DwarfCast 148 - Blackadder the Third: Nob and Nobility - Commentary featured image
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Carrotists assemble, for it is time to travel back to the time of violent revolution, flamboyant trousers, Le Pimpernel Scarlet and *very* suspicious sausages as DwarfCasts continue its series of 'Dwarf adjacent commentaries' with the classic episode of Blackadder the Third, Nob and Nobility. We also take the opportunity to talk at length about our love for the show while answering your Bladder specific waffles.

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You all remember the big news last year, don’t you? No, not Red Dwarf XI. It was that magical moment when Darrell pointed out on our forums that the opening theme to popular science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf bloody well has lyrics.

All these months later, that fact still blows me away. (Here’s a great write-up of it by Mental Floss.) But aside from that initial thread, the only other thing we had to go on was this little acknowledgement from Howard Goodall:

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if, say, someone like Graham Kibble-White just happened to be doing an interview with Howard about one of his upcoming programmes, and asked him a little more about the subject?

Oh, look what we’ve just been sent. What a coincidence.

I know someone who does this Red Dwarf fan site, and they got excited, I think last year, because they’d been analysing the music…


And they had discovered there were vocals hidden in the music.

Oh, it’s them who discovered it? Yeah, they then put it out on Twitter, and it was a huge story for Red Dwarf fans, yeah. Oh well, thank them for finding it. I mean, I hadn’t deliberately hidden it. It just happened to be there in the mix. It’s just that no one seemed to have noticed it! [Laughs] So it was a very nice discovery.

Had you forgotten it was there yourself?

No, I knew it was. I didn’t know that people hadn’t noticed it.

So, that was the shock.

I had assumed everybody knew it was there, but it was so long ago, it was 27 years or whatever, and so I thought no more of it. Then all these fans around the world were saying, ‘Oh my God, we’d never noticed it before’. To me, the surprise was it hadn’t been noticed before.

Is that you singing? Is it on a vocoder?

That’s me doing a vocoder, yeah.

And do you mind if I pass this onto them?

Not at all!

Many thanks to Graham and Howard for the above. Now, I’m off to listen to QI theme again. I’m sure I can hear a bit where Howard calls Alan Davies a dickhead using morse code.

Yes, is the resounding answer to that question, and today’s TOS update reveals that our prayers have been answered before we even began praying. This is not an announcement that soundtrack albums are being planned, or that they’re a long term ambition, or even that they’ll be coming out soon – completely out of the blue, *four* albums are available to download right this very second, covering almost the entire history of Red Dwarf, with a fifth to follow once XII has been aired. Split across the four are a selection of cues from every series bar VIII and BTE (which is reasonable, considering there wasn’t any new, non-library music in those two series), personally re-mastered and remixed by Howard Goodall himself.

This is obviously amazing, particularly as there’s a mixture of used and unused cues, some of which have never seen the light of day before. And of course, given the lack of isolated cues on the Series X and XI DVDs, this is the first opportunity to hear any clean versions of that material. Not only that, but it seems from the description that the cues have been compiled into a series of individual tracks – again, hand-crafted by the god-like genius that is Howard himself – for a better listening experience. Even from the brief previews on the store pages, this is clearly well worth the cover price.

It’s not quite the perfect package – the cover art is clearly not the work of a professional in that field, and it’s a little bit fiddly to have to make four separate purchases, considering this is a digital-only affair that’s not constrained by a maximum length of any given physical medium. But bloody hell, this is a surprise, and a very welcome one at that. Absolutely incredible. And the title Eine Kleine Ductmusik may well have justified the existence of that episode.

Doug has been busy on Twitter this morning. Previously on the subject of Series XI and XII, we learned the following:

Lovely to see all that info in one place, but Doug wasn’t finished there…

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It’s nice when a composer of a TV show releases varying arrangements of their themes. What’s that? Howard Goodall’s done exactly that? Well, bugger me so he has!

Yes, Howard “he’s just so bloody” Goodall has released piano arrangements of his own music from Dwarf on iTunes, namely the ‘Main Theme’ and ‘Tongue Tied’ which you can download for the modest price of 79p each.

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Well well well! Hasn't today been exciting? First we get our first official glimpse of the crew in situ, then we then get a very brief mention into what Howard Goodall is currently upto:

@HowardGoodall: Just received my first rough cuts of the new Red Dwarf series, looking forward to viewing and putting some music on them. Kipper-time!

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This is brilliant.

The children of Lady Manners School in Bakewell, possibly at the whim of an heroic music teacher called Mr Steadman, perform a ten minute medley of Red Dwarf music, taking in various versions of the theme tune, Tongue Tied, Rimmer Munchkin Song and Ace Rimmer Theme. And it's superb. Quite possibly the second best video ever to be recorded in a school sports hall.

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