Yesterday, Doug Naylor updated his Twitter to say that an announcement was coming, and sure enough, at one minute past midnight, the BBC published a press release to say that all twelve series of Red Dwarf, plus The Promised Land, are coming to BBC iPlayer. This is great news for the show, with the exposure that comes from having your boxset front and centre on one of the UK’s biggest streaming platforms, free to access and free from ads. And it’s really significant that the Dave era is included too; it’s not entirely unprecedented, and not surprising given the links between UKTV and the BBC, but it’s a rare treat to see shows that originated on other channels appearing on iPlayer.

However, now that the episodes have turned up, there’s a problem. As you can see by looking at the series tabs, it goes straight from VIII to X. Poor old Back To Earth. It’s been missing from UKTV Play for a long time too, and at this stage we can only assume that there are complicated rights issues involved, that apply to this mini-series and this mini-series alone. It can’t be being omitted on grounds of quality, because Timewave is there. It’s odd that nobody has acknowledged this either – the press release says “twelve series of Red Dwarf come to BBC iPlayer”, and there’s only eleven.

(Not that that’s the only inaccuracy in the press release. It says the BBC series ran from 1988 to 1997 – we’d all like to forget that VIII exists, to be fair – and that the show hasn’t been seen on the BBC since 2007. If only more people would consult Christopher Wickham’s BBC broadcasts guide before publishing. “Red Dwarf hasn’t been seen on the BBC since 2022″ is less newsworthy but more accurate.)

But strangely, there’s another episode missing too. Click on the Series VIII tab, and you’ll see it skips from episode 4, Cassandra, to episode 6, Pete (Part One). Rejoice, Krytie TV has been stricken from the record! This is very interesting. Is it on the grounds of taste and decency? It’s an episode that revolves entirely around secretly filming women in the shower for profit, which also hinges on outdated concepts of gender identity. Or is it something more boring, like Stand By Your Man being hard to clear? Or are we just awake too early, and it’ll turn up later? Either way, technically speaking UKTV Play still has a bigger collection of Red Dwarf as of this moment.

Now, who’s volunteering to go through each and every episode looking for edits?

UPDATE (10:50am): We asked the BBC press office what the deal was with the missing episodes, and have had this response:

Krytie TV has been held up by a technical hitch, it’ll be there a little later this morning. We don’t have the rights to Back to Earth I’m afraid.

In many ways, we’re quite relieved that Krytie TV wasn’t deliberately excluded. Just imagine the discourse about BBC wokeness…

150 comments on “94.6% 95.9% 100% of Red Dwarf on BBC iPlayer!

Scroll to bottom

  • Wow, Krytie TV’s absence makes Doug’s tweet saying “This is the first time ever all the shows have been available to watch at the same time in the same place.” even sillier. But at least someone at the BBC agrees with me that Krytie TV is the canonical worst ever episode of Red Dwarf, and not this pretender to the throne Timewave.

    Missing 4 episodes aside, iPlayer is in every way superior to UKTV Play, so it’s cool to have this is an option for travelling or “can’t be arsed to retrieve a disc from a shelf” episode viewing.

    I notice that the BBC and UKTV are bitter enemies when it comes to Lists vs. Tabs, and Roman Numerals vs. Arabic Numerals.

    Plus, neither of them can figure out what to do with The Promised Land. UKTV regards it as an entirely different show, the BBC regards it as a Series XII bonus episode.

  • iPlayer has form for that, outside-of-series specials are often jammed onto the end of the previous series and numbered as if they were part of the same production block. 

  • Backwards: has the PJP jingle as per the original broadcast / DVD version.

    Marooned: seems to be bone stock. No Starbug at the end and not re-mastered, thank god.

  • No Starbug at the end

    First thing I checked.

    Hopefully the beeb are baffled by the final three seconds of Marooned being the most popular part of the show at launch.

  • Seeing the collection of “all series” on both services really highlights to me what a bad marketing move it was to jump from VIII to X in the numbering. It looks like something major is missing, and that will surely put a few new viewers off. Even Back to Earth being there wouldn’t solve the problem I don’t think, unless they actually called it Series IX.

