Give me an R, give me an E, give me a D, give me a Red Dwarf… Special?

There has been an increased amount of rumblings about the possibility of new Red Dwarf recently, and as usual we’ve been kind of ignoring it until something more concrete came along. Most notably, Robert tweeted in a reply to someone the other week that “we start making Red Dwarf XIII in November”, which seemed a little too tight a turnaround to be true. But once again following the usual pattern of these things, a cast member has now posted something that reveals perhaps a little more than they intended, and we can’t ignore it any more. The cast member on this occasion is Danny, who has shared a snap of the other three at what appears to be a readthrough of something…

…and that sheet of paper on the table is very intriguing indeed if you blow it up and rotate it 90 degrees counter-clockwise…

Is it us, or does that pretty clearly say “RED DWARF – SPECIAL”? Looks to me like it also says either “no 1” or “no 2” in brackets afterwards too. So, not a new series, but at least one special? Yes please, that’ll very much do for now. Danny’s tweet also denies that it’s a new advert, and indeed the script Robert’s holding is far too big for it to be that. No idea how this ties in with Robert stating unequivocally that Series XIII is entering production, but it does seem more feasible that “specials” of whatever description would require less studio time than a full series of six episodes, which makes it more likely that it’ll be up and running by November. Still seems pretty tight to get an audience sorted, but it’s also possible that either a) location filming will be in November with studio dates later in the year, or b) special(s) could possibly be sans audience. After all, they could be anything from standard half-hours (but fewer of them than a regular series), an hour-long special or two, or a full-length TV movie. It could even be the case that this could be turned around in time for Christmas, but the smart money would be on nothing being broadcast until 2020. Also, who’s Greg, and why is Chris drinking his coffee?

We most definitely need more information before jumping to any conclusions, so fingers crossed something official will be announced soon. But we’ve reached that time again. Things are happening. Red Dwarf is coming back. Again. Strap the fuck in.

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56 Responses to Give me an R, give me an E, give me a D, give me a Red Dwarf… Special?

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  1. Back to Earth was kind of red dwarf 9

    I’d like red dwarf 13 to be called something else. Due to groundless superstition. So a special or specials. Sounds interesting to me. Could be just one or two episodes and still count in the space XIII would. Especially if we get X IV.

    It’s a quicker way to fuck over birds of a feather for that second place record of adult sitcom with most series. Need to keep ahead of Lee mack as well.

  2. Ah shit, here we go again.

    If it were to be a Xmas Spec could it even be ready in time? Considering the turnaround on recent series, could something potentially effect heavy be ready in under two months? Then again, if considered an extension of the previous series (i.e reused sets, costumes, elements) maybe it’s possible.

    Ah hell why am I nit-picking it’s more Dwarf, can’t believe it’s been ten years since BtE and ten years since I became a fan of the show.

  3. Well that’s slightly unexpected, given the amount of XIII talk there’s been. Maybe we’ll have a two-part feature length finale or something? I mean, a series of six stand-alones would be much more preferable. But still – hurray for whatever it is!

  4. Ah shit, here we go again.

    If it were to be a Xmas Spec could it even be ready in time? Considering the turnaround on recent series, could something potentially effect heavy be ready in under two months? Then again, if considered an extension of the previous series (i.e reused sets, costumes, elements) maybe it’s possible.
    Ah hell why am I nit-picking it’s more Dwarf, can’t believe it’s been ten years since BtE and ten years since I became a fan of the show.

    Unless it’s a bottle show with little to no effects work I don’t see how it could be ready for Christmas.

    Maybe we’ll have a two-part feature length finale or something?

    I have a feeling this might be it – the last televised Dwarf ever.

  5. Yeah, my unfounded speculation is that this is the end of the show, and they’ve put together something like Back To Earth (in format) that will act as a big send-off.

    You could sell the finale pretty well on the promise of it being the last Red Dwarf ever, I think.

  6. If it is, will any part of the script for “Earth” finally see the light of day?

  7. ‘Event’ Red Dwarf has a history of being inferior to run-of-the-mill Red Dwarf (that’s the spirit!), but I’m more intrigued by this than I was the prospect of a full XIII, even at half the length or less. The extra pressure to live up to the ‘special’ moniker and the hope that it’ll be something different to more variations on the hits.

  8. Maybe we’ll have a two-part feature length finale or something?
    I have a feeling this might be it – the last televised Dwarf ever.

    I don’t get the impression Doug wants to end the series yet. and i also don’t get the impressions Doug wants to actually write an ending to the series.

    Just going by what Doug has said in interviews alone. Doug wants to make at least 2 more series, a stage show and also doesn’t want to write a final because he says they are always disappointing.

