Got MILF?

Craig Charles, the new host of Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, has been doing some interviews to promote said show, and so naturally, some journalists have taken the opportunity to talk about Red Dwarf instead. One such interview is with Digital Spy, and as it’s them we can’t be 100% sure that Craig actually said any of these things, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, just this once. The big news concerns a potential Series XIII…

“I’m sure we’ll be doing more, having done these two series,” the Lister actor told Digital Spy. “Because it’s right back to where we should be, it’s won comedy awards, so a lot of people appreciated what we did, and we’re really grateful for that.

We’re hoping this doesn’t spark off a whole new raft of “new Red Dwarf series announced” clickbait, which seems to happen every time a cast member vaguely mentions the possibility of new episodes being filmed. This quote only tells us what we already know – that Doug and the cast want to do more – but it’s still lovely to hear it. We’re pretty confident that UKTV will also want more Dwarf after XII, and personally I believe that the show is currently in the strongest position it’s been this millennium. For the first time since this site started, I’d be more surprised if there wasn’t more to come after the current batch, it’s just that there’ll be logistics and budgets and that to sort out first.

The interview also contains a little more information about the forthcoming Series XII. Firstly, some familiar-sounding lines about the show being back on form:

Craig also promised fans that series 12 will be even better than the last. He said: “12 is stunning. It’s like saving the best till last, there. We’re really happy with the way it went, and it’s definitely back on form.

“There’s a lot of energy, and a lot of great ideas. Doug Naylor is a genius writer. There’s that chemistry between the cast, that you can’t teach. Some people say the secret of comedy is timing, it’s not. It’s energy. The energy was there, the energy was right. And we haven’t grown up, which is really important. We haven’t become world weary. We’re still enjoying it.”

We make that at least four out of the last five series that have been described as a return to form. Back to basics, four guys on a spaceship, bunk rooms for goalposts, isn’t it? Marvellous. But regardless of this, the notion that XII is just that little bit more special than XI tallies with the gist we got from the set reports, as discussed in our recent semi-retrospective DwarfCasts. There’s one episode in particular that we know quite a bit about, and (continuing our policy of if-a-cast-member-blabs-to-an-established-media-outlet-it’s-fair-game), we now know a tiny bit more:

Teasing what to expect in the next series, he added: “There’s one episode where we meet the mechanoid intergalactic liberation front, or MILF for short. And we all become Krytens.

“It’s just because Robert went on about how difficult it was to wear this mask for 28 years. And you know something? Having done it for three days, I don’t know how he stuck it for 28 years. It’s so uncomfortable, it really is. But that’s just one of six great episodes.”

MILF: the modern day CLITORIS. There, that should give us some interesting search engine referrals.

We’re in a strange situation at the moment. Over the years, we’ve trained ourselves to cling on to any little scrap of new Red Dwarf, because you never know when you’re going to get more. Series XI has only just finished – it was four months ago, but that’s nothing in Dwarf terms – and yet we’re now starting to enter the preliminary publicity cycle for Series XII. Bring it on.

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67 Responses to Got MILF?

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  1. “Craig also doesn’t expect the show to ever have a proper finale – echoing the thoughts of co-creator Doug Naylor, saying: “No, just drift off into the distance. When you see those final shows, they’re always really disappointing, so don’t have a final show, just don’t make any more.”

    While I know this isn’t new, I still think it’s a bit of a shame. I like the idea of there being some eventual end in sight (and I had got the feeling from the set reports that XII’s final episode had a touch of that), but I understand the reasons why no-one would want to close it off completely.

  2. Well, Back To Earth, X and XII (from the sounds of it) all follow the Futurama model. If in doubt, make it work as a series finale.

  3. G&T Admin

    That stuff about final shows always being disappointing is absolute fucking bullshit.

    Some are disappointing. Some aren’t. The key, surprisingly, is just to make them properly.

  4. MILF. That’s the one I was in the audience for. It’s a good episode. At least I don’t have to keep that one secret anymore.

  5. It’s not impossible to do a swansong that’s a victory lap, a proper ending, and a show as good as you’ve ever been, all at once. Time On Our Hands is the perfect example.

