Video DwarfCast #3 - ChatG&T featured image

If there's one thing we like more than speculating wildly about all things Red Dwarf, it's pissing about with the latest silly internet fads. For our latest Video DwarfCast, we combine the two by using ChatGPT to answer all those burning questions. What is Red Dwarf: Titan going to look like? Who's going to play the young versions of our favourite characters? What would a redesigned Starbug look like? Or a redesigned skutter? How would Kryten do on Robot Wars? And can 2024 artificial intelligence do a better job of drawing Rimmer on the bog than Kryten can?

(As should be perfectly clear from the video itself, we in no way condone the use of A.I. as a replacement for human artistry in any way. It's a laugh, innit?)

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The G&T Review of the Year 2023 featured image
Screenshot from the Red Dwarf episode Better Than Life

Screenshot from the Red Dwarf episode Back in the Red: Part I

At the start of Red Dwarf's 35th anniversary year, things had never seemed grimmer for the health of the franchise. The protracted legal kerfuffle between the show's creators was dragging on into its third calendar year, with no indication whatsoever that it would end any time soon, and any possibility of new material dwindling with each passing day. But as 2023 comes to an end, despite there still being no solid news in terms of actual production, there has been so, so much to give us hope that Red Dwarf shall live again.

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G&TV Special: Whatever You Want (13/05/2000) featured image

Way back at the turn of the century, three Red Dwarf fans competed for not one but two money-can't-buy prizes. Whatever You Want was a Saturday night entertainment show, hosted by Gaby Roslin for four series between 1997 and 2000, and inexplicably not featuring Status Quo as the theme tune. It was part of a lineage of similar programmes, preceded by Jim'll Fix It and followed by Tonight's The Night with John Barrowman - Roslin definitely the most wholesome of those presenters - that strove to make ordinary people's dreams come true through the magic of television. While there were smaller items throughout each show, the main focus was a game show element that pitted enthusiasts with a shared interest against each other for the biggest prize of the night. And on 13th May 2000, it was Red Dwarf's turn.

The three superfans chosen to compete were called Vicky, Rob and Jane, the latter of whom later became the Chair of The Official Red Dwarf Fan Club. And the prizes were very special indeed. Firstly, a custom-built Starbug, made for the show by the legendary Bill Pearson, overseen by the equally legendary Jim Francis, both of whom had recently worked on Series VIII. Not only that, the lucky winner would also spend a full week on set, and have their name in the credits, of Red Dwarf: The Movie. This sets an ongoing world record for the longest delay between winning and receiving a competition prize.

After airing over 23 years ago, the programme was never repeated or included on any commercial releases. As it was a few years too early for catch-up services or social media, it never resurfaced online, and has been pretty much considered lost media. But guess what? Gaby Roslin's not the only one who can make Red Dwarf fans' dreams come true...

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BFI Screening Report & Red Dwarf Prequel news! featured image

Brace yourself for a bit of shock. G&T regular evilmorwen went along to the BFI screening of Backwards, complete with commentary and Q&A from Rob Grant, Ed Bye and Paul Jackson. They were kind enough to provide a full report, containing news that blew our minds. Rob Grant has been busy. Read on...

As previously reported, the BFI Southbank saw, on Sunday, as part of a time travel strand, a screening of the episode Backwards, along with the first episode of ITV2’s time travel comedy Timewasters. Your correspondent had not previously seen Timewasters - a sitcom which posits the question “What if Goodnight Sweetheart except Nicholas Lyndhurst was a jazz quartet, and they’d gone back to the 1920s?” The answer is: quite good, and your correspondent will be watching more of it on Prime later.

But I wasn’t there for that, and neither are you. We’re here for Red Dwarf.

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Video DwarfCast #2 - TOS Trailer Revisited featured image

Cast your mind back to the year 2000. Series VIII is only a year old, the inevitable Red Dwarf Movie is just around the corner, and an increasing number of people now have the ability to connect their computers to their phone lines, in order to receive midi approximations of popular songs, animated "under construction" signs and slow-to-load-but-very-exciting Macromedia Flash graphics. The conditions were just right for to begin its two-decade-long voyage of weekly updates, bringing us such features as Doug Naylor's regular blog, updates on the new GNP series Weird City and of course the animated remake of Asso: Spanish Detective.

Or at least that was the future promised by the interactive trailer that was published ahead of TOS's big relaunch of November 2000. With the current state of the official site, coupled with the fact that Flash itself has now passed on, we assumed that this small slice of Dwarf history had been consigned to the burning bin fire of lost media. But thankfully, during the process of building our unofficial archive, we uncovered the dusty swf file. You can access it here (providing you have a Flash emulator), or if you prefer to consume your important historical documents with a side order of sarcastic nerds making snide comments, here's your guided tour:

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The state of The Official Site and why we've created featured image

On 25 February 2021 it was announced that would be moving hosting providers and this would involve "a short break in service". Four months later it returned, with the revelation that after 22 years the traditional weekly updates would be stopping. Also mentioned was that "it turns out that rebuilding a site that can comfortably re-house over two decades' worth of content was actually a much bigger job than we thought it would be" and "At the time of writing, we're still seeing a few 404 errors when it comes to some sections".

