"So, Ganymede & Titan, you big pussies, well done!" featured image

A website called Ganymede & Titan launched ten years ago today. There had been other sites with that name before, but this one had the spirit and ethos that has carried through the various incarnations of the site until the present day. In that time, there have been 2,141 front page posts, 2,111 forum topics, and (as of the time of writing) 75,239 comments across the site. There’s also 35 podcasts, seven original videos, 132 rotating banners and a fan film featured on the Series VII DVD. We’ve been mentioned by the Daily Telegraph, The Independent and in Doug’s Back To Earth directors’ commentary. Plus, we’ve been mocked by Norman Lovett, threatened with legal action by Grant Naylor Productions and had a full-blown flame war with a minor television personality. Let’s take a moment to pat ourselves on the back…

Ganymede & Titan 10th Anniversary

“I was living and working in the United States when Ganymede & Titan first launched, and it wasn’t until 2007 or 2008 on a return to the UK that, browsing the internet one night, I came in the middle of this website, clearly a Red Dwarf fansite, and at once to my horror and outrage, what I thought I saw was a bunch of fat nerds being self-important and needlessly provocative. I was already reaching for the telephone to call my lawyer, when something happened which made me laugh…”
– Patrick Stewart

The first site to bear this name was started by me, aged thirteen years and five months, on Saturday 11th December 1999. I remember being really proud of the name, because it meant I could use the tagline “ain’t no place in the whole of cyberspace”. This remained undoubtedly the best thing about the site. There was simply bugger all on there, other than some stolen pictures from the internet and a very weak attempt to write introductions for each page in the style of a different character. Tragically, none of this remains online.

But by 2002, I’d discovered very quickly in my sixth form career that it was far more enjoyable to spend your free periods dicking about on the internet rather than doing any coursework. I’d become online-friends with somebody on the NOTBBC Comedy Forum who called themselves ‘moss’. We were pretty much the only regular contributors to an epically-long Red Dwarf thread, and the conversations we had were making me think about this show – which I knew like the back of my hand after watching it repeatedly since the age of seven – in a whole new way. I was beginning to analyse the stories and characters like never before, and became increasingly interested in every single behind-the-scenes detail. So maybe it was time to dust off that excellent tagline.

That’s the spirit in which the site started on 14th September 2002 – going far deeper into the show than any of the handful of sporadically-updated fansites that remained at the time. I started with episode capsules and some opinion pieces, but the site really came into its own with the ridiculously comprehensive DVD reviews, which covered everything from technical quality to the sticker on the front cover. This started to get the site noticed, and my old pal ‘moss’ was inspired to set up a fansite of his own. As we discussed it, it became painfully obvious to us both that it would make far more sense to pool our resources, and both work on this newly-established brand. For you see, dear reader, ‘moss’ was John Hoare.

DALEK ONE: We have never read Ganymede & Titan. We are not familiar with its content.
DALEK TWO: That foaming twat joke was funny, though.
– Some Daleks

We relaunched with a new design on 4th April 2003, and somehow managed to knock out an update every day for the first few months. There was speculation about the forthcoming movie, retrospectives on the cast and crew’s other projects, and a hell of a lot of opinion pieces in which we outlined exactly why everybody apart from us was WRONG. In September of the same year, we had another little redesign which allowed comments for the first time. This proved to be another turning point – like-minded Red Dwarf fans were beginning to congregate in the same place, and some of them were inspired to start up fansites of there own, including Jonathan Capps’s White Hole, Seb Patrick’s Fuchal and Austin Ross’s Garbage World.

In 2005, the next step came with a collaborative effort on a new blog – Observation Dome. This was a place for the various fansite owners and other like-minded writers to post smaller snippets of news and curiosities that didn’t warrant a full article on their own sites. In retrospect, this sounds like a stupid idea, but a group of us bloggers, consisting of Ian, John, Seb, Cappsy, Austin, Tanya Jones and Kirk Northrop came together in March 2005 to produce The Movie: Yeah, No, Yeah, No – a mockumentary charting the semi-fictional pre-production period of the Red Dwarf Movie, entered into the Red Dwarf VII DVD Fan Film competition. We won.

