Ian’s Newsround – 90 Bloody Minutes!

For each of the previous DVDs, the total running time for extras, excluding commentary tracks, ran to about ninety minutes. For Series III and IV, they’ll beat this with a single documentary. I’ve read the news story through several times to make sure I’ve got it right. I’ve also made my arms raw with the amount of pinching that has taken place. But no doubt about it – each series-specific documentary will be an hour and a half long. The features will be composed of thirteen (13) interviews – Mike Agnew, Chris Barrie, Howard Burden, tall genius Ed Bye, Craig Charles, Andrea Finch (Pennell), ‘Fourth Dwarfer’ Tony Hawks, Hattie Hayridge, Danny John-Jules, Gordon Kennedy, Bob Llewellyn, Ugod Naylor and Sir Peter Wragg. All the interviews were conducted by top workaholic Andrew Ellard, who, I can exclusively report, wore his lucky shirt on Saturday night at DJ. The Cat would not approve. Good job he’s a fictional character, eh?

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Fansite Updates and Me

Good news, everyone! Cappsy’s site The White Hole has a great new section; Red Dwarf and Me, which has fans reminiscing about our favourite show. I’m sending in my answers soon; get in contact with him if you want to add yours. He also warns that his excellent Downloads section will be offline between the 6th-21st this month, so get downloading if you want anything now. He runs his own server, the git. In other fansite news, both Back In The Red and Groovetown have also been updated. The official Norman Lovett site hasn’t appeared yet though, despite it being promised for late June. Wah.

Here at G&T we’ve continued to do some tweaking; hopefully you’ll find the newly-added Quick Links on the navbar useful. Expect some rather larger changes in the upcoming couple of months, as there are some major things happening behind-the-scenes (indeed, it’s one of the reasons why this isn’t a very substantial update…) Don’t forget the update on the official site tomorrow – we’ll have our Newsround Saturday, and an extensive DVD section update on Sunday.

SFX Reader Awards

Sorry this news is a bit late; we couldn’t afford to go to the SFX Event, or even buy SFX on the day of release. Wah. Anyway, as reported a while back, Chris Barrie hosted the SFX Reader Awards there on the 17th May, and by the magazine’s own account, “‘massive balls up’ is an understatement.” Apparently, “the entire video system conked out. It was bad enough that we couldn’t show clips of the nominees; even worse, no-one got to see the acceptance speeches that were specially filmed for us…”. Not that it mattered: “…it did give host Chris Barrie a chance to shine. He later told us he actually enjoyed the experience, ad-libbing his way through. He certainly earnt his money that night…” Excellent. Dave Golder (the editor) even thanks him for saving the ceremony, and “staying a gentlemen when he had every right to throw a star tantrum”. For full coverage of it, buy SFX #106 (July 2003), out in shops now, which features a couple of great (but far too small) piccies of Chris himself. And best of all, no WRONG OPINIONS about Red Dwarf.

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Tie Me Merchandise Down, Sport! (Updated)

We apologise to Australians everywhere. However, we bring good news. The Red Dwarf Shop Australia has now opened! Contained within are some lovely pieces of merchandise, although, like all pieces these days, they are plastered with a pencil-shaped version of the ship. Their clothing is very smart however – I would be proud to walk around in either the Polo Shirt or the long-sleeved T-shirt. Another piece of good merchandise-related news – the mobile phone logosare now ready to download! I recommend #400120 and #400124. Not #400129, however. That can fuck off. They’ve also got rid of the nasty fixed width problem in the Arcade section, which is good news all round.

Onto G&T news, you’ve probably already noticed the excellent search facility on the navigation bar. Google has now indexed 69, count ’em, G&T documents, and they’re fully searchable. Newer documents aren’t currently included; we have to wait for Google to get up to speed. Shouldn’t take too long however, Google are lovely. A few fun stats: 25 pages contain the word ‘smeg’, 10 contain the word ‘fuck’, only one contains the word ‘cunt’ and a whopping 65 contain the phrase ‘Red Dwarf’. There are two documents that are not yet indexed by Google. seeing as we’ve only just uploaded them. Firstly, there’s an examination of the ending to Series VI. We love this ending to bits, and we jumped at the chance to discuss anything and everything related to it. There’s also a review of the Official Companion, which contains a fantastic amount of pedantry. This is something we intend to do for all of the books, and we’re shitting ourselves at the prospect of searching for mistakes in every single edition of the Programme Guide

A couple of little points to finish off with – SmegWeb is now officially dead. It really is the end of an era, even though all we’ve lost is a notice saying that the site would not be returning in the near future. We would also like to draw your attention to this. It is the final, conclusive piece of proof that Jon Tickle should have won Big Brother. Jon Tickle – Chosen by God. Adored by women. Once met Craig Charles.

UPDATE 30/6/03: The Better Dead Than Smeg article has had an update, to add some information and to clarify the questions about the ending shown on Smeg Ups. We would welcome your theories, if you have any. Or even the truth, if anyone who knows is reading. Next content update on Wednesday.

