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IT. IS. DONE.

I feel like we’ve been going on about milestones quite a lot recently, but to add to our previous BBC-era accomplishment we have now finally recorded a commentary for every single extant episode of TV Red Dwarf! Whether or not this ends up being the last ever remains to be seen, but let’s hope we’ll be returning to our longest running feature sooner rather than never. Before that, though, join Ian, Danny and Cappsy in this feature length commentary of the Dave era’s finest, The Promised Land.

DwarfCast 139 – The Promised Land Commentary (110MB)

As per our chat at the end, we have a bit of a shake up planned for the near future of DwarfCasts. For a start, commentaries will continue in some form, primarily hoovering up the various ‘misc’ things we’ve not yet touched on such as the USA pilots, the lost episodes, Universe Challenge um cetera um cetera. On the reading side of things, once we’ve finished up with Backwards we’ll be starting a brand new series in which we go through the Smegazines one issue at a time. Ian knows them inside out and Cappsy and Danny do not, and from thence the content will arise. As you’d expect, these two things will continue with the same release cadence we’ve had with commentaries and the Book Club over the last year or so.

So, the next thing to plop into your feeds will be part 3 of the Backwards Book Club, HOWEVER the next thing we’ll be recording (as in, this weekend) will be a Wafflemen Special, in which we will answer literally any question or address any topic you so want us to. So, please do use this comments section to throw us your waffle topics, be them Red Dwarf related, Red Dwarf adjacent or just whatever you want, really.

Show notes

36 comments on “DwarfCast 139 – The Promised Land Commentary

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  • Wafflemen: how can I read the Smegazines without paying exorbitant amounts for backissues on ebay?

  • During my research I didn’t see this about Iron Stars

    ” They are potentially quiescent hot luminous blue variables”

    Phwoar! What a sentence. Who doesn’t want a potentially quiescent hot luminous blue variable?

  • Most of the 90s Red Dwarf books (Log etc.) have been scanned to archive.org over the last couple of years if you make an account, if you’re curious but not to the extent of paying £2.19 on eBay.

    The Smegazines are part of my nostalgia (mainly Volume 2), but the early ones are bloody rough and contenders for the worst ever Red Dwarf ‘content.’ Ideal DwarfCast material.

  • I had all the books as they came out, just never read the Smegazines. So that archive is great.

  • I think you guys should sit down and record a Red Dwarf Role Playing Game special. Would love to listen to you playing that for a few hours.

  • I think you guys should sit down and record a Red Dwarf Role Playing Game special. Would love to listen to you playing that for a few hours.

    I bought the RPG book despite having no friends to play the game with. Made up my Kretyn (see what I did there?) character and everything.

  • That would be awesome, I’d love to see/hear that.

    Which gives me an idea for a Waffle:
    If you had to go back and replace the Cat with another animal type from the RPG sourcebook, which one would you pick?

  • Hello Wafflemen, I find when playing International Superstar Soccer 64 there’s just not enough variety in the teams available, can you help me?

  • Can we submit multiple waffles or is that too indulgent? Either way here’s one for starters:

    The show has returned to a few concepts over time for “sequels” or follow ups (e.g. polymorphs, Ace, or things like re-purposing the matter paddle for the triplicator etc.) but there are lots of ideas that were only seen once and sometimes almost in a “blink and you’ll miss it” fashion. Are there any ideas that you would have liked to have seen more of, either in their first outing or as part of a re-visit?

  • Can we submit multiple waffles or is that too indulgent?

    Imagine if you were accused of being self indulgent by three men planning a podcast all about themselves. Fill your boots!

  • Will you be doing any of the cast/crews other books. All of Robs/Bobby’s books are available to buy quite easily (compared to the actual main series novels)

  • Waffle: if you could live out the full life of any character ever to appear in Red Dwarf, who would it be?

  • Waffle: more of discussion point I suppose, because it’s quite a wide topic but how would you rate the universe of Red Dwarf compared to other sci-fi series? I feel like it’s actually quite a fleshed out universe with lots of potential for other stories within it.