The following year, what with me at university and having local friends for the first time in my life, G&T updates began to slow down, and the other fansites were flagging too. Perhaps having five different sites all saying pretty much the same thing was a bad idea. The inevitable happened, and the sites merged into one glorious (w)hole. I’ll admit now that I had serious reservations at the time – I was (and remain) an egotistical maniac, already unhappy about sharing the credit with John, let alone these other pricks. But six years later, I know it was the best decision I’ve ever made – without Tanya, Cappsy, the post-Observation Dome addition Danny Stephenson and the sadly-now-departed Seb, I doubt the site would have lived to see its tenth anniversary.

We’ve all grown up with G&T as part of our lives, and most of us have made the transition from adolescence to adulthood – with all the full-time jobs, relationships and other boring shit that gets in the way of being a geek. As a result, the quality and quantity of our updates has varied in the last five years or so. But when we’ve been good, we’ve been very good. The Dwarfcasts are a lot of fun to make and seem surprisingly well-received, considering it’s just a bunch of stupid-voiced nerds improvising badly. Our Back To Earth coverage brought a lot of new users to the site, and was so in-depth and thorough that it lead Doug Naylor to mention us on his DVD commentary. Then we decided to collect the best bits of our writing into a book, which a fair few people have stupidly bought. More recently, our set reports from each recording of Red Dwarf X have gathered praise for both their speediness and their thoroughness.

Despite the ups and downs in our levels of competence, one aspect of the site that’s remained consistently brilliant is the thriving community in the comments and forum. It’s remarkable that the nonsense we write is seen by so many people who feel moved to contribute their own thoughts. In the dark times, we can rely on you to keep our forum busy, and in the good times we see triple figures of comments on a large proportion of news stories we post. I’ll never forget the feeling of logging on to G&T immediately after the broadcast of Back To Earth Part One, and discovering that over 200 people had the same idea within seconds of the show ending. I feel like thanking some specific people, but I won’t, because I’d only miss people out. But suffice to say – thank you all for making the site what it is, and making it all seem worthwhile.

And your support *will* be rewarded. The latest relaunch of the site has reinvigorated all of us, and inspired us to do more with the site. We’ve got big plans for how we’ll be covering the forthcoming broadcasts of Red Dwarf X, which will be much bigger and better than what we did for Back To Earth. And unlike in 2009, we intend to maintain the momentum that new shows give us, with far more unique and original content than ever before -written stuff, podcasts, videos, the lot. The first decade of Ganymede & Titan was only the beginning. Thank you all once more for sticking with us and being part of it.

Now, fuck off.

“At the time they let you have these lovely little embedded images. Everyone was into posting images, performingmonkey, Phil, everybody liked posting images. And then one day the admin, who was quite a bossy… old cunt, he knows who he is, he took away my image posting rights! And I said – I told you I was a pain in the arse in those days – I said ‘if I don’t get my image posting rights back, you’re not getting another forum thread out of me’. And he gave me my image posting rights back! It was pathetic behaviour, but I got my image posting rights back.”
– Norman Lovett

58 comments on ““So, Ganymede & Titan, you big pussies, well done!”

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  • Yes. My phone’s browser’s home page. I know I’m a bit pathetic, but I do love G&T. You’re a load of cunts but I love you. Happy Birthday kids. Mwah. x

  • Thank you for giving me somewhere to talk about one of my favorite shows with like minded fans, somewhere to plug my ever-expanding portfolio of shit, and, three and a half years ago, somewhere to leave my luggage for a week.

    Here’s to the finest crew in Starfleet!

  • That Patrick Stewart knows what he’s talking about, I reckon. That was bloody excellent. Looking forward to reading everyone’s opinions on the new series, the buzz here after BTE sticks in my memory as one of the real highlights of that weekend. Happy birthday G&T!

  • Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, I went to the Dwarf, I saw a Chameleonic life form and I thought it was you, Happy Birthday.

  • I remember back in early 2003, when I first found the site through the ol’ Groovetown forum – which I was posting in quite frequently at the time. Since then, I’ve always been visiting for new updates, articles or DVD Reviews to read and new Dwarfcasts to listen to.

    Merry 10th, G&T! I’m really excited to see what’s to come when RDX airs!! :o)

  • Well done indeed. I honestly don’t think I’d still be as big a fan of Red Dwarf as I am if it wasn’t for this site. Long may it continue.