Well, it turns out that was a bit of an understatement as it doesn't take long for anyone trying to use the site after the migration to notice that large amounts of content, images and even whole sections are either entirely gone or unnavigable through normal means. It's all well and good saying that everything is pretty much back online, but what good is a 22 year archive of news updates when the archive navigation is entirely non-functional?

Well, to cut to the chase before I go on more after the jump, here at Ganymede & Titan we've come to the conclusion that this isn't getting fixed any time soon and so we've taken matters into our own hands. Using a cunning combination of the Wayback Machine, content that is still accessible on itself, and a great deal of finagling we've put together a totally fresh, and working, archive of The Official Site. Presenting...

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Thumbnail Wars featured image

Here at Ganymede & Titan, we're never afraid to tackle the big issues surrounding Red Dwarf. Over the last twenty years we've dealt with accusations of racism, homophobia and sexism within the show, gone through the trauma of seeing our beloved co-creators waging war through the courts, and hosted endless debates about which of Series VII and VIII was the shittest. This week, almost the entirety of Red Dwarf was published on BBC iPlayer, including all but three episodes of the Dave era. It's all still available on UKTV Play of course, meaning Mummy Beeb and Daddy Dave have joint custody of all their kids and step-kids. And so there's now a new question to settle. A question that will tax our collective IQs to their very limits. Which platform has the best thumbnails?

Let's go through series by series, awarding points to each streaming service based on which image we prefer for each episode. The iPlayer thumbnails are on the left and can be distinguished by the black background, while UKTV Play is on the right against blue. (If you're on mobile, you'll probably want to tap to expand.) While we're here, we might as well also cover any oddities or discrepancies in the metadata. Honestly, this is going to be pretty niche. Strap in.

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Channel Hopping featured image

It cannot have escaped anyone's attention that Red Dwarf turned 35 years old this year. It's easy to underestimate just how long ago that was in terms of television as a medium. The BBC Television Service was launched on 2nd November 1936. That was only 86 and a half years ago - the lifespan of Red Dwarf to date covers around 40% of the entire history of scheduled broadcasting. And so it goes without saying that British telly in 1988 looked very different to the landscape of today, but just how different? What else was on BBC Two when each series of Red Dwarf first aired, and what was the competition on the other channels?

Using a combination of the amazing BBC Programme Index and newspaper archives, we're going to answer those exact questions for the first episode of each BBC series in detail, along with an overview of how the rest of the run panned out. For some readers, this will be a nostalgic reminder of the television of their childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. For those that are too young or too foreign to have lived through it, it's a window into a bygone age. Either way, the power of hindsight allows us to spot the subtle clues that television was changing before our eyes, as we piece together the transition from one era to another, through a Dwarfy prism.

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Video DwarfCast #1 - Coral Canvass Livestream Spectacular featured image

That was a heck of a night. To celebrate Red Dwarf's 35th anniversary, fans from around the world (well, some of them) gathered together around a cosy YouTube window, marking the occasion with Ganymede & Titan's first ever live video DwarfCast. The main topic of conversation was the Coral Canvass, with lots of analysis and in-depth stats about the latest definitive ranking of episodes. Next up was Clochebusters, a brand new and wholly original Red Dwarf game show, before the evening was rounded off by a lovely batch of live waffles. But there was so much more to discuss, as a very intriguing statement was released just as we went live, changing the agenda significantly. All this plus some vintage Dwarfy adverts, the rarely-seen visuals that accompany one of our best DwarfCast stings, and a series of catastrophic yet hilarious technical failures. And it's all available to catch up with whenever you like on demand:

We'd recommend watching on YouTube itself so that you can see the chat replay in real time. It's particularly fun to watch the explosion of activity when the breaking news breaks! There's also chapters embedded if you want to skip to certain sections. A huge thank you once more to everyone who came along, for however long, especially those who joined the chat and gave us a lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside. And an extra special thanks to Jason Smedley, Niki Hutchinson and Quinn for bearing with us and being thoroughly brilliant Clochebusters contestants. One heck of a night.

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The Coral Canvass Results featured image

Ladies and gentlemen, on the occasion of Red Dwarf‘s thirty-fifth anniversary, we invite you to join us, if you dare, in a journey through the Top 74 episodes of all time, as voted for by YOU. Once every five years, the various factions of the fan community come together to rate each and every episode, and we then collate the results and analyse them in far too much detail. 2013 was the Silver Survey, 2018 was the Pearl Poll, and now for 2023, Ganymede & Titan are proud to present The Coral Canvass.

We changed the methodology this year; we'd always previously asked participants to rank every episode in order of preference, but this was a big ask of people's time, and didn't take into account that not everyone taking part would be equally familiar with all the episodes. So we simplified things and asked you instead to rate each episode out of 10, with the option of leaving blank any episodes that you didn't feel like scoring. The result was by far the biggest response we've ever received, with a total of 692 participants submitting at least one vote, more than double the sample size five years ago. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and helped spread the word.

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