BBC rejects Red Dwarf IX

As first back from DJ (at which, by the way, Rob Grant failed to turn up – more on that as we get more info on the reasons), it falls to me to make a quick update about Andrew’s “here’s what Doug asked me to pass on” message, before we go into it (and the weekend) in a bit more detail once everyone’s back and less asleep.

The message from Doug came in three parts, but I’m going to go over them out of order, saving the worst (which was actually delivered second) for last.

First of all, we were given the (almost amusing) tidbit that the production company that so famously asked Doug to recast the movie some years ago was… Miramax. Or “the supporting-British-film Miramax”, as Andrew referred to them.

The final item was the announcement – of sorts – of a project so early in the pipeline that the first that Robert, Chris and Danny knew about it was as they turned up and met Andrew at the hotel. All Andrew was able to tell us was this : Red Dwarf : The Movie : The Stage Show. No other information whatsoever, yet. Make of it what you will.

The second part of the message, though, is the one that will be remembered, and it’s really fucking difficult to write – although not as hard as it presumably was to deliver to a room full of fans. Finally, Andrew has been able to tell us something that he’s wanted to tell us for some time. When people (ourselves included) have grumbled over the years that if only GNP decided they wanted to go back and make more Dwarf for telly, it would surely get commissioned by a BBC mindful of the ratings that series VIII got… well, it turns out that we were way off the fucking mark. At some point – we can’t go into specifics on timeframes, or anything – GNP have actually decided to try and set the wheels in motion on creating some new television (series or specials, we don’t know). The BBC’s reply? They don’t want it. And why? Well, according to a direct quote reported by Doug (sadly, we don’t know the specific source) : “They’re no longer interested in the sort of audience the show used to attract”.

Just let that sink in for a moment.

The BBC, a public service broadcaster, are being discriminatory about their audience.

They’ve been extremely condescending about the show’s existing fanbase (you know… you lot and us lot).

They’re apparently not interested in “the sort of audience” that watches Dwarf. Which beggars the question… who the fuck did they commission two series of Hyperdrive for? Who the fuck do they think watches that little-known programme that goes out on Saturday nights at 7pm in the summer? And why the fuck are they happy to take the royalties from the (incredibly well-selling) DVDs?

The only positive way of looking at this is that the BBC don’t actually own any rights whatsoever as far as new additions to the franchise go. It’s owned by GNP. In other words… they’re free to take it elsewhere. If they want to. Are they planning to? We have absolutely no idea. But personally, the current employment held by a certain silver-haired former producer would seem to us to offer a pretty obvious route to go down…

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157 Responses to BBC rejects Red Dwarf IX

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  1. Thanks for posting this so soon man.

  2. AAAARRRRGGHGHGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

  3. the dvd sales have shown that the series still has wings though. take it to sky, or c4. fuck, hbo would probably love it.

  4. That’s so disheartening. I guess they’re only interested in attracting the sort of audience who watch “Big Brother.”

    Maybe Doug still knows some people in Manchester.

  5. G&T Admin

    The BBC have made me so very, very unhappy. Seb sums up the reason why this is absurd and insulting very well – this is a public service broadcaster, for fuck’s sake. Not only that, but this is actually far worse than their usual ratings grabbing antics (rating shouldn’t nearly be as big a deal as they are), as they must KNOW Dwarf would bring them great figures – it’s just that they’re obviously DESPERATE to keep away from a certain image which is both shockingly insulting and staggeringly short sighted considering that being a geek is fast losing it’s stigma.

    Well done, the BBC, you point missing idiots.

  6. G&T Admin

    On the subject of Rob Grant, by the way – we’re still none the wiser as to his absence. There was talk of a very disruptive accident on the A1 between London and Peterborough, but I don’t think his reason for not attending was ever properly discovered.

    Dave Ross was also a no show, due to canceling on the club a week before the event.

    Very disappointed. Still, the Fan Club dealt with it as best as they could. I’d still mark this weekend down as a success, so the usual well dones to the Fan Club Team!

  7. How dumb are the BBC?! Red Dwarf could be awsome post-new who. If anything the success of New Who should wake the BBC up to how valuable stuff like Red Dwarf & Blakes 7 is – existing and much loved franchises with a built in fan base crying out for a bit of TLC. Absolute fuckwits. heck a Dr Who/Red Dwarf cross over for Children In Need or something?! Could be huge!

    I hope GNP take it to another channel and kick the BBCs arse.

    But also… stage show? Freaking Sweet! Anyone getting Bottom live vibes here?

  8. Stage show: only marginally more exciting than mobisodes.

    GET SERIES IX ON SOME OTHER NETWORK.

  9. Only marginally, Phil, because we will be, to coin a phrase, shit outta luck. Unless they do an international tour. Which is only slightly more possible than OJ Simpson winning Humanitarian of the Year Award. But hell, if they come I’ll book them in my theatre for free. I’ll even make sure there’s toilet paper in the dressing rooms.

    Hmmm…I wonder if they’re thinking of a televised stage show, like Playhouse 90. Playhouse Dwarf?

  10. Well, that certainly throws everything into a new light.

    *sigh*

  11. The sort of audience Dwarf attracts – a sitcom audience. So the BBC don’t want a good sitcom audience… Am I wrong or has the reason for the plethora of shit BBC sitcoms in the last decade just been discovered? If this is their attitude then they don’t deserve another comedy hit EVER AGAIN.

    I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting this matter elaborating on somewhat. I’d be quite relieved to discover that wires have been crossed somewhere and the BBC are NOT this stupid.

  12. The whole thing is completely heartbreaking. Stage-show sounds interesting, but I was thinking, the whole movie production/Series 9 thing would make an awesome DVD or maybe a book. You know, like, all the storyboards, concept art, test footage and things like that could be on there, and I dunno, maybe the script could be published or adapted into a novel. There’s still loads that can be done with Red Dwarf: The Movie, even if nothing is ever committed to film, so that cheers me up a bit. Even the word ‘hopeless’, has hope in it.

  13. Maybe you needed to be there.

    This opens the debate that has been had before about whether the show will be good if it was put onto another station, and it’s really hard to tell- over in Australia, whenever shows go from the ABC to commercial TV it tends to… well, suck.

  14. “Maybe you needed to be there.”

    Yeah I’ve just remembered how much I hate that scene.

    Oh yeah, would make a good graphic novel as well.

    Right, fuck all this, I’m going to bed.

    Seriously, what are we doing on G&T at 2.50am?

  15. only slightly more possible than OJ Simpson winning Humanitarian of the Year Award.

    Spoken like a true fan – sounds straight out of a Red Dwarf script!

    And yeah, the BBC are morons; what the hell audience do they think they’ve already got with the shows that have been mentioned?? Many of the SAME FREAKIN’ ONES THEY HAD BEFORE! I agree that it must be more down to a matter of the perception they imagine in their drug addled haze that their broadcasting new Dwarf would convey, rather than the actual audience they’d attract, which is largely the same one they’re attracting with those shows now.

    What I don’t understand is why exactly are they worried about what audience they attract in the first place? It’s not as if they have sponsors to please, and given that they are indeed making a fair wedge of money off selling product to the aforementioned audience, why would they *not* want to continue to attract them?