  • Rejoice, Krytie TV has been stricken from the record! This is very interesting. Is it on the grounds of taste and decency? It’s an episode that revolves entirely around secretly filming women in the shower for profit, which also hinges on outdated concepts of gender identity. Or is it something more boring, like Stand By Your Man being hard to clear?

    Pessimistic prediction: a tabloid (or possibly Chris Barrie) is going to notice the omission of Krytie TV and complain that it’s being CENSORED and CANCELLED and use it as an excuse to stir up culture war bullshit. Basically repeating what happened when those Little Britain episodes got removed from streaming.

    Then it will turn out that the omission happened because of boring rights reasons, but that will receive a lot less attention.

    EDIT: What Jason aka Smeg4Brains said.

  • Looks like they’ve moved The Promised Land off the end of XII and onto its own tab.

  • I’m going to try to verify this later on when I’ve got time, so take with a mountain of salt, but my prevailing memory is that the rights issues are somehow tied up witht he fact that BTE was made possible on a low budget by a lot of people working for well below their usual rate in order to get the show made, in departements such as the VFX and elsewhere.

    Does this sound like complete gelf shit? Part of me believes that maybe clearances for stuff like that could only have been agreed for a set amount of time which has now expired, but it also does seem a bit strange that would be the case. Probably various missremembered half truths mixing together in my mind.

  • I’m going to try to verify this later on when I’ve got time, so take with a mountain of salt, but my prevailing memory is that the rights issues are somehow tied up witht he fact that BTE was made possible on a low budget by a lot of people working for well below their usual rate in order to get the show made, in departements such as the VFX and elsewhere.

    Does this sound like complete gelf shit? Part of me believes that maybe clearances for stuff like that could only have been agreed for a set amount of time which has now expired, but it also does seem a bit strange that would be the case. Probably various missremembered half truths mixing together in my mind.

    The odd thing is that it’s not like Back To Earth is completely unavailable – you can buy the episodes digitally on Amazon for example, and the DVD/Blu-Ray is still available – it just seems that the rights weren’t bundled with the rest of the Red Dwarf streaming rights for whatever reason.

    For me, this is why physical media is still so important. There’s no guarantee that this stuff will remain available indefinitely on streaming services, and we’ve even seen recent examples of big operators like Disney+ pulling content altogether so it’s not available anywhere (there’s now no legal way of watching the new Willow series, for example). So I think it’s important to have an option to retain it offline.

  • Not the series VII extended episodes though… at least those were on Netflix back in the day 

  • Been reading this site for years. Finally felt obliged to create a login just so I can be Right About Something.

    Craig has tweeted that ‘Back to Earth’ has been held back as they’re going to make a full-length version of it, rather than keeping it chopped up. I’d link to it, but I’ve already done my bit. You link to it.

    Kisses.

  • Yeah, I saw that, but I think he might be wrong. I hope he’s right, but that would contradict what the BBC told us.

  • Although I can confirm that A: They got the right playback frame rate for the SD episodes. (Something that other streaming services tend to mess up, like a certain red branded ‘N’ one dose)

    And B: This is kept intact !!!

  • The hour long Director’s Cut of BTE already exists, so I’m not sure what to make of that. Presumably Craig has heard that from somewhere, though. As the Director’s Cut has never been broadcast before, I suppose it could be a matter of hashing that out.

    Curiouser and curiouser…

  • The hour long Director’s Cut of BTE already exists, so I’m not sure what to make of that. Presumably Craig has heard that from somewhere, though. As the Director’s Cut has never been broadcast before, I suppose it could be a matter of hashing that out.

    Curiouser and curiouser…

    I do remember DAVE showing that a few times, many years ago

  • I’m going to try to verify this later on when I’ve got time, so take with a mountain of salt, but my prevailing memory is that the rights issues are somehow tied up witht he fact that BTE was made possible on a low budget by a lot of people working for well below their usual rate in order to get the show made, in departements such as the VFX and elsewhere.

