It’s A Syn (opsis)

Apologies for being a bit quiet of late. We’ve all been busy watching our country slide inexorably into the abyss, whilst remembering the wise words of Arnold J Rimmer. We needed something big and Dwarfy to take our minds off things, and that has arrived this Friday lunchtime. But before we get on to that, what have we missed?

Well, the model shoot is now done and dusted, and post-production is well underway, to the extent that rough cuts are being shown to interested parties. Some guy has made a Lego thing, which we’re not going to dedicate an entire front page post to, no matter how many times he emails us. Oh, and somewhat bizarrely, Series 1-V are to be released on Blu-ray. This makes very little sense to me; upscaling the likes of RTD-era Doctor Who to HD is one thing, but we’re talking about 625-line analogue masters on long-since-obsolete tape formats from nearly thirty years ago. Hats will be eaten if the increase in quality is enough to justify spending £25 a pop on them, and hell will freeze over if there’s any new commentaries or extras.

And finally, Doug dropped a subtle hint yesterday that appeared to confirm that Series XI will air in September as expected. This was somewhat superseded by today’s TOS update, which not only makes the September date officially official, but also provides a whacking great series synopsis. Let’s break it down, whilst also remembering that our spoiler policy prevents those that attended recordings from confirming or denying any speculation, shall we?

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DwarfCast 72 – Demons & Angels Commentary

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Years after we first started these commentaries we’ve managed to tick another series off the list, this time with Series V, as we mop up Demons & Angels. Join Jonathan Capps, Ian Symes, John Hoare, Tanya Jones and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples as we unpick one of the show’s more unusual episodes and arguably the show’s best series.

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Tucker’s Luck #545621265

If thinking about the model work on the new series of Red Dwarf make your anus involuntarily clench, then you’re probably a) reading the correct site and b) all too aware of the myriad fuckeries of the Series X model production and are thus rightly nervous about what comes next. While that’s a very negative way to start this piece, we do actually now have some nice positive news to ponder on that front.

As post production probably persists we’re starting to get an idea about what the new look model set-up will be. Richard Naylor, presumably as part of some sort of mental breakdown, actually gave Gazpacho Soup the time of day with the following deets…

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DwarfCast 71 – Queeg Commentary

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Okay, suckers. Get this into your stupid thick heads. There’s only one thing I’m going to say to you: please listen to our episode commentary for Queeg. Danny, John, Ian and TORDFC‘s Jo Sharples gather around to discuss such topics as Ed Bye’s directorial flair, the nature of Holly’s consciousness, how the show might have developed had Norman Lovett stayed on, and the surface area of peas. There’s also a somewhat startling new theory about how long Holly’s joke lasted – was “Queeg” actually in charge for five months? Join us for an uncharacteristically competent chinwag.

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Back to Live, back to reality?

Thanks to Thomas Evans in our forum, and Jeannette via email, for alerting us to this report in the ever brilliant Daily Express. It’s all based on this interview from ScififantasyNetwork, where Danny confirms the live show idea that Doug floated at Dimension Jump last May. There’s no new information here, but it’s nice to know that it’s still on the table. Personally, I find myself skeptical about the prospect of this idea ever getting off the ground, purely due to the logistics of finding a time where all four of them are available to tour the country, but where it would be a better idea to do this than film a new series. I don’t think we’re any closer to it happening just because Danny has mentioned it, but fingers crossed.

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Gareth Gwenlan RIP

We’re sad to note the death of the hugely influential comedy producer and commissioner Gareth Gwenlan, aged 79. And on the same day as Reg Grundy, who was in many ways the real life equivalent of Kylie Gwenlyn. Yes, despite Gwenlan not having directly worked on Red Dwarf, we feel the need to mark his passing due to the way the show immortalised him, both on screen and in behind-the-scenes folklore, as being intrinsically linked to the programme’s fledgling fortunes in those early days.

As well as being the inspiration for the producer/director of Androids, the same episode, Kryten, sees Lister use his name as insult, calling the eponymous character a “total Gwenlan”. The reason for Rob and Doug’s apparent lack of affection for the man was that, as the BBC’s Head of Comedy between 1983 and 1990, he had turned down Red Dwarf several times. One notorious meeting is recounted by Rob Grant on the Six of the Best CD:

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The Smegazine Catalogue

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It seems strange now. Even though Red Dwarf is a current TV show once more, is popular enough to maintain an official fan club even during the ten year hiatus, and has always been extremely well represented on fansites, blogs and social media… a magazine? A whole magazine, dedicated to just Red Dwarf? In proper shops and everything? Monthly? It’s baffling.

But remember, back in the early to mid ’90s, Red Dwarf was a pretty big deal. Viewing figures were constantly on the rise, the likes of Ace Rimmer and Talkie Toaster were invading the public consciousness, conventions were being organised and the show was expanding into other platforms. The audience of teenagers and young adults were ripe for commercial exploitation, as books, videos, t-shirts, posters and more started to hit the shelves. So actually, why the hell not add a magazine to the mix?

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