Prompted by a question from listener Si Bromley, our most recent edition of Waffle Men, as featured on the DwarfCast commentary for Samsara, included a discussion on the not-fondly-remembered Chris Barrie sitcom A Prince Among Men. Having grown tired of playing comedy prats like Arnold Rimmer and Gordon Brittas, Chris teamed up with The Brittas Empire producer and director Mike Stephens to bring us Gary Prince, a comedy prat who differed from his previous comedy prats by lacking any charm, depth or originality.

Gary was a retired footballer turned entrepreneur, and also a self-centered egotist, who spent his time annoying his German wife Lisel, belittling his loyal staff, insulting his closest friends and making terrible business decisions. The show ran for two series on BBC One, the first one and a half of which were shown in prime time during the week, before the last few episodes were quietly relegated to Sunday afternoons. It was not very good. See for yourself, here's the first episode:

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We all really rather enjoyed the first instalment of Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years last week, despite some quibbles that mostly involve the treatment of 4:3 material. We will put our thoughts on the record properly at some point in the future, but while we’re still on compassionate leave from having to think about anything too much, here’s a little discussion thread for you in the meantime. This covers episode two, In Studio Space No-One Can Hear You Scream, which airs tonight at 9pm on Dave

While you shouldn’t expect much immediate in-depth coverage from us for obvious reasons, we thought we’d best provide a place for everyone to discuss The Boys from the Dwarf, the first of the three-part documentary series Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years, which airs tonight at 9pm on DaveA few reviews and previews have started to emerge, from the likes of Radio Times, What’s On TV and Sci-Fi Bulletin, who reveal the unexpected but welcome news that the series is narrated by an actual Doctor Who, David Tennant. A fansite of his has what looks like the full press release.

There is also an additional reason to tune in tonight. The Patrick family have asked us to spread the news that there will be a tribute card to Seb included. It was too late to get it added to the programme itself, but thanks to Doug and the team at GNP, UKTV are doing it as part of their presentation. We’re told it’ll happen during an ad break at around 21:25.

It is now precisely two weeks until the first of three episodes of Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years airs on Dave, and so I suppose it's high time for a trailer. Expect to see this approximately a thousand times over the next fortnight if, like me, you're trapped watching Dave's nightly repeats of all episodes of Taskmaster ever on a loop, or here it is on Twitter:

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A brief but happy news story for you – we now have a TX date for Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years, the three-part documentary series produced by North One for UKTV. Having heard the first rumblings of the publicity juggernaut a few weeks back, Dave has tweeted this morning to confirm that it will air on Thursday 6th August. That’s presumably just the first episode, like – no word yet on whether it will be weekly, daily or some other schedule, or indeed whether all or any of it will be available on UKTV Play in advance of broadcast. We’ll figure out the plans for our coverage of this coverage of the show when we have those details.

Also tucked away in that tweet is a new, much much improved title card for the series. When we joked in our previous article that they had time for another crack at the logo, we didn’t expect they actually would, so fair play. This is very much based on the look for The Promised Land, with its weather-beaten aesthetic and same sub-heading font, and it makes sense for Red Dwarf to have a consistent branding style. The powers that be clearly agree, given that both Dave and UKTV Play liked our tweet of the above meme…

UPDATE (17/07/20): Today’s TOS update answers pretty much everything that was as yet unanswered about these docs. The three episodes will air weekly on subsequent Thursdays from the 6th-20th August, and will appear on UKTV Play after broadcast. For the avoidance of doubt, all the interviews are brand new, and we’re promised “newly dug-up archive material”, which is implied to go beyond what’s featured on the DVDs. Exciting!

We also have titles for all three episodes: The Boys from the Dwarf, In Studio Space No-One Can Hear You Scream and Playing Pool With Planets. Weird to dedicate a third of the series to one brief scene from White Hole, but hey.

It’s only taken us fourteen years, but today is the day that we record our final episode commentary from the original BBC run of Red Dwarf. With the bit between our teeth and Broadcunting House having been moved online, we want to carry on this out-of-character run of recording on a weekly-ish basis while we can, so what next for DwarfCasts? Well, we’ve still got thirteen episodes from the Dave era to tick off, plus a whole host of spin-offs, extras and rarities to jabber over if we get stuck. But we’ll be alternating those with something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Welcome to The DwarfCast Book Club.