    Does this sound like complete gelf shit? Part of me believes that maybe clearances for stuff like that could only have been agreed for a set amount of time which has now expired, but it also does seem a bit strange that would be the case. Probably various missremembered half truths mixing together in my mind.

    Mike Seymour’s FXPHD did the special effects, it was a crowd sourced thing, a great idea that should be used now probably. Doug maybe got in too early there, amateur/ home VFX has come a long way since 2009.

    I think they’ll have been paid their (cheap on purpose) rate and that’ll all be fine, but maybe they used some assets that have crossed a “give us more money now” threshold. 

    Could be any tiny thing though with rights. Could be whoever took the press shots in the memorial scene needs to be paid, could be SFX being in it and some advertising thing, maybe Sophie Winkleman has got the Royal Family to intervene because she’s bitter she got pushed into traffic haha

  • Christ, what a terrible article.

    Bit harsh. Ian is trying his best. 

  • I have determined that, on the whole, UKTV have the superior selection of thumbnails for each episode, usually something more interesting, evocative or intriguing, and less generic than iPlayer’s ones. 

    I fully expect a 5,000 word article comparing the two on G&T by the end of the week, please. 

  • Impressive that they dedicated multiple paragraphs to criticisms of Krytie TV, yet somehow managed to avoid the main one. “It makes jokes at Kochanski’s expense”. OK, I guess, but that’s not really the headline reason for it being called sexist is it Metro.

    Also the first review they quoted is from a 2016 fan blog which is a bit odd. Almost like they were googling for the most cutting single sentences rather than just looking up reviews in general. Almost.

  • Oh no! not Krytie TV and Back To Earth. How will we go on not watching those masterpieces on BBCiplayer. Least we still got Pete part 1 and 2, and Timewave.

  • This but unironically

    Oh it wasn’t ironic. Especially as further study has revealed that, in a head-to-head comparison, I actually think the iPlayer has somewhat ironically managed to pick better thumbnails for almost all of the UKTV episodes than UKTV have. 

    Hopefully I find a bit of free time tonight so I can thoroughly point-score them all and provide a league table! 

  • Oh no! not Krytie TV and Back To Earth. How will we go on not watching those masterpieces on BBCiplayer. Least we still got Pete part 1 and 2, and Timewave.

    I don’t care how much Back to Earth isn’t especially funny, you cannot put it on the same level as VIII and Timewave when it actually has a real story with emotional stakes, actual decent characterization compared to what came before it, and isn’t loaded with offensive bullshit. Although even I think Part 1 kinda sucks.

    Speaking of Back to Earth though, I’m looking forward to it becoming a sort of legendary lost series in the fandom. And how confused everyone is going to be jumping from Only the Good to Trojan without so much as a helpful “9 years later” caption.

  • Other minor details:

    – For the multi-part stories, it’s e.g. ‘Part 1’ and not ‘Part One’ as it is on screen (or ‘Part I’ as per the accepted Smega-Drive standard).

    – Demons & Angels and Give & Take have had their ampersands replaced by “and”s, yet Confidence & Paranoia and Fathers & Suns haven’t.

    – The Promised Land doesn’t have its own thumbnail, it just uses the general show image of the Can’t Smeg, Won’t Smeg cast, including Chloë Annett who obviously wasn’t even in that episode.

    – Although there may be no canonically correct way due to the on screen titles being all caps, I feel there’s unspoken rules about which connecting words and articles in the middle of titles should be capitalised and which shouldn’t. “Better than Life” ain’t it.

  • Well, this is nice. Here in the US we have the entire thing on BritBox (which refers to BTE as “Back to Earth – Series IX”) but the BBC era is shown at 30 frames rather than 50 or 60.

  • You poor soul… How can anyone live/watch/enjoy with that level of frame rate !!!

  • This might be different now, but traditionally the internet doesn’t believe in showing TV at frame rates above 24/25.

    Also for the record, 50i and 60i are interlaced formats. 25 / 30 frames per second are the progressive format you’d get from deinterlacing them. But you’re never actually getting 50 full frames per second with 50i. They cheat by interlacing two frames together per frame. What you want is a lack of deinterlacing.

