Anything else coming, Mr. Ellard?

Andrew Ellard, via the TOS WebBoard, has given word that Tuesday 27th January is going to be a big day for Red Dwarf specials news.

Boys and girls, I would direct your attention tomorrow to one of the national newspapers, and later in the day to a great many websites which will be carrying Important News regarding the new Red Dwarf shows.

As you know, rd.co.uk updates of Fridays, at which point we’ll have our own take on things. But by then…well, you should be pretty stunned by what’s happening. Maybe.

So, what could he be referring to? Information on the plot for the new episodes or some brand new piece of information that will be completely unexpected? Keep an eye out tomorrow and be sure to report your findings/opinions in the comments section.

UPDATE: The news has broken early–the specials will feature the crew returning to Earth. More after the jump.

UPDATE II: The new episodes will be titled Red Dwarf: Back To Earth as revealed by the Telegraph.

Well, perhaps inevitably things have snuck out early. The Sun is now reporting that the specials will feature the return to Earth. Blimey. Here is the full text of the article:

RED Dwarf legend Lister will finally return to Earth in the forthcoming specials.

Craig Charles’s character was meant to be the last man in the universe in the spoof sci-fi show.

He gets his wish to go home in four new episodes on channel Dave at Easter — but there is a twist.

Chris Barrie, who plays hologram Rimmer, said: “Yes, Lister’s dream is about to come true. But like everything in Red Dwarf, nothing is straightforward.”

The specials mark a decade since the cult series ended.

First and foremost, I can give you a G&T exclusive: THIS IS GENUINE NEWS. The clue is in the fact that Andrew Ellard pretty much pre-confirmed the story and that The Sun have a quote from Chris Barrie. The issue here is certainly NOT the veracity of The Sun’s facts.

Secondly… well, I whole-heartedly welcome this news. The fact that the show only has two episodes to properly make its mark means that a strong theme needs to be present. Something that will draw people in and give the episodes something suitably big and important to drive the episodes. We now have that. What this means for the future of Dwarf is perhaps something that’s best left until we’ve actually seen the damn episodes, but I can’t imagine a situation where the story would be completely finished at the expense of the possibility of new episodes.

Finally, we also have mention of a twist. Oh, Chris you sly fox. Hopefully things will be clarified a little more this Friday, but it’s certainly something very interesting to chew on until then. I’m more than a little nervous about such talk, though… what in the name of God could it actually be?

I think I need a little lie down.

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126 Responses to Anything else coming, Mr. Ellard?

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  1. Andrew I think I might kiss you, no actually, I think I will just shake your hand. First I am laughing for 9 hours on your brilliant text track to the re-mastered Red Dwarf and now you give this fantastic news, as long as the news isn’t Paris Hilton is playing the bride of Kryten I think I will be happy.

  2. No need to wait:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/article2174832.ece

    Hardly surprising really, but i suppose it means that the show is actually ending in these specials, unless the twist is that it really isn’t the proper earth, in which case that would make for a pointless waste of time wouldn’t it :P . But weren’t there suggestions that this could lead to more specials, i dunno…

  3. The Sun? Oh my, I can’t believe anything that the paper puts out.
    Even if it is true it may not mark the end to Red Dwarf, they got to earth in the book ‘Better Than Life’ but that story was followed up twice.

  4. I hope they use their time on Earth to open a hotel where really funny things happen.

    Or maybe their ship will explode and they’ll all go to prison and get boners.

  5. > Oh my, I can?t believe anything that the paper puts out.

    *smacks forehead*

  6. Lister wakes up one day to discover that he’s an actor called Craig and all of his previous adventures were part of a TV show. An addiction to Class A Drugs had led to him mistaking Red Dwarf for reality.

    The episode is called “Back to Reality II : This Time We’re Serious”.

  7. >The episode is called ?Back to Reality II : This Time We?re Serious?.

    Or alternatively, “Red Dwarf’s Apocalypse.”

  8. >> Oh my, I can?t believe anything that the paper puts out.

    >*smacks forehead*

    I mean the Sun, that paper to me is worthless and I can’t believe what is on it till it is confirmed by another source.