  16. I’m sorry but I can’t let this lie, I’m absolutely seething. :)

    It pains me to think of how great new Dwarf could be. OK, I ADMIT IN CAPS that at one point I did think it might be a bad idea for Dwarf to come back – this was specifically after VIII had seriously made me think that they should just give it up before things got worse. Of course, I was a naive little fucker at that time and knew fuck all about TV shows, I wasn’t thinking for a second about stuff like episode numbers and writers, models being dumped for CGI etc.

    The bottom line is – RED DWARF IX COULD BE FUCKING FANTASTIC.

    The line below that bottom line that is important regardless of said bottom line is – IT WOULD BE A GUARANTEED HIT FOR THE BBC (BOTH IN RATINGS AND DVD SALES) SO THEY ARE FOOLISH TO EVEN CONSIDER PASSING IT UP.

    The ultimate bottom line is – RED DWARF WILL LIVE ON FOREVER.

    • Spoken like a true fan – sounds straight out of a Red Dwarf script!

    Oh, god…that’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me all week. :D

      What I don?t understand is why exactly are they worried about what audience they attract in the first place?

    Bingo. They don’t HAVE to attract an audience. Which makes me think there’s some other reason. Either that or the BBC has been improperly influenced by the networks here in the States. On behalf of all of us here, I want to apologize for the Fox News Channel.

    As for the theatre idea…I wonder if the thought behind it is to get it on the stage and prove it’s appeal to investors, which will help them get the funding.

  17. Got the dirty from Mike when he got back. Can’t say I’m surprised that the BBC would turn down GNP, but the precise reasons… Well, that stings a bit.

    Red Dwarf- The Musical? Stage show. Whatever. Feh. I’m sorry but I really can’t summon up much enthusiasm for that. Sounds more like Red Dwarf- We Can’t Get The Movie Made So You’ll Have To Have This. I hope GNP approach someone other than the BBC for the movie. It worked that way with Firefly/Serenity, but one wonders how much of the image and style of RD the BBC has control over and how much GNP have. It could work. It could take right off. Humerous musicals are in at the moment, RD could catch that wave and run away with it, inspire a whole new audience.

    But I have my doubts. I mean, how many were at the con this year compared to last year? And no con at all next year. That’s going to worrying to any potential investor. Hope I’m wrong.

  18. Roll on Hyperdrive Series 3. I’m sure it’ll attract a better class of crowd than we are

  19. >one wonders how much of the image and style of RD the BBC has control over and how much GNP have.

    I really don’t get the feeling the BBC had much control over Dwarf, especially in terms of “image” and “style.” Would that be all down to the writing, the performances and the directing?

    >And no con at all next year. That?s going to worrying to any potential investor.

    If the movie remains unfinanced, I won’t be convinced that it’s due to a lack of Dimension Jump 08.

  20. As far as I can tell, the only power the BBC have over RD is in the release of material that they funded and broadcast (i.e. stuff that already exists), and in turning down the chance to commission it. If they commissioned it, they would presumably have some kind of input. But for as long as they turn it down, it’s simply not theirs.

    And, TV series or no TV series, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the movie (or the books, or the stage show, or anything else, in fact).

    The joy of independent production, there.

  21. Big Bollocking Cunts.

  22. Presumably the rights are still partly with Noel Gay Television or PJP?

  23. I’m not sure about that – after all, no content (website, Smegazine, whatever) ever says “Copyright GNP / Noel Gay”, it always just says GNP. But Andrew would know, of course…

  24. There’s no way Dwarf will be on a non-BBC channel. Just think about the other options and you’ll begin to accept that fact…

    ITV – There’s more chance of me having a fivesome with Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate and Carey Mulligan (so many orifices, so much time…) than there is of Dwarf on ITV being any good or treated right. Fact.

    Ch4 – I fear they would come out with the same bullshit reasons as the BBC for not wanting it. They would be scared of placing Dwarf, or anything remotely ‘geeky’, in a prime comedy slot. Let’s face it, The IT Crowd would never have been given the go-ahead if it wasn’t penned by Ch4 stalwart Graham Linehan. They would want Dwarf at 6pm on Sunday or something.

    Five –

    Sky One – Probably the most chance out of all the stations, but it would end up being so cheap I reckon. Although Sky HAVE thrown their lot in with some productions such as Hogfather and the first season of Battlestar Galactica. Possibly GNP in association with BSkyB? Can’t see it, tbbh.

    Other contenders – Virgin 1, UKTV Gold, Living, Nuts TV, CBeebies, OR as someone said earlier a US channel such as HBO.

  25. ITV – There?s more chance of me having a fivesome with Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate and Carey Mulligan (so many orifices, so much time?) than there is of Dwarf on ITV being any good or treated right. Fact.

    Hmmm. Okay. Remind me who the current head of comedy at ITV is, again?

  26. “very disruptive accident on the A1 between London and Peterborough”

    I’m sorry to say that I drove from P’boro to London not fifteen mins after RG cancelled and found it the clearest road that journey (Missed the accident completely? Who knows). The M1 however was a different story. Still only 45 mins delay though, as opposed to 3 hours.

  27. Apparently, the “accident” story was only actually speculation on the fan club’s part – they’d received NO communication whatsoever from Rob all weekend. But I imagine we’ll get an explanation from them if and when they do actually hear from him, so until then we can’t really speculate about the reasons.

  28. How very odd. I may be in the minority of being quite happy that Red Dwarf: The TV Show is dead, but this is madness. The BBC don’t want a large, established audience that spend a shedload of money of merchandise?

  29. >The BBC don?t want a large, established audience that spend a shedload of money of merchandise?

    Good point. And that’s precisely why this is so confusing. Whether they’re fans of the series or not, it’s a guaranteed audience. And, with the proper advertising, it’s a guaranteed ENTHUSIASTIC audience.

    I’m utterly baffled. I can’t believe Doug wouldn’t take the show to another channel. The BBC certainly doesn’t care about one of its own classic programs. Bring it elsewhere. Surely someone would be eager to snap it up.

  30. I have to say the BBC announcement was the most gob-smacking part of the whoe weekend and as a seemingly direct quote actually beggars belief. If as I understood it, an 8 million potential audience means nothing to them at all there’s something very wrong with the system and those that run it using our money!

    Rob Grants failure to turn up came as no huge surprise to be honest but it was a huge shame none the less and I really felt for James and the team. The fact that there was no explanation or notice left the team completely in the dark. No doubt there could be many reasons for him not being there but not knowing either way is not at all good nor fair.

    Perhaps David Ross leaving it until a week before to pull out after repeating he was going to attend was even worse. Family commitements is a good excuse I guess but that must have been some hastily organised wedding!

    Still loved the weekend and I have to say it was nice to meet the G&T gang who were present, some again, some for the first time, thanks…

  31. ……………..TWATS.

    That is all I have to say.

  32. Ahhh…so THAT’S the audience the BBC wants to attract!

  33. I was tempted for a moment to edit that post, so it fell below yours and you looked like you were replying to Smeg4Brains there :p

  34. Shouldn’t the BBC be catering for all audiences? And if not then why the FUCK do we pay our licence bills?

  35. I was tempted for a moment to edit that post, so it fell below yours and you looked like you were replying to Smeg4Brains there :p

    hee hee hee…I think the implication would have stayed the same. ;-)

  36. Frankly, the BBC can suck my fat hairy balls.

    No further comment.

