who stayed up all weekend writing a script with Douglas Adams. Or it was Read and Williams, on Invasion of Time. Fuck. All those behind-the-scenes DVD interviews sort of blend into one, really.

    Your Who opinions interest me, Captain No-Name, because I think Paradise Towers and Kinda are mediocre, but I like Delta and the Bannermen. I think McCoy is overrated by die-hards. At least we can agree Time and the Rani is shite.

    Paradise Towers feels like something I should enjoy, but there’s something… off… about it. The performance of that zombie dude doesn’t help, certainly. I love Tegan. And Rory!

    The Brain of Morbius is possibly the worst example of the Hinchcliffe era. It’s an abortion of a script that is a massive compromise between two visions which no one was happy with. Some of the “re-tread of a Hammer Horror” Who is good, Morbius isn’t. Anything written by Robert Holmes that isn’t Morbius or The Power of Kroll is worth your time, I’d say.

    I agree with RTD being broad and not to taste, but have to defend Jenna Coleman. She was the companion for a -very- long time, and was dire in Series 7, and should have left in that one episode, but I really, really like her. “Appallingly underwritten” only applies to Series 7, I have to say, rather adamantly.

    #226064

    Ben Saunders

    Also my impressions going into Destiny of the Daleks many years ago was “Douglas Adams basically wrote this.” It certainly feels like it, with the humour. But I don’t know where I got that idea from.

    #226068

    Hamish

    > Tom Baker is generally considered the best, yes. But in part this is simply because he did more years than the other Doctors, so he worked his way into the public consciousness.

    Tom Baker also had the benefit of being the best known Doctor in America as he was the most played on PBS back in the day.

    #226069

    Hamish

    The Simpsons would never have had a John Pertwee or Peter Davison cameo, for example:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB8e7jOFOjI

    #226071

    Lily

    I’ve only seen a few bits and bobs of classic Who and would love to watch more but don’t really know how to go about it. Start with the first old guy? Tom Baker? Any of the others? It’s a rather overwhelming amount of material.

    The other issue is actually getting hold if it, I’m too poor to buy DVDs and too paranoid to torrent. How do you actually get to see all this without breaking the bank?

    #226072

    Captain No-Name

    I’m a bit of a philistine who doesn’t enjoy the Hinchcliffe era that much, though.

    Ooh bucking the trend there, International Debris. I love a controversial viewpoint. Myself, I can’t help but fall in line when it comes to the Hinchcliffe era, it’s great. I’m also a big fan of weird and amusing though (Carnival of Monsters, Happiness Patrol etc.)

    my impressions going into Destiny of the Daleks many years ago was “Douglas Adams basically wrote this.”

    That has always been my impression too. I can’t remember if I’m right but I have a vague memory that Douglas Adams said Terry Nation handed in 5 pages of running down corridors and a couple of explosions, and Douglas Adams padded it out. He was comically exaggerating, but perhaps not by much.

    Oh hang on, it might have been Anthony Read

    This, from Wikipedia: “Fisher was… unable to perform the rewrites. This meant that script editor Douglas Adams, aided by Graham Williams, had to perform a complete rewrite of the story over the course of a weekend. According to Adams, Graham Williams ‘took me back to his place, locked me in his study and hosed me down with whisky and black coffee for a few days, and there was the script.'”

    Tom Baker also had the benefit of being the best known Doctor in America as he was the most played on PBS back in the day.

    That’s right, but Tom had the most amount of colour DW episodes for PBS to repeat. Hence a greater opportunity to work his way into public consciousness, hence the Simpsons cameo. Although I confess I wasn’t really thinking about America.

    I’m too poor to buy DVDs and too paranoid to torrent. How do you actually get to see all this without breaking the bank?

    Ah Lily you have my utmost sympathy. This makes me realise how lucky I was seeing loads of Classic Who on UKGold in the 90s, and hoovering up VHS tapes in the early 2000s when they were discounted (I bought City of Death for about 99p circa 2003).

    Comments like yours really make me wish the BBC had the money and resources for a subscription-based Netflix-style streaming archive with ALL of Classic Who on. Imagine that, if you could pay £20 and have a month to binge on old BBC content. I’d get a year’s membership definitely. But I totally understand it’s not a realistic notion, sadly.

    So Lily, I guess your best option is cherry-picking a few classic DVDs which you can get cheap on e-bay. As for which ones, I’d say personal taste varies widely…

    #226073

    Captain No-Name

    Your Who opinions interest me, Captain No-Name, because I think Paradise Towers and Kinda are mediocre, but I like Delta and the Bannermen. I think McCoy is overrated by die-hards. At least we can agree Time and the Rani is shite.

    This may well be an age thing, but for many years whenever I met a Doctor Who fan (which was rare) they would always get onto the topic of how shit the McCoy era allegedly was. Repeating that Bonnie Langford was an embarrassment and saying Sylvester McCoy couldn’t act. Occasionally, in amongst the incoherent ranting I would hear the odd recognisable phrase… “Bertie Bassett”… “care bears on horseback”… “danglng off a cliff!”

    I’ve never been very heavily involved in Doctor Who fandom, and these days it is a considerably broader church than it was when I was a lad. But I’m pleased to hear that someone is sticking up for McCoy nowadays, even if it is to the point where you are finding him “overrated.”

    Paradise Towers feels like something I should enjoy, but there’s something… off… about it. The performance of that zombie dude doesn’t help, certainly. I love Tegan. And Rory!

    There is *definitely* something off about Paradise Towers. And I think that is what obstructs so many people from enjoying it. But fortunately for me I have little difficulty squinting through its shortcomings. Also, even with its stagey execution, there is something I just love about the bonkers-ness of doing this re-telling of High Rise with theatrical feral punk children, and bloody CANNIBAL GRANNIES… It helps that I have a fascination with Brutalist architecture and the failed utopian idealism of post-war redevelopment schemes.

    Yes, I wish the cleaning robots had brushes and sponges and things so they actually looked like cleaning robots; and yes the Kangs are a bit too much like earnest Peter Pans, but… I just can’t help loving it.

    It amuses me how people always blanche at Richard Briers’ zombie performance. It’s over the top and silly, but I remember mimicking it when I was about 7 years old, and for me it’s all part of the delirious high camp grotesquerie of the piece.

    Everybody loves Tegan. It’s an opinion I have heard loads. I wish I did, but I just can’t see it. I would’ve turfed her out of the TARDIS at the first available opportunity.

