Blu-ray is loaded

Well, here’s hoping we’ve never used that headline before.

Before today the only source of information we’ve had on the Blu-ray releases of Red Dwarf 1 to VIII is from a very premature Amazon listing and Doug’s Tweets on the subject. It is, however, now all official and that, and GNP are going ahead with what seems to be an entire set released on the 1st October as part of their ongoing and extensive 30th anniversary celebrations.

Curiously the TOS update spends a lot of time telling us what this release isn’t rather than what it is, and that’s down to the acknowledged fact that a Blu-ray version of the first eight series is a bit of a weird thing to consider. To be clear, this will never be a true HD release as the source material is around half the vertical resolution of a 1080 image, so this has been acknowledged in the announcement and focus shifted onto taking the opportunity to clean up the picture and sound of the originals as much as possible:

“There are no new effects, no re-recorded lines, no cut jokes, and no mysteriously appearing skutters. Just the Red Dwarf you know and love… given a fresh polish to look and sound even better than ever.”

I have to say, this is a news story that reminds me very much of Ellard’s original DVD announcement way back in the palaeolithic era, which served as an assurance that GNP knew what they were doing with the planned releases (right down to the reassurances about re-mastered!). To be clear, literally any other G&Ter is far better qualified than me to comment on video quality and resolutions, but from my limited knowledge I understand that DVD releases, even of older shows, significantly compromise on the true broadcast quality available due to size limitations hamstringing bitrate and what not. So, done right, an SD release on HD media will allow for much more room for those original versions to breathe while at the same time taking the job of up-scaling in hand to banish inconsistent DVD performance on today’s TVs. I’m cautiously optimistic and excited to see more details as they’re released and we’ll be sure to have someone who actually knows of what they speak to give you our verdict on release.

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48 Responses to Blu-ray is loaded

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  1. Glad to have it officially confirmed, looking forward to more details.

  2. Hopefully we can expect most of the DVD extras to be transferred as well, including the individual series documentaries and commentaries (Which I’d imagine would be pretty easy to do).

  3. How long you have you been waiting to use that “Blu-ray is loaded” headline?!

  4. The third year in a row with a SMEGTOBER. Truly we are spoiled.

    Now I just want to know about the special features. Will they also be HD-ized? Is it too much to ask for new ones? Yes it is too much just be grateful for what you’re given?

  5. Cheapest pre-order seems to be Zavvi.

  6. Zoom is £36 (with code SIGNUP10) – for the extra quid over Zavvi you’ll get more reliable delivery (and probably just ahead of release).

  7. G&T Admin

    How long you have you been waiting to use that “Blu-ray is loaded” headline?!

    Amazed it hasn’t been already, to be honest.

  8. The rare Cappsy sighting is the real update (in this so-called society).

  9. I now have Kryten’s very odd way of saying that in my head as some sort of dialogue earworm. It’s very annoying.

  10. Assuming they are using the original broadcast masters, does that mean we’ll see Copacabana reinstated in Rimmerworld?

  11. Interesting. My instinct is that we’ll be in for a ‘Just The Shows’ type situation, a stripped back release without extras – which is fine. After all, the DVD documentaries still exist, and are basically perfect. As a model FX nerd, it would be great to have the Raw FX shots included in HD, but I appreciate there’s not much appeal to the wider fanbase.

    It’s all academic anyway, I’ll obviously buy them, provided they’re available in my godforsaken corner of North America.

  12. My instinct is that we’ll be in for a ‘Just The Shows’ type situation, a stripped back release without extras

    No extras? It’s listed on Amazon as 16 discs. There’s no way they need that many for 52 upscaled SD episodes.

  13. I’m guessing there’s the possibility of some/most/all of the docs being shot at HD resolutions and included here in their original res? It might take too much messing around to bother… though at least they should be upscaled like the episodes.

  14. I’m guessing there’s the possibility of some/most/all of the docs being shot at HD resolutions and included here in their original res? It might take too much messing around to bother… though at least they should be upscaled like the episodes.

    Itd be nice to have them in HD but I’m not sure whether they were filmed on anything capable. I’d say prosumer camcorders if I had to guess, so there’s a chance some are, but even if they aren’t then it’s going to see an improvement just re encoding them (and maybe redoing the Craig Charles bluescreen work where he’s floating)

  15. Assuming they are using the original broadcast masters, does that mean we’ll see Copacabana reinstated in Rimmerworld?