  37. Horrible, horrible news. My worst time ever on a DJ stage, frankly. And that’s including Smeg or No Smeg.

  38. G&T Admin

    Smeg or No Smeg was one of your highlights! Even if you did join the 1cp Club…

  39. I’m sure that was an awful thing to hear for everyone, but I’m surprised at everyone’s shock…I mean, hasn’t this been clear all along? Sure, it hurts to hear in no uncertain terms that the BBC holds such disdain for us, but all things considered it seems like it would be more of a relief. That road is closed, so there won’t be any more time wasted on knocking heads against a wall.

    I think it’s important not to let this feel like an end…it’s just a door being shut. A rather heavy door with big spiky things slammed on a foot, yes…but it’s only one door.

    There are just too many options still available to feel defeated.

  40. G&T Admin

    It’s all well people knowing about it, it’s just the way it’s not just speculation. it IS the truth. Which is worse, frankly.

  41. > I mean, hasn?t this been clear all along?

    Up until now there has been absolute zero news about a possible return to television. I think everyone will agree that we all assumed the BBC would welcome Dwarf’s return due to its popularity.

    So, is any of IX written d’you think?

  42. >I think everyone will agree that we all assumed the BBC would welcome Dwarf?s return due to its popularity.

    It’s certainly an assumption I made in the past. And what an awful thing to end up being wrong about.

    >So, is any of IX written d?you think?

    If Doug/GNP approached the BBC about letting them do another series, I’d reckon, at the very least, he’s got episode outlines. We all know the story of VIII being rewritten during the course of filming (or, at least, very soon before filming) so I wouldn’t say it’s all packaged up and ready to go.

    But, again, if he went to the BBC about it, I’d say he’s at least got a firm idea of what he’s looking to accomplish.

  43. Obviously the ‘Earth’ episode would be a possibility, but coming straight out with that would probably be a bad idea seeing as Dwarf has been off the air for so long. It would mean very little to new viewers if the first thing was the Dwarfers reaching Earth. At least a few ‘normal’ episodes would be required

    What I would do is completely screw the VIII cliffhanger and simply have them aboard the Dwarf as though nothing happened. Frankly I couldn’t care less about any continuity, we should just assume that Hollister et al are dead once more and that Rimmer is miraculously back to his hologrammatic self – Ace returned to save them from something but the ‘real’ Rimmer died and they had his funeral (I would love that to be an episode but I can’t see it happening for the reasons above). This could be explained on the DVD (take note – the first extra for the IX DVD)

    They should be searching for Earth, kind of parodying Battlestar Galactica.

  44. G&T Admin

    Or kill off the crew again, in the first 5 minutes of the newest episode. They did it at the start of the Series, why not do it again.

    Why not have a Future Echoes d?j? v? like opening, where Lister and Rimmer are pushing along a trolley and all the events of The End happen again, but with Lister egging on to the fact that it’s all happened before and decideing to stop the Cadmium II Leak from happening, but like Future Echoes, it still does happen but not in the way you thought…

    I’d quite like that.

  45. C4 are into comedy…could they be a possibility?

  46. I would have thought FilmFour was an avenue GNP already tried for movie funding.

    I know they are essentially separate entities, but I don’t think RD is edgy or mainstream enough for C4 to be that interested.

  47. Right. Do you know what. Let’s consider this huge negative for a moment and spin it into a gorgeous positive. Because really that’s exactly what it is. Something capable of galvanising ‘Dwarfies’ (I loved Chris Barrie’s name for us) with a genuine purpose.

    What we need to clarify is this. Do the BBC have ANY rights on ‘new red dwarf’ for TV. If yes then it’s our god given right and I’m sure many of us will agre DUTY to kick up the biggest fucking fuss fandom has ever seen. The slight on everyone once of us for allowing that sentence to be used has condemed the BBC and I personally don’t want a single second of new dwarf on the BBC.

    What I do want now – Is series IX and do you know what. Despite not being overly fond of series VII, despite really NOT liking Series VIII. I *REALLY* want Series 9. I want a nine the fans, Doug, GNP and the cast can truly unite behind. A fuck you, we’re ‘Red Dwarf’ and we know how good we can be to the rest comedy, sci-fi and TV producers everywhere, because I’m shit sick of being referred to like a second class citizen for enjoying a show which cast two black leads and then never played the race card, a show which is enjoyed by a demograhic most Saturday variety shows don’t even have. A show that flew the flag for British Sci-Fi during the none Who years. A show that can win Emmy’s and all manner of comedy awards globally but gets treated like a leper by the british comedy literati for oooh I dunno… MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH!

    Doug Naylor listens to his fans. Look at how shotdown Series VII was, look how much was asked for in Series VIII. Bunk Room Scenes, The Return of Rimmer, The return of a studio audience, Holly and the Red Dwarf itself. Fandom asked, he gave. If anything he gave too much and we should have shut up and let one of the greatest comedy writers of the last 20 years do what he wanted with his show. That’s what series Nine should be about.

    We’re told Dwarf is the BBC’s 4th biggest grossing show on a global sale. Ok we need alternative investment. So lets seek it out, from indepent production companies or other TV networks by they ITV, Sky, Channel 4 or foriegn investors – Australian, American or Japanese. The idea of fans raising the money for a movie was dismissed fair enough, but how much is a Red Dwarf budget for 30 minutes of sci-fi/comedy? Let’s get some figures on the board and see what we’re playing with?

    As for the Stage Show idea. Where was it mentioned anywhere it was going to be a musical? Why the fuck would it be a musical!!? Would it work? Let’s think. Huge dedicated fanbase, comedy show. A cast full of stand-ups (Craig, Chris and Norm) who know how to milk laughs or stage performers (Rob and Craig). Think of the four tours Bottom managed or if you want to see just how popular a stage show of a phantasmagorical comedy sitcom can be – The Mighty Boosh. What started out as a twenty date tour ended you doubling. Dwarf could do better, it could tour the UK for sure, it ‘COULD’ even play the West End and from there who knows, Broadway? Tour the US? In many ways it would work even better on stage than on small screen. The cast’s age has previously worried me – but in a theatre it’s so easy to suspend your disbelief. No more close-ups of Danny smothered in make-up trying to make him look like the Cat circa series V just some seriously wonderful actors and a seriously wonderful writer.

    I’ve written this in the early hours, I’m sure it’ll be strewn with spelling and punctuation mistakes. Fuck it, it’s from the heart. As some show once went ‘THE END’… (na)look out Earth the slime’s coming home. ‘THE BEGINNING’

  48. If the rights to new Dwarf do get picked up by another channel (e.g. ITV) then I wouldn’t really support a Series IX – it’s been 8 years since Series VIII was made and that’ll become painfully obvious in a series of episodes (and there’s really no way to get around that & set Series IX ten years later, as there’s a cliffhanger to resolve), and also the runtime will have to be cut down from the normal half-hour to make room for commercials which can only have a bad effect on the stories’ quality.

    So I reckon that TV specials are the way to go. Let’s say they make three – the first one resolves the cliffhanger, the second one is a new story, the third one is “Earth”. They could each be made to run for one hour including commercials, so they’re each about 45 minutes in actual length. Oh, and also as separate TV specials the 2nd and 3rd ones COULD be set ten years later to account for the age difference.

  49. I agree with Karl, but does anyone have any ideas on how to go about this? A strongly-worded letter to Terry Wogan? Picket line protests? Petitions never work (esp. the online variety). Could we (as a glorious whole) actually have any influence at the BBC?

