Crimewatch Update

Crimewatch U.K. logo because I am doing a big funny Back in 2012, as the lead up to Red Dwarf X, those good folks at Dave showed an entire run of the first eight series. I took this as my cue to finally take a look at an issue which had been bugging me for years: the edited versions of the show Dave always insisted on showing. Here are the results of that investigation from 2012. It doesn’t make especially pleasant reading.

But no matter. Yesterday, Dave started a new run of repeats, starting from Series III. In the last three years, the channel has shown one brand new series of the programme, and commissioned two more. Surely by now, those shitty edited versions will have been replaced with the proper episodes?

I think you know what I’m going to say here. In fact, it’s so obvious, I don’t think I’m even going to say it.

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OFFICIAL: Two new series commissioned!

Breaking news from Dimension Jump. Doug Naylor – a surprise guest – has announced some very, very good news. TWO new series of Red Dwarf have been commissioned by Dave. All the main cast are on board for all twelve episodes. The two series will be shot back-to-back, starting later this year. The filming dates have also been confirmed as the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 respectively, with a LIVE audience, shooting at PINEWOOD.  The broadcast dates are currently 2016 for Series XI and 2017 for Series XII, but that obviously could change.

As previous clues have suggested, both series will be a co-production with Baby Cow.  Doug says he’s written “most” of the new scripts and he’ll be returning as director, with Richard Naylor and Kerry Waddell producing.

We need some time to process this. Go ahead and comment to your heart’s content, and we’ll try and get our thoughts together in time for our post-DJ Dwarfcast.

EDIT: Official confirmation has now been TOSsed off along with an announcement trailer! Also, not yet officially confirmed, Doug says Craig had to choose between Red Dwarf and Corrie. He chose the former and has left the latter.

[Dimension] Jump For My Love

DJ2015Is it that time already? It only seems like yesterday that we were sleep-deprived and huddled in some poor bastard’s hotel room as the last convention came to an end. But apparently, that was two years ago, and so it’s time to do it all again, but this time in the East Midlands.

Due to various unfortunate scheduling conflicts, we won’t have full contingent of G&T team members in attendance this time – the only ones of us that are going are the ones that are also part of the Fan Club team and/or event crew. Consequently, our coverage might be somewhat restricted this time round, but we’ll aim to update our Twitter feed periodically, record our obligatory sleepy Dwarfcast, and if any major news breaks over the weekend, we’ll keep you posted as best we can.

If you’re attending, then please feel free to come and say hello! I’ll be the one behind the camera, Danny will be the one behind the sound desk, and Cappsy will just generally be behind.

Good luck, Nottingham. You won’t know what’s hit you…

RIP Keith Harris (1947-2015)

I was sad today to read about the death of Keith Harris; someone whose shows I genuinely enjoyed as a child. (I definitely saw him live once, and distinctly remember an animatronic Orville who sat on the stage by himself and sang.) For proof that Harris could be really fucking funny, look no further than this article, and read what Harris thinks of his upcoming Christmas special:

“It’s nice to think you’re in people’s homes at Christmas. And it’s a time when Cuddles gets a little friendlier towards Orville, I’m glad to say. Last year he gave Orville ten pounds. Of sage and onion.”

OK, OK, I can hear you say. What possible connection can there be with Red Dwarf and Keith Harris? Well, take a look at the following video, and the credits of Keith and Orville’s Quack Chat Show – the programme I remember Keith from best, with a theme tune I’d entirely forgotten until today. The show’s Scenic Designer is none other than… Paul Montague, production designer for Red Dwarf Series 1 and 2.

An extremely rare chance to see Paul Montague’s day-to-day design work – a person very important to Dwarf‘s early years.

And that’s how I managed to link together Red Dwarf and Keith Harris. Join me next week, when I attempt to link together Blackadder and Lolly Badcock.

