Robert Llewellyn’s marvellous book, The Man in the Rubber Mask (detailing behind the scenes on Red Dwarf III-V, and the US Pilot), is now sadly out of print. But what is less well known is that there were in fact two editions. The first was published in 1994; the second was published in 1996, and had an Epilogue added to the end. For those of you who only have the first edition, we now present this Epilogue in full.
Universal television presented NBC with the pilot later that year. It had its faults, but for a pilot I’d say it was pretty damn good. Virtually everyone connected with the show was ‘fired’ sonn afterwards, something apparantly quite common in Hollywood. There was talk of re-shooting the pilot, this never happened, but they did shoot a short trailer for it in which I wasn’t involved. Rob and Doug went back to Los Angeles for about six weeks, trying to hustle up support for the project.
By mid-June of 1993, Doug rang me up to say that NBC had decided to drop the whole thing. The Fox network picked it up, and have still a hold of it apparantly. Nothing has happened. All the agents who blessed my head with praise have singularly failed to keep in touch, as they promised. Strange that, isn’t it. Since then, we have made Red Dwarf six and Red Dwarf seven is now in the can, we are moving steadily on to Red Dwarf eight. There’s talk of a movie and another series. The only thing I’ve learned through all of these experiences is, in show business, don’t believe it until it’s happening, and even then, stay sceptical.
Awwww. We were just thinking the other day how we’d probably trade Series VII and VIII in for two seasons of a US-version of Red Dwarf; are we the only fans who think this? We tend to agree with Robert; yes, the pilot has it’s problems, but the widespread view amongst fans that it’s a pile of shit with no redeeming features is way off the mark…