Dave’s Red Dwarf XI Bank Holiday Monday

“Now on Dave, it’s time to sit back and relax this Bank Holiday Monday, as we bring you an afternoon in the company of the finest smegheads out there – with the complete series of Red Dwarf XI.”

– Dave continuity announcement into Twentica, 2nd January 2017

Most people, when greeted with a continuity announcement like that, might think: “Oh, that’s good, I get to half-watch all of Red Dwarf XI this afternoon whilst pretending to get some work done.” Or perhaps: “I hate Red Dwarf, Red Dwarf is shit, I am going to turn over, I need to watch anything other than Red Dwarf because I don’t like Red Dwarf.”

Us? We clap our hands in delight, as we indulge in one of our favourite pastimes: pre-watershed Red Dwarf edit spotting. Although perhaps to our surprise, only two of the six episodes had any alterations whatsoever: Twentica, Officer Rimmer, Krysis and Can of Worms got away cut-free.

Let’s take a look at what was changed…

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The tape must have got twisted, man!

Marooned titlesSometimes, things just work out to provide the perfect story.

Back in 2012 – in the lead-up to Red Dwarf X – I wrote a series of articles detailing the edits UKTV had made to Red Dwarf repeats. One of the worst was in Series III – the seemingly random broadcast of the Remastered version of Marooned, and the only episode of the series where the Remastered edit was broadcast instead of the original. (While it was the first time we had discussed the issue, but it had been going on for years before this. We were too busy complaining about Gold blurring out Fletch sticking two fingers up in Porridge.)

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Fool’s Gold

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

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

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

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

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This isn’t happening. It’s a nightmare.

UK Gold pre-launch caption Last time, we left you with a cliffhanger. Would Gold show the original version of Marooned in its current repeat run, or would it show the crappy old Remastered version instead? (In case you need reminding: this is the “Remastered” version which is so terrible it shoves in a new CGI shot of the ship at the beginning of the episode, and then cuts to the existing model shot of the cargo bay doors opening… covered in film dirt. Encapsulating the warped priorities of the Remastered project in a nutshell.)

Sadly, despite Gold continuing to show both pre-watershed and post-watershed edits of the show for the most part – which is far better than Dave managed on their last repeat run – both showings of Marooned this time round resolutely remained the Remastered version instead of the original.

It’s truly bizarre, really. If the whole of the first three series was shown like this, that’d be one thing – not a great thing to do, but at least somewhat consistent. But for it simply to be one episode has to be the result of some dodgy paperwork somewhere down the line. It’s difficult to have respect for a channel when they clearly don’t know what the hell they’re broadcasting. For nobody at UKTV to even query why Marooned looks completely different to every other episode in the series for years on end is complete madness. I mean, you can tell it’s the wrong version from the opening titles, let alone anything else.

Still, as a continuation of a years-long issue, I must admit there’s a certain amount of glee in seeing exactly how long this can go on for. I won’t bore you with regular updates on this issue any more – but let’s see whether this version is still being shown in five years, shall we?

I’ll leave you with one final thought. Marooned was the episode which pushed the video of release of Red Dwarf III – Byte One up to a 15. Even with the DVD release, the episode was rated 12. All because of Lister admitting he had sex at the age of 12 on a golf course. Gold cuts out many PG-related “bastards”, V-signs, and general rudery – but the version of Marooned they play pre-watershed is exactly the same as the post-watershed version. (Two adult men wanking off over Lolita and all.)

It’s hardly the first time there’s a disparity between what the BBFC and what broadcasters will worry over – but that doesn’t stop it being hugely interesting. I must admit, I’m on the BBFC’s side – whilst I wouldn’t have ever rated it 15, I think Lister fucking someone when he was 12 is dodgier than all the cut bastards too. But that requires more of a judgement call, whereas mild bad language is easy to put on a checklist of disallowed things.

And Red Dwarf edited by checklist isn’t really a very appealing thought.

Netpricks, etc

Anyone want an example of the kind of fan mail G&T receives?

This issue did actually come up on our forums a couple of years ago – but we assumed this was just some bizarre music rights issue for Netflix in the US. Sadly, the change is now present on the version which reappeared on UK Netflix in June.

