It’s October, the month in which Red Dwarf XII hits Dave, after having hit UKTV Play a week earlier. You can count the number of days to go on one hand, which means it’s about time we prepared ourselves as much as possible to receive, process and dissect six brand new episodes. Last year, Series XI hit us like no other series had before, and lessons have been learned this time around, so we’re making a few little changes to our plans. We’ve also taken the opportunity to make some small but significant changes to the site’s structure, so allow us to talk you through it all.
As you may have already noticed, the categories have changed. And yes, there was much discussion about how to reflect this in the colour scheme in a way that was least irritating. This is something we’ve been meaning to do for a while; basically the definitions before were too narrow, so you ended up with a bunch of pieces that weren’t really one thing or another, and they often found themselves in the ill-defined “Misc” category. We thank Misc for its years of long service, but it’s time for it to retire, as the new line-up of categories is unveiled:
- News – reports of the latest developments in Red Dwarf and Red Dwarf-related things
- Features – incorporating Articles, Interviews and most of Misc
- Reviews – we figured this was distinct enough to keep separate
- DwarfCasts – these are DwarfCasts
- Quickies – a new category, for content that’s not quite in-depth enough to be described as a “feature”, but not necessarily topical enough to be a news piece. Quickies is basically like a dome containing observations.
This, I’m sure you’ll agree, is absolutely fascinating. In other site admin news, the Spoiler Policy has been updated to cover the impending broadcast period. All the existing rules apply until each episode hits UKTV Play, at which point it’ll be once again time for people watching online to stick to one set of threads, and those waiting for Dave to stick to another. From Thursday, each new piece of content will come with a spoiler banner, indicating whether it contains discussion for UKTV Play viewers or Dave viewers. An extra navigation bar will also be added, for you to keep track of our content.
But what content will that be, we hear you cry? Well, it’s similar to last year, but with one key difference that will hopefully lead a less stressful time for us and, more importantly, a better end-product for you. Here’s the plan:
Let’s Talk About X (on UKTV Play): Discussion threads. The first of these will be posted on Thursday morning, as we don’t know what time the episode will appear. The timing for subsequent weeks may have to be determined when we have a better picture, but they’ll always be live as soon as the episode is available, and usually before.
Live Instant Reaction DwarfCasts: This is the big news. We’re changing our DwarfCasts to UKTV Play pace. They will always take place at the regular time of 9pm on Friday nights. This was the trickiest thing to get right last time, and we never quite managed it. The problem with doing it at Dave pace is that they no longer felt like *instant* reactions – we were just going over the same discussions we’d been having all week. We tried to create a more formatted programme to compensate for this, but we were never really comfortable with that, and we feel the shows suffered as a result.
So we’re going back to our roots – blurting out our rawest of raw opinions as soon as possible after first watching the episodes – and to do that, we need to switch to online pace, which is the pace at which almost all our regulars watched Series XI. This is not without its problems, and we apologise to the handful of you who are going to miss out as a result. But hopefully this will serve the majority much better than last year’s awkward compromise. By Friday evening, everyone should have had time to watch the week’s episode, but not so much time that it’s already been analysed from all possible angles.
Reviews: Our in-depth written reviews will return much as they were for Series XI; at UKTV Play pace, and posted a few days after each episode.
Let’s Talk About X (On Dave): There’ll definitely be a post for Cured on the Thursday it airs, but we’ll be honest – we’re really not sure how much demand there is for a second discussion thread. Plus, as we don’t yet know whether UKTV Play will have the next episode before or after the previous one airs on Dave, we’re not even sure if there’ll be space for it. We’ll play it by ear.
All of which means that there’ll be no Talking Points articles this year – they were only ever designed as a stop-gap to replace the Instant Reactions DwarfCasts, to provide something a bit more in-depth while waiting for the review. Now that the DwarfCasts are back to fulfilling their original purpose, there’s no need for Talking Points, and also they were slightly harder to write than we first anticipated.
After much rabbiting on, we hope you’ll be happy with the new way of doing things. We do, of course, remain flexible on all of this – not least because the timing of the UKTV Play release is such a wildcard – and nothing is set in stone, so do let us know if you have any feedback. Here we go again…