Chris Barrie has updated his website

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    Bargain Bin Holly

    He mentions the weather, tanks, and his dislike of people requesting his appearance on podcasts; but he also included this tidbit on future Red Dwarf and Brittas Empire:

    “At the risk of repeating something I seem to have said many times over the last umpteen years, I simply do not know if/when we will be doing more Red Dwarf. Over the winter of 2015/16 when we made series 11 and 12, some common sense momentum seemed to be building, but, since then, the project seems to have juddered to a halt. In the desert of silence I do encounter the occasional droplet of positivity but that’s it. If the droplet ever becomes a trickle, I shall of course leap to the keyboard and let you know.

    The Brittas position is not dissimilar. Since the promising newspaper articles of a couple of years ago and the enthusiasm of the Reunion last year, it all seems to have gone all quiet on the Whitbury front. All I can do is continue to express my desire to recreate the chainsaw voiced ogre and that is something I shall certainly keep doing.”

    Thanks to Chris Barrie Fans for making this known on Twitter.



    That’s disappointing. It has rather killed that sense of momentum.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    I think we’ll be fine tbh, I feel like Chris may have accidentally worded it in a way where it sounds worse than it actually is on part due to the UKTV and Virgin Media debacle.

    We’ll definitely guaranteed at least one or two more series of course. At that point we can shift focus onto the video game, movie, action figures, and crossover special for Red Nose Day.



    I feel like Doug will get another series off the ground even if it takes another 10 years to do it.



    I’m surprised. Chris strikes me as the kind of guy that doesn’t believe in the internet and still send out postal updates.



    I wonder if the ‘desert’ feels longer for the cast given that they finished making XII eighteen months ago now, when it’s a lot fresher in our minds as viewers.


    International Debris

    It’s even longer if you think of when XI and XII were confirmed. It’s over three years since the public announcement, so probably quite a bit longer since the cast last heard of the show being greenlit.



    One of my first dates with my partner of almost three years was seeing Krysis filmed so yeah, the cast haven’t been working on Dwarf for a long old while apart from promotional stuff.

    And yes, I do take people on the best dates.



    XII wasn’t filmed 18 months ago – it was filmed *two and a half years ago*, with XI closer to three. Even X and XI were only four years apart.

    I am starting to wonder if something has fallen through to be honest. I know at least one big name crew member was very unhappy post XII with their treatment. Kerry Waddell’s not with Baby Cow anymore, nor is Henry Normal. So even the co-production involvement wouldn’t be guaranteed.

    XIII should have been filmed last winter gone for broadcast this autumn, whether a series or an extended anniversary special. That was the window right there and it’s long gone. Momentum like that expires quickly – if they don’t have something on next year it’s probably gone, all it takes is an exec at UKTV or Dave changing to someone who isn’t a fan and that’s the end of it. Taskmaster has already overtaken it as Dave’s signature show, practically overnight.


    Ben Saunders

    Just phone up Big Finish to get them to pump out 50 audios a year while everybody is still alive, which appears to be their business model



    When they announced doing 2 series back to back I honestly thought it was the start of recording 2 series, have a year off but air one series each year, then record another 2, have a year off but air one series each year etc.

    So we’d constantly have a new Red Dwarf series each year, with production happening once every 18-24 months to allow for schedules not to clash too much and get the gang together (something which should be easier with Craig resigning from Corrie)

    Alas … that didn’t come to fruition, so I fear Darrell maybe right. Unless XIII is commission this year, the taste for it may waiver. Sure we’ve gone a long time before, but surely a channel like Dave would want a new series every year or so, not intermittently. But who knows.

    Fingers crossed we get more.



    XII wasn’t filmed 18 months ago – it was filmed *two and a half years ago*, with XI closer to three. Even X and XI were only four years apart.

    You’re right, my brain let me down there didn’t it? My point is even more true given that, it must feel to them like an age since they were last making the show – any sense of momentum must have long passed.