    Also re: the musical thing – indeed, why the hell would it be? I think we can blame DJJ for that one :p

  50. >Could we (as a glorious whole) actually have any influence at the BBC?

    You are one glorious hole.

  51. Up until now there has been absolute zero news about a possible return to television.

    There has always been the air of frustration about getting the BBC to do another series…the cast is always on about it, everyone’s always wanted to do it, and in all honesty if the BBC were set to welcome it back they would have done by now. Am I really the only one not surprised by this?

    Just to interject a negative note, if everyone starts emailing and sending letters to the BBC laced with “fuck you”s and “Sod off, you cunt”s then it will irrevocably prove their point. The BBC is not going to be swayed by anger and demands. In order to demand something, you have to have leverage. What leverage do Dwarf fans have other than the fact that we’re really, really pissed off and we really, really want to see another series?

    I just wanted to hold up a black card for a moment in the hopes that everyone will think before they go off half-cocked. It probably means very little coming from me since I’m not really part of the community, but as a fan of the show I felt I had to voice my concerns.

    Being pro-active is a good thing…but it’s always important to go about it in a positive way.

  52. G&T Admin

    > Being pro-active is a good thing?but it?s always important to go about it in a positive way.

    Erm, when was anything else even suggested? You seem to think anyone from here writing to the BBC would end up unreasonable idiots, which kind of invalidates your sage words when they’re directed at straw men.

  53. At this stage, I’ll take any Red Dwarf I can get my hands on, be it a new series, specials, direct-to-DVDs or whatever… be it a stage show. Actually, I’d give a finger to go back in time and be in one of the episodes’ live audience. So why the hell not a stage show? (Hearing Danny J-J perform the tiniest bit of Tongue Tied live only made this more appealing.)

  54. Strangely, that contradicts the impression many of us were given just a few years back…

    At Coventry we were led to believe that the BBC would bend over backwards to have Dwarf back on the small screen but it was Doug that wanted to go with the movie etc. As for the cast, most of the conversations I’ve heard have gone with the movie being the way forward and any frustrations that they had were with that not getting off the ground.

    I guess the fact is, none of us know what goes on behind the scenes but there seems no rhyme nor reason to the BBC statement…

  55. G&T Admin

    > At Coventry we were led to believe that the BBC would bend over backwards to have Dwarf back on the small screen but it was Doug that wanted to go with the movie etc. As for the cast, most of the conversations I?ve heard have gone with the movie being the way forward and any frustrations that they had were with that not getting off the ground.

    My only guess is that both statements are true… it’s just the BBC have changed in the last few years and with that they’ve gone off the idea of Dwarf.

  56. I did not intend to imply that everyone would not be positive about this…but I draw your attention to the title of this article. It does seem to be a “call to arms.”

    I’m just voicing my support for doing things in a positive way. I’m not saying that anyone is wrong for not doing so, but merely pointing out that angry words have little effect.

  57. G&T Admin

    There’s a difference between venting on a fan-site and writing a letter to the BBC littered with cunts and fucks. I just don’t think we need to be told how to write a letter to the BBC as if we have some sort of writing Tourette’s that will compel us to swear copiously at the Director general of the BBC.

    Anyway, sorry if I’ve reacted a little strongly to your comments, cos I do agree with your sentiments, it’s just I really don’t think anyone who visits here needs to be told it.

  58. G&T Admin

    At this stage, I?ll take any Red Dwarf I can get my hands on, be it a new series, specials, direct-to-DVDs or whatever? be it a stage show. Actually, I?d give a finger to go back in time and be in one of the episodes? live audience.

    I agree with this. Karl Eisenhauer of this parish went to see some Series VIII recorded and I’m massively jealous, as it seems watching it recorded was the only way you could get enjoyment from that series…

    If a series IX was recorded now, it’d be really exciting. Without a doubt I’d move heaven and Earth to be at every recording which would make for a totally unique viewing experience. Even if the series itself wasn’t up to scratch, it’d be a brilliant thing to be part of, despite what channel it was being made for.

    So why the hell not a stage show? (Hearing Danny J-J perform the tiniest bit of Tongue Tied live only made this more appealing.)

    I think a stage show is an utterly inspired idea. The more I think about it, the more I really want it to happen. I mean, it’s fairly obvious that something will be done with the movie script no matter what, and this seems like an ideal alternative. At least we’ll be safe from CG… ;)

  59. Again, I was not implying that everyone had or would…just voicing support for being positive. I stand by my statement and I honestly don’t think I was incorrect for bringing it up. I’m not implying that EVERYONE would go off like an idiot, but it only takes one hate-laced apple to spoil the bunch.

    I do apologize for not being clear. However, it’s disappointing that my support of doing things in a positive way has been met with such defensiveness, thereby invalidating any opinion I have.

    Best of luck, all. I hope everything works out.

  60. G&T Admin

    Well, now you’re getting defensive so this is going to go round in circles. I’m sorry for getting shirty. Your point is valid and I only had a slight issue with how it was presented to us, but that’s hardly important.

    in all honestly, I don’t think any amount of writing – no matter how polite – will have any affect on the BBC’s stance, anyway. After all, why would they listen to anything sent by an audience member they no longer wish to cater for?

  61. G&T Admin

    We should just stop paying our TV licenses on the grounds that it’s pointless because I’d rather have advertisements on BBC and New Dwarf, rather than no Dwarf and the BBC being useless cunx.

  62. G&T Admin

    I’d actually kill real people if it meant the BBC stayed publicly funded. They may be going about things the wrong way at the moment, but the concept of a public service broadcaster funded like the BBC is still a sound one. They just need to stop being obsessed with ratings and image and all will be grand!

  63. G&T Admin

    >I?d actually kill real people if it meant the BBC stayed publicly funded.

    The Battle of White City, 2009 ;)

  64. > They may be going about things the wrong way at the moment, but the concept of a public service broadcaster funded like the BBC is still a sound one.

    Indeed. We need a PSB. And this is all we have. It requires regeneration, not destruction.

    I fully admit that I, too, was convinced the channel would take the show again, and must have said as much to people on the early 00s. It was GNP that stopped making the show, not them; and why would a channel turn down 8m viewers? (Or, okay, say 5 or 6 now.) There was no reason to think they woudn’t want the show any longer, especially in the current Who/Torchwood/Hyperdrive period.

    My personal opinion, though, is that it’s a ‘no win’ for career-minded execs. A new Dwarf could be a hit – in which case you get no credit for putting it on, because it was an old hit that was unlikely to fail – or it could flop, leaving you taking the blame. Which is to say, there’s upside for an executive.

    Because that’s what telly is – building your own rep so you can move on and get better paid elsewhere.

  65. > the BBC littered with cunts and fucks

    I’d say that sums up the situation.

  66. By the way, the BBC WOULD have snapped Dwarf up if it was a ‘luvvie’ filled safe BBC1 sitcom such as The Vicar Of Dibley. The Royle Family returned for a one-off special last year after a 6 year absence.

    Maybe the BBC wanted Dwarf back in, say, 2001 but Doug say no because they were on with the movie, so they then said ‘fuck them, they’ve had their chance’ and noted down in a big black book ‘never recommission Red Dwarf’.