    It’s all bollocks anyway because it’s obvious that The Beginning was supposed to be a proper finale. And had it been, it would have been a perfect one.

  6. I think early on in a show’s run, the last in the series is simply going to be ‘episode 6’ (this is still true of Out of Time which was, it seems, changed to the cliffhanger later on, largely for larks). Once the show begins to become a bit of a legacy thing, though, it definitely makes sense to write the last episode in mind of it being a satisfying way to end the whole thing, because you never know 100% if you’re coming back or not. The Beginning wasn’t a grand finale, but it would be a good way to round off the show. From what we’ve read, Star Knot could well be the same. You don’t have to do a Blackadder and kill off half the cast every year for it to feel like a strong ending, and it seems Doug’s aware of this.

    And yes, you can write show-enders that work. Porridge ended wonderfully. Although I think the show had outstayed its welcome by that point, Time On Our Hands also worked well. (Both then screwed it up by coming back in some form or other). My favourite is Things Aren’t Simple Any More, which ends One Foot in the Grave on such a fittingly bittersweet note.

  7. The only reason most show finales are shit is they were never meant to end at that point. I really would love Doug to wrap it up proper, if they’d all come to an agreement it was the final series. It could be done quite easily.

  8. I am abit split on the show getting a series finale because in one way without having a proper ending you can continue stories in other forms of media like graphic novels and stuff just like alot of shows have done but in another way i can see why a final episode is desired since the whole idea of the show seems like their should be some kind of conclusion.

    But then i remember Dougs original ending idea for Series 8 and think maybe he has a point ;p

    Still nervous about the everyone is Kryten episode.

  9. I’m OK with a bunch of mechs printed with “M.I.L.F.” down their arms or something so long as the cast don’t spend the next five minutes VIIIing the joke by doing an extended bit about it. Just have it there and don’t spoonfeed the double meaning to the audience, that’s how I like my funny acronyms.

    If XII truly is as weird as people say, I have the feeling I’m going to appreciate it on a level I didn’t with XI.

  10. But then i remember Dougs original ending idea for Series 8 and think maybe he has a point ;p

    I find it quite bonkers that he was actually planning on doing a proper finale in 1999. Particularly as he was still looking at doing the film, and not long after said in an interview that the show would continue with other writers. And especially as he’s now said the show won’t have a proper conclusive ending.

    I think an ‘everyone is Kryten’ episode would have really worried me if it was the plot for 9/BtE, but having seen some possibly worrisome concepts executed quite well in XI particularly, I’m looking forward to it now. There’s still scope for some hamming it up, but I’m confident that the reasoning behind it, at least, will be solid and it won’t just be a wacky novelty episode.

  11. The film was always going to be a reboot though. It would have been the Cushing Red Dwarf.

  12. VIIIing the joke

    “VIIIing” is my new favourite verbed noun.

  13. I ‘VIII it.

  14. Deleted line from early draft of Krysis script:

    KRYTEN
    I VIII you, Butler!

  15. The film was always going to be a reboot though. It would have been the Cushing Red Dwarf.

    Have I ever mentioned how utterly, utterly glad I am that the movie never happened?

  16. I still think Doug should release the movie as a script book, similar to the one produced for Series VIII.

    Even as a 12 year old child, I despised VIII with the force of a thousand suns – but the script book was one of my most cherished possessions, artfully put together and packed with behind the scenes photos and anecdotes, concept art, storyboards etc, which gave a much wider context to the eventual, underwhelming product.

    The pre-production material I’ve come across for the RD movie so far shows that whatever the quality of the script or storyline, it would have been visually ambitious and a total stylistic departure from the TV show. A lot of work clearly went into it – it would be a shame to keep everything locked away in a drawer in the GNP office forever.

  17. That stuff about final shows always being disappointing is absolute fucking bullshit.

    Some are disappointing. Some aren’t. The key, surprisingly, is just to make them properly.

    Name and shame and praise. Mr Hoare. A few examples?