  • In the barren years, this site propped up my fandom and kept my interest in Red Dwarf alive. It’s been a daily visit for at least half a decade and whilst I may be only a semi-frequent poster, I have a good lurk several times per day. The community is what makes this place special, and the love that the ‘staff’ have for the show – even in the darkest times – has educated, informed and entertained all the while. The BTE coverage and RDX set reports have been sterling, and there’s always an old article or news post to go have a gander at if I’m bored and need to feed my inexplicably insatiable appetite for Dwarf knowledge.

    Basically, I love this little corner of the internet. It’s thanks to this website that I got to do a few things I never thought I would. I got to go watch an episode of my favourite show – a show I had adored since discovering series V in 1992 when I was 8 years old – being recorded on Dec 23rd of last year because of Ganymede & Titan. I got to play with Rob and Doug’s toys and script some animated Red Dwarf for an online fan project with people I met on here, hear words I’d written for my favourite characters get acted out and realised on screen (and got some lovely comments from users of this site that swelled my ego!). I rekindled my dormant love for the show thanks to this website, just in time for it’s most exciting and active period of this millennium as all the chaos of BTE (Headfuck Monday!) and RDX kicked into gear.

    I’m out of superlatives, you do a souper job, please don’t stop. Message ends.

  • Now, I only discovered this site three years ago (I was one of the BtE Boomers), but in this time I’ve come to consider you…butter…i’ve spread…

    Just japing, I love you all. Here’s to another three million years of this place, eh!

  • It’s a rare thing in this world today, everyone wants instant results and gets bored, gives up without putting in the hard work or staying power. Well done on your commitment and dedication – I love the site although only new. I need to get one of those books, so looking forward to the new episodes but also the unique opportunity to have this place to get beasted in and join in the fun – I for one will be having some lager and soaking up the new episodes but will be like part of a huge (greasy and nerdy) party to come into the warmth here. Awesome x

  • Argh, she’s a fine site. As fresh today as she was when she rolled out of the internet factory.

    Good work to all involved. You keep us all entertained and aroused.

    Here’s to the next decade of Dwarfy gubbins.

  • I actually consider the G&T forum, and the community as a (w)hole as my equivelant to a social life. When I was inviting guests to my 30th Birthday celebration, who did I invite? My best friends from college and university, and even two or three I knew from G&T-land. And who turned up? My local friends who lived in the same city? My darling ex-girlfriend? One of my best friends who had known when my birthday was for over eleven years? No. Just Mick and Karl. Two members of the G&T forum, one of whom I’d met once, the other, not at all. Ian had been invited, too, but feigned illness in order not to have to stay over at my Nan’s.
    It says a lot that, Karl aside (who stupidly moved to a nearby area of Sheffield for a little while), I’ve met members of the G&T community on no more than about four occasions, yet consider a lot of them as my best friends. Logging on to G&T every day gets me through, especially when I’ve been unwell the last few years.

    Actually, what it says is, “get out and get a life,” but let’s ignore that. When I think back to when young Ian the Smegmeister and myself spent time on the BTLi Forums, taking the piss out of Snip of Smeg…actually, it makes me sick that he’s on telly with a cult following, and I’ve done fuck all with my life. Fuck off the lot of you,cunts.

    And I’m only saying that because I love you.

  • Are we going to get some screenshots on how the look of the site has evolved over the years? If not, why not?

    (Yeah, me “being nice” was a short-term thing).

  • You’re turning 10 as I’m getting ready to turn 40 – let’s hope we both make it to twice our ages! ;-)

  • I love you all, in a way.

    After a few months of membership, I can safely say you’re all people I’ve come to be on a site with.

  • I can’t actually remember when I joined. It was some time in 2008, probably, but this site had been on my radar before then.

  • I met the best man at my upcoming wedding as a direct result of the existence of this website.

    So that’s something.

  • Dunno, 2003/20044ish? I stumbled across it and ended up sitting for ages chortling at various articles. I found it refreshing that the “less good” parts of the show were criticized, rather than just blindly saluted like they were in BTL (at least towards the end of my tenure).

    It was when the site was black. Then it did a Michael Jackson.

  • I remember BTL from ’97-’00 was pretty blind to the faults of VII and VIII. Also in one aticle the remastered episodes were deemed worthy by ‘the inquisitor’. They were the best of times they were the blurst of times.

  • I had visited the site before, I’m sure I’d read the “no longer interested in the audience Red Dwarf used to provide” stuff earlier, but I joined in or around Summer 2008 if memory serves me. I’m sure it was around the time BTE was announced.

