Corrie’s Craig Charles talks about new Red Dwarf role

Not the Cat in a hat

For those of you who don’t watch ITV’s Coronation Street, Craig Charles is a poet who rose to fame in the famous Manchester based soap opera as lovable cabby Lloyd. Despite recent and very public drug problems he’s recently been cast as a character called Lister in a new Dave sci-fi sitcom called Red Dwarf. Intriguing…

Heh, anyway. Enough of that hilarity.

Amazingly, the pretext for Craig’s recent big interview with Digital Spy seems to be that his character is going to kiss someone in an up-coming episode of Corrie. Fucking hell. Anyway, he still had time to talk about the much less important matter of Red Dwarf:

How much are you looking forward to hooking up with your fellow boys from the Dwarf for brand new episodes?
“It’s all been signed off now and has been given the go-ahead. I’m really looking forward to doing it. I can’t really give the storyline away but it’s a fantastic one. It’s really quite weird and sees me playing quite a few characters, some of them I’ve already played on television. That’s all I can say…”

Buh?! Ahem, well, firstly it’s always lovely to hear things like “It’s all been signed off now and has been given the go-ahead” in relation to new Dwarf but secondly… well, suddenly I’m a little more nervous about what the new episodes are going to feature. Suddenly I have arse tightening nightmares about the fucking Dibbley family, or something. Of course, I’m probably being unfair as this sounds more like a reference to the mysterious ‘clip show with a difference’ if the recent WikiRumour about ‘Red Dwarf Unplugged’ is true. Which I hope it is. It’s entirely possible that the re-enacing of scenes will involve the cast playing a great amount of extra roles to make up the numbers in certain scenes. However, in my mind, no situation where Craig is called upon to play a number of roles in the actual proper episodes is a good one… it just brings up too many thoughts of horrible gimmicks.

How close did the proposed Red Dwarf movie project come to being made?
“It came to be getting all my teeth knocked out and put back in with veneers on! It came to us going to the gym for six weeks and training with a personal trainer, getting ripped! Nah, I joke – it came really, really close. It’s one of those things, though. It feels like it’s another lifetime now. It’s nice to be revisiting it for this special, though. Never say never. If this special goes well, you never know what could come of it.”

Am I the only one that thought he was being serious at first? The thought of him having his teeth fixed in order to look more appealing to movie investors or the Duke of Manchester is a horribly believable one. Anyway, enough lamenting about how close the movie came to being made – we have our new Dwarf now and I think we can be fairly confident that more will happen if they’re a success. Just please, God, let them be good.

Have there been any read-throughs or rehearsals yet? When do you begin filming?
“Yeah – it starts filming in January and the rest of them all look ancient! I’m the only one that doesn’t look like they’ve aged. I’m actually playing their child now!”

Haha, funny joke.

I’m presuming you’re going to have to take a break from Corrie?
“Yeah, they’ve given me a bit of time off. Not a lot, but they’ve worked it around holidays, too. It’s very kind of them to have done it for me. It’s one of those things that I’d have hated to have gone ahead without me.”

I don’t like the idea that the Red Dwarf‘s future, however briefly, was in the hands of Corrie’s producers… or that the specials might have actually gone ahead without Craig!

And finally, whatever happened to Takeshi’s Castle?
“Well, we did about 150 episodes of them but then we ran out of episodes. It took me months and months in a booth with a microphone and Japanese DVDs. It was very sad just looking at a television and talking into a mic. There were no scripts, no rehearsals – it was just say what you see TV. You cold get away with so many near-to-the-knuckle things, it was great.”

And that show always seemed so tightly controlled and scripted,too!

Finally, don’t forget that Dave are beginning their build up to the new specials with a night of Red Dwarf repeats from 21:00 tonight. As usual, though, they’re opting to show 4 episodes twice rather than just sticking an entire series on so we have Holoship, The Inquisitor, Terrorform and Quarantine tonight continuing the Dave scheduler’s mystifying IV, V and VI bias.

