I’ve been thinking a lot about what I expected from The Promised Land. Over the years since Back To Earth - and so since the general death of any idea of a movie - my relationship with and expectation from the show has changed a fair bit. I was someone for whom Back to Earth was a relief as, despite its flaws, it was a large step up from Series VIII. In this way, it was and still is the saviour of the show’s legacy, even if it’s been superseded since. Series X was when the young, entitled fan in me finally fucked off as now not only did we have something better than VIII, it was better than VIII while playing the same, audience sit-com game.

The era of the audience-less, movie-ish experiments of VII and BTE were a distant memory and a new, proper rebirth era was on us. From that point on, new Dwarf didn’t really have any saving to do and Series XI and XII came along possessing a huge amount of confidence in the format, and for the first time since 1994 the show wasn’t in the middle of a giant, near destructive identity crisis and I was no longer particularly worried about what would come next.

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Yes, almost exactly twenty one months after the first series ended, Quanderhorn returns to BBC Radio 4 at 6:30pm today! You can listen via the Radio 4 website, the BBC Sounds app, on an actual radio (DAB, FM and LW) or just catch up afterwards. It’s a weekly six part series, so we’ll use this one discussion thread to cover the whole lot. Oh, and it’s co-written by Rob Grant, produced by Gordon Kennedy and stars Kevin Eldon. You knew that bit, right?

In case you need a reminder, the state of play at the end of the first series is that the Professor’s increasingly unstable time-lock could potentially destroy the whole of reality, our heroes are trapped in the lab which is about to be blown up by Winston Churchill, and Guuuurk’s buttocks are now on backwards, so there’s a lot to resolve before we even get on to unravelling the mystery behind Brian’s memory loss. We’re very much looking forward to it.

G&TV logoAs we continue to cogitate on The Promised Land, let's cleanse our palates with our monthly dip in to the archives of vaguely Red Dwarf related things from the past. Here's a particularly obscure one, discovered by Jim Lynn of the always excellent VHiStory blog, the guy who dug up the original 1988 continuity for Series 1 a few years ago. On the end of a tape of Babylon 5 episodes, he found Beam Me Up, Scotty!, a one-off Channel 4 magazine programme about sci-fi, filmed at the 53rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow in August 1995, and presented by Craig Charles.

In it, Craig introduces self-contained segments on a variety of connected topics, such as "filk music", cosplay before it was called 'cosplay', Klingon theatre, a somewhat nauseating section on sci-fi erotica and the sexual fantasies of its proponents, an extremely low-energy discussion of the British comics scene with some very morose people who are now very famous writers and artists, and Craig interviewing Terry Pratchett, best known for his appearance on the Red Dwarf A-Z. Jim's blog entry has the who's who of all the interviewees, and of course the full programme itself:

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As if it wasn't enough that we get Rob Grant and pals commentating on Red Dwarf episodes live every Sunday, more new Rob Grant material is coming our way on the radio, with the second series of Quanderhorn (having apparently dropped the The and the Xperimentations from its title) starting Wednesday 29th April at 6:30pm on BBC Radio 4.

As well as Rob co-writing with his now-established new writing partner Andrew Marshall, he's co-producing the series with fellow Red Dwarf alumnus Gordon Kennedy, with Twentica's The Actor Kevin Eldon returning as resident alien Guuuurk. The first series is currently available on BBC Sounds if you need to catch up, and titles and synopses for the first and second episodes are also online (they tend to be added around a fortnight ahead of broadcast, so the rest will be following soon). Read on for a further blurb covering the whole series, lovingly copied and pasted from the press release.

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With brand new Red Dwarf back on our screens, no pesky lockdown was going to prevent us from forcing our semi-formed, barely-thought-through opinions on you via a live platform. The entire G&T team of Jonathan Capps, Danny Stephenson and Ian Symes logged on to the G&T Towers remote access point, as did our guests Phil Pagett, Jo Sharples and Shelley Smith. And there was much to talk about over the course of two damn hours, including giant floppy disks, fake deaths, moonlight, a bit of unfortunate outdated language, the new Gary Glitter of space, surprising siblings, a more fitting name for the Anubis Stone, and men of painted neck.