    #226074

    Dave

    On the subject of McCoy, if you’re looking for classic stories to check out, I’m a fan of Remembrance of the Daleks.

    #226075

    Captain No-Name

    Listen to Dave. He speaks wisely.

    Ah, why the hell don’t the BBC repeat old classic episodes on BBC4? I know they randomly repeated one (was it Hand of Fear?) a few years back…

    If I was in charge, this Christmas BBC4 would be showing both the new version of Shada AND all 4 episodes of The Tenth Planet (with a mini documentary to explain why the hell Part 4 is animated).

    I can’t help thinking a number of viewers will be wanting to see The Tenth Planet as a result of Twice Upon A Time…

    #226076

    Hamish

    > That’s right, but Tom had the most amount of colour DW episodes for PBS to repeat. Hence a greater opportunity to work his way into public consciousness, hence the Simpsons cameo. Although I confess I wasn’t really thinking about America.

    Oh, no doubt his long tenure helps a great deal, I am just throwing his prominence on this side of the pond out there as another supporting reason for his fame.

    > So Lily, I guess your best option is cherry-picking a few classic DVDs which you can get cheap on e-bay. As for which ones, I’d say personal taste varies widely…

    My knowledge of Classic Who comes mostly from sporadic VHS and DVD recordings I have gotten out of public libraries. We have a system here in Alberta that links all of the small community libraries together outside of Edmonton and Calgary, and you can order all kinds of things online and have them delivered to your local branch.

    It was the same thing with Red Dwarf for me before I got my own DVDs, alongside a few old PBS recordings my mother made back when she lived in Coquitlam and Calgary closer to the 49th (along with some old Doctor Who) and a couple of Byte tapes of Series IV and VI my dad bought while working in British Columbia.

    The upside of which is that Series II ended up being the last classic Dwarf series I ended up watching because my mother’s PBS recording of it got damaged, and I have somehow ended up watching a whole lot more Syvester McCoy than any other doctor outside of maybe Patrick Troughton.

    #226077

    GlenTokyo

    Galifrey & Titan amirite

    #226078

    Captain No-Name

    Not sure what you’re talking about GlenTokyo. Something to do with Red Dwarf? With the vampire dude and the bloke with an R on his forehead.

    Never seen it, I heard it was shit.

    #226079

    bloodteller

    go down to CeX, they usually have a load of Classic Dr. Who DVDs there, and they’re often really cheap.

    #226083

    Dave

    MusicMagpie often have them for little more than a quid.

    #226089

    Ben Saunders

    Lily, there is a Russian Facebook-type website which hosts every single Classic Who DVD and all its extras for streaming, but I think it’s a bit illegal and don’t want to link to it in case I get banned. They’re also on various other streaming sites in horrendously lower quality.
    As far as what episode to begin with, maybe Ark in Space, the first good Tom Baker. Or City of Death, or Pyramids of Mars. Do not start with Caves of Androzani – it’s one of the greatest single Doctor Who stories ever, but it is the final episode of Peter Davison’s tenure, and works so well because it is his final episode and you understand his character and his relationship with his companion by that point.

    It could well be an age thing, Captain No-Name. To me it feels like there is a relatively small but VERY vocal minority of Who fans who rate Sylvester McCoy higher than God, so much so that any criticism of him is immediately shut down. And any fanatic group like that end up doing more damage than good for what they’re trying to support, honestly. Also I’ve definitely met a couple of Tegan deniers, and honestly I get it – like Clara, she overstayed her welcome (in their eyes not mine) and didn’t get a lot of development initially. That was a problem with Davison’s companions as a whole – there were too many of them and therefore not enough time to give them any real meaningful development.

    Thank you for clarifying that I was right about Williams and Adam’s Wild Weekend

    #226090

    Ben Saunders

    I actually started with Tomb of the Cybermen, The Time Warrior and Genesis of the Daleks, which are good but perhaps a bit slow for somebody jus starting out. A lot of Classic Who is pretty lethargically paced.

    #226091

    bloodteller

    just found some classic Doctor Who DVDs in my shelf (they came free with The Sun a couple of years ago), including Earthshock, Spearhead From Space, Robots of Death and Rose. any of these worth a watch?

    #226093

    Lily

    Thank you for the ideas gentlemen. It looks like the classic ones are pricier than new who at about a fiver each, which is still too much for my pockets.

    Hamish has come up trumps though – Norfolk library has a healthy collection of DVDs that I can get sent to my little bit of no-where. They appear to be mainly the Tom Baker years, so I guess I’ll start with him first.

    #226094

    Ben Saunders

    Earthshock – decent. strong, even
    Spearhead – brilliant, maybe a bit slow, Pertwee’s first
    Robots of Death – considered a classic, it is quite good if i remember rightly
    Rose – ehhhhhhh it’s alright, first ever episode of New Who

    #226095

    Ben Saunders

    I actually think Earthshock is fantastic but it’s hard to separate the “I watched it when I was 10” from the “It is genuinely good”. Interesting that I forgot Nyssa and Tegan were even in it until I watched it again recently, lol.

    Rose is actually quite fun I think but it’s definitely not the strongest episode, and has some dodgy cgi

    #226096

    Ben Saunders

    Apologies for the unprecedented triple post, but Rose is quite deliberately a retread of Spearhead, so watch Spearhead first, imo

    #226100

    Captain No-Name

    Norfolk library has a healthy collection of DVDs that I can get sent to my little bit of no-where. They appear to be mainly the Tom Baker years, so I guess I’ll start with him first.

    Ah this makes me happy. Good old libraries. Good thinking Hamish.

    We might argue about the various merits of one story over another, but it’s hard to deny that Tom Baker, the vast majority of the time, just brings a special something to the role that is utterly watchable.

    Hope you enjoy, Lily.

    #226102

    International Debris

    McCoy’s era is a mixed bag, the production values are almost uniformly appalling, Keff McCulloch sucks the life out of every episode he and his fucking Casio keyboard score, Bonnie Langford is difficult going, and McCoy himself plays it way too broadly in his early stories. There are plenty of great ideas in season 24 – I bloody love Paradise Towers on paper, shame the final result is a 3.45PM CBBC slot show in performance and production; Delta and the Bannerman would work really well if it was written and played to give a shit about Delta and her baby, but frankly the characterisation makes Cat’s portrayal in VIII seem deep. Once the Cartmel stuff comes in, though, I think the show gets better, and I do rate the four stories in the final year as one of the strongest runs in the whole show (along with seasons 6, 7 and 12), despite – again – the CBBC production values. It’s always been a tragedy that the show was really discovering its strength again just as it was cancelled. I would have loved at least one more year of McCoy, although there’s always the possibility they would have killed off the character for good at the end.

