Just what the documentary ordered featured image

As Doug Naylor teased this morning, there has been some NEWS coming out of GNP towers today, in the form of more details about the previously teased TV documentary, now titled Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years. It will be airing exclusively on Dave (obvs) this August, which gives them plenty of time to have a bit of an extra crack at that logo.

Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years is THE definitive celebration of the most successful sci-fi sitcom of all time. Over three hour-long episodes we go on an epic journey through space and time to chart the history of Lister the lonely space-bum, Rimmer the failed hero, Kryten the spaceship-cleaning mechanoid and Cat, the vainest non-human ever to be trapped in space, through the eyes of co-creator, writer and director Doug Naylor, the cast, the crew, and celebrity fans.

I’ll not lie… at the moment, this sounds like it could very easily be a collection of all the best bits from the DVD extras, re-told and re-packaged. The mention of Doug seems to sadly exclude the inclusion Rob Grant (which would be odd given how visible he is in the Dwarf world these days) but I guess he could be categorised as ‘crew’? North One certainly have a good track record and I’m sure these docs will be well put together and worthwhile, but I’m left wondering what they will offer for the likes of people reading this. We shall see, and I’m very prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Having said that I’m certainly delighted that the show is getting such a sizable and prominent series of docs, and three hours of extra Dwarf is something I’ll never sniff at.

This is the first time a documentary has been made about Red Dwarf for television since the BBC’s Comedy Connections episode in 2004; and before that, the Red Dwarf Night documentaries of 1998.

*The Making of Back to Earth has left the chat*

In other, meta, news; G&T’s server will be undergoing some maintenance at some point Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd June, so if during this time you see an error then please don’t panic.

Nearly two months after broadcast, Red Dwarf: The Promised Land is out on Bluray and DVD today, the longest wait we’ve had for new episodes to appear on shiny disc since Back To Earth eleven years ago. That’s assuming people can get hold of their purchases today, of course; ever since the olden days of play.com with their lax attitude towards both release dates and VAT, pre-orders have generally turned up a few days before the official release more often than not, but apparently retailers and postal services have other priorities at the moment, the bastards. Amazon customers were initially advised that their delivery had been put back by several weeks, but this was revised in the last few days and the majority of orders have now been dispatched, as have orders with other retailers such as Zoom.

So hopefully we’ll all get our copies within the next couple of days, one way or another. As with every release since 2002, we’ll be putting together a full and comprehensive review, although it may take longer than usual as your resident reviewer will be alternating between this and changing nappies. So while you wait for us to tell you the correct opinion on the packaging, the picture quality and the extras, use this thread to share your initial thoughts.

Yes, almost exactly twenty one months after the first series ended, Quanderhorn returns to BBC Radio 4 at 6:30pm today! You can listen via the Radio 4 website, the BBC Sounds app, on an actual radio (DAB, FM and LW) or just catch up afterwards. It’s a weekly six part series, so we’ll use this one discussion thread to cover the whole lot. Oh, and it’s co-written by Rob Grant, produced by Gordon Kennedy and stars Kevin Eldon. You knew that bit, right?

In case you need a reminder, the state of play at the end of the first series is that the Professor’s increasingly unstable time-lock could potentially destroy the whole of reality, our heroes are trapped in the lab which is about to be blown up by Winston Churchill, and Guuuurk’s buttocks are now on backwards, so there’s a lot to resolve before we even get on to unravelling the mystery behind Brian’s memory loss. We’re very much looking forward to it.

As if it wasn't enough that we get Rob Grant and pals commentating on Red Dwarf episodes live every Sunday, more new Rob Grant material is coming our way on the radio, with the second series of Quanderhorn (having apparently dropped the The and the Xperimentations from its title) starting Wednesday 29th April at 6:30pm on BBC Radio 4.

