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".

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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

While you shouldn’t expect much immediate in-depth coverage from us for obvious reasons, we thought we’d best provide a place for everyone to discuss The Boys from the Dwarf, the first of the three-part documentary series Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years, which airs tonight at 9pm on DaveA few reviews and previews have started to emerge, from the likes of Radio Times, What’s On TV and Sci-Fi Bulletin, who reveal the unexpected but welcome news that the series is narrated by an actual Doctor Who, David Tennant. A fansite of his has what looks like the full press release.

There is also an additional reason to tune in tonight. The Patrick family have asked us to spread the news that there will be a tribute card to Seb included. It was too late to get it added to the programme itself, but thanks to Doug and the team at GNP, UKTV are doing it as part of their presentation. We’re told it’ll happen during an ad break at around 21:25.

We’re incredibly sorry to pass on the awful news that our friend Seb Patrick has died, aged just 37. If you’re part of the Red Dwarf fan community in any way, you’ll know Seb’s name, as the editor of reddwarf.co.uk since 2011, before which he was one of the original and most prolific members of the expanded G&T team when we merged with other fansites, including Seb’s Fuchal, in 2006.

The three of us all counted Seb among our very best friends, with rarely a day going by without speaking to each other, and we’re all in complete disbelief at the moment. All our planned G&T activity will be suspended for the time being while we begin to come to terms with what’s happened, and we know we can count on your patience and understanding at this time.

We can’t seem to find any meaningful words right now, so we’ll do what we did so often in our conversations with Seb, and adapt a suitable quote.

Seb was an excellent writer and as good a friend as anyone could ever hope to have. He’ll be missed more deeply and more greatly than he could ever know. Goodbye, Seb, we’ll miss you.

Cappsy, Danny and Ian

We’re raising funds in his memory to help his family in any way we can. If you’re able to spare anything, it would be greatly appreciated.

It is now precisely two weeks until the first of three episodes of Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years airs on Dave, and so I suppose it's high time for a trailer. Expect to see this approximately a thousand times over the next fortnight if, like me, you're trapped watching Dave's nightly repeats of all episodes of Taskmaster ever on a loop, or here it is on Twitter:

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A brief but happy news story for you – we now have a TX date for Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years, the three-part documentary series produced by North One for UKTV. Having heard the first rumblings of the publicity juggernaut a few weeks back, Dave has tweeted this morning to confirm that it will air on Thursday 6th August. That’s presumably just the first episode, like – no word yet on whether it will be weekly, daily or some other schedule, or indeed whether all or any of it will be available on UKTV Play in advance of broadcast. We’ll figure out the plans for our coverage of this coverage of the show when we have those details.

Also tucked away in that tweet is a new, much much improved title card for the series. When we joked in our previous article that they had time for another crack at the logo, we didn’t expect they actually would, so fair play. This is very much based on the look for The Promised Land, with its weather-beaten aesthetic and same sub-heading font, and it makes sense for Red Dwarf to have a consistent branding style. The powers that be clearly agree, given that both Dave and UKTV Play liked our tweet of the above meme…

UPDATE (17/07/20): Today’s TOS update answers pretty much everything that was as yet unanswered about these docs. The three episodes will air weekly on subsequent Thursdays from the 6th-20th August, and will appear on UKTV Play after broadcast. For the avoidance of doubt, all the interviews are brand new, and we’re promised “newly dug-up archive material”, which is implied to go beyond what’s featured on the DVDs. Exciting!

We also have titles for all three episodes: The Boys from the Dwarf, In Studio Space No-One Can Hear You Scream and Playing Pool With Planets. Weird to dedicate a third of the series to one brief scene from White Hole, but hey.

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.