The cats are out of the bag

You know how there’s a long and ignoble history of things like synopses, titles and even whole episodes of new Red Dwarf accidentally getting released before they’re supposed to? Well, we’d been reliably informed that the title of the upcoming Special would be revealed on Monday March 16th, presumably with some degree of fanfare attached, and yet for some reason it’s already out there online through official sources. And while none of the proper PR channels have drawn attention to it, it’s pretty easy to stumble across completely accidentally, as evidenced in the comments on today’s teaser article.

This presents us with somewhat of a dilemma – we don’t want to scupper anyone’s plans, but it’s not our fault it’s out there, and Red Dwarf fans are already talking about it, even on this very website. We’re also aware that not everyone will want to know the title in advance for fear of spoilers, so we’re hiding it behind the jump. [EDIT: You’re free to mention it in the comments on this post, but nowhere else on the site until there’s been a proper announcement, if you’d be so kind. Dave have now tweeted the title, so it’s all official now and any comment restrictions are now lifted.] So if you don’t want to know the score, look away now.

Red Dwarf has returned to lead us to Fuchal, The Promised Land. Yes, the title of the special, with its plot that harks back to the early days of the show’s mythology, is a reference to dialogue found in the very first episode. That’s very neat.

How do we know this? Well, there’s a pre-order listing for the DVD on a site called Simply Home Entertainment, although they seem to think it stars someone called Christ Barrie, so we’re not sure if they’re to be trusted. But don’t take their word for it, it’s also on Dave’s own bloody website, handily linked to from the index of all their shows. That’s what you get for listing it separately to the rest of the series. There’s even a subpage for ‘Episodes’, which reveals the existence of a “2-Part VOD Only Version”; the non-consumer-friendly description suggesting this wasn’t really intended for public consumption at this stage. And because a certain on demand service just has to get there early with Red Dwarf, it’s listed on UKTV Play too. It does specify that “this programme is not currently available on demand”, which is something at least.

I dunno. It’s no skin off our nose to have details like this revealed in a fun online treasure hunt fashion, but I do feel for the poor buggers in PR and marketing who are presumably having to alter their plans for coming days. I sympathise, but while we do our absolute best to police any extremely-rare leaks that come from our fellow fans, we can’t ignore what people are already talking about, when all we’re doing is pointing out what’s on your website.

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40 Responses to The cats are out of the bag

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  1. Still not a huge fan of it, but it’s okay enough.

    Seems too pompous for me though, and very unlike Red Dwarf to have an on-the-nose title like that (apart from Back to Earth I guess).

  2. Btw I said this would happen when not categorized in a series, get ready for Google to have results such as:

    Craig Charles – Known for: Red Dwarf, Red Dwarf: Back to Earth, Red Dwarf: The Promised Land, Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg

  3. It’s an ok title and it’s nicely intriguing for now, although I do wonder how well it will sit in the long term. If it turns out to be the very last episode then it might work better.

  4. I have to ponder as to why they were planning a big hoo-ha about the title, when they released a synopsis a month or two ago. It just makes sense considering the content, so it’s a bit of a shrug from me spoiler-wise.

    FWIW, I like it. It’s a bit more flimic than a pun or wordplay of the normal kind of titles. And it doesn’t contain the word “Back” which is a blessed relief.

  5. Hopefully its not too similar to siliconia. otherwise, we kinda know how it ends.

  6. There’s even a subpage for ‘Episodes’, which reveals the existence of a “2-Part VOD Only Version”

    That also seems to have a date and time.

  7. So it being 2 hours (1 hour and 30 minutes of Red Dwarf; 30 minutes of commercials), the whole thing should wrap up by 9pm.

    Also keeping in mind the three 60 minute documentaries, Red Dwarf Night 2.0 might just kick off at 4pm, but that’s not factoring in commercial time.