    Ooh bucking the trend there, International Debris. I love a controversial viewpoint. Myself, I can’t help but fall in line when it comes to the Hinchcliffe era, it’s great.

    I had no idea how popular it was when I did my first Who marathon, but I remember my enthusiasm for the show suddenly dropped dramatically at the start of Hinchcliff’s second series and didn’t come back again until midway through Williams’s first. The era has grown on me – I love The Seeds of Doom and really like The Robots of Death now, for example – but it’s still a period with a lot of stories I have no desire to revisit at all.

    I’m currently reading all the novels and novelisations in internal chronological order. Interestingly enough, I’m currently on the PDA novel Drift now, which is the last one to fall within the Hinchcliffe era, with Horror of Fang Rock up next. The books are a mixed bag, but some absolute belters are turning up.

    #226104

    Ben Saunders

    I liked Delta and the Bannermen, but thought Battlefield was dull (minus any time the Brig was on screen) and Ghost Light was utterly incomprehensible. Apart from that, yeah.

    Greatest Show in the Galaxy episode four is also probably the worst fucking thing I have ever seen. Such a good start, then that. Jesus.

    #226105

    Captain No-Name

    Yeah Paradise Towers works best if you start from the idea it’s MEANT for the 3.45PM CBBC slot and the producer’s said “look, we’re supposed to be making 4 episodes of Grange Hill, but fuck it, I want to film Junior JG Ballard with cannibal grannies and a zombie caretaker and a killer robot in the swimming pool instead.”

    I’d totally watch that after school.

    I remember my enthusiasm for the show suddenly dropped dramatically at the start of Hinchcliff’s second series

    But isn’t that… Terror of the Zygons? One of my all time favourite stories. I can’t imagine not loving that.

    I will defend the McCoy era against many of its criticisms, but I concede most of the incidental music is irredeemable. It’s testament to quite how good Remembrance of the Daleks is in almost every single regard that it is somehow not diminished by its shit score.

    I’m currently reading all the novels and novelisations in internal chronological order.

    Wow you’ve got some stamina. There are so many of those books. SO MANY BOOKS.

    I tried to read all the Virgin NAs but I wasn’t man enough. Got as far as First Frontier and felt exhausted. There is quality in those books, but blimey sometimes it’s like panning for gold.

    #226106

    Ben Saunders

    That’s how I felt watching The Chase (the old Dalek serial)

    I went and watched it because I wanted something lighthearted, quirky and fun, and it was great, but if I was tuning into Doctor Who for a serious emotional story and got fucking stuttering socially anxious Daleks and some spiv with a bad New Yoik accent it’d probably make me really angry.

    #226107

    Captain No-Name

    To be fair, if you were tuning into Doctor Who for a serious emotional story then the year probably wasn’t 1965.

    #226111

    Hamish

    > Hamish has come up trumps though – Norfolk library has a healthy collection of DVDs that I can get sent to my little bit of no-where. They appear to be mainly the Tom Baker years, so I guess I’ll start with him first.

    You’re going to go with one of my plans? Are you nuts? What happens if we all get killed, I’ll never hear the last of it!

    > I actually think Earthshock is fantastic but it’s hard to separate the “I watched it when I was 10” from the “It is genuinely good”. I

    Earthshock was by far my least favourite Classic Who serial from The Doctors Revisited set I watched a few years back. If you want to talk about villains undermining their own threat by being too zany you just have to look at the Cyberman in Earthshock, especially when compared to the cold emotionless beings in The Tomb of the Cybermen, which was the story they chose for Patrick Throughton’s era.

    #226112

    Hamish

    Come to think of it, I actually went to the trouble of ranking all of the classic Doctors based solely on their chosen serials from The Doctors Revisited set while I was watching as a mental experiment, just to see what order I would come up with:

    1. Tom Baker
    Pyramids of Mars

    2. Jon Pertwee
    Spearhead from Space

    3. Patrick Troughton
    Tomb of the Cyberman

    4. Sylvester Mcoy
    Remembrance of the Daleks

    5. Colin Baker
    Vengence on Varos

    6. William Hartnell
    The Aztecs

    7. Peter Davison
    Earthshock

    That actually sits about right with me, plus or minus a few placements.

    #226129

    Ben Saunders

    I guess. That ending though.

    Imagine being kid in the 80s only having heard of the Cybermen or seen pictures in a magazine, these legendary enemies of the Doctor, and then witnessing that cliffhanger to episode one after 25 minutes of buildup and mystery. Someone on the DVD said they host about creamed themselves. Also one of the first times they showed clips from old Doctors in an episode, if not the first time

    #226130

    bloodteller

    is Rememberance of The Daleks the one with Dursley McLinden in? i think i remember seeing that a while ago and being all excited because i liked Dursley McLinden when he was in Just Ask for Diamond, which was quite a good film.

    dunno if he was any good in Doctor Who though, i can’t remember

    #226131

    International Debris

    Earthshock is my favourite colour era classic Cybermen story, but that’s about all I can say for it. To be honest, the Capaldi two-parter is the only colour Cybermen story I’ve genuinely liked. I love all the ’60s ones, but after that I don’t think they’ve ever been written particularly well. Silver Nemesis is obviously a low point.

    But isn’t that… Terror of the Zygons? One of my all time favourite stories. I can’t imagine not loving that.

    I always think of that as being part of season 12, what with it being filmed for it and held over! Whoops.

    Wow you’ve got some stamina. There are so many of those books. SO MANY BOOKS.

    I tried to read all the Virgin NAs but I wasn’t man enough. Got as far as First Frontier and felt exhausted. There is quality in those books, but blimey sometimes it’s like panning for gold.

    Throwing in the few companion spinoffs, the Telos novellas and Short Trips/Decalogs, running up through the new series adventures as well, there are 581. I’ve thankfully sourced most of them via the internet, as there’s no way I have the cash or space to buy the lot, but I’ll be picking up my favourites once I’ve finished in a year or so.

