Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Phil Silvers Chimp

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  • #207282
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    During the Q & A, when answering the question I asked Doug about the chimp plot in entangled, he mentioned The Phil Silver’s show also. Here is the chimp episode from St Bilco’s sitcom.

    http://youtu.be/BcT47aBAD8w

    Worth it for the bit, 22.20 which is I think the bit that Doug was relating on stage with Danny, saying how did they keep in character on set.

    You can perhaps see a glimpse, had a small live trained chimp been possible, how a story of Lister and Rimmer in unequal parenting of the new ship mate might have worked in some fashion. Doug said Lister would have been the divorced parental mother, dealing with all the mayhem and mess (we get a little of that in the final show, just a hint) and Rimmer being the one taking the chimp on trips and just enjoying things (off camera adventures refered to, I think). I can see the ideas working on a page, but im not surprised something changed in production. When at the recording I felt uneasy about a monkey in Dwarf, felt too broad in the humour on the night. But I dont mind it so much, the little we do get in the final show. Leaves a strange double developement in the end of the episode though. The documentary seems to suggest the channel or Charles A wanted more of the chimp written in, so I guess it seemed a marketing angle at one point to them? That or a few Chimps have got into Dave audience research polls and no ones owned up to this happening. Would explain a lot of the other programming on the channel.

    #207314
    takerdemon
    Participant

    Best thread title so far in 2013

    #207317
    Phil
    Participant

    I’m trying not to take offense at it.

    #207318
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    Entangled is like awful RD fanfiction. A bunch of under-developed ideas that go precisely nowhere, followed by a bizarre story about-turn with the introduction of the bloody chimp, followed by that bloody professor. The only thing that redeems it is Craig’s delivery of the final line, which is the most subtle thing in it.

    And yet, hearing about the idea of Rimmer and Lister being parental figures to a chimp, I realise it could have been a lot worse.

    It was of no surprise to learn that it was written in a weekend because it truly shows. It illustrates why, since XI is inevitable, Doug should be sorting out story ideas now and, maybe, scaling back his directing duties.

    >The documentary seems to suggest the channel or Charles A wanted more of the chimp written in, so I guess it seemed a marketing angle at one point to them?

    Think of the merchandising opportunities.

    #207322
    HelloMabel
    Participant

    Being mostly clueless about how TV programmes get made (learned everything I know from the bts doccos and what I’ve read on this site), I’d love for Pete or whoever else has criticized Doug’s direction to give a specific example, and how better direction would have improved it. Thanks!

    #207326
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    I didn’t criticise his direction, I’m criticising his method of writing half an episode the weekend before filming it. If he wasn’t directing the series (on top of being in charge of pretty much every aspect of the production), that would be one less job for him to do and time reclaimed to writing the show. Of course, in a ideal word, the scripts would be done and dusted weeks before the camera rolled, but it never seems to work out like that – even in the glory years.

    Compare it to Red Dwarf V (most of which was directed by Rob and Doug) and see how different the show looks. Back to Reality and the The Inquisitor stick in my mind as two brilliantly directed pieces of television. The key sequences in both episodes don’t look like sitcoms. However, the almost complete lack of locations in Red Dwarf X meant there was little room for anything particularly ambitious like that. Despite the fancy camera and clever editing techniques, it’s directed like what it is; a sitcom (and the closest we get to an action sequence is the rather feeble trash compactor scene in Fathers and Suns).

    So if you can’t block out anything overly ambitious in the shooting, then the other concern for the director would be directing the actors (maybe stopping them when they get a little broad (*cough* Kerry Shale)) and tightening up the pace. Hmm.

    I’m not surprised that Doug wants to direct the show (a lot of writers strive to direct their own work as they see it as a damned sight more fun than writing ) but I think his primary concern, and the one the show would greatly benefit from if he spent more time on it, is the writing. Farm the direction out to someone else or, better yet, get Ed back.

    #207327
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    I don’t really have much faith in Ed Bye any more, although that’s a moot point since Doug was pretty clear that he’ll be writing and directing on his own for the next series.

    #207335
    HelloMabel
    Participant

    Cheers Pete, that was helpful. And sorry I misunderstood your previous post.

    > I don’t really have much faith in Ed Bye any more

    Do you just mean your faith in his being part of any future series of Dwarf, or have you not liked his work on other projects?