  9. If it were to be episodes to end the show on, maybe Doug has realised that the gap between series and the indefinateness of them is too great, pushing the cast closer and closer to a point where the fact there won’t be any more Red Dwarf would be decided for them, and not by them.

    I can kind of see Doug (and the others) wanting to go out on their own terms, rather than do a series, wait and hope there’s another for 2 or 3 years and then end up in a situation where it isn’t possible to make or the powers that be don’t want to commission it.

    Either way, as everyone else is, I’m excited to see more. And of course, if this does mean more Red Dwarf, then this is potentially the start of a period in time as fans that’ll be even more exciting, with little snippet here and there, speculation, annoucements, releases etc etc. Can’t wait.

  10. Maybe we’ll have a two-part feature length finale or something?

    I have a feeling this might be it – the last televised Dwarf ever.
    I don’t get the impression Doug wants to end the series yet. and i also don’t get the impressions Doug wants to actually write an ending to the series.
    Just going by what Doug has said in interviews alone. doug wants to make at least 2 more series, a stage show and also doesn’t want to write a final because he says they are always disappointing.

    But with all the cast getting older (there can only be so long to go before Robert in particular is no longer up to getting covered in polyester), and it apparently being harder and harder to get all the cast together, maybe it’s simply no longer feasible for the show to remain an ongoing concern?

  11. I can kind of see Doug (and the others) wanting to go out on their own terms, rather than do a series, wait and hope there’s another for 2 or 3 years and then end up in a situation where it isn’t possible to make or the powers that be don’t want to commission it.

    I suspect you underestimate how long Doug is willing to wait. it took him 7-8 years to give up on the movie and even then i don’t think he has fully given up on it yet.

    The cast could be in their 70s and i think Doug would make more Red Dwarf.

    and it apparently being harder and harder to get all the cast together, maybe it’s simply no longer feasible for the show to remain an ongoing concern?

    In the behind the scenes video for the AA ad Doug mentions how easy it is now to get everything together. i don’t think Doug quite looks at it the same way.

  12. Back to Earth was kind of red dwarf 9

    I’d like red dwarf 13 to be called something else. Due to groundless superstition.

    Doug Naylor master plan:

    Step 1: Make a new special which is 2 episodes long, and give it a name but not a series number.

    Step 2: Immediately afterwards make a new full series of Red Dwarf, and explicitly call it “Red Dwarf XV”.

    Step 3: Make a Ganymede & Titan account under a pseudonym, use it to find fans who consider the special to unofficially be “Series XIII and XIV”, and accuse them of being stupid in multiple posts: “Oh, so you think an episode which isn’t even a complete story is a whole series now??? What utter gimboids you are.”

    Step 4: Sit back and watch the profits steamroll in.

  13. It’s got to be a one-off special.
    Whether it’s the Last One Ever, or the first of many, is impossible to say.
    I am BEYOND excited. :D
    (agree with Quinn_Drummer – they have to be careful about their respective ages, schedules and desire to keep going. I’d hate for RD to creak slowly to a halt with no real ending.)

  14. Isn’t that what Doug has said though. he does not want to write an ending? he feels endings often disappoint, so its just easier to leave things open ended.

    Skipper is that sorta show ending that feels conclusive but also open-ended. its like Rimmer finally could have got what he wanted, been successful and back to earth. but couldn’t bring himself to take it. so everything went back to normal.

  15. Here’s a picture of the cast with Hugh Skinner and Harry Enfield, which I’d stick our life savings on having been a chance encounter outside a studio/office/meeting room that Danny’s using to wind us up.

    You mean we aren’t getting Self Righteous Holly? “Oi! Rimmer! No! I admire your tenacity at repeatedly taking the officer’s exam but if I catch you borrowing my learning drugs again…”

    Also features Paul Whitehouse doing vending machine accents.

  16. Good news. It is somewhat incredible that such a long running series like Red Dwarf has never made a special episode. I mean you could say back to earth was a special but I saw that more of a mini series as it was shown originally at least in 3 episodes.

  17. I do think, on balance, that an episode like Skipper is a nicer way to end the series than a big “This Is The Last One Ever” finale, as I agree with Doug that those are often disappointing.

    But either way, it’s new Red Dwarf, and at this stage anything more than we’ve got over the last 30+ years is just an added bonus.

  18. Also, it’s interesting that everyone is getting worked up over the script page that’s on the table, whereas if you zoom in on the document in Bobby’s hand you can quite clearly see the words “Ziggy Briceman” on the front page.