    The novelisations are short and, if Terrance Dicks is writing them (as he usually is), simple, so they only take an hour or so. The MAs and PDAs I can slip through in an evening if they’re good, but some slower ones have actually taken me weeks. I’m halfway through Tom at the minute, and almost all his new stories have been terrible, sadly. Pertwee’s were almost uniformly superb too, which has made this even more of a let down. I’m well over halfway to the end of season 26, though, and it’s the NAs and EDAs that I’m looking forward to the most, as even though I’m sure a lot of them are terrible, I love the idea of it all going off into entirely new directions with whole plot arcs and such, rather than fitting in between existing stories.

    #226132

    Captain No-Name

    Just Googled Dursley McLinden because the name didn’t ring a bell (turns out he played Mike in Remembrance) and learnt that he died of AIDS in 1995 when he was just 30. How incredibly sad.

    #226133

    Captain No-Name

    International Debris – You can read a Target novel in an hour!? And a PDA novel in a single evening!?

    My brain and eyes just couldn’t do that.

    I am reminded of that moment in “Rose” when the Doctor reads The Lovely Bones.

    (“sad ending…”)

    #226134

    International Debris

    Well, maybe about 80 minutes for your average Target. My Kindle app normally has my PDA time at around just over four hours. I’ve never compared reading times before, but I’ve always read a lot pretty much since I learned to read, so maybe I’m quite fast. I’ve read 97 Who books so far this year!

    Thankfully my list includes a fair few of the new series ‘quick reads’ books, which I reckon are probably 45 minuters for me.

    #226135

    Ben Saunders

    >Earthshock is my favourite colour era classic Cybermen story

    Talk about damning with faint praise.

    The Capaldi two-parter was much more about the Masters and Bill, but I thought they used the Cybermen very well, and particularly enjoyed the body horror of the scarecrows and the transformation. Taking them back to their roots, there. The original Mondas costumes did look really, really bad though, I have to say. I liked the idea of using the original design, but… maybe they should have gone back to 576i black and white, as well.

    There were supposed to be other Cyberman designs in that episode too (Tomb, Invasion, Earthshock) but, of course, there was no money for that, as usual. They would have been shown off as the Cybermen evolved more and more, rather than going straight from Tenth Planet to Nightmare in Silver.

    #226136

    Captain No-Name

    Forgive me everyone but, International Debris – news of your quest has thrown up all sorts of questions in my mind. So…

    1. Where did you start? Time and Relative?

    2. Are you doing Engines of War? If so, presumably it’s between The Gallifrey Chronicles and the forthcoming Rose novelisation? (That’ll be a very weird 3 book sequence!)

    3. Where are you placing the 7th Doctor PDAs? Prior to the Virgin NAs, due to the ending of Loving the Alien? Confusingly I seem to recall there is a viewpoint that one of PDAs (Algebra of Ice?) takes place somewhere DURING the early NAs…

    4. Have you been stumped as to where any of them belong? The Infinity Doctors for example?

    5. What will you do if they release further novels (like The Drosten’s Curse for example) which are set at a point you’ve already overtaken? Just ignore them?

    6. Where on Earth is the Dying Days going?

    7. It’s weird that (in your marathon) Resurrection and Revelation of the Daleks just won’t happen, due to never having been novelised, isn’t it?

    8. Finally – 97 Who books in a year? And it hasn’t sent you insane?

    #226139

    Ben Saunders

    There’s someone on /tv/ lovingly known as “chronological anon” who is making it his mission to experience every single piece of official Doctor Who content, in in-universe chronological order. He’s up to Paul McGann, I think.

    He, is insane.

    3355 Doctor Who stories are listed on this website: http://eyespider.org.uk/drwho/compleat.html

    Just thinking about the sheer number of television stories and audios alone gives me anxiety.

    #226140

    bloodteller

    where does Dimensions In Time fit in?

    #226141

    Captain No-Name

    Well, between the DWM comic strip “Three Steps to the Left” and the Shorty Trip “Storm in a Tikka.”

    Obviously.

    Ahem.

    (This is simultaneously terrifying and impressive, like those Lance Parkin History books)

    #226142

    Ben Saunders

    They also list A Fix With Sontarans, which features a first appearance by good old Jimmy Saville and lacks a fourth wall, which is… questionable at best.

    #226143

    Ben Saunders

    Guest appearance*

    #226166

    International Debris

    > 1. Where did you start? Time and Relative?

    Frayed. Time and Relative second.

    > 2. Are you doing Engines of War? If so, presumably it’s between The Gallifrey Chronicles and the forthcoming Rose novelisation? (That’ll be a very weird 3 book sequence!)

    Yes, and yes!

    > 3. Where are you placing the 7th Doctor PDAs? Prior to the Virgin NAs, due to the ending of Loving the Alien? Confusingly I seem to recall there is a viewpoint that one of PDAs (Algebra of Ice?) takes place somewhere DURING the early NAs…

    I can’t for the life of me remember which website I was using, but one actually has them all ordered into ‘seasons’. There are a few sites which have chronologies, and I’ve tried to piece them all together in an order that works. I’m trusting these to be right, but if they’re not then I’ll just have to deal.

    > 4. Have you been stumped as to where any of them belong? The Infinity Doctors for example?

    I’ve got a short section for other/unknown Doctor at the end of it, featuring that, Scream of the Shalka and The Dalek Factor.

    > 5. What will you do if they release further novels (like The Drosten’s Curse for example) which are set at a point you’ve already overtaken? Just ignore them?

    The Krikkitmen will be the first of these, and I’ll just go back to it once I’ve finished. Not the most satisfying way of doing it (I’m terrified they’ll start novelisation ALL the new stories, which will be bloody annoying – I’ll probably end up doing a whole new-era marathon one day in the future if that happens).

    > 6. Where on Earth is the Dying Days going?

    I have it between The Eight Doctors and Rip Tide. I don’t know if that’ll work but we’ll see!

    > 7. It’s weird that (in your marathon) Resurrection and Revelation of the Daleks just won’t happen, due to never having been novelised, isn’t it?

    I have a couple of unofficial novelisations downloaded.

    > 8. Finally – 97 Who books in a year? And it hasn’t sent you insane?

    Nope, I’m really bloody enjoying it!

    #226167

    International Debris

    I kind of wish I’d started a blog about it actually, but now I’m about 160 books in it seems a bit late to start one. The closest I’ve come is making remarks on each book in the Old Doctor Who thread on cookdandbombd.

    #226183

    Katydid

    I’m a bit late to the bit about Douglas Adams, but my two cents on that as talented he is as a comedy writer, it’s kind of obvious that all his best work is carried by the strength of the humor and never by the storytelling. From a plot perspective, the entire Hitch-Hiker’s series is really just a series of absurdly improbable coincidences happening in succession. The plot device specifically written in to cause improbable coincidences to happen isn’t even responsible for the majority of them past the first series / book. The absurdist storytelling really hurts the drama of the later books that go for a darker tone.

