Merry 10th to The Bodysnatcher Collection

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    Stephen R. Fletcher

    This time 10 years ago, The Bodysnatcher Collection was released! Still remember the release date quite well. I was anxious and worried that Royal Mail and (back when it existed) would screw me over since it didn’t arrive the Saturday before like most of the pre-orders I got from would. I was waiting what felt like forever and worried it wouldn’t even get posted on the release date. Thankfully it did and I immediately put on the Series I & II doccos first :o)

    Such a shame it’s so hard to come by now, but what a bloody great DVD boxset it was!


    Ben Saunders

    I just watched Bodysnatcher for the first time there, as if to celebrate (except I was going to watch it anyway.)

    That was………………………… uh. Let’s just say I’m glad we got the Series I we got.

    An interesting historical document.


    Ben Saunders

    “Homo Rimmer” was a slow burner that made me laugh progressively harder for about twenty whole seconds, because it sounds like “man who licks other men’s buttholes”, dunnit. Fnarr fnarr.



    rimmer doing roll call in the utterly empty refectory is still hilarious, imo


    Ben Saunders

    There are some good bits, yeah, but overall it’s rather dull, and I wouldn’t get rid of any of the Series I episodes they ended up making to make room for it.



    It’s really not about replacing the originals. At all. Bodysnatcher is practically made for extras. Aside from the eponymous lead feature, there’s the brilliant documentaries for series I & II, that are more…well, better…than the original features on the DVDs. The Original Assembly and Rob & Doug’s commentary. And all the other bits that the earlier s1+2 DVDs missed out on.


    Ben Saunders

    Yeah, it’s a fantastic collection of things and I’m glad it exists, but I’ve seen them all before except Bodysnatcher itself (thanks, YouTube). Although interestingly I’ve only ever seen The Worst Interview In The Universe Ever with the commentary because that’s the only version that’s online, lol. That beach in paradise deleted scene really does look fucking freezing.



    I saved a fortune by not waiting 10 years to get a copy.



    Still amazes me how much stuff there is on this set, stuff we thought we’d never get. Doug and Rob commentaries – including on an unproduced episode finished 20 years after it was abandoned, the Titchmarsh interview and the original version of The End (all in themselves quite remarkable). The best doccos of the lot (prior to “We’re Smegged”), with all their lovely, lovely rushes clips. The pictures of the Series I rehearsals. The test model shot for the Movie. Robert Llewellyn’s first day. Howard’s original version of Tongue Tied. The recreated script extracts – ALSO with Doug and Rob commentary. The Spitting Image Easter Egg.

    Can you IMAGINE what a similar release for another show could contain? I would kill for Eric Saward giving a commentary over the abandoned version of ep 14 of The Trial of a Time Lord. Or Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong realising the version of Peep Show S3 which ends with Mark finding Johnson has committed suicide. Or a documentary to the standard of The Beginning or It’s Cold Outside about the IMMENSELY troubled production that was the BBC’s Robin Hood, or the third series of the original Robot Wars. Or a look at the live studio rushes for Have I Got News for You or Would I Lie to You.

    We were so lucky to get The Bodysnatcher Collection.



    We really have been spoiled.

    Ooh if there was one model shot in the Dave era that made me gasp like that test shot for the movie I would be a very happy man.


    International Debris

    Yeah, it has to be said, boxsets of this variety are very few and far between. I bought it on release without really considering that it wouldn’t always be available. I almost took DVD extras for granted back in those days.

    I used to love following the DVD updates section on the official site. That said, I was still amazed by just how much content was on Bodysnatcher. It was a wonderful couple of evenings spent with it. And because it’s the most recent release, it’s still the one I’ve seen the least of, extras-wise, so there are plenty of lovely things that don’t seem overly familiar in there.

    And yes, much as I dislike the pencil, that movie test shot is something I have played many, many times.


    Ben Paddon

    The Bodysnatcher Collection really did come out at the perfect time. I don’t know any bugger who cared about the remastered editions of the episodes, but those extras are what the set is about. You don’t see extras this details or in-depth anymore, whether as a standalone release or as part of a regular set. Nowadays you’re lucky to get a blooper reel and a special effects breakdown on the disc (I’m looking at you, The Good Place.)

