Its over. Bummer.

Discussion in 'RED DWARF UNIVERSE' started by Laporbo, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Laporbo

    Laporbo Second Technician

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    I loved having the guys back. Hope they do more. Many more. Soon. This was too short and too far in between. Come on DAVE, step it up. Lets do it yearly.

    (On a side note: why is it that they only do 6-8 episode seasons? Do most UK shows do that or just RD? I prefer the 20+ episode US system)

    Anyway, I say I loved series X and I have yet to see the last 2. Can't even rewatch the first 4. The TV police have been all over the web and removed them so I'm stuck waiting for DVD. Region 1. Another wait. Another Bummer. So I guess I won't be reading much more on here until the DVDs come. Don't want spoilers.

    Good job RD (for the most part - didn't care for Lemons)!! Come again soon.
     
  2. bedfordfalls

    bedfordfalls Deck Sergeant

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    Just speaking generally, US shows like Friends have entire teams of writers whereas UK shows tend to be written by 1 or 2 individuals. I would imagine that does have quite a bit to do with the difference in series length between the respective regions.
     
  3. ShrunkenPixel

    ShrunkenPixel Second Technician

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    It's common sense I'm afraid.

    Red Dwarf has been off the air for over a decade. It was only the (incredibly short) Back To Earth that proved the show still had legs, to the point where Dave were feasibly in a position to risk a proper run as a follow-up. Of course, that proper run itself had to be kept fairly short as Dave had no way to gauge whether the show's popularity was a short-term thing or whether it could sustain and propel an entire series. As Dave were financing X, they (understandably) only chose to risk 6 30-minute episodes.

    Those 6 episodes could have sunk. If they had, Dave wouldn't be too out-of-pocket but unfortunately Red Dwarf would be up the creek without a paddle. Creating a Series XI would have been unrealistic as no TV network would commission one, so the show would have died.

    Fortunately they didn't sink. Far from it - it was a resounding success. Dave will be keen to repeat those figures, so the news that a Series XI is being commissioned is all but forthcoming. On top of this, Dave themselves are far more likely to try to capitalize on the success of Series X by commissioning a longer series. We'll almost likely go from 6 episodes to 8/9 next year, and this could build year-on-year to around maybe 12.
     
  4. Ianjk78

    Ianjk78 Second Technician

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    I know that over a million for 4 of the episodes out of 6 is a success but is 933k
    good for a series finale? Hmmmm I'm not sure!
     
  5. blaggard

    blaggard First Technician

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    It's a different system, mainly governed by finances. Don't forget, when Red Dwarf first started it was on the BBC, which isn't allowed to advertise, and hence makes no money. That has changed since with syndication to foreign channels, etc, but at its core the BBC was (and is) a public service broadcaster.

    In contrast, US tv exists to make money. They profit by selling advertising, and then later on - syndication. The US TV market has 2 pretty well defined 'seasons' - Fall/Winter, and Summer. The full fall season lasts about two thirds of the year, with the summer season making up the rest. So new show need to have enough episodes to satisfy that demand. Plus, as somebody else said, US tv shows usually have a whole host of writers (in fact they're obliged to have a certain number of episodes written by freelance writers each season), which naturally makes it easier to come up with that number of new episodes each year.

    It's really quite time consuming to write tv episodes, and even more so on your own. That's why RD has traditionally had 6-8 episodes (it was a solid 6 for each of the first 6 series).

    It is interesting though, that UK programming has changed a bit to make it easier to sell abroad; look at Doctor Who..they have a lot more than 6 episodes a season now, which I'd guess is because it makes it easier to sell advertising space on BBC America (and others).
     
  6. buggypie

    buggypie Skutter

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    I have been loving watching the new Red Dwarf and even started from scratch as a refresh.

    It's been sheer joy seeing the boys do their thang from day 1 to now, the end of series X and when watched like that you can certainly tell that it's back to its episodic best!

    There have been some weak series or episodes before X but its right back and it's been delightful, way better than Back to Earth (which passed me by at the time to be honest, it didn't grab me)

    Am so, SO hoping they continue now and do longer seasons, there's been 13 years to save them up!

