For many years, I have sat perched on the edge of my chair, bitching about UKTV and Red Dwarf edits. About how pointless they are, about how they show no respect for the show, about how they often cut out the funniest moments of the episode. But whenever it came to documenting them, it seemed an insurmountable task.
Well, with Dave showing each series in the run-up to Red Dwarf X, it’s pretty much now or never. So, in the sprit of my recent I’m Alan Partridge Series 2 dissection, here is a list of every edit made to Red Dwarf VIII, as shown on Dave pre-watershed on Saturday 8th September. Whilst reading this article, you may wish to ponder this dichotomy: how can a channel care so much about Red Dwarf to commission a new series, and yet give its repeats so little respect?
Firstly, the good news: only three episodes from VIII had edited versions shown. Back In The Red – Part One, Back In The Red – Part Three, Krytie TV, Pete – Part Two, and Only The Good… suffered no edits whatsoever – although this brings its own questions, as we will see later. The other three shows, however… oh dear. Edits are indicated [like this].
Back In The Red – Part Two
1) Entire recap cut.
2) The following entire section is deleted from the opening Captain’s Office scene – a shame, as it’s probably the funniest bit. It also leaves a terrible edit where Hollister goes from immediately dismissing Rimmer, to inviting him to supper immediately.
HOLLISTER: A blueberry muffin… like Martha used to make. Thanks, Rimmer… dismissed.
[RIMMER: Ah, sir, just one more thing. I know the medical guys think we’ve run out of this stuff, but I discovered a couple of unopened medicrates in storage, sir. If this is useful to you in any way, it’s yours – no questions asked.
HOLLISTER: “Anus-Soothe Pile Cream. The easy-to-apply cream that comes with its own special glove.”
Yep, it’s the one-fingered glove.
RIMMER: One size fits all. I could tell from your walk.]
HOLLISTER: Rimmer… could you post this for me?
3) Possibly the most bizarre edit of the lot; the edit is tightened between the following two lines, to lose a Rimmer reaction shot, and part of Hollister’s shot:
HOLLISTER: Rimmer… could you post this for me?
RIMMER: Why, certainly, sir.
All in all, around four seconds removed. WHY would anyone bother? Unless they’re editing for a strict duration limit, of course…
4) The following between Kryten and Kochanski:
KOCHANSKI: So you mean, you’ve never had a steak, pie, peas and chips then?
KRYTEN: I think the phrase is “meat and two veg”, ma’am. [No, the only mechanoids that were ever issued with genitals were the ones created to work on Italian starships. It was felt they could acclimatise themselves better if they could mimic their Italian crewmates and stand around cupping themselves all day.]
KOCHANSKI: But hey, now you’re a woman its going to mean some big changes in the way you behave.
They cut the wrong joke there, if they had to cut anything at all; the Italian starships stuff is fairly amusing, whereas the “steak pie peas and chips” joke is one of the worst in the entire series.
5) 10 or so seconds cut from Rimmer entering Lister’s cell, after the break; it now starts with him opening Lister’s door. Not necessarily a terrible cut in its own right; it helps the show get into the action faster from the break.
6) The following awful line from Rimmer and Lister’s cell discussion:
RIMMER: He’s never been so pleased! And, get this, he’s invited me to supper with the movers and the shakers.
LISTER: The movers and the shakers? [You’re going to supper with some removal men and a group of people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease?]
RIMMER: At last I’ll be able to exorcise my father’s disapproval…
7) A section from when Rimmer leaves the cell, and Lister escapes, including the line “You left some of your luck behind, man. I touched the tube.” This creates a bit of a continuity problem between the wide shot and the close up,
but it’s fascinating that dialogue is being cut which could be considered over-expositionary… [Additional: A certain Mr. Ian Symes points out that this section was cut because Lister is giving Rimmer the finger… as a precursor to a line about the luck virus, much like the cut section between Lister and Kochanski later.]
8) A shot of Lister and Kochanski going round the corner, before their first lift scene.
9) This horrific shot, although maybe not horrific for the reasons the show intended:
10) The following entire section, transistioning from The Dibbley Family to the Captain’s table. Presumably cut for Lister giving Kochanski the finger – despite the fact he’s not actually giving her the finger – and a bit too much sex talk.
HOLLY: Reported prisoner sighting on C deck, reported prisoner sighting on C deck.
LISTER: Nice one, Hol. [What’s wrong with you?
KOCHANSKI: Well, do you get the impression this is too easy? Like, everything’s going for us? Like they almost want us to escape!
LISTER holds up his middle finger.
KOCHANSKI: Hey, I was just thinking aloud!
LISTER: No, no! The Luck virus, it’s helping us.
