Bluray Extras Confirmed!

With the Bluray release just over a month away, we now have confirmation of exactly what’s packed in to those 19 shiny discs. Firstly, with regards to the episodes themselves, the TOS update is keen to emphasise that the extent of the re-mastering this time around is to upscale the video, clean up any damage and polish up the colour grade, rather than making any significant changes to the overall show. They note that there’s no change “to the feeling of each unique season”, so VII will keep its film look but none of the others will have it added. Bless, they know we’ve been burnt before with re-mastering, so they’re just trying to reassure us.

On to the meat of the matter: the extras, and the confirmation that no new bonus material has been compiled for the release. This is hardly a surprise – for a start, we’d have already heard about it by now if there was anything new, and we all know that budgets for home releases are not what they were. At the very most, I could picture there being a few more things chucked in from the archives, as per the recent Hitchhikers release, but even that takes time and money that isn’t necessarily available.

Thankfully, virtually all the original extras from the DVDs are included – again, not surprising ever since we knew it would be 19 discs, but good to have it confirmed. I’ve never quite been convinced of the necessity for this release, and I guess I won’t make up my mind until I see how the spruced-up episodes look, but at least the sheer comprehensiveness makes it a worthwhile one-off purchase for anyone who doesn’t already have all the individual releases.

Although it would be remiss of us if we didn’t point out the handful of things that aren’t included, namely the isolated music cues (possibly including the Tongue Tied Archive from Bodysnatcher), talking book chapters, the Re-Mastered commentaries and trivia track, the mobisode and the all-important weblinks. Furthermore, the status of the bonus Six of the Best based commentary on The End, the pair of fan commentaries and the Easter Eggs from each release other than Bodysnatcher are yet to be determined. As soon as we hear any news on stickers, we’ll let you know.

The final detail to note is that the extras discs will actually be DVDs instead of Blurays. I can’t decide whether this feels like a bit of a swizz, or whether it just makes financial sense given that the extras aren’t being upscaled and would therefore gain no benefit from being put on Bluray. Due to the way the VII and VIII releases were split over three discs, however, Identity Within, Comedy Connections are the fan films are the three extras that do make it to Bluray. I can’t imagine The Movie: Yeah, No, Yeah, No will upscale well, but I’m looking forward to seeing how Seb Patrick’s tits turn out.

 

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53 Responses to Bluray Extras Confirmed!

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  1. Aww, looks like there aren’t any new special features after all, and all the extras discs are just DVDs. Never mind. Still seems like a pretty great release!

    The Isolated Music Cues may not be on there, but don’t worry, the music featurettes are. THANK GOD.

  2. It’s a load of shite. It wouldn’t take much to port everything over but there’s extras missing and what’s left is still in DVD format. At least on blu-ray you’d be able to use a modern codec and have the extras in standard definition but with no visible compression artefacts.

    It costs nothing for Doug to record a few commentaries, bring along Rob one afternoon, a few drinks and do some reminiscing.

    £40 to watch slightly cleaner, upscaled video and lose vital extras such as the Bodysnatcher commentaries and music cues. Piffle.

  3. G&T Admin

    It costs NOTHING for two people to give up their day, hire a recording studio, and an engineer, and then master the results to Bluray. NOTHING.

  4. Easy tiger, it’s a record of historical importance, having first-hand accounts of select episodes by the creators and writers of Red Dwarf. I’m sure Doug can spare a few bob to hire a studio for the day, record some commentaries, an overview of the series with Rob and some banter about the day to day production of the show thirty years on. Fill up the day and get your money’s worth.

  5. Ace Rimmer – A Life in Lamé

    Phew. Thank God this wasn’t cut

  6. Further thoughts…

    – I can’t believe I thought they might add more of the Mobisodes, and they just removed the one they had before. It’s a good thing the mobisodes are all crap, otherwise I might be slightly disappointed.