    #207336
    MANI506
    Participant

    I have lots of faith in Ed Bye being hilarious in an interview situation.

    #207337
    si
    Participant

    Ed Bye directs Vicious. I happen to like Vicious.

    Make of that what you will.

    #207338
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    For much the same reason as above, I don’t think it’s possible to critique Ed’s work on other stuff. A lot of what he’s worked on (My Family, After You’ve Gone, Red Dwarf VIII) really isn’t to my taste, but I don’t see why that would mean his stock has fallen. He’s a hired gun, he’s not Christopher Nolan. A sitcom isn’t going to get *exceptionally* better because of the way it’s directed. Good sitcom direction will definitely improve it, but it’s not going to make a shit script into good television.

    Ed’s proven himself adept at tricky sitcom (which Red Dwarf is). You’ve only got to see his glee at shooting splitscreens to see that he relishes the sort of complex stuff you don’t normally get in sitcoms. (The stuff in the hotel suite in Stasis Leak and the double Cat scene in Camille = awesome).

    With the way Red Dwarf X was produced, it’s probably not a great idea to hire someone new (like Juliet May, probably a fine director; but -evidently- not a good fit for Red Dwarf) so someone Doug can trust to do as good a job – if not better -than him would be great.

    Plus, I really miss Ed being interviewed for the documentaries.

    As Cappsy said, it’s kind of irrelevant. I only rant because, if Doug really must direct XI, then I think he *really* needs to make sure his scripts are nailed before production starts because he doesn’t have a huge amount of time to sort this out as he’s got countless other jobs to do. The weeks of directing stuff for eps 1-3 is time when he wasn’t sorting out the scripts for 4+5.

    Another problem I think is that Doug is writing with his producer’s hat on now…which is why we get an odd situation where locations are scouted before scripts are written. But that’s another rant.

    #207339
    Jonathan Capps
    Keymaster

    > Do you just mean your faith in his being part of any future series of Dwarf, or have you not liked his work on other projects?

    Yeah, pretty much, although Pete’s made good points about the fact that he’s just happened to direct that isn’t to his (or my) taste, so it’s possible I’m being a bit harsh.

    #207340
    Tarka Dal
    Participant

    Is there a reason the chap who directed Series VI never comes up in these conversations? Are there any particular stories surrounding his run?

    #207342
    HelloMabel
    Participant

    It’s true. All I’ve ever heard about Andy De Emmony’s direction is universally glowing praise; no specifics.

    #207343
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    >Entangled is like awful RD fanfiction. A bunch of under-developed ideas that go precisely nowhere,

    No.

    > followed by a bizarre story about-turn with the introduction of the bloody chimp, followed by that bloody >professor. The only thing that redeems it is Craig’s delivery of the final line, which is the most subtle thing > in it

    Yes..

    >And yet, hearing about the idea of Rimmer and Lister being parental figures to a chimp, I realise it could >have been a lot worse.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    #207442
    Claire
    Participant

    On the subject of Doug intending to direct Series XI (assuming we get it, of course), at DJ he implied that was because he didn’t feel that anyone who wasn’t used to RD would be able to handle it. He specifically mentioned Ed Bye as someone who obviously could.

    Maybe the reason Doug intends to direct is less to do with ego and more because Ed’s unavailable or costs too much. We’re constantly told how minuscule the budget is so perhaps Doug feels it’s better to put that money elsewhere in the show.

    I’m not saying he’s right or wrong, but I’ve noticed an assumption here and elsewhere that he’s actively choosing to continue directing. Maybe he doesn’t feel he has a choice.

    #207456
    Danny Stephenson
    Keymaster

    What’s Andy DeEmmony doing these days? He should be banging on the door with his CV that includes VI on it…

    #207662
    Pecospete666
    Participant

    I’m surprised that a 50s American sitcom would be popular in the U.K. !

    #207664
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    Yeah it used to get shown a lot on BBC2 in the day time I think Pete.

    #207690
    Pecospete666
    Participant

    Josmad

    When was it shown ? In the 80s 90s.

    We are seeing a lot of 40s and 50s U.K. Stuff on the over the air digital channels the Invisible Man series for one.

    #207739
    Jonsmad
    Participant

    Erm yeah. 90’s I think I watched it a bit then. But i think 70s to 90’s they always used to show it as a fill in thing here and there.

    #207761
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    I don’t think The Phil Silvers Show has ever been off air in the UK.

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