  67. Sorry OT a bit but why on earth would Danny sing tongue tied in a stage performance based on the movie script? In any case, make it anywhere near as good as the Bottom live show and I’ll be buying tickets…

  68. Apologies I got a bit carried away and had a pop at someone for suggesting musical. Sorry.

    Andrew could you confirm what, if any ownership the BBC has? As I recall after series six, GNP were contracted for a further two series. Is Red Dwarf now a ‘free agent’? I have no idea how telly works, tbh.

    As for the headline – it’s just G&T’s way. Expressive and honest. Come the time to protest in a proper organised way and it would be expressed correctly. I feel like organising some major protest aimed at the BBC, but at the same time after a dismissal that insulting I wouldn’t want the BBC to profit from Dwarf ever again.

  69. I find it all a very strange situation…

    It reads that the BBC dont want our sort, by ‘our’ I mean several million fans/viewers. The fact is, the BBC are continuing to profit from Dwarf and seem happy to display the ‘BBC DVD’ logo on the upcoming DVD’s judging by the projected art work…

    I would love to know what knob-head came up with this statement and whether they are aware of the implications. Of course, they are so big, I dont suspect anyone at the BBC cares.

    I assume that one person alone wouldn’t come with this and that someone has thought about it, as fans we dont know the origins of the statement or indeed, what position they hold in the BBC empire. I mean, is this a general programming policy, is it the work of one department or has one individual got the power to make such a sweeping statement? We all know the BBC is subject to change and personel come and go. The fact is, whoever came up with this is either stupid or felt safe perhaps thinking that only Doug would know about it. Even if you privately didn’t care about such a large number of potential fans it’s not something you would broadcast, there are so many things that could have been said to mask these thoughts.

    I dont suppose that 125 people at DJ would make much of an impact if they besieged the BEEB with complaints but GNP have gone public with it all the same, I wonder if any press association would take this up given that a privately funded company have stated that they’re not interested in such a big potential audiance! Surely, even the BBC are accountable to someone. It’s not just the UK audiance either, there’s the overseas market, proven DVD track record etc etc.

  70. BBC Worldwide (which co-owns 2|Entertain – I forget who owns the other bit) aren’t the BBC proper, legally. The BBC can’t do stuff like sell DVDs, by law. So they set up a subsidiary company that doesn’t use licence fee money and can do whatever it wants as a result. They’re the ones the “BBC” in “BBC DVD” represents. It’s BBC-proper that’s the doodyheads here…

  71. The other half is VCI, who used to be owned by Woolworths, and still are, IIRC.

  72. >>BBC Worldwide (which co-owns 2|Entertain – I forget who owns the other bit) aren?t the BBC proper, legally. The BBC can?t do stuff like sell DVDs, by law. So they set up a subsidiary company that doesn?t use licence fee money and can do whatever it wants as a result. They?re the ones the ?BBC? in ?BBC DVD? represents. It?s BBC-proper that?s the doodyheads here?< <

    Good point, well made.

  73. Indeed, I was aware of the BBC Worldwide/2 Entertain and Woolies tie up but thought, possibly wrongly that Dwarf still came under the BBC licenced out group.
    Either way, it’s not about the money side really, it’s more to do with the BBC name and it’s so called commitment to the fee paying public. Having said that, I fancied a rant more than anything…

  74. My feeling is that it’s all too late. A show that started 20 years ago and ended, what, 9 years ago is simply not going to be seen as a viable proposition by the BBC. It does have a loyal fanbase, though, in all truth, not as large as some here seem to think. Science fiction is always a minority audience, although sitcoms have considerably more pull and RD is both I think they’re going to always take the safer option and try a new show in the same genre rather than risk alienating any potential new audience with requiring them to get a grip on a long back history (they did try a new show in fact and as we all know, Hyperdrive is a pile of poo).

    Dr Who managed it by reinventing itself, being mostly independent of what came before, save for a few iconic elements and then slowly, once it had an established audience, references to the “old” Dr Who began to slip in. The crew are still known figures, Craig’s Corrie, Robert’s Scrapheap, Danny’s MI High, Chris’ various mechanical shows. Nobody would say “Who are they?” but still, I just think it’s too late. A movie or stage show or TV special should have been on the running 3 or 4 years after the last series at the most.

    I would like to have a clear and official statement of the BBC’s position on the future of Red Dwarf. I think they owe us that at least. Perhaps some of the “Elders” here could draft a letter or e-mail to Head of Programming at the BBC, or whoever holds the equivalent post nowadays. Would that be Jana Bennett? She’s Director of BBC Vision, a member of the executive board. perhaps that’s too high up the corporate tree, I dunno. Nevertheless, one would hope they’d be happy to clear up any rumour and wild supposition and to state, precisely, their position of the return of Red Dwarf in any form, even if they don’t give reasons. I don’t know how many people are on this site, but if we collectively approve a letter, then we act as signatories to it. That’s a lot of people (how many are on this site anyway?) and that might be enough to get a response. We’ve heard Doug’s message. Let’s hear the BBC’s as well.

    PS- Yes, sorry, stage show not musical. My bad. Mind you, a musical could work…

  75. “It does have a loyal fanbase, though, in all truth, not as large as some here seem to think.”

    I know tons of people who don’t consider themselves Read Dwarf fans at all but still watch it when it’s on, and actually regularly ask me for “Red Dwarf news” and occasionally buy themselves or friends/family members a DVD or two. The possible Red Dwarf telly audience is quite larger than the small but loyal fanbase.

  76. Ah yes, true. But would they watch something new just as readily as they would Red Dwarf?

  77. I don’t know, does it matter? “Something new” would cost the BBC (or whoever) money and screentime as well…

  78. I think it matters because my feeling is that the BBC would rather go for a new show, with current “hot” talent, than do more of an old show that’s been fallow for 9 years. Which is why we got Hyperdrive. A new show, potential new audience and the old audience who are established watchers of the genre. A new Red Dwarf for a new generation or somesuch twaddle. I don’t know, I’m not privy to how the BBC does these things.

  79. Does anyone know how many copies of each of the various DVDs have sold in the UK? The potential audience would surely be greater than that.

  80. I meet people all the time who like Red Dwarf…maybe not as much as people here but I think it has a larger fanbase than many people think. Maybe not as large as Starwars or Star Trek but lets face it…..Red Dwarf doesn’t have ‘Star’ in it’s name…now if they’d called it Starbug…

  81. Been looking for DVD sales figures myself, Amazon give their sale ranking, but that’s not the same. Andrew over at TOS would know I’m sure.

    The brand new BBC science-fiction sitcom- STARBUGGERS!

    Think the BBC really wouldn’t be interested in the sort of audience THAT show might attract…

    PS- Films, yes, big SciFi audience, but for TV you’re up against soap, sport and Michael Palin. (http://www.barb.co.uk/index1.cfm) Be interesting to compare RD’s audience figures if anyone has them to hand.

    PPS- Wikipedia’s RD entry has a smattering. 8.5 Million for “Back In The Red”. It really was worth it then. Question is, would it still get the same now given the proliferation of digital channels?

    PPPS- Of course, another Sci Fi show that reinvented itself was Battlestar Galactica. Stunningly so in fact. But it was a total makeover and I’m trying to think of a sitcom that’s done the same.

  82. Films, yes, big SciFi audience, but for TV you?re up against soap, sport and Michael Palin.

    … and Doctor Who. And Heroes.

