Red to Blu

Read on to find out exactly what's in the new boxset...

7 December, 2018

Now that we're into December, the release of Red Dwarf Series I-VIII on Blu-ray - marking the first ever HD release for the BBC era for the show - is happening next month. So as an early Christmas present, we thought it'd be nice to give you a bit more information about what exactly you can expect to find on the whopping 19-disc set - as well as an explanation of what's been done to the episodes themselves...

Red to Blu

The Shows

Putting Red Dwarf onto Blu-ray means taking a show that was made before high-definition home viewing was ever even conceived of, and presenting it in such a way that it will still look good at 1080p resolution (for comparison, the DVD releases of these eight series, from 2002 to 2006, were at 480p - all in all, Blu-ray puts six times as many pixels on the screen as DVD).

So although the episodes, originally shot on videotape, already got something of a cleanup in preparation for those original DVD releases, to pass muster on Blu-ray they've needed something a little more.

The "uprezzing" work has been carried out at two production houses: MX1 and Silver Salt Restoration Ltd, both of which are based in North Acton, just a short distance away from the former BBC Costume Store and Rehearsal Rooms (where Red Dwarf was famously rehearsed in its early seasons) and the BBC Visual Effects model shop and model stages, where the majority of the models where constructed and filmed for the production of the series.

The source for this work was the original transmission master tapes, the same as were previously used for the DVD releases - however, on the earliest, pre-digital series, those master tapes were several generations down from the original rushes, which sadly no longer exist.

Smart algorithms have been used to reformat the video into High Definition (HD) digital video files, cleverly increasing that pixel count six-fold in a way that goes far beyond the simpler upscaling that can be found on home disc players (in other words, you can't just get the same effect by putting your old Red Dwarf DVDs in your Blu-ray player!)

Beyond simply reformatting the episodes, however, extensive primary secondary and colour correction has also been carried out. Emphasis was placed on keeping continuity with various sets and vehicles, such as the intensity of the green paint on Starbug. What's more, significant video drop outs and damage have been repaired, as well as various film artefacts and damage, and clean-up of excessive video noise.

The goal of the remastering processes has been to create a High Definition presentation of Red Dwarf, but one which keeps its original video origins intact. And significantly, this is not a reinvention or re-editing of the content, nor will there be significant changes made to the feeling of each unique season.

The Extras

With 19 discs to fill, most of you won't be surprised to learn that the set is jam-packed with bonus material. While the production of the set has been focused on the upscaling of the episodes - so there hasn't been the opportunity to create any new and exclusive bonus material - it's fair to say that the original Red Dwarf DVD releases already gave the show about as comprehensive a going-over as any show could hope to get.

So to ensure that this set represents the single largest collection of Red Dwarf-related material ever, we've gathered that previous bonus material together. Almost all of it. So if you never got around to getting one of the individual sets, then now's your opportunity to see what you were missing. Documentaries, smeg ups, deleted scenes, cast commentaries, and various other rare odds and sods that we dug out between 2001 and 2007 - it's all here, with just a handful of exceptions.

Red to Blu

In particular, we were especially keen to make sure that the fantastic material that was produced for The Bodysnatcher Collection, the now-deleted 2007 boxset, was made available again, so that's made its way in on an extra-special bonus nineteenth disc - including, of course, the recreated Bodysnatcher episode itself.

The discs are split between Blu-ray (featuring the upscaled episodes and assorted extras) and DVDs (for the remaining extras, which don't need the capacity of a Blu-ray!), and they break down as follows:

Series I

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • The End
  • Future Echoes
  • Balance of Power
  • Waiting for God
  • Confidence & Paranoia
  • Me2

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 2 (DVD)

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Original Trailer
  • Launching Red Dwarf Documentary
  • Drunk Featurette
  • The End Japanese version
  • Special Effects Raw Footage
  • Photo Gallery

Series II

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Kryten
  • Better Than Life
  • Thanks for the Memory
  • Stasis Leak
  • Queeg
  • Parallel Universe

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 2 (DVD)

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Original Trailer
  • Red Dwarf A-Z documentary
  • Doug Naylor Interview
  • Alternate Personalities Featurette
  • Tongue Tied Uncut
  • Special Effects Raw Footage
  • Photo Gallery

Series III

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Backwards
  • Marooned
  • Polymorph
  • Bodyswap
  • Timeslides
  • The Last Day