    I was just thinking this very point reading Craig echo the statement. Doug cites Seinfeld as his example of a disappointing finale reaction. And Doug has written, Series VII – Panned a lot. Series VIII – Panned a lot. Back to Earth – Now panned a lot. Series X – Panned in places and Series XI – again panned in places. Thats a lot of pans. Enough for a small kitchen. I can see why he’s not confident in writing a finale that you Mr Hoare wouldn’t be frying some bacon up in! Even if Officer Rimmer almost got off the stove for you, and only revealed its need for a better handle at the end.

    I think Only Fools did a great ending (then over shot itself by another trilogy.) The office and extras all rounded out nicely for me. (Then again Brent has over shot that with a pointless movie probably cus he get jealous of Coogans film)
    The last father ted is pretty low key, but very nicely done ending. The IT crowd end was rubbish though very disappointed. Where as Spaced never felt finished or complete enough when it avoided a third series. The young ones is ok. The brittas empire dire. Peep show a little underwhelming. MASH probably amazing but ive just read that, i dont think ive ever seen it. or at least not in context of watching the finale series run up to it. One foot in the grave
    bold, and very well framed, and certainly only as dark as the series often was, though i still prefer something warm
    and fuzzy though it does end on an upbeat flashback and i prefer to include the comic relief ghost sketch as cannon epilogue. Men behaving badly was quite a nice trilogy, though i dont massively rate simon nye. Both series of I’m alan partridge nicely wrap up their situations if not being the last of the character one is at least the last of the titled show.
    I thought House ended well. The strangerers I’m still waiting on that cliff hanger!!!!

    I wouldn’t end red dwarf with them returning to earth. I would garbage world earth out the way like in the books at some future episode point so thats done near the end, then end it with a Christmas special aping a plot of Its a wonderful life, using Virtual reality, parodying the movie more and focusing on the 4 main characters lives.

  18. VIIIing the joke

    “VIIIing” is my new favourite verbed noun.

    I declare that I shall forever pronounce this word ‘vee-uh-aye-ing’ no matter what anybody else tells me.

    Speaking of which, does my doing so qualify as VIIIing this here joke?

  19. Speaking of which, does my doing so qualify as VIIIing this here joke?

    Lister: What’s a MILF?

    Holly: [NINETY SECONDS OF BAD STANDUP ABOUT MILFS]

    Rimmer: Captain Hollister sure is a fat bastard!

    Hollister: I’m standing right behind you.

    Everyone: MILFS, won’t you?

    [A DINOSAUR BURSTS ONTO SET AND SHITS EVERYWHERE. AFTER A FINAL SPLURT, BOB THE SKUTTER POPS OUT OF ITS ANUS AND LANDS ON HOLLISTER’S HEAD. THE AUDIENCE LAUGHS AND APPLAUDS WELL INTO THE CREDITS. HIGHEST RATED EPISODE ON BBC2 EVER.]

  20. I hope that the show never points of what MILF also stands for, and they just *occasionally* use the acronym in a totally innocent way to refer to “Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front”, and let the audience find the humour. I can do without the scenes of Lister sniggering and making vague references. Straight-faces and it might work.

  21. One thing’s for sure: having talked about it so much already, once the episode airs it’s going to be impossible to take the joke the way it would be taken by an audience coming to it fresh. There’s a risk of getting tired of the gag before we’ve even heard it.

  22. G&T Admin

    Name and shame and praise. Mr Hoare. A few examples?

    Great: Drop The Dead Donkey, Bottom, Hi-de-Hi!, One Foot in the Grave. A really good example is You Rang M’Lord? which is perfect in every respect. George & Mildred accidentally had a perfect one.

    On reflection, I actually find shit ones far more difficult. The Brittas Empire is an obvious example… but the problems start two series earlier, not with the final episode. Ever Decreasing Circles isn’t shit as such, but tonally a little misjudged for me.

    If a sitcom’s doing well, it usually ends well for me. It’s so rare for a sitcom to be tootling along just great, and then fuck it up in the final episode. The problems usually start way earlier.

  23. I was in the audience and it got a great reaction, which was partly down to a cast member’s delivery – which will hopefully still have impact even now everyone knows the joke (it was still getting a pretty good laugh even on the retakes).

  24. G&T Admin

    Incidentally, I don’t like MILF at all, though I’m willing to see how it plays out in the episode.

