Ganymede & Titan

The Red Dwarf DVD FAQ (v0.51)

Questions about the DVD? We got answers. Any suggestions for new questions and/or answers, or improvements to existing ones, are gratefully recieved. Either e-mail me at john@ganymede-titan.info, or post them to alt.tv.red-dwarf. You may freely copy this entire FAQ, or quote sections of it, as long as you mention Ganymede & Titan somewhere.

What's new

21st September 2004 (v0.51)

18th July 2004 (v0.5)

Document spun off from the combined DVD & Movie FAQ; and brought completely up to date again (including release date for R2 V DVD, information about the known V/VI extras, and info about the boxset).

Questions

Answers

What is the release schedule?

SeriesRegion 1Region 2Region 4
IOUT NOW!
25th February 2003
OUT NOW!
4th November 2002
OUT NOW!
2nd December 2002
IIOUT NOW!
25th February 2003
OUT NOW!
10th February 2003
OUT NOW!
7th April 2003
IIIOUT NOW!
3rd February 2004
OUT NOW!
3rd November 2003
OUT NOW!
12th November 2003
IVOUT NOW!
3rd February 2004
OUT NOW!
16th February 2004
OUT NOW!
10th March 2004
Just The Shows: Volume 1Not announced18th October 2004Not announced
VFebruary 20058th November 2004TBA
VIFebruary 2005February 2005TBA
VIIFebruary 2006November 2005TBA
VIIIFebruary 2006February 2006TBA
Just The Shows: Volume 2Not announcedNot announced - probably 2006Not announced

2006? That's ages away!

When Andrew Ellard, the DVD's Associate Producer, was asked about this in the interview he gave for DVD Answers, he had this to say:

"Amazingly, people are complaining about the schedule - they want them all NOW which I understand, because I've wanted them all ever since we lined those test boxes up on the shelf! But, as I said with Japan, you can have them quick or you can have them great. We've always said that we would rather take the time and get it right."

Obviously, getting the extras, animated menus, etc together takes time. If you don't believe me, read this:

"During this time we were also in the middle of a conversation with the BBC, who were hoping we could accelerate the release schedule - maybe to get Series V out by June? We looked at the wish list, laughed, and stuck to the original plan."

Why did they take so long to start releasing them?

In an interview Doug Naylor gave for Film Force, he explains:

"The BBC originally wanted to put the DVDs out as their first-ever DVD. I just argued that, 'Why would we want to do that?', because hardly anyone in the UK had DVDs at the time, so it would be their bestseller, but it would sell about 25... to all the 25 people who've got DVDs. Far better to wait for a few years, until more people had DVDs, and then it would be a bigger seller. And it was not like there was any huge, great rush to do it. And so really, that was the reason it wasn't done for a while. And then they kept phoning up and going, 'Look, there's a real market out there for this, and it's now number one most-asked for DVD, and please can we do it?' So, in the end, we went, 'OK, fine. Now's a good time to do it.'"

Are they the remastered versions?

No, they're the originals. However, as the DVD Details article Digital Delight says, the series has undergone a more traditional DVNR (Digital Vision Noise Reduction) cleaning up from the original one-inch tapes, to remove blemishes and improve picture quality. The sound has also been cleaned up.

As to why the remastered versions weren't released, Doug says in his Film Force interview:

"...that is what the fans wanted. They didn't like certain aspects of the remastered, and we felt it was fair that the original series should go out."

When asked why the Remastered versions weren't included as well, Doug replies:

"Yeah, but I think that was partly to do with a storage problem, because that was mooted at one point - 'Could we have both so that people could see both?'"

Andrew Ellard says a similar thing: "I don't think anyone would have been pleased to pay the extra for a THIRD disc!" As to whether the Remastered series will ever be released, Doug has this to say:

"I'm in two minds about the remastered. I thought the sound was great on the remastered versions, because it was much improved. Some of the CG worked fabulously when you saw it when we put it in in the edit, and then I don't know what happens - it's some kind of thing that happens when it's transferred and goes on a DVD and you're looking at it on a DVD or a video. You're looking at video #7,576, and I just thought a lot of those things were just so disappointing... The advantages of miniatures is that at least with a miniature, it looks real, because it is a 3-dimensional thing. Whereas the CG just seems to...and also red is such a terrible color - it's just the worst color for that, because it gets so hot and can look absolutely terrible."

I guess that's a no, then. The Japanese DVDs released in 2003, however, are the Remastered versions - and you can see an example of such an episode as an extra on the Series I DVD. Speaking of which...

Why did Japan get all the series before anyone else? Hairy Japanese bastards!

Yes, Japan got all 8 series in 2003, with I-IV released on January 25th, and V-VIII released on March 21st. But, as this article on Japanese Merchandise says:

While fans in the rest of the world might bemoan the speed with which Japan is getting all eight series on DVD, the Japanese editions are quick release versions with very few extras. Episodes are the dubbed NHK remastered versions (which have not been through the digital clean-ups of the main versions), and bonus material is restricted to three images, character profiles and brief interviews with the Japanese performers who play Rimmer, Lister and Cat's voices - Mr Horiuchi (Lister), Mr Ebara (Rimmer) and Mr Yamadera (Cat).

