OFFICIAL: Red Dwarf Special Announced!

After the merest Morse-based mumblings on Thursday afternoon, the news we’ve all been waiting for dropped in the very early hours of Friday morning. It’s quite late at night and we’ve got work in the morning, so here’s the short version: NEW FEATURE LENGTH SPECIAL! THREE-PART RETROSPECTIVE DOCUMENTARY! LIVE AUDIENCE! RECORDING IN DECEMBER! AIRING NEXT YEAR! TOS, of course, has some finer details, and here are our initial bleary-eyed thoughts…

Firstly, hooray! After so many false dawns and irritating gun-jumping incidents over the last couple of years, it’s great that it’s finally official (for real this time, Digital Spy). It’s perhaps not quite what we were expecting prior to last week’s cast picture giving a bit of the game away, but it is now confirmed that Red Dwarf will be returning in the form of a feature-length special; we don’t know exactly what length Doug has in store for us, but to us “feature-length” implies something around 90 minutes long, hopefully in terms of actual running time rather than its advert-laden broadcast slot. Some fans are already being entitled pricks about not getting a full-length series, but come on, people. We’ll take what we can get at this stage after another barren few years, and we’d rather have about half a series’ worth of Red Dwarf than no Red Dwarf at all.

Whatever the duration, it will be recorded across two studio dates on December the 6th and 13th. Given the amount of material they usually get through on an average audience night, expect a fair bit of pre-recorded stuff – the article does mention that at least some of it will be filmed on location. Tickets are once again being distributed through a ballot system, which really is the best and fairest way of doing it. It’s open from midday Friday until midday Monday, through Lost in TV. It feels like it’s all happening very fast, but there’ll still be roughly a month’s notice between the lucky winners being notified and the day they have the schlep to Pinewood.

Yes, Pinewood, back there as per Series XI & XII rather than returning to its former home of Shepperton. Another piece of continuity from that run, and one that’s very welcome indeed, is that Baby Cow are once again on board. Interestingly, they’re the only production company referenced in the article (in conjunction with the special), and are listed merely as the producer rather than co-producers. With Kerry Waddell and Henry Normal having since departed Baby Cow, Richard Naylor is seemingly the sole producer, and we welcome Christine Langan, Baby Cow’s new CEO with a hugely impressive track record, as executive producer. Needless to say, Doug’s writing and directing, and all the cast are back.

But that’s not all! As well as the special, we’re also getting treated to 3×60′ retrospective documentaries, produced by North One, who have previously made similar docs on The Young Ones and Only Fools And Horses for UKTV. We’re promised “a wealth of rare and unbroadcast material”, which is obviously mouth-watering, although bear in mind that “unbroadcast” doesn’t necessarily preclude stuff that’s already been released on DVD. Regardless, I’m fantasising about the possibility that someone somewhere is sifting through twelve series’ worth of rushes as we speak.

As for when all this will be broadcast, “2020” is as specific as it gets at this point; based on past form we’d say it’ll be the latter half of the year, but with less post-production time needed for a special than a series, perhaps it could be sooner than we think. So yeah, this is pretty good news, isn’t it? And no doubt there’s much more news to come, increasingly rapidly for the rest of the year. And there was us worried that the AA advert would be all we were getting.

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207 Responses to OFFICIAL: Red Dwarf Special Announced!

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  1. Feature length! Taping in December, geez!

    With this Red Dwarf will have a foot in five different decades. (80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s, 20’s)

  2. This is very exciting, if only because there must be a reason as to why they’re doing this special rather than a full series. Dwarf can be hit or miss nowadays but I’m assuming we’re getting this because Doug has something special up his sleeve and with it being one (longer) episode, the script shouls hopefully be well developed. This doesn’t feel like another BTE.

    I still wonder why this took so long to get going. Again, hopefully there’s something special in store.

  3. The extremely in-depth articles are why I love this site

  4. My initial thought is honestly “it’s cheaper to do a special and three documentaries over a full series”, but perhaps there’s more to it than that, lol

  5. Hopefully one episode means some tasty sets, guests and specialised special effects without having to spread resources over multiple episodes.

    Should be the best looking Red Dwarf for a long time, maybe ever.

  6. Please be a feature length Timewave 2… Please be a feature length Timewave 2…

  7. Hopefully one episode means some tasty sets, guests and specialised special effects without having to spread resources over multiple episodes.

    Should be the best looking Red Dwarf for a long time, maybe ever.

    This is my hope.

  8. That sounds alright, dunnit? And with an audience, too (though I think I’ll have to give this one a miss). Especially looking forward to those documentaries, though.
    Definitely something for us to chat about at DJXXI.

  9. Is it the movie though?

  10. With an audience, it’s not a movie.

    This feels like it’s going to be the end of it.

    (Though the PR piece is carefully worded, referencing the episodes they’ve made “so far”)

    This is the last one.

    (Except if it isn’t.)

  11. With an audience, it’s not a movie.

    This feels like it’s going to be the end of it.
    (Though the PR piece is carefully worded, referencing the episodes they’ve made “so far”)
    This is the last one.
    (Except if it isn’t.)

    That’s what I’m thinking too, a big bastard of a special to wrap it all up. Could be worse ways to go out, as we’ve seen several times over the last 20ish years.

  12. Sounds great, just what I hoped for. If that script did say ‘No 1’ or ‘No 2,’ maybe they planned it to be split, then decided to just make it one glorious whole because that’s how people will treat it anyway. Easier for polls.

    The channel director saying “what a way to welcome it back” doesn’t sound like it’s supposed to be the last, but no mention of an upcoming XIII either, so looks like this was the exchange, I’m happy with that. Documentaries always nice to have.

  13. Article on The Sun site too:

    “THE prospect of Red Dwarf: The Movie has tantalised fans of the TV series for almost two decades.

    Now I can reveal the dream is becoming reality as the cult sci-fi TV sitcom returns to the Dave channel with a two-hour, feature-length film next year.

    A TV insider said: “This is the moment which devotees have waited for since 1999 when the first run of Red Dwarf came to an end on BBC2, before later moving to Dave in 2009.

    “For many years, Doug spent time trying to get the film version off the ground. In the process, he whipped fans into a frenzy only to leave them disappointed.

    “Now they’re likely to be in heaven at the prospect of this epic next chapter.”

  14. I do kind of hope it’s a last hurrah. We can’t still expect Robert to be encased in rubber when he’s drawing his pension, can we?
    Plus, for the superstitious types, “special” sounds better than “thirteen”.

  15. I’m also quite excited by the prospect of 2 new set report articles and a proper live reaction Dwarfcast next year.

    I don’t get the impression that this will be the last thing they do from that article with the language used. Plus it was only recently Doug said about writing a finale: “My thinking tends to be, ‘Why would you?’ Also can you imagine – we’re on Fiji, Lister and Kochanski ride off on their white horses, Rimmer waves them goodbye and walks off into the distance with Kryten and the Cat. No, please no!”

  16. Just realised Dimension Jump’s next year too. Not a bad year for Dwarf fans all things considered.

  17. Oh yeah, the ‘No 1’ and ‘No 2’ scripts will be for the two recording dates, won’t they?

  18. Maybe DJ attendees will get an exclusive of some kind.

  19. Maybe they should do Red Dwarf into the Spiderverse and encounter the multiverse/ transition to CG characters and mocap so Robert doesn’t sweat himself to an early grave.

  20. “This time next year, Kryters, we’ll be billionaires!”

  21. Perhaps its just easier to get the cast together for a special than a several week period for 6 episodes. i doubt its an ending though. i really do not get the sense Doug wants to end the show.

    I do wonder though why it is 2 hours. most tv specials are at least an hour. just wish i could be more excited about the premise of Doug making another special after BTE.

