Well, Starbugger me.
Well, isn’t that lovely? Earlier today, the above picture was posted to Instagram by one Dan Kay, a TV producer who worked on Series XI and/or XII (as evidenced by this excellent picture of a bunch of lads playing Goldeneye on the N64 in the Green Room). It’s since been tweeted, on an account set up seemingly at the request of UKTV’s press team. So I guess they want us to talk about it…
If thinking about the model work on the new series of Red Dwarf make your anus involuntarily clench, then you’re probably a) reading the correct site and b) all too aware of the myriad fuckeries of the Series X model production and are thus rightly nervous about what comes next. While that’s a very negative way to start this piece, we do actually now have some nice positive news to ponder on that front.
As post production probably persists we’re starting to get an idea about what the new look model set-up will be. Richard Naylor, presumably as part of some sort of mental breakdown, actually gave Gazpacho Soup the time of day with the following deets…
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.
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.
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:
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?
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.
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?