LISTER sneezes onto his mop head, replaces it on his head, then points to KRYTEN.
LISTER: Put your kit on.
Cut to: the Captain’s table.
RIMMER: Here we are! Remembered the coffee at last.
HOLLISTER: What about the mints?
FEMALE OFFICER: I’ll go. Would you like to help me, Mister Rimmer?
RIMMER: It’s just, I’ve got so much coffee, I don’t think I could manage to get any mints until tomorrow.]
HOLLISTER: Well, the psychotropic testing should be well underway by now. Those results sure are going to be interesting.
11) One of my favourite jokes of the whole of the series, gone. Still, it’s an excellently done edit, technically. Personally, I think the word “cunnilingus” should be used more pre-watershed.
LISTER: Look, we’re only gonna get through this by being positive, by being… [what’s that word women tennis players always used to reckon was so important? Begins with C…
LISTER: …centred. By being centred.] Focused. It’s only two years; what, with good behaviour it’ll probably only be eighteen months.
12) From the same Rimmer/Lister discussion, another excellently done edit technically. My question is: was it the “sheep shaggers” bit that worried them, or the use of the word “retarded”? Or both?
LISTER: When I’m in the men’s toilets in prison, Rimmer, I tend not to look around, y’know what I’m saying? It’s like playing golf: I concentrate on my grip, keep my eye on the ball and try not to veer off to the side!
RIMMER: [The Canaries. You know what they say it’s supposed to stand for? Convicts Army Nearly All Retarded Inbred Evil Sheep Shaggers”.] They haven’t got an X chromosome to share between them.
13) THE joke of the episode. If you’re going to edit this out, you may as well not bother showing it at all.
CASSANDRA: I already told you: Rimmer dies of a heart attack, and then you and all the other Canaries die too; all except Lister, Kryten, Kochanski and the Cat. I’ve seen it.
[RIMMER: That’s as well as maybe, but have you seen this?
RIMMER flips his middle finger to CASSANDRA, then turns and storms out.
CASSANDRA: Yes, I’m afraid I have.]
Pete – Part One
14) Loads of the truncheon-bashing of the Cat has been trimmed, from all four beatings – in one case, being covered by a shot of Rimmer from later in the scene. I’m surprised this was deemed unacceptable – it’s ridiculously broad and unrealistic. These trims also cut Ackerman’s “That is totally untrue, sir!” from the next scene. All these edits render the scene inevitably rather choppy.
15) A series of shots in the basketball scene; a couple of shots of Lister being hit, and Kryten being electrocuted. Again, really surprised they bothered with these.
16) The following dialogue. Continuing the confusing edits: they keep all the stuff about “Boing, the virility enhancement drug”, they keep all the shots of the guards walking funny with massive erections, but they cut this?
KRYTEN: That’s going to seriously slow them down.
CAT: You’re not kidding. [Try moving fast with a fishing pole in your pants!
HOLLISTER: Get out there and kill! They’re lambs to the slaughter!] Go on, go get ’em!
17) After Baxter’s dinner is regressed to a chicken, the shot is cut short, removing him elbowing the guy next to him in the face and knocking him out. A shame; it’s one of the best bits of physical comedy involving Baxter.
18) Again with removal of dialogue referencing ERECTIONS – but with so much else kept in at the beginning of the episode, it seems a bit peculiar.
BIRDMAN: ‘E’s gone all stiff!
[RIMMER: He must have drunk the guards’ half-time juice.
LISTER: Not that kind of stiff; he’s dead!]
BIRDMAN: The excitement of bein’ free ‘as killed ‘im!
…and that’s your lot.
I’ll leave you with a few thoughts. Firstly, whilst most of the edits for Cassandra and Pete – Part One seem to be due to content concerns pre-watershed, a lot of the edits for Back In The Red – Part Two are down to time. The removal of the recap, and just four seconds between dialogue at one point seems to confirm this. In which case: why is this episode edited for time, but no other episode in the series?
Secondly, if I was GNP, I’d be very cross indeed that Dave were leading up to the launch of Red Dwarf X… by showing butchered episodes. It is a complete and utter nonsense.
Thirdly: anyone watching this marathon will have noticed a horrendous transmission fault in which – every few minutes or so – the picture would stutter badly, and the audio would briefly go out of sync. This happened throughout the whole afternoon – on both the programmes and the promos/adverts – for hours. The fact that this wasn’t picked up and fixed quickly is extraordinary, and makes the channel look completely amateur. Absolutely horrendously embarrassing. But that’s what happens when TV is run on the cheap. Doesn’t bode well for an error-free transmission of Red Dwarf X, does it?
I’ll be tackling VII in a day or so, so please come back for another pointlessly detailed article like this. Cor, it’s like 2005, isn’t it?