Every fortnight or so, we’ll be re-reading one part of one Red Dwarf novel to then discuss in great detail, and we’d love it if you joined us along the way. First up, naturally, it’s Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Part One: Your Own Death, and How to Cope With It, and if you can squeeze in those 94 pages before we record on the weekend of 4th/5th July, we’d love to hear from you so that we can include your comments, reviews and observations in our discussion. Whether you’re just jogging your memory or experiencing the novels for the first time, please leave your comments in this thread. To help us out, please indicate whether each point you make is a general one about the part as a whole, or relating to a specific sub-chapter, so that we can collate everything more easily.

We’re really looking forward to revisiting the novels and finally discussing them with the level of depth that they so clearly deserve, and we hope that as many of you as possible find the time to join our virtual book group.

Nearly two months after broadcast, Red Dwarf: The Promised Land is out on Bluray and DVD today, the longest wait we’ve had for new episodes to appear on shiny disc since Back To Earth eleven years ago. That’s assuming people can get hold of their purchases today, of course; ever since the olden days of play.com with their lax attitude towards both release dates and VAT, pre-orders have generally turned up a few days before the official release more often than not, but apparently retailers and postal services have other priorities at the moment, the bastards. Amazon customers were initially advised that their delivery had been put back by several weeks, but this was revised in the last few days and the majority of orders have now been dispatched, as have orders with other retailers such as Zoom.

So hopefully we’ll all get our copies within the next couple of days, one way or another. As with every release since 2002, we’ll be putting together a full and comprehensive review, although it may take longer than usual as your resident reviewer will be alternating between this and changing nappies. So while you wait for us to tell you the correct opinion on the packaging, the picture quality and the extras, use this thread to share your initial thoughts.

Yes, almost exactly twenty one months after the first series ended, Quanderhorn returns to BBC Radio 4 at 6:30pm today! You can listen via the Radio 4 website, the BBC Sounds app, on an actual radio (DAB, FM and LW) or just catch up afterwards. It’s a weekly six part series, so we’ll use this one discussion thread to cover the whole lot. Oh, and it’s co-written by Rob Grant, produced by Gordon Kennedy and stars Kevin Eldon. You knew that bit, right?

In case you need a reminder, the state of play at the end of the first series is that the Professor’s increasingly unstable time-lock could potentially destroy the whole of reality, our heroes are trapped in the lab which is about to be blown up by Winston Churchill, and Guuuurk’s buttocks are now on backwards, so there’s a lot to resolve before we even get on to unravelling the mystery behind Brian’s memory loss. We’re very much looking forward to it.

G&TV logoAs we continue to cogitate on The Promised Land, let's cleanse our palates with our monthly dip in to the archives of vaguely Red Dwarf related things from the past. Here's a particularly obscure one, discovered by Jim Lynn of the always excellent VHiStory blog, the guy who dug up the original 1988 continuity for Series 1 a few years ago. On the end of a tape of Babylon 5 episodes, he found Beam Me Up, Scotty!, a one-off Channel 4 magazine programme about sci-fi, filmed at the 53rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow in August 1995, and presented by Craig Charles.

In it, Craig introduces self-contained segments on a variety of connected topics, such as "filk music", cosplay before it was called 'cosplay', Klingon theatre, a somewhat nauseating section on sci-fi erotica and the sexual fantasies of its proponents, an extremely low-energy discussion of the British comics scene with some very morose people who are now very famous writers and artists, and Craig interviewing Terry Pratchett, best known for his appearance on the Red Dwarf A-Z. Jim's blog entry has the who's who of all the interviewees, and of course the full programme itself:

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As if it wasn't enough that we get Rob Grant and pals commentating on Red Dwarf episodes live every Sunday, more new Rob Grant material is coming our way on the radio, with the second series of Quanderhorn (having apparently dropped the The and the Xperimentations from its title) starting Wednesday 29th April at 6:30pm on BBC Radio 4.

As well as Rob co-writing with his now-established new writing partner Andrew Marshall, he's co-producing the series with fellow Red Dwarf alumnus Gordon Kennedy, with Twentica's The Actor Kevin Eldon returning as resident alien Guuuurk. The first series is currently available on BBC Sounds if you need to catch up, and titles and synopses for the first and second episodes are also online (they tend to be added around a fortnight ahead of broadcast, so the rest will be following soon). Read on for a further blurb covering the whole series, lovingly copied and pasted from the press release.

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