High & Low: Popular Misconceptions

In a change to your advertised schedule, this month’s High & Low is an attempt to ebb the increasing tide of ill-informed nonsense currently swamping the internet, masquerading as Red Dwarf discussion. We’re tackling ten of the biggest popular misconceptions about Red Dwarf, and taking the opportunity to thoroughly debunk them once and for all. On the other hand, for the ‘Low’ section, we’ll be celebrating all those supposed “myths” that turned out to actually be true. So settle in and prepare to have your preconceptions challenged and your minds blown…

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High & Low: Deleted Scenes

Let’s be perfectly clear. Generally, when talking about deleted scenes – whatever the given TV show or film – the quality of the scenes themselves doesn’t actually matter. When I pop in a DVD, I don’t care how good they are. It’s how interesting they are which makes them entertaining. A scene can be absolutely appalling, deservedly cut… and still be one of the best extras of the lot.

This perhaps doubly-holds for Red Dwarf. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are with deleted scenes being included on the DVD releases; you only have to check your shelves to see which other sitcoms from 1988 include such things for the proof of that. (Mind you, sadly these days, budget cuts across DVD ranges mean we’re lucky to get them for a sitcom made today.)

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High & Low: Books

Red Dwarf is blessed with a good number of tie in books, both official and unofficial, but not quite *enough* to have any tension over which will be included or not included in a list such as this. As such, they’re pretty much all here, but since it’s been a while since we’ve talked about any of them in any great details we thought it would be worth taking stock of the pulped tree based tie-ins and sort out the good from the garbage. As always this is just my opinion and, to be perfectly honest, I’ve taken more than a few liberties with the ordering anyway so don’t let it worry you too much.

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Low & High: Red Dwarf Remastered

It’s over fifteen years ago now that Red Dwarf Remastered was unveiled to a waiting public. Ever since then, Dwarf fandom has debated: is there something good about it, something laudable? OK, OK, we’ve never fucking liked it. But is it time, perhaps, for some quiet re-evaluation? Are the new CGI effects maybe not as bad as we thought? Does the film effect make the show look better? Maybe that cut dialogue was actually a pretty good idea in retrospect?

Well, no. Much as I’d love to be a contrary little shit, I’ve just re-watched all nineteen episodes and nearly died of a brain haemorrhage. Sure, maybe there’s some good changes that people have forgotten – and we’ll get to those later. But most of them still leave me blinking with bemusement, or shouting at the telly, or blinking with bemusement and then shouting at the telly.

Yet… there’s a part of me that feels an article like this is somewhat graceless. After all, from a UK perspective… we “won”. The original versions were those first released on DVD. Repeats on TV are always the original versions as well (aside from when Dave screws up and shows the Remastered version of Marooned). Doug Naylor himself has admitted that the project didn’t go as well as he’d have liked. At this point, sneering at Remastered doesn’t seem quite as useful as it did fifteen years ago, when it genuinely – if unintentionally – felt like these versions were indeed replacing the originals.

But then, G&T has never really worried about being graceless. So don your pixel-proof gloves, as we present: The Top 10 Worst Things About Red Dwarf Remastered.

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High & Low: Series X Scenes

It was exactly two years ago today that Red Dwarf X burst onto our screens, heralding a brand new era of regular new series, sensible production schedules, and crystal clear communication with the fans as to the show’s future. In a change to your scheduled programming, High & Low looks back on the very best and very worst Series X Scenes. By sheer coincidence, all six episodes have at least one representative in the top ten, although the same even spread does not apply for the bottom five, with one episode taking up 60% of those spaces. What episode could that possibly be? Bearing the usual “only this writer’s opinion, not that of G&T as a whole” caveat in mind, read on to find out…

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High & Low: Special Effects

Of all the difficult tasks I have faced whilst writing Ganymede & Titan, this has to be one of the most difficultistestist. Even more difficult than writing an article which doesn’t manage to be spectacularly rude about somebody for very little reason. How the bloody hell do you manage to boil down the quite staggering amount of amazing special effects work for Red Dwarf into one easy-to-digest Top 10 list?

Answer: with a lot of kicking, screaming, self-doubt as to the worth of my entire life, and general dissatisfaction. Hopefully that’s sold this article as something well worth reading. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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High & Low: Rimmer Scenes

After High & Low‘s sojourn into Guest Character territory, we’re sailing back to the main cast here, and arguably the most important character in Red Dwarf; Arnold Judas Rimmer.

Coward, pedant, complete bastard; who IS the real Rimmer? I hope my examination of his best and worst scenes over the past 1o series can shed some light. Or just provoke a mud-slinging row in the comments. As ever, my article, my rules, my opinions.

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High & Low: Guest Characters

Previously on High & Low, we’ve comprehensively and indisputably determined the ten best and five worst cast members’ other shows and DVD extras. With those contentious issues now settled once and for all, we turn to the topic of guest characters. Red Dwarf has always had such a strong core ensemble that it’s a rare occasion when an outsider takes centre stage. But memorable guest performers have often been used to enhance storylines, either for extra comedy value, a threat to the crew’s safety, or to build touching and emotional relationships. The best ones are usually a combination of at least two of the three, and it’s those that we celebrate here, along with some of those that failed to do any of them effectively.

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High & Low: DVD Extras

Welcome to the second installment of our, ahem, “monthly” series, looking at ten of the very best and five of the very worst offerings from one given area of the wider Red Dwarf universe. And the reason you’ve been waiting two months for the second installment of this monthly series is that the topic is something that’s proved very difficult to put into order – namely DVD Extras. We’ve been treated to some of the finest DVD packages that TV comedy has to offer, with hours upon hours of well-researched, fascinating and hilarious extras accompanying each series. How on Titan is it possible to decide which brilliant thing is better than another brilliant thing, or to come up with five that aren’t brilliant? Read on to find out…

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High & Low: The Cast’s Other Shows

Hello and welcome to High & Low, our brand new monthly feature looking at the very best and very worst offerings from the wider world of Red Dwarf. Each month, we’ll be taking a subject and picking out the top ten best examples of whatever that category is. It’s a bit like Buzzfeed, but with lots of words instead of animated gifs taken from Youtube videos. But that’s not all. Because this is G&T, we’ll also be pouring scorn all over the bottom five shit bits from each particular field.

So, what subject will be kicking off this glorious brand spanking new feature? We present the Top 10 and Bottom 5… Cast Members’ Other Shows.

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