Fly! Fly! Fly!

Bring me that Red Dwarf news… erm… and her… slippers. Ahem. Our winged news monkeys have been extremely busy today; although after calling them that, I doubt they ever will be again. First off, we have details of the Memorabilia Fair, held on the 26th and 27th of July at the NEC Birmingham. Guests include Chris Barrie, Craig Charles (Saturday only), Hattie Hayridge, and Ian Symes. Perhaps it’s an opportunity for one of you to quiz them about the movie; although the reply will probably range from “I’m sorry, I can’t tell you anything about that” on Saturday morning, to “Fuck the fuck off” on Sunday afternoon.

Secondly, friend of the website Karl Eisenhauer has come up with some interesting news about Winchester Films, who are involved in producing the Red Dwarf movie. The outlook for them is either positive, or negative, depending on who you believe; but what is certain is that they certainly haven’t done well last financial year – they racked up a pre-tax loss of £11.2m, with a turnover of £5.1m. Ouch. Another little piece of news from Karl – Gerard Naprous is handling a chariot race in Chester; and he happens to be the guy who did all the horse handling for Gunmen of the Apocalypse (and, indeed, Phoenix Nights). Excellent.

Moving onto non-Dwarf news – specifically, Scrapheap Challenge news. Robert has just informed everyone on his Guestbook about the new series coming in September (for UK viewers; people in the US will have to wait until early 2004, when it airs as Junkyard Wars). There will be 16 episodes; 12 regular shows that are promised to be “amazing, dangerous and often frighteningly loud”, and 4 Scrappy Races, which features “5 teams and their insanely weird, but road going vehicles”. He plans to update his site soon with further details, so keep a look out for that.

Meanwhile, I think we’ve done enough work for ourselves today to blatantly crib from the excellent The Red Dwarf Zone. Firstly, they point out that you couldn’t actually order the Red Dwarf logos for your mobile phone when we posted the link, as the logo numbers for download were not yet on the site. Numbers have in fact been added now, but the phone number to order them doesn’t. Gah. No doubt it’ll be launched in the next few days. Next, as usual, they have a coup – they’ve noticed that Intro 2, the band which had Norm and Craig in their video for Clear, are doing a song for an upcoming film. The Red Dwarf movie, perhaps? Head over to RDZ and decide for yourself…

Finally, take a look at Big Blake, a Dwarf site that was recommended to us by Greg. Not a huge amount there, but there’s a nice section with some screengrabs of various appearances of the Dwarf cast on other shows, and apparantly there will be more stuff on it soon. Good luck; the more regularly-updated fansites, the better. Although Greg himself can piss off, because he’s off to watch Dwarf on a huge fuck-off plasma tv. Wah.

R-Pee-G (Updated)

Don’t worry; we’ll grow out of it soon. Today, we have news of a rather interesting little project. The being known at Kry10 has suggested a rather good idea – setting up some form of chatroom dedicated to playing the Red Dwarf Roleplaying Game. If you’re interested, contact him at wbowns@blueyonder.co.uk. And if you have any Red Dwarf stuff you want to promote, or have seen any news we haven’t spotted, send us an e-mail at news@ganymede-titan.info.

Meanwhile, on the official site, the Red Dwarf mobile game Simulants’ Revenge appears to be still “Coming Soon”, despite it being past Monday 23rd June; the alleged launch date. The logo for it is still greyed out, and if you read the Instructions, and click on the Logos or Games links (which are supposed to give you a page telling you how to download the items on your phone), it gives you nothing – the links are currently dead. No doubt this is just a minor delay, however. Neither Ian or I have got access to a funky enough phone to play the game, so when it does arrive, if anyone wants to send us in a review (even if it’s just a short one) we’d be eternally grateful.

As for site news, we’ve taken down the Schedule section. We failed utterly. It was always out of date, and took far too much of our time that would be better spent doing other things on the site. However, you will have noticed above that we’ve added a little bit telling you the next UK showing of Dwarf; we’ll keep that up to date, promise. And we’ll tell you in the main news articles if we’ve spotted anything interesting coming up. Don’t miss the complete run of Series 2, starting Thursday 26th – yes, I know you all have the DVDs, but any excuse, eh? Content update later in the week; and we’ll update you before then if Simulants’ Revenge goes live.

