Edit News: Red Dwarf USA

Well, blimey. A massive thank you to bloodteller on our forum, who points out that an early cut of the first American pilot has turned up on Youtube.

This can’t be the first time this has done the rounds, as bloodteller also helpfully linked to this ancient document from 1994, which details the differences between the two edits. But it’s new to me, and I’ll wager to the majority here. I imagine a full write up will follow at some point when we’re not busy polling you all.

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47 Responses to Edit News: Red Dwarf USA

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  1. It just doesn’t feel like Red Dwarf USA without the WORST THEME MUSIC THAT HAS EVER EXISTED.

  2. Brian J. Cowan, associate producer on the pilot, was also the producer for the original run of Futurama. A fun link between the two shows I never knew about before now.

  3. hooray, some stuff i found has ended up on the front page

  4. Does anyone else recognise that Red Dwarf model shot at 1.03?

    I don’t recall seeing it before in any of the UK episodes, or on the Raw FX featurettes. Which is odd, as it’s really quite a good one.

    It’s unlikely they shot it specifically for the US pilot, but it could be an unused shot from the Series V model shoot, featuring the replacement RD model prior to its destruction.

    Of course, I could be talking bollocks. I haven’t watched Series V for ages, and for all I know it could pop up every few minutes.

    EDIT: That 17th century website mentions that it’s not a shot that appeared in the original series. So, yeah – the mystery deepens…

  5. I’m pretty sure I have never seen that particular model shot at the end of the intro before.

    >My name is Holly,
    >Cough
    Love it.

  6. Sure that it would disappear very quickly, I watched this last night despite my phone battery only being on 6%. Needless to say, the battery ran out halfway through and I had to wait about ten minutes for it to charge just enough to enable me to watch the second half.

    Anyway, like I said over on the forum, I can’t believe how much better that is than the version we ended up with. It’s just funnier, especially the pre-accident stuff. Holly is played better (although she’s just cringeworthy once Lister’s released from stasis), and the opening with the arrivals and the Kryten-Lister-Kochanski scene…it’s all just better. Even the always annoying laughter of the American audience is fine. Shame about the scene changes not allowing a fully flowing audience track, because this would easily make a great TV half hour.

  7. for all the hate the US pilot gets from most fans, i honestly think the pilot (especially this edit of it) is a thoroughly enjoyable watch- i had more fun watching this than any episode of Series VII or VIII, to be honest.

  8. Holly is played better (although she’s just cringeworthy once Lister’s released from stasis)

    Huh, that’s interesting. Because I thought she was shit before the accident, then actually started putting some effort into her performance after it. Still a bit cringeworthy, though.

    I absolutely don’t think it would make a great TV half hour, I think it’s stilted and unsure of itself, but there are as ever a couple decent gags in it. I never want to watch it again, but I know I’ll be watching VII and VIII again at some point in the future and am not horrified by the prospect.

    I quite liked Lister wanting out to run after Kochanski, that added another layer of tragedy to proceedings, but him thinking she said “I lick you” was a shit joke. It looked more like “I spit on your wrist.”

    Also, similar chair gag to Trojan.

  9. Does anyone else recognise that Red Dwarf model shot at 1.03?

    I don’t recall seeing it before in any of the UK episodes, or on the Raw FX featurettes. Which is odd, as it’s really quite a good one.
    It’s unlikely they shot it specifically for the US pilot, but it could be an unused shot from the Series V model shoot, featuring the replacement RD model prior to its destruction.
    Of course, I could be talking bollocks. I haven’t watched Series V for ages, and for all I know it could pop up every few minutes.
    EDIT: That 17th century website mentions that it’s not a shot that appeared in the original series. So, yeah – the mystery deepens…

    It’s in the Raw FX I’m 99.9% certain – I’ve watched them a lot and I recognise it, I’ll go and have a look and let you know.

    Possibly in The End the original assembly maybe?

  10. I’ve actually had this version downloaded for just over 2 years, had no idea it was quite so rare!

    It was uploaded to a private torrent tracker I’m a member of (the site is mainly for old vhs recordings of MTV/Nickelodeon and various other tv recordings from the 80s/90s).

    The person that uploaded it there 2 years ago requested it stay on that site at the time, which is why I guess it hasn’t appeared on YouTube until now!