    If you’re Dave you have to really want Red Dwarf because they can crank out Taskmaster (though the quality has fallen with the latest series) for a fraction of the cost you’d imagine.

    I think they do want Red Dwarf, but maybe there’s wrangling over budgets.

    Or maybe Doug is concentrating on the bluray re-release thinking that the numbers coming in from that will make Dave open their wallets a bit more.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    Well I’m paranoid now, tho maybe a little unjustly; is it that Taskmaster has become Dave’ signature show now? I’m not in the UK so I wouldn’t know, but when I was browsing those ‘Virgin Media dropping UKTV’ news articles, they often put Red Dwarf publicity shots up as examples of UK-exclusive television. So I assumed Red Dwarf was still a big part of Dave and maybe a decent chunk of UKTV.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    *examples of UKTV-exclusive television


    Pete Part Three

    I have nothing to add to this thread, except:

    Chris Barrie should be in more stuff.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    I heard Chris Barrie was originally considered for Rowan Atkinson’s part as that talking bird in The Lion King; I’ve been clinically disappointed ever since



    I’d say Red Dwarf is definitely second to Taskmaster in the signiture original productions stakes but Taskmaster is light entertainment comedy and Dwarf is sci-fi and has a history (which might affect casual views) so I feel like it always would be. Dave have started giving more comedians their own shows now, so if one of those takes off then maybe Dwarf would move down the pecking order, but at the moment it’s a strong second. Seems like they’re extremely proud of it, but it isn’t the thing they get the most benefit out of I imagine.



    Shame there’s seemingly no new Red Dwarf being broadcast this year though- what with it being the 30th anniversary it feels slightly sad that there’s been basically no celebration or anything.

    I for one would love to see Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg 2



    Red Dwarf Taskmaster special/s. Commissions itself.



    Think the Dwarf cast are too old to do Taskmaster, the insurance would be ridiculous.

    Get Greg Davies as a villain on Red Dwarf though.



    Frank Skinner, Bob Mortimer, Hugh Dennis, Liza Tarbuck and Tim Vine all did TM in their 50s. Robert would be the oldest they’ve had, but his Scrapheap experience could come in handy. If the Red Dwarf cast are known for being especially shagged-out, just let them sit down.



    Need 5, who’s the fifth? Norm? That makes a panel with a combined age of 302.

    Bit of a difference between one or two older contestant out of 5, and the Red Dwarf crew haha..

    Bob was the most fucked but had 4 younger colleagues with him. Taskmaster where they don’t do anything that could result in minor injury is taskmaster that’s not worth watching. So many tasks are physical.



    They could possibly also have it be in character, like Can’t Smeg Won’t Smeg.




    Get Greg Davies as a villain on Red Dwarf though.

    The Husbands Of River Song gives you a good idea of how that might be. I enjoyed him in that.



    Now I’m terrified we won’t get more.

    Thanks a lot, Chris Barrie.


    Pete Part Three

    It’s OK, Robert will shoot his mouth off in a day or two and get everyone excited again.






    If we don’t get any more then it’s had a good run. Three proper new series, most of which was quite good, of a sitcom that ended in 1999 in the 2010s is nothing to be sniffed at. I just hope that Doug gets to write something that brings closure and is definitively meant to be the last episode ever.



    >I just hope that Doug gets to write something that brings closure and is definitively meant to be the last episode ever.

    What would the definite final ever episode be like? There was quite a feeling of closure in Skipper already- Rimmer and Lister looking out the porthole and remarking “We’re really home…” but Rimmer realising he just can’t stay. With a bit of tweaking to make it a little more emotional, that felt like it could easily have been the last ever Red Dwarf scene.



    Out Of Time and Back To Reality both felt like possible last episodes ever too, though.



    I feel like every series gets an ending that could let it stand as the last ever episode. Apart from XI really, for obvious reasons.