  22. Perhaps its just easier to get the cast together for a special than a several week period for 6 episodes. i doubt its an ending though. i really do not get the sense Doug wants to end the show.

    I do wonder though why it is 2 hours. most specials are at least an hour. just wish i could be more excited about the premise of Doug making another special after BTE.

    This time it’s an homage to Total Recall, the crew have memories implanted of a holiday in Guadeloupe so they don’t have to actually go there, but upon implantation the Cat realises his entire life is a lie and he’s really a Caribbean policeman who was put in stasis before the accident and they have to hunt down that bloke from the BT adverts to discover the truth.

  23. With an audience, it’s not a movie.

    Joke’s on them, they’re getting a two-parter.

  24. Well part of that article on TOS says “Can’t wait to start shooting a format that I don’t think has ever been done before”.

    How is this different from BTE? that was pretty much a TV movie?

    I am surprised to say it, but i wouldn’t mind if this was the last Red Dwarf we get. i doubt it. but i wouldn’t mind.

  25. I wonder how an audience will play into this, most likely this will be a Back to Earth-esque endeavor, but who knows. There is an air of finality to this though one can’t deny.

  26. If it needs two audience recording dates I’m presuming it’s pretty fucking massive – the hour-long version of Back in the Red was done on one night.

  27. Well, this is lovely news to wake up to.

  28. This Red Dwarf special will be longer than The Lion King, so Doug finally got his wish for a Red Dwarf movie.

  29. A 90min special and 3x60min documentaries really does sound like they’re looking to wrap the show up doesn’t it? Even if Doug has said before he wouldn’t want to write a final episode, he has to know it’ll happen at some point so why not plan for it?

  30. Certainly sounds that way.

  31. Could just be what they’ve been given. Red Dwarf probably not Dave’s favourite thing to make with all the production issues and post production time compared to its other shows, though they obviously value it, maybe it’s “we don’t want to go through the trauma of 6 x sets, location, audience, VFX, make one long one that’ll be cheaper” and the comedy Docs are UKTV bread and butter.

    I feel like if it was the last one, we’d know because Danny would have said it on national radio or something.

  32. >Dwarf probably not Dave’s favourite thing to make with all the production issues and post production time compared to its other shows

    On the contrary, the channel director Luke Hales appears to be a genuine fan.

  33. A mixture of happiness and sweet sheer fucking relief here.

    The only elephant in the room is that it sounds like this is all the 30th anniversary stuff, two years late. But I’ll take two years late over two years cancelled.

  34. I feel like if it was the last one, we’d know because Danny would have said it on national radio or something.

    That’s a really good point actually. He’d’ve said something like “It’s gotta be the last one cos Bobby can’t fit in his suit anymore!”

  35. The twist is that while it’s technically a new rewrite of the last draft of the film, it’s been so heavily rewritten that there’s not even a vague similarity.

  36. I can’t see how this special will be much cheaper than a normal series. They’ve still got to go through the effort of mounting it, with 2 audience recordings. It sounds like they’ll be a bit of location shooting, starting in November, with audience dates a month later. They still need to fill 3 episodes worth of effects, with all the pre-and post production that goes into that. And on top of that, they’re making 3hours of documentaries. It might come out a little cheaper than a normal 6 episode run, but that much cheaper that economics of it is a reason? I can’t see it.

    I think there’s another reason they’ve decided to opt for a 1 story 90min special plus 3 hours of new documentaries and retrospective than “its cheaper”.

    There’s a reason its a special. Like Darrell says, it feels like the what a 30th anniversary material would look like. I’m sure this isn’t just that delayed, but its something …

  37. I hope we get another Headfuck Monday from this, like we find they’re doing location shooting on the set of Match of the Day.

  38. I’m certainly thinking this is the last new RD we are ever going to get. My only hopes if it is, is that we get:-

    · new sets for the bunk room / drive room / science room etc,
    · a better Starbug set with mid-section
    · better Kryten suit (as I honestly think they have all looked like complete shit from BTE onwards)
    · a new Rimmer look
    · decent model shots
    · ditch the filmic look (very unlikely but I hate it on RD. Seeing as this is a “film” they’ll want it even more I suppose).

    Either way, they really should make this the best looking version of the show they’ve ever done.

    Feature length and with an audience, so we are looking at a 90 minute ‘film’ to end the series on. They are only filming live stuff over 2 dates, and with a 90 minute run time to fill, a lot of stuff is likely to be pre-recorded and if a laugh track is to be included in them, a lot of it is likely to be shown on the night. That’s a lot of spoilers to keep contained until it is all edited together and broadcast potentially this time next year.

  39. Naylor jr. currently answering questions on twitter.

    “ There was an option to make two specials back to back but wanted to test the format first.”

  40. If that’s saying what I think it is, it’s implying that there’s a potential to do not just another one of these but _two of them_ next time.

    · ditch the filmic look (very unlikely but I hate it on RD. Seeing as this is a “film” they’ll want it even more I suppose).

    Considering the show has been shot multi-cam sitcom-style again since Series X, I’m really unclear on what about the show looks filmic outside of single-camera location filming which looked pretty cinematic even back in series like IV and V.

  41. I think ‘feature length’ could be interpreted in a few ways. My suspicion is that it’s 60 minutes as per the original plan for Back In The Red, so it can be shown across an 80 minute timeslot and split into 2 neat 30 minuters for repeats, syndication and international sales. If it’s 90′ then all the better, but that sounds like it would be brutal to make under these conditions. When Only Fools first went to 50 minute episodes, the cast nearly had nervous breakdowns, and none of them were covered in rubber. (Unless a significant amount of it is location, which is how they fixed the Only Fools problem as well for series 7.) The more the better obviously, but anything over 60′ will be an unexpected bonus for me.

    (I also agree it’s probably our grand finale as well. Maybe an informal version of such with the open option to do it again one day. Nevertheless, this really does seem like we’re about to go over the top.)

  42. Richard N. on whether there will be xiii or if it’s the end: “ Like all TV depends on ratings and the 💗”

  43. Considering the show has been shot multi-cam sitcom-style again since Series X, I’m really unclear on what about the show looks filmic outside of single-camera location filming which looked pretty cinematic even back in series like IV and V.

    Shooting in 25p instead of 50i, which I think worked in X with the ‘bigger’ lighting but not in XI/XII with the Ed Moore psuedo-Pomph style. I think it’s taken as read that video look is not coming back to Red Dwarf though.

  44. Richard already tweeted that it’s 90 minutes running in a 120 minute timeslot.

    Somebody should start posting those tweets here because he’s kinda unleashing a torrent of relevant facts we don’t have. He’s also pretty heavily implying across a number of tweets that this is not planned to be a grand finale and that more is absolutely on the table.

  45. Ok, here are the tweets. First up
    Oh god ….

    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185103698357293057

    “If six episodes were made after this they’d be called XIII.”

    _______________

    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185105121279139841

    Don’t know what resolution yet. Last time was 2k.
    _______________

    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185103521496158209

    “Yes there will be some new sets and new costumes for at least three of them ”

    ________________

    This I’m a little confused about

    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185102196381229057

    in response to “Has the feature length special script been written to allow continuation of the series in some format in the future?”

    Richard said

    “That was discussed but decided against. It’s a feature-length episode of classic RD.”

    So, they’ve decided against writing it in a way that allows for continuation of the series in the future?

    _____________

    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185101920203083776

    Richard suggesting an April air date

    _____________

    That’s it. There’s a couple of other non-relevent tweets but that’s the pertinant stuff

  46. Just in time for the ten year….eleven year anniversary of Back to Earth. Which we will celebrate by making a TV movie whose budget is not so microscopically small it holds Doug’s creativity and the entire production hostage.