    Would I be correct in assuming Adams’ work on Dr. Who suffers from that as well?

    #226184

    Captain No-Name

    From a plot perspective, the entire Hitch-Hiker’s series is really just a series of absurdly improbable coincidences happening in succession.

    Yes.

    I am a big fan of Douglas Adams. I love his work. Yet strangely, I would say 90% of my enjoyment derives from a peculiar and unplaceable quality which imbues his work. A “Douglas Adams-ness” which I greatly enjoy. It almost feels like being in the company of a friend, whose presence I especially enjoy. He really makes me laugh, and I enjoy the way he fizzes with ideas.

    If I set this aside and analyse his work dispassionately, I would say his storytelling is undisciplined, it is chaotically structured and unpolished; his characters are 2-Dimensional; and he hurtles through ideas, veering from one to the next, often without developing them or connecting them in a dramatically satisfying way.

    In other words, most of the criticisms I hear of Douglas Adams are, I would say, fair. And yet that doesn’t diminish my enjoyment.

    Further up the thread, Ben mentioned that “Destiny of the Daleks” feels a lot like a Douglas Adams script, despite having Terry Nation’s name on it. I completely agree. It has a big dose of Douglas thanks to him being the script editor, and it is somehow imbued with “Douglas Adams-ness” in a way that a similar Terry Nation story like “Death to the Daleks” just isn’t.

    When Douglas Adams wrote his first solo Doctor Who script (The Pirate Planet) there is evidence that he actually put a hell of a lot of thought into building its world, and exploring all of its concepts, and writing and rewriting it to hone its structure. There is a very interesting appendix to James Goss’s recent novelisation of the Pirate Planet which details Douglas’s intensive early drafts and revisions.

    But when, the following year, he wrote the much-celebrated City of Death, he was forced to do so at breakneck speed (as we discussed further up the thread, he had a delirious coffee and alcohol-fuelled weekend in which to write 4 scripts) and what you end up with is a story with a really lovely Douglas Adamsy feel, but which is technically something of an artistic explosion.

    It’s his most celebrated Doctor Who work, beloved of many fans like International Debris. And it is very good, but…

    I’ve always had difficulty, for example, with the concept of how a character can be splintered through time (an idea reused by Moffat to similarly perplexing effect with Clara Oswald). And quite what the hell is going on with that guy doing a portrait of Romana with a cracked clock face I’m not sure.

    These are just a couple of examples of arresting, vivid ideas, which I would argue haven’t been entirely satisfyingly engineered into the storytelling. At least from my subjective perspective.

    So, to answer your question (kind of) I’d say that Douglas Adams’s Doctor Who BENEFITS from having that mysterious quality of Douglas Adams-ness, but that this necessarily brings with it some of the (entirely legitimate) criticisms to which you have alluded.

    For example, I gather Douglas Adams wrote the final scenes of The Armageddon Factor, and that is a catastrophic let-down because so much hinges on it providing narrative satisfaction for the Key to Time story arc. And yet here Douglas doesn’t seem to bother with narrative satisfaction. Instead of giving us a good crescendo, he instead writes the Doctor making the philosophical argument that his epic quest (which we’ve been following all season) was fundamentally flawed from the beginning, and thus he resets the status quo, by scattering the Key to Time back through the cosmos, undoing a season-long quest, rendering the whole exercise pointless!

    That’s my attempt to summarise things anyway.

    As a post-script I would say that paradoxically Douglas Adams didn’t always manage to harness his own Douglas Adams-ness. I found Mostly Harmless to be almost completely devoid of his charm (as was, incidentally, that regrettable posthumous Hitch-hiker movie).

    #226185

    Captain No-Name

    International Debris – I’m in awe of your quest, and your supernatural speed-reading powers. Although maybe if you had been blogging along the way you wouldn’t have made it to 97 books this year!

    #226187

    Warbodog

    The first Dirk Gently book is probably the story most randomly clogged with whatever was on Douglas Adams’ mind at the time. It probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but he mashes it all together so masterfully in the end that it feels like it does. You just need the patience to wait half a book while all the seemingly incompatible playing pieces are moved into place, and before the main character even shows up.

    Clearly feeling frustrated and stifled by Hitchhiker’s (I still like the painfully-squeezed fourth book a lot), Dirk Gently reads like the author’s having a massively indulgent, messy and explosive wank. I re-read Adams’ books this year for the first time since my teens, and Dirk Gently 1 came out as my surprise favourite. Second one was just okay. Not watched (either of) the series.

    (DGHDA > THHGttG > TRatEotU > SLaTfatF > LCtS > LtUaE > TLDTTotS > TSoD > TMoL > MH).

    ((CoD > TPP > S)).

    #226188

    Warbodog

    (((Don’t really have an opinion on the series XII flipside cover))).

    #226190

    Ben Saunders

    It’s best just to pretend Series Seven of New Who just didn’t happen, honestly.

    Yes, there is fun Adams-ness to a lot of his work, but honestly it does not work for Doctor Who. Doctor Who needs to be taken seriously, as any of the best actors who have been in it will tell you. Because it’s so out there, so silly and unbelievable by default, you have to play it with the utmost sincerity so that the audience will believe in the story. Adams seems incapable of taking anything seriously for any extended period of time, although he does have his good moments of seriousness, like when the Doctor confronts the pirate Captain about his plans.

    But then you have the gratuitous walking the plank jokes, the parrot, all that silly shite. City of Death is good because you get to look at Paris a lot, Tom Baker and Lalla Ward have incredibly chemistry, and there is loads of brilliant dialogue – not because of the plot.

    It is worth pointing out that Tom and Lalla did a lot of uncredited rewriting on the dialogue of City of Death, and so not only are you getting Adams personality shining through, but Baker’s too.

    I will say again that Tom Baker and Douglas Adams works incredibly well, but not for Doctor who

    #226191

    Katydid

    The first Dirk Gently book is probably the story most randomly clogged with whatever was on Douglas Adams’ mind at the time.

    That sounds like my writing ten years ago.

    You just need the patience to wait half a book while all the seemingly incompatible playing pieces are moved into place

    THAT sounds like my writing ten years ago.

    reads like the author’s having a massively indulgent, messy and explosive wank

    Have you been going through my archives?!