    Fabulous! Took me back to my yoof
     
  7. buggypie

    buggypie Skutter

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    I have been loving watching the new Red Dwarf and even started from scratch as a refresh.

    It's been sheer joy seeing the boys do their thang from day 1 to now, the end of series X and when watched like that you can certainly tell that it's back to its episodic best!

    There have been some weak series or episodes before X but its right back and it's been delightful, way better than Back to Earth (which passed me by at the time to be honest, it didn't grab me)

    Am so, SO hoping they continue now and do longer seasons, there's been 13 years to save them up!

    Fabulous! Took me back to my yoof
     
  8. ShrunkenPixel

    ShrunkenPixel Second Technician

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    933k is pretty darn close to a million, in fact this shows the kind of fluctuation that can be expected. Viewing figures go up and down based on a variety of factors, and since the average ratings were high throughout that's a definite success.

    You also must bear in mind that Dave isn't a 'terrestrial' channel like BBC2 was. Unlike the original run, not every household has access to the channel. This means a whole lot of people have been forced to watch online, round a friend's house, some have even turned to Youtube and torrents. Because of this, it will be interesting to see how well the DVD sales turn out.

    But the biggest thing is, AFAIK the US and the rest of the world still doesn't have an 'easy' way to access the series. A whole lot of people are stuck in a situation where they want to view but can't. Back in the 80's/90's shows were produced by the UK for the UK, and the whole population could watch, but these days interest is global meaning local viewing figures aren't as important as they once were.

    I don't think there's anything for anyone to worry about, ratings wise. Red Dwarf has performed well :-)
     
  9. blaggard

    blaggard First Technician

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    I would imagine that they're just as interested in the sales of the DVD and Blu-Rays as they are the viewing figures..
     
  10. Ally1990

    Ally1990 First Technician

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    Digital channels don't usually get million or even close to a million. 900+k is phenomenal.

    Most British TV series are 6 or 8 episodes long. Some are 12 or 13, but you don't get many, except soap operas and serials, over that. I think it works better as it keeps the quality high.
     
  11. ShrunkenPixel

    ShrunkenPixel Second Technician

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    As a case study from the last couple of years, "Doctor Who" has gone from being a single 12-episode run, to two shorter runs. What was noticed was that with the longer series stretch viewing figures would start out high, dip in the middle, and then come back towards the end. Even if the quality remains high viewers become accustomed to the show being available, take it for granted and don't tune in as religiously.

    With the split run, this phenomenon hasn't occurred to the same degree. The show has been better able to maintain it's viewing audience over the entirety of the run.

    It's this same over-saturation that is also a principal reason for the drop in popularity (and eventual cancellation) of the various "Star Trek" series. As there was fresh material available being broadcast all-year-round at one point people went from watching religiously to treating it like "Eastenders" and not really caring if they missed a few. Viewing figures dropped, because it was no longer "special", and the rest is history.

    As Red Dwarf X only had six episodes, it made each and every one a must-see event. The day they increase that up to 12 episodes a year or higher, the airwaves start to get over-saturated with new material and people begin to lose interest.
     
  12. TouchT1701

    TouchT1701 Third Technician

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    To be honest, I watched them all on the Yube Tube... I didn't even bother checking to see if DAVE had an online streaming capability as, even when some USA channels do, it sometimes sucks pretty badly, and I just figured it would be region blocked. The Internet has too many fences these days, and my legs are too old to be jumping them. I don't mind ads either, but another thing about online players that I've used is they use the same stock of ads over and over til you really DON'T want buy their product! LOL! I hope they make series XI; it's been a pleasure! 8)
     
  13. suekay87

    suekay87 First Technician

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    I made an effort to watch the episodes live to Dave to help the viewing figures...I only missed Lemons live, but watched it on Dave the next day.

    I think the viewing figures are excellent! Obviously nowhere near the show's peak audience, but I've been talking to a lot of people who love Red Dwarf, but only some of them knew there were new episodes, and those that did thought they hadn't started yet.

    What's good is that I've mentioned Red Dwarf a lot in conversation, and everybody I spoke without a single exception told me they loved the show.