    I just have an automatic dislike of the term, as it seems a little misogynistic to me. As much as anything else, these days it’s basically used for “anyone over 18 I’d like to have sex with”, which is fairly ridiculous.

  25. il be fine with it aslong as its a quick gag because even the joke in polymorph got a huge laugh but the scene continued to move forward quite quickly afterwards so it didn’t stay to long on it.

    Infortunately I fear Doug will treat the gag as something that can be drawn out.

  26. Incidentally, I don’t like MILF at all, though I’m willing to see how it plays out in the episode.

    I just have an automatic dislike of the term, as it seems a little misogynistic to me. As much as anything else, these days it’s basically used for “anyone over 18 I’d like to have sex with”, which is fairly ridiculous.

    So your options are a MILF, a man, or being a pedophile? Something concerns me about that.

  27. Name and shame and praise. Mr Hoare. A few examples?

    Great: Drop The Dead Donkey, Bottom, Hi-de-Hi!, One Foot in the Grave. A really good example is You Rang M’Lord? which is perfect in every respect. George & Mildred accidentally had a perfect one.
    On reflection, I actually find shit ones far more difficult. The Brittas Empire is an obvious example… but the problems start two series earlier, not with the final episode. Ever Decreasing Circles isn’t shit as such, but tonally a little misjudged for me.
    If a sitcom’s doing well, it usually ends well for me. It’s so rare for a sitcom to be tootling along just great, and then fuck it up in the final episode. OThe problems usually start way earlier.

    Ah yes had forgotten drop the dead donkey. Perry & croft get double praise then.
    Are you praising bottom for Carnival? Or Weapon grade yfronts? Or for just not
    Doing the proposed hooligans island series?
    Porridge is another good one for an ending.

    Dont worry George & MILF Dread didnt get a commission in the BBC sitcom revival spin off.

  28. G&T Admin

    Are you praising bottom for Carnival?

    Carnival, yeah. The stage shows DON’T COUNT.

  29. Incidentally, I don’t like MILF at all, though I’m willing to see how it plays out in the episode.

    I just have an automatic dislike of the term, as it seems a little misogynistic to me. As much as anything else, these days it’s basically used for “anyone over 18 I’d like to have sex with”, which is fairly ridiculous.

    At the risk of contributing nothing of value to the conversation I will second this.

  30. I have infinitely more issue with “MILF” turning up in Dwarf than with the “slag” at the end of Dear Dave that’s never bothered me.

  31. The last episode of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is a corker, with a strangely affecting final few moments. Unusual example, though, as the series was adapted by David Nobbs from his own novels. There was also the follow-up series The Legacy… many years later.

    For Red Dwarf I think I’d be happy with something like this from the end of Backwards, the novel:

    “[Lister had] always considered that Earth was his home, but as the ugly red brute of a ship loomed into view, he felt a tingling in his stomach, and thought maybe he’d been wrong.

    Maybe this was home.”

    I suppose we got a bit of that in The Beginning with “set a course for Red Dwarf – the slime’s coming home” but a final episode to underline it could be very satisfying.

    > I wouldn’t end red dwarf with them returning to earth. I would garbage world earth out the way like in the books at some future episode point so thats done near the end, then end it with a Christmas special aping a plot of Its a wonderful life

    I actually really like the sound of that.

  32. > The stage shows DON’T COUNT.

    Not even Exploding Y-fronts Weapons Grade tour, or whatever it was called?? :P I must admit I was pretty disappointed with that, especially with it being the last Bottom proper we ever got.

  33. I think it’s easier to end a series that starts mid-situation rather than one with a definite origin story. At the beginning of Steptoe and Son, for instance, Harold and Albert are already trapped together, so ending the series on ‘business as usual’ gives the programme a feeling of symmetry and reinforces its central theme. Red Dwarf, however, started with the situation being set up for us, so ending it with a “Hit the retros”-style moment (a la “Back to Reality”) would leave us with a sense of unfinished business.

    But then, that’s just my opinion. If Red Dwarf were to end, I’d love to see a visualisation of The Rage (that haunted me as a teenager!) and Rimmer facing his son, as we saw in The Last Human. (Not a great novel by any means, but bristling with ideas.)

