Doug Naylor Broadcast interview featured image

Thank you to Pecospete666 for drawing our attention to this fantastic interview with Doug over in the dark, buttery recesses of our Forums. The main bits of new information are fairly obvious, but let’s go through the whole thing with a fuck-toothed comb, shall we?

A black curtain divides the area. Pulling it back reveals a large spaceship. Stencilled on the hull is its name: Red Dwarf.

THIS IS A LIE. Unless they’ve managed to keep a 1:1 scale Red Dwarf model very quiet indeed.

“We’re going back to classic Red Dwarf,” says Naylor of what to expect of the new series, while keeping the details a closely guarded secret.

“It’s the boys back on the ship, having adventures like in series three, four and five.

Everyone who went to one of the recordings reported back that it reminded them of a specific early series, and it’s nice to have it in writing that this is what they were going for.

Most of the ideas are fresh but for the last episode I borrow things from the very early drafts of the film and explain what happened after the conclusion of series eight.

NOW THEN. I didn’t see this particular episode recorded, so I’ve no idea exactly what elements of the movie script crept through. One would assume that it’s the homo sapienoids idea, given that that’s pretty much all we know about the film. But it’s possible that there was some extra bit of plot detail that wasn’t publicly released at the time. What does this mean for the future of the movie? We’d all assumed that it would never happen, but as recently as the Series VIII DVD, Doug was adamant that the story would be told at some point. Is this what he meant? If the script has been cannibalised, does that mean the movie is, finally, officially dead?

As for explaining what happened after Series VIII, Doug hinted at the last Dimension Jump that he might return to that cliffhanger at some point, but not as a matter of urgency. I guess the last episode of the series is about as un-urgent as you can get! I’ll be very interested to see if this is a big part of the episode, or (as seems more likely), something that will be tossed off with a few lines of dialogue.

“That final episode also features a spectacular dogfight. Well, spectacular for Red Dwarf.”


This will be possibly the biggest test of the “troubled” miniatures shoot. Fly-bys and beauty shots are all well and good, but action sequences are a whole new beast. Will it be as good as the Bodyswap chase sequence, which was done an entire 21 years earlier?

A tightening of the budget during pre-production meant that two weeks of OB shooting had to be dropped, leading to an extensive reworking of scripts. Naylor says it was a happy accident.

“There was some ‘excitement’ after we realised we had to lose the OB filming as there were scripts littered with situations that we had to abandon,” he recalls.

This is new information, unless I’m very much mistaken. We speculated before the recordings about how much OB there would be, and it seems like there’s not a lot. We’ve seen from one of the behind-the-scenes videos that there was one little shoot in a bit of woodland, but now I think about it, of the four episodes I’ve seen (Trojan, Fathers and Suns, Entangled and Dear Dave) there’s no external footage whatsoever. Not unusual for Red Dwarf, but a stark contrast from Back To Earth.

“Bizarrely, the result is an early type of Red Dwarf series where we are based on just a few sets. We didn’t plan it but restrictions can make you more creative.


“We also discovered that filming in the freezing winter caused a drop-frame problem so we were glad to get back indoors.

Interesting! I’ve never experienced that before, but then I’ve never shot on anything approaching the standards of the Red Epic. They should have stuck with a Z1 or something.

“You should never have left Brittas,” quips Charles, referring to Barrie’s popular 1990s series The Brittas Empire, in which he played the manager of a leisure centre.

“I’ve tried to do my bit for the leisure industry on a wide scale,” Barrie responds dryly.

“Brittas did for leisure centres what Hi-Di-Hi did for holiday camps,” says John-Jules in a glittering waistcoat.

“To be compared to Hi-Di-Hi is a career peak,” says Barrie.

BANTER. But the type of banter that directly plugs into John Hoare’s brain.

Of the new series, Charles says: “We’ve stopped being an action adventure series and gone back to being more of a sitcom. Back To Earth looked fantastic and was very clever but it wasn’t as funny as it could have been, choosing to be more of an emotional journey. We’re now back to being four clowns in a room, each trying to be funnier than the next man.

Again, this approach was clearly evident at the audience recordings, and should hopefully persuade the tedious casual fans who say “yeah, but that Easter special was shit” whenever I mention Red Dwarf in real life to give the new series a go.

“We’re still 3 million years into deep space, looking for a way home and really hot curry. But now it’s a bit more like Grumpy Old Men.”

Similar comments from Craig have been a source of perturbation before now. But from what I’ve seen, the ‘grumpy old men’ thing pretty much entirely refers to how they look, rather than the style of humour that Doug has written. They’re not pretending they’re still in their 20s, but there are no jokes about how Lister needs a zimmerframe to take a space walk, or some shit.

There’s not much to be said about the whole live audience section, other than that it all sounds lovely. There’s a debate to be had about what constitutes a “traditional sitcom” and whether it’s really ever gone away, given the likes of The IT Crowd and Miranda, but I can’t be bothered to go into it.

Hopefully this is the first of many big press pieces about the show that we can look forward to in the coming weeks. The article gives a release date of “October 2012”, which means we have somewhere between 39 and 70 days to wait…

23 comments on “Doug Naylor Broadcast interview

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  • Blimey, I *was* late creating a thread, wasn’t I? Anyway, a nice article, I thought. And an ‘October’ start date. I reckon we must only be about six weeks away now, yeah?

  • *sits in corner, surrounded by Wagon Wheels, KitKats and Pot Noodles, making a mess*
    ….Sorry, Capps. :(

  • Interesting that The Beginning is to include elements of the movie script.