Ask Hattie Hayridge Anything

Good news, everyone! We’re going to be interviewing Hattie Hayridge early next week, for a very special Dwarfcast. And we’re giving you the opportunity to ask her anything you like about Red Dwarf, her career, or anything else you feel she might want to talk about. Just leave a comment on this post, and we’ll put your question to Hattie. Unless it’s shit. You have until Monday morning.

Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm is GO(ING TO BE MADE)!

Explosion concept artExiting news for fans of Gerry Anderson, puppets, models and big bastard explosions as the aforementioned Kickstarter for Firestorm is STORMING towards the funding date after not only reaching its target but securing two stretch goals. On top of the base minisode that is now already entering pre-production, we’re also getting a whole extra set and scene and, to the undoubted delight of a certain Mike Tucker, “A HUGE EXPLOSION”.  If I was a betting man I would put money on that explosion being closely and devastatingly related to that tasty new set…

Since there’s still 9 days left to pledge, it’s more than a little likely that the third goal will be met, providing funds for a new puppet and if something remarkable happens, and a further £69,000 is pledged in that time, then we can look forward to a full 22 minute episode.  I think what we’ve learnt here is that this stuff is severely expensive, so if you want to see more Firestorm then don’t be as tight as Rimmer would be in this situation!!!!!1

It’s some puppets!

An exciting new project has appeared on Kickstarter – Gerry Anderson’s Firestorm, a sci-fi pilot to be filmed in Ultramarionation, which is a modern evolution of the style used for Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray. That means, as the Kickstarter page proudly boasts, practical effects, physical sets, miniatures and puppets. This would all be incredibly exciting even without all the Dwarfy connections. Our old chums The Model Unit are involved, with Mike Tucker listed as providing Model Effects. He’ll be joined by Red Dwarf X alumni Bill Pearson and Steve Begg, as Model Supervisor and Effects Supervisor respectively. That’s a hell of a pedigree right there. The very finest model makers in the land will see their shit blown up by one of the greatest shit blower-uppers in the business.

Having launched only this morning, the project is already at the halfway mark of its original goal, so a 5-8 minute minisode seems extremely likely to be produced, with a further strong chance of the stretch goals to provide much longer versions being reached. We really hope this happens, both because the concept of the series looks great, and because it’s always good to see hard-working talented folk like The Model Unit being rewarded with projects they’re guaranteed to excel at.

The TATP Years: 1988

I meant to link to this when it was first released back in 2012, but I am called John Hoare and I am a useless little shit. So having been duly reminded, I highly recommend the following: a trek through 1988 from Ben Baker and Tim Worthington, with music, TV and radio clips galore.

Oh, was 1988 the year Red Dwarf first aired? I think it just might be.

I won’t spoil what any of the clips are: the surprise is part of the fun. It’s an excellent reminder of what pop culture was like back when Red Dwarf was first shown. Which we foolishly tend to ignore in favour of wondering exactly what that motion control rig they used to shoot the model shots was like.

Sit back, whack up the speakers, and enjoy. And if you want a bit of extra background with TRIVIA AND POP FACTS GALORE, the accompanying commentary track on the show by the aforementioned Worthington & Baker comes highly recommended. Despite that sounding like an artisan bread company.

Over to Bill: Tonight, 10:35pm, BBC One

Yes folks, Doug Naylor’s first brand new TV project since The 10%ers debuts tonight on BBC One.  It’s a Naylor-penned-and-directed pilot – part of the revamped Comedy Playhouse strand – and stars Huge Dennis as sacked weatherman Bill Onions, Tony from Men Behaving Badly as his mate, Tracy-Ann Cyberman as Huge Dennis’s wife, and Helen George as Tony from Men Behaving Badly‘s wife. It also features Geordie Jesus himself James Baxter of Red Dwarf X fame, the photography is directed by Ed Moore of Red Dwarf X fame, it’s produced by Richard Naylor of Red Dwarf X fame, and is co-produced by Baby Cow Productions of Red Dwarf XI fame.

So: watch it. You can use this post for your instant reactions – we’ll have a review along by the end of the week, most probably.