I’d have just called it “metatextuality”, but whatever. Thanks to Dax101 in the forum for this, but there’s an article on the Times website this morning (can anyone confirm if it’s in the paper?) that seems to provide the first definite confirmation of elements we’ve been guessing at ever since we first saw Carbug. Spoilers in the link and after the jump, obviously.
“It is an interesting time for the team to reunite. Particularly for Charles, who currently plays the cab-firm boss Lloyd in Coronation Street. In a nice bit of postmodern intertextuality the cast briefly find themselves in Coronation Street, where, keep up now, Lister meets his parallel-universe alter ego, an actor called Craig Charles who stars in a soap”
Phew. So, there we go. No official quotations from anyone involved in the show (save for Craig describing it as “a real mind melter”), so this could be guesswork/speculation/made up, but it appears that we’re looking at a parallel universe (“dimension-jumping leviathan”, anyone?) in which Red Dwarf is a TV show. We’re through the looking-glass here, people.