  9. was hoping it was that the specials are actually going to be a series ….. or the 1st photo of how they look in costume now …..earth well .. mehh

  10. G&T Admin

    > unless the twist is that it really isn?t the proper earth, in which case that would make for a pointless waste of time wouldn?t it :P

    Just like going to the backwards Earth was a complete waste of time. All we got was an episode out of it! See also: every single place the crew have ever visited ever.

    > The Sun? Oh my, I can?t believe anything that the paper puts out.

    You’re the second person tonight I’ve seen suggest that this information might be bogus. Why in the hell do you suspect Andrew would draw our attentions to bullshit?

    Anyway, I’m very pleased about this! I’m slightly nervy about this ‘twist’ but I suspect we’ll have a better idea on what that’ll be on Friday. Either way, it’s nice that the specials have something very strong to drive the story as it’s exactly what’s needed.

  11. G&T Admin

    > I mean the Sun, that paper to me is worthless and I can?t believe what is on it till it is confirmed by another source.

    For fuck’s sake, man, Andrew has already confirmed it. He bloody well PRE-confirmed it!

  12. as long as its not .. oo hes arrives on earth but its somehow a computer siulation .. theve done the reality computer dreamworld thing enough now ..we shall see maybe theve spent the budget crashing red dwarf on earth as they planned to in series viii thats why they cant afford holly hah

  13. >> The Sun? Oh my, I can?t believe anything that the paper puts out.

    >You?re the second person tonight I?ve seen suggest that this information might be bogus. Why in the hell do you suspect Andrew would draw our attentions to bullshit?

    Andrew never said it would be in The Sun newspaper, just a newspaper and he said it would appear tomorrow, by last count today is not tomorrow.

  14. You know what, seeing Red Dwarf back in the public eye like this is something I never thought would happen again. Ever. Im so excited :D

  15. Going to the Backwards earth wasn’t a waste of time because it was part of a 6 episode series, which then carried on for 5 more series after. If after all this time and hype, they make these specials about Lister FINALLY reaching Earth, and it turns out not to be a real Earth, it will have been a pointless waste of time in my view :P Just my opinion :) Unless of course another series or more specials are planned. Then i could live with it ;)

  16. On Bobby Llew’s twitter page he said after the read through that he hopes they make more, he wouldn’t say that unless it was left open ended.

  17. G&T Admin

    Stabby – Good to see you’re not prejudging it or anything.

    Object – Ellard was clearly referring to this story. Stop being a tit.

  18. Ian – I wouldn’t be a decent sci-fi fan if i didn’t prejudge anything in a ridiculous way would i ;)

  19. G&T Admin

    > Ian – I wouldn?t be a decent sci-fi fan if i didn?t prejudge anything in a ridiculous way would i ;)

    Since when does being a sci-fi fan mean you have to talk shit?

    > Lister FINALLY reaching Earth, and it turns out not to be a real Earth, it will have been a pointless waste of time in my view :P

    How about the comedy? How about the satisfaction of a well executed fake-out? I just can’t imagine why you would consider this one storyline in particular a waste of time. I’d say if it brings in new and old viewers alike, and sets them up with a new status quo in which more episodes can be build, then NOTHING could classify it as a waste of time.

  20. >as long as the news isn?t Paris Hilton is playing the bride of Kryten I think I will be happy

    Paris Hilton is playing Holly

  21. Probably HAD to set it in the “real” world as they couldn’t afford to build any sets.

  22. Explains why Holly wouldn’t be required though, huh?

  23. “The Earth is no longer interested in the crew Red Dwarf formerly used to attract.”

  24. >Probably HAD to set it in the ?real? world as they couldn?t afford to build any sets

    Being set in the “real” world might help with their budget certainly but the ‘return to Earth’ idea was considered way back when the series were being made.

    I think it’s great news!

    (I hope it isn’t present day earth though via time travel stuff. I’d like to see what 3 million year old Earth will be like, even if it’s just a quarry somewhere.)