    Could this be an appearance of the Homo Sapienoids? The mention of a “spectacular dog fight” certainly hints at a battle with some kind of Big Bad. Unless they’ve just filmed a couple of Alsatians in a pub car park.

    Would be nice if the end of the series sees them finally reach Earth, realising it’s buggered and setting off for a new series of adventures…taking the series in a new direction and that.

    Is funny, at the time the collapse of the movie production seemed like such a tragedy. Looking back at it now and assuming it would’ve been similar in style to Series 8…though with the excesses magnified with a multi-million budget…maybe we dodged a bullet.

  • I’ve got this vision of a series that is actually set on Earth, not a backwards Earth, not a parallel Earth, our earth. Lister’s Earth, 3 Million years later. All kinds of fucked up creatures and things to contend with, strange societies that have amalgamated. tons of possibilities, and then Lister decides towards the end of the series that it’s not Earth as he wanted, there’s a massive speech, and they set off again using Starbug towards Red Dwarf which has buggered off somewhere because someone left the hand brake off.

  • It was pretty obvious that they hadn’t done much external shooting, but it’s interesting to know that it WAS planned (I’m guessing this was what Doug was having kittens over last year when he was saying something that was promised actually wasn’t…or whatever?).

    That’s gonna make this series feel pretty small in some ways…with all past series’ (bar series 1) including some brilliant location stuff. Though the positives are hopefully gonna outweigh the negatives in this case.

  • It was pretty obvious that they hadn’t done much external shooting, but it’s interesting to know that it WAS planned (I’m guessing this was what Doug was having kittens over last year when he was saying something that was promised actually wasn’t…or whatever?).

    That’s gonna make this series feel pretty small in some ways…with all past series’ (bar series 1) including some brilliant location stuff. Though the positives are hopefully gonna outweigh the negatives in this case.

    It’s certainly intriguing. From the 4 episodes I saw I’m just not sure where they would fit in a lot of the OB. There are spaces where you could, but I can’t really think of a situation where it feels like we lost out by not having any. Obviously that’s to the credit of Doug, who has clearly performed very good rewrites on these episodes under a lot of pressure.

  • I reckon I’ve got a good idea of two episode that would’ve definitely used a good deal of that 2 weeks of location filming, but it sounds like between rewrites and the art department’s brilliant sets everything worked out really well.

    The one ‘outdoor’ set I saw was absolutely outstanding.

  • >…and explain what happened after the conclusion of series eight.

    I genuinely couldn’t give a pile of curdled fuck about this.

    …yet everyone seems to agree that this episode was brilliant so I’m interested despite myself.

  • “To be compared to Hi-Di-Hi is a career peak,” says Barrie.

    This should be anyone’s career peak. As long as you’re talking about the first three series.

  • And it’s been removed, too. A shame, considering Norman’s brilliant performance as the broken simulant.

  • It occurred to me whilst watching The Inquisitor yesterday that we were unlikely to see other parts of the ship via location shooting this season. Given that Doug had plans for location shooting that had to be changed I’d be really interested to hear about what those plans were and how the scripts changed as a result when those plans fell through. Maybe some light will be shed onto this on the X documentary or on the DIRECTORS COMMENTARY FOR EVERY EPISODE THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.*

    *Please let this happen.

  • > Thank you to Pecospete666 for drawing our attention…

    Does this mean we all have to be nice to him now?

  • Cant wait to find out what happened after series 8.

    Was looking at all the old Red Dwarf movie stuff the other week, in the poster you see the long Red Dwarf being blown in half. Taking a very shitty guess I would guess thats why the ship is smaller now or something if they borrowed from the movie.

    I dunno I’m tired and talking shit, just cant wait for the new series.

  • Maybe the ship being blown in half is what’s happening in that brief clip in the teaser with what looks like a simulant.

  • The question about wether the film script was canibalised, is one I was wondering about from seeing the tv recording of this episode. There is something publically known to fans about the movie, that I became aware was included in this episode. With little else known to me about the film, I was wondering if this meant used here instead of in the film, or if it meant more foreshadowing the film narrative in it’s inclusion in both. I think the phrase “the very early drafts of the film” if that came from Doug, brings the third questionable scenario of rejected parts of early film scripts forming part of this episode and full later film scripts exsist still without this.

  • As the show is called The Beginning and I already speculated whether we would be getting a flashback to pre-Dwarf I wonder if he’s cannibalised the opening section of the movie, ie the first act setting up the story, and adapted it to TV canon?

  • Reading over the set report for ‘The Beginning’ and it says this:

    When we arrived at the studios, Jay from Lost in TV mentioned that we’d be going in a bit later because the crew were still “rehearsing”. Bobby then tweeted saying they were actually still shooting a scene. The scene in question turned out to be one that was heavily action focused and required lots of reactions to special effects that weren’t actually there, which resulted is some very funny physical acting. Bizarrely, the final moment of this scene strongly reminded me of something that happens in Rob Grant’s novel Backwards.

    I believe somebody has already confirmed that the scene in the trailer was indeed the scene in question here.

    I’d dare say the scene it reminds Cappsy of in the set report is at the end when Lister (?) blows a hole in Starbugs hull and sucks the Agonoid into outer space. So presumably the tornado in the sleeping quarters is from a breach in the hull.

    I did always think the plot of the movie sounded similar to the second half of ‘Backwards’.

  • Shame they couldn’t have got Hattie. Would have been nice to see her looking on in the background with the odd line.

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