    #226195

    flanl3

    Personally, I was so annoyed by both the main cover and the lack of a flipside on the US release that I just still haven’t bothered to get a DVD.

    #226201

    International Debris

    Of particular interest about the first Dirk Gently novel is it’s one of the many versions of the Who story Shada that you can now enjoy. At least 50% of the plot is the same, what with Shada being unfinished at the time (later released on video with Tom Baker’s narration and Keff McCulloch’s Casio Corner providing distraction, then released as an Eighth Doctor audio and animated webcast, then released as novelisation completed by Gareth Roberts, then released as a part-animated DVD). For the classic lost Who story, it has more adaptations and versions than any other.

    #226202

    Just Past Pluto

    Still baffles me why they didn’t give Capaldi a two-parter Valeyard story with him playing both parts. It would’ve bloody glorious.

    #226203

    Ben Paddon

    Personally, I was so annoyed by both the main cover and the lack of a flipside on the US release that I just still haven’t bothered to get a DVD.

    My Red Dwarf DVD collection started while I was still living in the UK so I tend to import anyway, but the lack of a reversible cover on the Blurays leaves me feeling mildly irked.

    #226207

    Captain No-Name

    Still baffles me why they didn’t give Capaldi a two-parter Valeyard story with him playing both parts. It would’ve bloody glorious.

    Two problems:

    1. If you cast Peter Capaldi as “the dark side” of the Doctor, where his morality is brought into question, and he’s a bit of a cold bastard… it would basically be Series 8.

    2. The Valeyard was described as deriving from between the Doctor’s 12th and final incarnation. And Moffat ballsed up the numbering of the Doctors. From what I remember of the trainwreck that was Time of the Doctor, it was stated that Matt Smith was playing the 13th and final Doctor.

    Apparently David Tennant counts as two Doctors, because at the end of Series 4 he bled regenerative energy into a hand and essentially made a human clone of himself, thereby using up an incarnation. I absolutely hate this reading of that scene, and think it unnecessarily complicates things.

    Combined with the fact John Hurt played an extra Doctor in between McGann and Eccleston, that means the Valeyard would hail from between Tennant (the Eleventh/Twelfth Doctor) and Matt Smith (the 13th Doctor).

    I know what you’re thinking: “between the 12th and final” doesn’t necessarily mean “between the 12th and 13th”… alas, Time of the Doctor makes a great show of the fact that Matt Smith is the final Doctor. His life is only sustained because the Time Lords magically zap him a whole new cycle of regenerations, essentially re-starting his life.

    Peter Capaldi is playing the first Doctor of a new cycle. (The 14th Doctor in-Universe; but only the 12th Doctor if you are counting actors who have played the lead on BBC TV).

    Thus Jodie will be the 13th (in real life) and the 15th (in-Universe) Doctor.

    Urgh, I despise how complicated Moffat has made things.

    #226216

    Dave

    The Doctor’s final regeneration clearly hasn’t happened yet, though. So it’s not complicated at all, and the original description offers a perfectly reasonable get-out.

    #226217

    International Debris

    I don’t have a problem with the hand using up a regeneration (it did make an entirely new Doctor, after all), and I do love Hurt’s War Doctor. But I agree that the numbering became a pain in the arse.

    That said, with the media being down on the show recently, with exaggerated stories of low viewing figures and ratings, I’d actually be quite worried if Capaldi was intended to be the ‘final’ Doctor of his first lot of regenerations. It’d be an easy way to kill the show off.

    As for ’12th and final’, if the Valeyard existed after the 12th Doctor, he wouldn’t have known another regeneration cycle was coming, so he would really think he was about to enter his final incarnation. So, given the new numbering, he could very easily be something that came about due to the ‘meta-crisis’ that happened in Journey’s End. That’s my head-canon, anyway.

    #226218

    Ben Saunders

    For the common man, Capaldi is still the 12th Doctor, Whittaker is still the 13th, and they are referenced as such in the show, none of it really matters unless you are actually, currently watching Time of the Doctor.

    Any episode that addressed the regen limit was going to have some amount of asspulling in it, so I’m glad he did away with it in a Christmas special honestly. TotD has some really nice moments in it (the cracker scene later mirrored in Last Christmas) but overall it’s silly fluff like every Christmas special that isn’t A Christmas Carol.

    The real deal with the Valeyard is this – the Doctor forgot, the audience forgot, everybody forgot apart from some sweaty nerds on the internet who think bringing him back would be a good idea for some reason

    #226219

    International Debris

    Yeah, if even Moffat can’t find some absurdly convoluted way to fit The Valeyard in (other than a brief reference in Name of the Doctor), then it’s not coming back as a concept (especially given that Chibnall was outspoken about his opinions on Trial… back in the ’80s).

    There’s definitely a whole series there for Big Finish, though. He’s an offshoot of the meta-crisis regeneration, thinks he’s trying to reclaim a bunch of new regenerations for his future, then Clara or someone comes along in the last story and points out that he’s got a whole new cycle of regenerations left.

    everybody forgot apart from some sweaty nerds on the internet

    And that’s why we’re discussing him here.

    #226220

    Captain No-Name

    Anyway, all this talk of the Valeyard and general fanwankery reminds me of another question I have regarding your novel marathon, International Debris…

    If you’re doing unofficial novels like Resurrection/Revelation of the Daleks, does that mean you’re also doing Time’s Champion by Hinton and McKeon?

    If so, before or after Spiral Scratch?

    #226221

    Ben Saunders

    Big Finish did bring The Valeyard back the The Last Adventure, which is apparently good.

    There’s an interview with the Moff where he’s asked about the Rani and the Valeyard, and he pretty much says only sweaty nerds even know who they are so there’s no point in bringing them back because 80% of your audience will be like “who, sorry?”

    It’s like making Snoke Darth Plageuis and trying to pass it off as a huge twist – everybody who hasn’t seen or who has forgotten about the prequels won’t care.

    The valeyard is best left in that era of the show, and there’s no real need to bring the Rani back, but they probably could if they really, really wanted to

    #226222

    Ben Saunders

    “It would be like making Snoke…” *

    So you don’t think I’ve just spoiled something, I haven’t

    #226232

    International Debris

    If you’re doing unofficial novels like Resurrection/Revelation of the Daleks, does that mean you’re also doing Time’s Champion by Hinton and McKeon?

    I’m only doing those two unofficial ones because they’re based on official stories. If I started doing actual fanfiction then I’d never know where to draw the line.