    I think Dave marketed the show as well as they could, but I think audiences are just more fragmented these days.
     
  14. Ally1990

    Ally1990 First Technician

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    I've never been a fan of long TV series, anyway. 12, maybe 15 episodes is about right for a drama, 6 or 8 for a comedy.

    Was it 24 that had something ridiculous like 28 episodes? I think Season 3 of The Simpsons had 26 episodes. And that was hand-drawn. In only a year. They shouldn't be that long. Compact the series and squeeze it full of quality.

    Should be better for the ratings, too.
     
  15. ShrunkenPixel

    ShrunkenPixel Second Technician

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    As much as I hate piracy, as I lack Dave on my television set I may have been inclined to view this way had the official Dave website not offered the series as a free and legal stream. There's not a lot of hoops to jump through with the official site, you just need a UK based IP address, which is incredibly easy to achieve once you know how.

    For me, the Dave website was much more convenient in any case. As my mobile-broadband dongle has some ridiculous 'parental' settings by default, which (despite me being 34) is a pain in the butt to remove officially, I have to use Proxy software to gain access to Youtube. This means that videos need to stream through TWO seperate links causing severe lag and buffering issues. When you rope in the low quality feeds people provide, and Youtube's insistence on having adverts play seemingly randomly on playback, it's a much more pleasant experience getting Red Dwarf directly from Dave - my connection speed is twice as fast, no crashing Proxy server, and a nice HD picture even with a cheap low-speed internet connection :-)
     
  16. Whizzkid

    Whizzkid Catering Officer

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    It's been a great series and I'm glad we are now back to reality. I can't wait to get the DVD for Christmas.
     
  17. Seb

    Seb Captain Staff Member

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    I wouldn't have thought so, actually.
     
  18. Laporbo

    Laporbo Second Technician

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    Yay. Finally saw the last 2 episodes. Online. I won't say where because I would like to see them again.

    FWIW, my order of RDX...

    F&S (despite the doctor/dentist)
    Trojan
    Entangled
    The Beginning / Dear Dave (tie)
    Lemons

    Could change with repeat viewings (except for Lemons). I just hope they are still online tomorrow :-)
     
  19. Ally1990

    Ally1990 First Technician

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    As I said earlier, there are British TV shows with 13, 14 episodes (Doc Who - sorry to mention it again), but regarding British sitcoms, I think 8 is the longest I recall. If you count panel shows, most of them are 13 episodes. QI is 16 episodes, with two or three more 'specials', so 19.
     
  20. ShrunkenPixel

    ShrunkenPixel Second Technician

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    6 episodes, 30 minutes in length, is only 3 hours of new material. While this is OK for a show in it's honeymoon period, it's incredibly short for a series that's established and incredibly popular. While this wasn't uncommon for BBC produced series in the 80s and 90s, these days popular series are typically longer to capitalise on their popularity. Downtime between series is usually shorter too, keep the fan-base ticking over and the franchise in the limelight.

    It's not totally unheard of for series made in the UK to only receive short runs during what is essentially a honeymoon period. When a show has essentially proven itself, the number of episodes commissioned can increase accordingly. If viewing figures go down at any point, a show is usually commissioned for a final 'proving' series where it's given a reduced episode count as a fair opportunity to see if changes made to the formula can somehow reinvigorate the ratings.

    Given the history of Red Dwarf, and how it's made, I don't expect the number of episodes to ever increase too dramatically, or for us to suddenly receive especially long seasons, but somewhere between 9 and 12 episodes is a nice happy medium that a lot of series tend to happily go with once things have been established.

    Before BTE, Red Dwarf series were 6 episodes in length. By Series 7 that had been increased to 8 episodes which was kept for Series 8 - but these series were all pre-2000 and were commissioned by the BBC to be shown during an unpopular timeslot. Now that Dave are the ones doing the commissioning the situation is different. Red Dwarf could even end-up Dave's flagship series. If things start to go in that direction, we could be looking at a boost in the number of episodes each year above and beyond the amount the BBC were previously willing to commission.

    Of course, as you say it's not guaranteed, too early to speculate and we shouldn't get our hopes up - but it's definitely possible.
     

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