For the first time ever, we bothered to properly integrate the Skype feed into our broadcasting console, rather than just turning the speakers up loud enough to be picked up by the microphone in the room and hoping for the best. It worked a little too well on the night, with the Skype correspondents much higher in the mix than the people behind the desk, but we've managed to tweak the levels a little for this catch-up version, to provide a slightly less irritating listening experience.

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Despite the last few weeks having seemingly lasted an eternity for obvious reasons, it still feels like the big day has crept up on us. Nevertheless, it’s finally here – Red Dwarf: The Promised Land airs tonight at 9pm on Dave. No caveats required – for the first time since 2012’s Series X, all the Red Dwarf fans in the country will sit down at the exact same time to watch a brand new episode in the exact same place (even if you don’t have linear TV any more, you can watch live online in the UK). And this post right here is the best place to discuss it.

In terms of episodes that had audience recordings, this is by far the shortest gap between said recording and broadcast in the Dave era, and in fact it’s the quickest turnaround since Series V in 1992. But to pass the time until this evening, you can re-read parts one and two of our set report, if you like. But what you’re all really looking forward to isn’t the episode itself, but our Live Instant Reaction DwarfCast, which will be taking place on Friday at 8pm. Join us (from a distance of at least two metres) on Spreaker to listen and chat live; we’ll post the link on here and on Twitter about twenty minutes before the start.

With just under 24 hours to go until The Promised Land airs on Dave, news broke of when we'd see it on shiny disc, thanks to Amazon's pre-order for the June 1st release of both the DVD and the Bluray turning up. A singular disc per format in this case, in a first for a Red Dwarf release, but one that's understandable given the size of the main feature. Mind you, Back To Earth was a similar running time and that managed a whole second disc of extras, admittedly in the rather different home media climate of eleven years ago.

Instead, the rather attractive cover, naturally based on the fabulous poster, reveals that there's just under an hour's worth of bonus features, and they break down as follows:

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So, it’s been about 8 years since we had our last big redesign and, honestly, things were starting to get a bit musty and suspicious smelling around these parts. So, we’ve gone ahead and… well, not really changed that much on the surface of things, but underneath now beats the heart of a website that is actually fully mobile responsive. With the increased activity bound to be occurring over the next few days and weeks we thought it might be a nice idea to give our community the gift of using a website that looks like it might, possibly, have been made with some sort of modern usability standards in mind.

This is very much our first draft of the new theme and we’re going to be building on this constantly from now on. A list of layout tweaks, functionality fixes, additions and general improvements are all on our collective radar but, as ever, I reluctantly extend an invitation to our BELOVED COMMUNITY to let us know what you reckon so we can put you in the Trello list called “Things some cunts said”.

Last night, Dave started advertising a "live Twitter commentary" for their Tuesday night showing of Quarantine, featuring Doug Naylor, the cast and surprise guests. We assumed this would be a text-based tweetalong, and would have made a much bigger deal out of it had we realised it was in fact a full video-conferencing-based broadcast along the lines of Rob, Paul and Ed's efforts. Mind you, it's probably best we didn't. The last time UKTV did a Red Dwarf related live stream was Vindalunar. This was its spiritual successor.

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Well then. Dave’s daily coded message treasure hunt has concluded with… the first four minutes and forty seconds of The Promised Land. If you can’t wait a further six days to see around 5% of the feature length special, here it is:

It’s certainly an excellent preview – timed just right to provide an almost standalone prequel to the main feature, without giving anything away about how our heroes get involved in the plot. From the snippet of the theme tune that we hear at the end, it seems like this could be a pretitles sequence in the finished episode, and it’s certainly structured that way.

We’ve decided to hold back any in-depth analysis from us for the forthcoming live DwarfCast and review. In the meantime, please keep any specific discussion of this video’s contents to this comment thread, lest you spoil it for those who are abstaining.