G&TV logoA little over a week ago, Rob Grant decided he wanted to do something to cheer up all the Red Dwarf fans who had suddenly found themselves confined to their own personal Bay 47. The idea was to recapture the magic that formed the conclusion to the most recent Dimension Jump, whereby he was joined by Paul Jackson and Ed Bye to do a live commentary on The End. It made sense, therefore, that the reunited trio would do Future Echoes next, and so they took to Zoom last Sunday afternoon, and broadcast their thoughts to around a hundred webinar viewers. As well as sharing their tips for lockdown survival, we were treated to in-depth details about how the complicated show was put together with analogue technology, the story of how Tracey Ullman was partly responsible for the word “smeg” being used in the show, and even surprise cameo appearances from two former Red Dwarf guest stars. And now the whole thing is available on YouTube for everyone to enjoy.

Plans are afoot to make this a regular feature for the foreseeable future, with weekly commentaries running through the episodes sequentially until the lockdown is lifted or they get to ones which none of them were involved in, whichever comes first. There’ll also be more people invited to watch live after this successful test, and you can sign up to the mailing list via TOS.

101 comments on “G&TV: Red Dwarf Quarantine

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  • That’s good that it’s being done as a draw this time. Best to share the live experience around as much as possible, especially if they’re going to be made available afterwards in any event.

    Thanks again to everyone involved in making these happen, it’s a great idea.

  • This is wonderful, and I know G&T had a hand in it somehow so thanks muchly guys.

    Interesting to hear Ed saying he wasn’t keen on the Series 1 driveroom set. Wonder if that was a general feeling and that’s why it was redesigned for Series 2, where it’s certainly “more grungy”.

  • It’s a bit more grungy, the black bank of switches Rimmer sits behind in Queeg and stuff make it a bit more “working space ship”, but it’s definitely at the ‘sci-fi Crystal Maze esque adventure show on CBBC in 1990’ end of the grunge scale rather than the ‘Alien’ end.

    I liked them both to be honest, the series II one is better for shooting on I imagine with Holly in the background and more foreground interest, but the first driveroom is a bit more clear in design.

    Probably would have been better described as the bridge, driveroom makes it sound really technical, which could never be achieved on the budget and with a few 80s home computers.

  • I loved this.

    I still wanna know what was written on those screens though…

  • This is wonderful, and I know G&T had a hand in it somehow so thanks muchly guys.

    It wasn’t much really, it was all Rob’s idea but Jo and I were two of the people he contacted to help organise it and spread the word. The two of us helped get everything in place for this first one (Jo with the mailing list, me with technical help), and we’ve now handed everything over to various more official people, so we can enjoy the rest of them as normal fans with everyone else.

  • or they get to ones which none of them were involved in.

    Yeah, make Rob Grant suffer through Pete part 2 like the rest of us!

  • Just the idea of having Rob sat through post-VI Dwarf on one of these is making me feel really uncomfortable. It’d be so fucking horrible.
    Be lovely if Doug could do one of these too. They’re on about getting the cast in, but a) we’ve already had cast commentaries, and b) Rob, Paul, Ed and Doug have so many more interesting things to talk about.

  • It would be good to see them watch and react to the Promised Land, or get Danny, Rob, Chris, and Craig Charles to react to it unless we get a commentary from the main cast in the future on DVD

  • Rik Mayal is responsible for “Up up up the ziggurat lickety split” phrase.My favourite fact from today’s Balance of power dwarf commentary.

  • They are gonna try and get someone else on the next commentary. they won’t say who though. Doug perhaps? unless its one of the cast.

  • Doug’d be nice, given that it’s the first part of the story that’s just been continued three days prior to the commentary.
    But I can’t see it, really. Rob’s involvement in these commentaries makes them feel very seperate to the new episodes (as does the fact that none of the three of them have been involved with new episodes at all for over 20 years), and though the connection’s obviously going to be there this week, I can’t see them wanting to discuss – or repeatedly refer to, at least – the most recent Dave episode in this seres one commentary. If Doug was there, I think that’s what would probably happen.

  • Get Hattie on for Parallel Universe (discuss how sexist it is now?), White Hole (considering Paul directed some of it) or a Series III episode (I’m not sure why they keep banging on about Backwards but whatevs).

    Make it a proper reunion of “People who used to be involved in Red Dwarf but sadly aren’t any more”.

    Doug won’t go anywhere near this, for sure. Well, not for the next couple of weeks anyway.

