High & Low: Rimmer Scenes

After High & Low‘s sojourn into Guest Character territory, we’re sailing back to the main cast here, and arguably the most important character in Red Dwarf; Arnold Judas Rimmer.

Coward, pedant, complete bastard; who IS the real Rimmer? I hope my examination of his best and worst scenes over the past 1o series can shed some light. Or just provoke a mud-slinging row in the comments. As ever, my article, my rules, my opinions.

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DwarfCast 55 – DNA Commentary

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Join G&T’s Ian Symes and Danny Stephenson, along with hangers-on Rich Lawden, Jezzmund Tutu and Tom Pyott, as we transmogrify your minds and talk all over the top of Series IV episode two DNA. We discuss the unusually high proportion of movie references, Lister’s journey to the centre of the moral compass, decades-old editing techniques and the demise of video clubs. We actually recorded this about six months ago, but we’ve been putting the edit off, due to a tricky situation caused by the coming together of Danny’s arse and the ‘next chapter’ button on the DVD remote. Hopefully you won’t see the joins.

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High & Low: Guest Characters

Previously on High & Low, we’ve comprehensively and indisputably determined the ten best and five worst cast members’ other shows and DVD extras. With those contentious issues now settled once and for all, we turn to the topic of guest characters. Red Dwarf has always had such a strong core ensemble that it’s a rare occasion when an outsider takes centre stage. But memorable guest performers have often been used to enhance storylines, either for extra comedy value, a threat to the crew’s safety, or to build touching and emotional relationships. The best ones are usually a combination of at least two of the three, and it’s those that we celebrate here, along with some of those that failed to do any of them effectively.

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DwarfCast 54 – Future Echoes Commentary

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Yes, the least reliable Red Dwarf podcast in the universe is BACK. Brilliant. We return once more to the realm of episode commentaries by going almost back to the beginning for Future Echoes. Does it justify its reputation as an all time classic? Is there a pre-determination paradox at play? What’s the deal with the light above Lister’s bunk? Join us as we fail to answer these questions and more, with G&T regulars Ian Symes and Danny Stephenson joined by very ordinary guests Jezzmund Tutu, Rich Lawden and Tom Pyott.

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High & Low: DVD Extras

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Welcome to the second installment of our, ahem, “monthly” series, looking at ten of the very best and five of the very worst offerings from one given area of the wider Red Dwarf universe. And the reason you’ve been waiting two months for the second installment of this monthly series is that the topic is something that’s proved very difficult to put into order – namely DVD Extras. We’ve been treated to some of the finest DVD packages that TV comedy has to offer, with hours upon hours of well-researched, fascinating and hilarious extras accompanying each series. How on Titan is it possible to decide which brilliant thing is better than another brilliant thing, or to come up with five that aren’t brilliant? Read on to find out…

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Over To Bill Review

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One of the biggest downsides of the Red Dwarf Movie’s ten year development hell is that British comedy was robbed of one of its most unique voices for an entire decade. Even after Dwarf‘s triumphant return to our screens, it’s still been nearly 20 years since we’ve seen anything written by Doug Naylor that doesn’t contain those familiar four characters flying around in one of three spaceships. So now it’s over to Over To Bill to see if the man who co-created one of the greatest sit-coms of all time can still conjure up compelling new characters and exciting fresh scenarios, in this one-off comedy drama.

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Over to Bill: Tonight, 10:35pm, BBC One

Yes folks, Doug Naylor’s first brand new TV project since The 10%ers debuts tonight on BBC One.  It’s a Naylor-penned-and-directed pilot – part of the revamped Comedy Playhouse strand – and stars Huge Dennis as sacked weatherman Bill Onions, Tony from Men Behaving Badly as his mate, Tracy-Ann Cyberman as Huge Dennis’s wife, and Helen George as Tony from Men Behaving Badly‘s wife. It also features Geordie Jesus himself James Baxter of Red Dwarf X fame, the photography is directed by Ed Moore of Red Dwarf X fame, it’s produced by Richard Naylor of Red Dwarf X fame, and is co-produced by Baby Cow Productions of Red Dwarf XI fame.

So: watch it. You can use this post for your instant reactions – we’ll have a review along by the end of the week, most probably.

Pinch of salt: an epicure’s delight

You’ve undoubtedly seen a whole bunch of blog headlines in the last couple of days, that read along the lines of “New series of Red Dwarf confirmed!!!!11″. This all stemmed from some blog called WhatCulture reporting something that Danny said at a convention in Scarborough – namely that they’ll be recording in October, ready for broadcast in Autumn 2015.

If you’re as sick of this gun-jumping tedium as I am, simply re-read our coverage of the last time Series XI was “confirmed”. But if you’re in the mood for a good ol’ debunking, do read on.

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Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image?

Go on, guess what programme is on BBC Four tonight at 9pm? The clue is in my trademark unoriginal headline. More details on the BBC Arena site.

Usually we’re pretty useless at reminding you lot of stuff like this, but there’s a particular reason I’ve managed to remember this time – I was at the BFI in January where an early edit of this documentary was shown. I absolutely loved it – it’s not a straightforward clip-interview-clip-interview documentary, and all the better for it. Not only did it make me want to watch Spitting Image from scratch all over again, but it also made me realise that Arena is quietly making superb documentaries which I am entirely failing to watch. I fully intend to rectify that latter point.

Incidentally, the showing of the documentary at the BFI ended with a thrilling cliffhanger – the last part of the doc will be made up of highlights of the actual Q&A session at the BFI which took place after the showing. Rob Grant was present at this Q&A, but in the spirit of the excellent journalism which typifies this site I can’t remember a bloody word he said. I can remember that one particularly stupid audience member asked whether Spitting Image could ever be revived… in 3D. Why we didn’t all just pile in and kick the fucker to death is anyone’s guess.

As for the documentary itself, I don’t really want to give too many spoilers. But dare I say that when I saw it, there was a clip from one of the unbroadcast pilots…

Pin the pointy stick on Hugh Dennis

After a couple of weeks of increasingly oblique teasers, we now have some solid details about Doug’s new sitcom. Firstly, confirmation that the project in question is indeed Over To Bill, a project that Doug has had in development for a number of years, and of which a pilot was shown a couple of Dimension Jumps back. It’s being produced as part of a revival of the BBC’s Comedy Playhouse strand, previous graduates of which include Steptoe and Son, Last of the Summer Wine, Till Death Us Do Part and Are You Being Served?. So no pressure, then.

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