    This I’m a little confused about
    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185102196381229057
    in response to “Has the feature length special script been written to allow continuation of the series in some format in the future?”
    Richard said
    “That was discussed but decided against. It’s a feature-length episode of classic RD.”
    So, they’ve decided against writing it in a way that allows for continuation of the series in the future?

    Sounds like he’s ruling out this serving as a transition to some other medium, i.e. radioshow.

    https://twitter.com/RichardDGNaylor/status/1185103521496158209

    “Yes there will be some new sets and new costumes for at least three of them ”

    Thank you Jesus if this means Rimmer isn’t stuck in that drab blue monstrosity.

  47. 90 minutes, wow. That’s a proper film.

    I’m assuming RN means it wasn’t written to set up a ‘next generation’ reboot, a terrible idea that seems to keep popping up.

  48. Be great if we got Easter weekend wouldn’t it.

  49. Thank you Jesus if this means Rimmer isn’t stuck in that drab blue monstrosity.

    They’re changing it from Ocean Blue to Military Blue

  50. “New costumes for at least 3 of them” and a winky face. Well, the Cat has lots of new looks anyway, so I hope that is a reference that the Kryten suit, Rimmer uniform and Lister will all have updated looks. Hopefully Rimmer in another colour and they give Robert a decent looking Kryten outfit and mask.

  51. G&T Admin

    Be great if we got Easter weekend wouldn’t it.

    Holy shit. Easter 2020 is Friday 10th April – Sunday 12th April… exactly the same as it was in 2009.

  52. Why would anyone want the Series to end after the TV Movie when they are still capable and bringing out great episodes? If the movie is being aired in April there is a possibility of Series XIII being filmed later in the year. Bring it on! I’m still wondering what Special 2 means? Maybe it’s to do with the documentary.

  53. If they’re shooting across two nights, Special 2 is probably just the script for the second half.

  54. I don’t *want* it to end after the special, but you’ve got to remember that for the 4 years after VI and the 10 years after VIII, Red Dwarf was going to finish without an ending or any closure. It’s a massively touchy subject amongst anyone that lived and breathed the show through either or both of those periods.

  55. Why would anyone want the Series to end after the TV Movie when they are still capable and bringing out great episodes?

    Because some people aren’t really fans of the Dave era at all, I suppose.

    After the last three episodes of XII I have a certain confidence in Doug doing new and daring things, so this bodes well. Obviously a full six part series would be nice, but I’m not complaining about this.

    A three hour documentary is intriguing. I wonder how much stuff will actually differ from the DVD documentaries. It’d be nice to have more Rob and Doug, who are entirely and almost absent in the III-VIII documentaries.

  56. North One’s previous work in this field has been very good. Fun and accessible to a casual audience but not afraid of a bit of depth either. Red Dwarf is interesting given how documented everything already is, but it’ll be nice to see how they get 2-ish hours of stuff out if it.

  57. Thank you Jesus if this means Rimmer isn’t stuck in that drab blue monstrosity.

    He says for at least 3 of them. I am gonna guess Rimmer may not be part of that 3. The blue is meant to signify hard light after all.

  58. I actually dreamt a Holly episode two nights ago, I wasn’t going to mention it. It wasn’t that bad. Kryten had tried to solve the problem of Red Dwarf’s failing systems by reassembling a Defragmentation Drive from instructions and parts in the cargo decks. When it was used it went wrong and actually ‘defragmented’ the area of physical space around the ship, trapping Red Dwarf in a large coating of debris, garbage and discarded laundry (Rimmer: “it looks like a Belgian buffet”.) They find two refugees in an airlock, who turn out to be “Holly’s inventors”, played by Norman and Hattie exactly like their computer equivalents. It was like the ship’s mum and dad had come to stay, and I think my brain basically started copying the Black Books with Manny’s parents after that. Anyway, they reverse the Defrag Drive (by pressing Undo), fix the systems (by pressing Esc – “it’s very easy to use, really. Only a real idiot wouldn’t get that.” / “Nothing’s happened.” / “Well it’s not that one then.”), and get the proper Norman Holly computer back online. Holly’s inventors then disappear, having been revealed all along to be a troubleshooting UI like the Office paperclip.

    It’s no Future Echoes but let me off, it was a dream. Also, I’d defragmented my dying laptop that day to try and fix it. Nice to see my subconscious brain trying to take the trauma out of losing a computer. It looks after me. I am also amused at the “Belgian buffet” line, which is a worryingly accurate facsimile of a low-battery solo Doug line.

  59. Why would anyone want the Series to end after the TV Movie when they are still capable and bringing out great episodes?

    Because some people aren’t really fans of the Dave era at all, I suppose.

    I am in two minds about it. i don’t wanna see the show stop. but i ain’t really enjoying Dave era dwarf and after the 3 last series i kinda doubt we will get anything quite as good as the earlier stuff. and without Rob Grant i kinda wouldn’t mind at this point if the show stopped after this special.

    I think sometimes Dougs ambition outweighs his execution and when he is now putting together a 90-minute special. which is basically a film. he will probably feel the need to make this much BIGGER! and how do you do that after a story where the dwarfers meet the universe?

    It’d be nice to have more Rob and Doug, who are entirely and almost absent in the III-VIII documentaries.

    This might be where Rob doesn’t show up. due to the fact these documentaries feel more like a promotion for Dougs special. it would be nice if he did. but you never know.

  60. Both Twentica and Siliconia (and Can Of Worms a little bit though I love it) were both episodes that were severely injured by being shoved into 30 minutes, like Holoship, The Inquisitor and Demons & Angels before them. It’s also fairly been commented on that Give & Take, M-Corp and even Timewave all seemed to be overly rushed to meet their timeslot.

    So maybe this is good.

  61. (Or it might be like when David Renwick accidentally overwrote a 90 minute One Foot In The Grave special that came out as a two and a quarter hour film that they had literal nervous breakdowns trying to fit into the only Christmas timeslot they were allowed to have.)

  62. I think what benefited an episode like Holoship though is that Rob and Doug knew where to put the full attention on. the Rimmer story. now days i think we would never get Holoship the way it was made back in 1991. today we would have 2 plots going on to not waste Lister, kryten and cat in the episode. and the Rimmer story would probably be even tighter then it was.

    Siliconia didn’t struggle because the story needed all this stuff going on. it struggled because Doug wanted to do so much stuff, the Kryteh plot, the Rimmer, Lister and Cat being robots, the class system stuff. you could have taken something out and made it a work alot better.

  63. I quite like that Holly Defrag episode. It’d be lovely to get both Hollies in one episode again, and I like the idea of them appearing in full-body form.

  64. Yeah but what about my laptop.

  65. Siliconia runs to less than 27 minutes – I think it was worse affected by Chris Barrie getting ill from his Rimmechr getup that meant they couldn’t film all the scenes.

  66. I ain’t sure how much Chris being ill effected the final product. Especially when you look at the bigger picture.

  67. >Dwarf probably not Dave’s favourite thing to make with all the production issues and post production time compared to its other shows

    On the contrary, the channel director Luke Hales appears to be a genuine fan.

    No, I know they love the show, but compared to their other shows it must be a massive ballache. That’s what I meant, multiple production companies, difficult cast wrangling, long post production times.

  68. Well Red Dwarf is still a cash cow. Maybe not among some of the bigger Sci-fi shows, but a small extra profit can be made with Red Dwarf compared to alot of other shows. So to Dave that is probably attractive.

  69. I don’t *want* it to end after the special, but you’ve got to remember that for the 4 years after VI and the 10 years after VIII, Red Dwarf was going to finish without an ending or any closure. It’s a massively touchy subject amongst anyone that lived and breathed the show through either or both of those periods.

    Look, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Apart from pain. And maybe humiliation and obviously death.

