UPDATED 21.30 – ROBERT LLEWELLYN CONFIRMS NEW SERIES COMMISSION
Hard to believe it’s almost two years since Headfuck Monday, isn’t it? But, while we’re a long, long way from such things occurring yet again, today has at least given us cause to suspect that the next twelve months are going to see Dwarf news a-plenty – and with reports coming out from one source before being not-undenied by another, we’re getting those first shivers of excitement as word starts to spread and threaten to overtake us. Let’s stop, then, and recap.
So, first of all, the Daily Mail (yes, we know… we’re sorry) are reporting that Craig Charles has let the felis sapiens out of the bag and “confirmed” that a new series is on the way. The bulk of the article consists of typing out stuff he said on a radio show – “Real Radio”‘s breakfast show, apparently, hosted by two people whose names probably aren’t actually Ditchy and Salty – so let’s apply similar standards of hard-hitting, well-researched journalism by copy-and-pasting it:
“It did really well which was really quite weird because we all thought we were just doing it for a laugh.
“It got more viewers than BBC2 and Channel 4 combined on the night which is really good!
“So they’ve just commissioned another series of Red Dwarf. We’re gonna film at the end of November, December and January.”
Asked whether he thinks Red Dwarf still has a place on our screens, Charles said: “Well yes only if it’s still as funny as it used to be.
“We’ve gotta recapture the highlights like series 5 series six, that kind of stuff. If we can hit that mark then brilliant. There’s no point doing it if it’s a bit so-so.”
Liverpuddlian Charles confirmed he will be making a comeback as the leather jacket-wearing Lister in the new series of Red Dwarf, the first series of which first aired in 1988 and gained a cult following throughout the 90’s.
When asked whether the Cat, played by Danny John-Jules, and Rimmer, played by Chris Barrie, would be making a return to our screens, Charles said: “Yep, the Cat’s coming back!
“Chris Barrie was my favourite. He IS Rimmer. We’re all quite like our characters – we’re just caricatures of ourselves!”
“Liverpuddlian”? “90’s”? Fucking hell, Mail, have some standards, eh? What would your fine columnists say?
Anyway, so there we have it. Craig has of course blabbed his big mouth prematurely on the radio before, so this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt the size of Io; but couple it with Doug’s recent Twitter message and the following posts from Bobby Llew, and things start to look altogether more exciting:
Well, what’s the point of Twitter if Craig goes and talks to the bloody Daily Mail. Damn and blast, I’m ringing him now! :-)
I was told not to say anything at all. In fact, I’m still not going to. @dougRDnaylor, I didn’t say anything. Not a bloody peep.
No, I’m not saying anything about the new series of Red Dwarf until I’m given the official all clear. That’s it. I’m closing down!
I’m not saying anything about how it’ll be different from the 3 specials we did in ‘09, nothing, not a mention. That’s it! (arms folded)
So, yes, I think you can officially start to break out the bunting. Meanwhile, rather than do anything useful, like tell us who’s supposedly commissioned this series for broadcast, or attempt to get any sort of statement from Doug Naylor and/or GNP, the Mail have decided to show their utter pig-ignorance on the subject:
But fans will be left guessing as to the plot of the new series as Craig has yet to reveal what will happen.
At the end of series eight, the spaceship was overtaken by a mystery virus and the crew all manage to abandoned ship, except for Rimmer who was left stranded alone to face Death – who he had earlier kicked in the groin.
I’m surmising one of two things are the case, here:
1. The new series will entirely ignore Back to Earth, pretending the whole thing never happened, and pick up directly from the end of VIII.
2. The Daily Mail are staffed by gibbering simpletons.
I’ll leave you to decide which it is.
UPDATE: OH AND OF COURSE YOU SPEND HALF AN HOUR WRITING A BLOG POST AND THEN ROBERT GOES AND DOES THE SAME THING JUST AS YOU HIT “PUBLISH”.
Alright, then. So Robert has blogged about it. And offers up the strongest bit of confirmation yet:
So, the thing is, the whole point was that I was told not to say anything. Doug told me, face to face, ‘don’t tweet this bobby. Not yet.’
So I didn’t. I was really good. I said nothing.
Then I spend a day in my voice over cell and know nothing of the interview Craig had done on the radio, which was, it appears, picked up by the Daily Mail, which, as you know is my fave all time newspaper. Ahem.
So then I get back to my trusty lappy and there’s a great slew of tweets telling me that Craig has once again spilt the beans. You’ve got to love him, he knows how to spin the scoop.
I’ve just spoken to Craig, he was as usual gloriously funny about it. He said, and I quote.
‘I did a radio interview and it just sort of slipped out.’
So yes, we are making a new series, commissioned by Dave, not a special or a movie or a one of dooberry. A full 6 half hour episodes of a brand new series.
… By the time the shows are released on Dave in 2012…
We start shooting this in November this year
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
The plan at the moment, and this could change, the plan is that we record the new series in front of an audience.
Now, this is a complicated issue. The last time we recorded a show in front of an audience was in 1998. Anyone remember 1998?
No YouTube, no Facebook, no Twitter, no broadband, no HD video cameras in mobile phones. Okay, a few people had e-mail. I had a crude web page already, but it really was basic.
So when the audience came in the producers would ask them politely not to reveal any spoilers ‘on the world wide web’ as we referred to it then. I’m sure some people did, but so few people would have seen anything it really didn’t matter.
The fear among the producers now is that it’s impossible to imagine an audience of around 400 people at the recording of a TV show like Red Dwarf, where nobody does a bit of a hint on Twitter, or sneaks a picture on Facebook or posts a bit of badly shot video on YouTube.
… and it goes on. I won’t quote the whole thing, because it’s a long and interesting post that Robert has taken time to write, so you should go and read it. But what it boils down to is this: the cast and crew want to do it in front of an audience, but the producers are worried about every little plot detail and joke leaking out to the public before it’s broadcast. So Robert is opening the floor for people to suggest clever ways this might be worked around.
But essentially: there is going to be a new series of six episodes of Red Dwarf, shooting is going to start in November 2011 – possibly in front of an audience – and Dave are going to broadcast it in 2012. Fuck yeah.