    – It’s weird how online stores still don’t show the official cover art (which is great).

    – So if no new extras are on this release, what’s causing the age rating to be bumped from 12 to 15? I’m going to assume this set has the original cut of Marooned until I’m contradicted.

    Fingers crossed they also put Copacabana back into Terrorform – !

    – The confirmation that Red Dwarf Remastered is not on this set makes it official: the original Series 1-III is now more remastered than Remastered.

    – I wonder if these HD versions will replace the SD versions for UKTV repeats? I’m sure that BBC documentaries and such will still use third party 240p YouTube clips though.

  7. Unreliable maths, not adjusting for inflation:

    VHS: 52 fuzzy episodes + just the smegs = RRP about £225
    DVD: 52 SD episodes + all extras = RRP about £180 (counting a bit of Bodysnatcher for the extras)
    Blu-ray: 52 HD-ish episodes + nearly all extras = RRP £39.99

    Excellent value for a retro re-release. Cast and crew made a thorough time capsule with the DVDs, I don’t imagine they’ve got much more to say 15+ years on. Current Dwarf is Dave Dwarf, moan about lacking extras for those releases.

  8. Easy tiger, it’s a record of historical importance, having first-hand accounts of select episodes by the creators and writers of Red Dwarf. I’m sure Doug can spare a few bob to hire a studio for the day, record some commentaries, an overview of the series with Rob and some banter about the day to day production of the show thirty years on. Fill up the day and get your money’s worth.

    “Spare a few bob”?! Amazing. I know I’ve been audibly disappointed by aspects of this Blu ray release, but I seriously hope I never came across like… this.

  9. I think the confirmation of no new extras (and in fact slightly fewer than the DVDs) means I’ll hang on to the existing DVD sets and decide whether to buy the BRs only after seeing some comparison footage.

    Also, it’s a shame Remastered isn’t on it, just as a warning to future generations.

    Great value though for anyone who doesn’t already own this material.

  10. It seems like I’m just gonna have to create a bonus disc containing everything not on this release.

    I shall call it ‘The Z-Shift’.

  11. Silly question but you can play DVDs in Blu-Ray, players, right? What like is the picture quality when you do that? Compared to just a DVD player or just sticking them on a Blu-Ray. Probably not that different.

    Also, in the last paragraph, “Comedy Connections are the fan films are the three extras” should probably be “and the fan films”, not to be a prick

  12. Same quality as a DVD player, there’s units that upscale but there’s sod all difference because the initial image is so low resolution to begin with.

    I suspect the impetus for this release was Doug wanting to create new broadcast masters to use as a basis for future syndication and streaming.

    And maybe try his hand at a new remastered collection but we all know how that turned out.

  13. Couldnt they have just put all the SD extras on like 2 Blu rays. Rather than loads of DVDS?

  14. I don’t think the people who control the Blu-Ray format like them to be used for solely SD content, I think there has to be at least one HD feature on each BR disc for commercial releases.

  15. Yes but that’d be too easy.

    Blu 1 – Documentaries
    Blu 2 – Everything else

    Considering there was rumours of extras tapes going amiss, I have a feeling some of the extras will literally be transplanted from the DVDs so no way of going back and re-compressing them in any better quality.

  16. I’m not too cut up about the DVDs on their own merits, but more how they tie into the explanation for the 19 discs.

    Because if you were thinking that they were keeping the DVD special features in SD, but putting them onto fewer Blu rays rather than many DVDs, then that would have meant there was at least 1 disc amongst the 19 dedicated to entirely new content.

    Although, it does make those discs kind of a double-dip. What do I get from putting in Series 3 Disc 2 from this release over Series 3 Disc 2 from the original DVD release? No isolated music cues features and different menus, I guess. Might be worth it if those menus are quicker and easier to navigate!