  • Can we submit multiple waffles or is that too indulgent?

    Imagine if you were accused of being self indulgent by three men planning a podcast all about themselves. Fill your boots!

    Good point! In which case:

    Waffle 2: If you had to live out the rest of your life in a “guest” Red Dwarf location (basically any planet/station/moon etc. they visit that isn’t one of their own ships) where would you choose?

  • The promised land isn’t a place. It’s that G&T promised they would eventually! do ALL the episode commentary’s. Well done all on landing that goal. Been a pleasure listening to you while watching the shows.

  • Will you be doing any of the cast/crews other books. All of Robs/Bobby’s books are available to buy quite easily (compared to the actual main series novels)

    I wouldn’t rule it out, but we’re not planning on it at the moment. Mainly because the Smegazine Club (or whatever we call it) will do us for a good while.

  • Waffle me this: Who would have made a good new ‘Fifth Dwarfer’ for the Dave era, popping up in a handful of small but memorable roles à la Tony Hawks in 1 – IV? Or, for that matter, what parts might have been good for Tony himself?

    Well done on finishing the episode commentaries. Looking forward to listening to this one, and Smegazine club should be fun.

  • Hello Wafflemen, I find when playing International Superstar Soccer 64 there’s just not enough variety in the teams available, can you help me?

    A number of opportunities are available.

  • Didn’t Richard Naylor once say in a really early draft of the script one of the characters has a daughter? My theory is that originally this story wasn’t gonna be about the cats, it was gonna be a lister finds out he has a daughter story, and then it was changed to the cat race. where you once had a daughter thinking her father was something he isn’t, bit like in Last Human. you could easily change that to the cat race worship of Lister. that would also explain the repopulating joke at the start and why there wasn’t much thought into the cats role. because the story would have been a rework of another story. both involving some sorta hero-worship towards Lister.

    And about Rimmers Red costume not showing up. i assume thats because all versions of that costume were sold on the propstore. i don’t believe the green one has shown up there.

  • The modified Cat Bible art in TPL, where generic human Cloister is replaced with a recognisable Lister, reminded me about that one strange picture in Waiting for God where Cloister looks different from the others and even resembles Rimmer, complete with symbol on the forehead that may be a covered up ‘H’ after the artist was informed that they’d drawn the wrong bloody character.

    Anyone else sign up to this conspiracy theory?

  • Waffle me this: Who would have made a good new ‘Fifth Dwarfer’ for the Dave era, popping up in a handful of small but memorable roles à la Tony Hawks in 1 – IV? Or, for that matter, what parts might have been good for Tony himself?

    Wouldn’t it have been great if there had been an episode with some vending machines in it interacting with the main cast. Maybe as a nod to the actor they could even have called one of the machines Tony. Unfortunately that definitely didn’t happen.

  • The modified Cat Bible art in TPL, where generic human Cloister is replaced with a recognisable Lister, reminded me about that one strange picture in Waiting for God where Cloister looks different from the others and even resembles Rimmer, complete with symbol on the forehead that may be a covered up ‘H’ after the artist was informed that they’d drawn the wrong bloody character.

    Anyone else sign up to this conspiracy theory?

    Maybe a part of Cloister is really McIntyre, who survived the accident and raised Frankenstein and the kittens before finally switching himself off when they’d become self reliant.

    The Cat history just merges the two important characters in their origin story through word of mouth story telling over the millennia!

  • The modified Cat Bible art in TPL, where generic human Cloister is replaced with a recognisable Lister, reminded me about that one strange picture in Waiting for God where Cloister looks different from the others and even resembles Rimmer, complete with symbol on the forehead that may be a covered up ‘H’ after the artist was informed that they’d drawn the wrong bloody character.

    Anyone else sign up to this conspiracy theory?
    Maybe a part of Cloister is really McIntyre, who survived the accident and raised Frankenstein and the kittens before finally switching himself off when they’d become self reliant.
    The Cat history just merges the two important characters in their origin story through word of mouth story telling over the millennia!

