John’s Roundup – 23/1/06

Opinion dressed up as news, here

G&T News logo. Not dragged it out for a while, so I thought it was time I gave it a walk.Ho-hum. Just in the middle of redesigning Noise To Signal to be, erm, less shit. It’s depressing when a design is so appalling that it makes everyone lose interest in a site…

Anyway, onto the Roundup. You know the drill. And don’t even think of quoting the start of Marooned to me. I’m not in the mood.

LLEWELLYN: Rumblings from Robert on his guestbook are that the website is “about to get a bit of a revamp” – presumably to coincide with the annoucement about his new DVD. Oh, please get rid of the Flash, please. Amusingly, this piece of info was divulged when someone informed Robert: “PS: your website really really sucks. Ask them to make you something where when you click a link, the address changes – that way people will be able to use the ‘back’ button.” 0/10 for politeness perhaps, but 10/10 for accuracy.

MOVIE: I’m of two minds whether to post this – taking forum posts about things and turning them into news stories always seems slightly dodgy, especially when it’s about something like this. But I justify it by saying that if it’ll stop one more person asking why reddwarf.co.uk doesn’t post any Movie news, I’ll have done a good deed. Mr. Andrew Ellard on the Webboard, then:

“This is one of the reasons the website can’t carry
much news. We’re always ‘almost there’. When one
spinning plate falls, we still have most of the others,
and that one gets replaced fast. Problem is getting
all of them to stay spinning at once, long enough to
start full pre-production.

That may, literally, happen in a few days’ time. It got
SO close once that we went it full pre-prod. Then a
plate fell. But every time he calls, part of me expects
it to be ‘we got it!’ Because it’s what he works on 24/
7 (or, at least, 12/5).”

Let me repeat that – at one point they went back into full pre-production again. (EDIT 23rd @ 17:40: See Andrew Ellard’s comments below. Me twat.) Now, regardless of your views on the Movie – that’s why it’s stupid to post things like “IT@LL NEVER BE MADE!!!!!!!1”. And bear in mind that Andrew would have absolutely nothing to gain by lying to fans – if he actually thought there was no chance it would be made, he would Keep His Trap Shut. Now, who’s in a better position to know about this kind of thing – Andrew, or us lot who, frankly, know absolutely nothing about what’s going on behind-the-scenes?

Interestingly, there seems to have been an increased level of debate recently about any potential Series IX – and whether Doug should even be bothering to do the Movie or not. There’s an article in this, which I shall indeed write this week. You can probably guess my views though, so you don’t have to bother actually reading it.

MIRRORMASK: Ta to Rad, for mentioning that the Robert-Llewellyn-featuring Mirrormask is showing at the Glasgow Film Festival next month (16th-26th February). I would investigate exactly when, but I can’t be arsed downloading a huge PDF to scroll through when all it needed was a page or two of HTML giving a brief rundown, so you can find out for yourself if you’re interested in going.

JAKE WOOD: aka Kill Crazy, is joining Eastenders as “Max Branning, estranged son of Jim”. This is good, in that Jake Wood is a very likeable actor, but is bad, in that Eastenders is shit.

COMEDY CLASSICS: The event, due to take place in April (with Llewellyn and Annett), has now been POSTPONED. Tickets have been refunded, and they hope to have a new date in 2007. I suppose seeing as I’ve managed to be snide and unpleasant in every other item in this story I should kick up a fuss so, erm, cunts, and all that. (Actually, I’m rather touched by their use of the phrase “very sorry”, and the fact that the message is signed personally, but then I’m soft like that.)

That is all.

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31 Responses to John’s Roundup – 23/1/06

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  1. Imagine this: the movie ends up REALLY GOOD, and sparks off a new set of Red Dwarf series using the movie as their starting point. So there wouldn’t need to be a series IX because the end of series VIII wasn’t a cliffhanger it was just a silly kind of up yours gesture. I personally wouldn’t mind if the current Red Dwarf tangent ended at series VIII and the movie spawned a new one.

  2. > I personally wouldn’t mind if the current Red Dwarf tangent ended at series VIII and the movie spawned a new one.

    That’s an interesting idea. There’s just no way they can go back and sort out the mess of Only The Good… If there ever was series IX or any other piece of Dwarf television it might be best not to mention it at all and do a reboot.

    I’d like it if they did a bit of a play on the new Galactica where they’re searching for Earth and replace the cylons with simulants and the like. A way to end Dwarf could be if they got back to Earth but it was present day. This is what happened in the original ’80s Battlestar Galactica. They got to Earth and it was the ’80s. Actually, that would be a crap idea… That would be the worst ending ever.

