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Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Andrew, May 8, 2009.
what the smeg is ala?
Typo. Should have been "a la" :P
I'm still utterly and completely lost?? series 8 dvd was released ages ago so what are we talking about here?
You and me both dude
Series 8 had a cast signing when it launched. It's fair enough to enquire as to whether the next 'series' DVD is getting the same treatment.
Yeah that would be real good and thanks for clearing up the a la bit
Apologies, yes I did read that. I knew there was CGI animation in there. By 'still's I was mainly going by the crisp looking screen shots which actually looked rather realistic. (Not just the pictures of the main menu screen but the bunk-room scene.) I thought those shots were likely actual stills perhaps with animation transitions. (Thinking about it further I can see that really wouldn't quite work matching up the graphics, etc.) Never mind, it says something for the quality of the graphics I made that mistake anyway... which is a good thing.
Ah, fair enough. I can see the point concerning the bonus menus certainly. I quite liked them but I can see how it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. It's certainly not a big deal, the presentation looks great.
Thanks for clearing that up Andrew, I wasnt aware that series 8 had a launch day signing. I pre-ordered mine off of Amazon along with the skutter.
Place 16 in the top selling DVDs AND Blu-Rays at amazon.co.uk:
and number 3 in the bestselling Sci-Fi/Fantasy DVD/Blu-Ray charts!:
Overall, the show was a ratings success for Dave. To break records is a genuine success, and the media reported that success, correctly. It would have been overcritical of Dave to argue that a loss of half the audience invalidated that success. It didn't. The record was still broken, and the commissioning decision was vindicated. In that sense, Red Dwarf shares Dave's victory. But ultimately, success for Dave does not necessarily entail success for Red Dwarf -- the doubts about a new series persist (and the media reaction to the show -- as opposed to the record viewership on freeview -- was more critical than positive). I think the loss of half the audience reflects differently on Red Dwarf. But I don't dismiss your argument -- it seems implausible, but it could be right, conceivably. I just find it really difficult to believe that a show (as opposed to a freeview channel) can achieve ratings success by losing half its audience! I can't think of one situation where a show lost half the audience and was hailed a ratings success! In fact, it's so counter-intuitive that I'm not prepared to say -- like you -- "perhaps it could be..." Perhaps it could be, but it's so outlandishly counter-intuitive that I'd need to see articles with the gist "50% drop in ratings = success for X" before I'd indulge the notion.
But ye, my initial point was that the DVD pre-sales are impressive. The show was successful in terms of fan purchases, and perhaps extended the fanbase. Which is hopefully enough for a new series (but GNP should be self-critical enough to perceive the need for additional writing talent. I could get excited about a new series by Naylor and a strong partner, but not one by Naylor alone).
Whose doubts? What is this a reference to? How do you know what's going behind behind closed doors?
As to the response - man, you need to look at the overall picture, not just the reviews that agree with your take. Because the response overall - audience appreciation - was pretty damn good.
'Fan purchases'? You mean 'purchases', surely? You don't get those sales if it's just fans.
I think your opinion on the ratings is coloured by your opinion of the show. The 'need' for more writers is an opinion, not a fact. It's not even the common opinion. And, frankly, it's a very, very bad idea.
I think the success of the DVD pre-sales is driven by BTE's success with a relatively small group -- not superfan dwarfers, but fans in the widest sense, including those who have just discovered the show. I don't think the success of the pre-sales is an indication of the show's success with a wider audience to any great extent (in my experience, the critical media reaction reflected the judgement of viewers. I don't think you lose half the wider audience and succeed). I used the term "fan purchases" to emphasize this.
If this is the GNP view it is deeply ominous. Because there is no future in laugh gaps.
Give me a chance to reply first
I don't understand where you see a contradiction. Dave, in order to achieve a ratings success, had only to break freeview records. Even the third show achieved good numbers in the context of freeview -- even losing half the audience was good compared to Dave's normal figures. Any commissioning gamble which not only vastly exceeds the normal figures but breaks viewership records is a success, period.
As I said, Red Dwarf shares in this success, to a degree. But losing half the audience is not a good result for RD -- as you say, "Shedding half the viewers...suggests that a lot of the people who saw it weren't happy. That's a fair working hypothesis (especially given the mixed reviews)." It implies vast interest and vast dissatisfaction.
But no one claimed this was a success. No one was excited to shed half the audience. They didn't shed half their audiences during a comeback which amounted to an audition.
