John’s Newsround – 1/2/09 News INT. John’s Living Room. Night. JOHN is dozing. He stirs, opens his eyes, blinks. And looks round the room. JOHN: What the fuck? So, erm, yeah. There appears to be stuff happening. New Dwarf, or sommat, I dunno. Time to dust off the old Newsround moniker and see what’s up, yeah? In brief: the frogs get Series VIII (hooray) 1, Dave are showing a few Dwarf eps (oooh, how exciting), and the anniversary boxset gets a belated website (I really couldn’t give a flying one). In slightly more interesting news, Robert does a load of interviews in his car, which is excellent and is something we’ll cover in more detail at some point. Or at the very least, intend to. There’s also warnings about an unofficial Dwarf convention, which eerily reminds me of this doozy last year – and yes, the link on that thread still works, and points to the current event. So this is still as much as inspired by cashing in on the lack of DJ announcement so far this year again as it is on purely the new specials. The question is, considering the last DJ had falling numbers – how well did the unofficial event actually DO last year? Does anybody here know anyone who went? Would anybody here like to admit to going? It is, of course, inherently fucking weird that it seems that the main cast seem to be going to a convention that Grant Naylor are actively warning against. But I’m growing to accept things being inherently fucking weird with Dwarf these days. But enough of all this tot – onto the good stuff. The gist of it we already know – and JESUS CHRIST isn’t it exciting – but a few snippets caught my eye. Firstly – and yes, I know this little factoid has been bandied around elsewhere, including on the Dave site – it’s interesting that Doug Naylor is directing, for the first time since he and Rob stepped in for Series V. This is INTERESTING. Nice to see Helen Norman – credited as General Manager of of GNP for Series VII/VIII – step up to being Producer here (having fufilled the same role on the DVD extras.) In other returning crew news, we already knew about Andrea Finch and Howard Burden, but this doesn’t make it any less fantastic. Hooray too for the return of Jo Howard (who was, under the guise of Jo Bennett, very good value on the VII/VIII doccos). Meanwhile, Andy Martin, who was camera operator on Series VIII, steps up to being Director of Photography. Two newcomers have also been announced. It’s worth pointing out that this is the first live-action Dwarf made since the death of Mel Bibby; what he brought to the show is difficult to overstate. His replacement is Mark Harris as Production Designer; it’s a lot to live up to, but – whilst I haven’t really seen it – I know his work on the revived Captain Scarlet has been especially lauded. The other newcomer is Mike Seymour as Visual Effects Supervisor, who worked on Farscape (another show that I think looks fucking amazing but have never watched properly – add it to the list). No mention of either the Model Unit or Chris Veale, then… We also have a date for the start of the main shoot – February 16th, at Shepperton. Red Dwarf. Shooting at good old Shepperton. It warms the cockles of my hard, VII/VIII-hating heart. (We also know they’ve just done a day of location shooting this Saturday gone – and for once, I hope that celebrity photographers have put themselves to better use than this, and grabbed some snaps.) But the real news for me is: “Broadcasting over four nights from Friday, April 10th 2009 on Dave” – that’s Friday-Monday, folks. I didn’t predict this – I assumed they’d spread the new two-parter across Friday and Saturday, and then show Unplugged and the Making Of on the Sunday. Yes, I am worrying about the minutiae of this already, despite the fact there’s only a day or so in it. Help me. Don’t forget to keep checking our forums for the latest discussion – they’re quite metaphorically on fire at the moment. The next official news is due on Wednesday on the Dave site, although no doubt something will leak before then. And just to warn you that there might be some brief periods of downtime from Wednesday to Friday next week – we’ll try and keep them as short as possible, what with all that’s going on, but there’s some vital maintenance work that needs to be done. Soz. KEEP SMEGGING!!!!!!!!!1111111 1 – We shall of course endeavour to be equally as racist to all our European neighbours in forthcoming news articles. Next time: Belgians.