Just what the documentary ordered featured image

As Doug Naylor teased this morning, there has been some NEWS coming out of GNP towers today, in the form of more details about the previously teased TV documentary, now titled Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years. It will be airing exclusively on Dave (obvs) this August, which gives them plenty of time to have a bit of an extra crack at that logo.

Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years is THE definitive celebration of the most successful sci-fi sitcom of all time. Over three hour-long episodes we go on an epic journey through space and time to chart the history of Lister the lonely space-bum, Rimmer the failed hero, Kryten the spaceship-cleaning mechanoid and Cat, the vainest non-human ever to be trapped in space, through the eyes of co-creator, writer and director Doug Naylor, the cast, the crew, and celebrity fans.

I’ll not lie… at the moment, this sounds like it could very easily be a collection of all the best bits from the DVD extras, re-told and re-packaged. The mention of Doug seems to sadly exclude the inclusion Rob Grant (which would be odd given how visible he is in the Dwarf world these days) but I guess he could be categorised as ‘crew’? North One certainly have a good track record and I’m sure these docs will be well put together and worthwhile, but I’m left wondering what they will offer for the likes of people reading this. We shall see, and I’m very prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Having said that I’m certainly delighted that the show is getting such a sizable and prominent series of docs, and three hours of extra Dwarf is something I’ll never sniff at.

This is the first time a documentary has been made about Red Dwarf for television since the BBC’s Comedy Connections episode in 2004; and before that, the Red Dwarf Night documentaries of 1998.

*The Making of Back to Earth has left the chat*

In other, meta, news; G&T’s server will be undergoing some maintenance at some point Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd June, so if during this time you see an error then please don’t panic.

32 comments on “Just what the documentary ordered

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  • Nice. I look forward to it.

    Hopefully Rob, Ed and Paul will all be involved too.

    Celebrity fans? James O’Brien I presume. ;)

  • Yes, it would be a shame if Rob wasn’t a part of it (although that could always be his own choice, not being part of the Dave era).
    But if it’s going to be dealing with its very beginnings, including the production problems of 1987, you’d expect Paul and Ed to be there.
    It’ll definitely be nice to see Hattie on a Dave screen though.

    Celebrity fans? James O’Brien I presume. ;)

    Patrick Stewart.

  • I imagine if Rob was involved his name would have been listed. It would almost seem wrong to mention Doug and throw Rob in with the crew.

    It depends how much money Dave put into these i guess. It does sound like for the most part they just grabbed everyone while they were working on the promise land.

  • Great news for casual fans, new fans, general TV audience on Dave. Good for them. Keeps the show promoted.

    Wisely written article Cappsy. I agree. As someone who watched the only fools documentary that promised rare clips but mostly delivered things like ‘WHITE MICE’ that hardcore fans had seen. It’s nice for non dvd buying fans to get a glimpse of dvd extra story’s and deleted scenes and smeg ups we’ve already seen. Alongside a clip show.
    Doug explaining that he invented the apple watch and Alexa. Etc.

    I doubt Eternal are back, but I predict James Buckley and some young comedians talking about smeg. Some new promised land behind the scenes extra is probably the very best new reveal we can hope to add to three million years of a story told definitively in over 20 hours dvd documentary plus the odd DJ convention revelation in 30 years.
    Glad Hattie is listed. When was her last TV inclusion in anything Dwarf?

  • Well Doug’s Twitter shows an image of him recording a new interview during lockdown, so it remains to be seen how many other people have done the same.

  • I’m hopeful that these will be good, and at the very least we have new interviews to look forward to, but yes, it sounds like there could be a fair amount of recycled material in there too.

    Also, I note that “showing previously un-broadcast scenes” doesn’t preclude stuff from the DVDs that was never shown on TV, and the mention of showing the best smeg-ups makes me hope they’re not going to lean too heavily on stuff that’s already very familiar to fans.

  • Also, I note that “showing previously un-broadcast scenes” doesn’t preclude stuff from the DVDs that was never shown on TV, and the mention of showing the best smeg-ups makes me hope they’re not going to lean too heavily on stuff that’s already very familiar to fans.

    Unless there’s been a big box of tapes found somewhere, I’ve always had the impression that Andrew Ellard squeezed as much out of the archives as he could when it comes to actual scenes.

  • Glad Hattie is listed. When was her last TV inclusion in anything Dwarf?

