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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The G&T Review of the Year 2022 featured image

Hello everyone...

Much of my time at the moment is taken up with travelling all over the internet to promote The Coral Canvass, and quite frankly, I am really enjoying it. It's great to see everyone voting, and it marks our first poll where you rate each episode out of ten instead of listing them all in order. I very much look forward to seeing more votes come in over the coming month.

Away from the happy, positive world of anniversary polls, you may have noticed that, as far as the ‘Red Dwarf’ picture is concerned, the legal battle for GNP continues to bore, while our incompetent (by design) production company is as usual hellbent on suing each other instead of making new episodes. This situation looks set to continue as the Grantists now have their man in place, a person utterly and totally suited to pushing on with the new world order’s so called ‘buttski’ programme to enslave humanity under never-ending spin-offs. Look, I know many of you must be thinking ‘Blimey, G&T has lost it big time!’, but believe me, once you can see it, you can’t unsee it! All rather worrying frankly…

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Save Page 61 featured image

Previously on G&T: Regular reader Flap Jack put us all to shame with his incredibly detailed examination of the changes between hardback, paperback, Omnibus and unabridged audiobook versions of the four Red Dwarf novels. Now he's back to finish the job, with an examination of the abridged audiobooks.

Imagine: it’s 1993, and you’re excitedly rushing home after picking up a copy of the newly released Red Dwarf Series 1 VHS. You heat yourself up a bowl of alphabetti spaghetti, grab a Leopard Lager from the fridge, and start up the tape to watch The End. But part way through, you start to realise something’s wrong. What happened to the subplot about Rimmer’s exam? Wasn’t there a scene where you see Lister with Frankenstein before he gets in trouble with the Captain? What’s going on? You double check the VHS sleeve, and realise to your horror that it doesn’t say “Series I Byte One” but “Series I Abridged”! You try to scream, but discover your mouth is sealed shut. You run to the door, but behind it is just a brick wall. You look back at the alphabetti spaghetti: all ampersands.

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Revisions Timetable featured image

In the latest example of our readers being better than us at writing articles these days, we're proud to present an extremely niche but very important missive from Flap Jack. Ever since recording the Book Club, we've wanted to catalogue all the changes made within the various releases of the Red Dwarf novels. In a beautiful piece of synchronicity, old Flappo Jacko got in touch a few weeks ago having done exactly that. This is the first of two articles investigating the amendments to those sacred texts.

Red Dwarf is no stranger to having its episodes tweaked with over time. From smaller changes like the word “week’s” being omitted from the opening of Polymorph on VHS, to the huge reworks made for the controversial Red Dwarf Remastered project, you can never be absolutely sure that your favourite moments will be unaltered whenever the show is released onto a new format.

But there’s one corner of the Dwarf canon where this phenomenon has so far only experienced surface-level scrutiny: the novels. If you’ve ever read Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers on paperback and then later re-experienced it on audiobook -  or in the Omnibus edition with its sequel, Better Than Life - you’ll probably have noticed that a few things here and there aren’t quite the same. How many details were changed from version to version, exactly, and what were they? Today, let’s find the answers, piece by piece.

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Ganymede & Titan: 20 Years in 20 Articles featured image

2002. Tony Blair is Prime Minister. The Fellowship of the Ring wins four Oscars. Atomic Kitten's cover of The Tide Is High is Britain's best selling single. And on a free web-hosting provider, a brand new website starts. A website that features Red Dwarf, but is regularly updated. A website full of opinions, but with no justifications. A website that has already been started and abandoned three times by its teenage creator, and then almost scuppered by a part time job, but which finally hits the internet on the 14th September 2002, the date on which pedantry goes beyond the final frontier. The website is Ganymede & Titan, and tonight we salute the inexplicably still active site and its tedious crew.

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This Guy's Pure Class featured image

It's a rare, nay freak occurrence for us to publish guest articles, but when Dave Wallace got in touch with this effort, we made an exception for three reasons. 1) Dave is a long-standing and very funny member of the community, and it's the community that continues to make G&T worth visiting; 2) We're in one of our shit phases for written content at the moment; 3) It's really bloody good. Enjoy Dave's musings on one of  Red Dwarf's most important but lesser documented themes.

Red Dwarf is a sitcom about a lot of things – space, science, weird cosmic phenomena, and the consequences of having a three-million-year old bum, a creature evolved from a cat and a hologram simulation of a long-dead jobsworth as the only sentient beings left in existence.

But strip away its sci-fi trappings, and at the heart of the show is a concept that’s as universal as it is timeless: class.

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