The Pain & The Glory: The 2017 Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters

A little under two weeks ago, the eyes of the world turned to one small corner of Twitter, where an epic battle was about to begin. Thirty-two heroes took to the stage, each one filled with nervous trepidation, but also hope; each daring to dream that this could be their year. These brave competitors were all used to being the side-show, the support act, the bit part. But for one of them, this would be their time to shine. This, ladies and gentlemen, was Ganymede & Titan’s Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters, and this is how it all unfolded.

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Announcing the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters

You heard. Over on Twitter, there’s a format pioneered by TV’s Richard Osman – amongst many others – whereby the best thing in a certain category is determined by a series of polls, in a tournament structure roughly mirroring that of the FIFA World Cup. By this method, we’ve discovered democratically-elected favourites in the fields of crisps (Frazzles in 2012, Pickled Onion Monster Munch in 2016), chocolate (Dairy Milk), Christmas films (Home Alone) and, thanks to TOS’s Seb Patrick, movie trilogies (Toy Story). We thought it was time for Red Dwarf to get in on the action.

We considered doing it for episodes, but we figured that the 30th anniversary poll is only a year away, so instead we’re revisiting a topic that we previously covered in a High & Low article. Yes folks, @ganymedetitan is proud to host the Red Dwarf World Cup of Guest Characters, starting Sunday 5th February at round about lunchtime!

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Constant, guilt-free SFX

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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Ian’s Newsround – 07/09/16

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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It’s the cockpit, dummy

It’s truly commendable how the hundreds of eager Red Dwarf fans who attend audience recordings every week manage to keep the show’s secrets safe, in compliance with their hero Doug Naylor’s wishes. The same cannot be said for the cast. In another tweet-that-may-soon-be-deleted, Robert Llewellyn has provided a picture of the cast and crew watching today’s rocket launch on the set:

It doesn’t take much guessing to figure out which particular set this is, particularly in conjunction with this tweet from Ed Moore. Frustratingly for us fans, but probably much to the relief of the production, it doesn’t show a great deal of detail, what with it being taken from an angle that’s unlikely to be used too often on-screen. But those are some lovely panels and instruments, eh?

Not sure about the product placement of that iPad, though – seems totally out of place in my opinion.

Sets and ‘Bugs and Acting Roles

Welcome to the latest installment of “Embedding A Load Of Tweets And Over-Analysing The Contents”, which looks set to become a long-running series indeed. As production on Red Dwarf XI steams ahead prior to Friday’s audience recording, studio-based rehearsals and pre-records are now taking place. Several members of the cast and crew are documenting every little step of the process on Twitter, meaning we have access to tantalising behind-the-scenes secrets, such as the time Craig Charles spilled some coffee during a readthrough.

Admittedly, this doesn’t seem like much. But if you open up the full-sized picture, there are a lot of interesting names to read…

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I’ve never readthrough… a script

Pre-production on the two new series of Red Dwarf is most definitely underway, with cast and crew having convened in Pinewood Studios on Monday for the first script readthrough. Thanks to the fact that we’re living in the future, this crucial and fascinating first step has been well documented on the popular social media service Twitter. Three quarters of the cast and one half of the production companies involved posted photos, which you’ve probably all seen by now. But there are some intriguing details that you may have missed. Let’s indulge ourselves…
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