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38 Responses to Corrie’s Craig Charles talks about new Red Dwarf role

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  1. >As usual, though, they?re opting to show 4 episodes twice rather than just sticking an entire series on

    If only they had 4 new episodes to play with

  2. Am I the only one that thought he was being serious at first? The thought of him having his teeth fixed in order to look more appealing to movie investors or the Duke of Manchester is a horribly believable one.

    Yeah, I thought so too, which seemed odd considering that he already had them done a long time ago (as watching earlier vs. later episodes of Dwarf will clearly attest)!

  3. The prospect of Red Dwarf without Dave Lister is ridiculous. Even more so than Red Dwarf without Arnold Rimmer.

  4. >The prospect of Red Dwarf without Dave Lister is ridiculous. Even more so than Red Dwarf without Arnold Rimmer.

    Now that would be an interesting debate.

  5. Rimmer is the best thing about Red Dwarf, but the show’s narrative premise does not hinge on him. Therefore, you can make it without Rimmer (it’ll be/it was cack, but you can do it), but you can’t make it without Lister.

    Sorry it wasn’t that interesting ;-)

  6. >Haha, funny joke.
    >?

    Fuck you, I laughed.

  7. G&T Admin

    Well, the point was more: is it a joke or a crazy storyline twist?

  8. Ahhh, gotcha. I still laughed, though maybe, if it comes to pass, I will regret it.

  9. > Rimmer is the best thing about Red Dwarf

    Well, Red Dwarf is GOOD when it realises this fact. When it thinks Kryten’s the best thing about the show, that’s when it gets into trouble. That’s just my opinion, of course. Aside from The Last Day and, yes, Kryten, I pretty much dislike every episode that features Kryten more than usual (e.g. Camille, DNA, all of VII and VIII).

  10. G&T Admin

    I dislike the majority of the first episodes of each series, especially III, IV and V, but for a very different reason. In the days of yore before DVDs were available, we taped all of dwarf onto VHS and me and my brother used to put a vid on when we were in bed. And it’s basically because we never wound through, and video would rewind when it hit the end each night so it was always Backwards, Camille, or Holoship which we saw (We hadn’t caught I or II yet on the repeats).

    It’s that simple, I’ve just seen them way too much. Oh and White Hole as well, for just one scene, mind :)

  11. > Rimmer is the best thing about Red Dwarf, but the show?s narrative premise does not hinge on him. Therefore, you can make it without Rimmer (it?ll be/it was cack, but you can do it)

    I agree: Lister is the ‘everyman’, the narrative heart of the show. But that doesn’t make him indispensable. It’s always possible for the narrative focus to shift.
    I just can’t seriously see the show being worse off without Lister than it was without Rimmer.

  12. I wouldn’t mind a single Lister-less episode…just to see how it goes, and what they would do. But for the revival it’d be disappointing to have anything less than the full cast.

    Whatever the fuck “full cast” even means anymore.

  13. The show is about Lister though isn’t it? I mean that’s how it’s always felt right from day one. A story about a hologram, a droid and an evolved being floating about in space… Hmm well I suppose it could work, but it wouldn’t be Red Dwarf. The character and heart behind Red Dwarf is so much about being human.

  14. >The show is about Lister though isn?t it?

    Overall, absolutely. But one of my favorite episodes is Holoship, and, honestly, you can remove Lister from that with just a few quick line-snips. (Oh, alright…you’d have to lose the excellent Binks scene, too…) You can do a strong plot without him.

    I wouldn’t recommend changing the focus of the show, or making it the norm, but it can work well. I tend to enjoy episodes that stand apart from the rest of a series, either by spotlighting a minor character or by using a style unique to the franchise. (Some of the best Simpsons episodes barely feature characters named Simpson.)

    Again, I’m not saying I RECOMMEND it for Dwarf…but if a Listerless episode were produced I’d be optimistically curious to see how it turned out.

  15. It’s a shame we never saw a Cat-centric episode. “Identity Within” was an interesting look at what a Cat-centric episode might be.

    And, again, I think there is a lot to like about VII.