  • We’ve heard plenty from Doug and the cast really. It’d be more interesting to get people who didn’t really get much screen/air time in the various documentaries and commenraries, or just random celebs that like Red Dwarf, or who were contemporaries at BBC Manchester while it was being made for a bit of historical commentary.

  • It wasn’t much really, it was all Rob’s idea but Jo and I were two of the people he contacted to help organise it and spread the word. The two of us helped get everything in place for this first one (Jo with the mailing list, me with technical help), and we’ve now handed everything over to various more official people, so we can enjoy the rest of them as normal fans with everyone else.

    Thank you for helping to get the ball rolling, Ian. This whole thing has tested my mental health hugely and I’m still working as a carer so little things like this make a big difference. ❤️

  • Yeah, thanks Ian and Jo! I don’t think I would’ve heard about this if it wasn’t for G&T and I’ve enjoyed the first three immensely. Just got notified that the fourth one has gone up, so I’m loading up the page now.

    Hope you’re okay, Ben. I’m no good with advice but I wish you all the best. And everyone else here who may be finding these times trying.

  • I forgot I saw the Balance of Power chat when it went out. Bit of a tangent here, but is Zoom safe to use? After installing it I saw a load of headlines which made it seem a bit dodgy but I didn’t click any of them because I thought I’d get more reasonable and accurate answers from people here.

    Love Rob’s reaction to having to tell Ed how to see the chat. “Hit the chat button. I mean, for God’s sake…”

  • Thanks, Spaceworm Jim. Very much appreciated. Everybody on here stay safe, too.

    Planning on listening to this tomorrow.

  • Aww, nice of Paul to plug “The Promised Land”. My eyes went straight to Rob at that point, but I think he suppressed a reaction.

    These are so good.

  • >We liked “Red Dwarf” because it was our initials, R and D
    Bloody ‘ell. How can I be a Red Dwarf fan for nearly 20 years and not realise that?

  • Aww, nice of Paul to plug “The Promised Land”. My eyes went straight to Rob at that point.

    And me.

    Me too.

  • I think we all looked at Rob!

    Guest for the next one? John Lenahan or Tony Hawks perhaps. Or Stephanie Cole due to a mix-up.

  • These are really really good fun. Such a treat and the guys seem to really enjoy revisiting these and engaging with the fans. It’s really great stuff. Thanks for organising!

  • Would be great to see that list of 169 crewmen.

    (On mobile, the A on the opening paragraph is above G&TV image, Mr. Capps.)

  • That was great. Lovely to get a bit of bonus discussion on The Promised Land at the end.

    The recording/editing stuff just made it even more fun.

  • We sorted it out in the dub.

    Congratulations, sir.

    Someone – I think it was Paul Jackson, actually – said was something about The Promised Land having an early DVD release. Why he’d say that, if I misheard, if I misunderstood…anyone know what that was all about?

    *I am, naturally, expecting certain sarcastic replies*

  • Someone – I think it was Paul Jackson, actually – said was something about The Promised Land having an early DVD release. Why he’d say that, if I misheard, if I misunderstood…anyone know what that was all about?

    I was curious about that too.

  • He said earlier than expected, maybe May. Just if the release date is June 1st as the Amazon listing suggests, I think, then I can see why they’d think it was May if they’re expecting to have a product on their hands in May before release.

    Why they think that’s earlier than expected, who knows. Maybe that *had* intended to include the documentaries on there but as they’re still being made decided to leave them off?

  • Really enjoying these in such dark times. Some interesting comments on things I didn’t know about.

  • Yup loving these commentaries, highlight of the week.

    Can we talk about how Rob casually mentioned that Rimmer getting hard light was only meant to be for that one episode?

  • I think they’ve talked about that being the original intention for Legion before, but having hard light capabilities just ended up being too useful to give up in terms of what it let Rimmer do in future stories.

  • That’s been mentioned before. It was really just for the scenes in the dining room in Legion, but the opportunity to solve the problem of Chris never being able to touch anything was too good to resist.

  • Brilliant once again. Little lump in my throat at Rob’s comments at the end, as I live by myself on the top floor.

    Something special in a fortnight’s time!

  • PAUL: This is a nice scene; the erasing memory scene. It has echoes in Promised Land, just last week.

    ROB : Oh really?

    EVERYONE: ….

  • Yes I do feel a bit sorry for Rob that he keeps being put on the spot with all these mentions of Promised Land.