    Anyway, it’s all all fine given the price and that this release is for everyone, but you could make the argument that folks who already have all the previous DVDs would prefer a release which was just the Blu rays. Not quite Just The Shows considering commentaries, Xtendeds and fan films, but Just The Disc Ones. =P

  17. Bit annoyed that there are no new extras- it would have been great to have Rob and Doug commentaries over the episodes or something (imagine Rob watching the Blue Midget dance) but at least there are almost all the extras from the original DVDs. I don’t think I’ll be getting this boxset, but I do like the idea behind it, it’s quite cool to have everything compiled into one massive definitive set (especially the Bodysnatcher stuff)

  18. It isn’t definitive, it’s a patch-in. Keep your original DVDs.

  19. the handful of things that aren’t included, namely […] the mobisode

    *cancels order*

  20. Keep your original DVDs.

    I am keeping my near-16 year old original DVDs. But I’m just grabbing some reasonably priced discs in better condition as well.

  21. A little disappointing that the Smeg Ups specials aren’t included but at the end of the day the purpose for this set is to improve the presentation of the existing episodes, If these improve the presentation then it will be £40 very well spent considering how many times we all watch these episodes. And it isn’t like I am getting rid of the Just the Smegs DVD. That is a much-cherished part of my DVD collection.

    I hope the Bodysnatcher disc is Blu-Ray and The End Original Assembly and Bodysnatcher are upscaled too. Hoping the commentaries also pull over for those too.

    The extras being on DVD is fine. It isn’t like we are crying out for The End Japanese version upscaled. So long as we get a little more simple menus now (bye bye Series III Disc 2) then it will be good. Although I am confused why they didn’t move the Series 1 and 2 documentaries onto their respective discs as it would seem like a good opportunity to move bonus features around into better places (as they are in the Doctor Who Blu-Ray season sets).

  22. It’d be hilarious if the extras discs were literally the second discs of each series set, mid-2000s artwork, menus and everything.

    But if held up to the light, you can see that Doug used Memorex DVD-Rs and a knobby old inkjet printer.

  23. Tempted to cancel my pre-order now that I see the musical features are included.

  24. Music cues is a massive miss in my opinion.

    And it would have been a lot nicer if this was a 12 disc set or something with the extras on Blurays rather than a 19 disc set.

    The episodes aren’t HD (well, they’re HD resolution but not an HD source) and they’re on Blu-rays so I can’t see there being any Blu-ray standards to wrangle with.

    If there are they could have upscaled them (non fancily, not like the episodes, just in Premiere or something haha) to 720p and benefited from the modern codecs or included a token HD feature on each, gallery maybe? I don’t know if that’d count.

    There are other Blu-rays with just SD content though so I think it’s budget related.

    Still good value though.

  25. The episodes *are* HD, aren’t they? They won’t look as good as other stuff because of the source material, but I thought they were still presented in HD.

  26. From the linked article:

    “Smart algorithms have been used to reformat the video into High Definition (HD) digital video files”

  27. Oh, you’ve edited your post now.

  28. Oh, you’ve edited your post now.

    I always do a second pass in case I sound needlessly angry haha

  29. Ha, I think I just happened to be posting as you were editing so my reply doesn’t make that much sense now!

    I’m far from being an expert on BRs and HD but presumably the whole point of the release is the improved video quality, given that everything else is the same as the DVDs.

    I’ve been watching some of the recent Hitchhiker’s set tonight, and in places it looks surprisingly good. I hope they can get close to that.

  30. The Hitchhiker’s upscale is okay but the Doctor Who Season 12 upscale is incredible. Fingers crossed that Red Dwarf benefits in the same way as Doctor Who.

  31. The remastered episodes had one good attribute, the image grading. The washed out look was gone, the white balance was on point and colours really popped out, even in the first series. I think they’ll go along that route as they’ve stated there’s no revisions to the episodes other than fixing faults with film sequences, video drop-outs and other analogue anomalies.

