Will we get commentaries on the Red Dwarf XII DVD?

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    Me Own Stunts

    They’ve had a while to prepare this release. Hopefully that means we’ll be getting commentaries for the first time since Back to Earth. I miss them.



    Almost certainly not.



    I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in the future we eat a Dave era box set with new extras and commentaries.

    That said, Doug said last year he was working on something for series 11 commentaries that never come to fruition. We speculated at the time that they might be done in the form of downloadable audio files but that hasn’t seemed to have happened.

    It’s be great to get commentaries at some point, but on a DVD so soon after it’s filmed might be a bit boring.

    The great thing about S01-08 was that years (over a decade in some instances) has passed since filming, so it was nostalgic for the actors and gave us some great stories. Recording a few months after wouldnlikely give us a lot of “well, I remember doing this last year” – just going through the motions a bit.

    Doug and Richard would be he best person to do a commentary as we’d get some nice production details. But it’d be a bit pointless for series 10 as they spilled all in the ‘We’re Smegged’ documentary


    Me Own Stunts

    It’s a shame. The DVDs feel incomplete without commentaries, regardless of their quality. They give the episodes another layer of rewatch value.



    I love the idea of a Dave era box set with more extras, including commentary across all the series.


    International Debris

    I really want a Doug / Rob & Doug commentary track for every series. The BtE one is actually my favourite thing about the whole of BtE (same with the Bodysnatcher ones).


    Pete Part Three

    Yes, I’d much rather hear what Doug has to say about the episodes than the cast.



    I’ve pondered a special edition X-XII box set before as well. I would be happy, and I would buy it, but I would also be mightily fucked off.



    Wasn’t the idea of doing Naylor commentaries as a download batted around post-X, or am I misremembering a tweet?


    Me Own Stunts

    What more could a special edition X-XII release include though, apart from commentaries?

    I agree that sometimes a bit of time needs to pass for the extra material to be interesting, but the series 8 commentary is a prime example of pretty much everyone in the cast laughing along to something that was patently unfunny. And hardly anyone was candid in that series’ documentary ‘The Tank’, either. Naylor was full of disappointment for the rubber crocodile in series 7, but seemingly not bothered at all by the absurdly fake CGI dinosaur in ‘Pete’. Everyone seemed to think the basketball scene was hilarious, and the mirror universe sequence fantastically clever. No perspective appeared to have been gained in the years between the series being made and the DVD coming out.

    I’d say the series 10 documentary was far more revealing than that, even though no time had passed at all. And it’s been almost two years now since they filmed series 12. While I agree it’s quite unlikely, I still hope that they’ve used the extra time to really polish up the series and make the DVD release as strong as possible.



    The Series X Revisitation could include: original continuity including the ‘Vindalunar’ stuff, music cues, raw visual effects (We’re Smegged already covers the saga of the model shoots, but I’d like to see the whole lot), a photo gallery. Add commentaries in and I’d say that’s enough of a package to be worth doing again.

    We know Series XI is missing some deleted scenes, although some of these may be missing because they were recycled for XII – that’s a problem with releasing the first half of one big production block before the second half has been aired, and there could be an opportunity to revisit it once we’ve seen XII. As noted in the G&T review, the XI DVD is really missing any critical analysis of the episodes from Doug.

    Also consider what could be added in a Revisitations boxset of the Dave era that would appeal to fans: a Back to Earth case that matches all the others, collectors’ booklets, menus for XI (and presumably XII) that match up with all the previous ones.


    International Debris

    I genuinely don’t think they’ll see it as worth the time and money, but I agree that a Who-style ‘Revisitations’ box of the whole Dave era would be lovely. As mentioned, the XI DVD was light on extras in context of the previous releases, and commentaries, continuity and such would be a nice bonus.
    But really, Doug / Rob & Doug commentaries on every episode, done as a download, would be incredible. I’d more than happily pay for them if necessary.



    People are saying Rob and Doug commentaries, but I think even on the series that he didn’t direct, Ed Bye would be the perfect person for commentaries. The guy has interesting production details but he’s also a real laugh. Like a perfect mix of the cast and director’s commentary in one bloke. Listen to those little easter eggs on the DVDs from that audio CD they did years ago to see what i mean.


    International Debris

    Yeah, the Doug & Ed commentaries on Remastered are generally very entertaining.


    Ben Saunders

    Ed Bye commentaries, but only on episodes he didn’t actually direct.

    Why has Ed not come back for the Dave era? Is he busy/too expensive/retired, or does Doug just want to do it himself anyway?


    Cloud Strife

    It would be good to get commentaries back. They could even get Norm for the episode he is in. He could tell the David Ross asking him if he is legit story and about them taking his football. Would be good to get a fresh 15 years later prospective on these stories.