UPDATE: Simulants’ Revenge is now up; and we should have a review of it in the next few days. Don’t forget the cool Logos as well – they look great fun, but again, some of them use the Re-mastered version of the ship, which is just awful. I’m getting seriously pissed off that nearly all mechandise includes this; it’s really, really, really bad, and it’s just not in the spirit of the original shows. Why change something that was so beautiful into the current monstrosity? Admittedly, the budget problems of VIII forced them to use the CGI version of the ship, but that doesn’t mean it has to be plastered all over merchandise…

Ian’s Newsround – Playing With Yourself

Yes, another childish headline. Not quite as bad as Thursday’s, though. We’re obviously maturing. But not to the extent that we are not extremely excited about little games and toys with official Red Dwarf licenses coming out. Course, there have always been unofficial games on the internet; most of which originated on Planet Smeg, home of such classics as Planet Pool and the Graphical Adventure Game. There are also a few role playing games (not just sporting simulations), such as Joseph Stanko’s take on Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, and Michael Dodson’s RPG – a classic in five parts. But let’s face it – although the fan’s efforts were good, they never had any sort of slick, accomplished feel you’d associate with an official product. The only offering of this sort was the Polymorph Game, which was the flagship of the official site shortly after the relaunch. Unfortunately though, it was bollocks. Therefore, there has not yet been a game that matches the originality and dedication of the early efforts, with the high production values afforded by holding a license. Hopefully, the official site’s new Arcadesection will plug the gap.

From Monday, fans will be able to download Simulant’s Revenge, previewed right, to their phones. Well, fans with decent fucking phones will be able to anyway. Rich bastards. Fear not – there will also be a number of online games, for the more technologically challenged of us. We hope Midget Blues will be a dancing simulation, similar to PaRappa the Rapper. Rogue Skutters and GELF Space are likely to be generic shoot-em-ups and flight sims respectively, but lets hope they’re more varied that the ‘shoot 60 of these to progress’ style of the Polymorph Game. 6000 and Falling is clearly to do with Holly’s IQ, but we’re baffled as to how it will be turned into a game. Moon Rescue will presumably be saving people on a moon, rather than saving an actual satellite from danger, and Grav-Pool speaks for itself. I love a good pool game though – and hopefully this one won’t be filtered on my college network. Also in the Arcade section will be logos and ringtones, but I’ve already got my Gunmen ringtone, so I’m fine.

What really gets our juices flowing, however, is the Starbug Playset, more photos of which are available from the Product Enterprise Ltd site. It was announced on the official site some time ago, but fuck me – it’s beautiful. It’s 21cm long, features sound bites from the series, is extremely detailed, and comes with a ‘launching probe’ and ‘pop-up hologram’, along with models of Rimmer, Lister, Cat and Kryten. One can’t help but notice the lack of Kochanski – could it be that Product Enterprise are Series VI fans? The ‘Bug seems to be that specific design – the one in VII had a smaller cockpit viewscreen. The interior does feature a vidscreen with Holly on though, noticeably Norman’s Holly rather than Hattie’s. Another piece of merchandise lacking acknowledgment of her. A minor niggle, but the playset is still possibly the best piece of merchandise ever, certainly much nicer than the forthcoming Corgi models, although they are still work-in-progress.

To all those who voted for Jon to be evicted – I hope you are ashamed of yourselves. You are no longer welcome to read this site. We mean it. Fuck off.

Para-smell Poo-niverse

Yes, the headlines keep on getting more and more childish here at G&T! We’ve given the Parallel Universesection a bit of a re-jig. Now we’re categorising each entry by the individual cast member, rather than having a big list. As the section grows, the old version gets more and more silly, so change was inevitable. Not the type to rest on our laurels, we’ve also added a few new reviews:

We’ve also put the old mini-reviews onto individual pages, again to avoid confusion. In other news, a special mention must go to Jonathan Capps for his excellent Wild Assumptions articles. His website, The White Hole, is really coming along now.

Pinkle Squirmy PIP PAP plop

Another new article for G&T today – Continuity Announcement not only follows our tradition of having a really dodgy title, but is also our usual blend of fact and opinion guaranteed to piss someone off somewhere. If you think we’re talking our usual bollocks, why not get in touch to tell us why; or even write an opposing article?

In a minor update, we’ve included the Epilogue found in 2nd edition copies of Robert Llewellyn’s The Man In The Rubber Mask. I didn’t know about this until Ian mentioned it, as I only have a first edition; so no doubt it’ll be news to some of you lot, as well. Also, the Model Behaviour article has had an interesting footnote added to it; perhaps our fears are unfounded? Let’s hope so. Another content update Thursday.

Ian’s Newsround – Look Who’s Talking Too

Further proof that the Series III and IV DVDs will be the best things ever, even though we’d have been more than happy with the standard set by I and II. But GNP aren’t the type to rest on their laurels, and they’ve ensured that quality will improve further by securing some great behind-the-scenes names for interviews. As well as the previous interviewees, including Sir Peter Wragg (FUCKING YES!), top workaholic Andrew Ellard has now asked questions to Howard Burden, Andrea Finch (aka Pennell), Gordon Kennedy and Tony Hawks, as well as finally getting Danny John-Jules and Craig Charles to sit still for half an hour. The article also mentions that somewhere on one of the DVDs there will be a tribute to dead genius Mel Bibby, pictured right. A little montage of his finest triumphs, with his photo and dates at the end, would be perfect.

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