Newest Review: ... is the franky horrendous intrudocution of CGI effects on top of the original footage. Take the very first episode, 'The End', for exam... more
Red Dwarf gets the George Lucas treatment....
Red Dwarf - The Bodysnatcher Collection 1-3 (DVD)
Member Name: Burning_Darkness
Red Dwarf - The Bodysnatcher Collection 1-3 (DVD)
Date: 24/03/12, updated on 24/03/12 (36 review reads)
Advantages: some good documentaries, interesting to see 'lost episode' brought to life.
Disadvantages: remastering and cgi FX ruin the feel of the originals, shows have henerally been messed about with
The first 3 series were given the remastering treatment in an effort to make the earlier series of Red Dwarf palatable to the overseas audiences, particularly to sell them in the lucrative US and Japan markets. This is not cynicism on my part, but rather the paraphrased words of Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor on the accompanying documentary included in this boxset.
It contains series 1-3, and these have all been 'improved' by adding CGI effects and upped sauturation/resolution levels to the original shows. Series 1-3 in partiuclar always did look very grey, something that the show's creators were never happy with, but whilst the remastered versions do look a lot more colourful and visually punchy, the dull, cardboardy feel of the original sets became part of the earlier series' charm, meaning that some of that charm is lost here.
Far worse however is the franky horrendous intrudocution of CGI effects on top of the original footage. Take the very first episode, 'The End', for example. In one of the very first scenes, in which we are introduced to a squabbling rimmer and lister on maintenance duty, two crudely rendered CGI scutters whizz by at the bottom of the screen, looking like the wacky ident from some Saturday-morning kids tv programme. Nothing dates like CGI, but even when this was originally released it looked jarring and lame. Later on, when Captain Hollister is giving the Eulogy at Mcallister's funeral, the back of a load of heads, again grotesque CG creations, have been added into the foreground to make it look like there are more people there. It all works as well as if someone were to add in CGI Panzers and Schmeissers into an old episode of Dad's Army. As Doug says on the included documentary, (which is rather interesting, if deeply frustrating), it's not as if the old shows have been replaced by these -theyre not even intended for the UK market really-, but its still disheartening to see the much-loved originals vandalised for cash more like this: now I know how all those Star Wars fans must have felt at George Lucas's CGI assaults on his fans' childhoods.
Sometimes it doesn't look so bad- with colourful, hi-tech images added to computer screens, or planets looming from Blue Midget and Starbug's cockpits, but it's ultimately distracting and fake looking, and somehow much cheaper-looking than before. Worse of all is that the beautiful and iconic sweeping model shots of Red Dwarf itself that were so central to the first 2 series in particular have been replaced here by a bland-looking cgi reconstruction, robbing the show of much of it's gravitas, as those original shots (and sombre music, gone from the opening credits) really helped set the scene and mood in the originals.
Aside from the documentary on the remastering process, there are documentaries on series 1 and 2, and these are excellent and were conspicously absent from the original dvds. There is also a very interesting early 'lost episode', entitled 'Bodysnatchers', recreated here in audio and stills only and narrated by the excellent impressionist that is Chris Barrie. These features (and other interesting snippets) make the dvd worthwhile for the red dwarf competist, but the meat of the dvd- the 9 hours of 'updated' shows, are infinitely inferior to the original versions. Not only have lame new effects been added, but lines have been cut, and small edits have been made, with particularly dated or UK-centric references being cut out, so the flow of the shows has been messed about with as well.
In 'Better Than Life', Lister claims that the definitive version of Casablanca is the colourised remake starring Peter Beardsley. Red Dwarf remastered is a lot like that.
Summary: For red dwarf completists only
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