    I dunno, I don’t think IV, VII or VIII have endings that could work as the last episode ever.



    Sorry, I meant Dave era.



    Doug has said – as recently as post-XII – he has an idea for a potential definitively-last-episode-ever, hasn’t he?


    International Debris

    I thought he said he’d never do one, actually.



    Yeah, didn’t he say in interviews that he prefers those series that don’t contrive a big finale?



    >Doug has said – as recently as post-XII – he has an idea for a potential definitively-last-episode-ever, hasn’t he?

    He has said he prefers to write potential final episodes as just fun stories. he doesn’t sound like he wants to write a proper final episode.

    Overall i think Doug is stubborn enough that we will get more Red Dwarf at some point.



    From here:

    “I don’t want to write a final episode.

    Seinfeld did a final episode and Larry David said it was a mistake, that if he had his time all over again, he wouldn’t write the final episode. I think the feeling was it was a slight disappointment.

    I think when people die you don’t often get any warning and you don’t know when it’s going to be and I’d rather we just go.”



    <blockquote cite=”Is Red Dwarf a show that will one day have a definitive, rounded conclusion, or will you continue to make open-ended episodes indefintely?

    It’s hard to say because I don’t know when it will end. I’ve asked myself before ‘if this ends up being the final ever episode, would it be a good way to end Red Dwarf?’ I know Larry David regrets the way he ended Seinfeld and wishes he kept it open, and that’s something I keep in mind when I consider how Red Dwarf might end, but I can’t say for definite that’s the way I would wrap it up. My feeling right now is to keep it open-ended, although I do have a story for if we decide to give it a finale.”>




    It’s difficult to imagine what a genuine final ever episode of Red Dwarf would be like, to be honest. The Backwards novel ending works pretty well as a satisfying and heartwarming conclusion, but it’d be difficult to do that on-screen.


    International Debris

    Getting the balance right is hard. I think a final episode has to be satisfying as an episode in its own right, it has to close things off to an extent, but also shouldn’t feel too much like a big event.

    Reading the set reviews for Skipper, I honestly envisaged it would be a strange time-travel episode in which the crew were transported to various times in their past, making it kind of reflective, but also quite dramatic because maybe it would be something they were out of control of. They’d get to relive past moments and look at how far they’ve come and maybe have to make a big decision to get out of the situation. I thought it would be quite emotional. I suppose what we got was something not entirely dissimilar, but I suppose I was thinking of something more dramatic.

    What I don’t think would work for Red Dwarf is a big special ‘look it’s the last episode!’ type thing, which Earth would have been. For some shows it works: ‘Allo ‘Allo’s last episode features the very end of the war, which is a fitting end for a show which was largely serialised anyway. That last episode has relatively little plot and is really just tying it up. I wouldn’t want that for Red Dwarf. A story where the ‘final’ element of it unfolds over the course of the episode would be nice, though.

    Or Doug could go with my idea of 30 years in the future, Cat and Lister have died, leaving Kryten and Rimmer alone in the universe. Both being artificial life, they are faced with the choice: with no company and eternity stretching out ahead of them, do they carry on, or decide that, having lost their Red Dwarf family, they should turn themselves off?



    Maybe they could do something like theyre on their deathbed but find a derelict 35th century infinity drive or some shiz, that harnesses the power of an artificial sun and plumb it in to Red Dwarf, and they resurrect Lister and the Cat, as they were, healthy and that, and bring back Kochanski from her disc, and Macgruder and Petersen etc, be a ship of the dead but sort of upbeat. They go home (don’t crash into it) and meet whatever super humans live there, and they’re sort of heroes, people out of time, telling their stories and whatnot. And then Red Dwarf stays in the solar system as like a stately home, they live there but you can pay a fiver and look at the old stuff.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    I always thought Backwards had the most downer ending of all the novels (excluding IWCD, but with that one I knew there was a sequel to resolve the ending), though thats probably cause the Gunmen section immediately preceding it left me genuinely depressed afterwards. I like Backwards though (excluding Cat, he legitimately infuriates me in this book), but more so for its horror and despair themes which I feel makes the book very unique in contrast to most of the series.