    One point of interest is whether they’ll use the broadcast master for Series VII or re-do the film effect as it’s came along leaps and bounds in the last twenty years. The original duplicated every second field with a slight blur to reconstruct the whole frame whereas now you can interpolate the missing fields and keep the image sharper and looking more like it was shot progressively.

  32. I wish they took the film effect off VII or in some technological way gave the viewer the option of which version they wanted to watch. This may have just required another Bluray with the episodes on it wih the effect removed and we chocse which one we wanted to put in.

  33. I’m fascinated to see what VII looks like.

  34. One wonders if they were tempted to sort out the various moments on the Xtended episodes where the film effect disappears.

  35. See, I get the “leave it be” argument but I would’ve really been interested to see them have a go at fixing that awful CSO error in Marooned with the technology they have now.

    I’d love to have been there when that was in the edit and they were just like, “Shit, it’s 1989 isn’t it, better put a close-up of the series 1 set there”.

  36. I suspect the episodes were cut together and then given the film look as the ship and VFX shots look field reduced as well. The 2005 remaster of Tikka to Ride retains the same filmised effect but the new ship / VFX shots were rendered at full 576p25 and look glorious.

    I would’ve in all honesty have preferred a restored Series VII that retained the 50i look of the previous six series than the blu-ray set.

    Go back to the VII rushes, re-cut the episodes in 576i50 along with newly rendered ship / VFX shots, tweak the colour grading so there’s more subtle saturation and visibility around the lighting and shadows and bingo, the classic run of the first eight series can sit together all interlaced and happy and visually similar.

    One of the interesting outcomes of the Series VII blu-ray will be that we’ll be watching what is essentially 288p video at 1080p. Fucking horrible to think about but that’s the march of technology.

    As for Marooned, there’s a case to be made for fixing little odds and sods like the CSO shots and the horrible Cat shot in the episode Kryten (you know what shot I’m referring to) but once you start fixing things, other problems that weren’t so obvious before suddenly rear their head and before you know it, it’s Remastered all over again.

    The route Doug seems to be going for is TNG on blu-ray where you present the episodes as best as you can and fix issues that were not part of overall artistic choices like tape drop-out, film scratches and camera errors.

  37. I suspect the episodes were cut together and then given the film look as the ship and VFX shots look field reduced as well. The 2005 remaster of Tikka to Ride retains the same filmised effect but the new ship / VFX shots were rendered at full 576p25 and look glorious.

    I would’ve in all honesty have preferred a restored Series VII that retained the 50i look of the previous six series than the blu-ray set.
    Go back to the VII rushes, re-cut the episodes in 576i50 along with newly rendered ship / VFX shots, tweak the colour grading so there’s more subtle saturation and visibility around the lighting and shadows and bingo, the classic run of the first eight series can sit together all interlaced and happy and visually similar.
    One of the interesting outcomes of the Series VII blu-ray will be that we’ll be watching what is essentially 288p video at 1080p. Fucking horrible to think about but that’s the march of technology.
    As for Marooned, there’s a case to be made for fixing little odds and sods like the CSO shots and the horrible Cat shot in the episode Kryten (you know what shot I’m referring to) but once you start fixing things, other problems that weren’t so obvious before suddenly rear their head and before you know it, it’s Remastered all over again.
    The route Doug seems to be going for is TNG on blu-ray where you present the episodes as best as you can and fix issues that were not part of overall artistic choices like tape drop-out, film scratches and camera errors.

    They redid a lot of special effects for TNG though.

  38. Most of the effects originated on videotape though and wouldn’t have held up against the new film scan so I see them more as reconstructions than revisions. A lot of effects that originated on film were re-used though like the starfield at warp.

  39. I read about this yesterday, and the article I read said that they re-did all of the video effects like phasers etc, because they went back to the original rushes to re-edit the shows in HD, and of course the original film wouldn’t have any of the post video effects done. The ship effects etc are all original.