    [BTW: Don’t read anything into my first post discussing how Red Dwarf should end – I’m just a lazy so-and-so with a poor internet connection.]

  34. And yeah, meant to say: Weapons Grade Y-Fronts was pretty disappointing.

  35. The ‘Stinky Poo U-Bend Oops Tour’ as me and a friend used to refer to it.

    The last ‘official’ Bottom was that hideous compilation DVD.

  36. Seth Macfarlane’s Stewie voice always reminds me of Rik doing Richie.

  37. “Seth Macfarlane’s Stewie voice always reminds me of Rik doing Richie.”

    Bloody hell, you’re right!

    Didn’t Rik Mayall do an animated show where he voiced a baby? I can’t remember what it was called, now. Little Bastard, or something-? Mid to late ’90s, I think.

  38. Dad’s Army certainly had a solid final *scene*, but the fact that I don’t remember the rest of that last episode probably says something.

  39. Oh Blackadder goes forth. How could I forget listing that. And it came from problems with the ending in the edit too.
    So well saved and fitting.

  40. I think it’s easier to end a series that starts mid-situation rather than one with a definite origin story. At the beginning of Steptoe and Son, for instance, Harold and Albert are already trapped together, so ending the series on ‘business as usual’ gives the programme a feeling of symmetry and reinforces its central theme. Red Dwarf, however, started with the situation being set up for us, so ending it with a “Hit the retros”-style moment (a la “Back to Reality”) would leave us with a sense of unfinished business.

    But then, that’s just my opinion. If Red Dwarf were to end, I’d love to see a visualisation of The Rage (that haunted me as a teenager!) and Rimmer facing his son, as we saw in The Last Human. (Not a great novel by any means, but bristling with ideas.)
    [BTW: Don’t read anything into my first post discussing how Red Dwarf should end – I’m just a lazy so-and-so with a poor internet connection.]

    You have a point.

    The logical conclusions to the origin episode though are a) return the situation of the crew , they did that in series 8.
    Or b) have lister return to earth, they’ve done that several times or c) have him unite with kochanski, thats been on the cards almost a couple of times done, and then there is c) rimmer becomes an officer , again its been done. Even d) the cat gets laid
    Sort of had a couple of riffs done now, so kryten gets a garden or into silicon heaven! There isnt much left. We’ve even had rimmer die again or become ace. The show has done a lot of its characters destinies to the extreme point,

    Also re Steptoe see the play murder at oil drum lane.

  41. I once had a pretty solid daydreamed idea for a time-bendy Dwarf final scene or two, where, forced back around in some sort of time loop earlier in the episode, Lister – in full future knowledge of what will happen, has the option *not* to board Red Dwarf in the first place, changing the course of events, but chooses to do so anyway. The final scene ever would be Lister and Rimmer bickering whilst first clocking on to Z-shift, Skutters whizzing past.

    Another idea that had amused me was an It’s A Wonderful Life pastiche about if the radiation leak had never happened, which would have ultimately been worse in some way. Make a decent comic spinoff, that.

  42. They both have elements of what I’m imagining Star Knot will be like for some reason.

  43. MILFocracy.

  44. So what is it?

  45. I’m still happy I thought of it even if someone else did first.

  46. “Well, you’d probably have worked it out eventually. I’m a pleasure MILF.”

    [Craig Charles pulls a face that is at once half-disgusted and half-indifferent.]

  47. “Oh, bollocking MILF and jumbo butters.”

  48. I’m still happy I thought of it even if someone else did first.

    I’m not.

    (._.)

  49. G&T Admin

    Of course, Men Behaving Badly ended brilliantly with the episode ‘Sofa’, and then ruined it with a weirdo Christmas Special and an ill-advised final three-parter.

  50. I don’t mind any of those final four episodes. They’re not quite of the standard of series 3-5, but I still think they’re pretty funny, and they send the show off on a good note.

    That HORRIBLE thing they did a few years ago with Gary and Tony mourning over losing Debs and Dorothy was a hideous mistake, though.

  51. The Christmas special is my second favourite episode of MBB.

    The best one is ‘Watching TV’, obviously.

