We bring you news of two good causes involving two much-loved figures from Red Dwarf fandom.

Firstly, the family of our dear departed friend, former G&Ter and TOS editor Seb Patrick are campaigning to have a memorial bench installed overlooking Crosby Beach, one of Seb’s favourite places in the world. They’re prepared to foot the bill, but the council have refused, claiming that people don’t want a bench in that location. This is nonsense, as evidenced by the overwhelming support the family have received in a petition to urge Sefton Council to reconsider. We have the support of the official site (you know it’s serious when they update and it’s not a Friday), Robert Llewellyn, Danny John-Jules (this one also retweeted by Craig Charles), Doug Naylor and Norman Lovett, plus many other senior Dwarfy figures who have pledged their support by signing. This bench would not only honour the great man and provide comfort to his family, but also improve the facilities in the area. If you haven’t already, please take a few seconds to add your name to the petition, and share the ever-living fuck out of it.

And secondly, we were very sorry to hear that the brilliant artist Colin Howard has been suffering from multiple sclerosis, and now requires a powered wheelchair to help him regain his mobility and freedom. Naturally, this doesn’t come cheap, and so his wife Michelle has set up a GoFundMe to raise the ten grand cost. As well as being a regular at the last few Dimension Jumps, Colin is responsible for such iconic Red Dwarf artworks as the Beat The Geek cover, Danny’s Tongue Tied single sleeve, and many a Smegazine cover, my personal favourite being The Many Faces of Lister. Now he needs our help, so please donate if you are able to, and if you can’t help financially (which is totally fine), you can do your bit by spreading the word.

Today’s TOS update is an exciting one, featuring as it does both a rare interview with Rob Grant, plus a PDF copy of his Into The Gloop script, giving non-Holly Hop attendees an opportunity to experience the co-creator’s first Dwarfy material since the mid-90s. Now that it’s out there officially, we’ll get to work on a proper review, but in the meantime it’s well worth reading the accompanying interview, as Rob discusses working with Paul Jackson and Ed Bye, tailoring the script for the cast of fans, and – most intriguingly – his desire to do more.

Indeed, it’s one question in particular that’s raised our eyebrows, regarding future Dwarf projects. Rob essentially gives an answer similar to his statement at Holly Hop, but with one additional detail:

There are lots of ideas on the table – a stage show, a movie, a new series, spin-offs. Last week we were told of an approach to do an American version again. We’d love to do any and all of them. We want RD flying out of our buttskis. We want to take the diminutive scarlet one on another trip to the stars. Watch this space.

Lol. Of course, just because there’s been an approach, it doesn’t mean it’ll happen. I’m sure lots of people start conversations about working on Dwarf-related stuff all the time, but we never hear about them. There’s no reason to believe that this has more chance of coming to fruition than if I was to “approach” GNP with an idea to make a Red Dwarf breakfast cereal. But just imagine if this is the ultimate outcome of everything that’s been said over the last few weeks. A new Red Dwarf USA for the 2020s.

Excuse me while I have a humiliating panic attack under the scanner table.

Today was the first day of Holly Hop, and despite the presence of Rob Grant and Paul Jackson, two of the three remaining directors of Grant Naylor Productions, we really didn't expect this week's rather shocking news to be mentioned, especially considering the Fan Club team politely requested of attendees that it wasn't brought up during Q&As throughout the day.

However, it was clear from very early on in their appearance, as they prepared to commentate on White Hole alongside their usual cohort Ed Bye, that the pair wanted to address the topic. So they both did, and then some. Here is an exact, verbatim transcript of what they said, starting with Rob Grant:

Read more →

By rights, Dimension Jump XXI should have been and gone last May, roughly a year and a half after the previous event. Plan B was to do it this very weekend, but obviously that can’t happen either, so instead the Fan Club have put together the next best thing – Holly Hop, a virtual con you can attend from the comfort of your own living room. And it’s quite the weekend in prospect. Barrie! Llewellyn! Lovett! Hayridge! McDonald! Dexter! Hawks! Clark! Grant! Bye! Jackson! Quizzes and videos and stuff! And of course, a live table read of a brand new Red Dwarf script written by Rob Grant!

