Ah, it’s been rather quiet over here on Dirty Feed recently, hasn’t it? Sorry, I’ve been busy over on Ganymede & Titan, the Red Dwarf fansite I write for because I hate Red Dwarf.
Here’s what I’ve been up to over there, if you’re interested.
Better Than Reality
A short piece looking at the genesis of some of Red Dwarf‘s most popular episodes, as found in Radio 4 sketch show Cliché – Rob and Doug’s first solo writing credit. (I didn’t get much feedback on this one, and I don’t think it’s the best-written piece I’ve ever done, but the fundamental point is fascinating, I think.)
End of Part One, Red Dwarf XI Edition
A look at the placing of ad breaks in Red Dwarf XI, because I’m the only person in the world who would actually bother to write that article. (I did enjoy the person who told me on Twitter that ad breaks shouldn’t be used to set up cliffhangers in British TV shows. I told them they lost that argument in 1955.)
Red Dwarf and Me: Artificial Reality
On my relationship with Red Dwarf these days, which has been percolating in my mind for five years… and I only just figured out how to write it. The comment thread is lovely and well worth a read too.
As regular readers of this site will know, I have lots of little obsessions – and one of the more obscure ones is the leaflets that used to be handed out to the audience at sitcom recordings. I’ve already detailed such little leaflets for episodes of The Brittas Empire and Every Silver Lining, but sadly these just doesn’t seem to be made any more – I have certainly never been given any since I started attending audience recordings in 1999.
Up until last year, that is. Imagine my delight when I went to see the first episode of the new Yes, Prime Minister series recorded, and a good old-fashioned leaflet was waiting on each audience member’s chair. Whether this was a holdover from the series’s roots as a stage production, or simply because Gareth Gwenlan and Jonathan Lynn like doing things the old way, it was a lovely little souvenir to take home to remember the recording.
Anyone care for a scan?
Lovely stuff. I wish every sitcom recording still did this. I’m still on the lookout for more of these, by the way – if you have any hidden away in drawers, why not hunt them out and scan them in?
Over the last few years, the following pattern has occurred in our household. a) Stick Dave or Gold on the telly. b) Spot some stupid edit in a beloved sitcom. c) SHOUT ABOUT IT ON TWITTER OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
For the last four weeks, to prepare for the upcoming broadcast of Red Dwarf X (Thursday 4th, 9pm folks!), Dave have been showing each series of Red Dwarf – backwards. (Don’t ask.) So, I thought, why not use my capacity for moaning and extreme anality and document all of the edits? Here you go, then:
The conclusion to the last article is especially worth reading for how I think Dave could have dealt with things better. The easiest solution all round, however, would be: don’t schedule post-watershed sitcoms pre-watershed. But let’s face it – if Dave can’t treat what is now its biggest property with respect, they’re not likely to do it with anything else.
Whenever you watch a sitcom on Dave or Gold, more likely than not you’re watching some version that’s been hacked about with. That’s no way to treat our comedy heritage.
This week, I attended the first of six recordings for the new series. (They’re happening through September, so there’s plenty of chance to grab a ticket.) Interested in a little run-down, in lazy bullet-point form?
In a world of DVDs and downloads, one advantage television still has is when it comes to rights issues. Negotiating rights to music for commercial release can be especially tricky – series like Life on Mars and Skins are especially hurt by it. Even a show like I’m Alan Partridge isn’t quite the same on the DVD release as it was on broadcast. So, when Dave decided to do an I’m Alan Partridge Series 2 marathon last Sunday night, it was an ideal way of seeing the programmes as they were originally transmitted, yes?
Anyone reading this blog who has spent more than five minutes watching any of Gold or Dave will know the answer to that question. In fact, the episodes were edited for content for transmission pre-watershed – and then also shown in this state post-watershed. (The first two episodes were shown before the watershed, as the marathon started at 8pm – but they were repeated later in the evening with exactly the same cuts.) Here then, is a list of all the edits made to these episodes – indicated [like this] – and tune in for the commentary at the end.
Yesterday Dave decided to have an I’m Alan Partridge Series 2 marathon. Only I can spin two blog posts out of this fact. It’s the boring one today, and then the really boring one tomorrow.
So, here’s the title sequence – taken from the Series 2 DVD – from the episode I Know What Alan Did Last Summer:
…and here’s the version taken from the Dave broadcast on the 22nd July at 10:40pm:
The same clips, but without all the graphics added. Not even the title of the show! OK, so it’s not up to the standards of this, but still. (It does at least afford us a proper look at the set used for Alan’s pieces to camera which close each sequence.)
Checking the rest of the episode, barring deliberate edits for language (see tomorrow for more on that), the rest of the episode was identical to the DVD version. I’d be fascinated to know how the wrong version of the episode was even delivered to UKTV. Not that it should ever have got to air anyway…
Last Friday saw the last Red Dwarf X audience recording. And last Saturday saw the last Red Dwarf X Ganymede & Titan audience recording report. I’ve been part of the site since 2003, and whilst I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, as Alex Picton-Dinch would say, I do think these are some of the best things we’ve ever published, and worth a link here. If only because it’s fairly difficult to make them boring.
Here’s a slightly bizarre promo running on GOLD at the moment, which is a good example of how to take an interesting idea and do it in the trademark GOLD irritating way:
I’m certainly not posting this for its quality, but I thought it was worth mentioning just because it’s quite rare for television itself talks about scheduling and transmission to the general public, especially in promos and the like. Feels very odd. Could have been great in the right hands.
Anyway, transmission is more exciting than scheduling, natch.
We’ve been doing these for over five years now, and they’ve grown from being crap, to not being that crap but still quite crap. Give us a try if you’re at all interested in the upcoming series, though.