  19. It looks like we wont have to set up a crowdfunding account to get a new series after all.

  20. Crossover episode with Taskmaster, Alex Horne plays a deranged AI that makes the crew perform stupid tasks to stay alive.

  21. I can’t wait for the Red Dwarf crew to visit the set of A Prince Among Men.

  22. I do think, on balance, that an episode like Skipper is a nicer way to end the series than a big “This Is The Last One Ever” finale, as I agree with Doug that those are often disappointing.

    Personally I really didn’t like Skipper at all, so i’d be quite annoyed if the series ended on that. Honestly, i’d prefer something like the ending of the Backwards novel where Lister realizes that he doesn’t need to get back to Earth any more- Red Dwarf is his home, and Kryten, Rimmer and the others are like family to him. Skipper as the final ever episode of Red Dwarf would just leave me immensely disappointed. It’s just like half an hour of clunky fanwank with Norman Lovett sounding immensely bored

    Honestly, even something like the never-made “Earth” episode of VIII would work as a finale for me, since I think Red Dwarf being what it is, it can sort of do a “this is the last episode ever” finale. It’s not like Seinfeld, where the format of the show and the story (or lack thereof) doesn’t lend itself well to a finale, and you end up with something really crap and disappointing

  23. Or,and forgive me if I’m talking out of my rectum, we could be getting a full series with 2 specials (or however many, though it really looks more like a two than a one) filmed in the same production slot. It would nicely tie together earlier tweets about XIII and the new picture.

  24. That’s actually the most sensible post so far. Given that XIII has been mentioned by the cast, a series broadcast in its usual slot followed by a two-part Christmas special actually sounds quite feasible.

    I was thinking maybe it would be four 45 minute specials broadcast throughout the year or something. But that seems daft in comparison.

  25. Yeah, a series XIII followed by specials would be my preference. Perhaps it would warm the boys up for the specials if they did a regular series first?

  26. Lemons should have been a christmas special really. i don’t need the Dwarfers meeting Santa or anything like that.

  27. We’ll find out in the special that the first special aired in the off years between XII and special 2

  28. i don’t need the Dwarfers meeting Santa or anything like that.

    You’re talking as if ‘Red Christmas’ isn’t canon or something.

  29. Retrospective “special” Hattie mentioned it last week “see link – https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=IhxMtk8R3IM that’s probably why a few other funny faces are around, such as Harry Enfield, doing clips about the show to camera. Also explains why they are recording into a microphone for voiceovers. Probably an accompaniment to an upcoming “Red Dwarf Night” like we had once about 1998 on bbc2. Hopefully followed by a new series.

  30. So it’s the Red Dwarf A-Z part two?

  31. Chris’ guarded comments still make it sound like bigger things are about to happen than just the retrospective. Unless by donning the H before the end of the year he just means some in-character links.

  32. So it’s the Red Dwarf A-Z part two?

    “What I thought I saw was a rip-off of Star Trek: Picard…”

  33. I suspect Harry Enfield and Hugh Skinner are there for Windsors reasons and not Red Dwarf ones.

    Less interested if it’s just links. Particularly as any retrospective show is about two years too late. If it’s a runup to actual episodes, good idea, if it’s not, bad idea.

  34. Don’t early scripts still get given story titles and ain’t just titled “special”.

  35. Don’t early scripts still get given story titles and ain’t just titled “special”.

    Unless of course, the working title of an episode is ‘Special.’

  36. Special (Part 2)
    Lister’s new cat, Special, has been transformed into a sabre-toothed tiger by the Time Probe. The crew have to work out a way to return Special to a cat before it rapes one of them with its big teeth.

  37. What if it’s actually Spacial and we’re all stupid?
    The more I try to focus on the actual text on the page the blurrier it gets

  38. As ever, the Idea For An Episode thread is way ahead of these discussions.

  39. International Women’s Day special

    The crew find a space corp colony ship in orbit around a dying star, upon boarding they discover a female crew in suspended animation. They wake them up and flush them into space before retiring to the bunkroom for a curry.

  40. I’ll be fair, it does seem as though the retrospective isn’t the only thing that’s going on. Stuff is not just happening but being seen to be happening, which is all I want.

    I agree a documentary for Christmas with new in character links is likely now, but I’m still not convinced a full proper series is on the way. Maybe if a second wave of the AA campaign is happening too there’s a chance there’s a bit of perpetual motion kicking in.

    The other possibility is a proper special (one or two parts) double banked with a retrospective for economy’s sake, a la the original Back To Earth plans. That would be good.

    Still don’t know why they don’t do a proper old school Smeg Ups special for Dave using the last four series. Open goal.

