I’ve never readthrough… a script

Pre-production on the two new series of Red Dwarf is most definitely underway, with cast and crew having convened in Pinewood Studios on Monday for the first script readthrough. Thanks to the fact that we’re living in the future, this crucial and fascinating first step has been well documented on the popular social media service Twitter. Three quarters of the cast and one half of the production companies involved posted photos, which you’ve probably all seen by now. But there are some intriguing details that you may have missed. Let’s indulge ourselves…
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I want names, I want places, I want dates

DOUG NAYLOR, PINEWOOD STUDIOS, NOVEMBER 2015 TO MARCH 2016.

Yes, the tickets for XI and XII are now available, and as we previously reported, it’s being done as a ballot, rather than first come first served. Register your interest here, but calm the fuck down, as you’ve got two weeks to get your name on the list, and just as much chance of success if you do it now or at 5:59pm on Friday 25th September. Best not leave it quite that long, though.

Lost in TV’s servers seem to be holding up so far, and we’ve managed to glean a few more pertinent details from the accompanying TOS article:

  • Series XI will record on consecutive Fridays from 13th November to 18th December.
  • Then they’ll have a nice little break for Christmas and the New Year, with Series XII’s studio dates being consecutive Fridays from 29th January to 4th March.
  • As with last time, you’ll be able to apply for up to four tickets per person.
  • You just need to put your name down at this stage, rather than selecting a date – if you’re successful, you’ll pick your date in the week commencing 28th September.
  • The faces of three fifths of the G&T team are currently on TOS’s most important update for ages. This is amusing.

Right then, good luck everyone. Let’s meet back here in two weeks to discuss how we got on…

A fortnight. Fourteen days! Two weeks.

It has become clear that audience tickets for Series XI and XII will be released tomorrow (Friday 11th September). We’ve already been told to brace ourselves for an imminent announcement on TOS, but in the last couple of hours, Doug Naylor has decided to go into a little more detail:

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A night on the town with Spare Head Three!

There have been recent rumblings about an exciting Red Dwarf related competition taking place on Twitter tomorrow. But now, with this Facebook post, Dave have let slip about the prize…

Always dreamed of appearing in Red Dwarf? Now you can.

Head over to our Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Join_Dave tomorrow at 10am for a once in a lifetime competition!

That pretty much says it all, but in presumably related news, UKTV are hosting a press event on Tuesday morning, and a G&T representative will be there in case there’s anything Dwarfy to report. So keep an eye on our Twitter feed as well as theirs – we’ll bring you all the news if there is any. And if there isn’t, we’ll just tweet about how annoyed we are, so it’ll be entertaining either way.

Tickets! Music! Quashed Rumours!

Doug has been busy on Twitter this morning. Previously on the subject of Series XI and XII, we learned the following:

Lovely to see all that info in one place, but Doug wasn’t finished there…

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This isn’t happening. It’s a nightmare.

UK Gold pre-launch caption Last time, we left you with a cliffhanger. Would Gold show the original version of Marooned in its current repeat run, or would it show the crappy old Remastered version instead? (In case you need reminding: this is the “Remastered” version which is so terrible it shoves in a new CGI shot of the ship at the beginning of the episode, and then cuts to the existing model shot of the cargo bay doors opening… covered in film dirt. Encapsulating the warped priorities of the Remastered project in a nutshell.)

Sadly, despite Gold continuing to show both pre-watershed and post-watershed edits of the show for the most part – which is far better than Dave managed on their last repeat run – both showings of Marooned this time round resolutely remained the Remastered version instead of the original.

It’s truly bizarre, really. If the whole of the first three series was shown like this, that’d be one thing – not a great thing to do, but at least somewhat consistent. But for it simply to be one episode has to be the result of some dodgy paperwork somewhere down the line. It’s difficult to have respect for a channel when they clearly don’t know what the hell they’re broadcasting. For nobody at UKTV to even query why Marooned looks completely different to every other episode in the series for years on end is complete madness. I mean, you can tell it’s the wrong version from the opening titles, let alone anything else.

Still, as a continuation of a years-long issue, I must admit there’s a certain amount of glee in seeing exactly how long this can go on for. I won’t bore you with regular updates on this issue any more – but let’s see whether this version is still being shown in five years, shall we?

I’ll leave you with one final thought. Marooned was the episode which pushed the video of release of Red Dwarf III – Byte One up to a 15. Even with the DVD release, the episode was rated 12. All because of Lister admitting he had sex at the age of 12 on a golf course. Gold cuts out many PG-related “bastards”, V-signs, and general rudery – but the version of Marooned they play pre-watershed is exactly the same as the post-watershed version. (Two adult men wanking off over Lolita and all.)