  52. G&T Admin

    You know, on reflection, I don’t recall hating that Christmas special. But I remember it having a really, really, really odd atmosphere, which is fun in its own right but not really suitable as a finale.

    To be fair, I don’t think I hated the final three-parter either. But Sofa would have been such a perfect end.

  53. I really like the Christmas episode. Thought it was a return to form after Series 6…which I find decidedly off aside from “Wedding”. I’m not keen on much of the others;(Stag Night is weird, and Ten has FAR too much going on).

    >That HORRIBLE thing they did a few years ago with Gary and Tony mourning over losing Debs and Dorothy was a hideous mistake, though.

    Urgh. Yes.

  54. G&T Admin

    Stag Night I have a soft spot for as they actually had the balls to go through with them both cheating on each other. I think a lot of programmes would have pulled back at the last minute, and I give it respect for that. (And a lot of shows *definitely* wouldn’t have had Dorothy sleeping with someone.)

    Hmmm, maybe I should do an episode-by-episode review…

  55. I do find it weird how plenty of mainstream, very successful sitcoms don’t get much analysis, and weren’t even treated to decent extras and featurettes in the golden age of DVD. The best analysis on MBB is Simon Nye’s script-book, but even that misses a fair few episodes.

  56. To be fair, the hour-plus of casually edited outtakes on the 1-6 DVDs was (a) pioneering, being the first archive studio floor footage salvaged for a British comedy DVD’s extras, and (b) still more than most UK sitcoms got in the whole DVD boom.

  57. Yeah, but I’d swap an hour of Harry Enfield telling the audience to call him a wanker and Caroline Quentin doing wanker waves for a 15 minute Simon Nye interview.

  58. The ‘Best Of British’ radio doc is pretty good and included on the most recent box set. Also might still be live on iPlayer as well.

  59. I really like the Christmas episode. Thought it was a return to form after Series 6…which I find decidedly off aside from “Wedding”. I’m not keen on much of the others;(Stag Night is weird, and Ten has FAR too much going on).

    6 is a very ensemble-heavy series, and I think it’s to the show’s detriment. There’s very little of Gary at work while Tony tries to fill his time at home, or the pair in the pub, or meeting Debs in the hallway, etc., which is part of what made the show great for me: the slightly fractured, ‘every day’ feel of it. That said, it does contain the best episode, as Darrell said, ‘Watching TV’.

    I think the show really gets overlooked as a bit of a dated ”90s lad culture’ thing, and maybe as just a shallow mainstream comedy, which is sad, because I think at its peak it was one of the best sitcoms ever. I’d love a proper deluxe DVD boxset with a big documentary and commentaries. Sadly we’re a few years too late for that to be an option now.

  60. G&T Admin

    There are SO many shows which could do with a proper episode-by-episode going over – even in a cursory way to provoke better debate. So many people correctly rave about Croft’s stuff, but there’s very little in-depth examination on it, at least on an episodic level.

    (There was a brilliant doc called Perry and Croft: Made in Britain which the Beeb wheel out periodically, though, which is one of the best examinations of their work from an overall perspective.)

  61. Didn’t Rik Mayall do an animated show where he voiced a baby? I can’t remember what it was called, now. Little Bastard, or something-? Mid to late ’90s, I think.

    It was called How to Be a Little Sod.

  62. > I think the show really gets overlooked as a bit of a dated ”90s lad culture’ thing, and maybe as just a shallow mainstream comedy,

    It really does… and I think another reason why is cause it’s a little bit of a mess, with Harry Enfield being in series 1 and the first two series’ being on ITV. Also, it didn’t help that it ended so poorly…and, as has already been said, with a ‘weird’ atmosphere, as they pulled away from what made it so good in series’ 3-5. Series 6…I really dislike the wedding and the caravan holiday episodes, but the rest of it is probably okay.

    I don’t know if it’s harsh to say, but Leslie Ash is such a weak link… especially when you’ve got the brilliant Caroline Quentin in there. I don’t think it should be underestimated just how important her role was, and what Caroline did for female characters in general, on that show.

  63. G&T Admin

    This Christmas is the 20th anniversary of the Men Behaving Badly Christmas Special.

    Apologies if this fact induces a few suicides.

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