  3. “A way to end Dwarf could be if they got back to Earth but it was present day. This is what happened in the original ’80s Battlestar Galactica. They got to Earth and it was the ’80s. Actually, that would be a crap idea… That would be the worst ending ever. “

    This *kind of* happened when the Red Dwarf crew were resurrected for series VIII. Everyone (bar the non-resurrected crew) was pretty much of the perception that they were several million years in the past.

  4. John, you do have a habit of reading my stuff and seeing what you want to see! :-)

    “at one point they went back into full pre-production again”

    Who said ‘again’? I was talking about the 2001 read-through/costume-moulding/rehearsal period, which was detailed on the site.

  5. > Who said ‘again’? I was talking about the 2001 read-through/costume-moulding/rehearsal period, which was detailed on the site.

    That’s a shame. But please say that there’s still chance the movie will happen. Can’t believe the readthrough was so long ago. Just imagine if it had all happened back then. We would have had a movie and maybe plans for a second or even a return to TV. I’ve got to stop thinking this way ’cause it pains me…

  6. “Everyone (bar the non-resurrected crew) was pretty much of the perception that they were several million years in the past.”

    Were they? I must have missed this.

  7. Erm… shame mode. I-I-I-sorry.

    See, people should complain about me getting stupid things *wrong* on this site, rather than the swearing!

  8. EASTENDERS IS AMAZING!! IT’S A LOT LIKE RED DWARF!!

  9. There’s just no way they can go back and sort out the mess of Only The Good… If there ever was series IX or any other piece of Dwarf television it might be best not to mention it at all and do a reboot.

    Why? All they need is Lister walking around the Dwarf pointing a videocam at his face referencing the shot but unused ending of OTG, the way they did something similar for OOT/TTR.

    It wouldn’t be particuarly popular, sure, but they could get the cliffhanger over and done with in two minutes of pre-titles again and Get On With IT! (™ Python (Monty))

  10. But Doug can’t do that again because it sucked at the start of Tikka.

  11. I figure Somebody was joking. Or rather: “not being serious”.

    As I said earlier, why does new Dwarf need to take up the thread of series VIII? It’s just a hole to climb out of, when individual episodes within a series for example never had to explain how they all matched up second for second into real-time. It’s not like the end of series VI which really *was* a cliffhanger that needed some kind of resolution. We expect a gap of some kind between episodes, and a larger one between series. Probably ten years will have passed before we get anything *like* a series IX – if we can accept the crew are alive then why not just let them be in the situation they’re in without explaining it?

    Personally I don’t think the next television adventure should be called series IX. The end the smeg it is is just saying “this isn’t the end of Red Dwarf”, not “this storyline will be resolved elsewhere”. I say let the film exist as a new beginning, not just as The Red Dwarf Movie Fullstop. What’s the point of having an alternative to the first episode otherwise? It’s a new start, not just a different one that exists in a bubble, surely?

  12. Well, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have the movie as a new beginning. Sure, it supposedly deals with Lister going into stasis, Rimmer becoming a hologram, meeting Cat again, probably Kryten is on board Red Dwarf like in the American pilot but essentially it’s a remake of The End. Maybe they find Kochanski partway through the film, somehow. It’d be a bit crap if she was also in stasis.

    But anyway, it just wouldn’t be right if a new series spawned from that. In a way you’re losing the characters from previous series and you’d just have to repeat things. It would be better as a continuation from VIII but forget …Only The Good. Say that the VIII Rimmer died.

  13. How would a continuation appeal to new viewers? The whole point of a film is to bring it to a more mainstream audience and relying on a prior knowledge of the tv show isn’t the way to do this. Sure; they could stick a kind of recap in there, but it would still alienate newcomers.

    There doesn’t seem much point in continuing from Series VIII if you’re going to ignore OTG either. Personally, I’ve got no interest in having a conclusion to ‘Only the Good’, as the under-developed plot held little interest to me.

    “Maybe they find Kochanski partway through the film, somehow.”

    Show of hands if anyone’s bothered if Kochanski *isn’t* a major character in the film? I think Chloe’s great but the character’s thinly developed and I wouldn’t shed a tear if she was killed off in the first twenty minutes. There’s also the rather daft fact that she was introduced as a bit of totty for the ‘inevitable’ movie, but uh, like the rest of the cast, is ‘getting on a bit’.

  14. I couldn’t go any further without providing you all with the following link:

    http://www.the-broom-cupboard.co.uk/

    Totally on topic, I think you’ll agree. Erm, of early Red Dwarf being nostalgia-inducing, that is.