There will be much to discuss, so do so here, if you like. The two day event starts at 10:30am today (Saturday), and tickets are still available at a ridiculously cheap price for this amount of entertainment. Let’s face it, there are multiple reasons we all need a nice distraction right now, and this should be just the thing.

This is probably the most unpleasant news story we've had to cover in the more than eighteen years this site has been going. Not least because it involves linking to the Daily Mail, who today report that Doug Naylor is suing Rob Grant and Grant Naylor Productions, following Doug's removal from the board of the company last year. To save you from clicking onto that shithole, the relevant parts of the article are below, and below that is our initial reaction.

[Doug Naylor] has just initiated a dramatic High Court action against his former co-scriptwriter and one-time best friend, Rob Grant.

The claim also names Grant Naylor Productions, the company which he and Grant established 30 years ago ‘to exploit their services as scriptwriters’.

Read more →

We bring you news of an excellent thing. Kris Carter, who’s been a regular fixture here for as long as I can remember, and one of my favourite creative people in Red Dwarf fandom ever since I first saw his comic strips in Fan Club magazine Better Than Life over twenty years ago, has launched a fanzine. Drive Room takes a look at each episode in as much depth as you’d possibly need, starting unsurprisingly with The End, covering the plot, guest stars, behind the scenes details, adaptations, visual effects and publicity photos, along with profiles on both Chris Barrie and Arnold Rimmer. Lovingly adorned with cover art from Kriss’s fair hand and beautifully laid out, issue one is available to download from Chris’s blog now, and best of all – it’s free.

It can’t have escaped your attention that we’ve been rather slack with the written content since The Promised Land, so it’s brilliant that Khris has stepped up to the plate and delivered something even more meticulous and in-depth than we usually manage. And how wonderful that Red Dwarf is still inspiring new and original fan endeavours after nearly 33 years.

 

It's a genuinely strange feeling for me (as indeed it would be for the rest of the remaining G&T team) to report on Fan Club activity from an outsider's perspective. I'm still not used to finding out what they're up to via official channels, rather than half-listening to their remote team meetings taking place at the other end of the sofa, worrying about what duties I'm going to be volunteered for. But today's announcement is quite a big one, as the sensationalist and yet entirely accurate headline demonstrates.

Via TOS, the Fan Club have unveiled a two-day online convention called Holly Hop, taking place on the most recently cancelled dates for DJXXI, the 6th & 7th February 2021, to tide us over until the proper convention hopefully happens in September next year, deadly pandemic permitting. So, it's a Hop for a skipped Jump, providing "guest Q&As and behind-the-scenes discussions, as well as a few surprises along the way".

Read more →

This has completely flown under the radar, so thanks to Si Bromley for spotting it in his TV guide and tweeting about it. Danny John-Jules and Craig Charles are hosting Craig & Danny: Funny, Black and On TV on Tuesday 13th October at 8pm on ITV. Part of a season of programmes marking Black History Month, the pair present a celebration of iconic Black British comedy stars spanning fifty years, featuring a combination of archive and interviews. Here’s the press release.

It’s an intriguing and welcome move for Craig and Danny to be working together as a twosome, and especially on a mainstream channel like ITV. It’s all the more pleasing given that Red Dwarf is often overlooked in discussions such as these, despite being a prime example of diverse representation and colour blind casting, even though it originated at a time before such terms were coined. Plus, the mere existence of this programme will infuriate racists on Twitter, so win-win.

Tonight is the exciting finalé of The First Three Million Years, entitled Playing Pool with Planets. We can expect some chat about guest stars, the brilliance of Timewave and apparently some coverage of Red Dwarf USA so there’ll be plenty more opportunities for the painstaking archiving work carried out by Andrew Ellard 15 years ago to stretch its legs again.

As always this is your place to natter on about the latest instalment in the comments and we’ll be joining the discussion in our own way soon enough.

We all really rather enjoyed the first instalment of Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years last week, despite some quibbles that mostly involve the treatment of 4:3 material. We will put our thoughts on the record properly at some point in the future, but while we’re still on compassionate leave from having to think about anything too much, here’s a little discussion thread for you in the meantime. This covers episode two, In Studio Space No-One Can Hear You Scream, which airs tonight at 9pm on Dave