Survey: The Series XI Dilemma

It can not have escaped your attention that UKTV plans to premiere each episode of the forthcoming Red Dwarf XI on their on-demand service, UKTV Play, one week ahead of their television broadcast on Dave. This puts us in a somewhat tricky situation in terms of our coverage. We had planned on doing pretty much exactly what we did last time – an “instant reaction” DwarfCast almost immediately after each episode, broadcast live on the internet, with a tidier version in the usual feeds the following day, followed by a written review over the weekend.

This isn’t so straightforward when not everyone’s going to be watching at the same time. This move has made it a hell of a lot harder to be part of a communal shared experience, but we’re determined to make it work. That’s where you come in. We’d like to know more about how you’re intending to consume this series, and your preferences for how we go about things. To that end, here are a series of polls; the results of which we’ll take on board, but won’t be legally binding or anything. Annoyingly, we’d like to request that those of you from outside the UK abstain from taking part in this vote; it’s the people who have a choice as to how they watch the series that will be most affected by our decisions.

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DwarfCast 74 – Fathers & Suns Commentary

Yes, we’ve stuck to something for two weeks in a row. Here’s the second of our Series X commentaries, which predictably enough covers Fathers & Suns. John, Danny, Ian and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples return to discuss such matters as how much help Lister got in creating his video, how this is the show’s third Holly-centric episode, Alf Garnett, and a hidden cock and balls. Oh, and racism. Let’s see if this room full of white people can sort out that thorny problem once and for all.

As well as that, we bring you an excessively angry one-man rant about UKTV’s decision to premiere Red Dwarf XI episodes online a week before broadcast, and how this is going to play merry havoc with our content plan, along with the rest of the news from the last seven days.

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DwarfCast 73 – Trojan Commentary

We estimate that we’re about six to seven weeks away from the first broadcast of Red Dwarf XI. What better way to clear the decks ahead of the new series than by wrapping up our coverage of the last one? Over the next six weekends, we’ll be marking the countdown to new Dwarf by releasing weekly commentaries for all six episodes of Series X. Unless XI starts earlier than we’re anticipating, in which case we’ll either rush them all out or pretend the whole thing never happened.

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Medi-Bot v2.0

Friday lunchtime rolls around, and once again provides an intriguing tweet treat to keep us going throughout the weekend.

Well, it certainly seems to me like Lister will wake up to discover a deranged droid has stolen some of his body parts. That seems to be the droid in question – the scaredy-cat Seb Patrick’s tweet suggests so – and it looks brilliant. Unusual, creepy, and not unlike an evil fish. The only way this can go wrong is if it turns out that it’s Kerry Shale under the costume.

Cool story, board

It’s Friday, it’s round about lunchtime, it’s three near-identical tweets from various official accounts time! This week, as they got there first by a matter of seconds, let’s embed @RedDwarfHQ’s:

It’s a storyboard! A storyboard with actual dialogue on it! When it’s fully embiggened, you can see that the establishing shot looks somewhat similar to the recce that Richard tweeted ages ago, which, when combined with the desired angle being so high, suggests that this is a location sequence. We also now know that in one episode, the Dwarfers board a space station (I’m assuming space, as opposed to railway) amidst an asteroid storm, and split off into pairs. There’s also a joke that, while far from unpredictable, is undeniably Rimmer-ish. This is very exciting.

Credit also to Nik Afia for the brilliant artwork, proving that he’s just as adept at capturing the likenesses of our main characters as he is at spaceships. I hope we get to see a lot more of this work at some point, either in the form of teasers ahead of broadcast, or a more substantial gallery when it’s all done and dusted.

Twentica

Lunchtime on a Friday has always been a traditional time to receive a weekly dose of Red Dwarf news, and it seems that the various Dwarf-affiliated Twitter accounts have decided to follow TOS’s lead. Today, @RedDwarfHQ, @Join_Dave and @babycowLtd have all tweeted variations of the following:

Twentica!  That’s an excellent sounding title. Now, I don’t know for sure, as the episode titles were not revealed to the audience at the time, but I’m pretty confident that this is one of the two episodes I saw recorded. And I wasn’t at the first recording session. While Series X stuck rigidly to the same order for recording and broadcast, it seems that they’re happy to jiggle things about this time round, a practice which took place more often than not in the old days. Either Doug, UKTV or both clearly think that this is the best episode to launch with… and without giving anything away, I can totally see why.

The pre-publicity machine is well and truly up and running now, and it’s growing ever closer. There are now somewhere between 55 and 85 days to go until the launch of Red Dwarf XI. Blimey.

It’s A Syn (opsis)

Apologies for being a bit quiet of late. We’ve all been busy watching our country slide inexorably into the abyss, whilst remembering the wise words of Arnold J Rimmer. We needed something big and Dwarfy to take our minds off things, and that has arrived this Friday lunchtime. But before we get on to that, what have we missed?

Well, the model shoot is now done and dusted, and post-production is well underway, to the extent that rough cuts are being shown to interested parties. Some guy has made a Lego thing, which we’re not going to dedicate an entire front page post to, no matter how many times he emails us. Oh, and somewhat bizarrely, Series 1-V are to be released on Blu-ray. This makes very little sense to me; upscaling the likes of RTD-era Doctor Who to HD is one thing, but we’re talking about 625-line analogue masters on long-since-obsolete tape formats from nearly thirty years ago. Hats will be eaten if the increase in quality is enough to justify spending £25 a pop on them, and hell will freeze over if there’s any new commentaries or extras.

And finally, Doug dropped a subtle hint yesterday that appeared to confirm that Series XI will air in September as expected. This was somewhat superseded by today’s TOS update, which not only makes the September date officially official, but also provides a whacking great series synopsis. Let’s break it down, whilst also remembering that our spoiler policy prevents those that attended recordings from confirming or denying any speculation, shall we?

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