  • > In 2005, the next step came with a collaborative effort on a new blog – Observation Dome.

    I feel so old…..

    Think I’ve been lurking (and you know that is the only word for it) since the series 2 DVD so that’s…early 2003? I remember being impressed by the frequent use of sexual swear words and thinking I agreed with something one of the guys was saying (it wasn’t Ian…:P). Needless to say, I’m still here. Curse or blessing, what can I say apart from…it’s helped me pass the time in mildly amusing, occasionally Red Dwarf-related ways. I both love and hate you all equally (except for those for whom I feel nothing).

    Congratulatory Pimm’s all round!

  • I’ve been a member for less than a year, but the generosity of two G&T members – they know who they are – enabled me to see “Trojan” being recorded which was a great experience. I owe those people a drink at DJ next year. :)

  • The only other things in my life I consistently visit as often as i do G&T are my fridge and the toilet.

    Beds, televisions, friends, pubs, parents, jobs, laptops, shops, strippers, no. There is nothing else that even comes close to being a daily focus of “must check” in the decade since i went from being someone who looked at dvd’s on a shelf and thought why are those videos so flat looking?, to being someone who cared about every aspect of the red dwarf DVDs in finite detail, before miss filing the discs away in one foot in the grave cases.

    I enjoyed all the things the site did in the name of Dwarf, in both the level of detail and childish swearing, both of which are too copious for sane individuals.

    Over time as i was busy being involved in web based projects involving my favourite band Madness, i learned to steal ideas from G&T taking their approach to sci fi comdey fandom over to obsessive pop fandom. From tricks like sarcastic titles, to checking sites like infax and bbfc, for leads, to reporting on small things to keep content going, to podcasts of fan opinion waffle on events, and even to make fan films about subjects in clever ways. All the sucess I’ve had in my own web ventures, benefited from learning how to be more opinionated and creative than the average fan, like G&T are and people actually fucking bother to listen, thats the clever part!

    In terms of red dwarf enjoyment it means i’m more educated in my approach to viewing it. Which is why you bastards are responsible for me not liking series 8 as much anymore you cunts, when I liked it on broadcast. You ruined it along with the rest of what fandom have said about it. We were happy together in ignorance until this site. Still you were brilliant before Back to Earth. But then you really came into your own. From head fuck car bug day to the directors cut reveiw. Berkley square was a highlight. But the podcasts and prep for the weekend of a fuckity loads of paginating comment threads was just awesome. It wasnt just dwarf back on TV. It was like having a red dwarf party all focussed on the screen around the same sort of time together. And now in just a couple of weeks we get to do that for 6 weeks! I know you will be just as brilliant as then, if not even better.

    I’ve not missed a thing, because G&T yes sirs(+tanya) you’ve been around.

  • Reiterate nearly ALL the comments above – G&T has furthered my enjoyment and analysis of the series, and has ABSOLUTELY 100% kept the flame alive in these dormant years since 1999. God bless you all…. cunts. Lovely cunts.

  • I was a very long-term lurker here. I can’t remember how I first found it (maybe a link was posted on alt.tv.red-dwarf?), but I started visiting very soon after the site’s launch, when its main aim seemed to be to create Simpsons Archive-esque capsules for each episode. I kept lurking through the Ganymede.ofla black background design, the move to ganymede-titan.info, and the merge with Observation Dome and the other fansites. But I only registered and started posting shortly before Back to Earth.

    Over all of the site’s incarnations, there have been times when updates have been disappointingly sporadic, but it’s always been worth checking back frequently, because the best things on this site put most other fandoms to shame. The reviews and articles here have always been worth reading (yes, even that one that Julian Hazeldine wrote).

    And unlike in 2009, we intend to maintain the momentum that new shows give us, with far more unique and original content than ever before

    I do hope that will include an article called “THE TOP 60 EPISODES OF RED DWARF”.

  • Trying to remember/find out how long I’ve been frequenting this pit. I think I was a long time lurker, but I used to do all my forum-ing at BTLi, which was pretty much where I knew the boy Symes from, as well as other oddball types like Mick (AKA) and…well, others who all used to use different hilarious pseudonyms for posting (I stuck with si. Small s, nothing too complicated).