  25. >Since when does being a sci-fi fan mean you have to talk shit?

    I think Star Trek fans set that precedent a long time ago :P

  26. Well, fucking hell.

    A “twist”, eh? It’s deserted? He’s gone back in time to before the accident? Or before he was even on Red Dwarf? He winds up living in a small American town called Bedford Falls under the assumed name of George Bailey?

  27. If they are intended to be the last ever episodes, I would think we will hear about it beforehand, rather than be taken by surprise. Shows get a lot of hype for well-publicised “last ever episodes” and I doubt Dwarf would want to miss out on the potential viewership afforded by such hyperbole.

    Therefore, unless we hear confirmation that these episodes will draw a line under the story for good, I think it’s safe to assume that there will be issues with this “Earth” they arrive at ie. it’s not the real Earth / there are major issues which require the Dwarfers to set off on a new mission to save the planet / they are unable to stay etc. to keep the options open for more episodes in the future.

  28. …or a race of bio-mechanical xenophobic cyborgs have evolved.

    Due to the low budget I doubt this will be the case though.

  29. Also note: Written AND Directed by Doug Naylor

  30. Earth… Hopefully it’s not just a Time Drive faff where Kryten works out how to get them back to Earth with a touch of a few buttons. I would much rather see them fly into a wormhole or something and Earth is right there.

    The ‘twist’ probably involves time travel. Present day Earth would be he most straightforward scenario, maybe with Chris and Craig playing Rimmer and Lister’s great great grandfathers or something.

    As long as it’s funneh, that’s half of the job. The story’s the other half (that’s how I’ve always seen it). Tbh I wouldn’t be THAT upset if it wasn’t as funny as past series’. Who’s actually expecting it to be? That’s not a stab at Doug or anyone, you just can’t expect a sitcom to return for two episodes after a 10 year gap and match what came before. As long as it’s good on the whole. I just want to see the crew back. I CAN’T WAIT for that!

    It was the stories in VIII that disheartened me so much. e.g. Krytie TV – one of the funnier VIII eps (IMHO) but the appeal and Kryten’s story do nothing for me. If they return to any form of Earth in the specials that already makes them better than most of VII and VIII in terms of story.

  31. Great news. Fun that it’s started happening and that we are hearing stuff, and congrats to Andrew for being deservedly invovled.

    I wonder if any of this two parter is based on the VIII earth script ideas.

    I think it’s a great move. Given the specials need to establish their own setup with time passing, no holly, we think no kochanski, and beyond that create their own world and setting as well. I think the idea does some of that in advance whilst possibly paying off the dwarf mythos of the idea of returning home (tikka to ride ? aside). It gives an advanced frame work for this two parter that can set it apart like the dwarf tradition of format revamp.

    Andrew, any truth in the rumour it’s being shot in Dubia?

  32. I think you may be confusing that last rumour with what has been said about some of the Doctor Who specials there, Jon.

  33. I think you may be confusing my weak failed attempts at humour with something that would indeed be prime time bbc 1 flagship funding as opposed to digital station new content experiment, Ben.

  34. Remember, they can only afford to go to Dubai because they’re only having to pay Tennant for half of the year, then giving Matt Smith about ?3.60 an hour.

  35. Awesomeness.

    I think HOW they get to Earth may be rendered irrelevant. I’m half expecting the episode to literally start with them actually having just arrived on Earth… why build a new Starbug set, new model shots etc. on such a small budget if the episode is then set on Earth? Unless the first episode involves them, still in deep space, finding their way back and they arrive at Earth at the end of episode 1…. ah I’m only speculating, but it’s fun to speculate.

  36. I thought Lister’s plan was to get back to Earth and marry Kochanski…guess his plans are scuppered since Chloe’s not in the specials. Will be interesting to see how that pans out.

    As for how they’ll get back to Earth – well, it seems a good way to work in the 10 year gap. During that time they’ve figured out a means and we rejoin them a little while before they put the plan in motion, perhaps?

    Great news anyway.

  37. G&T Admin

    Fucking hell – the story on BBC News is both the #1 most read and #1 most emailed at the moment. Fucking hell.

