G&TV Special: Holly on Tomorrow's World featured image

The latest edition of our now officially sporadic archive telly feature is something truly special for once: a rare in-character appearance by one of the boys from the Dwarf on a different programme, unseen for over twenty years.

On Wednesday 3rd March 1999 (the day before the seminal Back In The Red (Part Three) first aired), Norman Lovett popped up as Holly on Tomorrow's World, the BBC's flagship technology programme that ran from 1965 to 2003, to discuss AI with host Philippa Forrester. He was there to launch their Turing Test experiment, to see if chatbots could convincingly pass as human. He returned two weeks later for the show's annual Megalab live event, briefly cameoing in character before appearing as himself to take part in the test, alongside Sir Terry Pratchett and Jaye Griffiths from off of Bugs.

Never repeated, and not included on the Series VIII DVD for whatever reason, this has been one of the rarest and most elusive pieces of Red Dwarf ephemera - it was even mentioned in a forum thread about unattainable Dwarf-related media as recently as two weeks ago. But now, just over 22 years later, here are the relevant moments from both episodes.

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Today’s TOS update is an exciting one, featuring as it does both a rare interview with Rob Grant, plus a PDF copy of his Into The Gloop script, giving non-Holly Hop attendees an opportunity to experience the co-creator’s first Dwarfy material since the mid-90s. Now that it’s out there officially, we’ll get to work on a proper review, but in the meantime it’s well worth reading the accompanying interview, as Rob discusses working with Paul Jackson and Ed Bye, tailoring the script for the cast of fans, and – most intriguingly – his desire to do more.

Indeed, it’s one question in particular that’s raised our eyebrows, regarding future Dwarf projects. Rob essentially gives an answer similar to his statement at Holly Hop, but with one additional detail:

There are lots of ideas on the table – a stage show, a movie, a new series, spin-offs. Last week we were told of an approach to do an American version again. We’d love to do any and all of them. We want RD flying out of our buttskis. We want to take the diminutive scarlet one on another trip to the stars. Watch this space.

Lol. Of course, just because there’s been an approach, it doesn’t mean it’ll happen. I’m sure lots of people start conversations about working on Dwarf-related stuff all the time, but we never hear about them. There’s no reason to believe that this has more chance of coming to fruition than if I was to “approach” GNP with an idea to make a Red Dwarf breakfast cereal. But just imagine if this is the ultimate outcome of everything that’s been said over the last few weeks. A new Red Dwarf USA for the 2020s.

Excuse me while I have a humiliating panic attack under the scanner table.

Today was the first day of Holly Hop, and despite the presence of Rob Grant and Paul Jackson, two of the three remaining directors of Grant Naylor Productions, we really didn't expect this week's rather shocking news to be mentioned, especially considering the Fan Club team politely requested of attendees that it wasn't brought up during Q&As throughout the day.

However, it was clear from very early on in their appearance, as they prepared to commentate on White Hole alongside their usual cohort Ed Bye, that the pair wanted to address the topic. So they both did, and then some. Here is an exact, verbatim transcript of what they said, starting with Rob Grant:

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By rights, Dimension Jump XXI should have been and gone last May, roughly a year and a half after the previous event. Plan B was to do it this very weekend, but obviously that can’t happen either, so instead the Fan Club have put together the next best thing – Holly Hop, a virtual con you can attend from the comfort of your own living room. And it’s quite the weekend in prospect. Barrie! Llewellyn! Lovett! Hayridge! McDonald! Dexter! Hawks! Clark! Grant! Bye! Jackson! Quizzes and videos and stuff! And of course, a live table read of a brand new Red Dwarf script written by Rob Grant!

There will be much to discuss, so do so here, if you like. The two day event starts at 10:30am today (Saturday), and tickets are still available at a ridiculously cheap price for this amount of entertainment. Let’s face it, there are multiple reasons we all need a nice distraction right now, and this should be just the thing.

This is probably the most unpleasant news story we've had to cover in the more than eighteen years this site has been going. Not least because it involves linking to the Daily Mail, who today report that Doug Naylor is suing Rob Grant and Grant Naylor Productions, following Doug's removal from the board of the company last year. To save you from clicking onto that shithole, the relevant parts of the article are below, and below that is our initial reaction.

[Doug Naylor] has just initiated a dramatic High Court action against his former co-scriptwriter and one-time best friend, Rob Grant.

The claim also names Grant Naylor Productions, the company which he and Grant established 30 years ago ‘to exploit their services as scriptwriters’.

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G&TV: Craig Charles on All Star Squares (1999) featured image

Welcome to Season 2 of G&TV, our monthly trawl through the world's television archives for any interesting Red Dwarf-related nuggets. Following our accidental break, we return with an exciting adventure in internet archaeology.

Thanks to his ubiquity on our screens at certain points during the 90s, a large number of the videos we come across involve Craig Charles popping up in unexpected places, either as the host of a one-off programme, or a guest on an established show. This month, we bring you the latter, but in an unexpected twist, it's the short-lived Australian version of a much-travelled format.

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The G&T Review of the Year 2020 featured image

What a very strange year. It seems to have lasted for several millennia, but 2020 is finally over, pending any last minute shenanigans, which we can't entirely rule out. By now you'll have already read a dozen depressing round-ups cataloguing what a horrible anus it's been for the world at large, so let's focus instead on our small corner of it. The trials and tribulations of Red Dwarf may seem insignificant in comparison to the fucking atrocious circumstances we find ourselves in, but it feels more important than ever to find distractions and positives wherever we can, and it's actually been a pretty busy year for a show that's rapidly approaching its mid-thirties.

Let's go through some of the highlights, and inevitably some massive lowlights, topic-by-topic, starting with The Promised Land, which yes, really was only this year.

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We bring you news of an excellent thing. Kris Carter, who’s been a regular fixture here for as long as I can remember, and one of my favourite creative people in Red Dwarf fandom ever since I first saw his comic strips in Fan Club magazine Better Than Life over twenty years ago, has launched a fanzine. Drive Room takes a look at each episode in as much depth as you’d possibly need, starting unsurprisingly with The End, covering the plot, guest stars, behind the scenes details, adaptations, visual effects and publicity photos, along with profiles on both Chris Barrie and Arnold Rimmer. Lovingly adorned with cover art from Kriss’s fair hand and beautifully laid out, issue one is available to download from Chris’s blog now, and best of all – it’s free.

It can’t have escaped your attention that we’ve been rather slack with the written content since The Promised Land, so it’s brilliant that Khris has stepped up to the plate and delivered something even more meticulous and in-depth than we usually manage. And how wonderful that Red Dwarf is still inspiring new and original fan endeavours after nearly 33 years.

 

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".

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G&TV Halloween Special featured image

This month's G&TV contains scenes which are unsuitable for younger viewers and people of a nervous disposition. You have been warned.

Well, it doesn't really, but then neither does Polymorph, so it's fair game. Anyway, when we noticed that the latest edition of this feature would coincide roughly with a notable date in the calendar, we decided to run with the theme. The Red Dwarf cast and crew haven't had a great deal of crossover with the horror genre over the years, other than a couple of notable and obvious exceptions, which we'll come to. We couldn't find much in terms of full-length programmes that are not commercially available (and so therefore we feel comfortable linking to off-air recordings of them on YouTube), which is the usual remit for G&TV. So instead, we present a thrilling compendium of terror, with four short clips relating to each of our main cast members, which fit the theme with varying degrees of contrivance.

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