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 2 (DVD)

  • All Change Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Hattie's DJ Diary
  • Tribute to Mel Bibby
  • Food Featurette
  • Backwards - Forwards
  • Trailers
  • Raw FX Footage
  • Photo Gallery

Series IV

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Camille
  • DNA
  • Justice
  • White Hole
  • Dimension Jump
  • Meltdown

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 2 (DVD)

  • Built To Last Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Ace Rimmer - A Life in Lamé
  • Lurve Featurette
  • Can't Smeg Won't Smeg Special
  • Trailers
  • Raw FX Footage
  • Photo Gallery

Series V

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Holoship
  • The Inquisitor
  • Terrorform
  • Quarantine
  • Demons & Angels
  • Back to Reality

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 2 (DVD)

  • Heavy Science Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Dwarfing USA - Documentary on the making of the US pilot
  • Bad Guys Featurette
  • The SFX of Red Dwarf V
  • Trailers, Idents & Episode Intro
  • Raw FX Footage
  • Dave Hollins Radio Sketch
  • Photo Gallery

Series VI

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Psirens
  • Legion
  • Gunmen of the Apocalypse
  • Emohawk - Polymorph II
  • Rimmerworld
  • Out of Time

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 2 (DVD)

  • The Starbuggers Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Howard Goodall: Settling the Score
  • Sick Featurette
  • Return to Laredo Featurette
  • Behind the Scenes Footage
  • Interview with Andy de Emmony
  • Trailers
  • Raw FX Footage
  • Dave Hollins Radio Sketch
  • Photo Gallery

Series VII

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Tikka To Ride (Standard, Xtended, Remastered & Xtended + Remastered)
  • Stoke Me a Clipper
  • Ouroboros (Standard & Xtended)

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

  • Identity Within

Disc 2 (Blu-ray)

  • Duct Soup (Standard & Xtended)
  • Blue
  • Beyond a Joke
  • Epideme
  • Nanarchy

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

  • Fan Films

Disc 3 (DVD)

  • Back from the Dead Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Robert Llewellyn Video Diary
  • Burning Rubber Featurette
  • How Do They Do That? - The Effects
  • Trailers & Kryten Introductions
  • Raw FX Footage
  • Dave Hollins Radio Sketches
  • Photo Gallery

Series VIII

Disc 1 (Blu-ray)

  • Back in the Red (Part 1)
  • Back in the Red (Part 2)
  • Back in the Red (Part 3)
  • Back in the Red Xtended

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

  • Comedy Connections

Disc 2 (Blu-ray)

  • Cassandra
  • Krytie TV
  • Pete (Part 1)
  • Pete (Part 2)
  • Only the Good
  • Pete (Feature Length Version)

(Audio commentaries on all episodes)

Disc 3 (DVD)

  • The Tank Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Smeg Ups
  • Super Models Featurette
  • Storyboard Sequences
  • Children in Need sketch
  • PBS Sketches & Idents
  • Fight Featurette
  • Trailers
  • Raw FX Footage
  • Dave Hollins Radio Sketch
  • Photo Gallery

Bodysnatcher Disc

  • Bodysnatcher Lost Episode
  • The End: The Original Assembly
  • The Beginning (Series I Documentary)
  • It's Cold Outside (Series II Documentary)
  • Re-Dwarf Documentary
  • DVD Credits
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Raw FX Footage
  • The Most Embarrassing Interview In The Universe Ever
  • Script Extracts
  • Peter Tyler 8mm Reel
  • Remastered Promos
  • Various Audio Commentaries
  • Easter Eggs

Phew. So it's a lot of stuff. It's not quite everything ever - the original releases featured isolated music cues, a handful of Easter Eggs, and "weblinks" that don't really work on Blu-ray; plus there was some material attached to the Remastered episodes on Bodysnatcher that hasn't been able to be carried across.

But all in all, packed into this surprisingly small (and remarkably cheap, at under £40!) package is a quite incredible compilation of eleven years' worth of a TV show. 52 episodes (plus some alternate cuts and "lost" ep recreations), newly revamped to look better than ever, and countless hours of material about how they came to be.

We can't wait for you to get your hands on it. Heck, we can't wait to get our hands on it. And the wait will be over before you know it...

Red Dwarf I-VIII lands on Blu-ray on 14th January - pre-order your copy now!

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