  8. Hopefully its not too similar to siliconia. otherwise, we kinda know how it ends.

    Hopefully it’s not too similar to Pete (Part Two), Marooned or Give & Take either – otherwise we kinda know how it ends then, too.

  9. That also seems to have a date and time.

    April 12th, 7pm.

    The date seems right but I’m surprised by the time – I assumed it would be post-9pm.

  10. G&T Admin

    That wasn’t there when I wrote this.

  11. Hopefully it’s not too similar to Blade Runner.

  12. I’m starting a GoFundMe to put me into a medical coma until the special comes out.

  13. Pretty good title for a feature length special majorly about the Cat race, I’d say. Not sure it’s good enough to warrant it being announced completely independently rather than just including it in yesterday’s teaser, but I’m not sure any title would be good enough for that.

    Unless it was something especially revealing, like “Kochanski Returns” or “2 Give 2 Take: Snacky’s Revenge”.

    I’ll give it this, though: it’s a way more interesting title than “Avengers: Endgame” which was kept a secret for much longer and for no reason.

  14. G&T Admin

    The UKTV Play listing has now been taken down, and the episodes sub-page on the Dave website revised to remove the info about TX times and VOD versions.

  15. Taking bets on exactly when the UKTV Play app accidentally uploads the whole thing ahead of broadcast.

  16. I love this title just because of how annoyed the “BTE is Red Dwarf IX” crowd will be.

  17. >Hopefully it’s not too similar to Pete (Part Two), Marooned or Give & Take either – otherwise we kinda know how it ends then, too.

    Wasn’t Siliconia basically the androids promised land?

  18. G&T Admin

    Hopefully it’s not too similar to The Last Day.

  19. I love this title just because of how annoyed the “BTE is Red Dwarf IX” crowd will be.

    Sorry, you’ve lost me there, GT. Why would they be annoyed?

  20. I love this title just because of how annoyed the “BTE is Red Dwarf IX” crowd will be.

    Sorry, you’ve lost me there, GT. Why would they be annoyed?

    Just because some people don’t like to acknowledge titled Red Dwarf, and would prefer The Promised Land were called Series XIII, and Back to Earth IX.

    All in jest, I’m sure half the internet will call it Red Dwarf XIII anyway

  21. The Prom13ed Land.

  22. I’ll give it this though: it’s a way more interesting title than “Avengers: Endgame” which was kept a secret for much longer and for no reason.

    After this fiasco, I find the practice of withholding titles incredibly stupid.

    On day 1, before you can even watch it, it’ll be on your TV menu; so being worried about it for “spoiler” reasons is quite inept lest you plan on switching to Dave 12 hours earlier and blindfolding yourself (possibly even acquiring earmuffs).

    Even then, releasing a plot synopsis, which most movies will have if you’re looking to rent one on Amazon Prime or whatever, which details the plot of cats coming back and thinking the idea of holding a title back for a month later which only just references the concept we’ve been aware of for about two months prior.

    I’m not a fan of this PR campaign, to summarize, it really has no clue what it does and doesn’t want to withhold. So when it does release it, it thinks it can pretend they didn’t then add a further piece of the same already revealed puzzle at a later date. As someone who is all up for a good prerelease ad campaign, this is just spoon feeding me shit I’m already aware of for months at a time.

  23. Just because some people don’t like to acknowledge titled Red Dwarf, and would prefer The Promised Land were called Series XIII, and Back to Earth IX.

    All in jest, I’m sure half the internet will call it Red Dwarf XIII anyway

    From my experience, people don’t informally regard Back to Earth as Series IX due to extreme “every Red Dwarf episode must be part of a numbered series” dogma, but because

    (A) It’s a series of Red Dwarf.
    (B) It follows Series VIII.
    (C) It precedes Series X.

    So, feature length or not, calling an individual episode a “series” would just be absurd, and I disagree with you that anyone will do so in earnest. People were calling it Series XIII only because we didn’t know what it was yet.