  38. G&T Admin

    Strange how the “no autocue” line has been used to describe Unplugged – as if using an autocue was usually the norm for Dwarf, or for TV comedy in general.

  39. G&T Admin

    an autocue was usually the norm

    No, the autocue was usually FOR Norm.

  40. “The comedy show Red Dward is to return to television screens in a two-part series”

    Red Dward?

  41. >http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/4348317/Red-Dwarf-to-return-in-new-series.html

    The comedy show Red Dward is to return to television screens in a two-part series

    Spelling FAIL

  42. Hey, I’m being emailed the article by all sorts of people right now! Yay!

  43. Sweet! It’s on the front page of the BBC News Site and is Top Story on the Entertainment section!

    Can’t wait for this!

  44. It doesn’t leave much time for special effects to be filmed, unless they have a separate model shoot or something. Then again some of the best bits of Dwarf have been purely character driven so might not be a bad thing.

  45. the articles say that filing starts on the 16th of febuary .. but i thought it was starting this week .. well so bobbys twitter said owell weve got the dates and the times and the name EXITING TIMESSS

  46. >the articles say that filing starts on the 16th of febuary .. but i thought it was starting this week

    I think production starts this week, which probably entails the building of props/sets, costuming, rehearsals, whatever else.

    Filming might come a bit later because at least one special is going to have an audience and I don’t think anyone’s heard anything about tickets yet.

  47. I thought Si had the ticket info?

  48. > unless they have a separate model shoot or something.

    It’s highly unlikely there’ll be model shots on this budget. Cheap and cheerful CG all the way. The VIII CG gets an unfair rap and that was ten years ago so any new shots done now should look better. The Tikka ‘Re-mastered’ CG shots on the VII DVD were fantastic. If they are any indication of how the new CG would look then I’m sold.

  49. G&T Admin

    There’s no reason why they couldn’t re-use old footage for nostalgia’s sake. But new models would be awesome. Unlikely, but it woudl be awesome.

  50. There must be a couple of shots floating about – remember that Howard Goodall interview on the Series VI DVD, I’m sure there was a ‘not-previously-seen’ Red Dwarf flyby at some point (during the original arrangement for Tongue Tied).

  51. i wonder weather it will feature red dwarf or starbug or maybe both .. though i guess with budget and such would probably be cheaper for the bug

  52. (and I made that in, what… early 2007?)

  53. G&T Admin

    That’s quite creepy actually, how close that is…

  54. >That?s quite creepy actually, how close that is?

    took the words from my mouth actually quite wierd .. i wonder if its going to be a compltely oriinal script or maybe use the earth idea that wasnt used for series 8 .. was a scrpt even written for that ?

  55. Now that I think about it, it’s not all THAT creepy, since I think the idea of a special to round things off has been getting kicked around for a while (by fans if not by Doug himself). And since we know that Earth was the planned ending for VIII (Chris : no, it didn’t get as far as scripting), it’s not a huge stretch to imagine that that’s what it would involve. Still amusing, though.

    Although it doesn’t bode at all well for the suggestion that anything else might follow this.

  56. iv heard people say yes theres a possibility for more after the specials .. but i just keep thinking ..even if it was a massive sucsess .is a digital channel like dave going to give them enough budget to make a 6 or 8 episode series .. if theve given them a prtty tight budget for a 2 episode special.i find that hard to see and bbc dont seem to botherd about bringing it back so i suppose this will round things off and leave a slight door open just incase .. hopefully not a cliffhanger,though that does keep people talking and interested for a return.

  57. Weren’t they seriously considering a Stage Show at some point? Maybe, that’ll be next.

  58. iv heard people say yes theres a possibility for more after the specials .. but i just keep thinking ..even if it was a massive sucsess .is a digital channel like dave going to give them enough budget to make a 6 or 8 episode series .. if theve given them a prtty tight budget for a 2 episode special.