  • He seems quite fine with it there. Rather curious, even. He seems very comfortable with his relationship with Dwarf which is good. Credit to the fan club and G&T who have brought him back to it in an active way, and the man himself of course. These are a real joy and it’s great that everyone who’s participated seems to be enjoying it too.

    I wonder if Doug still extends the invitation for Rob to come back with each new production? I swear Doug said at one point just a few years ago that he still extends the invite when a new Dwarf project comes around.

  • Well even if Rob was uncomfortable with it, he can only really act fine with it to not make an uncomfortable environment.

    As for Doug. i don’t think he invites Rob. in an interview some time ago he seemed to suggest he liked writing alone now. saying it offered a creative freedom. and when he is also directing the shows… it would make bringing Rob back abit awkward.

  • Yeah, lots of fun, as ever.

    (Although I couldn’t work out whether Paul was genuinely miffed by that clip. Hope not.)

  • Never did I think that I would hear Rob Grant mentioning Epideme [sic] and he almost managed to keep the disdain from his voice. ;)

  • Never did I think that I would hear Rob Grant mentioning Epideme [sic] and he almost managed to keep the disdain from his voice. ;)

    One of his ex-wife’s new brothers-in-laws,

  • I wonder if the prospect of repeating Red Dwarf on BBC Two has come up during the pandemic – or even sorting out the rights to show the Dave episodes, which would be new to a fair few people?

  • I wonder if the prospect of repeating Red Dwarf on BBC Two has come up during the pandemic – or even sorting out the rights to show the Dave episodes, which would be new to a fair few people?

    Dave won’t be letting other channels have their original productions, not after losing Taskmaster (though the chances of Channel 4 being able to cash in on Taskmaster are slim for the foreseeable)

  • Yes, it was good, nice idea. Although my attention was torn between flicking through screens on my mobile, and trying to get the app working on my laptop, which I’ve never used for Zoom before.
    Managed it just in time for everyone leaving.

  • I’m genuinely surprised this wasn’t a total shambles, just technically. Having that many people all in the same call and having very little go wrong is an achievement unto itself. I present the following screencaps without context:

  • I’m genuinely surprised this wasn’t a total shambles, just technically. Having that many people all in the same call and having very little go wrong is an achievement unto itself.

    They did talk about rehearsals for this, so assume they ironed out all the kinks that could present themselves. Just a shame they didn’t rehearse turning off Skype before broadcast.

  • Poor Ruby. I did think it was a bit mean for people to keep mentioning it in the comments.

  • I enjoyed this and hope that they do tackle one of Rob’s scripts in a few weeks.

    I also look forward to the next episode on Sunday with a guest. It would be nice if Doug joined in at some point.

  • I loved that on Sunday night. Great performance from everyone, particularly Iwan Rheon.

    Trust Hattie to only get one or two lines of dialogue, and to compensate with a visual gag!

  • I’ve been enjoying these so far, but today was a real shame. With zoom taking a shit everywhere it would have been better just to give up and do it another week. Instead of being able to interact and comment on his own episodes poor David Ross is relegated to a quick q&a instead. I don’t really get why Rob was determined to plough ahead with no video and no guest, rather than postpone.

  • Probably because there were a load of people watching for a commentary and it would have sucked for him to say sorry everyone but we are gonna have to postpone. and yes it was a shame it didn’t work out with Ross but you couldn’t just not do it because of that.

  • I appreciate them doing it but it was a real shame not to have Ross on properly. And all the technical faffing about made the episode itself feel a bit overlooked either way.

    Regardless I think it’s great they are keeping this up. And I am really appreciating Rob’s heartfelt serious messages at the end too. What a guy. It all genuinely lifts my Sunday.

  • The only real solution would have been to switch the episode around. They should have done Better Than Life this week, and just picked up Kryten in a couple of weeks when Ross could join.

  • Yes, I suppose switching to a different episode would have been the answer.

    Hopefully the next Lockdown Theatre that they’re planning won’t be similarly affected though.

  • Looking forward to the Lockdown Theatre this weekend and listening to Rob’s Cruel Aliens.

    A great cast again with the addition of Kevin Eldon.

  • Cruel aliens? wasn’t Rob trying to get that made into an animated show at some point?

  • I really enjoyed that.

    Typical for a Rob Grant script to contain a reference to an anus and to feature a man up to his neck in urine!

  • Really enjoyed it. Kevin Eldon rightfully got a lot of love in the chat, but everyone was great. Iwan Rheon’s near-continuous laughing was lovely too.

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