    Part of that is that the shape of the home media market has changed so dramatically over the last decade. People don’t buy discs anymore, s o less money is allocated for special features. The reality is, a set like this just couldn’t get released today.

    We were lucky to get it when we did, and we were lucky it was released at all. It sucks that it’s out of print – I picked mine up on a whim at the HMV at Heathrow airport on my way back to LA after visiting my family – and though it doesn’t get watched nearly as much as the rest of my Red Dwarf DVDs, I feel very lucky to own it.



    This was an amazing and much anticipated release back in 2007. I cracked open the cider and gloried in the three main documentaries and then watched Bodysnatcher and all the commentaries over the next few days. Great days they were, great days. It definitely felt like the end as well – surely there was no where to go after this? So amazing to finally see Bobby’s first day having read about it 15 years earlier.


    International Debris

    Yeah, I never expected to be interested in owning the Remastered versions, but then we even got Doug & Ed commentaries and the frequently amusing ‘what’s changed?’ text track on them, meaning even they had value.

    What a wonderful release.



    You realise, of course, that I now need to go and revisit all these extras I’ve not watched for a good two or three years.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    And don’t forget the thought and attention that was put into the subtitle track to make the remastered episodes watchable.


    Jason aka Smeg4Brains

    Damn it, I’ve had this page open for so long before i replied that International Debris beat me to it.
    *Shakes fist*


    Chris Stokes

    Found it for sale at 65 quid on Amazon the other day. Decided to just go for it as I missed out at the time. It arrived this morning. Can’t wait to finally get stuck in.


    Ben Saunders

    65 quid, fucking hell, hope you enjoy it mate



    You can get region 4 version for £30 shipped from Australia if you’re not too fussy about regions and covers.

    A UK version on ebay is generally looking at about £50 these days. They’re very few and far between though, in the year I spent looking for one I only saw about 3 go for sale. I only managed to get mine for £30 as I took a risk that a ‘slightly split’ disc would play OK.


    Flap Jack

    The Bodysnatcher Collection is amazing, and even though I waited too late and had to pay through the nose for it – around £40 IIRC – it was worth it.

    I regret that in 2007 I was completely oblivious to the online Dwarf fandom despite being super into Red Dwarf itself, so I had no idea the Red Dwarf Remastered project or Bodysnatcher even existed. So even though I saw the set many times in HMV, I just assumed it was a compilation of the individual Series I-III releases, that “Remastered” just referred to it being at DVD picture quality, and that “Bodysnatcher” was just a random, quirky name choice.

    I wonder how many other less-news-following fans passed over The Bodysnatcher Collection like I did?



    Quite a few if the sales figures are to be believed.



    I didn’t bother as I didn’t see the value in the remastered versions of series I already had. I knew there was a lost episode in storyboard form (but not that it was narrated by Chris), but that didn’t justify the purchase price at the time.

    I think it was more expensive than 1-8 as well?


    Captain No-Name

    I wonder how many other less-news-following fans passed over The Bodysnatcher Collection like I did?

    I never even saw one in the shops. Didn’t know it existed until fairly recently.

    The Bodysnatcher Collection is one of those sets like that 2013 Doctor Who boxset (with Day of the Doctor, The Five(ish) Doctors, An Adventure in Space and Time and Night of the Doctor) that I really wish I’d picked up at the time.

    I’m not fussy about covers, but I’ve got a DVD player that spits out some Region 2 discs when it’s not in the mood, so I’m not optimistic about it playing an Australian one!


    International Debris

    Oh God, that 50th Anniversary Who boxset was infuriating because it was immediately limited to far fewer pieces than people who wanted it. I think I’m right in thinking that the F(ish) Doctors is otherwise unavailable on disc? Instead I’ve got Day of, Time of and Adventure as separate DVDs, taking up more space and lacking in that utterly brilliant daft one-off, because… I don’t know. I can’t fathom why they made it so limited. They’d make a lot of money from selling more because so many people still want it.