    I don’t know how they could do a final and what it should be about, but if they were to have the final at the end of a normal series, I’d love for them to have one of its episodes to be based on the Garbage World section of Better Than Life. Also I’d love the final series to take more risks and cover more unconventional ideas the show normally wouldn’t do, that 30 years in the future idea sounds really cool though the themes might come out of left field if its in a series like XI that focuses more on jokes.



    >I always thought Backwards had the most downer ending of all the novels

    Well it is a little depressing in some aspects- Rimmer, Kryten and Holly have died, Lister and Cat have had about a billion traumatic experiences and now have to cope with losing their friends (the description of Lister “trying not to think about the fact that Rimmer was gone” was really quite sad) and they now have to leave their reality behind.

    But I do think it’s sort of sweet, in a way- out of the infinite timelines the Dimension Drive could’ve taken them to, it takes them to one with Rimmer, Kryten and Holly, one where said Rimmer, Kryten and Holly don’t have a Lister or Cat. In that sense, it’s as if the five of them are meant to be together as a team, they belong with each other. And the book ends with Lister coming to that realization himself- for the longest time, he’s been trying to get back home, when all along it’s been right there in front of him. The posse are closer to him than any family he’s ever had, and Red Dwarf is a place where he genuinely belongs.

    Or it was just Rob Grant indulging his sadistic torture fetish by putting everyone through a load of shit, but then suddenly realizing he can’t end the book with everyone being brutally killed off. I don’t know.



    >What I don’t think would work for Red Dwarf is a big special ‘look it’s the last episode!’ type thing, which Earth would have been.

    I think Earth would’ve been good at the time, but if they were to do that episode now it’d be shit. At this point Red Dwarf’s gone on for so long and left such a legacy that it’d just be incredibly disappointing to suddenly have a “Ooh! We’re back on Earth, show’s over” episode.

    It’d be like if the last episode of Doctor Who was the Doctor just suddenly dying for good and not regenerating, and that’s the end. Maybe would’ve worked back in the 60s, but now that the show’s been going for over half a century it would be an awful end to such a long run.



    I think the Last Human novel (for all its faults) had the only plausible happy endings for the characters. Lister and Kochanski look forward to having a family Adam and Eve style, Rimmer finds out he was really liked by McGruder, has a son, and manages to be a hero (and becomes Ace without dying in the show), ..Maybe Cat could find other cat people somewhere.

    I mean does Lister need anything more…? He is a slob and he never really seemed to have close friends before, just drinking buddies. As for if Kochanski deserves to be alone in space or find humanity again, I don’t know how social she was, but if she was a nerd that knew the inches of rainfall for whereever, I’m guessing she was alienated from people too.



    I don’t think there should be a final episode. They’re always anti-climatic or finish somehow unsatisfactory. How would you wrap up Red Dwarf? They either get back to Earth and live happily ever after which is just a bit cheesy, or they die (violently or old age) which is depressing.



    I just think an episode that ends with a very definitive, everything is going to be ok for the guys.

    Kind of like how The Beginning or even Skipper ended (even BTE to a certain extent), but with a little more emphasis on “this is it, they’re still out there, they’re happy, let them go now”

    Doug has clearly been thinking about that when writing series finales in recent years, and put a little of that in just in case. But if he knows for sure that is the very last episode he is writing, he could make it a little more special.



    A more emotional version of Skipper would’ve worked well as a last episode ever, I think. Perhaps with the main focus as Lister rather than Rimmer, since in Skipper the ship being in direct orbit of Earth isn’t really motivation for Rimmer to stay in the perfect reality- he lives on Io. Plus it was Lister’s plan from the beginning to get back to Earth, so it would have a little more emotion to it.



    there’s always the “only fools and horses” risk that they would do a poignant final episode, then everyone decides they want to do more so they have to double back and ignore it.