    Getting it in Terrorform is probably a bigger priority. But if they’ve got the rights, why not stick it in every episode?

  16. Assuming they are using the original broadcast masters, does that mean we’ll see Copacabana reinstated in Rimmerworld?

    Getting it in Terrorform is probably a bigger priority. But if they’ve got the rights, why not stick it in every episode?

    “….I-I-I-I-I knew tha-a-a-a-a-t!” – Dennis Cooper

  17. Assuming they are using the original broadcast masters, does that mean we’ll see Copacabana reinstated in Rimmerworld?

    Came here to ask this, also it’s in Terrorform not Rimmerworld… they are basically the same episode, however

  18. Nah, Terrorform is much better.

  19. Rimmerworld – Me²2

    Officer Rimmer – Rimmerworld 2, Me²3

  20. In fairness to Officer Rimmer, it is way better than Rimmerworld.

  21. Indeed, although “or we could use the teleporter” is my favourite joke in VI.

  22. While Rimmerworld may be on the lower end of 1-6 I certainly wouldn’t say Officer Rimmer is better.

  23. I would, I think Rimmerworld was the worst episode of the original six series. I always thought Rimmer abandoning the crew with the escape pod was incredibly terrible even for Rimmer when in the next episode he does something to try and save the crew, I’ve never liked it though there are jokes I find funny in the episode, “Ah, so I’m safe then.” Plus the idea of Rimmer surviving 600 years alone and coming out sane is asking me to stretch my suspension of disbelief way too far in all honesty.

  24. He went insane then Kryten attempted to reprogram him and restore him back to factory settings?

  25. While I agree 600 years is abit much and suffers from the same kind of issue I have with modern Dwarf, we know Rimmer is a coward anyway but in that episode Kryten had diagnosed him as having a stress-related nervous disorder. Which explains why Rimmer may chickened out when at risk of being in danger.

    To me Officer Rimmer has a messy plot structure which RimmerWorld is fairly basic in that respect. The jokes may be abit recycled in RimmerWorld but the jokes In Office Rimmer fall into being abit irritating for me in Some areas like the tv channel joke

  26. I think preferences on jokes in modern Dwarf vary since humor can be subjective. What one person might find funny about the moose gag others might not think much of it. Tbh, I never understood why “It does mean changing the bulb” was that funny for most people, I get it and its amusing but I never understood the mass appeal it had, I think Legion is one of if not the funniest episode of Red Dwarf, I was burst-out laughing at the Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls and the quick reveal to Lister disguising a chair as himself with a smiley face on the side Legion wouldn’t even see cause he was behind it

  27. Isn’t he a at least a bit bonkers when they find him? “Kit! Titan!” always makes me chuckle

  28. I’d be a bit more than just bonkers if I was isolated in a prison cell for 600 years

  29. Torchwood has the same problem where Captain Jack is buried alive in fucking concrete for hours/a day, probably dying of asphyxiation several times over, having to be smashed out, then cracking some joke and getting on with his life like nothing happened.

  30. Well an episode that deals with Rimmer having severe PTSD wouldn’t be very funny, would it

  31. Isn’t he a at least a bit bonkers when they find him? “Kit! Titan!” always makes me chuckle

    The prison scene is the episode’s highlight, the jokes come thick and fast in there. “What have they got against me, Derek and Titan?”

    Torchwood has the same problem where Captain Jack is buried alive in fucking concrete for hours/a day, probably dying of asphyxiation several times over, having to be smashed out, then cracking some joke and getting on with his life like nothing happened.

    Isn’t he buried alive for two thousand years or something at the end of the second series?

  32. Well an episode that deals with Rimmer having severe PTSD wouldn’t be very funny, would it

    If that’s the case don’t put Rimmer in ridiculous situations where he wouldn’t possibly come out as anything but mad

  33. I’m all for good jokes, and the prison scene does have them, but there needs to be some semblance of logic or its just a parody at that point

  34. >If that’s the case don’t put Rimmer in ridiculous situations where he wouldn’t possibly come out as anything but mad

    As early as The End, characters were spending a long time alone and coming out of it relatively sane. Holly is by himself for 3 million years and all that changes is he gains a sense of humour and gets really into practical jokes.