    Ratings-wise (incidentally, I think that figure on the Wiki entry came from TOS, I’ve a vague recollection of being the one who put it there. Also, don’t trust that Wiki entry as it’s constantly vandalised by knobheads, some of whom even have an hilarious anti-G&T agenda), I think you could probably halve the series VIII figures. Which is still pretty fucking strong for a BBC2 sitcom.

  83. Ratings are on rd.co.uk (season-best figures, anyway), the Time Hole section. DVD sales increase per-series, because each one has had more time on the shelves than the next, but are around the 200,000 to 250,000 area, not including Just The Shows.

  84. But anyway, the BBC quote implies that is it not actually the AMOUNT of viewers that make the difference to the BBC but the KIND of viewers. They don’t state that they suspect Red Dwarf not to have an audience, but the wrong kind of audience.

    So those figures (for whatever reason) don’t seem to be relevant.

  85. That may be so. The BBC may consider a science fiction audience (more specifically a Red Dwarf audience) a “minority” audience no matter what the numbers, but as I said, I’d like to hear that from the horse’s mouth before I give up totally and sink back into a pit of gloom and despondancy whilst making obscene hand gestures towards Auntie.

  86. Baz:
    My feeling is that it?s all too late. A show that started 20 years ago and ended, what, 9 years ago is simply not going to be seen as a viable proposition by the BBC.

    Did you not see the To the Manor Born thing I posted above?! The Beeb’s planning on bringing back a series which started 28 years ago and ended 26 years ago for a Xmas Special…

  87. Ah well, perhaps that’s because it’s been away long enough for it to work. Red Dwarf hasn’t been gone long enough for it to come back in a wave of retro-chic nostalgia and been away too long for a new series.

    On this principle we’ll get our Xmas Special in… 2025.

    Put the kettle on.

  88. Allo Allo, Reggie Perrin (despite the main man being dead), not that those are a good advert perhaps…

    Hell, we dont even know the source of the statement or indeed the full content perhaps. We all know things change including personel…

  89. Hyperdrive simply destroys any argument they may have. Although…it was a crock of shit, and maybe they know that.

  90. Ice Cream?

  91. G&T Admin

    Yeah, but it’s not like this thread’s half as important as the McNugget debate.

  92. > Yeah, but it?s not like this thread?s half as important as the McNugget debate.

    Which, thankfully, Ed Bye covers in his Kryten commentary.

  93. Ice Cream?

    An excellent suggestion, lets send some ice cream to the BBC, topped with a few flakes, raspberry sauce, chocolate sprinkles and just a dash of cyanide.

  94. We could get the BlackAdder fans support as well, they could sand some Vanilla ice cream with a note saying ‘How do you like it you bastards’…

  95. Ah, the McNugget debate. I still swear to Christ my VHS copy had the “Mc” in it. Even though I eventually tracked down the person I gave it to when she was home from college, took it back and rewatched it to find it missing. She must have softed it out of her own volition.

    The weird thing is I never noticed it missing until the DVD. The very first time I saw the episode on DVD I thought, “What the hell? They cut out the Mc…”

    I never caught it on the VHS before that. Someone is screwing with my mind.

  96. G&T Admin

    > Yeah, but it?s not like this thread?s half as important as the McNugget debate.

    Which, thankfully, Ed Bye covers in his Kryten commentary.

    *ejaculates*

  97. I think the Mc was attempted to be removed but rather unsucesfully and you can still hear part of it.

  98. No, the problem is that the sound drops out completely for that half-second or so, and it jars. Especially given how bloody obvious it is as to what’s cut – most people (a) have heard of McDonalds and all their McFoods and (b) can lip read that much anyway.

  99. Ed Bye – best. interviewee. ever.

  100. >> Yeah, but it?s not like this thread?s half as important as the McNugget debate.

    >Which, thankfully, Ed Bye covers in his Kryten commentary.

    Now I have a vision of Andrew in some kind of pre-commentary-booth briefing, saying to Ed, “Now, there’s this fansite, and they’ve had a bit of a debate about the removal of two letters from the word “McNugget”. When it gets to that bit, could you just clear that up a shade?”

    I know this isn’t actually what happened, but IN MY MIND IT IS.

  101. > I know this isn?t actually what happened, but IN MY MIND IT IS.

    You’re not far off, though…!

    We obviously let the commentaries wander off in whatever direction the participants like, but we do knock up a crib sheet in advance noting all the episode trivia that comes to mind.

    In the cast’s case, this is generally focussed on guest cast names and locations (and the sheets themselves have ended up being mentioned directly in the tracks, which kinda kisses the point but gets a laugh). With Doug and Ed, there was more focus on stuff like the ‘Mc’. Because it’s what I’d want to hear about.

  102. I would echo the earlier comment about not knowing the full content of the statement and who made it.

    Also the idea of a stage show certainly isn’t a bad one if it were ever to come about as there would be an audience for it and it could be filmed for any future DVD release. Ironically I would be kind of worried about the kind of audience that it would attract but it would be nice to see the movie in any form now.

  103. When they start referring to the sheets is excellent. What was Craig’s comment to Chloe? “You don’t half sound like you’re reading when you’re reading”…

  104. G&T Admin

    > which kinda kisses the point

    Filthy.

  105. Wait, so you mean that the commentaries AREN’T just a spontaneous recording of whatever comes to mind when the cast/crew see a certain scene?

    TELEVISION IS FULL OF LIES, BAN THIS SICK FILTH

  106. > TELEVISION IS FULL OF LIES, BAN THIS SICK FILTH

    Heh.

    Plus, obviously, we’re also able to prompt them though their headphones when they get stuck. When they start groping for a fact, we can sometimes give it to them. Only sometimes we don’t – because it’s kinda funny watching them refer to model shots as CG and vice-versa. :-)

  107. I’m glad this thread has turned more positive. Hearing about the new set makes you realise we should be extremely thankful for what we’ve got, it’s more than we could ever have hoped for. Despite the unsatisfactory nature of the end of VIII, if no more Dwarf happens I can live with it.

  108. I had faith that TOS would cover this in some capacity, I just wasn’t sure quite what their degree of attitude would be.

    But now that the site’s done its Friday update, I see that TOS took the opportunity to make their best. joke. ever.

    It’s a shame it’s true, but it sure did get a laugh out of me.

  109. Aye, TOS update put a smile on my face.

    Anyway, at the risk of turning this thread all negative again, piss it to shit, that’s some awful news. Bloody annoying.

    But a stage show would be amazing, and I think actually a much better idea than the film.

  110. I kinda liked the violence towards the BBC.
    FUCKING WANKING BBC CUNTS!

    That feels better.

  111. G&T Admin

    >Poorly-written AND sanctimonious? Was it really that bad?

    No, he just hated series 8, so anything GNP does afterwards is automatically crap in his eyes.

  112. Yeah, I read that. The guy’s an idiot and this is just a new excuse to badmouth post-Grant Dwarf. After all…this isn’t news of anything CHANGING. It’s just an explanation of what’s happened behind the scenes while we all wait to see what the next Dwarf project will be.

    He’s a tool. And not in that crude-but-loving G+T way.

    And I have absolutely no idea what he means about the TOS updates. I’ve never had a problem with them, and I am definitely a nit-picker. (Silently, of course…but it’s a habit of mine nonetheless.)

