Gold! Always Believe In the Integrity of Your Master Tapes

UK Gold ident from 1992 So, Red Dwarf is starting a repeat run on Gold from 10:20pm tonight.

Do I even need to write this article – an article which you could no doubt predict to the letter, given our recent publication of this? Not really. So let’s make this quick:

a) Referring to my comprehensive list of current UKTV edits, Series 1 suffers the least from any editing: a single “bastard” cut from Waiting for God. This means we’ll only find out whether they have sourced brand new copies or are showing the same ropy nonsense as always when that episode is shown, on Friday 10th. (Pre-watershed showing at 1pm, post-watershed showing at 10:20pm.)

b) As this consists mostly of pre-watershed and post-watershed repeats, then it’s an ideal way to see whether they have finally scheduled pre-watershed and post-watershed versions of the programme, or if they’re just sticking on manky pre-watershed edits for all showings willy-nilly.

c) I would also make the point that this is the first time the series has been shown on Gold for quite a while – and it is also a run from the very beginning. If I worked on Gold, I would take the time to check that what they were going to show are the correct versions. It is not an unreasonable thing to expect.

For anyone who thinks I’m banging on about this too much… of course I am. Welcome to Ganymede & Titan. But there is a reason why I’m doing it now, as opposed to the years when Red Dwarf was endlessly repeated by UKTV but not in active production. As soon as they decided to commission new episodes of the series, then the standards expected of them when it comes to repeats increase vastly.

If they want the audience figures, profit, and glory which come attached with Red Dwarf, then they can expect to be called out if they treat repeats of it like shite. Even if it makes every single person on the planet want to punch me full in the face for doing so.

DwarfCast 62 – Beyond A Joke Commentary

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In a rare departure for Ganymede & Titan, this is an episode commentary that involved preparation and research. Thankfully, all the work was done by Jo Sharples of The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club, who acts as our resident Jane Austen expert as she joins lazy, feckless G&Ters Jonathan Capps, Danny Stephenson and Ian Symes. So join us as we do our best to ignore what’s actually happening on screen, in favour of discussing Pride & Prejudice, the elements from the book and various adaptations that make it to the episode, and which P&P characters equate to which Dwarf characters. All this plus the usual brand of swearing and snideyness.

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The Man Who Was Nearly a Beatle (Updated: 23/06/15)

Consider, please, the following famous quote:

“Ringo isn’t the best drummer in the world. He isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles.”

Let’s cut to the chase here. I think there’s a good chance the above was written by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. I have no proof. There is no great statement at the end of this article revealing all. This is all just musings… and possibly a first step in finding out for sure.

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History of a Joke

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Cliché, Episode 2
(TX: 23rd March 1981, Radio 4)

Out of tune bleeps and bloops, like Wendy Carlos on an off-day.

PRESENTER: The final cadences of the last symphony of the Spanish composer Don Dimitri, who died early this morning at the age of 86. Cliché now pays its own special tribute to Don Dimitri – one of the true musical innovators of this century. Don Dimitri’s life was characterised by his refusal to accept the conventions and mores of the society in which he lived. In 1926, he went to the Sorbonne to study music. Rapidly, it became apparent he could not reconcile his own ideas with those of the establishment, and after three hours at the university, he left to set up his own school of musical thought. Professor Blakehust takes up the story.

BLAKEHURST: Don Dimitri’s biggest contribution to musical theory was the decative. Instead of the conventional eight note scale the octave, he initiated the ten note scale – the decative. He invented two new notes: H and J. Instead of ‘doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, ti, doh’, the decative would run ‘doh, ray, me, fah, soh, woh, boh, lah, ti, doh’. And in reverse: ‘doh, ti, lah, boh, woh, soh, fah, me, ray, doh’.

PRESENTER: And he wrote all his symphonies using this scale?

BLAKEHURST: Indeed. And the instruments in his orchestra had to be adapted accordingly. Pianos were fitted with extra black keys; flutes now came in four sections instead of three; and accordions were scrapped, as the decative made them far too long for human beings to play. Trombones ceased to be a musical instrument, and now became a lethal weapon. And the lengthening of bassoons and saxophones extended the mouthpiece into the region of the lower intestine. Incidentally, in Don Dimitri’s orchestra, women were banned from playing the cello.

PRESENTER: What other significant changes were inspired by the decative?

BLAKEHURST: Time signatures were changed. Instead of 3/4 time it was now 0.75 time. 7/8 time became 0.875 time, and common time – or 4/4 time – was now simply… 1. Don Dimitri’s quartets comprised of five players, and his triangles had two sides – neither of them connected.

PRESENTER: And now, the last note of the last chord of the last cadence is written. At the grand old age of 86, Don Dimitri passed away this morning. Never one to do things in a conventional way, he died in a manner he would probably have appreciated – trying to suck a kazoo instead of blowing it. He inhaled the kazoo, it became lodged in his throat, and he died to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. We leave you now with the strains of what is universally acknowledged as his masterwork: quintet for seven instruments in H minor. The only work he ever wrote in 0.333 recurring time, a time signature which never actually allows you to reach the end of the first bar. Hence it’s popular title: Dom Dimiti’s Unfinished Symph. Goodnight.

A warped version of I Do Like To be Beside the Seaside plays, with accompanying bleeps and bloops.

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Crazy For You

In an unexpected move, it seems there’s a chance that a character from the worst series of Red Dwarf – the series that Back To Earth and X chose to completely ignore in the strongest possible terms – will be returning in Series XI or XII.