    How limited was the 50th anniversary box? I’d bought AAISAT from the US about two months before it was announced. Still picked up a copy though as I wanted TOTD on disc and as soon as it was announced I knew it wouldn’t be on the next series set. Plus it’s a pretty nice set generally.

    I didn’t buy Bodysnatcher as soon as it came out as I remember it was quite expensive upon release and I was but a young lad with little money to my name and so I couldn’t justify the cost. However, one day I just thought fuck it – and I’m glad that I did. So much amazing stuff in that collection.


    Captain No-Name

    I can’t fathom why they made it so limited.

    I didn’t take its limited edition status seriously unfortunately. I thought it would be one of those instances where they make a bazillion units with shiny numbered stickers on.

    The only time I rushed to buy a limited edition Doctor Who DVD boxset was when the Key to Time set was originally released, because I love that season and I was horrified by the prospect of it selling out. Guess what, once it sold out they re-released it in a not-limited edition version that had THE EXACT SAME DISCS IN but came in a different cardboard outer.

    This experience meant I basically thought I could take my sweet time picking up a 50th boxset. I was wrong.

    I was but a young lad with little money to my name and so I couldn’t justify the cost. However, one day I just thought fuck it – and I’m glad that I did. So much amazing stuff in that collection.

    Sadly I fear I wouldn’t have had the pennies for it back then, even if I had known it existed. Certainly I’m fascinated by the sound of all the extras, but I’d want to have them all in a physical box on my shelf rather than rummaging around on YouTube or elsewhere for fragments.



    I’ve got Bodysnatcher, The original Limited Edition Key to Time boxset, and the Name/Day/Time/AAISAT boxset. That last one is so annoying because it looks beautiful, but has no designer credits at all.


    International Debris

    How limited was the 50th anniversary box?

    6,000 BluRay and 4,000 DVD, I believe. Which doesn’t seem that limited, until you realise how many fanatic Whovians there are out there. It still sold out within a matter of weeks.

    Guess what, once it sold out they re-released it in a not-limited edition version that had THE EXACT SAME DISCS IN but came in a different cardboard outer.

    Actually, the releases were 26 months apart. By the time the second one came out the original releases was selling well into the three figures range on second hand sites.


    Captain No-Name

    Actually, the releases were 26 months apart.

    Was it as long as that? Blimey. That said, Doctor Who fans are used to waiting years and years for specific classic series DVDs so 26 months doesn’t sound that long in the grand scheme of things. Especially as DWM probably explained the situation ages in advance. Why you’d shell out 3-figures rather than just waiting is beyond me.

    I mean, if Grant Naylor announced a reissue of Bodysnatcher was due to come out in 26 months I’d rejoice.

    Maybe I’m just old, but time goes so quickly.

    I swear Back to Earth was only about 26 months ago…


    International Debris

    I’m guessing some people were impatient (although as it was midway through the peak of the classic range releases, I can’t see why you would be), or thought that a re-release wasn’t happening (which is daft).



    To be fair, they outright said a Key To Time re-release *wasn’t* happening and later changed their minds. I was so stressed for those 2 years wondering why the gell I’d bothered to start collecting them at all…

    Worth noting that Bodysnatcher had a ridiculous RRP when it came out. £49.99. Absolutely insane (that’s £65 in today’s money), so as big as a fan I am I never bought it at the time, instead I copied a friend’s. I got a new one for a tenner in £10 when I worked for a DVD clearance shop that had all the stock seized from 2|entertain by the liquidators after the initial Woolworths bust. Also got Just The Smegs for £2, which lives inside my VI box as Disc 3. Which it kind of is.


    International Debris

    They genuinely planned to have six Who serials out of print while the rest were available? Crazy bastards.



    >Bodysnatcher had a ridiculous RRP when it came out. £49.99.

    I thought I remembered it being bloody expensive. Happen to remember the cost of the standard DVDs 1-8?


    Captain No-Name

    To be fair, they outright said a Key To Time re-release *wasn’t* happening and later changed their minds.