    *runs off*

  15. There’s just no way they can go back and sort out the mess of Only The Good…

    Sure there is. Rimmer was hallucinating the Death thing. He runs away and takes shelter in another part of the ship that hasn’t corroded away yet. The rest of the crew are in the mirror universe, and they find that Rimmer must have gone back so they try to find the antidote formula themselves. They get sidetracked by the mirror crew, maybe by Captain Rimmer, and something funny happens. They find the antidote and have Kryten remember the name, then they go back to the normal universe, synthesise the stuff and save the day just in time. Then they find out that all the other prisoners left behind are dead (plot device, yeah) and they smugly pass by the fleet of Starbugs and Blue Midgets like in the original ending to Only the Good.

    And that’s it, there’s your solution. Now roll on the rest of series IX.

  16. What they shouldn’t do is resolve the cliffhanger in the first two minutes again. That would be cheap.

  17. “But anyway, it just wouldn’t be right if a new series spawned from that.”

    Minor shift in opinion then from: “That’s an interesting idea. […] If there ever was series IX or any other piece of Dwarf television it might be best not to mention it at all and do a reboot,” but anyway….

    “In a way you’re losing the characters from previous series and you’d just have to repeat things. It would be better as a continuation from VIII but forget …Only The Good. Say that the VIII Rimmer died.”

    You wouldn’t have to repeat anything beyond the set-up. At all. You’d have a feature film, and perhaps three one-off specials following on its new premise, that’s the way I see it. Those three one-off specials are basically the future of television Dwarf as I see it. Or if the movie is super successful there might be one or two sequels. But I can’t see anything more happening than that. Like OFAH in a way, the crew aren’t getting younger – a handful of television specials or sequels IF the movie kicks new life into the franchise, and that’s a big if. The Simpsons movie similarly has a lot of work to do. Picking up from IX would just be kicking an old corpse as far as I’m concerned, doing that “reboot” would completely make it fresh again, decent scripts permitting.

    Going back to the having to repeat things idea, I don’t get that at all. What needs to be repeated beyond Lister going into status, the crew getting wiped out and Rimmer being brought back? It’s not like future films or specials need to rush through future echoes and better than life and queeg and backwards and polymorph and DNA and camille and quarantine and back to reality and gunmen of the apocolypse. This isn’t the Hitchhiker’s Guide they’re doing. If the movie just feels like they’re reheating old ideas and gags with a cast who did it all better years ago, well that would be a shame. I’m expecting it to be all new, and no reference to those older stories needs to happen at all.

  18. “And that’s it, there’s your solution. Now roll on the rest of series IX.”

    It’s fucking boring, that’s what it is. Cue more pointless antics as the Dwarf crew waste more time in space.

    The movie will take us back to a time before the crew were just frittering time away, and this is crucial. It’ll give them urgency again, trying to get back to earth (without a time machine to take them anywhere and anywhen which negates the necessity of passing through endless empty space – something the crew continue to do regardless) will allow a decent arc to exist and a sense of purpose between the start of the film and the end of whatever they decide to call the last Dwarf thing ever. All the humour, science and meandering nonsense can occur within a much tighter structure that way, and it’ll make all the difference in mood and pacing. For me the central difference between VI and VII is that in the former the crew are much more actively following the trail of the Red Dwarf ship. By VII they were just kind of dragging everything out in each episode.

  19. Will there be a Red Dwarf 9?

    As far as i know the main concentration is on producing a movie but perhaps one day someone will see the good sense in making another series of Red Dwarf.

    Is there going to be a Red Dwarf Movie?

    A popular question to say the least! Sadly I can.t shed any new light on this. Obviously I would love the movie to happen but I am rapidly reaching the stage where it would be just good to do some new Red Dwarf product, whether it be a movie or TV special.

    the above is what chris barrie said late last year

  20. >There’s just no way they can go back and sort out the mess of Only The Good…

    You need to remember that the only (yes, ONLY) Red Dwarf cliffhanger that was resolved in any substantial way was the “to be continued…” at the end of series VII. We got an explanation as to what happened with Lister’s body, what was happening with the ship, we saw all of it through in realtime, and then the VIII story picked up fluidly from that.

    Otherwise Dwarf cliffhangers have always been anticlimactic. Balance of Power, Parallel Universe, Out of Time (and even Stasis Leak, I’d argue) promised us plot developments that were either explained away quickly in the following episode or just never mentioned again.

    With this in mind, it’s not impossible to “sort out” Only The Good… at all. It’s in Dwarf’s genes that cliffhangers are treated with minimal resolution.

  21. > You need to remember that the only (yes, ONLY) Red Dwarf cliffhanger that was resolved in any substantial way was the “to be continued…” at the end of series VII.