    Ah, but bear in mind, from Dave’s point of view, the 4 episodes* are a testing ground. Should they prove successful, more money may be forthcoming. Probably not as much as big channels like the BBCs etc. but done right, 6 episodes could still be on the cards.**

    As for special affects, I think they’re comparatively cheaper to produce nowadays. ‘Fraid it will be CG though. (I don’t mind, but I know a lot of people have a bit of a bee in their bonnet*** about that….)

    * Sure only 2 are actual ‘episode’ episodes, but the filming of the other two still cost money if a lot less.

    **I slipped into a fortune telling metaphor for some reason there….

    *** Crikey. I’m turning into an old lady.

  59. Ok, I’ve tuned into 5 live for the 5 interview and Craigs taking now! (Well it’s recorded, but anyway.)

  60. We’re smeggies apparently.

  61. Smeggee. ;)

  62. G&T Admin

    At least he mentioned the correct term of Dwarfer. I don’t like any of them, really.

    No James, then?

  63. Dwarf dogs after an RD interview. Is that intentional?

  64. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jan/27/red-dwarf-cast-reunited

    “The new two-parter will begin a decade on from when the crew of the Red Dwarf were last seen, with a “shock development” throwing Rimmer, Lister, Cat and Kryten back to Earth.”

    Don’t think any of the other coverage had mentioned that it will in fact be set ten years later, though I suppose that was to be expected.

  65. G&T Admin

    Hmm. Is that them being confused about the fact that *production* will be starting ten years later?

  66. G&T Admin

    Having the narrative 10 years later would be a great idea, though, it has to be said.

  67. ‘Thrown back to earth’ was interesting too. Are they just using the word ‘thrown’ in a ‘plot threw them’ sort of way or is it a mini plot leak involving wormholes or other such things?

    Concerning the time drive. I wonder, was it destroyed when Starbug crashed? The cockpit was blasted to pieces in a ball of flame… although Rimmer found a couple of positive viruses and a Holly-watch.)

    I hope it isn’t utilized though.

  68. >Having the narrative 10 years later would be a great idea, though, it has to be said.

    1x endorse.

    Helps explain the cast being older, gives a gap in which to explain the departures of Holly, Kochanski and the rest of the Dwarf crew (and the ship itself, maybe?) Some people will probably feel cheated if we just get a sudden jump with the gaps filled in with exposition (I’d rather that, incidentally, than a III-esque opening caption or scroll), but I think it could work really well.

    I get the feeling, though, that this is starting to sound like it’s going to be very unlike any Dwarf we’ve ever seen before…

  69. >I get the feeling, though, that this is starting to sound like it?s going to be very unlike any Dwarf we?ve ever seen before?

    Well, why break the habit of a lifetime?

  70. >Unplugged, they were right, very different, a live show!

    Just watched WLW – this is *very* exciting.

  71. A couple of potential twists they could use…

    1. Earth is a post-apocalyptic wasteland (Garbage World? All you’d need is a cooperative landfill owner).

    2. They get back to Earth in Lister and Rimmer’s time. Lister and Rimmer find themselves demoted to the same kind of awful jobs they had before the accident, while Cat and Kryten, being from the future (relative to the 23rd century) get captured and studied. All in all, they were better off as they were.

    3. They get back to Earth and all humans have evolved into supercilious jerks a la Holoship.

  72. 2. They get back to Earth in Lister and Rimmer?s time. Lister and Rimmer find themselves demoted to the same kind of awful jobs they had before the accident, while Cat and Kryten, being from the future (relative to the 23rd century) get captured and studied. All in all, they were better off as they were.

    Wasn’t this the final episode of Gilligan’s Island?

  73. 2. They get back to Earth in Lister and Rimmer?s time. Lister and Rimmer find themselves demoted to the same kind of awful jobs they had before the accident, while Cat and Kryten, being from the future (relative to the 23rd century) get captured and studied. All in all, they were better off as they were.

    I like that! Though I think the twist needs to me more, erm, twisty.

  74. It’s the sort of article that would confirm the opinions of people who already aren’t impressed and will strengthen the opinions of those who think that the show is worth continuing.