Let’s take a butchers, shall we?

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UKTV Edits Part #2742921

Yes, yes. I know. You’re really fucking bored of this topic now. But when UKTV do something right, it’s only fair that it gets the same coverage as when they screw it up. And they’ve very much managed to do something right.

When I covered Dave’s Red Dwarf Weekends repeat run back in 2012, my main objection was that the episodes were only being shown pre-watershed, and hence edited to buggery. When I covered Dave’s repeat run earlier in the year, they were showing the edited pre-watershed versions post-watershed, which is even worse.

Gold’s current repeat run? So far: edited versions pre-watershed, and unedited versions post-watershed. Meaning that last night, viewers were treated to this:

Cat and Lister sticking their fingers up. STILL VERY NAUGHTY.

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Gold! Always Believe In the Integrity of Your Master Tapes (Updated: 15/07/15)

UK Gold ident from 1992 So, Red Dwarf is starting a repeat run on Gold from 10:20pm tonight.

Do I even need to write this article – an article which you could no doubt predict to the letter, given our recent publication of this? Not really. So let’s make this quick:

a) Referring to my comprehensive list of current UKTV edits, Series 1 suffers the least from any editing: a single “bastard” cut from Waiting for God. This means we’ll only find out whether they have sourced brand new copies or are showing the same ropy nonsense as always when that episode is shown, on Friday 10th. (Pre-watershed showing at 1pm, post-watershed showing at 10:20pm.)

b) As this consists mostly of pre-watershed and post-watershed repeats, then it’s an ideal way to see whether they have finally scheduled pre-watershed and post-watershed versions of the programme, or if they’re just sticking on manky pre-watershed edits for all showings willy-nilly.

c) I would also make the point that this is the first time the series has been shown on Gold for quite a while – and it is also a run from the very beginning. If I worked on Gold, I would take the time to check that what they were going to show are the correct versions. It is not an unreasonable thing to expect.

For anyone who thinks I’m banging on about this too much… of course I am. Welcome to Ganymede & Titan. But there is a reason why I’m doing it now, as opposed to the years when Red Dwarf was endlessly repeated by UKTV but not in active production. As soon as they decided to commission new episodes of the series, then the standards expected of them when it comes to repeats increase vastly.

If they want the audience figures, profit, and glory which come attached with Red Dwarf, then they can expect to be called out if they treat repeats of it like shite. Even if it makes every single person on the planet want to punch me full in the face for doing so.

UPDATE (15/07/15): Well, this is a turn up for the books. The pre-watershed showing of Waiting For God did indeed have the “bastard” cut – but the post-watershed showing had it intact! This was something I did not expect. (As evidenced by the fact it’s taken me five days to get round to checking it.)

Let’s hope this is the way things are for the rest of the run, then. The next check: the post-watershed showing of Kryten on Thursday 16th at 10:20pm. If edited, the cut dialogue will be the following in italics:

LISTER: “Mister Arnold” isn’t his name. His name’s “Rimmer.” Or “Smeghead.” Or “Dinosaur Breath” or “Molecule Mind.” [And on the very rare occasion when you want to be really mega-polite to him, Kryten, we’re talking MEGA-polite, in those exceptional circumstances, you can call him “Arsehole”.]

Oh, and: “Swivel on it, punk!” and the associated hand gesture. Here’s hoping this is the dawn of a new age in UKTV repeats of Dwarf, and not merely them lucking out on the scheduling of a single episode…

Crimewatch Update

Crimewatch U.K. logo because I am doing a big funny Back in 2012, as the lead up to Red Dwarf X, those good folks at Dave showed an entire run of the first eight series. I took this as my cue to finally take a look at an issue which had been bugging me for years: the edited versions of the show Dave always insisted on showing. Here are the results of that investigation from 2012. It doesn’t make especially pleasant reading.

But no matter. Yesterday, Dave started a new run of repeats, starting from Series III. In the last three years, the channel has shown one brand new series of the programme, and commissioned two more. Surely by now, those shitty edited versions will have been replaced with the proper episodes?

I think you know what I’m going to say here. In fact, it’s so obvious, I don’t think I’m even going to say it.

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