  70. What are the odds of getting a ticket? I’ve never done this before but I’ve registered this time.

  71. I get the wanting it to end because Dave Dwarf is a bit dodgy, but it’s here now and while they’re making it there’s always hope that it won’t be a bit dodgy. I think it probably will continue to be a bit dodgy but it might look really nice and have a few high quality nuggets. I also wouldn’t trust the largely pathos deficient Dwarf as it is now to provide a satisfactory ending for all the Dwarf that came before it. I don’t want Red Dwarf to completely end on an incontinence gag or something, I’d rather it never had an ending than have a bad/joke ending. Risk outweighs reward.

  72. Do they even shoot anything at 50fps anymore apart from soap operas, cheap looking sitcoms and techy YouTube videos? I’ll never understand why somebody would want them to do Red Dwarf as it is now at 50fps, it wouldn’t be shot on video, it wouldn’t be lit like it was in the old days, it would just be what we get now, but it would look like cheap tacky behind the scenes stuff because digitally shot hfr stuff just looks surreal.You also DO NOT want them to shoot the model stuff at 50. Believe me. Which would mean switching from 50 to 24/5 all the time, which yes, is like we did it in the old days, but that was also switching from video to film and it something we’ve grown accustomed to over time – it’s still jarring, but in a way we just accept because that’s how it’s always been.

  73. What are the odds of getting a ticket? I’ve never done this before but I’ve registered this time.

    I got a ticket easily for X, but didn’t get anything for XI or XiI when there were more shows but less tickets per episode.. So hit and miss I guess

  74. Is it first come first served or is it a lottery?

  75. Loads of people calling this a film/movie. I imagine it’ll be less like a film than BTE, what with being recorded in front of an audience. 90 minutes though… Has there ever been a single episode of a sitcom that long recorded in front of an audience? OFAH’s Miami Twice Part 2 wasn’t, and One Foot in the Algarve was filmed entirely on location wasn’t it? Anyway, liking the sound of this. I’ve agreed with every suggestion that various episodes of Dave era Dwarf could’ve benefitted from longer running times or been two-parters, so not perturbed by this being feature-length really.

  76. Lottery. They let you apply for 4 tickets for XI & XII but “with only two recordings we felt it was fairer to lower it to two” this time around which is reasonable. I got in via the standby list last time around, not sure I fancy my chances with that here.

  77. And it’s not being oversold, so no worries about wasted journeys – a ticket guarantees you a place in the audience.

  78. Great talking point about the precedent for a 90 minute audience show. Think the *only* other example of a 90 minute studio audience show is the finale of Just Good Friends. Only Fools’ ‘Dates’ and ‘Fatal Extraction’ are both 80 minutes which I think are the next ones down. One Foot In The Grave’s ‘Endgame’ is 70, as is Only Fools’ ‘Rodney Come Home’. Over an hour is exceptionally rare and hasn’t been done this century I don’t think.

    As for non audience shows with laugh tracks, the finale of M*A*S*H was 2 hours long and had a canned laugh track, this may be the record for the longest TV episode with a laugh track.

  79. As for 50i, I think as a general rule studio audience material always looks better with a maximised temporal resolution. It recreates the immediacy of a live performance and matches what the sound mix is doing by keeping the audience prominent on the dub. It’s not for everything, but there are a few things where as a rule it virtually always works better.

    25p worked for X because it was lit for it (quite strongly and sharply, very US sitcom lighting, think Big Bang Theory), but the more subtle, cinematic lighting of the Ed Moore years is dying for a videolook frame rate to really pull some of the mood and immediacy back out of it. Moore is heavily inspired by the visual texture of John Pomphrey who created that aesthetic to work on tape, which would instead catch in its movement what might be lost by lower, colour-distorted lighting. As it stands we lose fluidity of movement *and* luminescence which reads as ‘distant’, but the sound tells us that there is fluidity of action, and reads as ‘close’. There’s a slight sensory clash to it.

    I’ve said for ages that of XI/XII’s three aesthetic elements of (a) live audience/multicam, (b) progressive scan and (c) intricately cinematic lighting, the show can’t hold all three and would be much easier to look at if two were kept and one was dropped.

  80. Oh, good shout about Just Good Friends. Didn’t know about that. Seems the 90 minute episode was a special between the second and third series though, rather than the finale. (Possibly intended as a finale at the time.)

  81. I’m just amazed I remembered about it at all!

    (Just realised – there’s also the fact that the RSC and the NT record 2, 3, 4-hour plays in front of audiences all the time, which is pretty much the same process as audience sitcom.)

  82. G&T Admin

    Football games are a multi-camera shoot with an audience, and they’re 90 minutes long. They do those all the time, so this will be a piece of piss.

  83. I’d like to see a football game shot in Pinewood Studios.

  84. That’s why they do a home and an away match. It’s so they can combine them in the edit.

    Continuity guy needs sacking though.

  85. > I think ‘feature length’ could be interpreted in a few ways. My suspicion is that it’s 60 minutes as per the original plan for Back In The Red, so it can be shown across an 80 minute timeslot and split into 2 neat 30 minuters for repeats, syndication and international sales.

    I wonder if the fact it’s being done over two audience sessions will be taken into account at all? Will the audience at the first session get a nice cliffhanger? Will the audience at the second session get a recap at the start? I suppose with only 5 months between filming and broadcast it’s less of an issue than it would have been for previous Dave series…

    Also: Will it be noticeable that it’s a different group of people laughing at the second half than the first?

  86. What about Red Nose Day and Children in Need? Longer than a football match innit.

  87. I’m really hoping this special proves my argument that Red Dwarf _can_ do a solid story above a half hour when it’s not creatively or technically compromised on some grand scale the way all previous multi-parters have been, with Back to Earth’s story and single-camera style dictated by its profoundly low budget and both Series VIII multi-parters suffering from being padded out far beyond their intended length, and of course from being Series VIII episodes. That’s a handicap even when you’re not rushing to crowbar a half-hour of padding into a finished story.

    This will actually mark the first time a longer-than-usual Red Dwarf story will not be defined by compromise, to the point of being the first time one will end up running its original intended length. Back to Earth seemed to be the exception in benefitting from being made from a two to three parter (giving it room to breathe as opposed to giving it room to get morbidly obese), but even being set on Earth in the first place and being shot more like a film were the result of compromises that Doug almost certainly wouldn’t have chosen if he’d had options.

    This really does seem like the first time Doug’s been given a genuine chance to make an above-30-minute Red Dwarf story the way he wants to. Not to imply there won’t be compromises along the way – because this is Red Dwarf and something has to break by law – but something tells me that the basic elements of this special like its story and runtime are actually going to be the result of Doug’s creative vision and not compromises. We know based on the past two series he’ll be given a decent budget and a mostly competent production (with exceptions like the incredibly butchered model shoot, which hopefully will be rectified for this special by actually hiring the people who know models to shoot the models instead of just to build them). And he very well could be given a full series budget on this, or at least one greater than you’d normally get for 90 minutes worth of show.

    This could be the thing that gets people to stop always insisting that Red Dwarf will always suck whenever it goes over thirty minutes because “something something Back in the Red Part III, something something Pete Part II,” which always struck me as such a disingenuous and intellectually lazy argument coming from people who should be very aware of the actual circumstances under which those things were made. When every single multi-part Red Dwarf story was drowning in compromise and production problems, it doesn’t seem very fair to draw the conclusion that a runtime above 30 minutes simply doesn’t work for the show. But I have honestly seen so many people, even around here, make that point unironically.

    Doug’s gotten a chance to channel all his time and energy into writing and refining what is about three episodes worth of material. I say we’re most likely looking at a special at least on par with the best Dave era episodes. I can’t imagine Doug not being more consistently on his top game for 90 minutes of Red Dwarf than for 360 minutes.