  75. >Helps explain the cast being older, gives a gap in which to explain the departures of Holly, Kochanski and the rest of the Dwarf crew (and the ship itself, maybe?) Some people will probably feel cheated if we just get a sudden jump with the gaps filled in with exposition (I?d rather that, incidentally, than a III-esque opening caption or scroll), but I think it could work really well.

    A 10-year gap with an eventual conclusion would be a nice thing to fill in eventually with other media – books, graphic novels, radio shows…who knows? If nothing else, it would be good fodder for the fan fiction crowd.

  76. >Oh? and ?The Stage? wer?nt too kind:

    fuck ’em

    I am more excited about this live show than anything else now.
    We need ticket info – or some info at least. Somebody must know something.
    Andrew?

  77. G&T Admin

    >BTW anyone seen the pic before? Scary!

    >http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/articleslideshow?articleId=USTRE50Q…

    It’s worth reading the accompanying article; http://uk.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUKTRE50Q1PK20090127

    I work for Reuters News, so I’ve sent the writer an email congratulating him on the mention of Dave Hollins: Space Cadet :) I’m so proud…

  78. G&T Admin

    We need ticket info – or some info at least. Somebody must know something.
    Andrew?

    YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT TICKETS AS SOON AS THEY’RE AVAILABLE SO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    Seriously, the next person who asks about tickets on G&T will be banned.

  79. I?m waiting for the definitive update from
    https://twitter.com/iainlee

    Iain Lee has fewer followers on Twitter than my not-famous-in-the-slightest-apart-from-a-bit-of-magazine-journalism friend Martin. This amuses me greatly.

  80. > YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT TICKETS AS SOON AS THEY?RE AVAILABLE SO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    Seriously, the next person who asks about tickets on G&T will be banned.

    Well I was joking! Are jokes allowed on G&T?

  81. > YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT TICKETS AS SOON AS THEY?RE AVAILABLE SO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    > Seriously, the next person who asks about tickets on G&T will be banned.

  82. I have a vague recolection, that Reuters pic was taken at some HMV launch for the Series VI VHS.

  83. G&T Admin

    It’s been used on a past cover for the Fan Club Magazine as well.

  84. :D Excellent! Actually looking slimmer than I expected.

    That Lister Kryten pic btw, you can see the HMV logo in the top left.

  85. Weeeeeeeee!

    Is that really Craig Charles? He has the ear of a young white woman.

    On another less important topic….I never quite understood the “Smeg Outs” title.

    I mean…”Smeg Ups” is obviously a euphamistic corruption of “Fuck Ups / Cock Ups”….but “Smeg Outs?” Shouldn’t it be “OutSmegs”…?

    It’s baffled me for 15 years and…damn it…I want closure!

  86. > Actually looking slimmer than I expected.

    The wonders of crack.

  87. Hee hee hee hee hee…

  88. G&T Admin

    Holy Shit! New Dwarf! *Laughs maniacally*

  89. Craig’s lookin’ good.

    So are we rationed to just one pic a week, then? 8P

  90. FYI – Bobby just tweeted that they start filming this weekend.

  91. Lister wakes up one day to discover that he?s an actor called Craig and all of his previous adventures were part of a TV show. An addiction to Class A Drugs had led to him mistaking Red Dwarf for reality.

    The episode is called ?Back to Reality II : This Time We?re Serious?.

    Kill me, kill me now.

  92. Ay chihuahua!

  93. Lister wakes up one day to discover that he?s an actor called Craig and all of his previous adventures were part of a TV show. An addiction to Class A Drugs had led to him mistaking Red Dwarf for reality.

    The episode is called ?Back to Reality II : This Time We?re Serious?.

    The fact that that post appeared the day I was hospitalised worries me. What if I am, in fact, still in hospital, and have imagined everything since? What if Pete has imagined everything else, and we are all figments of his imagination?

    What if… *head explodes*

  94. G&T Admin

    Oh, were you in hospital?

  95. Yes, have I not mentioned it before?

  96. G&T Admin

    Referring to your constant mentions of being in hospital is the new constant mentions of being in hospital.

  97. Oh fuck off, do.

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