Channel Hopping featured image

It cannot have escaped anyone's attention that Red Dwarf turned 35 years old this year. It's easy to underestimate just how long ago that was in terms of television as a medium. The BBC Television Service was launched on 2nd November 1936. That was only 86 and a half years ago - the lifespan of Red Dwarf to date covers around 40% of the entire history of scheduled broadcasting. And so it goes without saying that British telly in 1988 looked very different to the landscape of today, but just how different? What else was on BBC Two when each series of Red Dwarf first aired, and what was the competition on the other channels?

Using a combination of the amazing BBC Programme Index and newspaper archives, we're going to answer those exact questions for the first episode of each BBC series in detail, along with an overview of how the rest of the run panned out. For some readers, this will be a nostalgic reminder of the television of their childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. For those that are too young or too foreign to have lived through it, it's a window into a bygone age. Either way, the power of hindsight allows us to spot the subtle clues that television was changing before our eyes, as we piece together the transition from one era to another, through a Dwarfy prism.

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DwarfCast 162 - The Smegazine Rack - Issue #8 featured image
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"The fascist junta of the potato people"

Back in the distant mists of time, when Ian first dreamt up the idea of getting Danny and I to read through all the Smegazines and record a podcast series about it, no doubt issues like this were front and centre of his mind. Historically significant pieces on ancient DJs? Check. Some hot Wraggy action? Check. Potatits? You bet ya. *gestures vaguely at insane original comic strips*? Uh-huh.

Needless to say, this was a fun one.

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DwarfCast 161 - Re-Disc-overy: Series 2 featured image
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"Could you make Patrick Stewart come in the middle of my television programme, please?"

The second Red Dwarf DVD was released twenty years ago (as of a month and a half ago). Any bets as to whether we can get the next one done before this November?

Back in early 2003 we had barely had chance to watch the first DVD more than two or three thousand times before another release was thrust into our sweaty palms. As is expected, the Series 2 DVD was very closely related to the first so you'd be forgiven for thinking this release might be a little less interesting, but as you will hear Danny, Ian and Cappsy still had plenty to talk about as they continue on their voyage re-disc-overy.

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DwarfCast 160 - Rob Grant Interview featured image
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"I've got a lot of Red Dwarf to give."

Well then, this is a little bit special. Fresh from the fantastic news that the Red Dwarf legal kerfuffle is officially resolved, we speak exclusively to Rob Grant himself - the co-creator of the programme, who's now returning to the franchise after an absence of close to 30 years. We found out exactly what the legal resolution means for the future of the show, got clarification on the new status quo for Rob and Doug, discovered what new projects are being pursued, discussed possible collaborations with established cast and crew, and touched upon merchandise, continuity, technology, Marilyn Monroe, and much much more.

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DwarfCast 159 - The Smegazine Rack - Issue #7 featured image
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"Let wideons be wideons"

Ian Symes, Jonathan Capps and Daniel Stephenson are delighted to announce that the ongoing DwarfCast hiatus has been resolved.

Moving onwards and upwards, Ian, Cappsy and Danny hope to launch many iterations of DwarfCasts covering various media, working again with Jimmy Nail and other valued partners, and wish each other the very best.

Smoke a kipper, DwarfCasts will eat all your kippers!!

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Just a few short weeks ago, we had all but given up hope that this day would come. And yet here we are - following the promising yet inconclusive joint anniversary message from Rob and Doug, we have a brand new statement from the pair, and it's exactly what we wanted to hear.

Rob Grant and Doug Naylor are delighted to announce that the ongoing dispute over the Red Dwarf rights has been resolved.

Moving onwards and upwards Rob and Doug hope to launch separate iterations of Red Dwarf across various media, working again with the cast and other valued partners, and wish each other the very best.

Smoke a kipper, Red Dwarf will be back for breakfast!!

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Video DwarfCast #1 - Coral Canvass Livestream Spectacular featured image

That was a heck of a night. To celebrate Red Dwarf's 35th anniversary, fans from around the world (well, some of them) gathered together around a cosy YouTube window, marking the occasion with Ganymede & Titan's first ever live video DwarfCast. The main topic of conversation was the Coral Canvass, with lots of analysis and in-depth stats about the latest definitive ranking of episodes. Next up was Clochebusters, a brand new and wholly original Red Dwarf game show, before the evening was rounded off by a lovely batch of live waffles. But there was so much more to discuss, as a very intriguing statement was released just as we went live, changing the agenda significantly. All this plus some vintage Dwarfy adverts, the rarely-seen visuals that accompany one of our best DwarfCast stings, and a series of catastrophic yet hilarious technical failures. And it's all available to catch up with whenever you like on demand:

We'd recommend watching on YouTube itself so that you can see the chat replay in real time. It's particularly fun to watch the explosion of activity when the breaking news breaks! There's also chapters embedded if you want to skip to certain sections. A huge thank you once more to everyone who came along, for however long, especially those who joined the chat and gave us a lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside. And an extra special thanks to Jason Smedley, Niki Hutchinson and Quinn for bearing with us and being thoroughly brilliant Clochebusters contestants. One heck of a night.

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Some breaking news for you – a message has been released by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor. Yes, both of them. Together.

To fans, cast and crew and everything in between, a very smeggy 35th birthday. Fingers crossed for more. Much love Rob and Doug

There is certainly a lot to discuss, so head on over to our Coral Canvass Livestream Spectacular right now, for all the reaction to this and today’s poll results, plus a lovely game of the wholly original Red Dwarf quiz Clochebusters!

The Coral Canvass Results featured image

Ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of Red Dwarf‘s thirty-fifth anniversary, we invite you to join us, if you dare, in a journey through the Top 74 episodes of all time, as voted for by YOU. Once every five years, the various factions of the fan community come together to rate each and every episode, and we then collate the results and analyse them in far too much detail. 2013 was the Silver Survey, 2018 was the Pearl Poll, and now for 2023, Ganymede & Titan are proud to present The Coral Canvass.

We changed the methodology this year; we'd always previously asked participants to rank every episode in order of preference, but this was a big ask of people's time, and didn't take into account that not everyone taking part would be equally familiar with all the episodes. So we simplified things and asked you instead to rate each episode out of 10, with the option of leaving blank any episodes that you didn't feel like scoring. The result was by far the biggest response we've ever received, with a total of 692 participants submitting at least one vote, more than double the sample size five years ago. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and helped spread the word.

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My dearest friends, I hereby declare that voting for the Coral Canvass, our mega 35th anniversary poll, is now OVER. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and indeed helped us spread the word. Submission numbers were way beyond our expectations - more than double the amount of responses we got for the Pearl Poll five years ago. And let me tell you, the results are very interesting indeed. You think certain episodes' positions are set in stone? Think again. All will be revealed at 9am on Wednesday 15th February, right here on

But that's not all! For the previous two milestone anniversaries, we've accompanied the results with a little anniversary party in the form of a Live DwarfCast. This year is no exception, other than the small detail that it will be a Live Video DwarfCast instead! That's right, not only will you have to put up with irritating voices, you also have to see our repugnant faces too. So make a note in your diary to be online at 9pm on Wednesday 15th February over on our Youtube channel (though the video will be embedded here too). We'll be discussing the poll results in full, as well as dealing with your live waffles and also playing a little game...

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