    I’m arguing that this is the first proper long-form Red Dwarf story we’ve ever had.

    And, no, before anyone else makes this guess there’s no way it’s the 2000s movie finally being made. The movie was a reboot, and this is effectively just another episode. There’s been material from the various film drafts in the last couple series and probably will be in here too, but I think there’s no reason to believe this isn’t a brand new script. And even if that was on the table, would you really _want_ this special to be something Doug wrote when his last output was Series VIII and he was expressly more interested in Red Dwarf as a filmic comedy-drama over a sitcom? I’ve always interpreted that the movie would have felt more like VII than a big-screen version of the classic show, especially given that back then the closest thing to classic Dwarf Doug had solo-written was Tikka to Ride – which despite having the classic cast configuration is incredibly tonally different from all previous series. He’s in such a better position now to write something more in line with the classic episodes after having been working at doing so for three and a half series, and having knocked it out of the park in a number of those episodes.

    I think we’re in a good position with this special. XII had some obvious signs of creative burnout after doing so many scripts, but here we’ve got all that time and energy directed into one 90 minute script. If this isn’t at least as solid as the best of X-XII, I’ll be surprised. And maybe if we’re lucky we can get a bit more of that BtE emotion, because if there’s one thing I think XI and XII are really missing compared to BtE and X it’s focus on pathos. And arguably the best moment of pathos across the two series, Rimmer’s fish speech, is just a tad bit ruined by Cat interjecting with weak jokes that totally undermine the emotion of something that I so viscerally identified with. You either sandwich the emotion between gags, you put the gags at the end for comic relief, or you make the gags tied into the emotion enough to feel an organic piece of it like with Observation Dome scenes in Series II. But you don’t crowbar really broad comic relief into the middle of solid fucking emotion in a series otherwise very low on it. Let me feel for 30 seconds, please. Pathos is one of the things that sold me on this show in the first place.

    Also fire that brain-damaged music editor who kept replacing Howard’s specially composed music with the same exact fucking establishing shot cue over and over and over and over and over to the point where he doesn’t even release his Series XII soundtrack because almost none of it was used (and a lot of what was, like the extended classical-style piece for the dinner in Cured, is mixed so quiet you barely notice it). I shouldn’t have to happen to be friends with someone who was given a copy of that after nerding out about music with Howard Goodall just to hear it. IT SHOULD BE ON THE SHOW. There are literally specifically composed establishing shot cues on there that in the final episode are replaced with that one that you know which one it is – like in M-Corp, after they rescue Lister. There’s a triumphant variant on the soundtrack for that spot, but guess what you hear in the show. Go on, have a guess.

    I knew you wouldn’t get it.

    I’m half tempted to start using the XII music in my Sonic the Hedgehog abridged series just so it can have been used in _something_. I already used the music from the climax to The Beginning to good effect, so why not? My take on Tails already has more pathos than XII did anyway.

  88. >I’d like to see a football game shot in Pinewood Studios.

    Donna Di Stefano still aint giving that ball back, so you’re shit out of luck.

  89. Terrific news, can’t wait to see it all come together and to spend many happy hours reading the increasingly baroque, far fetched and rabid speculation that has always been the hallmark of this website.

  90. (FWIW, please don’t put the Rhapsody In Red XII album anywhere online – Howard really doesn’t want it being made publically available or distributed anywhere by anyone. It would make a dreadful situation worse.)

  91. Probably just because I’m used to it from other shows, it feels like Red Dwarf should have entered its slightly more prestigious/elegiac/who-do-you-think-you-are? specials era after the 90s, or even after VII. I’d rather have another couple of specials a few years apart than more 30-minute series, taking the gamble for quality over quantity and giving the guys a bit of a break. (Then lament the wasted opportunity when the 2022 special in the middle is mediocre, as tradition requires).

  92. How did I manage to go nearly 24 hours before hearing this news?! Awesome!

    I think people are jumping the gun a bit with the “sounds like this will be the last Red Dwarf ever” speculation, especially considering some of Richard Naylor’s tweets. I think at most it’ll be written as a soft finale similar to Back to Earth or The Beginning, just in case Series XIII never happens, but it won’t intentionally close off the possibility of continuation.

    I mean… OK, yes, anything is possible, but possible is not the same as likely.

    Anyway, now that this is announced, we can now start making unreasonable demands of the production, so I may as well put in mine now:

    DEMAND 1: No putting the special on UKTV Play, either before or after broadcast. Sorry, I just don’t trust UKTV not to fuck it up somehow.

    DEMAND 2: Hattie Hayridge Holly should be in the special. Ideally instead of Norman Lovett Holly, but I will accept ‘as well as’ as a compromise position. Of course, they may say to this “this is filming in December, it’s way too late to make decisions like that”, but this is a weak answer when we know they have access to a time drive.

  93. I don’t think Doug even remembers Hattie exists tbh.

    As for the idea of ending the show. if you listen to Doug you never get the sense Doug feels the show is closing out. Doug seems to be trying to continuously boost the show higher to get it noticed. Whether its an AA advert. the talked about stage show ect ect. none of this is a sign that Doug is thinking about finishing things up.

    I am getting to the point where i sorta wish he was though. the Meh is outweighing the good in quantity at this point

  94. At least Doug has gotten a lot better at not ending series of Red Dwarf on cliffhangers, so if you would prefer for it to end permanently, it should be a lot easier to just ignore new episodes.

  95. Constantly ending series of Red Dwarf on cliffhangers? I’d hardly call two times “constantly.” I mean, if you eat roast beef two times in your life, one would hardly say that person constantly eats roast beef. No, it would be a rare, nay, freak occurrence. Possibly mad? What is he dribbling about?

  96. Four if you count Rob and Doug I guess.

  97. I just want to remind you all that there are actually still people who care about having a resolution to VIII’s stupid cliffhanger. They mostly live on Facebook fan groups saying “Smoke me a kipper” at the end of every post.

  98. “Do you want to eat some toast!”

  99. <

    This will actually mark the first time a longer-than-usual Red Dwarf story will not be defined by compromise, to the point of being the first time one will end up running its original intended length

    That’s very presumptuous of you Katie that this won’t end up being 180mins long then split into 6 30min episodes with 2hours or padding just to get an extra 10mins of really important story in there that wouldn’t fit in the original script.

  100. In a MCM London 2017 interview, Bobby said in response to a Red Dwarf movie, “[I]n a way, maybe it’d be a brilliant thing to do a movie, but you record in-front of an audience.”

    Prophetic

  101. Also had a thought – maybe we’ll get an actual cinema distribution for it too, perhaps as a one-night event thing. There are quite a lot of precedents and BBC Studios are moving more and more into it these days.

    It’s almost bordering on *likely*, wouldn’t you say?

  102. On the contrary, the channel director Luke Hales appears to be a genuine fan.

    Yes indeedy. The quote from him on TOS is genuinely sweet and quite encouraging:

    “I am a huge, life-long fan of Red Dwarf and I still re-watch it and re-read the books regularly to this day,” adds Luke Hales, Dave’s channel director. “So it goes without saying that it gives me huge pleasure to be a part of the team this time around. I am as excited about this one as a viewer as I am in my role as channel director on Dave. The episodes we’ve made for the channel so far have been brilliant, and what a way to welcome it back too, with a feature-length special and three-part look back at the show’s history. We at the Dave team literally cannot wait to bring this huge treat to our viewers.”

  103. Here’s a thought about this being “the last Red Dwarf.”

    Doug could make this the ending to the STORY but reserve the right to make more episodes later.

    All he has to do is set the special in “the future” (up to him if he gives the cast a “Lister in Future Echoes” look or make them look like the future selves of Out of Time or just not go ape on the youngening make-up) and then set any additional episodes before the events of the special.