    But that didn’t HAVE a TBC on it. And if Series VIII had started with them all fine, Lister back to normal, ship regular size and living in the same old bunkrooms, nobody would have questioned it.

    That’s the weird thing with Dwarf – it ducks the cliffhangers it DOES leave (especially those you mention), and then, on this one occasion, it retrospectively decides that a season ending WAS a cliffhanger when it actually wasn’t!

    Contrary buggers, writers.

    Otherwise, though, I agree, Phil. I dunno why, but dwarf’s way always seem to be ‘if they expect it, don’t do it’. Which means, in this case ‘only resolve cliffhangers if you hadn’t promised to do so – otherwise, just leave it’.

  22. >But that didn’t HAVE a TBC on it.

    I’ll be damned. I JUST watched it a few nights ago (new DVD release here, you see…) and I’d swear to God it was there.

    But I checked. And you were right. As usual. How could I be so stupid? As usual…

    Well, that explains that. I had always thought of that as the only Dwarf cliffhanger that was properly resolved. (Which doesn’t reflect BADLY on the previous cliffhangers…it just means the new episode can gather its own steam more quickly.)

    The Epideme > Nanarchy cliffhanger…I’m not sure what to do with that. It DOES treat the “what happens with Lister’s arm?” question with a great deal of attention…but it’s somehow both a postscript to Epideme and a prelude to Back in the Red. It’s as much a cliffhanger as it is a resolution…tough what to make of it for the purposes of the argument.

  23. It’s fucking boring, that’s what it is. Cue more pointless antics as the Dwarf crew waste more time in space.

    The movie will take us back to a time before the crew were just frittering time away, and this is crucial. It’ll give them urgency again, trying to get back to earth (without a time machine to take them anywhere and anywhen which negates the necessity of passing through endless empty space – something the crew continue to do regardless)

    Well, the premise of the show “House” is “a group of doctors treat patients in a hospital”. Whoop-de-doo. But great writing and acting makes it one of the best shows on TV. And “House” wouldn’t necessarily be a better show if they were in a hospital somewhere out in the desert with only a bottle of anaesthetic, a roll of gauze and a nurse’s hat for equipment, instead of a good hospital in the middle of the city with X-ray machines and MRIs and so on.

    I do agree with you about the time machine, but no one knows what happened to it, do they? It hasn’t appeared since “Ouroboros”. You can say that it was destroyed in Starbug’s crash in “Back in the Red”, or something like that.

  24. I’d say that the Confidence & Paranoia cliffhanger got a good resolution in Me Squared.

    But, yeah, Phil said better than me what I was trying to say. They don’t need to bother with the OTG cliffhanger in any significant way (and if the OoT resolution was a cop-out, what does that make the too-fast-to-read-scrolly-text at the start of Backwards?)

  25. >Confidence & Paranoia cliffhanger got a good resolution in Me Squared.

    Ahh! I forgot that one. I stand corrected. Confidence and Paranoia WAS resolved properly. Even so, that leaves a large majority of cliffhangers explained away in a jiffy.

    >and if the OoT resolution was a cop-out, what does that make the too-fast-to-read-scrolly-text at the start of Backwards?

    Yes. My point exactly…phrased much more readably. Nobody ever seems to dwell on the scrolling text, but they pick apart every little thing about the opening Tikka explanation.

    After all, the Tikka speech is more believable than anything that is explained as having had happened in the Backwards text. Does that make it a proper resolution? No, I wouldn’t say so. But does that matter? By that point you should be almost expecting a frittered resolution.

  26. >We got an explanation as to what happened with Lister’s body, what was happening with the ship, we saw all of it through in realtime

    So where was the explanation as to how Kochanski’s hair had changed length and style in less than ten minutes? ;D

  27. Piece of piss for the Nanobots, I’m sure…

  28. Regarding cliffhangers and series VIII:

    I think it’s important to remember that there’s really no value whatsoever in Kryten, Cat, Kochanski and Holly taking the reconstructed Rimmer away with them on their adventures. It’s not the same as having Rimmer back – the only way that could happen is for Ace to return and agree to be on their team, or to take them with him on *his* adventures. In either case, the shift could be a really interesting one for the series – a far more exciting prospect than just wasting more time in space. The reconstructed Rimmer is not a substitute for the real Rimmer – he doesn’t have the same experiences or personality as the one that grew from The End and it would be lazy for the writers to just assume having one Rimmer is the same as having any other. “Our” Rimmer would be much like the one in Lister’s dream in Blue, I would imagine, and I think preferable for the evolution of the show than the smug reconstructed version.

  29. Viktor Ushenko k49xn48f5h

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