    McIntyre wasn’t frozen in time though was he.

    It is a weird picture in Waiting for God though, it definitely looks like there was something on the forehead originally. But then none of the other pictures have any similar marks so it’s hard to know for sure if it was something that got removed or if it’s just a bad picture.

    The TPL ones do a really good job of capturing the same look, that was definitely one of the things that I remember impressing me on first watch because they really didn’t need to bother with it and many people probably wouldn’t have cared/noticed so it’s great that they went to the effort!

  • I’ve always thought we’re supposed to accept the absurd implication that all the “Cloister” knowledge was Chinese-whiskered down the generations over millions of years to get it slightly wrong, but to give it any credibility, it must have been discovered relatively recently (centuries or millennia before they left the ship) by the advanced cats finding the black box or accessing the bunkroom CCTV archives to see Lister talking to Frankenstein.

    Their fanciful misunderstandings being due to cultural/language barriers (they were still getting to grips with English at the time, so couldn’t understand Lister’s accent that even some native English speakers struggle with) or deliberate cover-ups by the crazy priests.

  • McIntyre wasn’t frozen in time though was he.

    That’s why I said merged. They’re taking what they know of both Lister and McIntyre and over the centuries it’s become one person.

    Warbodog hits on a good idea though of the Cats discovering actual visual historical evidence of life pre-Cat civilisation. But you’d think by that point they’d suppress it as heresy to their ancient teachings rather than accept it as fact.

  • OK, Wafflem’n.

    You’re tasked with designing a toy line of 6 inch figures based on the popular sci-fi sitcom, Red Dwarf.

    What figures do you include in the first three waves (each wave has 4 figures), and what accessories do you give ’em? You’re allowed to design one large playset too – what would that be, and what would it include?

  • They did use a stand-in for Robert when he was ill. There’s some good footage of him wearing a horrible looking ersatz Kryten mask in the documentary.

    I don’t get on with a lot of new comedy these days but Stath Lets Flats is a brilliant, hilarious show.

  • Regarding the conversation about whether the opening bunkroom sex-change scene could be removed without hurting the story – I think the “does it advance the story/characters?” is a good rule of thumb for culling scenes in serious TV show and movies, but not necessarily in comedies.

    Some of my favourite scenes in Red Dwarf have been comedy bits that have very little to with the story – the morale meeting in Out Of Time is hilarious but completely superfluous, watching The Flintstones could be lost from Backwards without hurting the story, Tongue Tied is unnecessary, etc.

    Interestingly all those examples come at the start of the episode, presumably with the intention of kicking things off with some big laughs so that the audience gets nice and comfortable and primed for more comedy – like the warm-up to the main event.

    So I think that was ultimately the intention with including the sex-change scene here – even if this time it fell a bit flat.

  • They did use a stand-in for Robert when he was ill. There’s some good footage of him wearing a horrible looking ersatz Kryten mask in the documentary.

    I thought I remembered that too. Doesn’t Craig even joke about him being better than Bobby or something like that?

    I think the Dwarfcast was talking about the recording nights though. I think the stand in was only used during pre-records.

  • I thought I remembered that too. Doesn’t Craig even joke about him being better than Bobby or something like that?

    Naturally. And yes, the second audience recording was postponed until Bobby was better.

    I used the Blu-ray for listening to the DwarfCast but I’ve noticed only the two-part version of TPL is available on UKTV Play. I wonder why that is.

  • It’s been two parts on there from the moment the episode aired, I think to improve server load at the time as they anticipate a lot of people streaming it rather than watching the live broadcast.

    Not sure why they wouldn’t merge them now. Laziness perhaps? Or still to improve server load, so you’re not buffering 90mins of TV all in one go perhaps?

  • Just got to the bit where Cappsy bemoans his cat’s inability to use the cat-flap.

    I’m frankly disgusted that you didn’t use the phrase “he just couldn’t get his head round it”.

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