ROB GRANT WRITES NEW RED DWARF SCRIPT News Posted by Ian Symes on 6th November 2020, 17:41 It’s a genuinely strange feeling for me (as indeed it would be for the rest of the remaining G&T team) to report on Fan Club activity from an outsider’s perspective. I’m still not used to finding out what they’re up to via official channels, rather than half-listening to their remote team meetings taking place at the other end of the sofa, worrying about what duties I’m going to be volunteered for. But today’s announcement is quite a big one, as the sensationalist and yet entirely accurate headline demonstrates. Via TOS, the Fan Club have unveiled a two-day online convention called Holly Hop, taking place on the most recently cancelled dates for DJXXI, the 6th & 7th February 2021, to tide us over until the proper convention hopefully happens in September next year, deadly pandemic permitting. So, it’s a Hop for a skipped Jump, providing “guest Q&As and behind-the-scenes discussions, as well as a few surprises along the way”. This is great stuff – while the magic of DJ can’t fully be captured without 400 people crammed into a sweaty hotel conferencing room with endless booze on tap, this is the next best thing to tide us over until such a thing is possible again, whenever that may be. And you really can’t argue with the price – just £9, or £5 for existing Fan Club members and/or DJXXI ticket holders. Plus, part of the proceeds will be donated to the Trussell Trust, in memory of Seb Patrick. It’s a cause that was close to his heart, and this is a wonderful gesture. It’s not going to be a struggle to provide excellent value for money at less than a tenner, but the headline event is surely worth the price of admission alone. Yes, Rob Grant has written a brand new Red Dwarf script especially for the event. His first original Red Dwarf story since 1996. Bloody hell. Ever since the last DJ in 2018, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much Rob has been edging his way back into prominence after spending so much time away from any kind of association with the show. The Quarantine Commentaries have been a brilliant new addition to his oeuvre, while his other venture with Paul Jackson and Ed Bye, Lockdown Theatre, has provided some impressive and ambitious entertainment. Never did I dream that the two would be combined to produce original Dwarf material from one of its co-creators, not least the co-creator who’s barely been near a Red Dwarf script (amendments to Bodysnatcher aside) since 1993. The one caveat is that it won’t be performed by the proper cast; instead there’ll be a competition for fans to take part in a live table reading. I must admit that the prospect of fans being let loose on this material slightly fills me with trepidation and a bit of nausea, but three things to bear in mind: 1) there’s a proper audition process rather than the parts being given by random chance, so hopefully some genuine talent can be unearthed; 2) we’ll be able to judge the script on its own merits regardless of the performance; 3) hello, yes, thanks for this massive gift horse, but please could I have one with a slightly more attractive mouth? We say again: Rob Grant has written a brand new Red Dwarf script. We say again: bloody hell.