    Ben Paddon

    Why has Ed not come back for the Dave era? Is he busy/too expensive/retired, or does Doug just want to do it himself anyway?

    I always assumed it was a budget thing.


    Ben Saunders

    That’s what I always thought, as well. Paying another outside director was probably financially unviable, especially for BtE. They can -probably- get away with paying Doug less for direction because he’s already on the writer/producer payroll, and maybe he’s willing to take a cut if it means the show will get made.

    I don’t want to imply that I think I know anything about how much Doug is paid or how much another director would be, though, so it’s just speculation

    Doug did a really good job on BtE and XI, in any case


    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    No, I get the impression that it’s that Doug *wants* to direct it. You can see it in the glimpses we see in the documentaries of him at work – he seems most comfortable when he can control as much as possible.


    Pete Part Three

    Yeah, I think he finds the writing the arduous frustrating thing, and the directing something much more instantly rewarding from a creative standpoint. I recall from The Making of Red Dwarf book that he and Rob were commenting on choice of shots (and overruling Andy De Emmony). Even by that point, they were so involved in the production that they weren’t expected to sit at home while the show was being recorded, as is often the case for sitcoms. They had a specific vision. I do also wonder if De Emmony was picked for VI *because* he was relatively early in his career.

    I think there’s a marked improvement in his directing in X and XI.


    Ben Saunders

    The direction in X was pretty pedestrian for the most part, didn’t he just film as much as possible and then zoom it all in in the edit? I guess you can’t give people reading letters for 25 minutes much directorial flair. It would be annoying if anything.


    Ben Saunders

    The idea of Grant Naylor hiring DeEmmony so they could push him around reminds me of the story that George Lucas pretty much directed Return of the Jedi, bossing Richard Marquand around, because he was seemingly unhappy with aspects of how The Empire Strikes Back went down. Similar to what they’re doing now with Star Wars/Disney films, really – firing directors who are too stubborn about “having a vision” and hiring newbies they can mould into their own autonomous directing machines.


    Pete Part Three

    >I think there’s a marked improvement in his directing in X and XI.

    To clarify, I meant a marked improvement in his direction from X to XI. There’s nothing particularly interesting about the direction in X. In contrast, some of the stuff on the space station in Give & Take with Asclepius, for example, is great.


    International Debris

    X is definitely the worst looking series from a directorial perspective, in that it’s almost difficult to rewatch at times because it all looks so static and samey. If XI looked the same, I think there could be a point made of Doug only directing for budgetary reasons, but the improvement there is incredible, and it ended up being one of the most visually interesting series in the show’s history. It’s obvious Doug put a lot of time and effort into it.



    Absolutely don’t get criticism of X’s direction. It knows when it needs to take a step back and service the performances, which is something XI definitely stumbles on a few times. *Really* great lighting too, one of the best-lit modern sitcom productions I’ve ever seen – aiming for a cross-genre gloss but not ashamed of being a studio sitcom, which XI (and presumably XII) undeniably *is* at times, I’m sorry.



    I’d agree that, as audience sitcoms go, X does look pretty fantastic.


    Ben Saunders

    I guess I’ll just have to strongly disagree with you and wonder in the back if my mind if you’re slightly mad or not


    Ben Saunders

    That said, I don’t watch any other modern audience sitcoms, so maybe they’re all shite and look like arse



    I don’t watch many modern audience sitcoms week to week but I’ve caught a fair few of them and a lot of them do look fairly shite, imo. I’d be genuinely interested to have a look at any that look as dynamic as XI, if anyone can point me in the direction of them.

    A lot of modern audience sitcoms fail to make me believe that the characters are in a real house/flat (this particularly seems to be a problem in HD) so the fact that Red Dwarf X can make me suspend my disbelief enough to buy into the fact that these characters are in deep space (when I’ve been in the audience for 2 episodes) is pretty great. Doug also uses depth of field and the bits of lighting that are built into the set as well as the active monitors make the whole thing feel a lot less flat than other sitcoms. I think it also helps that a blanket lighting look feels more appropriate on a commercial spaceship than in someone’s flat.

    It still isn’t the best looking series by a long shot though.


    International Debris

    One thing that I don’t think helps the way X looks is the sofa. It looks much too staged, making the rest of the bunk room merge into the background. When the majority of bunkroom action took place on the bunks themselves it immediately added a lot of depth to the look of the sets. I & II look less obviously sitcommy than X to me for that reason alone.



    It’s a sitcom shot on a stage! That’s why I like it! I don’t see what needs ‘disguising’ about that fact. Red Dwarf is LE and everything else is a lie.

    (Little insider fact – that’s not a real robot either, that’s actually a middle class performance artist from an agit prop theatre and mime background. Glad they disguised it though)

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