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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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The Fantastic Four

It’s been mentioned several times before that, based on all available data, if there was one word to sum up Series XII, it’s “batshit”. The set reports indicated that several of the episodes are particularly out there, certainly compared to Series XI, and the early publicity would certainly seen to corroborate that initial assessment. Following on from last week’s somewhat unconventional group shot, no less than four individual character photos have been released on social media today (and then handily compiled on TOS), all of which feature one of the four boys in unusual circumstances. Let’s go through them one by one, in ascending order of weirdness.

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Rob Grant GOSSIP

If you’re like me, a couple of times a day you probably sit bolt upright, let out a strangulated groan, and think: “Just what the fuck is Rob Grant doing these days?” After all, his last tweet was in January 2016; his website is stagnant.

Here’s some brand new gossip then, from comedy writer extraordinaire Andrew Marshall, (co-)writer of The Burkiss Way, End of Part One, Alexei Sayle’s Stuff, If You See God, Tell Him, and 2point4 Children. Speaking to Steve O’Brien about his old fanzine:

And just in case that wasn’t enough:

Andrew Marshall and Rob Grant collaborating? That is a very, very intriguing team-up indeed. And something to keep us all excited until Red Dwarf XII hits our screens. Then we’ll forget all about it and moan about UKTV Play for six fucking weeks straight instead.

Anyway, here’s one of my favourite End of Part One sketches, for precisely no reason at all.

With thanks to Ian Potter for the friendly nudge towards this news.

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 One Where Everyone’s Kryten

Apologies for being far too late to provide the full write-up on this, but the following tweet rather took us by surprise when it was posted in what was effectively the middle of the night:

Yes, the first official cast photo from Series XII is not your conventional everyone-in-front-of-a-spacescape shot, but rather a teaser from a particularly unusual episode. Remember that while us lot have known about this storyline for ages, the general public are learning about it for the first time, and as their first exposure to the series.

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Oh, it’s continuing. I knew it would.

The gradual ramp up to Red Dwarf XII‘s broadcast continues, with the official Twitter account today teasing us ever closer to the inevitable climax with a Tweet containing a lovely picture of what I believe is a new look bunk room console. Also included is this beautiful close up of the ship schematic (click for an embiggened version)…

I’m not sure what an “Artificial Grave” is but I take a strange comfort in the fact that it is only at 19%.

While it’s no guarantee, I think this tweet further points to the likelihood of a a proper ramping up of details about the new series, maybe even as soon as this very Friday. Until then, and as first brought to our attention by Si Bromley, the latest issue of SFX features a four page piece on the Red Dwarf XII sets so while we’ve not got our hands on a copy of this yet, this should nicely pass the time until we start getting more news. Maybe then I might actually start believing we’re actually getting a new series and finally snap out of this post-XI haze…

Oh, it’s started. I knew it would.

Hi. Remember us? We’re the people that inundate you with news, reviews and podcasts every time there’s new episodes of Red Dwarf, and then we tire ourselves out and have a little sleep in between series. We’ve been patiently waiting for the Series XII publicity juggernaut to trundle into view and snap us out of it, and that glorious day has finally arrived. Look, there’s a new logo and everything!

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Wally Who?: A Belated Look & Listen

Over here at Ganymede & Titan, we like to think we bring a certain amount of professionalism to our reporting. We’re happy to let you know then, that 1982 radio sitcom Wally Who? – penned by a certain Rob Grant and Doug Naylor – is currently being repeated every Wednesday on Radio 4 Extra, at 9:30am, 4:30pm, and 4:30am.

Admittedly, this piece of reporting may have been more impressive if this run hadn’t started on the 17th May, and if we hadn’t missed the first three episodes. It may also have been more impressive if we hadn’t started uploading and reviewing the series ourselves back in 2009, but stopped after the first episode. Mickey Mouse operation, etc.

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# RED DWAAAAARRFF #

You all remember the big news last year, don’t you? No, not Red Dwarf XI. It was that magical moment when Darrell pointed out on our forums that the opening theme to popular science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf bloody well has lyrics.

All these months later, that fact still blows me away. (Here’s a great write-up of it by Mental Floss.) But aside from that initial thread, the only other thing we had to go on was this little acknowledgement from Howard Goodall:

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if, say, someone like Graham Kibble-White just happened to be doing an interview with Howard about one of his upcoming programmes, and asked him a little more about the subject?

Oh, look what we’ve just been sent. What a coincidence.

I know someone who does this Red Dwarf fan site, and they got excited, I think last year, because they’d been analysing the music…

Right!

And they had discovered there were vocals hidden in the music.

Oh, it’s them who discovered it? Yeah, they then put it out on Twitter, and it was a huge story for Red Dwarf fans, yeah. Oh well, thank them for finding it. I mean, I hadn’t deliberately hidden it. It just happened to be there in the mix. It’s just that no one seemed to have noticed it! [Laughs] So it was a very nice discovery.

Had you forgotten it was there yourself?

No, I knew it was. I didn’t know that people hadn’t noticed it.

So, that was the shock.

I had assumed everybody knew it was there, but it was so long ago, it was 27 years or whatever, and so I thought no more of it. Then all these fans around the world were saying, ‘Oh my God, we’d never noticed it before’. To me, the surprise was it hadn’t been noticed before.

Is that you singing? Is it on a vocoder?

That’s me doing a vocoder, yeah.

And do you mind if I pass this onto them?

Not at all!

Many thanks to Graham and Howard for the above. Now, I’m off to listen to QI theme again. I’m sure I can hear a bit where Howard calls Alan Davies a dickhead using morse code.