In amongst all the excitement of Twentica being unleashed to the world, the launch of the brand new Red Dwarf shop has understandably taken a back seat. But on any other day, this would be a huge deal, so let’s take a closer look. The first impression is that the site is functional but attractive. Nice big pictures and prices of everything on offer on the front page, with sub-indexes divided between “clothing” and “accessories”. It’s a bit of a shame, however, that the pictures are quite low-res, and that there’s no option to zoom in to take a closer look at the items you’re expected to pay good money for. There are details you can make out in last week’s TOS update that you can’t actually see on the shop itself!
As for what’s for sale, we have a choice of nine t-shirts (one long-sleeved, one polo, the others regular), all of which are available in S-XXL and presumably intended to be unisex. There’s also two hoodies, a mug, a bag, a poster, a postcard set, a lanyard, a badge set and a keyring. It’s worth noting that none of these things are actually available yet – you can order them all right now, but they’re all listed as shipping in October 2016. Prices are decent, particularly for the clothing, although the lanyard and keyring seem a bit steep at £8 each, before p&p. I placed a massive order earlier, and the shipping cost seemed very reasonable, but I’ve since seen unconfirmed reports that there’s a minimum shipping cost of £5.60 per order, no matter how small the order.
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As you’re probably already aware, Red Dwarf features in this month’s SFX magazine in a pretty big way. Not only is there a big feature on the forthcoming series, there are four variant covers – each featuring a shot of one of the main characters – and a free mini-booklet celebrating the show’s history. After traipsing round every magazine vendor in West London in an attempt to collect all four, I accepted defeat and actually read the magazine instead.
I was surprised to discover several previously-unseen pictures from forthcoming episodes, many of which give intriguing clues as to the content of the series. I tweeted my discoveries as I went, and those tweets are collated here. You won’t find reproductions of the magazine or any of its contents – you’ll have to actually go into a shop and pay money for that – but there is plenty of description and analysis…
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Rather excitingly, there was a BAFTA screening of Twentica AND Samsara last night, breathlessly livetweeted by @TORDFC. All the great and good were there, and Metro went along, too, judging by this article with its hilarious opinions. Apparently, Metro were sworn to secrecy. I count at least three spoilers, so it’s up to you, dear readers, if you want to waste your time reading that guff.
Amongst the rather pointless and ill-informed praising of the series having a ‘low budget’ (what exactly IS a low budget for a show backed by a major network, anyway?), is the interesting comment by Doug Naylor that Samsara was restricted in scope in order to provide more of the budget for Twentica. Not so much a ‘lol dodgy sets’ situation, and more a tactic that has been used in TV for most of its existence.
I’m sure Red Dwarf fans will be amazed by the sub-header “Good news – it’s the return of the lads”, as I for one was expecting an all-female reboot, Ghostbusters-style. Again, the fact that the main cast will be exactly the same as it was last series isn’t really a reasonable excuse to claim that ‘diehard’ fans prefer it that way. Also, the writer rather undermines their point in the next paragraph by mentioning that neither Holly or Kochanski are returning (based on the first two episodes) and claiming to be disappointed. Ok.
Point 6 of this article also claims that Danny John-Jules using some audience laughter to give him time to remember his next line is the live audience ‘basically creating the jokes’. Writers of sitcom down the years will be kicking themselves that they didn’t just rely on this great tactic, rather than actually writing jokes themselves.
So there you are. The great British media, ladies and gentlemen. Ganymede & Titan, as advertised earlier, will be reviewing Twentica when it’s available on UKTV Play on 15 September, and will be Dwarfcasting LIVE when the episode is shown on Dave on 22 September. We want YOU
as a new recruit listening.