    You know, the thought occurs that if Chris has bugger all going on right now they could get him to record those unabridged audio books of Last Human and Backwards we all really want him to do. Please?


    Bargain Bin Holly


    Though I do wonder if he’ll read them abridged on in-full, since Grant cut-out the Gunmen section in his audiobook and Craig (Though probably Doug) cut-out the D.N.A. bit from Last Human.

    Also if he ever does it I want a full-blown hammy Nixon impression for the Earth President.



    I think rather than not being able to get work, Chris is pretty much retired from acting apart from Red Dwarf these days. Much like the Doctor Who companions who are retired apart from Big Finish.



    I remember reading Chris auditioned for Hollyoaks at some point in the past and during the Audition he realized it really wasn’t for him.

    I think Chris seems to be the most comfortable in Comedy roles or being himself.



    >Chris auditioned for Hollyoaks at some point

    Was that before or after Tomb Raider, as they seem very different career directions.



    It’s a shame that Chris has decided to more or less retire from acting – I think he still has a lot of potential, but it’s his decision so…



    >Was that before or after Tomb Raider, as they seem very different career directions.

    I am assuming it was after Tomb Raider.

    Around 2000 to 2010 he did do the horror web series “When Evil Calls”, a British comedy film called “Back in Business” and was in an episode of “Midsomer Murders” so it did seem like maybe was trying to broaden his horizons for abit around that time.

    In the 90s he was pretty much doing 8 series of Red Dwarf, several series of Brittas Empire, prince among men and TV adverts.



    >I think rather than not being able to get work, Chris is pretty much retired from acting apart from Red Dwarf these days

    That’s sort of good though, isn’t it? If there is a Series XIII it means he will definitely be available



    >was in an episode of “Midsomer Murders”

    Yikes, I’ve missed out on this! I love Midsomer but I don’t remember seeing him in one. Must have been in a long binge watch when they all merge into one long bloody orgy.



    He was a postman, if I remember correctly.



    Yeah he was in an episode called “Death in a Chocolate Box” in 2008


    Shoes Have Soles

    I am fairly confident we will see Red Dwarf Friday the 13th. However knowing how idiosyncratic the series has been I suspect it won’t hit the screens until 2020. You could say that is all part of the charm, on the other hand about half of the leading cast will be pushing pensionable age by then.

    As other said it is a shame that they have done very little for the 30th Anniversary considering how busy (at least in post 1999 terms) the Red Dwarf juggernaut has been at recently.


    Bargain Bin Holly

    Like the 13th of September, 2019? Which if that’s what you mean, yeah, that’s entirely possible.

    I would like them not to have us wait till 2020 tbh tho, lest we get some stuff to tide us over throughout 2019



    The thought occurs that UKTV may have been holding off on Series 13 because of the whole Virgin Media debacle. They might have not thought it would be worthwhile to fund the series if the viewership was going to be hugely slashed, but thankfully that didn’t turn out to be the case.



    Given Chris’ rise to fame as an impressionist, his face doesn’t half like to just settle on that one expression (in the Midsommer pics) most of the time doesn’t it.



    in that comedy video about cars he did in the 90s (now on youtube), it starts off with him doing a bit in front of the mill on the cover of Black Sabbath’s first album.



    I think a good final episode of the series would involve them all getting some company/potential romance/friends. Some cats, some mechanoids, some holograms and Kochanski. Still lost in deep space, but with possible new friends.



    I think the final episode should be Lister waking up on a transport ship on his way to join Red Dwarf, looking around and seeing all the people just dreamed about.



    I think the final episode should reveal that Red Dwarf was just a really really big building surrounding by black curtains strung up with Christmas lights.



    I think Ross and Rachel should finally get together in the final episode.

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