    I wouldn’t mind if they brought the Rani back, although I’m not sure quite why some people are so into the idea, given that she only had two canonical stories, one of which is largely considered the worst story of the classic era.

    #226233

    Captain No-Name

    Makes total sense, International Debris.

    Apparently Gareth Roberts did start writing an official Revelation novelisation, but then Eric Saward got cold feet unfortunately.

    I think Revelation could make a magnificent novel. Imagine a good writer harnessing all that macabre black comedy in pitch-black prose; expanding the gruesome goings on at Tranquil Repose; giving new tragicomic inner monologues to the mourners or grief-stricken relatives.

    Instead of a straight-forward Target retelling, Revelation has the potential to have been something poetic – something morbidly philosophical, witty, poignant… And then a saucer full of Daleks blast their way in at the end!

    What a shame it never came to pass.

    #226234

    Captain No-Name

    Presumably the strange clamouring in certain quarters for the Rani to reappear has quietened down now that Michelle Gomez was so outstandingly good as the Master..?

    #226235

    International Debris

    I wonder if a novelisation of Revelation would end up with The Doctor actually being involved in the plot on some level, rather than simply wandering around.

    Did Saward ever explain why he didn’t want his Dalek stories novelised? Especially given that Earthshock was adapted.

    #226236

    cwickham

    Terry Nation was asking for too much money, basically (which for whatever reason wasn’t a problem with Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis).

    They could *probably* be done today, but they don’t have the sales advantage of Shada, City of Death and The Pirate Planet – namely that you can stick Douglas Adams’ name on the cover.

    #226238

    Captain No-Name

    Ha! D’you know what, I’m sure Gareth Roberts would have addressed the Doctor’s non-involvement in the plot. It seems like the kind of thing he would want to fix. The polish he gave to Shada definitely made it work better. I’ve no clue how he would have done it for Revelation, but I imagine it would have been via the fine tradition of Doctor Who novelisers deviating from what was seen on screen.

    I have never heard anything officially said about the abandoned Revelation novelisation. I just saw a couple of tweets where Roberts confirmed that he had started work on it, and that the project had been shelved at Saward’s behest.

    If I had to guess, this would be my theory: Saward was happy for Earthshock to be novelised by someone else way back in 1983 because he himself was busy as script editor on the show, and Target paid peanuts. I imagine nowadays the publisher pays a proper fee, plus he’s no long up to his eyeballs with script editing. But I bet the publisher wanted an author with a good recent track record to do the writing, and chose Roberts due to the quality of Shada. So maybe Saward initially said yes to the idea, but when they were hammering out the deal he realised he actually wanted to be the one to write it. Especially considering the money would otherwise be split between Saward, Roberts and the Terry Nation estate. Meaning less money for Saward as well as him being deprived of the satisfaction of novelising his own script. This is a complete and total guess though, don’t take my word for it; I might be miles off.

    #226239

    Captain No-Name

    Terry Nation was asking for too much money, basically (which for whatever reason wasn’t a problem with Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis).

    This would have been the reason Target didn’t do those books back in the 1980s, but Gareth Roberts has said it was Saward who halted the recent attempt to novelise Revelation.

    Nowadays the Terry Nation estate are quite happy for novelisations to feature daleks. We know for a fact that a novelisation of Day of the Doctor is forthcoming, written by Steven Moffat.

    Certainly nobody has a name that will help shift units to the extent that DOUGLAS ADAMS must improve sales. But I’m willing to bet a cover design with daleks on it (plus having “Daleks” in the title) would have a positive impact on sales. Especially as a load of old fans would buy it on the basis that it completes their Target library. I reckon you’d sell more copies of Revelation of the Daleks than you would, say, The Wheel of Ice or The Drosten’s Curse or any of those other original novels they’ve printed recently.

    #226240

    Ben Saunders

    Maybe Saward doesn’t want Resurrection of the Daleks novelised because it’s shit.

    #226241

    Ben Saunders

    He did say he tried to put too much into it on the dvd – the subplot about the daleks wanting to make a clone of the doctor so as to invade gallifrey, or something, for one.

    #226242

    Captain No-Name

    I bet Resurrection wasn’t even mooted (except by Target in the 80s).

    #226243

    International Debris

    What’s Resurrection without Rodney Bewes, anyway?

    #226247

    Lily

    >Apparently David Tennant counts as two Doctors, because at the end of Series 4 he bled regenerative energy into a hand and essentially made a human clone of himself, thereby using up an incarnation. I absolutely hate this reading of that scene, and think it unnecessarily complicates things.

    I thought that was a full regeneration, just that he kept the same face. 11 said he was having ‘vanity issues at the time’.

    #226248

    cwickham

    I like the decision to make The Stolen Earth count as a regeneration, because it really bugged me at the time that the Doctor could use the regenerative energy then stop before it actually counted as a regeneration.

    Plus, Moffat wanted to deal with the regeneration limit, and once he’d retroactively added John Hurt he realised he was up to 12… so it was either not have The Stolen Earth count and deal with it when Capaldi regenerated, or have TSE count and deal with it now, when the Time Lords have just returned and there’s a perfect opportunity to give him a new regenerative cycle.

    #226249

    Ben Paddon

    We know for a fact that a novelisation of Day of the Doctor is forthcoming, written by Steven Moffat.

    Do we? I can’t find anything about it online.

    #226250

    Ben Paddon

    Huh, you’re right.

    Though it’s interesting to note that Penguin AU have taken the page down listing the books.

    #226251

    Captain No-Name

    As far as I’m concerned, the telltale sign of a regeneration is that the Doctor suddenly looks physically completely different and has a traumatic mental episode where he’s confused/amnesiac. I would say if these 2 criteria are not met then it’s not a regeneration, it’s just the Doctor getting injured and bleeding some gold CGI.

    I like to think that a few seconds after Night of the Doctor, a young John Hurt climbs into the TARDIS and says “erm, who am I again..?”

    In 2008, my interpretation of the Stolen Earth cliffhanger was that the Doctor was badly injured, but managed to stave off regeneration. Result: he still looked like David Tennant and he wasn’t mentally confused. He did however bleed Artron energy. I don’t see why bleeding Artron energy means you use up a regeneration, any more than a human being losing vast quantities of blood should be considered medically dead if they later recover.

    I didn’t even consider that David Tennant might have regenerated into David Tennant. I have to say I *really* don’t like that idea. Instead, I interpreted the “vanity” line as meaning the Doctor was too vain to submit to regeneration in the Stolen Earth (which tallies with the “I don’t want to go” business in End of Time) but that he essentially “lost” an incarnation by syphoning it into the hand and creating a mortal human copy of himself.