    Though I suppose Doug could force the situation by making another normal series and calling it “Series XIV”. But if that does happen then I won’t be making any declarations about whether The Promised Land is retrospectively Series XIII to me, because I will have died due to brain aneurysm.

  24. Silicon heaven and siliconia were not the same thing. Siliconia was the android promise land where they could live in peace. Drop all bias and class systems and whatever. So yeah i do wonder whether the special will end in a similar way for the Cat race.

    The cat lore was set up in series 1 after all. The cats, who were split by religious beliefs left Red Dwarf in search of their promise land.

  25. G&T Admin

    As someone who knows nothing about the specifics of the Red Dwarf campaign, but whose job is to market TV shows online, I’d guess the reason the title was being saved for a certain date was simply that it’s a piece of information that people are interested in. It’s not necessarily that it was being “held back”, just that they’d have intended to use it as a tentpole of the wider campaign, because it was an opportunity to get social media engagement and press coverage.

    And I agree that people shouldn’t consider an episode title a spoiler; the only reason I was being cautious about it last night was that it was information that wasn’t meant to be out there. It’s fair game as of this morning.

    And finally, remember the synopsis gave us the ultimate solution for any numbering woes. This is Outing XIII.

  26. The real question is whether TPL is Red Dwarf Film I or Red Dwarf Film II.

    I haven’t seen anyone else abbreviate it to TPL yet, but get used to it cuz that’s what we’re doing now.

  27. Since the title is The Promised Land, which in the Cat religion is Fuchal (Fiji), doesn’t that sort of imply we might be seeing Earth in this special? Maybe that’s why they’ve been keeping the title under wraps for so long

  28. I hope they fight a giant ant.

  29. I hope they fight a giant Dec.

  30. The real question is whether TPL is Red Dwarf Film I or Red Dwarf Film II.

    I haven’t seen anyone else abbreviate it to TPL yet, but get used to it cuz that’s what we’re doing now.

    RDTPLFLS2020 FTW

  31. Outing I – Series I
    Outing II – Series II
    Outing III – Series III
    Outing VI – Series IV
    Outing V – Series V
    Outing VI – Series VI
    Outing VII – Series VII
    Outing VIII – Can’t Smeg, Won’t Smeg
    Outing IX – Series VIII
    Outing X – Red Christmas
    Outing XI – Series X
    Outing XII – Series XI/XII (filmed together)
    Outing XIII – The Promised Land

  32. Counting “Red Christmas” is punishable by death.

  33. Outing I – Series I

    Outing II – Series II
    Outing III – Series III
    Outing VI – Series IV
    Outing V – Series V
    Outing VI – Series VI
    Outing VII – Series VII
    Outing VIII – Can’t Smeg, Won’t Smeg
    Outing IX – Series VIII
    Outing X – Red Christmas
    Outing XI – Series X
    Outing XII – Series XI/XII (filmed together)
    Outing XIII – The Promised Land

    Outing I – Series I
    Outing II – Series I remount

  34. I like this new numbering system. It makes much more sense now.

  35. It puts the whole Regeneration numbering into perspective.

  36. Outing I – Series I
    Outing II – Series I Remount
    Outing III – Series II
    Outing IV – Series III
    Outing V – Series IV
    Outing VI – Series V
    Outing VII – USA
    Outing VIII – Series VI
    Outing IX – Series VII
    Outing X – Can’t Smeg, Won’t Smeg
    Outing XI – Series VIII
    Outing XII – Red Dwarf the Movie Rehearsals
    Outing XIII – Red Christmas
    Outing XIV – Back to Earth
    Outing XV – Series X
    Outing XVI – Series XI/XII (filmed together)
    Outing XVII – AA Adverts
    Outing XVIII – The Promised Land
    Outing XIX – Series XV
    Outing XX – Series IX

  37. The Promised Land has been confirmed as Outing XIII.

  38. The Promised Land has been confirmed as Outing XIII.

    But only on the French version of the DVD.

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