    Also, if you’re going to “fix issues that were not part of overall artistic choices like tape drop-out…”, wouldn’t that horrific shot of the Cat be included, since it can’t have been an artistic decision for it to look so shite? Best to just leave it, maybe

  40. Best leave it as you’d have to then rate every less than stellar effects shot on merit of how shite it is and if it needs a clean up.

  41. I read about this yesterday, and the article I read said that they re-did all of the video effects like phasers etc, because they went back to the original rushes to re-edit the shows in HD, and of course the original film wouldn’t have any of the post video effects done. The ship effects etc are all original.

    Also, if you’re going to “fix issues that were not part of overall artistic choices like tape drop-out…”, wouldn’t that horrific shot of the Cat be included, since it can’t have been an artistic decision for it to look so shite? Best to just leave it, maybe

    Up to a certain point but when TNG went with CG, all of that will have been redone. I can’t remember when exactly they started using a CG Enterprise but I’d hazard a guess and say at least one full season. I know that money was tight in that regard which is why they reused shots the same ILM passes from the early seasons and some stuff from the films.

    Red Dwarf is being beautified, I’d include crap compositing being redone, I don’t think it alters the show any more than colour grading – some people aren’t happy with that and think Red Dwarf should only look washed out and blurry on a VHS, so you’ll never satisfy them anyway.

    Simply, if it’s a matter of opinion, leave it, if it’s broken, fix it. I think you’d avoid the CG Skutters and dodgy “ooh we’re in a vent even though the perspective is off” remastered fiddling.

  42. TNG only used limited CGI for space monsters and anomalies, the ships went CG during DS9 and Voyager which is why they’re not bothering to release those in HD.

  43. There’s a definite worry about the remastering being a slippery slope, but hopefully the experience with Remastered will encourage them to stay on the right side of making too many changes this time.

  44. Doug won’t be able to help himself, a tenner says there’s at least two shots per series that have clearly tidied up FX like the Cat ship shot in Kryten, the space-filth vehicle in Emohawk and the Ace Rimmer pods in Clipper.

  45. Re-doing the Ace Rimmer pods I would have no problem with, lol

  46. Yeah, I know the Blu-ray says it’s all about keeping the episodes as they were and all, but there’s so much stuff worth fixing, and there’s no reason not to imo. I mean, VII Starbug. It looked shit back then and it’ll look even worse in HD, why not do something to it? I mean obviously time, money etc. but really it seems like a missed oppurtunity to improve the episodes in some way

  47. The Series VIII disc has been enhanced with a documentary about Doug grudgingly attending a meeting about harmful stereotypes in the public’s view of prison. He then mugs to the camera and calls the prison officers a bunch of crossdressing marys

  48. As someone who only has the standard and now getting rather tired DVD’s of the I-8 series, I will certainly be getting this. Seems good value to have virtually everything in 1 box, and the picture should looks a little better as well.

  49. People have to bare in mind that licensing and permissions with external companies can cause conflict with content being redistributed. A lot of rereleased things have to make sacrafices as a result of this. Isolated scores may be due to the BBC, webisodes could be issues with the animation team. Plenty of things become copyright nightmares.

  50. I say put it all out regardless of copyright issues and then publicly state ‘what you going to do, phone the copyright police?’

  51. Nobody actually wants the webisodes do they?

    The music cues though, no-one expects series VIII’s actual songs, we know Tammy Wynette is too rich for a niche release but you’d think Red Dwarf would legally have the rights to Red Dwarf’s soundtrack.

  52. I know the Blu-ray says it’s all about keeping the episodes as they were and all, but there’s so much stuff worth fixing, and there’s no reason not to imo.

    Remastered Remastered Remastered Remastered Remastered.

    I mean, you remember Remastered, right?

  53. Remastered should’ve really been called Revision. It simply wasn’t the same show, it was a new beast made up of the rushes but with an entirely different post-production setup.

    This is more of a remaster.

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