Red Dwarf XII title sequence analysis

The following article is intended for those watching at UKTV Play pace. Dave viewers be warned that the content and comments could contain spoilers. More info.

Part of the fun whenever there’s a new series of Red Dwarf is in the anticipation, trying to skip ahead and find out what’s coming up next. Having previously analysed the shit out of a teaser and a trailer, it’s time to round off the trilogy of impatient speculation by combing for clues in the Series XII title sequence. This is the landmark tenth title sequence of its type, with a fast-paced montage of clips from the across the series, set to the guitar-based version of the theme tune. Several of the shots within are things we’ve seen in previous promotional material, and a fair few are taken from Cured, but there’s a lot of new material to take in here. Off we go…

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Red Dwarf XII Trailer Analysis

Just as we were all getting over the first teaser, news emerged today that a special preview would air on Dave during Taskmaster, foreshadowing the handover of the “most popular show on Dave” mantle, due to take place in just over three weeks’ time. The “preview” terminology left us a little unsure what to expect, but we’re definitely in full-blown trailer territory here – forty seconds long, loads of previously unseen clips, a classic rock soundtrack and even a specially-created graphics package in the middle.

Having aired once more during another Dave original, Porters, the trailer then turned up online, albeit in optimised-for-social-media format, with subtitles and big chunky borders to make it square. Worse still, there’s a fairly substantial change to the soundtrack, which we’ll come to later. There’s no sign of a nice official 16:9 version yet, so the screengrabs below are taken from a slightly inferior-quality TV rip. (UPDATE: UKTV have uploaded a lovely high-quality YouTube version. All screengrabs have therefore been upgraded.) Let’s take our customary closer look…

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The G&T Forum Hall of Fame

We’ve only just realised that our humble Forum is now over ten years old. Having cultivated a small but dedicated discussion community through our article comments, and following the previously-discussed closure of Observation Dome, we opened the floodgates by launching a dedicated place for the assorted freaks and arseholes we call our friends to set their own agenda, free to discuss any old nonsense they see fit, Red Dwarf related or otherwise. The very first thread was started by an man announcing he was having a wank, and that pretty much set the tone.

Of course, Red Dwarf had been off-air for eight years when the Forum launched, and what a turbulent and surprising decade in the show’s history it has witnessed. But regardless of how many fourth-wall-breaking specials, brand new series, Bluray releases, spin-off games and curries-launched-into-space we’ve seen, the Forum will always be dominated by two things: 1) tedious discussions about whether Series VII and VIII are any good; and 2) extreme silliness, intentionally or otherwise, laced with a very specific and esoteric sense of humour.

It’s the latter that we’re celebrating today. At some point over the last decade, a meme started whereby long-standing members of the community – more often than not Phil Reed, initially – would nominate certain threads for a mythical “Hall of Fame”, which they’d do by simply posting “I nominate this thread for Hall of Fame status”, or variations thereof. This was sometimes a badge of honour, awarded to topics that were particularly funny or informative, and sometimes an ironic accolade, doled out to a failed troll or exceptionally dull post. It seems apt to commemorate both types of thread now, as we turn this mythical Hall of Fame into an actual Hall of Fame.

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Red Dwarf XII Premiere Report

Last night saw the premiere screening of Red Dwarf XII episode one, Cured, at the Edinburgh Television Festival. G&T weren’t there, but we received a tweet from someone who was, Gemma Murray, offering to write us a report. We jumped at the chance, and are sincerely grateful to Gemma for furnishing us with this report during her journey home. Pictures are courtesy of Gemma too.

“I met Lister. He was an absolute bellend…”

An opportunity to see a new episode of my favourite show in one of my favourite cities? ‘Rude not to really’, I thought, as I inserted myself into a packed train at King’s Cross. Five hours later, my somewhat naive hope of quietly reading a book with a cup of tea cruelly dashed by the inability of anyone around me to sit still in a seat for more than twenty seconds at a time, I emerged onto Waverley Bridge. Squinting into the glorious-if-completely-unexpected sunshine, I made my way to the Edinburgh Filmhouse. I only got slightly distracted by the shops. And the gin tent in Princes Gardens. Don’t judge me.

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Red Dwarf and Me: Artificial Reality

In a parallel universe, I know nothing about Red Dwarf XII.