It’s the end! No, wait, the opposite of that. It’s The Beginning, as we draw our coverage of Series X to a close, just in time for the coverage of Series XI to begin. Join Jonathan Capps (via Skype), Tanya Jones, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and the Fan Club’s Jo Sharples as we discuss such burning issues as how many of the Rimmer brothers are illegitimate, what Arnold’s dying words actually were, including whether or not he even said “gazpacho soup” in the first place, and our feelings on Series X as a whole, with the benefit of nearly four years of thinking time.
Plus, we bring you a round-up of all the major Red Dwarf XI news that didn’t make it to the front page of G&T in the last week, and the long-awaited announcement of how exactly we’ll be covering the new series, bearing in mind that the release schedule for each episode is a confusing, divisive mess. Listen to the DwarfCast for far too much detail about our reasoning, but the short version is this:
Live DwarfCasts at broadcast pace. Written material at online pace. Discussion threads for both. Everyone gets some coverage asap after they’ve watched it, and nobody has to miss out on anything they can’t catch up on. Let’s make the TV broadcast the big event, and treat the online releases as an optional preview.
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Four days to go until Twentica goes online, and the promo is ramping up. Dave have posted this video on Facebook, as a sponsored post (so that you can’t actually see it by going to their page, but it will show up randomly in people’s news feeds).
Thanks to Craig Walker for bringing this to our attention.
EDIT: Okay, turns out there are TWO new XI clips. Thanks to Ali Green and Curtis Threadgold for this one.
That second one is truly excellent – with the exception of “could they by any chance be us?”, this is the first footage released where I’ve been impressed by the comedy, as well as just the aesthetics. Very exciting indeed.
Sometimes, things just work out to provide the perfect story.
Back in 2012 – in the lead-up to Red Dwarf X – I wrote a series of articles detailing the edits UKTV had made to Red Dwarf repeats. One of the worst was in Series III – the seemingly random broadcast of the Remastered version of Marooned, and the only episode of the series where the Remastered edit was broadcast instead of the original. (While it was the first time we had discussed the issue, but it had been going on for years before this. We were too busy complaining about Gold blurring out Fletch sticking two fingers up in Porridge.)
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I honestly can’t remember the last time that we, as a community, were actively excited about an official merchandise release. There’s obviously been the DVDs and whatnot, and the odd poster or phone skin along the way, but we’re talking the best part of a decade since those old t-shirts were reissued, and more than that for the likes of the Starbug playset and Mr Flibble puppet. It can’t have escaped your attention that all this is about to change, and TOS has all the details.
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UPDATE (08/09/2016): More merchandise details announced!
There are now just fifteen days to go until Red Dwarf XI starts on Dave, and a mere eight days until it premieres online. As we put the finishing touches to our plan of how to deal with all this (there’s a spreadsheet, with upwards of four pages), there are enough small pieces of news knocking about to warrant dusting off this old strand, for the first time in four years. The snippets of new information are coming quicker than we can front page them, so do keep an eye on our Twitter and our forum to keep up to date. But if you’ve missed anything so far this week, it’s hopefully all here.
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Rejoice as we finally reach everyone’s favourite episode of Series X, Dear Dave. Your intrepid team – Tanya Jones, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples – tackle such topics as the nature of the JMC on-board computer, the best burial place for a shit episode, Alphonse Areola, and a potential spin-off series for Asso: Spanish Detective. Oh, and sexism. Let’s see if this shitty little (mostly) boys’ club can sort out that thorny problem once and for all.
But before all that, a round-up of the latest Red Dwarf XI news, and all the details you need to get your hands of one of five pairs of tickets to Dave’s exclusive fan screening of the first two episodes. Yes, you have to listen to the actual DwarfCast in order to get the instructions, but don’t worry, it’s quite near the start.
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There is to be a screening of both Twentica and Samsara, taking place on 22nd September (ie. the day the series launches on the telly) at London’s fashionable Prince Charles Cinema, which was also the venue for the Series X premiere nearly four years ago. The organisers have very kindly got in touch with us to provide more details, along with five pairs of tickets to give away exclusively to registered G&T users. Hurrah! Here’s the blurb:
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