  16. Phil, you’re absolutely right. Holoship is one of my favourites too. Come to think of it we’ve had a couple of Kryten based episodes which could get by without Lister too. Additionally one of my favourite Buffy episodes is a Xander based story. I suppose Lister’s story is Dwarf’s arc, but the show can produce a great episode without him.

  17. It?s a shame we never saw a Cat-centric episode. ?Identity Within? was an interesting look at what a Cat-centric episode might be.

    “You’re gonna squeeze their roles?”

  18. >Whatever the fuck ?full cast? even means anymore.

    Rimmer, Lister, Kryten & Geoff

  19. What’s wrong with you, Ridley?
    ?You?re gonna squeeze their roles??

    I don’t think that counts.

  20. Duct Soup > Identity Within

  21. G&T Admin

    …continuing the Dave scheduler?s mystifying IV, V and VI bias.

    They’ve broken their own rules. they’re showing Red Dwarf II tonight.

    Why they have space for 6 episodes and only show 4 of any series then repeat the first two again really gets on my tits.

  22. UK Gold used to do that. They repeat stuff scheduled earlier in the night later in the night because apparently it’s easier to simply copy and paste part of the schedule from a time people are awake to a time when people are usually asleep and no bugger’ll be watching.

    Anyone up at that hour is watching the softcore porn on Bravo anyway.

  23. Duct Soup > Identity Within

    I agree, actually, but then again the “Identity Within” we saw on the DVD was of course the first draft. A better-written rewrite of Identity Within beats Duct Soup, in my opinion.

  24. Non-existent rewrite of Identity Within > first draft of Identity Within > peas_and_corn’s avatar > Duct Soup

  25. Actually I think the rewrite(s) do(es) (or did) exist. I got the impression they chose to represent the original script on the DVD though (which I think is fair enough.)

  26. Yep, you’re right, Chris. I forgot about that; good memory. Don’t know if that one’s ever leaked though.

    A refinement then:

    Chris’ memory > unseen rewrite of Identity Within > first draft of Identity Within > peas_and_corn?s avatar > Duct Soup

  27. You sure? Those rewrites have the dreaded series VII Kochanski.

    ——

    Actually, Mr. Ellard, why was McKay’s original chosen over a product that would have been closer to an episode on TV?

  28. It might have just been G+T speculation, but I think we “determined” (quotes probably very much deserved) that it’s because Rimmer was in the earlier version, and since it was being voiced by Chris Barrie, and also since we all actually LIKE the character, that’s the version they used.

  29. I like(d) Annett’s Kochanski.

  30. I liked her in VII (even though I didn’t lke VII).
    She was pretty redundant in VIII – but I suspect that was due to the way she was written, rather than CA’s performance.

  31. Yeah, I’m without a doubt with hummingbird on this. I think she’s the best of the two Kochanski actresses, but she was given tragically little to work with. Given the choice I’d prefer to wipe much of VII from my memory, but none of that is Chloe’s fault at all.

  32. > Actually, Mr. Ellard, why was McKay?s original chosen over a product that would have been closer to an episode on TV?

    Well, mainly because that’s not necessarily true. But also due to common sense logistics.

    The rewrites were done, but they weren’t necessarily ‘better’ so much as ‘different’ – my recollection is that Doug preferred the earlier draft, that the rewrites were of the ‘try adding this’ variety rather than the ‘add that and it’s ready to go’ type. Certainly it was better with Rimmer in it. And it was far more ‘on-message’ – you’re clear what it’s ABOUT, where the rewrite got a bit scrambled.

    My sense – and it’s only my interpretation – is that, had the show gone to production, Doug would have rewritten from the McKay draft, only using a couple of beats from the (quite different) rewrite, such as some version of Duane Dibbley’s appearance. (But since they’d also made a full Ace episode by then, even that might have been left behind.)

    All of which, of course, was handy since a) Chris was performing the script and it would have been rotten to ask him to do that without his character appearing, and b) we could never have afforded to pay the writer AND the rewriter from the DVD budget!

  33. thanks for solving that question, i’m glad you used the first draft.

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