It’s hardly the first time there’s a disparity between what the BBFC and what broadcasters will worry over – but that doesn’t stop it being hugely interesting. I must admit, I’m on the BBFC’s side – whilst I wouldn’t have ever rated it 15, I think Lister fucking someone when he was 12 is dodgier than all the cut bastards too. But that requires more of a judgement call, whereas mild bad language is easy to put on a checklist of disallowed things.

And Red Dwarf edited by checklist isn’t really a very appealing thought.

Netpricks, etc

Anyone want an example of the kind of fan mail G&T receives?

This issue did actually come up on our forums a couple of years ago – but we assumed this was just some bizarre music rights issue for Netflix in the US. Sadly, the change is now present on the version which reappeared on UK Netflix in June.

Let’s take a butchers, shall we?

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Exxxxxxxxxxxxxxcellent, etc

As reported seemingly everywhere: Brittas to return?

Well… maybe. In fact, the only thing the story actually confirms is that something is in development. Which is all very well, and matches stuff we’ve heard elsewhere – Chris Barrie’s site, for instance – but this is hardly a guarantee of anything actually making it to air. As ever, it’s slightly bizarre when it’s G&T which has to add a note of caution. BLAME MODERN JOURNALISM.

(What I’m finding odd is this idea there are 53 episodes of Brittas – something both the British Comedy Guide and The Mirror are reporting. There are 52 episodes. As ever, watch incorrect information spread across the media just because nobody could be bothered to look at an episode guide and count the number of episodes.)

On the plus side, the mention Richard Fegen being involved is highly promising. And there’s an interesting parallel here with Red Dwarf X, beyond the obvious. Whatever issues I had with that series, one thing it did was prove you can still have production ambition with audience sitcom.

The return of Brittas could well prove you can still do a pre-watershed sitcom which has a bit of fucking edge to it.

UPDATE (10/07/15): FFS.

Gold! Always Believe In the Integrity of Your Master Tapes (Updated: 15/07/15)

UK Gold ident from 1992 So, Red Dwarf is starting a repeat run on Gold from 10:20pm tonight.

Do I even need to write this article – an article which you could no doubt predict to the letter, given our recent publication of this? Not really. So let’s make this quick:

a) Referring to my comprehensive list of current UKTV edits, Series 1 suffers the least from any editing: a single “bastard” cut from Waiting for God. This means we’ll only find out whether they have sourced brand new copies or are showing the same ropy nonsense as always when that episode is shown, on Friday 10th. (Pre-watershed showing at 1pm, post-watershed showing at 10:20pm.)

b) As this consists mostly of pre-watershed and post-watershed repeats, then it’s an ideal way to see whether they have finally scheduled pre-watershed and post-watershed versions of the programme, or if they’re just sticking on manky pre-watershed edits for all showings willy-nilly.

c) I would also make the point that this is the first time the series has been shown on Gold for quite a while – and it is also a run from the very beginning. If I worked on Gold, I would take the time to check that what they were going to show are the correct versions. It is not an unreasonable thing to expect.

For anyone who thinks I’m banging on about this too much… of course I am. Welcome to Ganymede & Titan. But there is a reason why I’m doing it now, as opposed to the years when Red Dwarf was endlessly repeated by UKTV but not in active production. As soon as they decided to commission new episodes of the series, then the standards expected of them when it comes to repeats increase vastly.

If they want the audience figures, profit, and glory which come attached with Red Dwarf, then they can expect to be called out if they treat repeats of it like shite. Even if it makes every single person on the planet want to punch me full in the face for doing so.

UPDATE (15/07/15): Well, this is a turn up for the books. The pre-watershed showing of Waiting For God did indeed have the “bastard” cut – but the post-watershed showing had it intact! This was something I did not expect. (As evidenced by the fact it’s taken me five days to get round to checking it.)

Let’s hope this is the way things are for the rest of the run, then. The next check: the post-watershed showing of Kryten on Thursday 16th at 10:20pm. If edited, the cut dialogue will be the following in italics:

LISTER: “Mister Arnold” isn’t his name. His name’s “Rimmer.” Or “Smeghead.” Or “Dinosaur Breath” or “Molecule Mind.” [And on the very rare occasion when you want to be really mega-polite to him, Kryten, we’re talking MEGA-polite, in those exceptional circumstances, you can call him “Arsehole”.]

Oh, and: “Swivel on it, punk!” and the associated hand gesture. Here’s hoping this is the dawn of a new age in UKTV repeats of Dwarf, and not merely them lucking out on the scheduling of a single episode…

Crazy For You

In an unexpected move, it seems there’s a chance that a character from the worst series of Red Dwarf – the series that Back To Earth and X chose to completely ignore in the strongest possible terms – will be returning in Series XI or XII.

Actor and dancer Jake Wood tweeted:

Which wouldn’t be newsworthy in itself, were it not for this reply from Doug:


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