    I didn’t have a problem with the Doctor almost regenerating (but recovering) in the Stolen Earth. I know it pissed other people off.

    But if the Doctor loses an incarnation every time he bleeds gold CGI doesn’t that mean Capaldi has played about 17 Doctors by now..?

    #226253

    Captain No-Name

    Ben Paddon: yeah, the new Target novelisations are mentioned in the latest DWM.

    Steven Moffat said in an interview somewhere that he wanted to be the person to novelise the 50th anniversary story because he had such a rotten time doing the script that he didn’t want some other bugger doing the victory lap.

    #226255

    Ben Saunders

    My gripe with the two Tennant regenerations lies squarely with RTD, honestly, because bringing Rose back just to give her another gushy ending where she gets her own Doctor Clone to go off and shag for the rest of her life is just about one of the worst things that ever happened on the show, and the fakeout regeneration was cheap drama that happened at a time when we already knew Tennant was bowing out later. It also directly contributed to the magification of regeneration energy which is not something I view as appropriate or sensical.

    Also yes there were a couple Moff novelisations listed then taken down recently – and a couple Moff episodes being novelised by other people, interestingly.

    #226256

    Ben Saunders

    Also No Name, he generated an entire other living being out of his “bleeding CGI”, that’s got to at least make a dent in his reserves. Also he was mortally wounded etc.

    It was stupid, can we just pretend it never happened, as we do with large swathes of the show’s canon already?

    #226261

    Captain No-Name

    Also No Name, he generated an entire other living being out of his “bleeding CGI”, that’s got to at least make a dent in his reserves.

    Yeah, it wasn’t the most satisfying of plot points. In fact, it was a cheap trick, dramatically speaking. I would also level that accusation (possibly more so actually) at the pseudo-regeneration in The Lie of the Land.

    But I see it as being like losing a dangerous amount of blood, nearly dying, but then donating that blood so somebody else might live.

    It was stupid, can we just pretend it never happened, as we do with large swathes of the show’s canon already?

    I have to admit, I was happily doing this until Moffat raked it up and complicated the regeneration limit by imposing his specific interpretation onto the Stolen Earth cliffhanger.

    I personally found this as unwelcome as if the Doctor had suddenly started harping on about the Morbius Doctors, like some boring fan.

    I say this as a self-evident boring fan.

    #226273

    Ben Paddon

    Russell T Davies said at the time that Ten’s metacrisis regeneration would probably have consequences. He just wasn’t the one to write them.

    Keep in mind also, Moffat would often email Davies when he plans to do something with roots in Davies’ tenure as showrunner, so I don’t doubt that he fired off an email to Davies at the time to either ask, “Hey, do you think that counts as a regeneration?” or “Hey, so I’m thinking that counts as a regeneration, and I’d like to do this…”

    For my money, the metacrisis regeneration has always counted. Frankly it’d be cheap if it didn’t. I was initially not super-keen on the idea of the War Doctor, but by the time “The Day of the Doctor” rolled around I was enjoying myself far too much to give a fig about Doctor numberings and whatnot. The numbers were always a little iffy anyway, what with “The Brain of Morbius” and all that.

    #226308

    Katydid

    “Thoughts on the Series XII flipside cover…and Doctor Who…and Douglas Adams…and presumably a few other things as we go…”

    #226309

    bloodteller

    so what’s the general consensus on Doctor Who: The Movie? i really quite liked it, but the last time i mentioned it to someone they just said “that’s not doctor who” and then they buggered off.

    #226312

    flanl3

    So why did people hate The Last Jedi? I absolutely adored it.

    #226315

    International Debris

    The film has a decent story and a great performance by McGann, but The Master is bloody crap in it, the whole thing is too over the top and it takes far too long to get going. McCoy’s regeneration was a really important aspect, to keep the continuity of the original series, but it should have been a flashback for the moment where he finally gets his memory back.

    #226316

    bloodteller

    Chang Lee was good too, probably the least annoying companion from all the Doctor Who shows i’ve seen (i ended up watching a few recently)

    #226317

    bloodteller

    everyone always forgets about poor Chang Lee

    #226325

    Ben Saunders

    The Last Jedi was far too long and incredibly boring. All the stuff with Luke, Rey and Kylo was interesting, and could have made for a decent movie all on its own, but the B and C plots with the slow motion chase and the casino planet were just tedious.

    Also the shit jokes undermining the drama, as if they’re afraid of being too serious for too long, Mary Poppins made me want to die, weaponising that thing that shouldn’t be weaponised opens up a can of worms (although I thought it was fine) and oodles and oodles of plot convenience.

    The Doctor Who Movie is a lot of fun and McGann is great, but I totally get the whole “it’s not really Who” angle – it is incredibly cheesey, and quite different from the rest of the show. And the half human thing

    #226326

    Ben Saunders

    I don’t really like the flipside cover, by the way, Craig’s face in that photo just doesn’t look very good and it breaks the tradition of only having him and Chris on the cover x

    #226336

    GlenTokyo

    I like the Who movie. Best theme tune too, McGann is great aswell. In fact it’s all great apart from Eric Roberts I’d say. Sets are good, McCoy is good, and looking back now after the Russell T Davies reboot, it doesn’t seem as out of character for the Doctor to be interested in relationships. I prefer it to a lot of new who to be honest.

    #226338

    flanl3

    So what’s everyone’s opinion on shorts?

    #226339

    bloodteller

    depends on what type of shorts they are

    #226340

    Ben Saunders

    I don’t like them

    #226343

    International Debris

    Depends who’s wearing them.

    #226345

    bloodteller

    me.

    #226346

    Ben Saunders

    Oh, definitely not then

    #226347

    flanl3

    I like them.

    #226348

    Hamish

    Who likes short shorts?

    #226350

    flanl3

    She wears short shorts, I wear t-shorts, she’s shorts captain and I’m on the bleached-shorts,

    #226359

    Ben Saunders

    Now short shorts I can get into. Not literally, though

    #226368

    flanl3

    What if your mind got your dick and the elastic on athletic shorts mixed up so instead of getting a boner your waistband got bigger and your shorts fell off instead of your waistband getting bigger but your shorts staying on?

    Please do not permit me to think when I should have

    #226374

    International Debris

    Please check my modelling profile for me wearing short shorts.

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