Video capture of Mr. Flibble and Rimmer. The Japanese have been very naughty, haven't they, Mr. Flibble?Thanks again to Thomas Evans, who has sent us a link to this review of the Japanese V-VIII DVD box set. Released on 21st March 2003, this review actually dates from 10th June 2004, but is interesting as it is currently the only release of the last four series on DVD format anywhere in the world; albeit one with hardly any extras (simply a translated version of Smeg Outs, and interviews with the Japanese cast).

The review itself is quite interesting. It does however falls into the trap of mainly describing the episodes rather than reviewing them, which is pretty annoying; you can find episode reviews anywhere you want – you don’t need to pad out DVD reviews with them. It also makes the small mistake of crediting Paul Jackson as a director when he never had anything to do with the last four series; the only actual directing he’s ever actually done on Red Dwarf is the main audience studio session for White Hole, along with the planet pool sequence – although he was going to direct the show before the first series was remounted due to the electrician’s strike. It also confuses the VII film-look treatment with being responsible for the blurring on the CGI shots, when they were in fact completely seperate – the blurring was added seperately, and deliberately, because they thought it looked good. Hmmmm. Oh, and Rimmer’s morale meeting was in Out Of Time, not Only The Good…

It’s the summary that is the most interesting part of the review, however. The content of the Japanese versions isn’t that much known to us; we always planned to get hold of a copy and do a list of what’s cut, but it appears that Seb Patrick is planning to do exactly that. But when you actually hear about what is cut: “the Trojan Horse bit from The Inquisitor, Rimmer’s ‘morale meeting’ in Only the Good [sic] and the entire introduction with Ace Rimmer in Stoke Me A Clipper“…

Frankly, an episode of Out Of Time without Rimmer’s morale meeting is no Out Of Time at all.

Even worse, it appears that the editing isn’t even done particuarly well (rather amusingly described in the review). It also appears that the episodes are around 22 minutes in length (although until I personally measure them, I won’t say for certain; the timings given seem slightly vague); TV versions, cut so that ads could be shown. This is even more amusing when you remember that one of the reasons Rob and Doug went to the BBC rather than ITV is so they could have the extra running time for character development.

The sooner the Japanese get proper versions of the show, uncut, with proper extras, the better: last we heard, I-IV was planned for Spring this year, but nothing has been heard since then. Go on, the hairy Japanese bastards deserve it.

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