    Ah, that completely explains my uncharacteristic haste in picking it up!

    I must’ve read that it was definitely limited edition. No wonder I was cross when I saw it re-released with a different cardboard outer, even if it was 2 years later.

    Crazy bastards indeed. Or at least I think that’s what the Watcher called them…



    £49.99 for three series and all those “extras” seems fair considering a decade earlier (or less) we’d pay £12.99 (£22.27 today?) for no-frills three-episode tapes. Then the BBC deleted the first six series, making them unavailable for years until the DVDs came out, so I had to pay even less reasonable prices collecting them through eBay (most was £17-£19 for Quarantine I think), before making some of that back selling them again when upgrading to DVDs.

    At least Red Dwarf’s always been a comparatively inexpensive fandom on the whole, on account of there not being all that much stuff to buy (and some of it being avoidably rubbish).



    Lily, the 2-disc DVDs were £19.99 I think, maybe a couple of quid cheaper through Not sure about the 3-disc VII & VIII, I didn’t bother buying those for a few years until I saw them in a sale.


    International Debris

    I got I-III when I first got a laptop with a DVD player, but after that I’d buy the others from HMV or Virgin on the day of release, generally £17.99 or £19.99. Seems weird, I can’t imagine paying much more than a tenner for a DVD these days.



    I used to get everything on back then, usually a quid or two cheaper, arriving the weekend before release date. Them was the days.



    Yep, I-VIII were £19.99, Just The Smegs was £15.99.

    As great as the set was, £49.99 was as indefensible then as it is now.


    Seb Patrick

    Yep, I-VIII were £19.99, Just The Smegs was £15.99.
    As great as the set was, £49.99 was as indefensible then as it is now.


    Bodysnatcher Collection = 14 hours of content = 6p per minute
    Series I = 264 minutes of content = 13p per minute
    Just the Smegs = 100 minutes of content = 16p per minute

    “Indefensible”? I’d say it’s better value than any of the previous releases!



    I don’t even mind Re-Mastered that much, and the two main documentaries are two of the best things ever made… but no. Not fifty. Forty? Possibly. Thirty-five? About right.

    I don’t like the per-minute measurement because DVD releases tend to have a falling curve of value-per-disc where each successive disc in the box is worth a percentage less than the last.

    For balance I’d have paid more for the VII and VIII releases.



    Also, nine hours of the Bodysnatcher set runtime is made up of I-III Remastered.



    Casual fans had series 1-3 on ‘just the shows’
    Normal fans had the individual DVDs
    Die-hard fans already had both

    Going back and trying to sell the same shows -again- with the remastered versions was only ever going to appeal to a small niche of completists.



    For a product with niche appeal, I think it’s fine.



    I was referring to the price. I think I paid somewhere between £30-£40 for it.


    Chris Stokes

    I had no qualms paying what I did the other week. Ever since it was released I’ve heard nothing but how great it is and with it being rare to come by these days (unless I’ve been unlucky in my searches), I’d rather spend what I did when I have it on it rather than risk not being able to get it for ages. I pounced, basically. I decided I couldn’t pass it up.

    Really looking forward to finally watching Bodysnatcher itself, as well as the I & II documentaries. I had the Remastered VHS of The End/Future Echoes/Balance of Power back in the day but have never seen the remastered versions of the rest of I-III. Now, whether or not they’re any good is immaterial, they’re version of Red Dwarf I haven’t seen so I need to see them. It’s fun to play spot the difference too.

    An early Christmas present to myself.



    I remember going out and buying every Remastered VHS the day they came out. Consecutive weeks, I seem to remember. Both Series One tapes came out the same day. My God, I was so excited. The way that picture down the spine came together… amazing.



    I spotted mine on musicmagpie for £25 quid and snapped it up there and then. When it did finally arrive (took about 3 weeks) I went on their website to see how much they pay for it: £2.50. Someone sold it for £2.50. Even CEX who pay nothing for their stock buy it for 19 quid (they’re currently selling them for just under £40). Insane really.


    International Debris

    £2.50 is the most they pay for any CDs or DVDs.