    This would provide a beautiful, possibly-Earth-bound ending to the story so that Red Dwarf wouldn’t feel unfinished should something sad happen in real life. But at the same time, a special to end the story wouldn’t have to end the show.

    Come on! You know if makes sense.

  104. Also had a thought – maybe we’ll get an actual cinema distribution for it too, perhaps as a one-night event thing. There are quite a lot of precedents and BBC Studios are moving more and more into it these days.

    It’s almost bordering on *likely*, wouldn’t you say?

    Wasn’t there a cinema event to screen the first couple of episodes of XI?

    It’d be nice to have something like that available across the country.

  105. Also had a thought – maybe we’ll get an actual cinema distribution for it too, perhaps as a one-night event thing. There are quite a lot of precedents and BBC Studios are moving more and more into it these days.

    It’s almost bordering on *likely*, wouldn’t you say?
    Wasn’t there a cinema event to screen the first couple of episodes of XI?
    It’d be nice to have something like that available across the country.

    Cured was shown at the Edinburgh Filmhouse for the film festival and it was lovely to watch it on the big screen with hundreds of fans.

  106. >This will actually mark the first time a longer-than-usual Red Dwarf story will not be defined by compromise
    Bit early to assume a Red Dwarf production won’t be met with catastrophic production delays, rewrites and various other shambles. It’s tradition at this point

  107. In a MCM London 2017 interview, Bobby said in response to a Red Dwarf movie, “[I]n a way, maybe it’d be a brilliant thing to do a movie, but you record in-front of an audience.”

    Prophetic

    Thats not really a movie though. if you did a movie it would have to lose the audience.

    But the common belief for some reason is that BTE sucked because there was no audience.

    Wasn’t there a cinema event to screen the first couple of episodes of XI?

    I think there was one for an episode or two of Series 10 also. and there was also a premiere type thing for BTE too.

    Doug is keen to get Red Dwarf on a big screen whenever possible

  108. According to Richard Naylor it’s probably airing April. Easter Sunday in 2020 is April 12th so perhaps around then? Have the 3 specials Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday then the special on the Easter Monday??

    The title though has me curious ‘The beginning of the end is the beginning….’

    *only joking. the second point. probably.

  109. They should call this “The Middle”.

  110. Having an audience doesn’t preclude something from being a movie, it’s just never been done before for what I gather is good reason

  111. Wouldn’t it be interesting to have a version of the ‘movie’ with the audience laughter taken out for cinema release? But leave in the gaps for the cinema audience to laugh, a la VII Extended. I know that never had an audience, and i don’t know if it would be technically possible to remove the audience entirely in the mix, but hell it would be an interesting experiment.

  112. There are plenty of live concert movies, including comedy shows with audience laughter, which are unarguably legitimate movies, and it worked then.

  113. Cured was shown at the Edinburgh Filmhouse for the film festival and it was lovely to watch it on the big screen with hundreds of fans.

    As indeed was Twentica the previous year. TV Festival though, not Film. And, strictly speaking, it was industry-only but loads of us got in without issue.

  114. That’s a really good idea, Mr-Stabby. I can see an audience-less version being distributed on a limited release or for exclusive screenings at film festivals.

  115. But leave in the gaps for the cinema audience to laugh, a la VII Extended

    God no, don’t do that. It makes it sound like every gag has completely bombed.

  116. I’m so excited for this! I just hope that they do explain how they managed to get Holly back online.
    Not just a silly ‘we forgot to plug his monitor in’ sort of gag.

    In my head canon the ship has been updating its tech throughout the years since the Ship was reconstructed from the Nanos.
    (I know this may have been quashed a bit by M Corp though).
    Anyway I always believed Holly was there in the background controlling the ship but it’s visual display protocols have been corrupted since the water damage in BTE. They could get it fixed in the special but keep switching between Norman and Hattie (a glitch that is forever corrupt or something).

    I dunno..

  117. I think the easiest way to do it is just have Holly back from the start and suggest it’s been like this for a while now. Fan-fiction can fill in the gaps of exactly when and how he got fixed.

  118. That’ll probably come off as lazy to most people, especially since that’ll be like the eighth time in Dave Dwarf they’d make the audience fill in the gaps.

  119. But if there isn’t a good, funny story to come out of it then I’d rather they focused on something else instead.

  120. Not just a silly ‘we forgot to plug his monitor in’ sort of gag.

    Sadly in the dave era, if we got something like this… i wouldn’t be shocked.

    But then wasn’t the backstory for Holly that the skutters were drying him out after Lister left the bath running or something? you probably could explain that away fairly easy.

  121. Holly’s disappearence in BtE made sense cause it both tied into and foreshadowed the plot-point that Lister was in the bath when Kochanski “died”.

    Also I don’t see why Holly’s return needs to be funny in-order to merit inclusion, I think the jokes should come naturally and not be tacked onto it.

  122. I think Red Dwarf failing is a great premise for a 90 minute episode.

    Say it gets hit by meteor, you’ve got nice VFX, a chance to update the model, and story points everywhere. Could see new sets, old sets, areas of the ship never seen, could have time travel, guest characters on derelicts or service space stations etc.

  123. It’s a shame that Rob Grant isn’t involved, but alas beggars can’t be choosers.

  124. Great news. I am happy for any new RD so a special is a bonus for me regardless if it is not a full series. I think UKTV/Dave are fully committed to Dwarf and this must be a decision by Doug to go this way. Perhaps he wants to go with one full idea for an extended episode as since BTE each episode has been stand alone. This makes 3 series and 2 specials in the Dave era- that is a good run for most standard British sitcoms really. I doubt it will be a cinema style release. I am just hoping it will be a good quality extended Dave era dwarf episode which has a start, middle and an end.

  125. I’m so excited for this! I just hope that they do explain how they managed to get Holly back online.

    the explanation for his absence in BtE is that there was a flood and the skutters are drying him out…red dwarf is a big ship, and given holly can show up on monitors all over it, presumably he’s a big computer as well. and considering the skutters don’t seem to be particularly useful or diligent workers, maybe they’re STILL drying him out after 11 years? that could work, i think

  126. The special should open with the skutters drying Holly out with a hair dryer, which is why they’re just finishing.

  127. (FWIW, please don’t put the Rhapsody In Red XII album anywhere online – Howard really doesn’t want it being made publically available or distributed anywhere by anyone. It would make a dreadful situation worse.)

    I don’t remember this being a thing. What happened there, then?

  128. It was supposed to come out a year after all the other ones did, but because over 90% of it was not used on screen, the album was scrapped. But it does exist, and Howard did reach out to a few of us to let us hear it. It certainly shouldn’t be ‘circulating’ though.

    Anything else is off the record.

  129. The special should open with the skutters drying Holly out with a hair dryer, which is why they’re just finishing.

    Need to get on one of those Space Corps derelicts that were everywhere in VI.

    Would be a chance to get a new computer (not a Pree that wants to kill them).

    Bit of youth wouldn’t go amiss, neither would a youthful woman for a different kind of dynamic.

    Cast a comedian who’s got sitcom experience.

  130. Holly being back doesn’t need any explanation at all. If anything at all, it would be fine as a throwaway line where Holly says something silly and Lister or Rimmer comment to Holly that he must still have some water somewhere in his circuits.

  131. Anything else is off the record.

    90% off the record?