    Kryten spends 3 million years by himself in Kryten and hasn’t really gone insane or anything. In fact by the end of the episode he’s turned into quite a cool guy

    If they can handle it, Rimmer can

  35. Plus Rimmer had his baoding balls, which probably helped a little

  36. As early as The End, characters were spending a long time alone and coming out of it relatively sane. Holly is by himself for 3 million years and all that changes is he gains a sense of humour and gets really into practical jokes.

    Kryten spends 3 million years by himself in Kryten and hasn’t really gone insane or anything. In fact by the end of the episode he’s turned into quite a cool guy

    If they can handle it, Rimmer can

    Holly was observing the cats for the majority of the time so he had entertainment.

    Kryten having been abandoned for 3 million years if a major part of his character’s backstory and it means a great deal to him when he was rescued to the point he goes out of his way to celebrate the anniversary of being rescued. Rimmer never mentions it again after this episode.

  37. >Holly was observing the cats for the majority of the time so he had entertainment.

    In the novels he spent most of the time gurning, looking out the window and reading books. This seemingly applies to the TV version too, as by Confidence and Paranoia he has read every book in existence

  38. I just noticed that Doug replied to someone on twitter saying the DVD extras were carrying over.

  39. That’s super I suppose, but I hope there’s some form of additional extra/extras. Given it is Red Dwarf’s 30th anniversary it feels like it would be an idea to have something new. In an ideal world it would be Doug Naylor commentaries over all the episodes but I don’t know if that would ever happen

  40. I tweeted Doug that I’d sell my soul for his commentaries.

  41. Wish Fulfillment Mode – Wouldn’t it be extraordinary for this release to include absolutely everything on the 1-VIII DVDs, plus absolutely everything on The Bodysnatcher Collection plus Doug commentaries and Just the Smegs?

    I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth, though. I’d be perfectly happy with a vanilla release, I already have all of the DVDs. Would just be wonderful to have a comprehensive, all-in-one-package release.

  42. There are things that could happily be dropped – no need for the 1-VI ‘Outtakes’ packages for example. I’d be tempted to swap the Japanese ‘The End’ for the Re-Mastered one too, which would also allow the docu and the technical commentary to be ported over in a way that made sense. No-one would miss the music montages either – they belong to a different time and are redundant as trailers for the range now they’re all in one box.

    I’d group all the Red Dwarf Night stuff together too for the first time on home release if it were me doing it. A-Z, Smeg Ups comp, Can’t Smeg and links comp under a menu. And I’d put Xtended on as a direct transfer of the VHS master, uncomplicating the VII situation.

    What I would like – and this won’t happen – is the three Xtended shows re-edited and dubbed with the broadcast laughter tracks and patched up everywhere else. I keep meaning to have a go at this myself – using parallel phase inversion and both edits you could synch off a lot of clean stereo VII laughs to use with negligible artefacting, and then re-encoding to AC3 and re-synching using an authoring tool it’d be easy. Might even put the original sitar end credits music to Tikka back in…

    I’d also just put Six Of The Best on straight off the CD and dump the commentary and easter egg versions. It made sense doing it like that 16 years ago but not now. Put some photos under it and job’s a good ‘un.

  43. Putting Six of the Best all together does make sense, although putting The End in as a commentary actually means it takes up less room. Maybe that’s not an issue though.

    Ultra-wishful thinking: a documentary on the movie, and a storyboard version of one of the scripts, performed by the cast.

  44. Personally, I’m more interested in this: If the original version of Red Dwarf is getting a high-def coat of paint in a way that is respectable… does that mean the audio is getting remastered? And if so, does this potentially mean a fresh dub of the show might find its way into international territories that only got the ReMastered versions of 1-III?

    To that end, could countries like Japan finally see a more “authentic” cut of the series reaching its shores in the same way that Viz Media went to the trouble of re-dubbing Sailor Moon for western audiences a couple of years back?

  45. The official announcement says:

    going back to the source and giving the episodes a thorough going-over for visuals, colour and sound

    So some kind of audio overhaul seems to be in order.

    Doug has also Tweeted this in response to a question about whether the old bonus content from the DVDs is carrying over:

    https://twitter.com/DougRDNaylor/status/1025340556598231040

    I guess it’s not absolutely clear whether that means ALL of it, but still, good news.

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