On the 23rd February 2007 – 10 years ago to the day – Ganymede & Titan published four articles.
It perhaps seems odd to remember we used to be like this. After all, these days you’re sometimes lucky if you get four updates a month. We were a rather different beast back then. True, we still did loads of in-depth articles, but we also prized ourselves on reporting every single bit of Red Dwarf-related news going. Fun though that might have been, it’s the kind of thing that is entirely unsustainable now we have, y’know, proper jobs and stuff. We’d rather concentrate on giving you fewer, more substantial things to get your teeth into.
Still, I thought it might be fun to take a look at what we were up to exactly ten years ago today. If you’re lucky, you may just notice a few comments on one of my bugbears. But I think it’s quite subtle.
(Note that one of the items listed here references our spoilery article published the other day, so stop reading if you’re trying to avoid that.)
Days of Hope
A news item on a revival of a Howard Goodall musical. The link to the WhatsOnStage article doesn’t work any more: it only leads to the site’s front page. Meanwhile, the link to the The Kings Head Theatre website leads to a crappy domain squatter page: they’ve moved from kingsheadtheatre.org to kingsheadtheatre.com. Neither of the missing pages are saved by the Wayback Machine, meaning all information we linked to is entirely lost. Hooray!
Brilliantly, not only does the link to the news story on Norm’s site not work any more, but it doesn’t even go to Norm’s current site – instead it goes to the blog of the most interesting man in the universe. (I am fully aware of the situation here involving rather less frozen water than is ideal for a certain popular winter activity.) Irritatingly, Norman moved his site from normanlovett.co.uk to normanlovett.com, which is the worst thing he has ever done.
Incidentally, Norm’s current front page indicates that he’s just made a visit to Australia. Before that, we have an entirely blank news update from January 2016… and then a DVD review from 2012. Excellent work.
It’s a pod!
By far the most significant article published on this particular day, about a TOS article giving the first real details about a certain lost episode of Series 1: Bodysnatcher. I also managed to write the following brilliant thing:
“As for the sample section of script given – it’s brilliant. “‘Awful’ is when you’re fumbling with your date in the back of your car and you discover she’s got testicles” might be an old joke (although it was less old back in 1983), but it’s still hilarious.”
An analysis of that joke is well beyond the scope of this article, and I’m not going to attempt to do that debate justice here. What I will say however, is that there isn’t a chance in hell I’d pull out that joke for specific praise if I was writing that news article today.
As for links: the one to the TOS story doesn’t work, although it’s still on the site under a completely different URL. The link to our previous story on the release works fine, as does the link to our article The Lost Episodes. Sadly, the link to the Doctor Who Restoration Team website doesn’t work either, though the material is still available online on an entirely different domain.
You Bet Your Ass
And finally, a short piece about, erm, Red Dwarf gambling chips: a piece of merchandise which I think pretty much everybody has forgotten ever existed. A limited edition of 1000 sets. Did they even manage to sell 1000 sets?
There are three things I’d like to take away from this little exercise. Firstly: argh Norm. Secondly: argh me. And thirdly: out of every single external link used in these news stories, precisely none of them still work. At best, the sites have just moved the content elsewhere, but at worst the material has been deleted entirely, or the site no longer even exists. It seems strange to me that our stupid fan site managed this shit better than any other site we linked to.
It also makes me wonder whether the sites we link to today will do any better, or whether in ten years time the hit rate will be exactly the same. Perhaps news sites which care about the history of things should be saving local copies of external pages, ready to use as replacements if the original falls off the web.
I mean, just imagine the damage being done to history on sites which cover subjects which are actually important, instead of Red Dwarf gambling chips and grumpy old men.