    This is the comment he left with the upload there:

    I’m sure most Red Dwarf fans know about the attempt to make an American version of the show, developed by Linwood Boomer (who would go on to create Malcolm in the Middle). There are several different versions out there, but I don’t think this one has ever made it to the interwebs. This is an early edit of the first pilot, with Hinton Battle as the Cat. This was a workprint with no music, although I dubbed in some music from the UK series when I showed this in the video room of an SF/British media convention. Video quality isn’t great, but this particular edit is crazy rare.

    I’d prefer to keep this internal for (site name removed) users, please don’t upload to other trackers, Mega, YouTube, etc. If you know of another tracker where this share would be particularly appreciated, PM me and I may be able to upload it there myself.

    If you enjoy this upload, please leave me a thank-you comment! It’s kinda pathetic to have to ask, but comments are the oxygen that encourages me to post more rare stuff

  11. Does anyone else recognise that Red Dwarf model shot at 1.03?

    Had a look at some raw effects, not there. However, after I’d done the tedious job of putting DVD’s in and skipping through things for series I, II, III and some of the Bodysnatcher collection my brain kicked in and told me where I’d seen it.

    Settling the Score on the VI DVD – during the Tongue Tied demo bit. Why it isn’t on the Raw FX I don’t know – it’s definitely the OG Red Dwarf though, not the rebuild.

    I may not be fast, but I get there in the end.

  12. Also, similar chair gag to Trojan.

    I hate it when failed mid-90s US TV pilots reuse jokes from a 2012 episode of a similar British show.

    Also, being mid-VI, there are a lot more chair jokes than I remembered.

  13. Also, similar chair gag to Trojan.

    They not only copied and butchered gags from the early series, they copied and butchered gags from a series that wouldn’t be made for 20 years. That takes effort.

    The exchange about Harry Johnson was decent, so of course they had to chop out the actual joke part of it in the final edit.

  14. …Settling the Score on the VI DVD – during the Tongue Tied demo bit. Why it isn’t on the Raw FX I don’t know – it’s definitely the OG Red Dwarf though, not the rebuild.
    I may not be fast, but I get there in the end.

    Nice bit of detective work there. I don’t feel too embarassed about my wrong guess as that’s pretty bloody obscure.

  15. A little bit of Dwarf i hadn’t seen for the 30th anniversary from the most unexpected corner.
    Didnt know there was an assembly edit of Pilot1 that had ever leaked. It does feel more like
    UK dwarf minus the final usa music. Still 75th in my pearl poll.

  16. The chair gag isn’t from Trojan quantum rodded from the future, its a variation of the cut scene of lister and kochanski from The End. So yeah that’s three chairs. Hip hip Hooray.

  17. Why did they combine three separate chairs into one throwaway visual gag though?

  18. I’d prefer to keep this internal for (site name removed) users, please don’t upload to other trackers, Mega, YouTube, etc.

    This is like those people who hoard lost 1960s Doctor Who episodes that aren’t theirs. I don’t get it.

  19. Bobby is really funny in parts of this pilot, though he has an obvious advantage (of not being shit).

    The “hey, you know, whatever” exchange still goes down as maybe the worst thing….. It’s like they’ve suddenly never done a scene opposite another actor. Though Craig Bierko is generally good here. Despite not really being Lister, he still would have made a decent lead for the show, and what scenes he has here with Bobby have a good feel to them. Anything involving Rimmer, however………

  20. It just doesn’t feel like Red Dwarf USA without the WORST THEME MUSIC THAT HAS EVER EXISTED.

    I really enjoy a lot of Todd Rundgren’s music. His score for Dumb & Dumber is up there with my favourite film soundtracks. But yeah, I’ll take Howard Goodall’s Thundering Organ™ (Oo-er missus etc, etc…) over that particular effort. It does sound a bit vaporwave-y though, which I like.

  21. It just doesn’t feel like Red Dwarf USA without the WORST THEME MUSIC THAT HAS EVER EXISTED.

    I really enjoy a lot of Todd Rundgren’s music. His score for Dumb & Dumber is up there with my favourite film soundtracks. But yeah, I’ll take Howard Goodall’s Thundering Organ™ (Oo-er missus etc, etc…) over that particular effort. It does sound a bit vaporwave-y though, which I like.

    I think the US theme is an interesting and not awful bit of 90’s music, it’s just a shit theme for Red Dwarf. The sudden sort of middle 8 bit that accompanies the ‘STARRING’ section I’m not so bothered about, but the rest of it is pretty cool, if dated.