  • I really need to re-encode my PAL copies of Red Dwarf without deinterlacing. When it’s from 60i to 30p it’s still really smooth, but 50i to 25p gives you a fake film look.

  • I assumed there’s no Back to Earth because of all the Corrie stuff. It would essentially be an advert for their main competitor’s flagship show

  • I’m going to try to verify this later on when I’ve got time, so take with a mountain of salt, but my prevailing memory is that the rights issues are somehow tied up witht he fact that BTE was made possible on a low budget by a lot of people working for well below their usual rate in order to get the show made, in departements such as the VFX and elsewhere.

    Does this sound like complete gelf shit? Part of me believes that maybe clearances for stuff like that could only have been agreed for a set amount of time which has now expired, but it also does seem a bit strange that would be the case. Probably various missremembered half truths mixing together in my mind.

    It doesn’t sound strange at all. It’s the reason why the Doctor Who special Dimensions in Time has never been commercially released. Everyone worked on it for nothing (’cause it was for charidee). The Curse of Fatal Death only got a video release because of some wrangling that made sure all profits from sales went to Red Nose.

  • Think that Doug saying this was “quite significant” has been more than justified by the amount of coverage this has got. Loads of articles on major publications and big Twitter accounts posting about it, front page of the BBC site too (below). Always nice to be reminded that this show can cause a buzz beyond the usual places. Plus I think we’re all very excited about that hot-dog lob. 

  • Endlessly infuriating that people who claim to know Red Dwarf, some enough that they have an entire podcast about it, scream cancel culture when Krytie TV is missing, when the episode where Cat is a misogynist twat, the episode where Rimmer brags about sleeping with a woman with a concussion who didn’t know who he was, the episode with the racist vending machine, and the episodes where Rimmer uses chemicals to trick women into having sex with him are all there.

  • Yeah, I think BtE must be hampered by rights issues with Corrie.

    A shame Krytie TV was found and uploaded but there are other instances of outdated language and views in RD (the r-slur in Justice springs to mind), so I guess the question really would be ‘where do you draw the line?’  Personally that line comes between ‘instances of’ and ‘an entire episode based around’, but then it opens a whole can of worms about other programmes and episodes where no doubt they have offensive episodes and they’re still on there.

    Would have been easier just to drop VIII altogether with the explanation ‘it’s all embarrassingly rubbish’, but then apparently some people actually enjoy it, so I don’t think that would fly either.

  • Checked The End for See You Later, Alligator (replaced with the “Here we go, here we go” football chant on Netflix) and Gunmen for “jailbait” (edited out for at least one repeat). Both present and correct. 

  • Rob getting Dwarf stuck on iPlayer so he can catch up without having to buy the DVDs.

    Out of curiosity, are the versions on iPlayer the same as the ones from the Blu-Ray release from a couple years ago, complete with all the little niggles? If so, lol. If not, lol?

  • TORDFC said “It’s also worth noting that Series 1-8 is the new Blu-ray regraded editions”, don’t think I’ve seen anyone else mention that yet.

  • It certainly looks to be the BR versions, by the state of the Blue Midget numberplate shot in Thanks For The Memory/ies.

  • That was one of the only things that I remember as being notably different. Maybe the cropping/framing of VI if anyone has an eye for that?

  • Was the extra shot at the end of Marooned on DVD used in TV repeats too (when they weren’t accidentally showing Marooned Remastered, that is)? I thought the absence of that was a clue that it was the BD versions on iPlayer, but maybe not.

    I wonder if the consensus (or lack thereof) around the Blu ray versions of Series 1-VIII has changed since 2019. Between rewatches and Smega-Drive usage, I’ve become very used to these versions. Even if I had noticed bad differences compared to the DVD versions initially, I’m not sure they would still be annoying me.

    Another thing I just realised – this is supposedly huge Red Dwarf news, but there’s not been a peep from TOS about it. They haven’t even quietly updated the “where to watch on demand” section of the site. It’s kind of depressing. The end of weekly updates is bad enough, but you’d think they would at least post actual Red Dwarf news on there when it happens.