    If anything on MusicMagpie comes up at over two quid, do *not* sell it to MusicMagpie. Get it up on Marketplace.



    I’ll repost this from a previous Bodysnatcher Topic. This is for a “Region 4” version of the Bodysnatcher Collection:

    libdvdnav: Using dvdnav version 5.0.3
    libdvdnav: DVD Title: BBCDVD2346
    libdvdnav: DVD Serial Number: 375258ea
    libdvdnav: DVD Title (Alternative):
    libdvdnav: DVD disk reports itself with Region mask 0x00f50000. Regions: 2 4

    In other words, the version available throughout Australasia should be just fine in any well behaving Region 2 device. (I haven’t checked but this may well be true for many other BBC releases over the years. It’s certainly much cheaper to produce one disk for as many territories as possible.)



    Region 4 releases are often coded for Region 2 as well, I’m not sure why. I remember picking up the Australian version of Attack of the Clones when it first came out, to get an uncensored version that would work in a Region 2 player.


    Ben Saunders

    What on earth would they censor from Attack of the Clones?



    Obi-Wan having a big old wank and shoving a lightsaber up his arse. Or have you not seen the Region 4 version? Sorry, spoilers.


    Flap Jack

    The bit where Anakin cuts down defenseless women and children with his lightsaber while screaming “Die, Space Arabs, die!”.


    Ben Saunders

    Did they cut the word beginning with N that Anakin says in his “I hate sand n******” speech? That was a defining character moment.



    The real and boring answer is that there’s a short shot of a headbutt between Jango Fett and Obi-Wan that would have pushed the certificate up to a 12 if it had been left in.

    Of course, the best thing to come out of all this is the existence of a news story that begins “Darth Scourge complained most vociferously to the BBFC”.


    Ben Saunders

    Oh I remember that, actually


    Nick R

    The BBFC really had a thing against headbutts at that time. Even The Matrix (a 15 certificate) had one edited out. (Which AFAIK affected the soundtrack and was the reason the commentary wasn’t on the Region 2 release.)

    Although IIRC there’s one in one of the Lord of the Rings films (possibly the PG-rated Fellowship of the Ring?) that somehow made it through unedited at around the same time.



    Yes, I think they’ve cooled on it in recent years.

    To be honest though, there was lots of stuff in the first LotR that I think pushed the boundaries of PG.



    There was definitely a case of a Simpsons episode that should have been rated 12, but the distributors ‘persuaded’ the BBFC to pass it with a PG because they were worried the higher rating would prohibit sales (there will be an article about this on my blog at some point in the not-too-distant future, incidentally). Possibly a similar thing with LOTR?



    Or possibly LotR’s literary credentials helping sway them? I dunno.



    A puppet being headbutted was supposedly the reason why one Farscape episode (‘Home on the Remains’), and thus the entire season 2 boxset, was bumped up to an 18.



    I know us Americans are bizarrely stingy about sex when it comes to our ratings, but you Brits are equally bizarrely stingy about very specific kinds of violence when it comes to your ratings.



    Generally I think it relates to whether the violence is likely to be imitated by young viewers, which I think is fair enough really. The BBFC definitely does seem to have oddly specific hangups about certain things though.



    >violence is likely to be imitated by young viewers

    Ah yes, like the spate of perforated eardrums across the country when kids went out copying the Tango advert and slapping their mates in the head.


    Ben Saunders

    My mum had to stop me and my brothers from watching Power Rangers because we’d fight each other like they did all the time. Children are idiots



    My mum tried to stop me watching Power Rangers, but I used to just watch it on a Saturday morning before she woke up anyway. Now I co-host a Power Rangers podcast, so jokes on her really … or me. I’m not quite sure.


    Ben Saunders

    I actually remember being extremely young and watching Red Dwarf on the downlow when I wasn’t supposed to – my brother’s video player used to be able to be picked up on my television on the other side of the wall for whatever reason, and I remember watching Series VIII at the same time as him without anybody noticing. The bit I remember watching, specifically, was the Blue Midget Dance. I quite enjoyed it, then.

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