  132. Need to get on one of those Space Corps derelicts that were everywhere in VI. Would be a chance to get a new computer (not a Pree that wants to kill them). Bit of youth wouldn’t go amiss, neither would a youthful woman for a different kind of dynamic. Cast a comedian who’s got sitcom experience.

    it’s an interesting suggestion, but they could just get norman back. i don’t really think we need a new main cast member or a different kind of dynamic 12 series in, and i think most people would be against the idea. red dwarf has had its fair share of changes to the status quo, but i think adding another new main character after so long would probably just alienate viewers. plus norman is good, i like norman

  133. Need to get on one of those Space Corps derelicts that were everywhere in VI. Would be a chance to get a new computer (not a Pree that wants to kill them). Bit of youth wouldn’t go amiss, neither would a youthful woman for a different kind of dynamic. Cast a comedian who’s got sitcom experience.

    it’s an interesting suggestion, but they could just get norman back. i don’t really think we need a new main cast member or a different kind of dynamic 12 series in, and i think most people would be against the idea. red dwarf has had its fair share of changes to the status quo, but i think adding another new main character after so long would probably just alienate viewers. plus norman is good, i like norman

    Norman was good 30 years ago, but not since really, one line in Skipper doesn’t undo remastered reshoots, VII, and VIII’s flat performances.

    If we’re getting characters back Hattie was the far more interesting Holly, with a better range, and despite her saying she wouldn’t do it because she’s aged out of it, she’s being harsh on herself.

    Norman just got the more memorable gags.

    I think if Norman comes back, he’s going to be a very minor character, he’ll not be getting Queeg levels of dialogue, and he’s just a bit of a mardy arse isn’t he – he’ll be having hissy fits because he’s not spoken for 3 pages.

    A great opportunity to get someone fresh in for what is essentially a bit part. Get the right person and it could reinvigorate the show and open new avenues, they don’t have to make every episode Queeg, and if it doesn’t work, get rid like they have done multiple times.

  134. I’m in the minority but, in the absence of knowing the plot, bring back Kochanski.

    Also, ask Cate Blanchett to play the baddie.

  135. it’s an interesting suggestion, but they could just get norman back. i don’t really think we need a new main cast member or a different kind of dynamic 12 series in, and i think most people would be against the idea. red dwarf has had its fair share of changes to the status quo, but i think adding another new main character after so long would probably just alienate viewers. plus norman is good, i like norman

    This coming from the person that will die on the hill defending VIII. I get what you mean though, and agree. Especially for a special. They shouldn’t change the status quo or do anything that requires any substantial explanation. Holly wouldn’t need it, just a quick line or two somewhere and move on.

  136. I wonder what the story will be about? Surely not another Earth visit? I’m surprised if Lister would even want to go back to Earth after all the clones he has been to.
    I always wondered if Doug would ever do a tv version or updated version of his Last Human book.
    Obviously changes would need to be made but that’s definitely a story that would fit well as a feature length.

  137. It’ll be the story of Lister trying to get his long running TV show re-commissioned for another series, being forced to settle on a a special and some documentries, and then having to pretend he always planned that, loves the idea and thinks its great for the Red Dwarf franchise to try new formats.

  138. It will bring Cyberzone into official continuity.

  139. It’s an adaptation of The Log.

  140. The dwarfers go to coronation street and meet craig charles. I know it sounds totally absurd.

  141. The Dwarfers will go to the Caribbean and be really pissed off that they’ve missed Danny John-Jules.

  142. Hopefully it’ll vault the kerb-high bar set by other longer Red Dwarf episodes, like Back In The Red, Pete, and Back To Earth.

  143. Oh go on, Back To Earth is good.

  144. I think them rebooting Holly would work well as an opening scene. Throw in a few gags, end the scene with the beginning of the main plot. Would be great.

  145. Ed Bye: Can i direct it Doug?

    Doug: No, i wanna write, direct and produce this. and probably do the costumes and music too.

  146. Ed Bye: Can i direct it Doug?

    Doug: No, i wanna write, direct and produce this. and probably do the costumes and music too.

    “It’s called ‘The One Where Doug’s Kryten’”

  147. Ed Bye: what about catering?

    Doug: well you can do that Ed. i don’t wanna do everything by myself. thats alot for one person to manage.

  148. Is there a story on digitalspy or something yet saying that Ed Bye is set to return as director for the special, even though that photo is about 10 years old?

  149. I think them rebooting Holly would work well as an opening scene. Throw in a few gags, end the scene with the beginning of the main plot. Would be great.

    Would be a neat way of doing P2P’s glitched Holly idea where they keep flipping between Lovett and Hayridge.

  150. Is there a story on digitalspy or something yet saying that Ed Bye is set to return as director for the special, even though that photo is about 10 years old?

    TOS says Doug is writing and Directing. so i assume Doug is writing and Directing.

    Would be a neat way of doing P2P’s glitched Holly idea where they keep flipping between Lovett and Hayridge.

    I suspect Norman would have a hissy fit if he had to share the role with Hattie. yeah they might be friends but Norman still has abit of an ego.

  151. Yeah, but does Digital Spy know that?

  152. You make it sound like you already have. So, spill…!

  153. I can confidently say that if you turned the page over, you’d see the word “CONFIDENTIAL” in big letters, mirrored and backwards.

  154. I’ve just done this in Photoshop and can confirm that the first line reads:

    “As lifted from the ‘Idea For An Episode thread”

  155. G&T Admin

    I can exclusively reveal that the script contains the words “flying”, “deep space”, “the ships” and “final”. You can’t actually make out very much at all, but it’s a laugh, innit?

  156. Well I couldn’t read anything decent, apart from the words “deep space”, “ship”, “Cat” and “we finally see”. Pah.

  157. Some other sentence fragments from the *following* page are actually faintly visible if you really whack up the contrast.

    “..ick up directly from the cliffhanger en…”

    “..ameleonic micro..”

    “..ame as he appeared in ‘Only The Go…”

    “…eath pulls off his cloak to revea…”

  158. “… a sofa … French wind … pull bac … paceship!…”

  159. “…d Bye’s manky flip flo…”

  160. >and “final”.
    FINAL EPISODE CONFIRMED PANIC MODE ENGAGED

  161. They can’t even go five days without someone from the production leaking script details? Just slap the phone out of Dave’s hand, Doug, it’s not that hard!

  162. I guess discussion of some of the words seen on that script would count as spoilers, just the few words that you can make out are tantalizing though!

  163. Really excited to see a show that features the Cat, a ship, deep space, and something we see!

  164. Really excited to see a show that features the Cat, a ship, deep space, and something we see!

    Rather than just the Cat, I think I’m seeing the “cat fleet”, as in the fleet that left Red Dwarf.

  165. If it’s about the cat fleet coming back then I have been single-handedly obsessed with such an episode happening for years.

  166. Would that really be on page 1 of the script? Throwing us right in with a Cat Fleet, with catch-up dialogue / Holy War flashbacks later? This is the sort of lore mining that I’m averse to in a regular episode, but it’s the sort of thing specials are for, so go for it!

    (And make sure to check your screens for grit when scrutinising Photoshopped images, to avoid spreading panic and alarm).

  167. I have been single-handedly obsessed with such an episode

    I don’t think there’s going to be as much Cat sex as you’re hoping.

  168. The version of this episode in my head is a set full of well loved BAME comic actors dressed outrageously and trying to steal scenes from each other whilst all delivering different personifications of what hilarious pricks cats are. You get Cat and you make him go FULL cat. The rest of the cast are just wallpaper in this scenario.

  169. Add some jokes and a plot and it’s good to go!

  170. That’s never stopped Doug befo— (RECORD SCRATCH)

  171. Joking aside, a Cat-ark episode could be pretty cool and is such a major part of the backstory that it’s a bit strange they haven’t mined it for material yet.

  172. And after Timeslides, Holoship and Siliconia, Cat’s now the only one not to have had a ‘failed reintegration with his clan’ show.

  173. I hadn’t thought of it like that, but yes I suppose they are all similar in that way.

    Can of Worms was a bit of a tease in that direction, but teasing that and then pulling back from it made me feel like it’s something Doug doesn’t want to do.