    Can’t beat the original opening for me though as you say. It’s my vain hope that should we get any new Red Dwarf this year that it will recreate it either as a one off for the first episode or for the entire series.

    You could quite easily still have the names on, just do it Voyager style.

  22. I think the US theme is an interesting and not awful bit of 90’s music, it’s just a shit theme for Red Dwarf. The sudden sort of middle 8 bit that accompanies the ‘STARRING’ section I’m not so bothered about, but the rest of it is pretty cool, if dated.

    Oh, I actually quite love the music for its kitsch value. It sounds the theme music for a classic so-bad-it’s-good early ’80s sci-fi drama.

    Too bad it’s 1992, and attached to Red Dwarf.

  23. There are several different versions out there, but I don’t think this one has ever made it to the interwebs. This is an early edit of the first pilot, with Hinton Battle as the Cat. This was a workprint with no music, although I dubbed in some music from the UK series when I showed this in the video room of an SF/British media convention.

    “Here is a different version of a different version.”

  24. “Here is a different version of a different version.”

    Why did you combine several different versions out there into one though?

  25. The most depressing scenes of the US recordings are the ones hacked from the UK’s Marooned – dialogue that makes Marooned a top-ten episode for 90% of the fanbase utterly butchered. In the UK Marooned, Barrie’s delivery of the line, ‘There’s half a bag of soggy smoky bacon crisps, a tin of mustard powder, three water biscuits, a brown lemon, two bottles of vinegar and a tube of Bonjela gum ointment’ brilliantly conveys several things at once: Rimmer’s smugness at starvation and death not being issues for him; the extent of Lister’s plight; a hilarious sense of disgust; and the comical randomness of these objects. Compare this with the delivery of the US Rimmer – it’s truly terrible. No understanding of the material.

  26. This was quite an enjoyable re-watch. The Rimmer is desperately weak and there are weaknesses all over the place, but I would agree that it is superior to Series VII and VIII.

  27. To be fair, any one episode of a TV show would compare favorably to VIII as a whole.

    But frankly there are better episodes in VIII than the US pilot, and I’m the last person you’ll hear defending VIII.

  28. Yeah I have to agree, the US pilot is just too shoddy and too much of a cheap imitation to be better than things like Cassandra and (yes) Back in the Red. It’s very difficult to imagine how I’d rate the US pilot if it had no recycled material in it/if it had the same material but said material was original.

  29. That was an interesting watch. Rimmer was pretty awful but Lister was good. Holly, I liked the difference of style pre/post radiation leak. Cat was just .. cat. The guy had clearly watched the originals and copied Danny.

    What seemed bizarre to me though was that they didn’t have the “they’re dead Dave” scene, considering that even to this day that’s the most quoted line of the the show (along with smoke me a kipper).

  30. considering that even to this day that’s the most quoted line of the the show (along with smoke me a kipper).

    I could happily go the rest of my life without seeing another random person end their Red Dwarf-related comment with “smoke me a kipper”.

  31. Everbody’s dead Dave.

    Smoke me a kipper.

  32. I’ve never heard anybody in real life ever quote Red Dwarf, apart from me, if that counts.

    Edit: Oh, and my brother saying “I want be body bach now” in a very poor Liverpudlian accent.

  33. I think the most quoted line from Red Dwarf in my household is actually variations on “aliens used our bog roll?”.

  34. i have a friend who used to say “everybody’s dead, dave” every time somebody said “dave.” thankfully this was rare as we knew nobody called dave

  35. I once had a friend accidentally text me “everybody’s dead dave” (she had meant it for somebody called dave) and I tried to play along and reference back and she didn’t get it turns out she just found it on tv tropes and didn’t even know the show existed

  36. Surprisingly, it isn’t the comedy line you hear quoted at you most often as a Dave. We’ve got the League Of Gentlemen and Papa Lazarou to thank for that.

  37. You’re my dead wife, Dave.

  38. Everybody’s your dead wife, Dave.

  39. Wanna buy some smegs, Dave?

  40. everbody’s Dave Hill, from Slade

  41. There’s that channel that shows a lot of comedy that I think is named after someone called Dave.

  42. Well it probably is Dave Ja Vu, it sounds like it.

  43. Well it probably is Dave’s boob job, it sounds like it.

  44. well it probably is Spit on Dave’s Wrist, it sounds like it

  45. Well it probably is the Daves Intergalactic Liberation Defence Organisation, it sounds like it.

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