As well as Rob co-writing with his now-established new writing partner Andrew Marshall, he's co-producing the series with fellow Red Dwarf alumnus Gordon Kennedy, with Twentica's The Actor Kevin Eldon returning as resident alien Guuuurk. The first series is currently available on BBC Sounds if you need to catch up, and titles and synopses for the first and second episodes are also online (they tend to be added around a fortnight ahead of broadcast, so the rest will be following soon). Read on for a further blurb covering the whole series, lovingly copied and pasted from the press release.

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Despite the last few weeks having seemingly lasted an eternity for obvious reasons, it still feels like the big day has crept up on us. Nevertheless, it’s finally here – Red Dwarf: The Promised Land airs tonight at 9pm on Dave. No caveats required – for the first time since 2012’s Series X, all the Red Dwarf fans in the country will sit down at the exact same time to watch a brand new episode in the exact same place (even if you don’t have linear TV any more, you can watch live online in the UK). And this post right here is the best place to discuss it.

In terms of episodes that had audience recordings, this is by far the shortest gap between said recording and broadcast in the Dave era, and in fact it’s the quickest turnaround since Series V in 1992. But to pass the time until this evening, you can re-read parts one and two of our set report, if you like. But what you’re all really looking forward to isn’t the episode itself, but our Live Instant Reaction DwarfCast, which will be taking place on Friday at 8pm. Join us (from a distance of at least two metres) on Spreaker to listen and chat live; we’ll post the link on here and on Twitter about twenty minutes before the start.

With just under 24 hours to go until The Promised Land airs on Dave, news broke of when we'd see it on shiny disc, thanks to Amazon's pre-order for the June 1st release of both the DVD and the Bluray turning up. A singular disc per format in this case, in a first for a Red Dwarf release, but one that's understandable given the size of the main feature. Mind you, Back To Earth was a similar running time and that managed a whole second disc of extras, admittedly in the rather different home media climate of eleven years ago.

Instead, the rather attractive cover, naturally based on the fabulous poster, reveals that there's just under an hour's worth of bonus features, and they break down as follows:

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Well then. Dave’s daily coded message treasure hunt has concluded with… the first four minutes and forty seconds of The Promised Land. If you can’t wait a further six days to see around 5% of the feature length special, here it is:

It’s certainly an excellent preview – timed just right to provide an almost standalone prequel to the main feature, without giving anything away about how our heroes get involved in the plot. From the snippet of the theme tune that we hear at the end, it seems like this could be a pretitles sequence in the finished episode, and it’s certainly structured that way.

We’ve decided to hold back any in-depth analysis from us for the forthcoming live DwarfCast and review. In the meantime, please keep any specific discussion of this video’s contents to this comment thread, lest you spoil it for those who are abstaining.

The dusting off of the old "Newsround" format from G&T's earliest days is a sure sign that a new broadcast is just around the corner; indeed, there are now only nine days to go until The Promised Land airs on Dave - that's Thursday 9th April at 9pm, as if you didn't already know. I think it's fair to assume that it won't be premiering on UKTV Play a week in advance this time, as that would be the day after tomorrow, and you'd think they'd have mentioned it by now if that was the case. An eminently sensible decision given the one-off nature of this outing, and with linear television audiences being boosted by the current situation, one that could lead to great results. There's certainly no shortage of press and social media coverage, as we'll dive into now...

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When TOS updates on any day other than Friday, it’s either extremely good news or extremely bad news. Thankfully, today was the former, with the announcement that the triple act of Rob Grant, Paul Jackson and Ed Bye are broadcasting a live commentary on Future Echoes followed by a Q&A, this Sunday 29th March at 2pm BST. It will take place via Zoom, but places on the call are extremely limited, so fill in the form on the TOS page right this second if you don’t want to miss out.

Anyone who saw the trio give The End this treatment at the last Dimension Jump will be very excited to see them reprise the act, and hope that at least another 34 episodes will follow if this is a success. At a time when content creators from across the world of entertainment are pulling out the stops with innovative ways to provide a glimmer of distraction from the shitty situation we find ourselves in, this is a much welcome venture right now.