    I also used to post on the old TOS forums, when they were like a Commodore 64 adventure game. I used to quite like them then.
    I appear to have created my first G&T forum topic around four and a half years ago, but I must have been commenting long before then. Before then, apart from when I was at Uni (Autumn 2003-Spring 2006), my internet access was severely limited to a couple of hours at the library a couple of times a week.

    So there. Excitement in a bag.

  • Well, this may seem like an odd thread to post my first comment on, but what the smeg.

    The first RD episode I ever saw was Queeg, upon it’s original airing. But have only been an occasional lurker of this site since just before BTE aired. I then began to take much more notice as the series X reviews started flowing in (I was lucky enough to see ‘Fathers and Suns’ recorded). All of which were most enjoyable, as are the Dwarfcast’s I’ve listened to so far – I’m looking forward to the series X Dwarfcasts, muchly. They kinda’ make me wish I had more off-line friends who like Red Dwarf as much as me, since most of them seem slightly baffled by my obsession with the show, and tend to think I talk about it too much. Gah! What do they know? Philistines! ;)

    So, I thought now would be a good a time as any to finally sign up to this site, what with the relaunch of the site and the new series.

    Anyway, Happy (slightly belated) birthday G&T. And keep up the good work, peeps :)

  • I know no one in real life who is as keen and obsessed about this show as me. Even the friends I went with to DJ97 and 98 now take no part in fandom online or otherwise.

    I’ve been a fan since series 2 aired when I was 8 and I remain a fan mainly because it’s different, weird and funny.

    Just like G & T.

  • I reglected to mention this earlier, 132 fucking banners? I guestimated about 50-60 maybe, but 132? I would have remembered…

  • I reglected to mention this earlier, 132 fucking banners? I guestimated about 50-60 maybe, but 132? I would have remembered…

    The 2004 relaunch had about 20 different banner images.

  • I realised I should really post on this thread as I really do love this website. I rarely post but would say I’ve been lurking for at least 5 years. Great articles and a great place to keep up with all the Dwarf news on the web, especially at times like these and back when we were in the run up to Back to Earth.

    I think the best thing about the site though is the people on it. Mainly because no one really seems to fall into the ALL RED DWARF IS GREAT or ALL RED DWARF SINCE ROB GRANT LEFT IS COMPLETELY SHIT AND THERE’S NO CHANCE OF IT EVER BEING GOOD AGAIN UNLESS ROB GRANT COMES BACK categories. People are fair, respect each others opinions (any criticism of another’s opinion is usually, at most, a tongue in cheek insult) and discuss the show rather than voice there opinion and flame anyone who’s opinion differs which is what I feel often happens on TOF.

    One of my most regularly visited sites and one which I’m sure I’ll be constantly checking for years to come.

    Oh and I’m also looking forward to an updated Top Episodes list after X. I’d also love to see a Top 10 of people’s favourite extras from the DVDs as there’s so much beyond-the-call-of-duty gold on them. From the extended/edited-together eps, Dwarfing USA, Re-Dwarf, the inclusion of Comedy Connections to the Model Shots, storyboarded episodes, Tikka Remastered, hell even the menus that I’d love to see which features people have really been most appreciative of.

  • I’ve made some lovely friends thanks to this website – so thanks G&T!

    I’ve also met some right cunts.

  • I like how this comment thread has been a steady stream of people saying lovely things since Friday.

  • >Trying to remember/find out how long I’ve been frequenting this pit.

    Just been looking through some of the archives. Doing a search for “si” is a bit too simple. However, a search for “bromley” was a bit more helpful. Back in October 2003, the boy Symes pounced upon a post I made on the fanclub forums and made a story out of it. Back then I was just “Simon Bromley from BTLi”. Bless. http://www.ganymede.tv/2003/10/curry-and-clips/
    Then there was this six months later, showcasing my transcribing skills, when I should have been trying to write essays for a BSc degree: http://www.ganymede.tv/2004/04/theyre-mostly-nice-people/

    From what I can make out, I didn’t start posting here properly til 2005. But seven years I’ve been pointing my browser at G&T, and I still remember to do so several times a day, which, given my memory, is quite an acheivement. I can open tabs then forget why within seconds. Ganymede & Titan must be something rather special.

  • I only wish I lived in the UK so I can get together with you all, buy you a drink, and punch you in your fat gerbil-faces.

    I kid, I kid, Congratulations on a job well done!

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