Our final monthly trip into the television archives this year is somewhat of an unusual one, in that it’s not something that’s very deep in the archives, and it isn’t strictly speaking television. Nevertheless, given that the Red Dwarf connection is so niche, and the specific subject matter so esoteric, we’d probably have chosen to highlight it even if it wasn’t us that was sort-of responsible for it happening in the first place. Let us explain.
Whenever we see journalist and broadcaster James O’Brien, which has happened increasingly often in the last few years since he’s become the foremost non-racist phone-in host on British radio and found social media fame for his polite but ruthless take-downs of the Brexiteers who ring him up, the first thing we think of is his appearance in the Red Dwarf A-Z back in 1998. Specifically, his assertion that Data from Star Trek wouldn’t have existed without Kryten, the chronological impossibility of which we’ve been talking about since at least 2003. So when we saw that James was an upcoming guest on the excellent RHLSTP (rhlstp!), we sent host Richard Herring a request. Then we forgot all about it, and then the episode came out, and it’s safe to say our request was noted.
We obviously recommend watching the full episode, but if you want to skip to the first mention of Red Dwarf it’s at 8:17, and our question comes in at 9:49. The revelations contained in this podcast certainly cast new light on the A-Z. It turns out that in a shock twist, James O’Brien isn’t actually that much of a Red Dwarf fan, but had pretended to be in order to get some gossip on Danny John-Jules in the mid-90s, and then took up the offer to appear as a talking head because he just wanted to be on the telly.
As Herring points out, how can we trust anything James O’Brien says now that we know this? We used to think he spoke a reasonable amount of sense on politics, but then we also used to think he spoke sense on Red Dwarf. As a result of this revelation, it’s clear that O’Brien is part of Project Fear, and as such Ganymede & Titan is now officially backing a Hard No Deal Red White And Blue Brexit as soon as possible.