  113. > If the BBC change their minds and commission Red Dwarf IX, I won’t watch it.

    We all have to remember to hold him to that. Not that the BBC are gonna commission it but if there is EVER any more Dwarf he cannot watch it simply for being a great big idiot.

  114. Dwarf Post-Grant was terrible. (At least Series 7 was, which I re-watched again recently – Maybe 8 was better…?) Considering I hadn’t watched S7 since it was first broadcast, and considering I remembered enjoying it (definitely laughing at it), I was surprised when I couldn’t even make it through episodes.

    It, just, wasn’t, funny – and I promise you I’m not some fanatical purist and I certainly didn’t have any barriers up – I really, honestly, wanted to enjoy it. But I just ended up skipping episodes, or doing something else while they were on.

    There were some good lines, to be sure, but RD needs to be more than just one-liners, to keep me interested, at least.

    I’d watch RD IX, but I wouldn’t have my hopes up… not least because the cast is far too old now. Naylor should have taken Miramax’s offer and recast.

  115. >Naylor should have taken Miramax?s offer and recast.

    Now surely THAT is sarcasm.

  116. Nope. What would the point in re-making what’s already been there. Plus I think the cast are just too old now (Cat and Rimmer are 47!). Red Dwarf was never about middle-aged men in space.

  117. In fairness, the age topic has already been debated around here, and there’s nothing new I can personally bring to the discussion, but I do know one thing:

    No matter how good or well-received a re-cast movie might have been, it would not have been satisfying to the vast majority of the fans. And you have to give Doug credit for keeping the fans in mind. The easy road would have been to say, “Yeah, whatever, recast it” and then run off and cash his big fat paycheck.

    Instead he kept the fans in mind, and decided it was better to have no movie at all than one that would disappoint.

    Maybe you agree with his decision, maybe you don’t…but the man deserves a lot of credit for being true to his vision.

  118. Well, if he did what he did for the fans, then sure, he deserves credit for sticking to his guns (even if I don’t agree with his decision). He certainly put a lot of effort into the getting the film made, and I definitely respect him for that, too.

    Really though, provided they found the right cast, I think it really could have worked. RD USA could have been a success too, but Chris Barrie dropped the ball and, in hindsight, so did Doug and Rob when they flew home without seeing the final edit.

    Still, these things happen in Hollywood all the time, it only takes one hiccup and the whole thing is sunk. It just goes to show the incredible amount of luck needed to actually create anything good, and the same would have probably been true of the movie.

    Cashing in the theatre successes of Jerry Springer: The Musical, The Producers, Spamalot, etc. could work…… possibly!

  119. Any news on why Rob Grant didn’t show?

  120. G&T Admin

    According to an email he sent to James:

    Sorry not to get back sooner, James. Here’s the thing: I have a minor
    but somewhat socially debilitating health issue at the moment. I had
    hoped it would have passed by now, but it persists.

  121. G&T Admin

    > Any news on why Rob Grant didn?t show?

    James said on the Fan Club forum that it was due to illness.

  122. Red Dwarf was never about middle-aged men in space.

    Before Andrew shows up and trots out the line he always has to trot out at this point, I’ll do it for him : Lister was originally written as being around Christopher Lloyd’s age (well, his age in the early ’80s). The only reason the characters were eventually written the way they were is that Rob and Doug had a very particular habit of writing for their actors. Ergo, if Doug writes a script now (movie, stage play, whatever), it will be written for the actors as they are now – and given that it will be a completely new storyline and retelling anyway, I for one can’t see a problem with that. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but there’s a lot you can explore with those characters even if they’re older. The only ones it really matters for are Lister and Rimmer (Danny may be in his 40s, but he looks younger and has kept himself in shape, and could convincingly pull off the part easily; while Robert would be under makeup) – and certainly, in the case of Rimmer, I can see a lot of potential pathos in having him be even older yet still having not achieved his dreams of officerdom; while, for the reasons outlined above and in the “Launching Red Dwarf” documentary, an older Lister could clearly work as well.

  123. >in the case of Rimmer, I can see a lot of potential pathos in having him be even older yet still having not achieved his dreams of officerdom

    Abso-bloody-exactly.

  124. G&T Admin

    That is a fucking, FUCKING good point. I’d never thought of that.

  125. > Red Dwarf was never about middle-aged men in space.

    It’s funny really, because I’m sure that this is what Rob Grant said to me when I met him…?

    Can I just say that re-writing the characters so they could be played by the older actors would change the entire series. Rimmer, less so, admittedly, but with Lister, definitely. Red Dwarf may well have started with an ageing Christopher Lloyd character in mind, but that’s not what it became. It became something different. It became something we love.

    When I’m reading the novels, I’m loving the characters, not Craig Charles and Chris Barrie (they’re just the actors). So, for me, it’s more important to keep the characters roughly the same than to shoe-horn the actors in and change them, and the series, in process.

    Lister isn’t a bum who’s wasted his life. He’s a bum, but with potential that’s been tragically snatched away from him at a young age. If he was older, it’s harder to feel sorry for him, because he’s already lived his life and wasted plenty of opportunities. As a 20 something he’s being forced to learn not to waste opportunities just when every opportunity has just been taken away.

    Lister has a genuine right to feel like his future has been taken away from him. At 50 the audience would be wondering what he’s been doing with the last 30, and so some of the fault falls on him. It changes his character.

    Even Rimmer would find is harder to moan about his life being tragically cut short if he was 50 (although it could be funny, I admit).

    Imagine the Cat meeting a beautiful young woman. We know his character would be drooling all over here, except if he’s 50 years-old, he’s a letch. Cat is a young nubile man. It’s not the same that he thinks he’s “cool” if he’s really 50. It changes his character.

    The great thing about Danny John-Jules is that he somehow made the Cat actually somewhat cool. Cat was a dimwitted idiot, to be sure, but it was not beyond the realms of reasonableness to think of him as being somewhat cool, too.

  126. Are they in their 50s? I was thinking mid 40s for most of the cast. I know, I know, you rounded up, but that’s where you run into trouble. You’re basing your argument on them being too old for the parts, and then adjusting their ages to suit that argument. That just doesn’t hold up. I, for example, am too old to be pursuing my MA in literature, what with me being 605 years old.

    >re-writing the characters so they could be played by the older actors would change the entire series.

    Surely that’s what you’d prefer, however? In an earlier post you posited “What would be the point of re-making what’s already there?” If the writing is strong enough (which is really where your concern should be, rather than something that can’t be helped like the aging process of human beings) then it won’t matter whose backstory is adjusted. Every one of the characters had their stories adjusted mid-flow, sometimes several times. Rewriting its own history is not out of character for Dwarf. If anything, it’s part of the formula!

    >it?s more important to keep the characters roughly the same than to shoe-horn the actors in and change them

    Speaking as an author myself, you are severely mis-understanding the writing process. One simple sentence dropped by way of exposition can make a hundred details fall perfectly into place. It doesn’t require a complete reworking of everything we held dear. More likely it requires a simple adjustment for time and maybe a few other changes that would have been made anyway, what with the film occupying a different history than the show (and presumably the novels as well).

    >If he was older, it?s harder to feel sorry for him, because he?s already lived his life and wasted plenty of opportunities.