  • I wonder if the consensus (or lack thereof) around the Blu ray versions of Series 1-VIII has changed since 2019. Between rewatches and Smega-Drive usage, I’ve become very used to these versions. Even if I had noticed bad differences compared to the DVD versions initially, I’m not sure they would still be annoying me.

    I feel like it was always the case that the BR versions were in almost all respects either equal to or better than the DVDs. (That Blue Midget scene is the only real negative that I can think of.)

    I just think the interlacing error for Series III and half of V overshadowed the conversation a bit and people forgot that (outside of that) the episodes themselves were decent quality.

  • Plus I think we’re all very excited about that hot-dog lob.

    🎵 Hot dog🎵

    🎵 Tennis lob🎵

    🎵Almond cookies🎵

  • I nominate Dave’s GIF for Hall of Fame etc etc

    Why is there no GIFGlobe for Spaced?

  • (I thought of doing the Series VIII trailer first, and then I remembered that a scene from that series has a casting connection….)

  • Lines that sound like they might be from the Dave era applied to the BBC era

  • “For me, this is why physical media is still so important. There’s no guarantee that this stuff will remain available indefinitely on streaming services, and we’ve even seen recent examples of big operators like Disney+ pulling content altogether so it’s not available anywhere (there’s now no legal way of watching the new Willow series, for example). So I think it’s important to have an option to retain it offline.”


    This x1000.

  • Maybe they’re going to send a DVD of Back to Earth to space, let it fall BACK TO EARTH, and then print the wrong date for its return on the livestream.

  • *Might* be nice if the official website or social media acknowledged all this at some point, huh?

  • *Might* be nice if the official website or social media acknowledged all this at some point, huh?

    I do hope now the legal issues are sorted and Red Dwarf seems to again be an ongoing concern, that fixing the website and having a closer to full time social media person is up near the top of the agenda.

    Especially as the social media that was the new home of Red Dwarf debate is a raging bin fire.

  • I think they should just tweet random Smegadrive frames of the only five or six jokes any normie RD group will ever quote. Your toasts, your kippers, etc. It’s sure to get hundreds of likes every time.

  • This would probably be quite a good time for someone to do an Xtended Revisited-style article on the differences between the three-part version and the Director’s Cut, if only so we can say exactly what percentage of Red Dwarf is still missing from iPlayer.

  • Very odd choice of thumbnail, not a publicity shot I remember seeing. I expected one of the shots below. Almost looks likes it’s taken on someone’s phone. 

    Appreciate them correctly listing it as series IX, despite now only being a single episode.

  • Very odd choice of thumbnail, not a publicity shot I remember seeing. I expected one of the shots below. Almost looks likes it’s taken on someone’s phone. 

    Appreciate them correctly listing it as series IX, despite now only being a single episode.

    I’d say any of the shots you’ve chosen would be more enticing to someone unfamiliar with the episode. Weird choice. 

  • Appreciate them correctly listing it as series IX, despite now only being a single episode.

    Hey, crazy thought: what if the reason it’s taken this long for Back to Earth to come to iPlayer is that Doug was trying to veto it being referred to as “Series IX”.

    It’s a very low chance, but it’s not zero, admit it.

  • Going to start a Change.org campaign to recognise TPL as series XIII

  • Nice that they chose the Director’s Cut, certainly the definitive viewing experience.

    Imagine if they had to do a new edit like with Marooned, and for old time’s sake they threw in that shot of Mitchell & Webb in chicken suits.

  • The best version of BtE is still the Doug director commentary. Put that on iPlayer and I’ll watch it.

  • Probably just a one-off in line with their other recent comedy repeats, but BBC Two are repeating The End on Friday 25th at 10pm: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b008nddx

    (EDIT: Actually they’re repeating the whole of The Royle Family S1 on Mondays and all of No Activity on Thursdays, so quite possible we’ll get all of Series 1 at the very least)

Scroll to top  •  Scroll to 'Recent Comments'

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.