    Assuming she was part of the Red Dwarf A-Z in ’98, it’d probably be that. I don’t recall her being part of any of the other new stuff for Red Dwarf Night.
    If not, it’d be Back To Reality.

  • To be fair there are those rare collection of smeg ups on youtube that show there is some behind the scenes material that did not make it on the DVDs or smeg ups. So i imagine there is still some material not seen before.

  • No Chloe mention at all, I wonder if she will be a part of it.

    Oh, and that logo doesn’t look right with the halo around it but the Times font. Put it back to the chunky font we know and love.

  • which gives them plenty of time to have a bit of an extra crack at that logo.

    You guys never let me down.

    Anyway, looking forward to Rob being asked whether he’s involved with this every 20 seconds during Red Dwarf Quarantine on Sunday.

  • I’m sure there’ll be something new in there: maybe a Dave-era outtake or two, possibly some old rushes, and a few new anecdotes. It’ll be 95% stuff the likes of us are all aware of, but I do enjoy seeing them all in action talking about the show, even if they’re trotting out the same stories.

    The logo is fucking hideous.

  • Always good to see more Dwarf on Dave. However without sounding ungrateful you do think they could have shown this after TPL and then had this as a extra on the blu ray/DVD. But that is nitpicking I suppose!

  • Don’t know what this says about me, but I first saw this and thought “that logo is fucking shocking” not “Exciting! New Red Dwarf stuff”.

    Too much graphic design in me.

    It’ll be interesting to see but I echo the sentiment that this might not be for us really, as the hardcore.

    Always good to have Dwarf on the TV and keeping relevant though.

    There are a couple of very important people in the Red Dwarf story that have sadly passed, so I hope they’re included via footage from the DVD docs.

  • If this is the reaction you get to making a new documentary on the show, you know that you did something right with your DVD releases at least.

  • I choose to take the title literally, and am looking forward to watching 3 commercial hours of documentary exclusively about the writing and production of “The End”.

  • If this is the reaction you get to making a new documentary on the show, you know that you did something right with your DVD releases at least.

    They really hamstrung themselves by doing such a good job with the DVDs, the stuff they put out now is probably the best you can get for TV shows, features wise, but compared to the DVDs and Bodysnatcher, it’ll always be disappointing.

  • Another thing occurs to me: this would have been PERFECT to do for the 30th anniversary.

  • “This is the first time a documentary has been made…” has been updated to “This is the first time a retrospective documentary has been made…”

  • Thinking about it, Doug’s presence on the III-VIII DVD documentaries is actually quite small, rarely saying much about the writing itself, so more contributions from him would be very welcome.

  • Well Doug’s Twitter shows an image of him recording a new interview during lockdown, so it remains to be seen how many other people have done the same.

    At the time TPL was aired, I think it was Doug who said they just had one key person left to interview who’d have to light and record themselves thanks to lockdown – presumably he was talking about himself, it turns out. I’ll see if I can dig up where I read it …

  • Well Doug’s Twitter shows an image of him recording a new interview during lockdown, so it remains to be seen how many other people have done the same.

    At the time TPL was aired, I think it was Doug who said they just had one key person left to interview who’d have to light and record themselves thanks to lockdown – presumably he was talking about himself, it turns out. I’ll see if I can dig up where I read it …

    Ah, here https://twitter.com/DougRDNaylor/status/1248236176814878721

    “Yes it is still happening. Not sure when it will TX. Not long. One more guest interview to shoot. Due to present restrictions they’re sending round green screen and lights so he light and interview himself. ##RedDwarfdocs”

  • Those Only Fools And Horses documentaries are great but pretty hard to find if you don’t live in the UK. I hope these get some form of physical release.

  • I’m really not trolling here, but am I the only person who’s fed up with these extended documentaries about classic comedies clogging up the UKTV holiday schedules? Seriously, how much more is there left to know about these shows?

    Sorry, I just find it all very counterproductive and lazy.

  • It’s Christmas tradition in the Saunders family household to half-watch a documentary you’ve already seen 7 times about Morecambe and Wise despite not really caring that much for Morecambe and Wise

  • Sorry, I just find it all very counterproductive and lazy.

    Building a documentary is a tremendous amount of work. But sure, let’s go with “lazy.”

  • Sorry, I just find it all very counterproductive and lazy.

    Building a documentary is a tremendous amount of work. But sure, let’s go with “lazy.”

    You know full well that’s not what I meant, but well done for scoring yourself a cheap point.

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