    What you’re doing is you’re writing your own version of the film, and then being dissatisfied. Is this what happens? He wastes all of his opportunities? We don’t know that…we haven’t seen any script. We don’t know how Lister’s character will be handled in the film. Also, your speaking as if 45 or so is the same as 80. Do you really think people stop having dreams when they’re in their 40s? Sure, they may settle in to a certain lifestyle or pattern of existence, but they still have dreams. They still want their own little farm with a sheep and a cow so they can breed horses. They still want to be in love. And if they were stranded 3 million years away from home, they’d want to get back to Earth, too.

    >Even Rimmer would find is harder to moan about his life being tragically cut short if he was 50

    Again, mid 40s…and you’re treating 45 like it’s 80. Do you really think that somebody being killed in their mid 40s isn’t going to be regarded as having a life tragically cut short? I can’t say I know any families of people dying at that age who took solace in the fact that they lived a long and complete life.

    >Imagine the Cat meeting a beautiful young woman.

    Why? Is that part of the plot? You’re inventing a situation and reworking ages to make it seem as though the movie will be completely non-functional. In reality, we have no reason to suspect this is what Doug has in mind.

    >if he?s 50 years-old, he?s a letch.

    If that’s the aspect of the Cat’s character that Doug intends to zoom in on, then yes, he’d be a letch. But is it? We don’t know. There are things you can do with the Cat other than have him masturbate to a picture of a 16 year old girl.

    >Cat was a dimwitted idiot, to be sure, but it was not beyond the realms of reasonableness to think of him as being somewhat cool, too.

    Neither is it beyond the realms of reasonableness to think that Doug has all of this in mind (what with all the time he’s been able to spend on the script), and I don’t think you’ll have to worry about these things not being accounted for.

  127. > Are they in their 50s? I was thinking mid 40s for most of the cast. I know, I know, you rounded up, but that?s where you run into trouble. You?re basing your argument on them being too old for the parts, and then adjusting their ages to suit that argument. That just doesn?t hold up. I, for example, am too old to be pursuing my MA in literature, what with me being 605 years old.

    > Again, mid 40s?and you?re treating 45 like it?s 80.

    In all honesty, rounding up to 50 is more accurate than rounding down to 45. If any new Dwarf happens (whether it’s a TV show, movie or stage show) then Chris Barrie will be a bare minimum of 48 if not older.

    I think it’s true to say that the ages of the cast members certainly could be written into any new script and it could be great. But equally I don’t think anybody who has fears about that should be knocked for it because it has negatively affected many shows in the past and it could be the same for Dwarf.

  128. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, really. The way you get around keeping the same cast is to say that their characters are now adjusted accordingly for the difference in age (The Cat is no longer an agile, young feline; he’s a dapper older gent; Kochanski is no longer eye candy; she’s a character for the ladies watching to relate to).

    Thing is; if you’ve already changed their characters to accomodate their ages, why are the original actors still so obviously suited to these roles?

  129. You know, I don’t think they should bother with that new Indy film, either – Harrison Ford’s far too old now to play the same character as he did back in the ’80s. Or what about Bruce Willis in Die Hard?

    Have you people not heard of a little thing called “the passage of time”? Putting the movie (which would be a reboot) aside for the moment, IF there was ever new Dwarf on TV, what’s to say Doug couldn’t do something radical and have the story jump ten years forward from the point we last left it? Neatly explaining the fact that they’re all – oh, look! – ten years older. They aged ten years over the course of the series as it ran, after all… the inexorable nature of chronology, there.

  130. >But equally I don?t think anybody who has fears about that should be knocked for it because it has negatively affected many shows in the past and it could be the same for Dwarf.

    Oh, I’m not knocking anyone. As I said in another thread, a little apprehension is healthy. But you have to be apprehensive for the right reasons. You can’t come out and say, “But if the cat is 50 and falls for a young girl that’s disgusting” when we have no reason to believe that’s how the character will be handled in the film.

    You need to be apprehensive about the right things. You can just as easily complain that Red Dwarf wouldn’t work if it were set in a hotel in Palm Beach. And I’d agree with you. But that doesn’t have any bearing in reality, so why fret?

  131. To be fair, I was playing Devil’s advocate. I’m just saying that, if you’re going to change their characters accordingly, you can’t take it as read that these actors will be just as good at playing them.

    Especially since the main argument against recasting is that no one can play Rimmer as well as Chris etc. Chris has never played Rimmer at 48 (or whatever) and neither has anyone else.

    As it happens, I’d find it extremely unsettling to see someone else playing Rimmer, Lister or Cat. But, um, we survived when they recast Holly, Kochanski and Kryten, didn’t we?

    >Harrison Ford?s far too old now to play the same character as he did back in the ?80s.

    Jury is still out on this.

    >Or what about Bruce Willis in Die Hard?

    But not this. Yippee Ki Yay!

  132. >Or what about Bruce Willis in Die Hard?

    But what about Arnie in Terminator 3,
    The cast of Perrin in The Legacy of…
    Fools and Horses…
    Get Smart…

    There have been (quite obviously) successes and failures with probably more of the latter.

    > To be fair, I was playing Devil?s advocate. I?m just saying that, if you?re going to change their characters accordingly, you can?t take it as read that these actors will be just as good at playing them.

    >Especially since the main argument against recasting is that no one can play Rimmer as well as Chris etc. Chris has never played Rimmer at 48 (or whatever) and neither has anyone else.

    That’s a good point and it would be interesting to see how Craig Charles could play Lister now and how Doug could write for the character. If you take away the slobbishness then you are taking away a lot of the character but if you leave it in then you have the danger of a 40-something year old acting like a teenager.

  133. > That?s a good point and it would be interesting to see how Craig Charles could play Lister now and how Doug could write for the character. If you take away the slobbishness then you are taking away a lot of the character but if you leave it in then you have the danger of a 40-something year old acting like a teenager.

    This is what I mean about changing the whole series, but aside from that, can I just something terrible: Judging from his solo work, I wouldn’t say that Doug’s strong point is characterisation. That’s just my opinion, mind, but I don’t see him reinventing the characters because they’re older. I see him making lots of funny one-liners, yes, but not exploring or changing the characters.

  134. G&T Admin

    The success or failure of reboots/reimaginings/follow-ons/whatever of old shows isn’t reliant on the actors’ ages – it’s all to do with the quality of the writing and production. The reason the OFAH revival was shit was because it wasn’t written well, not because Del Boy was too old. And the reason the new Auf Wiedersehen Pet was good was because the writing was just as good as it was in the old days.

  135. If an offer to do TV specials or the movie comes within this decade, then the original actors should definitely play their roles. But if Red Dwarf is revived any later than that then I’d have to support a recasting. Not with superstars like Miramax suggested (eurgh) but with people right for the roles.

    And that’s why I’m really hoping for an opportunity to revive Red Dwarf within this decade, even if it’s just TV specials to close the show properly.

  136. Well, if they do revive it, I hope (and it’s highly unlikely, I know), but I hope that Rob agrees to come on board.

  137. or X or if they do a Moffat I

  138. Wouldn’t it be Series I if they do a Moffat?

  139. Well, Doug said that they wouldn’t do a series nine, but they might do a series ten for reasons we would get after seeing BtE.

    Given that there was, in factual act, also a reference to series ten having passed in BtE, one thinks that the next series would be Red Dwarf XI, not IX.

  140. Yes, Andrew rather exasperatedly brought that up during his Q&A.

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