    Oh! Sudden thought! Was Rob Grant at the AA shoot because they were filming an interview with him on Starbug for this documentary?

  41. I love the idea of a ‘retrospective’ special coming out this year rather than, y’know, last year for the show’s 30th anniversary.

  42. Two specials, each a separate take on a Dwarf finale. One written by Rob following on from Series VI and one written by Doug following on from XII.

  43. I’m just waiting for when we start having the argument about whether the next series will be XIII or XIV.

  44. Depends on whether it’s a series of specials clearly separated from other series, like Back to Earth was, and what number they give the series following it, for what you’d think would be clarification. When someone refers to BTE as ‘IX’ for convenient shorthand, you don’t want to sound like Matthew Holness’ IT guy in The Office pretending not to know what Bruce Lee film Gareth’s talking about because he mixes up the names, or Sam at school pretending he didn’t know what I was going on about when I mistakenly called Kryten’s nanobots ‘nanites’ until I remembered their correct name and conversation could proceed.

  45. If it’s a one off special, it’s a one off special, that shares the series number of the series it was made alongside or, if made in isolation, the number of the series it succeeds in broadcast terms (whichever is closer) unless explicitly renumbered by its creators (example: “The IT Crowd 5.0” for its finale special). If it’s a mini *series*… it’s a *series*. This is a very simple system.

    Just because Back To Earth is named doesn’t mean it is not numbered. 24: Live Another Day, The X-Files: The Event Series and all of American Horror Story remain numbered as well as named. Back To Earth is a series of episodes between VIII and X, is sold explicitly as “Series IX” in some territories and is known by its sole distributors BBC Worldwide as “series/season 9”. It’s “Red Dwarf: Back To Earth” but it is also, legitimately, “Red Dwarf IX”. They are not mutually exclusive in the same way “Red Dwarf III” and “Red Dwarf series 3” aren’t either.

    It’s been TEN AND A HALF YEARS. This should not still be a topic of argument…!

  46. With all the rumours of Rob Grant returning after the AA commercial, maybe he felt more comfortable to cut his teeth on a few specials. Particularly since there hasn’t been an episode that Rob Grant worked on since 1993!

  47. If it’s a one off special, it’s a one off special, that shares the series number of the series it was made alongside or, if made in isolation, the number of the series it succeeds in broadcast terms (whichever is closer) unless explicitly renumbered by its creators (example: “The IT Crowd 5.0” for its finale special). If it’s a mini *series*… it’s a *series*. This is a very simple system.

    Just because Back To Earth is named doesn’t mean it is not numbered. 24: Live Another Day, The X-Files: The Event Series and all of American Horror Story remain numbered as well as named. Back To Earth is a series of episodes between VIII and X, is sold explicitly as “Series IX” in some territories and is known by its sole distributors BBC Worldwide as “series/season 9”. It’s “Red Dwarf: Back To Earth” but it is also, legitimately, “Red Dwarf IX”. They are not mutually exclusive in the same way “Red Dwarf III” and “Red Dwarf series 3” aren’t either.
    It’s been TEN AND A HALF YEARS. This should not still be a topic of argument…!

    How many of those explicitly said in the episode that they weren’t the series people were calling them?

    BTE is easier to type than IX – closer together on the keyboard, and I will deny BTE is IX until my dying day. Just like people who call the PS1 the PSX – it’s not, the PSX was a Japan only DVR recorder hybrid PS2, so press that 1 key.

  48. With all the rumours of Rob Grant returning after the AA commercial, maybe he felt more comfortable to cut his teeth on a few specials. Particularly since there hasn’t been an episode that Rob Grant worked on since 1993!

    Unless you include Bodysnatcher, he said pedantically

  49. he said pedantically

    That should be automatically added to every post on this website haha

  50. Back To Earth is just Back To Earth. It says so right there on the DVD cover. Look, can’t you see it? It’s there…In all seriousness though, insisting Back To Earth is really “Series 9” just isn’t true. It’s called Back To Earth, so that’s what it is. It’d be like calling Naked Gun 33 and 1/3 “Naked Gun 3”. I mean yeah, it is the third film in the Naked Gun series, but it’s called Naked Gun 33 and 1/3. That’s the title, you know, so that’s what it’s called. That’s how titles work

  51. Not if it was a woman posting, though.

    Yeah, I was going to say, but I went for the punchy single line response over the accurate but wordier one.

  52. I don’t like to refer to the Red Dwarf novel as ‘Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers,’ to Star Wars as ‘A New Hope’ or to the Doctors Who as if a number is their name, but I don’t mind or really notice when other people do these things. “This is an insane conversation” – [The] Cat, Red Dwarf season 3.

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