I agree. I'm not saying that losing half the audience precludes a new series. In my initial post I was hoping for a new series. But again, no one proclaimed that haemorrhaging viewers was a success. No one was excited. I argued that haemorrhaging viewers is a failure, though not necessarily a terminal one. There are also issues about the quality of the writing in places.
Horne and Corden haemorrhaged half its 800,000 viewers and was hailed as a ratings success BY THE BBC, by its own channel, no one else. Has a channel ever said its show failed? The future of Horne and Corden is in doubt (not generally the fate of a successful show).
I don't think a ratings slump is a ratings success -- if half the people who were attracted to the show weren't happy, that's not a boast. But retaining half your audience can be a significant achievement which warrants a new series. The sustained quality of the writing is integral to that evaluation.
I think it's obviously significant because vast numbers who were attracted to the show deserted it. But if you mean "why do we think the drop is decisive" I agree.
Which is to say 'inaccurately, and based wholly on guesswork derived from my own taste'. This is no way to impartially assess such matters.
It's merely my view. But I'm gonna go ahead and feel both entitled to it, and reasonably qualified to hold it.
Well said, well spoken. You've hit upon my main concern. There is this perception of "success" (I don't want to argue semantics) that I fear may preclude GNP's judgment in considering the [constructive] criticism of the show's fans (in regards to BTE specifically).
I mean, in the pre-pre-production stages of the next series when GNP is discussing "where do we go from here?" I could imagine someone there saying "BTE was a ratings success, Doug! Let's just follow in that same vein and no worries!" When there really needs to be someone there to say "Whoa, wait a minute. We had 2.6 million viewers tune in with great excitement and high expectations for the new Red Dwarf specials, only to have half of them turn off their TV sets the next night in dissappointment."
It'd be a sad affair if this is only analyzed from a business/ratings viewpoint. I really hope that in going forth with new Red Dwarf, GNP considers the views of its longtime fans and devoted Dwarf followers, as well as anyone who had any constructive criticism to offer them in regards to BTE.
That being said, I do believe Doug is capable of terrific writing, and can make Dwarf geat again. I just hope he listens to the fans (and the critics) and takes it all into consideration for future Red Dwarf series.
Let's make Red Dwarf's next outing a commercial AND critical success!
Like Andrew has said, you have to take all the things into account, how many viewers recorded or watched on dave-ja-vu and some thinking it would be on the week after etc etc DVD sales will indicate popularity more easily in my opinion, seeing as you watch something on tv, you actually have to like it enough to get it on dvd.
You don't know what you're talking about if you think those pre-sales are wholly made up of 'fans' rather than 'viewers'. And reading some opinions online that concur with your own taste isn't the same as researching adequately.
JMC makes some excellent points. Here's a couple of other thoughts.
Not only can you not compare one night's ratings with another so simplistically, you really can't draw direct analogies between UK digital stations and American Network programming (Heroes, Lost). It's not even apples and oranges - it's apples and park benches.
It's useful to be reminded of Series I's performance as well. A series that launched to excellent numbers and ditched to severe 'under-performance' by the end of the series. Less than a quarter of the opening numbers.
Now you can't directly compare - because that was a very, very different market, with only four channels available and hugely different viewing habits in the culture - but, coupled with the knife-through-the-heart reviews it got (way worse than BTE's), one could assume, if one wanted to bring the same adjusted logic to the table, that this was the most badly-written series of Red Dwarf ever made. That Rob and Doug should have accepted the 'it worked on Seinfeld' theory of bringing in a team of new writers at that stage. Oh, and that the VHS and DVD sales that series has currently enjoyed must, obviously, be down to 'fans' only.
That's one thing. Another is that comparing numbers isn't as simple as 'losing X millon' or even 'x per-cent'. It's ridiculously simplistic.
If I launched a show on ITV tomorrow, late-night, and picked up 20 million viewers, but the second episode 'only' got 15 million - what is that? Did I lose a quarter? Is it a failure now? Or did my ratings simply go from 'record-breaking' to 'hugely successful'? Does one see that as a quarter seeing one episode and hating it? Or that the hype promoted episode one above its expected range? That curiosity brings in a certain number?
Because that's what we're talking about here. Not some mythic 'lost' half (which, by the way, over that weekend aggregates to a third anyway), but a massively more complex and involved piece of data crunching. And that's before we even get into audience appreciation and satisfaction - something internet chatter alone is never going to adequately represent.
Argument is not facilitated by altering the arguments of your opponents.