Which is fair enough - remember, Japan has never had a previous video release unlike other countries. In fact, as the article states, Japan is getting its first video release alongside the DVDs, with both dubbed and subtitled versions being avaliable.

One other thing to note is that the Japanese versions are cut to some degree. I'll add more info about this when I have it.

It was planned that Japan would get a release with the full set of extras, with I-IV appearing in Spring 2004 - but nothing has been heard about this for a while. When they appear, these will apparently be "translated UK editions"; so presumably, non-re-mastered.

Where can I import the Japanese DVDs from?

Simon Smith mentions that he used CDJapan. They ship globally. See here for a list of products.

Are there any differences between the different region releases?

The Region 4 releases are so far identical to the Region 2 releases.

The Region 1 releases have a few differences to the Region 2 releases, as the DVD Details article Covering The States explains. Basically:

There's also a Mr Flibble Interview with Paul Augustine and Laura Palmer of BBC America, which gives more details on the changes. "We like to play up the characters on our covers as I believe our North American audiences really identify with them." Erm, yes.

Are there any easter eggs?

Yes, there are eggs. See Easter Smeggs for more details; although you'll probably be too busy admiring the title to actually read it.

What extras are there?

See these DVD Details articles on TOS for Series I, Series II, Series III and Series IV.

Will Universe Challenge from Red Dwarf Night make it onto the DVDs?

No. College Bowl own the format to University Challenge; and the BBC is only licensed to use it for television broadcasts; and they won't allow it to be used on the DVD. GAH.

Help! I'm having problems with the Disc 2 menu on the Series III release!

There are known problems with the extras menu on Disc 2 on some DVD players - some people can't select the menu options, wheras for others it just happens very slowly. Replacement discs are now avaliable, which adds a static menu that all players can access: go here for details.

All pressings of Series 4 have both the animated menu and the static menu.

Is there any information about the Series V and VI DVDs yet?

Yes. See the V and VI DVD Details articles on TOS.

The complete, official list of extras for the Series V release has now been released.

As for Series VI, this is what we have gathered so far:

The interviewees for the documentaries are: Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Hattie Hayridge, Kerry Waddell, Juliet May, Andy DeEmmony, Howard Burden, Mike Tucker, Justin Judd, Jack Docherty, Steven Wickham, and... Doug Naylor.

What's this about a Series V Gift Set?

Region 2 (and most likely Region 4 - no mention of a Region 1 release yet) will have a lovely Gift Set release of V, containing the DVD and a Corgi Starbug model. More details can be found on reddwarf.co.uk.

Will either of the US pilots make it onto the DVDs?

No. Andrew Ellard, the DVDs Associate Producer, said in this interview for Ganymede and Titan:

Has there been anything that you've wanted to include on the DVDs so far, but couldn't?
Red Dwarf U-S-smegging-A! I would have tortured cute, fluffy animals to get hold of that. Itís a real curio, whatever you think of the final product. The castingís interesting, the script has a lot of great one-liners - but I think fans will always be glad that the show was never remade across the pond. But itís unlikely to make a DVD release of any kind, especially as itís something that was never intended for broadcast or distribution.

So, please, everyone - stop asking about them. It won't happen. (Not at the moment, anyway.) End of story. You can find them on the net if you look hard enough anyway, albeit dodgy quality ones.

However, the Series V DVD release will include a featurette called Dwarfing USA; this DVD Details article gives more details:

The major news is the inclusion of Dwarfing USA in which the Series V cast, along with co-creator Doug Naylor, discuss the failed American pilot. Between Doug's remarkable candour and Robert Llewellyn's unique perspective as the one UK cast member to make the transfer, this has become one of the most fascinating pieces of the Series V DVD puzzle.
For anyone wondering about a comment reddwarf.co.uk made a while back suggesting that we'd be getting Craig Charles in for some special recording... well, things have changed. Despite Craig's keenness to return to the studio and make up for his absence from the commentary track (due to illness on the recording day), we've elected to spend the studio money elsewhere... aiming to secure the rights to clips from Red Dwarf USA to include in the documentary - BBC Worldwide are on the case and we should have more details soon.

So, the full pilots still remain elusive - but clips will feature, which is excellent news. Interestingly, The Best TV Shows That Never Were in America and Comedy Connections in the UK also recently showed clips from the first pilot. Hmmm...

Will there be a boxset?

A boxset of the first four series has been announced for Region 2. Called Red Dwarf: Just The Shows - Volume 1, it is due to be released on the 18th October. As the title implies, the release is completely extraless, and just contains the episodes themselves - along with some swanky new menus. Full details can be found on reddwarf.co.uk. No doubt Red Dwarf: Just The Shows - Volume 2 will follow in 2006.

For those of you wanting something a bit more exciting, Robert Llewellyn posted the following on his guestbook:

"I know for a fact that there will eventually be a massive box set of the entire series of Red Dwarf, with lots of extra bits, but I don't think it comes out until 2006!"

Hmmm... interesting.

Would anyone like any toast?

Oh just fuck off.