What is GameDigits?

As you will all be no doubt aware of at this point, September 22nd will not only be notable for the second official airing of Twentica but it will also see the release of the Red Dwarf XI mobile game on iOS and Android. Those with long memories will know that anticipation for a proper, official Red Dwarf game pre-dates even that for a movie. Since then mobile gaming has become a giant part of the business, however, so while the likelihood of a PC or console release has diminished over the years, a phone game is the best we can reasonably expect at this point.

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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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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…