DwarfCast 71 – Queeg Commentary

Okay, suckers. Get this into your stupid thick heads. There’s only one thing I’m going to say to you: please listen to our episode commentary for Queeg. Danny, John, Ian and TORDFC‘s Jo Sharples gather around to discuss such topics as Ed Bye’s directorial flair, the nature of Holly’s consciousness, how the show might have developed had Norman Lovett stayed on, and the surface area of peas. There’s also a somewhat startling new theory about how long Holly’s joke lasted – was “Queeg” actually in charge for five months? Join us for an uncharacteristically competent chinwag.

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Back to Live, back to reality?

Thanks to Thomas Evans in our forum, and Jeannette via email, for alerting us to this report in the ever brilliant Daily Express. It’s all based on this interview from ScififantasyNetwork, where Danny confirms the live show idea that Doug floated at Dimension Jump last May. There’s no new information here, but it’s nice to know that it’s still on the table. Personally, I find myself skeptical about the prospect of this idea ever getting off the ground, purely due to the logistics of finding a time where all four of them are available to tour the country, but where it would be a better idea to do this than film a new series. I don’t think we’re any closer to it happening just because Danny has mentioned it, but fingers crossed.

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Gareth Gwenlan RIP

We’re sad to note the death of the hugely influential comedy producer and commissioner Gareth Gwenlan, aged 79. And on the same day as Reg Grundy, who was in many ways the real life equivalent of Kylie Gwenlyn. Yes, despite Gwenlan not having directly worked on Red Dwarf, we feel the need to mark his passing due to the way the show immortalised him, both on screen and in behind-the-scenes folklore, as being intrinsically linked to the programme’s fledgling fortunes in those early days.

As well as being the inspiration for the producer/director of Androids, the same episode, Kryten, sees Lister use his name as insult, calling the eponymous character a “total Gwenlan”. The reason for Rob and Doug’s apparent lack of affection for the man was that, as the BBC’s Head of Comedy between 1983 and 1990, he had turned down Red Dwarf several times. One notorious meeting is recounted by Rob Grant on the Six of the Best CD:

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The Smegazine Catalogue

It seems strange now. Even though Red Dwarf is a current TV show once more, is popular enough to maintain an official fan club even during the ten year hiatus, and has always been extremely well represented on fansites, blogs and social media… a magazine? A whole magazine, dedicated to just Red Dwarf? In proper shops and everything? Monthly? It’s baffling.

But remember, back in the early to mid ’90s, Red Dwarf was a pretty big deal. Viewing figures were constantly on the rise, the likes of Ace Rimmer and Talkie Toaster were invading the public consciousness, conventions were being organised and the show was expanding into other platforms. The audience of teenagers and young adults were ripe for commercial exploitation, as books, videos, t-shirts, posters and more started to hit the shelves. So actually, why the hell not add a magazine to the mix?

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Nice Going On The Idiotic Gaffe
Front, Sirs

The other day, I snapped.

In our forums, there is a spoiler, which came about from a careless photo posted by a crew member. It’s not a huge spoiler, maybe. I doubt many people will be upset reading it. But it’s the latest in a long line of spoilers about the show posted online since the recordings started late last year.

There’s an interesting thing about these spoilers, mind. Nearly every single one them have come from the cast, crew, and – in one notable case – an executive at UKTV. The large audiences full of excitable fans who came to watch the shows have remained generally shtum.

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BBC Cow

Big changes are afoot at Baby Cow, the production company that currently co-produces Red Dwarf alongside GNP. Co-founder Henry Normal is stepping down after sixteen years, Steve Coogan is stepping up to fill the gap, and most intriguingly, BBC Worldwide has gained a controlling stake in the business. It’s an amusing twist of fate that Auntie Beeb is once more involved in the production of our favourite show, but the big question remains: how is all this going to affect Red Dwarf?

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DwarfCast 70 – Mac McDonald Interview

Somewhat foolishly, film star, comedy veteran and Space Corps captain Mac McDonald willingly allowed two members of the G&T team to enter his home. This is the resultant conversation, which takes in such topics as duetting with Dolly Parton, being terrified of Sean Connery, illicit sexual encounters during the filming of Series 1, cereal and fat jokes. Ian Symes is your host, and his posse consists of Danny Stephenson and Jo Sharples. An enormous thank you to Mac for his time, hospitality and pecan cake.

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DwarfCast 69 – Epideme & Nanarchy Commentary

You heard. It’s two for the price of one, although double nothing is still nothing. Danny Stephenson and Ian Symes continue their odyssey to watch the shit bits so that the rest of the team don’t have to, with occasional interjections from guests Jo Sharples of TORDFC, and Tom Pyott. We tackle the loose two-parter of Epideme and Nanarchy, discussing such diverse topics as the merits of Gary Martin, the practical applications of nanotechnology and recently proposed changes to disability benefits, as well as revealing the fate of the Epideme communicator prop, and proposing a new animated spin-off. We also get a lot of basic facts wrong, get confused about what’s happening on-screen and go quiet for a few moments at a time fairly frequently. So it’s not very good, but at least it gets another quarter of Series VII out the way.

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Not A Good Day

With Dwarf understandably going quiet since the last audience recording, maybe it’s time to check in on the world of Brittas. When we last “reported” on things, a revival was “in development”. Let’s hear what Chris Barrie has to say:

“Regarding the possible return of The Brittas Empire, which caused a moment or two of excitement last year, things have gone very quiet indeed – in fact totally silent. I believe a script was being developed with a view to recording a special or pilot at some stage. So if you are a journalist, don’t bother emailing me about an interview as I would prefer to wait until there is something concrete to talk about and that doesn’t look likely at the moment.”

Oh. Cock it.

Something to ponder: the BBC’s sitcom season this summer contains a number of revivals, which Brittas would have slipped neatly into. The fact that the project hasn’t managed to capitalise on this really isn’t promising, unfortunately.

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“An enormous amount of Krytens”

Those with slightly longer memories will recall that, at DJ last year, Doug mentioned that he was planning an episode where “everyone was Kryten” causing much excitement/hand-wringing/wailing and gnashing of teeth (delete as appropriate) from fandom. Now, in an interview conducted at MCM Liverpool, two chaps by the name of Robert Llewellyn and Danny John-Jules have pretty much confirmed that this episode exists. There’s no going back now…

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