The Pearl Poll Results

Ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of Red Dwarf‘s thirtieth anniversary, we invite you to join us, if you dare, in a journey through the Top 73 episodes of all time, as voted for by YOU. This is the biggest such poll we’ve ever undertaken, both in terms of the amount of episodes it covers, and the number of people who took part. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who submitted their rankings. In return, our gift to you on this special day is several thousand words of analysis to go alongside the full results. Get comfortable.

How will Series XI and XII, still so fresh in people’s minds, compare to the older episodes? Will Series X have maintained its good performance from 2013, or has the novelty worn off? Can Series VII or VIII finally improve their reputations? Is there such a thing as “the bubble” any more now that the number of episodes made after Rob left outnumbers those made before? It’s finally time to find out.

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The G&T Review of the Year 2017

We’re simply having the most wonderful Christmas time of the year, and since we’ve no place to go, why did we combine three separate Christmas songs into one though? The highlight of the festive season is, of course, G&T’s now traditional look back on the Dwarfing year that was, and there was certainly plenty to keep us busy in 2017. Twelve months ago, there were only 67 episodes of Red Dwarf, one mobile game, and only one page worth of “ideas for episodes” in our forum.

With only seven days to go until we enter the show’s thirtieth anniversary year, let’s pause to recap the twenty-ninth anniversary year.

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Red Dwarf XII title sequence analysis

The following article is intended for those watching at UKTV Play pace. Dave viewers be warned that the content and comments could contain spoilers. More info.

Part of the fun whenever there’s a new series of Red Dwarf is in the anticipation, trying to skip ahead and find out what’s coming up next. Having previously analysed the shit out of a teaser and a trailer, it’s time to round off the trilogy of impatient speculation by combing for clues in the Series XII title sequence. This is the landmark tenth title sequence of its type, with a fast-paced montage of clips from the across the series, set to the guitar-based version of the theme tune. Several of the shots within are things we’ve seen in previous promotional material, and a fair few are taken from Cured, but there’s a lot of new material to take in here. Off we go…

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Red Dwarf XII Trailer Analysis

Just as we were all getting over the first teaser, news emerged today that a special preview would air on Dave during Taskmaster, foreshadowing the handover of the “most popular show on Dave” mantle, due to take place in just over three weeks’ time. The “preview” terminology left us a little unsure what to expect, but we’re definitely in full-blown trailer territory here – forty seconds long, loads of previously unseen clips, a classic rock soundtrack and even a specially-created graphics package in the middle.

Having aired once more during another Dave original, Porters, the trailer then turned up online, albeit in optimised-for-social-media format, with subtitles and big chunky borders to make it square. Worse still, there’s a fairly substantial change to the soundtrack, which we’ll come to later. There’s no sign of a nice official 16:9 version yet, so the screengrabs below are taken from a slightly inferior-quality TV rip. (UPDATE: UKTV have uploaded a lovely high-quality YouTube version. All screengrabs have therefore been upgraded.) Let’s take our customary closer look…

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The G&T Forum Hall of Fame

We’ve only just realised that our humble Forum is now over ten years old. Having cultivated a small but dedicated discussion community through our article comments, and following the previously-discussed closure of Observation Dome, we opened the floodgates by launching a dedicated place for the assorted freaks and arseholes we call our friends to set their own agenda, free to discuss any old nonsense they see fit, Red Dwarf related or otherwise. The very first thread was started by an man announcing he was having a wank, and that pretty much set the tone.

Of course, Red Dwarf had been off-air for eight years when the Forum launched, and what a turbulent and surprising decade in the show’s history it has witnessed. But regardless of how many fourth-wall-breaking specials, brand new series, Bluray releases, spin-off games and curries-launched-into-space we’ve seen, the Forum will always be dominated by two things: 1) tedious discussions about whether Series VII and VIII are any good; and 2) extreme silliness, intentionally or otherwise, laced with a very specific and esoteric sense of humour.

It’s the latter that we’re celebrating today. At some point over the last decade, a meme started whereby long-standing members of the community – more often than not Phil Reed, initially – would nominate certain threads for a mythical “Hall of Fame”, which they’d do by simply posting “I nominate this thread for Hall of Fame status”, or variations thereof. This was sometimes a badge of honour, awarded to topics that were particularly funny or informative, and sometimes an ironic accolade, doled out to a failed troll or exceptionally dull post. It seems apt to commemorate both types of thread now, as we turn this mythical Hall of Fame into an actual Hall of Fame.

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Red Dwarf XII Premiere Report

Last night saw the premiere screening of Red Dwarf XII episode one, Cured, at the Edinburgh Television Festival. G&T weren’t there, but we received a tweet from someone who was, Gemma Murray, offering to write us a report. We jumped at the chance, and are sincerely grateful to Gemma for furnishing us with this report during her journey home. Pictures are courtesy of Gemma too.

“I met Lister. He was an absolute bellend…”

An opportunity to see a new episode of my favourite show in one of my favourite cities? ‘Rude not to really’, I thought, as I inserted myself into a packed train at King’s Cross. Five hours later, my somewhat naive hope of quietly reading a book with a cup of tea cruelly dashed by the inability of anyone around me to sit still in a seat for more than twenty seconds at a time, I emerged onto Waverley Bridge. Squinting into the glorious-if-completely-unexpected sunshine, I made my way to the Edinburgh Filmhouse. I only got slightly distracted by the shops. And the gin tent in Princes Gardens. Don’t judge me.

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Red Dwarf and Me: Artificial Reality

In a parallel universe, I know nothing about Red Dwarf XII.

Well, maybe not nothing. I probably know it exists. I may even have clocked that it was back on Dave, perhaps even that it was being broadcast in October. But I didn’t pay that much attention.

In that universe, maybe I still got into Red Dwarf when I was 13, and loved it. But I never really got into fandom, perhaps wasn’t as keen on later series… and just drifted off. Maybe I would have ended up watching XII. Maybe I wouldn’t.

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End of Part One, Red Dwarf XI Edition

Back in 2016, I took a look at the placing of ad breaks in Red Dwarf X, and how so many of them were a wasted opportunity to use the opportunity for a cliffhanger to its maximum effect. (I highly suggest you read that piece before this one if you haven’t done so; otherwise, this article will come across as entirely ridiculous rather than just mostly ridiculous.)

With publicity for Red Dwarf XII about to kick off properly, it’s time to tie up one last loose thread from Red Dwarf XI. How did XI fare when it came to ad breaks? Did they seem like an afterthought, like much of X? Or was the chance taken to actually do something with them – to add a lovely punctuation point to the episode, and make viewers want to come back after the break?

I’ll be honest… the answer surprised me. Let’s take a look.

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Better Than Reality

“I alter people’s perception of reality.” – Dr. Hypnosis

One recurring theme of Red Dwarf has always been the rather tenuous grip on reality our crew have. Whether it’s the Total Immersion Videogame of Better Than Life, the hallucinations suffered in Back to Reality, those damn reality pockets in Out of Time – to name three of many – perception of reality is something which Grant Naylor return to time and time again.

What’s interesting, however, is that Red Dwarf is far from the first time Grant Naylor have explored this idea. In fact, we can trace their fascination with it right back to their very first solo writing credit: the first episode of Radio 4 sketch show Cliché, broadcast on the 16th March 1981.

I present to you the strange adventure of Dr. Hypnosis: his real name… Dr. Hypnosis.

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