Actor and dancer Jake Wood tweeted:

Which wouldn’t be newsworthy in itself, were it not for this reply from Doug:


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The $64,000 Question

CGVapR6WcAEODEO “When I kiss a girl she knows she’s been kissed, you know. I leave a note.”

Currently running on Gold, Wednesdays at 9pm is Bob Monkhouse: Million Joke Man – a series looking at Bob Monkhouse’s life and career. It’s a lovely programme, though for a show which celebrates Bob’s incredible archive, zooming and cropping that archive to 16:9 so the picture quality goes to absolute shit is a bizarre way of showing respect for it. And whilst the second half of the first episode settled down somewhat, the first half was full of entirely pointless talking heads. Just what is Ricky Grover actually doing there? And get your greasy mitts off Bob’s joke books.

As part of promotion for the series, Mail Online ran this article, which I’m linking to out of a sense of obligation, but please feel free not to give them any more hits. And here’s where we get to the relevance of G&T to all this – Tom Worsley pointed us towards a very interesting image from that article from one of those famed joke books. Here’s a transcript:

There are many things men are hard put to explain: “How were the pyramids built?”…”What is that panty girdle doing on the back seat of your car?” “The Bermuda Triangle… why is it that so many writers have mysteriously made so much money from this small stretch of ocean? Was God an astronaut – and if so, did he have a crewcut? (SON OF CLICHÉ)

A bit of investigation shows this to be from Series 1 Episode 4 of Son of Cliché – first broadcast on Radio 4 on the 15th September 1983. Here’s the relevant bit in question. Aren’t we good to you?


Download “Our Mysterious Planet”

The idea of Bob Monkhouse recording Son of Cliché and transcribing that joke sends shivers down my spine.

Interestingly, note that Bob entirely left out the “cigar-shaped object” line. To be honest, whilst the material isn’t awful, it’s certainly far from the strongest material Son of Cliché has to offer, so I’m slightly bemused as to why it caught the ear of one of the funniest men who has ever lived. But I’m not going to sneer. Not about a man who – as documented in The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse – once recorded the teatime and late-night showings of TFI Friday in case they were different edits. Which makes him the only comedian who ever lived who might have actually enjoyed Xtended Revisited.

Now, to bring the whole thing full circle – surely nobody has footage of Bob actually using this material? That would just be too much to hope for.

Wouldn’t it?

Crimewatch Update

Crimewatch U.K. logo because I am doing a big funny Back in 2012, as the lead up to Red Dwarf X, those good folks at Dave showed an entire run of the first eight series. I took this as my cue to finally take a look at an issue which had been bugging me for years: the edited versions of the show Dave always insisted on showing. Here are the results of that investigation from 2012. It doesn’t make especially pleasant reading.

But no matter. Yesterday, Dave started a new run of repeats, starting from Series III. In the last three years, the channel has shown one brand new series of the programme, and commissioned two more. Surely by now, those shitty edited versions will have been replaced with the proper episodes?

I think you know what I’m going to say here. In fact, it’s so obvious, I don’t think I’m even going to say it.

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@RedDwarfHQ (Updated: 22/05/15)

Two weeks ago, Doug Naylor stood on stage at Dimension Jump and announced two new series of Red Dwarf.

This caused a certain amount of excitement.

Two weeks on, the official Red Dwarf Twitter account – verified and everything – has yet to update with the news. In fact its last update was back in November 2012, shortly after Red Dwarf X finished.

This does not warrant a huge article. I merely want to point out something which is rapidly becoming one of the stupidest things I have ever seen on social media. I mean, maybe not quite as bad as this yet, but they’re getting there.

Go ahead, @RedDwarfHQ. Continue making the franchise look absolutely fucking ridiculous. You fucking dick.

UPDATE (22/05/15): Congratulations. Scrambling in a red alert situation, a new record time – 20 days, three hours, 54 minutes.

Still, lovely to see the account back up and running. And reading between the lines, it’s not difficult to figure out that whoever was in charge of social media during Red Dwarf X clearly didn’t do their due diligence in terms of what to do with the account. Hell, there wasn’t even a goodbye message

Onwards and upwards. When can I start bitching about how shit Red Dwarf XI is? 20 days after the announcement is long enough, isn’t it?

Xtended Revisited: Back in the Red

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Welcome to the thrilling climax of Xtended Revisited – for which we turn our eyes away from material first released on a scruffy VHS in 1997 as per our first three parts, and instead turn to a nice shiny DVD release from 2006. And what we have here is a rather different proposition.

The story behind-the-scenes of Back in the Red is oft-told: planned originally as a one hour special to open the series, due to timing and budgetary reasons it ended up being split into a three-part episode. Doug was never happy with the result, and when the VIII DVD came along, as well as the broadcast episodes being included, the opportunity was taken to create a brand new edit – combining all the episodes into a single part, and adding some dialogue scenes which were cut from the broadcast version for reasons of time. And thus Back in the Red Xtended was born.

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DwarfCast 61 – Dimension Jump XVIII Special

Join a luxuriously big hotel room full of very tired but very happy people, as we pick through the booze-soaked remains of the very latest and very greatest official Red Dwarf convention – Dimension Jump XVIII, held 1st-3rd May 2015 in Nottingham. Your hosts for this bleary-eyed Sunday night missive are G&T’s Jonathan Capps, Danny Stephenson and Ian Symes, along with TORDFC team members Joey Cannon, Jez Harrison, Mick Hayes, Alex Newsome, Carrie Parsons, Jo Sharples and Shelley Smith, DJ helpers Kiran Parsons and Melissa Stanley, and attendees/friends Aimi Brear, Simon Peel and Danny Pendleton. Phew.

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