Well, maybe not nothing. I probably know it exists. I may even have clocked that it was back on Dave, perhaps even that it was being broadcast in October. But I didn’t pay that much attention.

In that universe, maybe I still got into Red Dwarf when I was 13, and loved it. But I never really got into fandom, perhaps wasn’t as keen on later series… and just drifted off. Maybe I would have ended up watching XII. Maybe I wouldn’t.

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End of Part One, Red Dwarf XI Edition

Back in 2016, I took a look at the placing of ad breaks in Red Dwarf X, and how so many of them were a wasted opportunity to use the opportunity for a cliffhanger to its maximum effect. (I highly suggest you read that piece before this one if you haven’t done so; otherwise, this article will come across as entirely ridiculous rather than just mostly ridiculous.)

With publicity for Red Dwarf XII about to kick off properly, it’s time to tie up one last loose thread from Red Dwarf XI. How did XI fare when it came to ad breaks? Did they seem like an afterthought, like much of X? Or was the chance taken to actually do something with them – to add a lovely punctuation point to the episode, and make viewers want to come back after the break?

I’ll be honest… the answer surprised me. Let’s take a look.

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Better Than Reality

“I alter people’s perception of reality.” – Dr. Hypnosis

One recurring theme of Red Dwarf has always been the rather tenuous grip on reality our crew have. Whether it’s the Total Immersion Videogame of Better Than Life, the hallucinations suffered in Back to Reality, those damn reality pockets in Out of Time – to name three of many – perception of reality is something which Grant Naylor return to time and time again.

What’s interesting, however, is that Red Dwarf is far from the first time Grant Naylor have explored this idea. In fact, we can trace their fascination with it right back to their very first solo writing credit: the first episode of Radio 4 sketch show Cliché, broadcast on the 16th March 1981.

I present to you the strange adventure of Dr. Hypnosis: his real name… Dr. Hypnosis.

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The Pain & The Glory: The 2017 Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters

A little under two weeks ago, the eyes of the world turned to one small corner of Twitter, where an epic battle was about to begin. Thirty-two heroes took to the stage, each one filled with nervous trepidation, but also hope; each daring to dream that this could be their year. These brave competitors were all used to being the side-show, the support act, the bit part. But for one of them, this would be their time to shine. This, ladies and gentlemen, was Ganymede & Titan’s Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters, and this is how it all unfolded.

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Red Dwarf VII: The Early Drafts

Twenty years ago today, Red Dwarf VII debuted on BBC Two. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Red Dwarf had been away for over three years, having previously managed to average out as an annual event for six series. The delay was mainly caused by three monumental behind-the-scenes events: Chris Barrie deciding to leave the show; Craig Charles being held on remand on a charge from which he was ultimately cleared; and Grant Naylor splitting as a gestalt writing entity, leaving Doug in sole command of the show. Big changes were also afoot on-screen, with the change to single-camera, audience-free shooting, the addition of a film effect, a move to a comedy-drama format, and Rimmer’s place on Starbug being taken by Chloe Annett as a version of Kochanski from an alternate universe.

In many ways, it was twenty years ago today that Red Dwarf changed from what it was then to what it is now. The reason those first six series still exist in a bubble is that they were all made in broadly the same circumstances. The cast and crew may have altered over the years, and the production may have moved from Manchester to Shepperton, but these changes took place slowly and naturally; to paraphrase another comedy that debuted in 1997, it was evolution, not revolution. With Series VII, that changed – a conscious effort was made to make things different from the previous series, and it was against a backdrop of production problems and uneasy compromises. Red Dwarf lost its momentum, and it’s been fighting to get it back ever since. It’s only now that it’s starting to feel more smooth and assured; Series XII will be the first time in years that there hasn’t been a raft of changes since the previous series, and that’s only because they were shot back-to-back.

Opinion remains mixed on the merits of Series VII. The G&T staff are pretty unanimous in our disapproval, but elsewhere there are plenty of fans who enjoy it for what it is, regardless of how different it is from what came before, and even some who hold it in the same regard as the first six series. Regardless of your position, what’s interesting is how it came together, and the developments that took place prior to the episodes reaching the screen. To help with the extra workload caused by Rob’s departure, and the series containing two more episodes than usual, Doug brought additional writers on board for six of the eight initially-planned episodes. How this process worked has always been a great source of speculation, and to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the show’s first big comeback, that’s what we’re investigating today.

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