  174. An episode where we meet the Felis Sapiens on a planet, where they run a modern Egypt and worship Cat as the second coming has great potential. Also some possible religious commentary.

  175. Surely they’d still worship Lister?

  176. It’s the sort of thing that would have to be absolutely and utterly incredible to pull it off, I think, or it’d be disastrous. I suppose with it being a bit of an ‘event’ episode we’re likely to have a few guests, but a whole society of cats I’m very wary of.

  177. The obvious thing to do if you discovered an entire planet of cats with art and science etc (remembering they’re not all as thick as The Cat) would be to settle down and live there, so I don’t think Doug would do it. The inevitable pack back into Starbug and fly away forever would seem ludicrous.

  178. If they don’t have enough money to make teeth for everyone, the cats at the back could just keep their mouths closed.

  179. An episode where we meet the Felis Sapiens on a planet, where they run a modern Egypt and worship Cat as the second coming has great potential. Also some possible religious commentary.

    Surely they’d still worship Lister?

    The Dwarfers go down expecting that but are then treated as the ludicrous parody of the Cat religion that they are.

  180. The version of this episode in my head is a set full of well loved BAME comic actors dressed outrageously and trying to steal scenes from each other whilst all delivering different personifications of what hilarious pricks cats are.

    wouldn’t there be white cats as well though? i thought the thing with Cat was that he was black because he was descended from Frankenstein, who was a black cat. because later on you have the Cat Priest, who was white except for his one black hand- like those cats who have parts of their fur that are different colors to the rest of it. i’d be pretty interested to see more stuff like that too- you could do a makeup job on one of the actors so the face is like half one color and half another color or something like that. not sure how you’d do ginger cats though, as painting someone’s face even partially orange would just make them look like an oompa loompa. come to think of it though, since all the cats are descended from Frankenstein, wouldn’t they all be black? how did the Cat Priest come about? or is that not how cat genetics work

  181. You get runts etc, colouring can go very strange at random.

    Personally I think it’s a good idea to sidestep the Cat Priest and keep it as a nice conceit to have all future Cat People characters played by black and Asian actors as there really aren’t many opportunities for those performers to play grotesques or fantasy characters at all (never mind without their race being lampshaded for brownie points by white executives), and Red Dwarf has always been way ahead there via its central casting. So it seems to me that the potential reappearance of the Cat People in Red Dwarf would be a great opportunity to give more BAME performers the chance to be daft on telly without being automatically shoehorned into parodying their own culture by lazy commissioners. Can Of Worms suggests to me that Linda Glover probably agrees.

  182. If only there was a big-budget Hollywood film coming up soon that could give us some ideas on how to render an entire world of humanoid cats.

  183. I prefer to think that the only cat people are those that evolved from Frankenstein and left in the arks, since their pseudoscience evolution is at least explained (explicitly in the novel, I think) as adapting to the environment of Red Dwarf’s cargo hold that was designed for human use, evolving hands that could use tin openers and stuff. Red Dwarf probably doesn’t agree, since as early as The Last Day it’s suggested that ‘Felix [sic] Sapiens’ is just one of those RPG races they have now.

  184. If they discovered a planet full of cats they’d have plenty of reasons to leave.

    Warring factions. Regardless of whether its the same two factions that left Red Dwarf or if only one survived. Its been hundreds of years. Those that settled could have broken up into groups that are now at each others throats.

    Lister pretty much loaths cat society and culture. Its the complete antithesis of who he is. He’d find it intolerable to live amongst them.

    Some if not all would potentially worship him. He would not like that at all. And any objection to that would likely be met with hostility.

    What would be really cool to see would be Cat being forced to choose between his people and Red Dward. I imagine it would play out that he’d initially want to stay, having met some lady cats. But then he finds out that something happens, maybe the cat society has tricked Lister and the others and he objects, and after more time finds he is less and less like these people and wants to stay with his friends who are far more honourable.

    There is so much potential for stories to be taken from finding the cat race that as much as I’m surprised it has never been done before, I really want them do it. Whilst I doubt that is in this special, a special would be the best time to do it, as it’d give them the time they need to explore everything in detail and not rushed over 30mins. Would give the opportunity to have a wealth of guest actors they aren’t put to waste, and to do something quite different.

  185. My fear with Doug using the Cat race in the Dave era is that he will just have them be impressions and stereotypes of the cat. he did it in Can of Worms but she wasn’t meant to be a real cat. but still, thats probably not how they should be represented.

  186. I’d worry about that in a half hour episode that had 1 or 2 cats. If he were to do a 90min special with thousands (though realistically only seen dozens on screen, and only 5 or 6 of them having main parts) I’d expect he’d write a more diverse bunch of cat characters with different manerisms and motives etc.

  187. What would be really cool to see would be Cat being forced to choose between his people and Red Dward. I imagine it would play out that he’d initially want to stay, having met some lady cats. But then he finds out that something happens, maybe the cat society has tricked Lister and the others and he objects, and after more time finds he is less and less like these people and wants to stay with his friends who are far more honourable.

    So Siliconia, then?

  188. If they discovered a planet full of cats they’d have plenty of reasons to leave.

    Warring factions. Regardless of whether its the same two factions that left Red Dwarf or if only one survived. Its been hundreds of years. Those that settled could have broken up into groups that are now at each others throats.
    Lister pretty much loaths cat society and culture. Its the complete antithesis of who he is. He’d find it intolerable to live amongst them.
    Some if not all would potentially worship him. He would not like that at all. And any objection to that would likely be met with hostility.
    What would be really cool to see would be Cat being forced to choose between his people and Red Dward. I imagine it would play out that he’d initially want to stay, having met some lady cats. But then he finds out that something happens, maybe the cat society has tricked Lister and the others and he objects, and after more time finds he is less and less like these people and wants to stay with his friends who are far more honourable.
    There is so much potential for stories to be taken from finding the cat race that as much as I’m surprised it has never been done before, I really want them do it. Whilst I doubt that is in this special, a special would be the best time to do it, as it’d give them the time they need to explore everything in detail and not rushed over 30mins. Would give the opportunity to have a wealth of guest actors they aren’t put to waste, and to do something quite different.

    That’s assuming that all cats are like The Cat though, and the only other one we saw wasn’t.

    Also it’s been ages, when they left Red Dwarf, they were sort of crusades cats (though warped by technology) but just like we’ve developed since the crusades they will have too, it’s been hundreds of years since they left Red Dwarf. They all went in Stasis multiple times, a particularly lengthy stint catching up with Red Dwarf in series VII.

    No reason they wouldn’t have developed into a mostly secular species in that time.

  189. My take, square brackets largely made up and absolutely influenced by previous comments:

    …[in] the dist[ance] …
    … flying in [formation] …
    [Somewhe]re in deep space, the Ca[t fleet] [roams]
    [and] …ar the ships and finall[y]
    … looks like ….

  190. You know, an army of hostile Cat people would be a nice change of pace as the big bad of a Red Dwarf special instead of the more standard Simulant or GELF.

  191. Also, just throwing ideas out there. Since Cat himself doubted Lister was Cloister in The End, how about if they land at the Felis Sapien Egypt and Lister tries to reason he is their God. They don’t believe him. Instead, they assume Cat is, and cause Cat is full of himself, he accepts it and is taken in as the true Cloister and the power starts to corrupt him.

  192. I like that Robert has doubled down on his previous mentions that they’d be filming XIII next by continuing to refer to the special as that even when no-one else has.

  193. Wonder where the location shooting will be, hopefully it can be a bit more extensive this time around.

  194. Just having a look at Lost in TV’s twitter feed to see what the latest is with the tickets for the recording:

    “The bulk have gone out but lots still unclaimed – we’ll send a 2nd round out on Thursday and continue to reallocate unclaimed until the day of the show.”

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